Not only are web developers in charge of creating an eye-catching, fully functional website for your company, but they’re also great at making sure users find that website. This results in increased traffic, which could lead to more customers, more revenue, and more satisfaction.
Not sure how your web design and development team can do all that? Here are 9 ways that web developers can bring more traffic to your site:
1. Mobile-responsive website
The days of browsing the internet on just a desktop are over. Now, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the web. This means you need a high-quality mobile version of your site, otherwise, users will go elsewhere. Users don’t want to pinch and scroll their way around your website on their mobile phones or tablets. An experienced web developer will make sure your site is viewable and accessible no matter the device—desktop, tablet, and mobile. In fact, Google recently rolled out Mobile First Indexing. This means that Google looks at the mobile version of your site first, despite how functional the desktop version is. So to rank well and to keep traffic up, you need to have a mobile responsive website.
2. Fast website
Google has confirmed that there’s a ranking signal called Page Speed. If your site doesn’t load quickly, your rankings will plummet. Approximately 40% of users will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Search engines will take notice if people bounce off your site quickly without looking at any other pages. With slow loading, you can expect a decrease in click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and everything else. Your web developer will make sure your web pages are optimized as much as possible to ensure a fast load time. This means the right size images and files, page structure, and plugins.
3. Accessible to search engines
While it may seem like you want every page of your website to be included in a search engine’s index, think again. Some pages such as incomplete content, printable versions of pages, irrelevant content, and confidential pages shouldn’t be indexed. Not doing this creates crawl bloat and limits the amount of time a search engine crawler, or bot can spend. It could also mean duplicate content, which search engines flag and penalize. That’s when your web developers will step in. They make sure these pages don’t get indexed using a robots.txt file. This file tells crawlers to ignore certain pages. However, this could get tricky if someone accidentally puts in the wrong information and tells the crawler not to index the whole site.
4. Proper redirects
A redirect, the most common being a 301, means that a URL is permanently redirected to another. These are very important when it comes to maintaining rankings and traffic from the SERP. For example, “https://www.example.com” is not the same as “https://www.example.com” to crawlers. They’ll see these as two separate websites and charge both with duplicate content penalties, creating confusion. You need to work with a developer and decide which URL you want to be the main one. Otherwise, users and crawlers might find the older website and pass on rankings to that one instead of the new one. Redirects ensure your rankings and better user experience.
5. SEO-friendly URL structure
One of the easiest ways to make sure you’re getting traffic and keeping it stems from the URL structure of your website. It’s an important search-engine optimization (SEO) technique that’s often forgotten. However, it’s a powerful way to give your site that boost you’re after. When choosing a good URL structure, your developer will consider how it will affect users and search engines alike. For example, your web developer will want to use keyword-rich URLs separated by hyphens instead of messy numbers and weird characters. He or she will encourage subfolders over subdomains, too. It’s all about user experience.
Think of sitemaps as website roadmaps for crawlers. They serve crawlers all of the links a website has in a structured format. Crawlers compare the links they think a website has with the generated sitemap and can usually find links that they didn’t know existed. This allows for a faster, more in-depth crawl. There are a few different types of sitemaps web developers can create: HTML; XML; and Feeds. HTML sitemaps are pretty common and can be found in the footer of a lot of websites. They’re basically separate web pages that show the navigation structure of a website through links. This setup makes it pretty easy for crawlers to get a handle on the site structure. XML sitemaps, on the other hand, are seen and used only by search engines. Your web developer can generate one and submit it to a search engine. Feeds like RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 show updated and new URLs that can be used as a sitemap. However, this technique might not include older pages. Web developers can also create video and image sitemaps, too.
7. Schema structured data
To make a crawler’s job easier, it’s important to organize the information on a single web page, similar to how sitemaps make it easier for crawlers to comb through an entire website. This means a crawler will know exactly what an individual page’s content is about, making the process a lot faster. And the faster a crawler’s experience, the more pages you get indexed. For example, if you have a recipe blog that has a taco recipe on one of the pages, you can indicate through structured data that there’s a recipe about tacos on that page. Structured data is also important for ranking in the local results. Your web-development team can point crawlers to your local address and contact information, making that information readily available on the SERP. Using structured data can also put you ahead when it comes to ranking at the very top of the SERP with rich snippets. Overall, structured data is a nice way to help crawlers move along and understand your site better.
8. On-page SEO
While web-development services might not carry out the actual content creation for on-page SEO, they should make it easy for you to complete. On-Page SEO encompasses techniques that optimize a single web page for search engines. These techniques include keyword-targeted pages, URLs, metadata, headings, and content. Again, your web developer might rely on you to perform keyword research and crafting compelling content, but he or she will be there every step of the way when it comes to implementing it.
9. Social snippets
You might take it for granted, but the blurb that appears every time you share a page on social media is very important when encouraging traffic. Instead of a boring link, users will see a nice image and a quick description of what they’ll find once they click. Your web design and development team should use the Open Graph Protocol to properly translate your page/article share into a clickable snippet. This is a piece of code that can be used for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The goal of sharing on social media is to increase engagement, traffic, and customers. So make sure your web developer has added Open Graph Protocol to your website.
Web developers have an important role to play when creating your website. Not only do they have to make something that stands out, but they also have to make sure it can be found by users. Web developers will bring more traffic to your site through careful consideration of its structure, content, and purpose. Don’t underestimate what they can do for you!
If you’re ready to learn more about web design and development and how it can drive traffic to your website, contact us today!