When launching a new website, a business looking to achieve high traffic and powerful conversion rates must plan and follow their SEO strategy before the design phase, during the build, and through each iteration of their website.
The amount of content available online continues to grow exponentially. Getting your keywords, website structure, and internal linking to function together has little room for error. When perusing our five best SEO tips, be sure to check for grammar, typos, paragraphs out of alignment, and dead links. A perfect strategy to boost your top-ranking keywords and phrases with proper indexing can be derailed with a few simple typing errors in your underlying code.
Even if you already invested in building a website, consider these five tips as a great starting point for a quick update to make sure you are getting the best return on your digital investment.
Check your Code for Noindex and Nofollow Instructions
When you’re first building your website, it’s common to hide it from search engines as you test it live on the web. When it comes time to publicly launch your site, some operators forget to approve the site to be indexed by search engines. This means your site will be visible to you when you type in the address, but won’t be available when you search for it on Google or Bing.
Platforms like Wordpress and Squarespace have boxes to check in the settings that allow your website to be visible, but sometimes the developer only uses SEO plug-ins, forgetting the basic settings at your host. Be sure to check your base code for nofollow and noindex tags, and change all settings to live and searchable. This can be done rather easily by someone who knows where to look but is forgotten about a surprising amount of time.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing and Cannibalization
Old habits die hard, and some bad SEO practices seem to last forever. The days of keyword stuffing, adding in dozens of hundreds of keywords in random places on your website actually hurt your performance. Search engine spiders and algorithms are very sophisticated these days. They’re looking for full sentences, under complete headings, that make sense with the titles of your pages.
If you use the same keyword phrase on every page of your website, you’re hurting your overall performance, diluting your call to action and lowering your visibility to your target audience. This is actually good news for the prepared. By forcing websites to use natural language, sites like Google are encouraging you to speak to your audience instead of having to shout at them. Read over your site copy to look for overstuffed and cannibalized phrases and watch your page rank soar.
#Protip: Natural language isn’t a fancy way of writing - it’s simply writing the way that we speak or write emails. If your site is filled with jargon that an average person can’t decipher, it will resemble every other poorly worded website fighting for search rank. If you’re uncertain how to make your copy sing, simply read it out loud. This a good editing trick you want to use in your first draft of copy.
Bland Keywords and Phrases
Competition for generic keywords is difficult in nearly every industry. Searching for information online involves many factors other than a generic phrase, and your best bet is listing topics and natural language that describe your products and services instead of industry jargon. A good practice is first writing the content for a page, then selecting the best phrases and keywords for your titles and headings. This natural language process allows you to decide what you want to say first, instead of trying to come up with a list of page titles that sound good in a conference room but work better in an AdWords campaign.
Practice Good Sitemaps and Structured Data
As some websites are built gradually over time without a clear plan from day one, the layout and structure of your site data can be confusing to the search engines. There are ways that you can make it easy for search algorithms to categorize your data using structured data like that available at https://schema.org.
Think of structured data as a cheat sheet the search engines beg you to use so that they can map your website. Less than 1 in 5 marketers will follow this instruction, which explains why some websites get the coveted featured snippet for a search result and others languish in obscurity. This is an important step to your checklist and can give you an edge on the competition.
Constant Iteration, Update or Maintenance
SEO campaigns are like fruit - they’re better fresh. A page that is updated once a week is more likely to be useful to the public than a website updated faithfully once a year. This doesn’t mean an overhaul of every aspect of your site is necessary. It does mean search engines really like fresh, regular content, with an updated index, in determining who gets the top spot in the search results. This can be a multiplying effect when combined with a good blog strategy and frequent links to relevant content. Keep your engagement with your website high and the traffic will follow.
Think of content as the recently updated notification on your phone. Weekly updates over an extended period of time, even small ones, let search engines know the site can be expected to update weekly, and is thus a live, regular site, that is more trusted to deliver relevant information.
Search Engine Optimization was once seen as an afterthought in web design, and many of the older best practices continue to be utilized with outdated templates easily created by hosting companies. If your website visibility is important to you, consider using Code Authority's digital marketing team as your up-to-date experts in customized web solutions. We have a strong team at the ready to help you make sure your valuable content is being seen year-round. Schedule a free consultation and let the experts that wrote this article and hopefully taught you a thing or two get behind supercharging your traffic.