Back in the ‘old days’, if you wanted a local window cleaner or carpenter, you opened Yellow Pages and laboriously scrolled through to find what you wanted in alphabetical order. Fast forward to the present and all you need to do is pick up your tablet or phone and search which service you require and where you need it and you’re presented with a list of 100s of websites with possible options.
So you would think that by setting up a new business (let’s say dog walking in Essex), and creating a website, adding content the customer will need, a few keywords, location, and some images, your website will come up immediately when someone searches ‘dog walking, Essex.’
But so do your competitors and the small business market is becoming more savvy with SEO, meaning your results are probably being pushed down the Google rankings if the content isn’t targeted to the keywords your potential customers are searching for.
Maybe your business is well established and you’re just wanting to take stock of your website and digital marketing to see what’s working and what needs sprucing up.
Whatever your level of expertise and however long your website has been running, auditing your website’s performance is vital to ensure you’re keeping up with the competition. Here’s how to get started.
What Google looks for in a well-search optimised website
- Keywords (Search Engine Optimisation) – Do you have all your metadata titles, descriptions and tags, and are your keywords distributed evenly between these three? Do you have enough content (at least 300 words per page)? All these factors will assist in increasing your Google listing, people need to be able to know exactly what you do and where you do it immediately.
- Usability – Is your site responsive and work on all devices? Do all your plugins work? You don’t want someone clicking on your site on their tablet and it doesn’t load properly. They will navigate away and likely not come back.
- Performance – How long does it take for your page to load? The quicker the better. Are there images that are not optimised?
- Social – Do you have a social media community? If so, do you link back to your website on your posts, helping to increase hits to your site and engagement?
- Security – Is your site secure? Does it have an SSL (Secure-socket-layer) certificate? Increasingly less sites without this are being approved.
There lots of tools that can help you audit your site, including SEOptimer, which analyses your website’s homepage across many of the factors Google takes into account when indexing and ranking your website. Moz is another tool and if you’re more interested in the technical aspects of your performance, check out GTMetrix. If this just seems too much effort, or you just don’t have the time or knowledge, you can always request your free website audit from us.
Once you’ve determined what needs to be done, you need to consider your budget. Can you afford to pay someone to fix your site for you? Or do you want to make the changes yourself?
If it’s the latter, why not consider an online SEO course? Our five-week online SEO course costs less than paying for someone to make your site more search-optimised and not only that, you’ll have the skills yourself to continuously update your website and stay above your competitors.