What do you know about computer coding? Can you “speak” any programming languages? You shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t know much about computer code, any more than you should feel bad that you don’t know much about neurosurgery. Computer programming is a highly technical field, and most people who don’t directly work in the field are uninformed about it. But while you may not understand coding, it can affect your business. Specifically, website coding, which your website is built on, can affect your SEO rankings. Here’s how.
Giving Search Engines Counter-Productive Instructions
It’s hard to believe but your SEO can be damaged by bad coding that literally asks search engines to look unfavorably on your website. These damaging instructions can be contained in a single line of code. For example, erroneously using meta robot tags containing “noindex, nofollow” can do significant harm. This code is telling search engines not to index this page and not to follow links on the page. As you may guess, pages that are not indexed cannot be found in searches. Of course, this is bad for your SEO.
Improperly Linking Pages Within Your Website
Visitors to a website often move freely from page to page as they search for information. While this may look seamless to users, the navigation is governed by the website’s source code. Broken links in the source code will make it impossible for visitors to reach a page. Even worse, these same broken links make it impossible for search engines to find the page. This error is easy to spot. If you have pages on your website that are unreachable, you will want to get them fixed right away. Correcting this bad code will not only improve user experience but also keep your SEO rankings from being negatively impacted.
Padding Your Source Code with Key Words
Maximizing SEO is a goal of most tech-aware businesses. There are rules to this game, and it is important to make sure you are playing by the rules. Since source code is not visible on the front-end of a website, some coders will try to “game the system” by stuffing lots of SEO-rich key words within the hidden source code. This may work in the short term, but eventually search engines will find this trick, and you will be punished for it. Having hidden text that is placed in source code in order to manipulate the search ranking will actually do the opposite.
I hope this blog has convinced you that bad website source code can wreak havoc on your SEO. Source code is behind the scenes, but it is powerful nevertheless. If you are not proficient in coding techniques, you need to be sure that the people you hire are. Find someone you trust to know how to avoid these and other SEO-destroying traps. At Inspire Marketing, we create websites that are built with clean code. Our websites are perfect platforms for improving your SEO and growing your business. Call Wade at 317-220-6005 to find out how to get started.