Your first steps optimizing your website for Search Engines (SEO)

First let’s start with the definition of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and why it is very important for your business. SEO is the process of making sure that your website can perform well in search results. When someone searches for a product, or a service you are selling, they can find your website and business.

All search engines work similarly, they crawl the internet to find new websites, they index the websites and categorize them, they rank websites according to a lot of ranking factors. Each search engine use it’s own ranking algorithms to rank websites, that’s why you can get different results when you use Google and Bing as each of them uses very different algorithms to rank websites on the internet.

This is how Search Engines work, and it is important to understand that as it will help you in your website optimization.

How Google crawls websites?

There are millions of websites on the internet, and each day  thousands of websites are created and registered (70 new websites registered every minute!!!) How can Google know all this new websites, and crawl them?

Google has a crawler which uses a simple method to crawl new websites. Basically it visit the websites in their database, and then follow each link on these websites and visits these links, and follow links on these websites as well. Google is creating a network of all websites linked together (see the image bellow). It simply goes from link to link to discover new websites, and pages.

google-crawling-and-ranking

What Google does with these new discovered websites?

After Google crawl these pages, and websites, they start to index these pages. When Google visits new websites, it gets your website content to know what is your website talking about. It checks everything in your content, your titles, actual content, images, links, etc… This is how Google can categorize websites according to the keywords it think your website is about. Let’s take an example:

Let’s assume you have a website that sells sports wear. Google crawls your website and gets it’s content. How will Google know what are you selling? Simply Google will check your content, What is your title? What images do you use? What is your actual content? Are you selling anything else?

After Google analyzes your website Google may categorizes it as an e-commerce website selling sports wear in Egypt. Google will do the same and put all e-commerce websites that are selling sports wear in Egypt in it’s index.

How Google ranks websites?

OK, now Google has an index of millions of websites, How can Google rank websites and show the most relevant results when you search for something?

Google uses over 200 ranking signals to determine which websites should be on the top, and Google is always updating their ranking algorithms, but there are some basics you should follow if you want to rank higher in search results.

On-Page SEO:

Optimizing your website content, and structure helps Google indexing your website, and it will improve your website ranking. Some elements must be optimized like:

  • User Friendly Web Design & Mobile Friendly

Having a good website design is a must, it will help you keep your website visitors on your website longer, and Google will favor that. Also having a mobile friendly website is a must, as more than 60% of  Google searches are done from mobile. Google clearly stated that having a good mobile friendly website is a  must if you want to rank higher in search results (learn more about our professional web design services in Egypt).

  • Meta Tags

Meta tags are used to describe your website to search engines, your Page Title tag is very important as it is one of the first elements that Google checks to know what is your website about. Also meta description is displayed under your page title in search results, and having a good meta description can help you getting more clicks.

  • Headings & Content structure

Your content must be structured properly. Your content must contain headings, paragraphs and used in logical order. It is advisable to use main heading for your content called <h1>, and secondary headings <h2>, <h3>, etc…

  • Images Titles & Alt Tags

Images must be relevant to your content. Google is very good at identifying  images. Use relevant image titles, and alt tags to help Google know what your images are bout

  • Inner linking structure

Remember when we first talked about how Google index new websites and pages. It is by following links. That’s why it is very important to link to other pages on your website so that every page on your website is linked from another page. Google will follow these links and also from these links it can determine which pages are the most important to you.

  • Advanced on-page techniques

There are other advanced techniques to optimize your website, but doing the basics will help you a lot. Some of these techniques are using canonical tags, structured data, noindex tags, etc…

  • Website performance

Having a fast loading website helps a lot in ranking. There are a lot of factors that must be considered if your SEO is important to you.  Your website system or CMS must be fast (learn more about our CMS and our web development services in Egypt). Don’t use too much images as it can make your website slower. Use fast hosting for your website, even a small vps or a dedicated server will help a lot in your website performance. Use caching to serve website files faster, and use CDN.

to be continued….

PHP vs Python for web development

The topic of programming languages is very hard to write about specially when you are trying to compare them. Every programming language has a very loyal fan base that are ready to defend it. But that will not prevent us from comparing two of the most used programming languages.  Let’s start by defining each of these two powerful languages.

PHP

PHP is a server side development language, it is used to build dynamic web sites and web applications.  It has the biggest market share of all web development language accounting for 80% of the entire web (PHP is the language of choice for our web development services in Egypt)!!! This figure is unbelievable, 8 of every 10 website are built with PHP. It is used also by some of the biggest websites on the world like Facebook. PHP started as a small scripting language to do some small changes to static HTML files, but it has been developed, and became a very powerful web development language.

PHP Frameworks & CMS

php-frameworks-web-development-company-in-egypt

Due to it’s popularity, PHP is used as the development language of the most successful CMS in the world called WordPress. Again WordPress is the most used CMS (Content Management System) on the internet. And in recent years a lot of modern frameworks have been built with PHP like Laravel, and Symfony. This huge CMS, and framework helped PHP to offer highly scalable and complex web applications.

PHP can be used to build e-commerce websites, social networks, online communities, and many complex applications. An example of how PHP can build highly complex web applications is Magento. Magento is an e-commerce CMS that can be used to build online stores with thousands of products.

 

PHP Advantages

PHP has a lot of advantages, after all it is the king of web development languages (by numbers). There isn’t any single language out there without some disadvantages but in PHP it’s advantages far out weight any disadvantages:

  • Strong integration between PHP & HTML
  • Widely used with MySQL for database development (MySQL is the number one database language on the internet)
  • Huge support from professional web developers
  • Open source language
  • Easy to learn which is great for support and rapid web application development
  • Strong OOP capabilities to  build complex websites and applications
  • Huge performance gains after the latest version of PHP (PHP 7.0)
  • Huge selection of CMS and frameworks to make web development with PHP easier

 

Python

Python is a general purpose programming language. general purpose languages can be used to build build anything, it can be used to develop websites, or build desktop applications. It has seen a lot of growth in 2017 as it was considered one of the most growing programming languages (according to Stackoverflow).

Python is an open source programming language used to create applications and scripts. It has a lot of advantages which made it the first language of choice in academia. some of these advantages are:

  • Easy to use syntax
  • Open source langugae
  • Huge library to build anything
  • Great community support
  • Used by some of the biggest companies in the world like Google, and Twitter
  • Good OOP support

PHP vs Python for Web

While both programming languages can be used to build complex web applications. We still think that PHP is by far the best web development language for this task. PHP is easy to use, well supported by all hosting companies, and has a lot of frameworks, and CMS to help developers build web applications easily. Python on the other hand is great in some areas but very limited in building web applications. Python only has two frameworks Django & Flask. and doesn’t have any good CMS system. Python is better suited to data science, and machine learning fields.