This blog goes out to all the savvy entrepreneurs out there who are embarking on the epic journey that is, ‘having an online presence’.
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! Being online means your business now has the potential for worldwide exposure!
However, just because you have a website, doesn’t mean it’s going to be viewed by hundreds and thousands of people – let alone the right people who fall within the specific target demographic of your product or service.
And when you’ve invested so much time, money and energy into the development of your website, the last thing you want is for your precious site to go unseen out there in the sheer vastness of the ever-expanding world wide web.
Some of the vital questions you might be asking yourself are:
What do I have to do to make sure my website will be found (and found by the right people)?
What do I do when I’m not getting the amount of visitors or sales I was expecting?
How do I get my website to stand out among my competitors’?
Before your questions turn to panic and you start making emotional statements like, ‘People probably can’t even find me when they search for my business name!!!!!!!’ …take a chill pill. We have the solution.
We’ve put together a ‘Get found of the web’ checklist.
Firstly, a word of warning: we’re going to get a little technical. We can’t avoid this. After all, we are talking ‘web’. But I’m hopefully going to make some of that tech-jargon-web-speak a little more understandable.
One of the first words you need to learn in ‘web-speak’ is the word (or acronym), ‘SEO’.
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, which basically refers to the process of making your website show up on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo when people search for certain words that relate to your business.
When your website is ‘optimised’ well, it’ll be your business name that appears at the top when people search for specific or related topics.
Building a website but neglecting SEO is kind of like having a physical store, but not having a front door that people can walk through! And if that’s not good for business, I don’t know what is!
Developing a website that’s been optimised effectively means increased visitors to your site, more sales, more exposure, more credibility and more success for you!
So here’s our checklist for getting great SEO on you new website:
1. Google Analytics (Techy difficulty score: 5/10)
This is the Godfather of SEO. How do you know how well your site is doing if you can’t ‘analyse’ what sorts of people are engaging with your site?
Google Analytics is a simple account tool you create and ‘embed’ into your site so that it tracks and shows you data about what’s happening behind the scenes on your site. Google Analytics tracks every user’s every move on your site (creepy, I know). You can also see where they are from (country and city), how they are getting to your site, what device they’re using, how fast their internet is, even their age in some cases!
Google Analytics is certainly not for the faint hearted – there’s a lot of data and information to process and potential for overload, so it’s important to work out what information you need to know and let the data collect itself over time. When this happens, you can review it as you become more familiar with the platform.
If you don’t have Google analytics – set it up today! Everyday you delay is another day you’re not collecting valuable data about what your site is doing and/or not doing!
Find out more here.
Need help setting up google analytics on your WordPress site? We offer this as a service, so we’d be happy to help set it up for you – just reply to this email 🙂
2. Meta Title and Description (Techy Knowledge required 2/10)
You know when you Google something and the results show a listing with a business title, web address and a blurb underneath that says exactly what’s on that page? This is called your site’s ‘Meta Title and Description’.
A poor, non-concise, misleading or vague description could be one of the reasons people are not clicking on your site when you show up in the search results.
On each page of your website you can customise how these meta titles and descriptions appear in Google. If you don’t pay attention to these meta titles on your homepage and other pages on your site, you leave this to chance, and Google will take the content from your site and populate it themselves.
I don’t know about you, but I never got any good cards from the chance pile when I played Monopoly!
Find out more here.
3. Create good content!! (Techy Knowledge required 1/10)
This is right up there with analytics in terms of importance.
Google used to only want a surface-level relationship with your website, but now it wants a deep, long-term relationship. It ignores some of the shallow parts of your website and really reads through all your content.
Back in the old days, you could get away with bad or minimal content on your site. As long as you had good tags on your images, you’d still do reasonably well in search results.
But Google got smart and is now always two (or 100) steps ahead.
No longer can you just throw a bunch of key words in a paragraph and hope Google (or your customers) won’t pick up what you’re trying to do. Your content needs to be readable! It should also be said here that you can’t just copy content from other sources. If Google picks up duplicate content, they will penalise you.
Instead, craft rewarding, original and clever content that connects with your audience and tells them about your business in a creative way. If you do this, Google will love you and reward you!
You can also use Google’s keyword planner tool to generate ideas for keywords to use in your content based on what people are searching for. I’d recommend aiming for search result numbers that are within the 2,000-50,000 point. Higher than this and you’re going to be competing with too many other sites. Too low and you’re not generating enough interest from the words people are searching for.
4. Internal Links (Techy Knowledge required 2/10)
This is an easy one, and blogs are great for increasing internal links!
Internal links are basically links that direct people to other parts of your website. For example you’ve written a blog about a service you offer; why not create a link from your blog to that page on your site. Or you’ve written a new blog that covers a subject that’s been addressed in an older blog; link to that archived blog!
It helps your readers read more and navigate your site more intuitively, and also helps Google-bots get around in your site easily too!
5. Optimise for Mobile (Techy Knowledge required 9/10)
This is a newie. The number of people using their phones to view your website are just going to go up and up. In China, 80% of all webpage views are from a mobile device!!
Google has started to pay attention to how well your website functions on a mobile – and you should too 🙂
(Having said this, it’s probably best you leave this to your web designer, as it’s something that happens in the design process).
Find out more here.
6. Put Alt Tags on Images (Techy Knowledge required 4/10)
Another easy but effective way to boost your SEO is simply naming your images relevantly and adding ‘alt tags’.
These tags are actually there to help the visually impaired know what’s going on with your site. But Google also notices these and they help to tell Google what your photos are about.
You can add this when you are placing your images on your page. Most web building platforms give you a space for adding in this useful text.
Find out more here.
So how did you go with this checklist?
Do you think your site is still ok to launch? Or do you need to rework some things to increase your SEO?
I want to let you know that your website is never totally finished. It’s a constant work in progress – and the internet continually evolves so it’s important to stay up to date with tricks to keep your site at the forefront of people’s minds.
Keep on top of your analytics and check in regularly with what your site is doing – and don’t be afraid to make tweaks and improvements as you go!
If you need any help, or maybe these tips seem too overwhelming… We would be more than happy to access and tweak your WordPress site. Just reply to this email with your web address and we’ll provide an estimate for you!
If you’re already all over your site’s SEO, what have you found has worked for you? Leave a comment below.
Happy surfing 🙂
Co-owner of Verve Design, Stephen’s 15+ years of experience in design, illustration and web brings creativity, innovation and the kind of tech knowledge most of us are envious of!