12 Jun 2014

Web Developers, Remember To KISS For SEO

Building a web site is a lot like making a cake. There are lots of different types, and millions of different recipes. But my favorite type of cake (and web site) is one made with simple but, high quality, ingredients.

When I was in grade school I remember writing an essay and my teacher telling me after, that I needed to KISS my work more. I thought to my self, “heck I knew my writing was good, but didn’t know my work was kissable!” What she meant though was: Keep It Super Simple.

When web sites are created with simplicity in mind, they are easier to manage and build upon in the future. Simplicity also aids in SEO because many of the fundamental components to higher rankings rely on basic web development standards.

Here are a few tips to simplifying your web development process while ensuring SEO is at the forefront.


Use A Popular CMS or Framework

Some times web developers will decide that developing their own CMS or framework is better than using something already built. While I will admit that I have built my own CMS’s in the past, I can say now that its a huge waste of time. While you may be able to built a perfect CMS to your liking, there is no way you can account for all of the unforeseen issues that may arise. Popular CMS’s are “battle tested”, they have been through hundreds of development iterations and typically account for most of the tribulations that the majority of web sites go through, and this holds true for SEO. Take WordPress for example, when it first launched it didn’t have many of the SEO features baked in like it does now. And because of such a large development community there are loads of plugins for SEO.


Minimize Dynamic Markup

With the popularity of AJAX and JavaScript it sometimes seems like static web pages are a thing of the past. The truth is static web pages still make up a majority of the web. While it is tempting to dynamically pull in content and information with out loading a new page, this type of development can be harmful to SEO. I will admit that Google has gotten a lot better at crawling these types of dynamic sites. But unfortunately they are still having issues even with the tool meant for testing implementations.


Simple and Easy Information Architecture

Sites with simple and easy to understand IAs tend to have a better chance at ranking. This is largely because it tends to be easier to develop internal linking strategies with simpler IAs. Over complicated IAs can cause problems with crawling and indexation. They can often times create issues like duplicated content and index bloat.


Use Simple Designs That Increase Inbound Signals

If you have ever done any amount of link building you will already know that sites with overly complex designs with lots of activity on the page don’t attract as many links as sites with clean simple designs. Largely this is because sites with simple layouts are easy to digest and re-share. Simple designs instill a level of trust on authenticity that is required to get links.