How To Get Your Website SEO Ready
Posted on 20th September 2019
If you are looking to improve the ranking of your website on Google and other search engines, you may well be considering investing your time or money (or more likely both) in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
SEO activities will usually involve a mix of on-page SEO, such as ensuring every page has good quality content and then regularly adding fresh, keyword-rich copy - and off-page SEO, which will include securing good quality backlinks from high authority websites, and getting listed on relevant directories.
Unfortunately that investment of time and money is likely to be wasted if you don't have a good website to start off with. A technically poor website is very hard to get ranking well, however good the SEO work.
And even if you do manage to achieve a high position in the search results on Google and other search engines, a poor website is unlikely to keep people engaged long enough for them to take action, such as contacting you or buying your products.
So before you invest in SEO, make sure your website is SEO ready by following our tips below. After all, getting your website in good order may even improve your ranking without the need for additional SEO.
Your website must be fully responsive
With well over 50% of web browsing now carried out on smartphones and tablets, it is essential that your website is fully responsive.
A fully responsive website will automatically adapt to the size of screen it is being viewed on, meaning the content is as easy to read on a mobile or tablet as it is on a desktop or laptop.
A non-responsive website will not only be much harder to rank highly on search engines; it will also be much less likely to retain its visitors. Browsing on a website that needs to be pinched and squeezed in order to read the content is not an experience that many people will tolerate any more.
So even if you do somehow get your non-responsive website high up on Google, it is unlikely to produce many enquiries or sales.
Some websites appear to be fully responsive because they display well on a phone, but are actually a separate mobile website.
A separate mobile website used to be considered a satisfactory way of making a website easy to read on a phone or tablet, but Google's mobile-first indexing means that the website ranking will now be negatively affected.
Another point to consider is that a non-responsive site is likely to be relatively old (in website terms), meaning that it will probably have other issues that make it hard to rank.
Before you start any SEO activities, make sure your website is fully responsive.
If you're not sure if your site is fully responsive get in touch with us and we'll run a quick check for you.
Your website needs to load quickly
Estimates vary on how long the average person will wait for a web page to load before they click the back button and return to their Google search. It's not long though!
People are increasingly impatient. If your website takes more than a few seconds to load, people will return to Google and then visit a competitor's site instead.
As well as losing that potential enquiry, it will increase your bounce rate.
It is believed that both Google and Bing use page loading speed and bounce rates as ranking factors, so a slow loading website will have a double negative effect on how well your site is ranked by the search engines.
Not sure if your website loads quickly enough? Get in touch with us and we'll run a speed test for you.
Don't be Flash!
When Adobe released Adobe Flash in 1996, it revolutionised the way websites looked and worked by enabling them to include videos and animations. All users needed to do to view them was to download Flash Player and keep it updated.
Now, most people don't have the latest Flash Player updated and installed on their computers. And because of security issues with Flash, website users are encouraged to block sites that use Flash.
Flash doesn’t work on Apple mobile devices. Because it drains the battery and uses loads of memory, and also because of the many bugs contained in Flash, Apple made a decision in 2010 that their mobile products would not support Flash.
If you think all this sounds like Flash is outdated, you would be right! In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would end support for Flash Player at the end of 2020.
In October 2019, Google announced that “Google Search will stop supporting Flash later this year. In Web pages that contain Flash content, Google Search will ignore the Flash content.”
If your website is heavily Flash based, you should talk to your web developer about upgrading to an up-to-date site before investing in SEO, or get in touch with us to see how we can help you.
Fix those broken links
When a website page is deleted, or the URL (the address of a specific web page - e.g. the URL of this page is https://www.itseeze-horsham.co.uk/blog/how-to-get-your-website-seo-ready/) is changed without setting up a redirect to the new/correct URL, a broken link is created.
So when people and/or search engines browse through your site and click on the link, they may be directed to a page with a 404 error.
Broken links can have a negative effect on your website’s search engine ranking; one of the ways search engines rank websites is by crawling their links with ‘spiders’.
Broken links on your website can stop search engine spiders from crawling your site and therefore they won't index it.
Also, Google’s priority is to provide a user friendly experience, and that includes protecting users against websites with broken links.
If you want to rank well with Google, you will need to fix your broken links.
You must be able to have unique page titles
Page titles tell search engines exactly what that page on your website is about. They are important for SEO because search engines use them to establish what information the website contains, so they can directly influence your website’s ranking in search results.
Most website platforms will allow you to have some unique page titles, but there are some that don't.
If you are unable to have page titles that accurately summarise the content on a web page, and include relevant keywords, your SEO will be negatively affected.
Not sure if your website has unique page titles? Get in touch with us and we'll check it for you.
Updating is essential
Regularly adding fresh, authoritative content is a great way of boosting SEO for your website. It will be a key part of any SEO strategy, so if you are unable to edit your website content, it will inhibit your SEO activities.
Adding web pages and writing blog posts is also likely to be part of that SEO strategy; so make sure your website has an integrated blog and that you can add web pages without having to ask your web developer to do it for you.
So there you have it, all you need to get your website SEO ready.
If you are not sure whether your website has these features in place get in touch with the team at it’seeze Web Design Horsham today, and we will run a free website health check for you.
We offer affordable web design services that are ideal for local businesses, and we provide ongoing website support for all our clients too. If you're looking for a reliable Sussex web design company, we'd love to hear from you.
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