How to Determine if You Need an SEO Overhaul
A lot of sites think they’ve got it made SEO-wise simply because they’ve selected the perfect keywords or hired an all-in-one web design firm that also incorporates some form of SEO planning. Unfortunately, that’s not usually enough for the search landscape this day in age. You have to be much smarter about how you develop your site and where to spend time making improvements. It’s not as simple as quality keywords, content and links, anymore.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you need an SEO overhaul:
Is all of your content indexed?
One of the first issues we notice when taking on a new site or new client is that not all of their content is indexed. Either they aren’t aware that it is an issue or just aren’t sure how to fix it. Be sure you are taking measures to get more content indexed. For example, you should check your robots.txt or meta robots tag to be sure you aren’t unintentionally limiting content that can be crawled and create an XML Sitemap that dynamically updates so that Google is more privy to new pages, pages that have been removed or content that has updated. It still won’t guarantee that all of your site content will be indexed, but it’s a good step in the right direction. The more content indexed, the more likely you are to gain new visitors.
If it is indexed, are you providing searchers with as much information as you could be?
Okay, so maybe you are pretty confident that all of your content is indexed and up-to-date, but are you showing searchers as much information as possible? It’s hard enough to get your content indexed and ranking well these days, much less encourage those eyeballs to land on your result before all others.
By wrapping certain information with structured data mark-up, it will be eligible to show alongside your typical search result or even in your knowledge graph. This extra information not only helps your site take up more real estate on the SERPs, but provides searchers with a little more information that may help them choose your site over another. You can bulk up your brand’s knowledge graph by customizing some of the content included, which can include your logo, corporate contact numbers and social profiles.
Is your site fast enough?
Now that you’ve taken a few steps to get more people to your site, does it load fast enough once they get there? Page speed not only affects how users view and abandon your site but also search engines. There’s a lot that goes into speeding up your site, including optimizing images, fixing broken links or links that redirect, among other things. We get a lot of push-back from companies on setting aside time to make these updates, but it’s really crazy not to. It helps user experience and how Google sees you, so why wouldn’t you make the extra effort to speed up your site?
Are you addressing your mobile audience?
This is one thing web design firms are trying to tackle for new sites, but there is always room for improvement, particularly if your site has been around for a while. According to comScore, about 29% of search queries are on mobile devices (smartphones + tablets), which isn’t a small chunk. Google has taken notice and updated its algorithm to include mobile usability in its ranking factors in April. Google Webmaster Tools can tell you pages that are not mobile-friendly, but you’ll see a mobile-friendly badge on your result on Google mobile if you’re good to go.
The new SEO landscape is getting tougher to navigate, so you’ll definitely need a developer on your side. Things are constantly changing and in order to keep up, you’ll have to be sure your site is fully optimized to stand up to the competition.