One of the most important aspects of search engine optimization is making sure your website is coded properly. Commonly most people don’t know how to code, so knowing whether or not their coding is correct can be a real challenge. Much like the framing of your house, there are standards, but if the person who framed the house took shortcuts, you wouldn’t know till someone checked or you go to put something new in and realize something is off.
Here are a few things to be aware of for coding:
- Page loading speed: Faster the better
- If your site is loading slow, you may have some code issues; ex: oversized images.
- Limit hacks: Tricking the browsers to display/not display information
- Sometimes developers create solutions that make the website perform a function, but it’s a series of code snippets that circumvent code standards.
- Clean code: Less errors = more frequent indexing
- Closing tags, class and id tags differentiated, misused coding elements, duplicate page names, etc.
- Limit inclusions: Includes simulate info from another site and attempts to display as if the hosting site is the originator
- Great for displaying information from another site, but not exactly kosher.
- Close tags: See #3
- Label images: Adds Search Engine Optimization value and helps for visual impaired visitors
- Another set of standards that will help your SEO results.
- Webpage standards: Title of the page, meta description, h1-h6 use, and other page mechanics
- Sometimes these are skipped because it’s faster, easier, or they don’t know CSS.
- Overall page size: Less code, less load time
- Make sure design elements live in the style sheet. Use standard design elements to create the site.
- Semantic markup: Follow proper coding guidelines. Use default elements appropriately.
- There are several web programming languages. Each has their own standards.
- No duplication: Don’t duplicate your own content and definitely don’t plagiarize other websites.
- The greatest form of flattery may be imitation, but definitely not replication.
These are some of the most important elements of good clean code. There are several programs that can check your code for errors. One of the ones we recommend is W3C’s checker. Click the links below to run some free website checks.