Here is a checklist of tasks that show how to improve your website for higher rankings by working through some changes designed to increase the SEO.
Websites are like plants, trees, and animals. They need to be nurtured, fed, and given regular health checks. It’s not a difficult task but it does need to be part of your weekly and monthly routines.
The web is continually evolving. Websites that seemed to be state of the art a few years ago now can look dated as time passes. If your website is already established and has already been attracting the attention of potential customers then that traffic may go into decline if you don’t keep an eye on things.
If your website is new then you’ll need to gain and maintain ranking if it’s going to work for you and your business.
Much depends on the purpose of your website. If it’s purpose is just to be an online brochure which shows who you are, what you do, provides some examples and testimonials from satisfied customers, and contains your contact information then it’s probably always going to be a basic site. However, these types of websites don’t attract much attention because they don’t rank well.
For a site to rank well and appear at the top of search engine results for a given set of keywords and phrases it’s going to require concerted and ongoing effort.
As is often the case there are two ways of completing these tasks.
- You do the work and save the money you would have spent paying someone else to do it for you. In this case you have to spend time and energy on the tasks.
- You pay someone else to do the work for you and save time and energy.
So with all this in mind and whichever method you choose it’s good practice to put some effort into a continuous cycle of improvement. Here are some ways to audit and refresh your website to give it more of a chance of drawing organic traffic.
How To Improve My Website
Website Audit and Review
You’ll need to take a detailed look at your website by auditing the site itself and checking its ranking for your keywords. Before you can make any improvements you need to baseline it to establish the current status so that you can measure any progress.
Each month or so you can repeat this task in order to check for improvements. When you see things improve it will spur you on to continue with the process. If there is no improvement or things get worse then use this information to modify your changes.
Things to consider in this review:
Keywords & Keyphrases
Is your site designed to attract traffic from particular search terms? Are these terms still relevant? Should they be updated based on changes in the way people search and the terms they use?
Find out what search terms people are using by checking sites like AskThePublic.com or checking Google’s autocomplete function.
It’s absolutely vital that you build your site using the keywords and phrases that your prospective customers use to search for businesses like yours.
There isn’t time here to explain keyword research in detail so I suggest you make a note to search using the term ‘keyword research explained’ or ‘what is keyword research’ and read the guides on sites like ahrefs.com and moz.com.
How To Improve My Website SEO
How much new text and media has been added in the past 12 months? Was this too much or too little? What would you change about the schedule in the months ahead?
You may have heard the phrase ‘Content is King’ and people nod their heads in agreement but the quality of content and its relation to the keywords you’re targeting is what’s really important.
Think of content as fertiliser. Add some fresh content to your site each month at least and make sure it’s relevant to your customers.
Ideally you want the kind of content that people will find interesting enough to link to from other sites and share on social media. Google looks for these all-important backlinks and rewards your site accordingly, as long as they come from high value domains.
Website Content Quality
How satisfied are you with the quality of the content added so far? Have you ever hired a proofreader to have the site checked for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors?
It may be fashionable to text and speak in slang and abbreviations but it doesn’t work well on websites. You want a site that is easy to read by those for whom English is not their first language and it needs to be polished and professional.
Don’t leave any filler text on your site nor any test posts or links that don’t go anywhere. If your website builder has added social media links make sure they all work and are linked to your social media profiles, not just to the social media platform itself.
How To Improve My Website Ranking
How about the site design? Does the current theme look dated?
Some website developers treat their client’s site as an opportunity to showcase their design skills.
That’s understandable but it may not be what you want. If you’ve hired someone to build a site for you then make sure it’s to your specifications, not theirs.
Tell them that you want a site that’s fast loading and error free in terms of code. Explain the intention of your site and the target audience then emphasise the need to use SEO for the same objectives.
Use Video For Better SEO
Using videos to introduce yourself, to show products, showcase your work or projects is a proven method of improving a website’s SEO.
A video can be two tools in one. If you add a correctly optimised video to YouTube and embed that video on your website then it can work for you on YouTube and on your website.
Fix Broken links
Are there any broken links, missing images, and videos that don’t run? If so, you’ll lose points in Google. There are automated checks that can be run to check a site for broken links and missing images.
If your site is built using WordPress then there are plugins that can run these checks. If your site is on other platforms or bespoke then there are tools online which will run the same checks.
How To Improve My Website Loading Speed
Is the HTML, CSS and other code error free? How could it be improved? Your website builder should minimise the amount of code needed to create the design and functions.
How does your site load and display on smartphones and tablets? Put your URL into Google’s free tool and test it, then act on the recommendations or pass it on to your webmaster for the task.
You’ll find it at thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/testmysite/
Forms and Functions
Are all the contacts, mailing list and other forms working correctly?
Test the forms and make sure they give the response you would like to see if you were the customer, and that they send you all the data that is submitted in the form by the customer.
Your site should have at least one easy to find contact form but you may need others designed to attract specific types of leads.
It would be really annoying if you had attracted a site visitor that could turn into a customer but who gave up at the last stage because your website form didn’t work.
Analytics & Reporting
Is your Google Analytics code reporting correctly and accurately?
Have you got a Facebook pixel installed that will track the effectiveness of Facebook ads and help with the remarketing?
Again, your webmaster can ensure these are installed correctly if you don’t know what to do.
Security and Backups
Finally, don’t forget to backup your site.
When did you last backup your website? Is the process automated? Where is the backup stored? How secure is your website? Are you plagued by spammers, spam comments, and spam registrations?
Even if you’re a small business you need to have a Disaster Recovery plan. Imagine what would happen if your website went offline for technical reasons or because it was hacked.
What would the impact be on your business for a day, or a week?
When you know the answer to that question you’ll know if it’s worth spending money on a rapid recovery plan or at least hiring someone to install your backup website on a clean server.
We Can Help You With These Tasks
If all the above seems a bit overwhelming then we can help you with much of it. wecan audit your website and check your site’s current ranking for any keywords you provide.
We’ll then send you a report containing the results. We’ll even do that part for free!
Submit your site and contact details here and we’ll be in touch soon.
We’ll run two audits on your site and send you the results. You can then use these reports to work on the site yourself, then hand it over to someone else, or ask me to help you with it.
Just get in touch and tell me what you need.
How To Improve Your Website – Conclusion
As with houses, businesses, life habits and more, websites need annual audits, reviews, and refreshment. You can make some or all of these changes yourself with free and purchased tools. Alternatively, outsource the task and look forward to seeing a gleaming new website for the year ahead.