When it comes to creating a website, ensuring that it is visually pleasing and performs well is essential. Custom HTML tags offer developers the flexibility to create unique designs and improve the user experience, while SEO helps drive traffic to the website. However, finding the right balance between the two is a challenge, as custom tags in the head of a website can disrupt SEO efforts. To he;p you further decide if custom elements are for you, we will delve into the topic of custom HTML tags vs. SEO and provide expert advice on how to strike the right balance.

Importance of SEO in web development

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) plays a vital role in web development, as it determines how search engines rank a website in their search results. The higher a website ranks, the more likely it is that users will click on it. This means that ensuring your website is SEO-friendly is critical to its success. SEO includes various techniques such as using the right keywords, creating good quality content, and optimising web design elements. A website’s layout and structure significantly impact its SEO performance, which is where custom HTML tags come into play. Whether you are using an SEO agency in London or you have an in-house team, the importance of SEO is something that should not be overlooked.

The tension between developer flexibility and the impact on SEO

Developers use custom HTML tags to create unique designs and enhance user experience. However, using custom tags can also negatively impact SEO efforts as search engines have difficulty indexing the pages correctly. It is essential to find a balance between the two to ensure a website’s design is visually appealing while also ranking highly in search engine results.

The potential risks of using custom HTML tags:

While custom HTML tags offer developers flexibility, they also come with potential risks. When search engines crawl a website, they render the HTML code to determine its structure and content. Using custom tags can disrupt this rendering process, which can negatively impact a website’s SEO performance. Compatibility issues with older browsers and screen readers can also arise when custom tags are used. Examples of websites that have suffered due to using custom HTML tags include Expedia and Epicurious.

Understanding how Google renders web pages:

To optimise a website’s SEO performance, it is essential to understand how Google renders web pages. Google uses its Googlebot crawler to crawl and index websites, analysing all the elements in the HTML code and determining how to display them to users. The rendering process can impact SEO performance, particularly if the HTML code contains structural errors or custom tags that disrupt the process. Structured metadata, such as standard meta tags, plays a crucial role in SEO performance. John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, has advised that custom HTML tags should be used sparingly to avoid disrupting Google’s rendering process.

Using JSON-LD as a viable alternative

JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is a popular alternative to using custom HTML tags for structured metadata. JSON-LD allows developers to embed structured data into web pages without disrupting the rendering process. This improves a website’s visibility and helps search engines understand its content. Using JSON-LD can also enhance a website’s accessibility and user experience. Websites such as The New York Times and Airbnb have benefited from this approach.

Best practices for using custom HTML tags without harming SEO

Using custom HTML tags cautiously can ensure that they enhance a website’s design without harming its SEO performance. This can be achieved by limiting the use of custom tags to non-critical elements, keeping the HTML code clean and well-structured, testing the website’s compatibility with various browsers and devices, monitoring its SEO performance regularly and making adjustments if needed.

Ultimately, finding the right balance between custom HTML tags and SEO is essential for creating a successful website. Custom tags offer developers flexibility and can enhance the user experience, but they can also disrupt SEO efforts. Understanding how Google renders web pages, using JSON-LD as a viable alternative, and using best practices for custom tag usage can ensure that your website’s design is visually appealing without harming SEO performance. Striking the right balance is key to a website’s success. We encourage readers to share their experiences and insights on using custom HTML tags in web development.

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