Back end developers are often the unsung heroes of successful web applications. Oftentimes the design gets the glory (or shame) because you can’t see all the work going on behind the scenes. And in many cases the developers only get mentioned when something is wrong or somebody is wondering why their site is loading so slowly. This relationship translates directly to SEO rankings as well.
As I mentioned before, page load time is a key contributor to your ranking. The two biggest bottlenecks when it comes to WordPress application performance are almost always external requests and the database. That’s why we try to cache everything that can be cached. Check out the Voce Platforms Afterburner site for specific details on how we leverage cache on WordPress projects.
Voce Performance Tools is a plugin we released that combines all of our favorite back-end optimization tools together in one plugin. Most of the plugins listed in this section are included in this plugin. This plugin also includes our Cached Queries plugin.
Aside from overall site performance, there are additional areas back end developers contribute to SEO. Some of these could fall under the front end developer section, depending on how your team splits out work.
Presence of Sitemap: A sitemap helps search engines index your pages easier and more thoroughly, improving visibility.
Priority of Page in Sitemap: The priority a page is given via the sitemap.xml file may influence ranking.
Schema.org Microformats: Pages that support microformats may rank above pages without it. This may be a direct boost or the fact that pages with microformatting have a higher SERP CTR
Use of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools: Some think that having these two programs installed on your site can improve your page’s indexing. They may also directly influence rank by giving Google more data to work with (ie. more accurate bounce rate, whether or not you get referral traffic from your backlinks etc.). Even if using webmaster tools doesn’t directly help you, it provides you ways to help…
- Check your site’s health for potential issues that Google has detected.
- Understand your search traffic and learn how users are finding your site.
- Make optimizations to help Google better understand and represent your site.
With all of the tools available to front end and back end developers, dedicating even a small amount of time towards SEO can make a big difference.
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