In Part 1 of this 3 part series on web presence, we covered the basics of making sure your business’s Google My Business, Google+, Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) and social media accounts are all set up correctly and verified.
For Part 2 of this series, we’ll be moving on to making sure your website is setup and optimized properly for SEO so you can make the most of the traffic you’ll be driving to your website. The number of meticulous details that go into optimizing a website for peak performance can be overwhelming to say the least.
We’ll start with the easier items on the front-end of your site:
- Your contact information should be clearly visible and easily accessible on the site, whether your goal is to have visitors call you, email you or visit your storefront or place of business. Typically, if you are a local business, your should have your phone number somewhere in the header and have your address, contact emails and phone number again in the footer of your site.
- All of your social media links are working and open in new tabs when clicked.
- The website is responsive, which means it looks and works well on all devices; smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
- The hosting you’ve chosen for your website needs to be both fast and secure.
- You should have a protocol in place to back up your website automatically on a monthly, weekly or daily basis (depending on how frequently you update it). This can usually be set up with your hosting company or by using a plugin.
- All of the pages have an H1 tag for the primary title of the page content.
- All of the images have relevant alt tags filled out. These are the words that pop up on your screen when you leave your mouse hovering over an image. This helps tell the search engine what the image is of.
- Contact forms are easily accessible throughout the site. Just about all websites have a Contact page with a form, but it is sometimes helpful to go ahead and put a simple contact form in the sidebar or footer of each page (like we’ve done with our website design).
- There is a clear and concise CTA (Call To Action) on every page of content. Whether you want the visitor to fill out a contact form, pick up the phone and call, book an appointment, schedule a consultation or just simply sign up for your email list, you need to ask them to do it.
- Link some of your key terms between pages of your site. This is called interlinking. A good example of this is how we linked to Part 1 of this blog series at the beginning of this post.
- A copyright notice in the footer so all of your content is protected from being ripped off by another website. A simple “Copyright ©2017 All Rights Reserved” will work in most cases (also, consult with an attorney if necessary).
Now for the tougher stuff that requires a little bit of technical knowledge:
- Make sure your Google Analytics tracking code has been added to the site and is verified from within your Analytics account.
- All of your pages have a meta title and meta description accurately reflecting the pages content.
- Images, self-hosted videos and any other media files are sized appropriately and compressed to the smallest file size possible (without giving up too much quality, of course).
- Schema markup has been coded into the appropriate items throughout the site so the search engines can read your site better. You can find out by testing your site with this free Structured Data Testing tool.
- There is an XML Sitemap set up for your site and submitted to Google Search Console. Having an alternative HTML sitemap linked in the footer doesn’t hurt either.
- All 404 error pages are redirected using 301 Redirects to new, relevant pages. This info can be found within Google Search Console.
- There aren’t any broken links on your site. If there are, either remove the hyperlink or change it to link to an active page.
That’s it for the on-site website optimization portion of this series. Next, in the 3rd and final part of this series, we’ll cover where to submit your website to online and how to start building backlinks to boost your website’s rankings for your target keywords.
Need some help getting your Houston SEO efforts off the ground? Give us a call at (832) 791-3512, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just fill out the contact form below.