How Is Your Technical SEO?
March 15, 2016
You can have top quality content created by the best marketing minds in the business, but if your website is not up to technical snuff, you will still not win the conversions that you want. Make sure that your site satisfies all of the following to secure high spots in the SERPs and the traffic that you need to succeed.
- Quick loading - You have fractions of a second before the first of your visitors start to navigate away from your site. Every millisecond it takes for your site to completely load costs you surfers and hurts your standing in the search engine results. Make sure that all scripts are running easily and that images are small enough to load quickly over any connection.
- Mobile-friendly - More search engine queries come from tablets and mobile phones than from desktops these days. Last year, Google announced the update that webmasters dubbed "Mobilegeddon." If your website is not set up for mobile phones' smaller screen resolution, it will dramatically hurt your standing with Google. Look into responsive design that looks great on any screen, no matter what the size.
- No broken links or images - It can happen to anyone. You update your site and links or paths to images are not where they used to be, but this common issue can hurt you with your ranking on search engines. Run site map tests frequently to ensure that all of the links inside your site are still working as they should.
- Meaningful meta tags - Search engines have become quite sophisticated, but they still lean more heavily on some text to learn what your site is about and how it meets their searchers' needs. Make sure that the title tag of every page is descriptive and that you use keyword rich subheads throughout. Instead of "Home Page," call the index page of your site "Florida Pest Control," or another name that is short enough for surfers to read but includes all the words that search engines need to determine what that page is about. Google no longer uses the keywords tag. Bing still does, but will penalize sites that do not use those same keywords within the content of the page. While many other meta tags have fallen out of favor over time, the description tag remains vital to good SEO. Google uses this as your description in the SERPs, so make sure that it is both keyword-rich and appealing to surfers.
- Helpful subheads - Each page should have one keyword rich H1 tag and, if appropriate, a couple of H2 tags. Subheads don't just break your content into easily scannable blocks for readers. They also allow search engines to get a better idea what your site is about.
- Search engine-friendly URLs - All URLs that you use should be meaningful and straight-forward. For instance, blog posts should include an SEO version of the title instead of a meaningless string of numbers. To make sure that your site is not competing against itself in the search engine results, consolidate the www and non-www version of your URL. Use a 301 redirect to point one version to the other.
- XML and client-side sitemaps - Extensible Markup Language (XLM) sitemaps give you the ability to tell a search engine what pages on your site they should crawl. A number of content management systems generate these automatically. If your CMS does not, you'll need to create one. It should be updated every time new pages are added to your site.
If it has been a while since your site had a complete facelift, it may be time to do the work to ensure that every page complies with the latest and best search engine optimization practices. A bit of work can have a dramatic effect on your ability to rise to the top ten results. Need help? We'd love to discuss what your site needs to perform well and get you the results you want.
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