There is little web developers can do to get high rankings in search engines because most rankings are because of backlinks to your site, however we can better the possibility by utilizing fundamental rules that make more pages of your website indexed. A very popular web design service allows this to happen by using different web frameworks and applications.
We develop in a framework called CakePHP. It is getting very popular in the web development world. However, CakePHP is simply what it is set out to be which is a framework and not a CMS or anything of that nature. It is a framework that gives you a structured way to develop web applications and gives you handy tools to speed up the process.
Because of this, there is of course no SEO features built into its core. However, with the number of SEO companies that are pushing our clients to implementing very important “SEO-Friendly” items, we have set out to make this a feature that is with every CakePHP application we develop.
So, the core items that SEO companies preach are the following:
- Keyword-based descriptive titles for every page on the site
- Different meta descriptions and keywords for every page on the site
- SEO-Friendly URLs for “Key” content portions of the site. (ie. https://www.loadsys.com/web-design-portfolio)
At Loadsys, we are definitely not SEO experts. Our rules above are because of consistent pressure of SEO companies to resolve the above items for our CakePHP websites. These 3 items are what every SEO company wants to see, in addition to title and alt tags in links and images respectively.
So, we set out to make this easy. A lot of our sites have administration portals for our clients to administer frequently changing items on the site. With this portal, we have a SEO Plugin that allows our clients to add unique titles, description, and keywords to any URL on their site, simply by specifying the URL they want to control and typing in the items and clicking “Save”. As easy as 1..2..3 and you have SEO features into your CakePHP website.
Now, some of our clients do not have administration portals. This is also fine. We can still install the plug-in and add the entries to the proper database tables that store this info. The plug-in then does its work like usual and renders the appropriate titles, description, and keywords for the URLs specified.
Even though you now have to specify these items for every URL, by default the system uses what you have specified for “/”. Meaning your website in general. For example, “/” settings would be used if you goto https://www.loadsys.com. So, if you either forgot to specify every URL on your site or just don’t feel like it, then you still have these items set by using the “/” settings.
SEO is a science, we have no claim to driving up traffic, however we typically build sites for clients that need SEO. In that case, if we see something that has a need to be in every site, we will go out of our way to build that feature so we can assure that every one of our Loadsys customers has this feature. For this instance, it may improve their business drastically.
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I disagree that there is little web developers can do to help with SEO.
In writing SEO proposals I usually sort the work into three categories 1) on page factors, 2) off page factors, and 3) information architecture.
The first of these is largely the responsibility of the site owner – what content goes on each page, how is it arranged, etc. The second refers to backlinks that this post talks about which are often uncontrollable. The developer has a lot to say about the third – the website’s information architecture.
In addition to the points made in this post (title, URL’s keywords, control of meta tags), the developer has alot to say about items such as URL canonicalization, navigation elements (menus, sub-navigation blocks, breadcrumbs, etc.), and production of sitemaps. All of these can be important elements for search engine optimization.
In general, information architecture works best for SEO when it is obvious and systematic. Used properly, frameworks such as CakePHP are very good at being obvious and systematic.
Thanks for the comment Dan. I guess I used the wrong term in my first sentence. I really meant Search Engine Rankings. I feel it is definitely the developers job to get the site to properly be indexed and give a way for the website owner to properly do link exchanges and/or backlinking programs. We typically recommend clients to use blogs and write valuable content to achieve this. Heck, that is how you found this article. Thanks for the additional info on what additional things a developer can do!
You may already be aware of this, but the below behaviour plugin developed by someone in the cakephp community can help out with more SE friendly URLs for websites.
For me, I’m building a bespoke content management system using CakePHP, and this is pretty useful to specify a URL for my content. It does mean that your controller has to do the lookup based on the slug rather than the id though…which means if you’ve already built a system, it might take a fair bit of code re-work to introduce this behaviour.
Also, you’ve said that web developers can do little to improve SEO, which is kinda ok as a lot comes down to the content of the site, but I would emphasise that they probably have the most important job in that they must ensure that title tags and meta descriptions are 100% configurable. The capability of that in a system is pretty fundamental for SEO.
Also configurable URLs are pretty useful as well.
SEO optimization for contested keywords is beyond what a program can do in our experience.
There is nothing better than going out and – in internet language – making new friends through link building.
Thanks for the work you have done on this page as it contributes overall to ethical SEO optimization. Crown SEO, Ltd. specializes in SEO optimization with many Google successes for its clients through reading and understanding excellent articles such as this.
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Thanks man, this is just what I need.
Your module sounds very helpful, thank you for contributing it to the community!
Your article does not mention a solution for more search engine friendly URLs. Is that something you’ve discovered or developed solutions for? If so please contact me ASAP to help me out with a project.