Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to earning relevant traffic for your website. If your website is SEO friendly, your site is much more likely to rank higher in SERPs. To put it simply, in order to "do better" in Google or other search engines, your site must be SEO friendly!
The primary concerns regarding SEO are both on-site and off-site. Your on-site SEO are the things that someone can control or change whenever needed. Your off-site SEO are things that are not directly on your website that you don’t have that same control over immediately, such as links from other websites to yours.
In this post we'll be focusing on the on-site SEO.
Though there are some wizards out there who are great at both, most inbound marketers are not also web developers, so here’s the bare minimum of what you need to know about your website’s code in relation to your SEO and site health.
The most important thing to know about your site’s code is that it needs to be tidy. Google will not be able to crawl your site as quickly or thoroughly if your code is messy. Ensuring that crawlers can parse through your code without getting tripped up on extra tags and poorly formatted lines will do wonders for your site health.
Your URLs should be legible and contain similar keywords used elsewhere on the website. For example, do your URLs look like this?
or like this?
It's even a bigger deal with dynamically generated ecommerce website pages. If you have a web store, do your URLs look like this?
Or like this?
If your URLs are giving you a headache, they’re probably giving the browser crawlers a headache as well, so cleaning these up will have a positive impact on your SEO.
Lame Cliche Alert: Content is King for SEO
This is one of the most important contributors to SEO, and it’s also one of the most common errors that pops up in site audits. The good news is, this is also one of the most accessible issues for you to address!
You should have enough content on the page to describe what the page is all about. This can't just be a bunch of keywords, it should be in a format that a human can read. If you want a page to rank for a specific keyword, that keyword must be in the content.
The semantics of how many words you should have on your pages tend to change frequently, as do many “SEO Best Practices”, but staying current will benefit your website immensely.
There should be a page title on every page, and every page title should be unique and relevant to the page associated with it.
If you have a CMS such as WordPress or HubSpot, you have easy access to editing page titles and corresponding meta descriptions that are set up to keep you within the confines of the current best practices.
Headings work side by side with your content, creating relevant separations between sections. There should be a heading that leads into your content, almost like the chapter of a book. You can make adjustments to these within your CMS.
An added bonus of headings, especially H1 headings is that they are a great opportunity to implement keywords that further break down those within your page titles.
It seems like common sense, but if your website is slow, your user experience (UX) is going to be significantly worse. In this digital age, users don’t want to wait around for a page to load. If it’s taking too long, they will back out and find another website to answer their questions.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a great tool for determining both your desktop and your mobile site speed. Not only will it provide the actual loading speed for each, but it will also offer suggestions to help improve your page speed, often ranging from errors like broken links, to redirects, all the way to improperly sized images.
Some of these fixes pertain to on-site SEO, and some pertain to off-site SEO, so be sure to recognize the difference between issues you can fix on your own and those that will require outsourcing.
It’s 2020 - people are most likely looking at your website on their mobile device. Whether it’s a phone or a tablet, ensuring that your site performs at the same level of quality on smaller devices as it does on a desktop is paramount for improving UX, overall SEO, and site health.
Making sure that your menus are condensed and aspects like phone numbers and email addresses are large enough and clickable will help immensely when trying to improve overall UX.
Complete a Website Update Checklist
If you read through this post thinking, "I still don't have a clue" -- don't worry. All hope is not lost for your website.
You can download our website update checklist by clicking the image below, and use that to analyze all the aspects of your site that affect SEO and lead generation: