It’s quite common for website owners to take receipt of a brand new website with top notch design, plenty of functionality and very little or no consideration for how the site will perform in search engines. If the brief never mentioned anything about SEO then fair enough. If you’ve ordered a brand new site with all the expense that comes with it but were not aware of SEO until your site was completed then read on. Here’s a few basics that you want to check your site for to see if you’re in any need of optimisation.
Having tracking software such as Google analytics doesn’t help you rank but it gives you the most important information that you need to start off with. It will tell you how your site is doing. Don’t rely on your hosting companies statistics as this will include all sorts of hits from robots. Install Google analytics, it’s free and will give you an accurate picture of where your traffic is coming from.
Check the titles of your site. The blue bar in the top of the browser. These should be unique to each page and accurately describe the pages contents. Google uses the title of a page as the blue link in search results so the text you put into this title will represent your page to users.
Having a site that validates to W3C standards is a good first step. You can check if your site does here: w3c validator I have to stress that you can still perform well in search engines if your site doesn’t validate but it’s always good to have as clean code as possible to make it easy for Google spiders to read your sites content. Maintaining validation of a content managed site will be very unlikely if the user has no html experience.
4) Text for Navigation
During the build of your site the navigation will have been put together using either images or text. It is easier to make the navigation look more aesthetically pleasing using images however using text can allow search engines to pass what is known as page rank through to other pages which can help them rank well. Text links are also preferred as they pass information to the search engine about what the page linked to is about. To check whether your navigation is text or images try and highlight the text in your navigation. If you can’t then it’s probably an image.
5) Text instead of Flash
Check that your site is not built entirely in Flash. If so search engines may not be able to view the content on your site or follow the links. Go to your site and type Cntrl A. This will highlight all of the text on the page and show you whether it’s actual text or contained within an image.
6) Free Health Check
Don’t have the time for all of this? Contact us for a free website health check.