One of my clients is an e-commerce website which ranks 6-10th for their keywords. Apart from the other SEO technniques, I suggested them to reveiw their code and optimize as per the HTML standards mentioned on this Github link: https://gist.github.com/ryansechrest/8693303

I did Google Lighthouse Audit, and score is almost 70+ for performance, accessibility and best practices. Although, I can see that their HTML coding is not upto the mark.

When I suggested them the above HTML coding practices, they said its gonna incurred a lot of cost.

They want to know how much SEO ranking will improve if we follow a certain coding standard.

Is there any guide, tips, documentation or suggestions available?


SEO is probably the last reason to implement a coding standard. Google has long said that they index sites is they find them, including poorly built sites, as long as they work for users.

In fact, the style guides that Google itself uses prefer smaller HTML for performance over correct HTML that validates. See HTML Style Guide Google vs W3Schools.

Performance concerns also dictate that the version of HTML, JS, and CSS you serve to users gets minified. That is, all the extra newlines and indentation should be removed. Non-user-visible identifiers (such as variables) should get renamed to just a couple letters. If you follow the best practice of minifying, Googlebot isn't even going to see the nicely styled version of your code that you develop with and it won't hurt your SEO at all.

A badly coded site could hurt your SEO if:

  • It is slow
  • It doesn't work in some browsers
  • Search engine bots can't parse it

For SEO it is better to focus on performance, usability and browser compatibility over well styled code. You probably won't get any return on investment from SEO for implementing a style guide, let alone a big one. If you want to make a case that your client should use a style guide, you should make the case that it will make development better, faster, and cheaper; not that it will help SEO.

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