As you develop your website, it’s important to concentrate on SEO from the start.
But first, what is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, according to Neil Patel is the process of optimizing your online content so that search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo like to show your content as a top result to a searcher when he/she types a keyword or a keyword phrase in a search engine query.
You start your SEO journey by choosing a Content Management System (CMS) that has strong and robust SEO tools as mentioned in our previous blog about CMS.
The number one tool is building a comprehensive sitemap for your website.
Web crawlers or spiders from search engines crawl the internet to index websites, blogs, eCommerce sites that people and companies have uploaded onto the internet.
The best and easiest way to get your site indexed and move further up the search results is to create a sitemap.
Websites with sitemaps are crawled five times faster than those without.
A sitemap is basically an outline of the pages available to users and crawlers on your website. It’s a simple task that yields results.
It’s ideal to build your sitemap before your site ever goes live, though it can also be added any other time. A sitemap can be an effective planning tool for designers and marketers to clarify the content that needs to be available on their company’s site. It can also help you eliminate unnecessary pages.
How do you do this?
a) Create an index map in xml-sitemaps.com or Screaming Frog
b) Embed an image and other maps
c) Add the desired indexation date, priority, and update frequency
d) Add your site map to Google Webmaster
More on SEO – Ignore at your peril
There a numerous tools on the web that you can use to improve your website but here are some fundamentals that you need to know and test your developer’s work as this is where my major frustration comes from.
I see clients pay good money for the website that is of substandard quality and the basic SEO elements are not built into their website. This is the equivalent of opening a shop and then barricading it so none can see it – does not make sense, does it?!
So, here are the 5 main things to do and test
1. Regularly write and publish fresh content on your website in the form of blogs or news updates with a min of 550 words. Why? Search engines crawl the internet approximately once a month looking to see if you have made any changes/additions to your website in a form of content such as a blog that will help your potential customers solve a problem or a need they have and it is related to the products or services you offer.
2. You also need to test if your website is mobile responsive as between 40-70% of searches on Google are done on mobile devices and that is especially relevant in Africa. Go over and Google Mobile-Friendly FREE Test tool to see your score that indicates how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device. And do not forget to test all the key website pages that you are using to promote your business and not only the home page.
3. You MUST check the loading speed of your website pages as this is another high relevance factor in how Google scores your website and shows it in its index. Use the free tool by Google called Page Speed Insights. You can test your website on a desktop/laptop devices and mobile. I recommend you do this test for both and if it is in the red spectrum, you need to do some improvements fast!
4. Another issue is to check if your website pages are SEO optimized. For that, it is easiest to install the YoastSEO – search engine optimization plugin if you have chosen the WordPress platform as your CMS. With Yoast installed you can check, with a traffic light type score, if you have any meaningful SEO done by your developer on your website and for each of your critical business pages. If you do not have WordPress as you CMS, try Ubersuggest by Neil Patel to check your website’s SEO and how well it’s performing.
5. Photos and videos that are uploaded on your site (and you can find it under the Media tab in WP back office) also need to be checked for SEO ensuring that each one of them is an appropriate size. The photos should not be more than 50MB and in jpeg format. Videos should also be 100MB or less in size as otherwise, your page upload speed will increase.
Hope you find this useful and please do not hesitate to contact me today if you need assistance in assessing or improving your website.
Bye for now