Google PageSpeed InsightsFront end developers have always, inevitably, had a role in SEO. Initially, meta tags and keywords were all the rage and many dirty tricks were used to hide keywords all over the site, trying to make it seem like it was filled with good content. And while meta tags and keywords still have a large role, these and almost all of your quality content strategies can be virtually nullified by a slow loading site.

Page Loading Speed via HTML: Both Google and Bing use page loading speed as a ranking factor. Search engine spiders can estimate your site speed fairly accurately based on a page’s code and filesize.

Page loading times and perceived loading times aren’t just a concern to performance junkies, site speed should be a primary concern for everybody. Server admins and back end developers contribute to this, but I feel the brunt of this falls on front end developers. In addition to page load time, here are some other factors that front end developers should be responsible for.

As we reference this list again, there are a number of tools or plugins that can help give you complete control over the next few items. Yoast is one of the most popular WordPress plugins around.

Keyword in Title Tag: The title tag is a webpage’s second most important piece of content (besides the content of the page) and therefore sends a strong on-page SEO signal.

moz-title-tag-preview-toolTitle Tag Starts with Keyword: According to Moz data, title tags that start with a keyword tend to perform better than title tags with the keyword towards the end of the tag. Google recently redesigned their results and the slightly larger font size may affect your previous search listing. Fortunately, Moz offers a Title Tag preview tool that reflects the new design.

Rel=Canonical: When used properly, use of this tag may prevent Google from considering pages duplicate content. Duplicate content is a negative factor with rankings.

Keyword in Description Tag: Another relevancy signal. Not especially important now, but still makes a difference.

Keyword Appears in H1 Tag: H1 tags are a “second title tag” that sends another relevancy signal to Google, according to results from this correlation study

HTML errors/W3C validation: Lots of HTML errors or sloppy coding may be a sign of a poor quality site. While controversial, many in SEO think that WC3 validation is a weak quality signal.

Alt Tag (for Image Links): Alt text is an image’s version of anchor text.

Site Over-Optimization: Includes on-page factors like keyword stuffing, header tag stuffing, excessive keyword decoration

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