Search engine optimization or SEO is all the craze these days. It is what helps push pages to the top of search engines, guaranteeing increased clicks. Many businesses shy away from learning SEO, thinking it takes complicated coding and lots of technical knowledge. Due to the misconception, they miss out on how easy it is to score the skills needed to enhance their website. There are different types of SEO, some of which require zero coding. In this post, we’ll uncover the mysteries of coding plus, take a look at whether or not you should start coding.
What Is SEO?
SEO is all about the amount of traffic that’s coming into a website. It is about both the quantity of traffic (tons of bots crawling through the web) and the quality. Nice, organic traffic in the human form is an SEO goldmine, one that several businesses from all industries are after. Understanding the importance of SEO to a company is easily explained in a study presented by Search Engine Journal that reveals: “over 25% of people click the first Google search result.”
How to Climb to the Top
To clarify, the higher a website is on the list, the more chances they have to get clicks. Clicks equal traffic, and traffic leads to sales. Got it? Good. Businesses might all agree that they want to be at the top of the list but, it’s not that simple. Pages appear at the top for a reason, one that has to do with crawlers. Now, don’t get frightened. These are digital crawlers that exist in the programming of search engines. These crawlers scan websites and produce search results that best match what web surfers type in. Different crawlers scan differently and, understanding how they work can help businesses create more SEO-friendly content. See, it’s not that bad!
Is Coding Required for Web Development?
Now on to the golden questions: is coding required for web development and SEO optimization? The answer is: not always. A few years ago, the answer to this question would have been no. Web developers needed to have coding skills to build websites. Nowadays, with open-source code and libraries making a splash in the industry, developers don’t have to look too far to find what they need to build a beautiful website that runs smoothly fast. Plus, thanks to WordPress, anyone can build a website in just a few easy steps. So, the obvious answer to the second question is: no. You do not have to code to practice SEO optimization. You can rock at SEO without ever coding a single line, using one of many different SEO techniques.
Types of SEO
A successful SEO strategy is not always about coding automation into websites. There are several different ways to climb up the charts and land a spot in the top five. The most successful strategy combines as many as possible, catching the attention of crawlers through keywords. To get a better idea of the types of SEO, we’ve outlined them below.
Technical search engine optimization is a branch of SEO that covers the most complex part of the topic. It takes a loo into different search engines and attempts to decode its configuration. This type of SEO requires a deep understanding of how systems work differently and how crawlers work to rank websites. A Technical SEO expert is critical to businesses trying to make it to the top, helping them develop a strategy based on technical findings.
Coding for SEO
Not all types of SEO are code-free. When developers or IT experts code for SEO optimization, they are usually creating tools that support automation. While coding is a powerful tool, it’s not the only way that websites can make it to the number one spot. Sometimes, a wordsmith can create just the right content to lead surfers directly to their page.
Writing SEO Friendly Content
The SEO-optimized article is a highly sought-after item. Not only does it mention keywords throughout but also the correct format and wordcount that crawlers hunt. Written content that has been SEO optimized is one way that both businesses and individuals can get to the top. While writing content doesn’t seem hard, making it SEO-friendly takes some planning. The best way to add writing to an SEO strategy is to create a detailed outline and stick to it, adding keywords here and there.
Ratings for SEO
In order to remain competitive, businesses must work on their rating. A perfect score of 5 out of 5 will catch the attention of potential customers. A web surfer is likely to click if the website is highly ranked. On the other hand, a low rating will send them running in another direction. If you have customers that come in and frequent your place, get them to fill out a review on their favorite search engine or your website. The better the rating, the more traffic, and the higher your page will soar.
The conversion rate of a website is all about the actions taking place by visitors. Crawlers keep count of the action taking place on each website. The more clicks or purchases, the higher the rate of conversion. Of course, the higher the conversion rate, the higher up on the search engine list websites will appear. This method relies on traffic and the ability to score organic traffic from all around the web day after day.
Social media is an SEO optimizer on its own. The more followers or friends an account has, the more popular the pages are. Successful businesses know how to work on social media and are always on and connected. Regularly posting content and participating in online conversations are both critical to mastering social media. Plus, by adding links into each post, followers are sure to get clicking. The more influence a page gains, the more traffic will come it is way, creating an SEO frenzy.
Designing for SEO
It’s not always about content. Sometimes, surfers will click the first page and instantly click the “back” button, disgusted by the layout. A sketchy-looking website is not a good idea for SEO and will likely direct traffic the other way. Even if businesses are not number one, they could get more clicks if they have a beautifully designed website.
Coding for SEO Optimization
We know that some of you out there were relieved when we said “no coding.” But that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the powers of coding. That’s why we made it easy, gathering the most important stuff. Don’t worry if you’re new to code or have never laid eyes on source code. We promise you can pick this up in no time and watch as your website goes from flab to fab!
Meet your Source Code
First and foremost, you need to get in good with your source code. Accessing your source code depends on which device you have. If you have doubts, you can find info anywhere around the web. If this is your first time looking at source code, we know it might seem a bit intimidating. Just think of it as your right-hand man.
Title Tags are Important
Once you’re acquainted with your source code, now it’s time to understand the elements a little better. The first and most important is the title tag. A title tag looks something like: <title>. Following the title tag are words, usually meant to caption the different parts of your web page. It’s helpful for each page to have only ONE title, making it easier for search engines to find and add them to the search list. The title tag is what appears bolded and clickable on the web.
Starting with the code <meta>, you’ll find text that describes what appears under the title in a search engine. The text you choose is crucial to letting web surfers know what they will encounter. Many companies use the same description for multiple pages and wind up missing out on the benefits. Take the time to write in-depth meta descriptions for all of your pages to see a bump in the up direction.
The H1 Headline
The H1 heading (<H1>) is the main title of your page, article, or blog. A surprising and captivating H1 title is something that will reel surfers in, making them want to see what the page has to offer. Don’t stray too far from the topic, keeping your entire webpage in mind. Still, leave in enough spark to get a click! Search engine crawlers do look at the title but favor keywords. So, if you’re keywords are in your content, feel free to be as creative as you can.
Internal Links with Anchors
Ever seen those clickable words on websites that take you to another page? That is what an internal link is, which embeds into an anchor. You can add a link to any text by using the code </a>. The key here is adding keywords and making them sound natural in their placement. Don’t just stick words in for the heck of it for SEO. You still want a readable and interesting article with links. Businesses with glossaries and archived blogs can use this for backlinking, leading readers to pages within their website a smoother experience.
This tag in code tells a search engine what images depict. Search engines cannot crawl over photos and “see” them. Instead, they read the text in code to decode images. Businesses that specialize in e-commerce benefit from image alt, as they can get higher up on the image search engine using specific words. The image ranking is just as important, even more so as we become more visual creatures.
Schema is a collection of the tags mentioned above and makes the job of search engines easier. It comes with structured data that acts as a decoder of the content of a web page. For example, if your website has a company logo, contact details, or even reviews, search engines will have a hard time decoding them and read them as bits of code. If this happens, you’re likely to wind up far away from the top spot, getting further and further away from clicks.
Using Schema RDF is a way to “explain” to search engine crawlers the content on your web page to better place your page where it belongs. The crawlers won’t read these small bits of code as rubbish; but rather identify them for what they are. Think of a recipe page, for example. Tons of words, numbers, and photos go into creating recipes. Applying Schema, you could wind up featured as a top search recommendation, showcasing your photo, rating, description, cook time, and even calories on your snippet. If clicks are what you’re after, Schema RDF is what you need.
SEO Optimization is Constantly Evolving
Hopping on the SEO bandwagon is inevitable. If not, companies are likely to end up somewhere in cyberspace waste, floating around the web without clicks or traffic. Popping up in search results somewhere in the abyss is not an effective business strategy and is something companies should consider. Learning the ropes is not as hard as it seems and, if the cards play out right, requires no coding. With no coding required and promising results, SEO is the way to go.
Search engines are always changing. SEO specialists have to keep up with each change to remain competitive. Any small changes and the websites they’re in charge of can wind up tens to hundreds of pages behind. Keeping up to date with the latest trends for SEO is one way to keep above water. Another is to do it the old-fashioned way and rely on well-searched keywords. No matter what you choose, understanding SEO and how it works is key to remaining competitive digitally as businesses across all industries make their way to the world wide web.