Your website’s source code is hidden underneath all graphics, content, and calls to action. The code is “read” by Google and other search engines to decide where your websites should display a certain search query in their indexes.
This is a simple tutorial on how to read the source code of your website to ensure that it is SEO-friendly. I’ll also discuss a few more scenarios in which understanding how to read and inspect the appropriate source code areas might aid other marketing initiatives.
Wondering what code powers your browser’s online pages? If so, you’re in the right place. This post will offer you a quick overview of how to examine the source code of your website.
You’ll be able to observe how your favorite sites function behind the hood — and even make adjustments yourself – after you’ve gained this expertise. So, read on!
How to View Source Code
As an Entrepreneur, Growth Marketer, and Computer Scientist, I find myself looking at the source code of websites all the time. It’s a good idea for any marketer to do so. No matter how many SEO campaign tools you have, you’ll find yourself going through a website’s source code, either to check on something or to do an SEO audit.
If you know what to look for, you can spot areas for improvement and any SEO mistakes that might cause future organic exposure issues.
The source code is easy to access. Depending on your platform, browser, and operating system, you may do it in various ways.
CTRL + U (Press the CTRL key and hold it down, then press “U” while continuing to hold the CTRL-key.) Alternatively, go to the “Firefox” menu and choose “Web Developer,” then “Page Source.”
CTRL + U is the shortcut key. Alternatively, right-click select “View Source.”
For the shortcut, press CTRL + U. You may also click on the strange-looking key in the top right corner with three horizontal lines. Then pick “View Source” from the “Tools” menu.
Press CTRL + U for the shortcut. You may also pick “View Page Source” from the context menu by right-clicking on the webpage.
Press Option + Command + U for the keyboard shortcut. You may also pick “Show Page Source” from the context menu by right-clicking on the webpage.
Right-click and choose “Page Source,” or go to the “Tools” menu, pick “Web Developer,” and then “Page Source.” The keyboard shortcut is Command + U.
Go to “View,” then “Developer,” “View Source,” or right-click and pick “View Page Source.” Option + Command + U is the keyboard shortcut.
Important SEO Elements To Check
You’ll need to learn how to search for items in the source code once you’ve learned how to view it. In most cases, you’ll use the same search methods to explore the web application to search your source code.
Additionally, you may rapidly examine your source code for crucial SEO features using commands like CTRL + F (for Find).
1. Title Tags
On-page SEO’s holy grail is the title tag. It’s the most crucial aspect of your codebase.
How does Google give you results when you search for something? The title tags of the websites you’re pointing to are the source of all those results. You won’t show up in Google if you don’t have title tags in your source code (or in any other search engine, for that matter), believe it or not!
In addition, title tags are essential for inclusion in search engine results. Still, Google also uses them to identify crucial keywords in your content title related to consumers’ searches to increase traffic to your website.
If you want a website to rank for a certain topic, make sure the title tag contains terms that define the topic.
One more thing to keep in mind: each page on your website should have its title tag. You should never duplicate this content.
It’s simple to check each title tag for originality in a small site with only 10 or 20 pages. But If you have a bigger one, you will want assistance. Ubersuggest will do the work for you. Click here to learn more about Ubersuggest.
2. Meta Descriptions
The meta description tag is also a crucial element of the head section of your website. This 160-character snippet is a promotional ad that appears in search results beneath your title content.
Hundreds of websites have entirely disregarded this tag. It’s simple to locate in your code:
Make sure it’s visible on all of your websites. More importantly, double-check that it isn’t duplicated on several pages. Duplicating meta tags isn’t a punishment from the search engines, but it is a massive advertising error.
Many people overlook the meta description, yet it is important to consider it because search engine users view it.
3. H1 Headings
Because H1 headers have some on-page SEO weight, it’s a good idea to double-check your sites to ensure you’re using them correctly. Examine the source code for every page on your page to see if you can find this tag:
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H1 tags are your site’s titles; they’re the first thing visitors see when they get on your website, so make them interesting and informative, or they’ll leave and go someplace else.
You should use only one H1 tag on each page; HTML5 currently allows multiple H1 tags, keeping it to one per page.
It’s also critical not to overcrowd your H1 with vital terms since this will appear odd to readers and may result in a penalty from Google’s algorithm.
As shown above, look for the word <h1 in the code to discover your H1 tags.
4. Image Alt Tags
Although content is king, images illustrate what you’re talking about; it’s critical to include ALT tags in your photos for search engines and the visually impaired.
When a search tool scans your website, it only looks at the source code; thus, the file names and alt tags are the only elements they can see/read.
Type <img src= to find images.
Being overly excited about launching a new website, numerous individuals fail to double-check if the Analytics codes have been correctly installed.
If you’re using Google Analytics, search for “UA-” to locate the tracking code.
You may also use the Google Tag Assistant Browser Extension for Chrome. Alternatively, you may use the Custom Extraction options in Screaming Frog. This step is critical for ensuring that analytics are appropriately implemented on each page.
Reasons to Read a Website’s Source Code
Is it required to be a computer programmer to understand the code? No. All you need to ensure that everything is running properly is a basic grasp of coding and SEO aspects.
Generally, the source code is crucial since it determines how your website looks and functions. Other types of software, such as video games, function in the same way.
Although you may read the source entirely, certain systems may restrict what you may alter. You’ll be limited in what you can edit in the source code if you use a hosted system like Shopify or Wix or another hosted CMS.
Here are some of the main reasons why you should take a look at the website’s source code:
1. Meta Robots Tags Are Being Double-Checked
You should audit some essential parts of your website’s meta-text and ensure they’re coded correctly.
While meta material like the title and description no longer contribute directly to search rank, they nevertheless play a role in the organic traffic that your site receives.
When a user searches, the meta content that appears in the search results is the initial conversion point for a potential customer or user. The keywords they employ in the meta content are underlined to aid in establishing relevance and assisting the user in selecting the appropriate results.
Subheadings should be used sensibly to break up text and make it easier to absorb for the reader.
Headings and subheadings should be crafted and optimized to lure the reader, keep them interested, and give them a general idea of what they’re going to read. The following are some H tag basic principles:
1. Use the H1 element to explain the main goal of the site or page while using high-level keywords.
2. Then, using H2 and H3 tags to complement your high-level keywords, optimize with secondary keywords.
3. Check your headers in the source to make sure they’re structured correctly, and make sure you’re using the right closing tags.
3. Image Optimization
A brief inspection of any pictures you’ve used in and around your content should also be included in your source code audit. This is a fast check to ensure that title and alt tags have been provided for each image to optimize them properly.
To assist in establishing the context of surrounding content, Google places high importance on alt and title tags.
I wouldn’t propose stuffing keywords into these tags; instead, tag them correctly to create significance for your content and improve SEO targeting.
4. Examining Hidden or Altered Content
You probably don’t need to worry about hidden content or CSS modification if you’re the only one working on your website. Still, this may happen with less respected plugins or an agency/contract expert attempting to rig the search results by cutting shortcuts.
Although the material can be accidentally buried, hidden content and CSS modification are frequently done on purpose. This can involve strategies such as:
- Masked DIVs hide content
- Invisible writing or white information on a white backdrop
- Content that is outside the borders of the website’s viewable area
5. Scan for Broken Links and Link Structure
Internal linking, in particular, is an important aspect of moving link juice across your site, so make sure your connections are correctly structured, effective, and coded.
Depending on how you’ve arranged your links, a single missed character might shut down a connection, preventing indexing and ranking sites down the road.
If a link is identified as a bad result of a mistake with canonical links, it might cause a disaster with your SEO.
You don’t need to be a professional web developer to perform an SEO audit on your website’s source code.
Know what to look for and how to find algorithms to expedite the source code inspection. In this manner, you may rapidly identify and correct any problems obstructing your organic SEO efforts.
I hope that you find this information useful. Let me know what you think! Drop your questions, suggestions, and reactions in the comment section below.
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