Your website is one of 1.8 billion, so the question is…how to stand out? In fact, by the time you finish reading this article, more websites have been launched. Some of them represent competition.
Every one of these active websites is giving due consideration to its essential ingredients:
- Site outline
- UX/UI design
It’s also crucial to ensure that highly effective search engine optimization is implemented.
SEO is a combination of many on-site and off-site factors. Think of SEO as someone you know— the individual’s personal brand presents as clothing, posture, grooming, voice, facial expressions, gestures, communication skills, and more. Remember also, that in this analogy, SEO represents that individual’s friends, family, job, home, network and more. Bundled together, you have factors that impact the reputation of that individual.
Take a look at the ultimate SEO checklist for redesigning or refreshing a website:
Keywords and Content Research
Keywords are crucial for identifying the user’s intent during their search. And to ensure we target the right audience on search engines. Keywords searched by your audience can be by competitors, location, season, etc. Identify and review your competitors, utilize keyword research tools to discover average search volume and synonym keywords, and build a target keyword list. Review your new website’s content and ensure keywords appear naturally within the various pages of your site. Avoid keyword stuffing.
Meta Title Tags and Description
An important HTML attribute includes snippets of text that define the title of each page. The meta description is a summary of your page’s content which search engines show this information in the search results. It’s recommended to limit the character limit for title tags to 70 characters and meta descriptions to around 160 characters. Failure to include this means that search engines will determine it on your behalf.
Header and Image Tags
Titles for your content within each section of your website are helpful for users and search engines to read and understand the content. There are six elements (H1 – H6) that define the headings, not all are required for good SEO. Structure your website to include relevant keywords based on the order of importance for better search results and user accessibility. H1 tags have the highest rank and H6 tags have the lowest priority. Usually, higher-ranking headings are titles and the lower-ranked headings are part of the higher-ranked sections. In HTML, images are not inserted into the code but linked to a web page. Tag images with relevant keywords, captions and alt text identify images and images and improve user experience, discoverability and SEO.
Structured URLs and Internal Linking
Optimize your URLs with readable words, utilizing dashes to showcase character spaces, and avoiding special characters are among the best practices in SEO. Interlinking URLs on your website will improve your search positions, assist with better usability, and increase conversions on your website.
Image and Video Optimization
As numerous images are linked to your website. Larger image sizes will reduce the page speed due to the time it takes to load these images. Images enhance your website manifold and are well worth the time invested in their proper selection, care and handling. Also, optimizing images is important for your website to be found in image-based searches i.e Google Images, etc.
Integration of Google Tools
Tracking users and user behavior provides critical feedback and is cost-free. Integrating tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and a listing on Google My Business are necessary steps for improving your SEO, and also to measure its effectiveness.
A secure site has the all-import ‘s’ after the ‘http’ protocol. When a user visits a secure site, it means the communication with the server is done through an encrypted channel. This is especially important for e-commerce and sensitive data, such as bank information, health information and other personal details. A website that is not secure may be flagged by search engines that deliver a cautionary message via search engines and web browsers.
Redirection and Canonical Tags
There is confusion about 301 redirects vs. canonical tags. It’s often asked which one to use and when. 301 redirect are used to permanently redirect one URL to another. Whereas, canonical tags are used to specify the preferred URL of a web page when there are similar pages. For instance, you may have a print version of a page and two pages with similar content. Adding canonical tags will avoid SEO penalization for duplicate content.
Page Speed Optimization
Does your site load in a nano-second? With the advancement of technology and gigabit internet speeds, research indicates that users are quickly frustrated by anything that takes longer than 1-2 seconds. Three seconds means abandonment. To avoid penalization by Google, optimize your website for speed as well as design, the capacity of your hosting server. Google Lighthouse and gtmetrix are good resources to check your page speed.
A sitemap is a document that lists all the URLs on your site, allowing search engines to identify and crawl these pages for indexing. Robots.txt file enables communication with search engines to know which parts of the website they should index. Sitemaps and Robots.txt are crucial steps to open up the communication channel with search engines to crawl your site and improve search performance.
Broken Links and 404 Redirects
Nothing is worse for the user experience than reaching the error page. Broken links scream for attention and a clean-up by the webmaster. On the backend, websites with broken links are penalized by search engines. Setting up custom 404 redirect pages for temporarily broken links is important so the user is not lost and there is an internal link within your website.
Responsive Design Check
In today’s world, smartphones outnumber desktops, so Google has adopted a ”mobile first” approach. It’s critical to enable mobile responsiveness for your website if you’re still playing catch-up. Having a mobile-friendly website is a requirement for SEO and business success.
Your website is your front door and unlocking it before hanging out the “Open for Business” sign is step one. Making sure the sign represents your brand at its very best means being able to reach your customers, prospect for new ones and grow your business. Let us know if we can help because it’s always a good idea to “Just Add Spritz.”