From individuals to businesses, everyone is looking for skilled web developers to help them build websites that can enhance their online presence.
With the growing number of websites, the number of web developers is also increasing. According to reports, there were over 23 million web developers in 2018 and this number is expected to reach 27.7 million by 2023.
So how to compete as a web developer and bag the best projects out there?
Provide more and better services than the rest!
Yes, in order to get the best projects and thrive as a web developer, you need to be the best option in your industry and that’s why you need to learn relevant skills.
And in this article, we are going to discuss all the relevant skills that can act as multiple cherries on the cake.
1. SEO— search engine optimization
You’ve spent hours building a website, customized it in a way anyone would love but then none visits it? It’s nowhere to be found in the SERP. Did you do something wrong?
No, but building a website is just half of the work.
There are over a billion websites on the web and so it becomes strenuous for the search engines to rank un-optimized websites. And that’s why as a web developer, you need to learn and care about SEO. Additionally, if you’re a web developer with SEO skills, you can get various lucrative opportunities.
To succeed in search engine optimization you should master competitor analysis and rank tracking, local search and on-page ranking factors, and an easy way of doing that is you use SERP API — a source of high volume structured SERP data.
Now that you know why you need to learn SEO, here are the major aspects of SEO which as a developer, you need to keep in mind while developing a website.
a) Page Load Time:
46% of people say that waiting for pages to load is what they dislike the most while browsing the web on mobile.
A better page load speed is a must for websites to provide the users with a better experience and to rank in the SERP. Especially after Google’s recent introduction of the concept of Core Web Vitals. Under this comes three metrics which are more or less perceived page speed.
b) Knowledge of Mobile-First:
In November 2016, Google announced its mobile-first index. Simply put, it means that the mobile version of any website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index and the baseline for how they decide the rankings.
c) Image Optimization:
Image optimization is crucial because it helps in improving page load time, boosts the website’s SEO ranking, and improves the overall user experience. Additionally, consider the impact of ads on page speed.
I spoke with the web developers at Spider-Solitaire-Challenge, for example, they found that their page speed for their spider solitaire game dramatically improved after removing ads, and as a result, they saw meaningful improvements in SEO and reduce in bounce rate.
d) Debug and Fix Crawling Issues:
There are plenty of on-site SEO problems that can slow down your website during its climb to the top. And as a developer, it’s your responsibility to debug such technical issues and eliminate the problems causing negative impacts on the site’s rankings.
2. Social Media Marketing
Nearly 50% of the world’s population is using social media. Also, each person spends 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networks and messaging.
Now here’s a fact— your potential clients, as well as existing clients, are spending a substantial amount of time on various social media platforms. And as a result, there’s been a shift in traditional marketing methods to digital marketing.
Social media can be an excellent way of boosting brand awareness, reach new clients, and build a strong relationship with existing clients as well as industry experts.
As a web developer, you need a consistent flow of clients and keep engaging with the existing ones and that’s where social media marketing comes to play. Moreover, as this is an in-demand skill, you can offer SMM services to your clients along with web development services.
The measurement and optimization of all the marketing activities are known as marketing analytics. So basically rather than just focusing on your website’s performance, you focus on how your marketing strategies are performing and modify your website and strategies accordingly.
Here’s what you should you know about analytics as a web developer:
a) Set Up Goals and Campaigns:
This is important if you want to optimize a website for conversions. And in order to do that you’ll need to track conversions by setting up a goal in Google Analytics.
What are Goals in Analytics?
Goals in Google Analytics lets the user track specific user interaction on your website.
b) Debug Conversion Tracking Issues:
When you use Google Analytics, you can set up a goal and a specific URL that will help you determine the source of the click. And once you know how to track conversions and then debug if any issue occurs, you can help your clients to improve their website’s conversion rate.
4. Conversion Rate Optimization
In a nutshell, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing your website and content to improve conversions. A high conversion rate means that the website is well-designed, formatted effectively, and is serving the needs of your target audience.
Now as a web developer, designing an appealing website is your job but working on the other factors that affect the conversion rate can be a plus for you. Here’s what you need to learn for improving the conversion rate of a website.
a) Creative call-to-actions:
If visitors don’t click, they don’t convert. And when it comes to conversion, call-to-action buttons are the ultimate game-changer.
Your visitors need to click on at least one button to either buy from you or even sign-up for your newsletters. And that’s where you need to work. Even minor tweaks to a call-to-action button design or text can result in improved conversion rates.
b) Build or implement interactive chatbot:
Chatbots can be extremely helpful when it comes to boosting the conversion rate of your website. The reason being that present-day customers need solutions to their queries as soon as possible and with chatbots, you provide them with the same facility.
However, building a chatbot and knowing where to use them effectively isn’t easy. You need some technical skills for building chatbots and then an understanding of how to effectively place chatbots for better results.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the oldest yet effective marketing strategies. The reason being that more than half of the global population uses email. Also, email marketing is more effective than social media in terms of customer acquisition.
Here are some of the basic skills you need in order to provide email marketing services-
- Setting up double opt-in exit popup.
- Creating beautiful HTML templates for collecting signup details.
- Using plugins like Mailpoet to send email newsletters from WordPress.
- Resolving the email deliverability issue by setting up custom domains, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.
6. User Experience
In order to build a converting website that can fulfill the needs of your target audience, you need to build a website that is aesthetically appealing, informative, and easy to navigate. And if your website lacks any of these qualities, the chances of attracting your target audience and boosting your conversion rate is severely affected. And that’s why it’s crucial for developers to learn at least the basics of user experience. Here are some of the basics that you should know about.
a) User-friendly design:
Today’s websites have evolved into something more than a simple collection of text and information. The present days’ users expect websites to entertain them, deliver high-quality content, and provide them with an intuitive and seamless experience.
From the aesthetic placement of CTA buttons to an intuitive interface, every user element makes a difference. The team at Solitaired, for example, launched a Mahjong and Freecell game, and simply by changing a link to start a new game to a larger green button, they improved games played per user by 22%.
b) Easy navigation:
When someone visits a website, they often look for the navigation bar to reach the page they wish to check. The navigation bar is crucial because it helps the visitor throughout their journey on the website and serves as the way to get back to the homepage. If navigation isn’t easy or isn’t intuitive, the visitor might feel confused and this increases the chance of visitors exiting your website.
c) Content readability:
No matter how many images or videos you add to your website, it’s the textual content that helps you turn visitors into leads or customers the most. And that’s why you need content that is easy to read and understand. As a developer, you might need to write the content and so it’s imperative to know how to write content that can help the visitors get the information they need.
d) Enable redirections:
Redirects are a way to forward search engines as well as visitors to a different URL than the one they tried visiting. Redirects play an important role in SEO, so it’s critical to know how many kinds of redirects are there and where to use them.
As a web developer, building websites that are beautiful and functional is your forte but when you learn other related skills as well, you make yourself better than most of the other web developers.
Moreover, when you start to provide additional services along with web development services, you start to earn more than the average web development rates. However, not every skill can be paired up with web development skills, so use this list and choose carefully.