Basic SEO in 2016 is not the same as basic SEO in 2010. As I often remind people, the internet is not a “set it and forget it” technology, but one that is constantly evolving and changing. For those who can remember desktops that had less processing power, memory, and storage compared to today’s smartphones, it can be frustrating to see a site that was state of the art in 2009 still stuck in that time period. Things change, and your SEO needs to change, too. Let’s start with a basic SEO check list.
1. If you don’t already have one, create a Google account.
You’re going to need it to access a lot of the most essential services, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. You’ll also need to create an account to access Bing Webmaster Tools. As of April 2016, Google has almost 90 percent of the search engine market share, with Bing a distant second at under 5 percent.
2. Google Analytics.
This is the basic tool for optimizing your site for the biggest search engine on the block. Google is so big that it has been turned into a regular verb in our everyday language: “Google it.” Install, and start tracking your traffic, complete with click-throughs and bounces.
3. Page speed is very important to the user experience
Page speed is very important to the user experience, and a slow loading page invites a user to seek satisfaction elsewhere. A 2013 study showed that 40 percent of users navigated away from a page that took more than three seconds to load. Now, three years later, you can reliably count mobile users in that category when they encounter unoptimized sites.
4. Manage content and SEO at the same time.
Chose a plugin that not only lets you write and format your article, but also lets you add page titles, descriptions, header tags, and other descriptors that the search bots will eat up.
5. Upgrade to responsive site design.
It should be accessible on whatever device your searcher is using at the time, whether it’s a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.
6. Tell the bots where to go with a robots.txt file
Tell the bots where to go with a robots.txt file. It tells the indexing bots what areas to index and what areas you want to remain unindexed, such as administrative areas and back office functions.
7. Claim every business profile on social media and local search directories
Claim every business profile on social media and local search directories, such as Yelp, Facebook, Manta, Twitter, and others. Everywhere your name appears is where you need to be supervising your brand and making sure that people who find those places can find you.
8. Test, test, and test some more.
Check your content for dead links, look for redirects, test how many users your site can handle at once, and even test if your server is blowing out spam and ruining your White Hat rep.
There are a lot of other tips and tricks to making your site into the lean, mean conversion machine that you need it to be. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, some professional assistance can help you get back on track and on your way. Give us a call, and we’ll tell you what needs to be done, and how we can help.