SEO Checklist: Optimising Your Website To Rank Better
Do you know what would be crazy? If you didn’t want to appear when and where your customers are looking!
This week we’re going to look through our SEO checklist to help you try and get first page rankings for competitive search terms.
That means when someone is searching for those awesome things you do and sell, your website will be the first to entice them in to buy!
Grab a pen and paper and get ready to note things down because Wednesdays are about to get GIANT
Hello, my name is Holly and welcome to Giant Wednesday, the only place to be to discover the wonderful world of digital marketing. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and post your comments below.
You may or may not like to hear it, but ‘process’ is essential to making sure you smash your marketing.
With that in mind, when we are optimising websites for search, we start with a repeatable list of things to check off.
These are things you can do whether you’re technically minded or not which we know can act as a huge roadblock sometimes.
Well, let’s not dilly dally.. from design and metadata, through to content and site speed, we’re going to talk you through part of our GIANT checklist.
6 things… let’s go!
Number 1: Responsive Design
Mobile web browsing overtook desktop as the device of first choice for internet users, so now mobile-first is a standard component of SEO.
With Google evaluating the mobile version of your site before the desktop one, you need to ensure you build your website this way.
Having a responsive design for your website essentially means it works well for mobiles, providing a similar if not better user experience than the desktop version.
So what should you be checking? When editing your site, make sure to use the editing tools that display it in mobile sizing. Rescale images, video and text if necessary,
Make sure your buttons work, your menu appears, and it’s not just some endless scrolling mess.
Number 2: Page titles
If you’re this far into optimising your website then you should have conducted keyword research by now.
So, make sure your HTML title tags contain keywords that are relevant to what’s on the page.
Page titles are a ranking factor so what should you be checking?
Well, make sure the page titles are keyword targeted to help your page rank.
The recommended length is 55 characters, and that includes spaces.
And make sure they’re engaging. Not overly sales heavy.
Number 3: Meta descriptions
These are the bits that sit under your page titles in search engine results pages.
Whilst they’re not a direct ranking factor, they can affect click through rates which ARE a ranking factor. With this in mind, make sure they sufficiently describe what the pages are about.
What should you be checking?
Make them keyword targeted so they align with the page titles and can be highlighted by search engines.
Ensure they’re between 140-150 characters (with spaces),
And include calls to action to get people clicking through!
Number 4: URLS
Not to sound like a broken record… but your URLS… this bit, should contain meaningful keywords.
They also need to be clean, meaning they need to be readable and make sense to both humans and search engines.
What to check?
Make them keyword targeted, shorter than 2083 characters to render in Internet Explorer (if anyone still uses that thing…) and have no parameters which essentially means an ugly string of letters and numbers at the end.
Number 5: Site Speed
When your website loads, is it a bit on the slow side?
If it takes more than 3 seconds to load after they’ve clicked the link then its been found 53% of mobile users give up trying.
You don’t want to lose potential customers for something as silly as that, do you?
What should you be checking?
Well, whether you know its slow, or you aren’t 100% certain, identify any potential site speed issues using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Use the insights from there to action bits across your site.
Average load time should be less than 2 seconds, average server response should be less than 1. Check this and react accordingly.
Number 6: HTTPS
That sounds like I’m about to burst into song, but nope.
HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, should you fancy its real name, protects the integrity and confidentiality of your users’ data between their computer and your website.
It’s been a ranking signal in Google’s algorithm for a while now.
Having it means Google won’t show a warning when a user goes to your website if they’re using Chrome (which most people do!).
Otherwise, it might affect your bounce rate! All dovetails quite nicely, doesn’t it?
It also adds an element of trust for the user when inputting their private information to your site.
What to check for?
If you’re moving from HTTP to HTTPS then make sure you map out your 301 redirects so webpages don’t get lost.
And that’s just a few things from our checklist, but a great start to helping you satisfy Google’s demands for an optimised website.
Have a go at some of these things and if you have any questions let us know and we’re here to help.
That’s it for today, go forth and comment your views on this and give us a like and subscribe to see more great digital and marketing content every week.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week for another GIANT Wednesday.