To become a web developer, you must learn a few coding languages. It’s not an easy task, but these are the tools you’ll need to do your job. So, you took your time and learned them. However, when you started working, you realized that web development isn’t all about the code, as you may have thought it is. If you want to be good at it, you need to learn to use a couple more tools. As you can assume, Search Engine Optimization is one of those tools. So today, we’re taking a look at why web developers should learn SEO.

Why Should SEO Be Important to Developers?

When you’re working as a web developer, your goal is to create a website that looks nice and is easy to use. In theory, if it fulfills these two criteria, people will use it a lot. But in reality, there are many more factors that go into it

If you ignore SEO aspects or make one of the common SEO mistakes, the site you just made won’t be even near the top of the search engine results pages, no matter how good it looks or how user-friendly it is. Your client won’t be happy about it, and you’ll have to go back and fix everything to make it right. 

On the other hand, if you know your way around SEO, you’ll create a platform that can grow and that will get to the first page of SERPs in no time. You can bet that the word will spread out and that you’ll get as much work as you’re willing to do. 

Here’s what practices will take your site-building skills to the next level.

A man and a woman in the office talking about why web developers should learn SEO.
If you want to be successful, you’ll want to know why web developers should learn SEO. 

Keep Your Code Clean

As a web developer, you can do all sorts of complex things. However, it’s your best bet to keep things as simple as you can. 

Lately, SEO is becoming more and more visitor-centric. Hence, it’s all about making users happy, and you do that by giving them quick access to information. If your code is too complicated, it can create some roadblocks for site visitors. 

Of course, you want your site to be obstacle-free, and that’s why keeping your code clean is the first thing you want to pay attention to when creating an SEO-friendly website. 

Make the Site Load Fast

Load times will be more important in 2022 than they ever were, for a couple of reasons.

First off, search engines want to point users to the sites that will give them answers to their questions the fastest. If your competitor’s site loads in two seconds and yours needs three, Google will prioritize them. 

The second thing is the bounce rate. Long loading times impact website page experience, and they’ll influence users’ perception of a webpage. If they have to wait for four seconds to see it, people won’t like the page they end up on. Even worse, they’ll leave your site before the page loads, and that’ll send a bad signal to Google.

Add a Sitemap

The next thing we want to talk about is of technical origin. Still, it does a great job of showing why web developers should learn SEO

Search engines are very complex. However, they don’t experience websites as humans do. When crawler bots go over your site to index it, they’ll follow each link they come across. Although that isn’t a problem if your site is small, if it’s complex, they might get lost. 

Adding a sitemap will help them move along and find their way around it. It’s a good idea to do it on any sites you’ve been maintaining for some time, and that has grown quite a bit since you’ve made it.

A woman drawing a sitemap on paper.
A sitemap will help crawler bots navigate your site. 

Check the Site on Mobile

About 57% of all traffic today comes from mobile devices. Google knows this — so they give the edge to sites that offer a good mobile experience

As a matter of fact, they use what they call mobile-first indexing. In essence, it means that the bots will look at the mobile version of your site as a primary one. If it doesn’t perform well, the chances are that the site won’t rank. 

You don’t even have to be an SEO expert to check this. Just use Google’s mobile-friendly test to do it. And if you want to get recognized as a top website design company, spend some time testing the site with Google Lighthouse.

Take a Look at the Robots.txt File

Robots.txt is a useful tool for managing a site. It’s a short and simple code that tells crawler bots how they should crawl different parts of a website

If it’s set up wrong, it might block crawlers from getting to a page you want to index. It won’t show up in search results, and that’s a big SEO problem. 

Of course, webmasters sometimes don’t want certain pages to get indexed. But if a webpage doesn’t get traffic, and it should, this is the first thing you should check. 

Learn the Difference Between Do-Follow and No-Follow Links

Links are pretty much the language that search engines speak, and as a developer, you should understand it to get how SEO works. Luckily, you don’t have to dig deep below the surface to learn what you need to know. You only have to know the difference between the two basic types of links:

  • Do-follow links
  • No-follow links

Do-follow links are the ones of which HTML isn’t edited to ensure Google doesn’t associate one site with another. When crawlers come across these links, they see them as one site vouching for the quality of the other one

On the other hand, they’ll follow no-follow links to see where they go, but they won’t give them any value. Now, that doesn’t mean these links don’t have value for you. They’ll still bring in traffic, and you want them for that. 

A man using his computer.
Use the right links to communicate with search engines.


From all of this, it should be obvious why web developers should learn SEO. Most website owners want to get as much organic traffic as possible, and your job is to make that possible. Even the basic knowledge of SEO will help you to up your game and offer more to your clients.