We are well into the swing of 2017. If you feel like January was your "free trial month" don't worry! You can still take steps to have a successful year. As you may have heard, SEO has changed. Again. (what a surprise, right?) If your website isn't meeting these basic criteria, you could be losing a lot of organic traffic. That means lost conversions and ultimately lost revenue. But what exactly could you be missing out on?
To make sure you're in the best position possible to show up for search terms relevant to your services, ask yourself these questions.
IS MY WEBSITE MOBILE RESPONSIVE?
Mobile responsiveness gained a lot of media coverage and social media hype after the Google algorithm update in April 2014. Did you know that if your website is not mobile-responsive you are not showing in SERPS on mobile devices? This is a biggie that cannot be ignored. Google will not rank you well if you are not built to be viewed on any device, at any time. Just how mobile friendly is your website? Lucky for you Google has a pretty easy tool that you can check out and find your answers in just a few seconds.
DO MY URLS & PAGE STRUCTURE MAKE SENSE?
This sounds simple, but we continually run across businesses that still have jargon in the URL structure. The basics of SEO can really be boiled down to one phrase: build your website for humans, not robots. Why do you have all kinds of nonsense in your URLs? Things like: html.2.sxy.hty isn't going to tell me anything (OR Google for that matter) about what is on your page. Build your URLs to make sense. Carry that common sense into the title of your page and the headers. Your goal is to give insight as to where people are headed. For that matter, link pages that are related. Build your website like a house, with foundational pages and "leg" pages that support them with detailed information. This leads us to our next thought.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE AWESOME CONTENT ON EVERY PAGE?
You don't have to be a writing genius. You just have to know your audience, your products or services, and marry the two together. Think about how people look for your services. What kinds of questions do they ask? What do they want to know? Then talk about it. Stay away from difficult language or corporate gobbledygook. You should write simple content that stays focused on one idea (or one focus keyword) per page. Longer content is not always better, but you should beware of a few Do-Nots with your website content: DO NOT copy somebody else's content verbatim. Besides being just generally crappy, original content always performs better in search engines. Second, Do NOT STUFF your page with keywords. Just don't do it. You will get blacklisted, and then have to call us for help to get you out of the dreaded Google sandbox. Last, Do NOT just put one paragraph of text on a page. You should aim for at least 300 words, add images and calls to action and have fully built, well crafted pages that users can easily navigate! (Tip: does your content perform well? We can audit your site with our handy-dandy SEMRUSH tool and let you know what's up on each and every page.)
AM I USING META DATA & PAGE HEADERS CORRECTLY?
Say what? Meta data? We recommend using the Yoast plugin for Wordpress to monitor your page titles, descriptions, and meta data. You've heard of Google Pay-Per-Click ads, right? Well think of your meta data as your free text ad. This is your opportunity to tell people what they're going to see when they click through to your website. Pay attention! CTR (Click-through-rate) is a factor for Google ranking. Include your focus keyword (just one!) and write a description, about 115 characters is good.
DOES MY WEBSITE GET QUALITY TRAFFIC THAT CONVERTS?What kind of traffic DO you get on your website? Is it spam? Do they leave immediately (high bounce rate)? Do you get leads from your website, through someone filling out a form, giving you their email, or calling? Conversions are a sign of a quality website. It's an indicator to Google that your website is meeting the needs of a search. If your website isn't converting, double check numbers 1-4. If you have great content and a solid website structure, you may need a little quality promotion.
Want to find out if your website meets the latest SEO best-practice standards for Google? Give Tangram Sky a call!