A website that doesn’t consider SEO is not going to deliver traffic. Most people just see code as the way a website is written to perform a desired outcome. Whilst this is true, the website code’s impact on SEO cannot be understated. As with almost everything in digital marketing, SEO is always in play. So how does website code affect SEO? To answer that, let’s clarify a few things:

What is a Crawler?

Crawlers. Spiders. Bots. These are all names for automated bits of software that scan their way across the web in the hunt for new or updated pages. When it finds new information, it categorises and stores it away in an index, ready to be pulled out when users search for it.

Now, when we view a website, we see the front-end product, the finished, polished version. Our human brains can process stylised fonts, bright colours, the exact positioning of images and what they represent. We get the full user experience. Crawlers, however, are blind. They’re robots never to be blessed with the power of sight. So they can’t make the connections that we can. They can’t feel the user experience. So the code has to essentially spell it out for them. If your code isn’t ‘crawler friendly’, content won’t get recognised properly and you won’t appear as relevant within Google’s index.

SEO Spider crawling

How does HTML tagging affect SEO?

So, a crawler comes across your content. First things first, it takes a look at your HTML tags. These tags are small snippets of HTML coding that tell engines how to properly read your content. This information helps engines like Google to determine what your content is about and how to categorise the material. If Google understands your content, it’s more likely to pull it out the index when users search for it.

How do page titles affect SEO?

Page title tags will be your most crucial piece of information. When a crawler scans your webpage, the title tags will tell them explicitly what the content is about. These can also be called H1s, H2s, right down to H6 on WordPress:



<h1> And this is what it would look like in code </h1>

Without these tags, none of your content would even show up, because it’s not flagging up under Googlebot’s search parameters. With that said, it’s important to note that page titles need to be tailored and precise to not cause confusion to customers once they find your page.

SEO Spider crawling

How do Meta Descriptions affect SEO?

You’re probably beginning to see that almost every aspect of a webpage can be optimised. Meta descriptions are no different, giving a concise description of what the page contains. Meta descriptions are the fine snippets underneath the page title in the SERP. Why are they so important?

a) They give your reader insight into what your page is about.

b) They improve how search engines list your content.

How do ALT tags affect SEO?

Pages with images are more enticing to scroll through than walls of text. However, as we’ve discussed, crawlers are sightless beasts. For crawlers to recognise what an image is trying to convey, we use something called ‘ALT tags’ or ‘ALT text’ to help characterise what the content is about and which users it is relevant for. Again, this all helps the bots to know where to store your content. Sensing a theme here? It’s time to start thinking robot.

How do responsive meta tags affect SEO?

Pretty much the entire world uses a mobile device when researching a product or company. As such, it’s important to focus on improving the user experience by making our pages responsive and user friendly for mobile. We can indicate that to Googlebot with responsive meta tags. This is vital, because Google rank you higher if you have a mobile friendly version of your website. At the end of the day, SEO is all about ranking as high as possible.

Some things to remember…

Everything we’ve suggested is good, common SEO practice. However, it’s important to remember not to focus solely on appeasing our robot overlords. Remember who will actually be buying into your business: real life people. Don’t sacrifice human user experience in favour of flooding your webpages with bot-friendly content. Usability. Personality. The customer journey. These are just as, if not more important than crawlability. Balance is key. That’s why we suggest you strategise for every step of your web design process.

Another thing to consider: SEO perfection is impossible. The goalposts are always moving and Google’s algorithms are always updating. Don’t think you can carry out our suggestions and be done with it. Your titles, metadata and other code will always need refreshing to keep up with the ever-warping digital market. They’ll always be new keywords, new fads, new world-changing ideas. Your online business needs to keep up, or risk being lost to the digital ether.

SEO Spider crawling

Strategic SEO across the UK

Purplex is a digital marketing agency ready to take your business to the next level. When it comes to SEO, we know our stuff. We want to propel your website to the top of the SERP and help it stay there. To start your ascent, contact us or fill out our form below.