So, you think you’re ready to hit that big red ‘launch’ button for your new website – but are you? The truth is, even the most experienced and capable digital marketing consulting firms need to refer to a checklist of search engine optimisation (SEO) elements when determining whether a site is in a good state to go ‘live’ to build strong search engine rankings.
Long gone are the days when you knew you’d rank well on Google if you simply rustled up a webpage that was only vaguely interesting to someone, but nonetheless incorporated a bit of manual link building and was stuffed with the kind of keywords the target visitor would search for.
Since then, we’ve had major Google algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin that have turned the SEO world upside down. You can’t just ‘game’ the system with a few obvious steps anymore. Instead, the emphasis needs to be placed on plenty of relevant, fresh content and the most carefully considered and tailored SEO strategies.
So, let’s look at some of the things that you should be doing to ensure your site is ‘ready to go’ with a view to maximising its SEO prospects.
1. Install Google Analytics
Digital marketing consulting firms around the world swear by the use of Google Analytics, and for good reason. After all, it’s free to install and one of the finest analytics resources that you can tap into today.
For understanding such critical data as how much organic traffic your site receives, the quality of its search traffic, the exact keywords that searchers use and which pages of your site are loading most slowly – and therefore potentially hampering the user experience – Google Analytics remains invaluable. To learn more about and really get the best out of Google Analytics, start with our series on Understanding Google Analytics.
Google Analytics can be easily installed if you are using a Content Management System like WordPress, which is the platform that we use for our own CMS website design projects here at PENNInk Productions.
2. Consider page load times
Resources like the free Google PageSpeed Insights are great for determining how fast the pages of your new site load. Remember that if you do draw upon this tool, a score of 80 or above should be your aim to enhance your site’s chances of strong search engine rankings.
Bear in mind that slow web pages aren’t merely frustrating for the visitor. They also mean that Google’s spiders may only crawl a few of your site’s pages. Page speed is therefore a key factor dictating your site’s SEO prospects.
As for how you can shorten the time it takes for your site’s pages to load, the optimisation of your images, the reduction of redirects and the enabling of compression can all be instrumental. As a rule, have a performance budget in mind and always remember that you need to aim for page load times under 3-5 seconds, especially for mobile users.
3. Set up the Google Search Console
It used to be known as the Google Webmaster tool, but regardless of its moniker, there’s no doubt that it’s great for improving your site’s on-page SEO. We are talking, of course, about adding your site to the Google Search Console.
This free resource can give you vital insights into such matters as the amount of traffic your site receives through search, the site’s click-through rate, how new visitors are finding you, what devices people most commonly use to browse your site, and which page on your site performs best.
With the Google Search Console taking just a few minutes to set up, you don’t have much excuse for not deploying it for your own new site.
We could be your invaluable partners in getting your new site up to scratch
Whether you’ve already launched your site or are on the verge of doing so, giving the PENNInk Productions team a call – on 020 8144 7931 – may be one of the wisest moves you could make for bolstering your online business’ chances of success.
Our Bronze, Silver and Gold search plans bring you such perks as the highest standards of keyword management and analysis, competitor research, on-site optimisation, web ranking reports and analytics tracking, as well you might expect from the leading digital marketing consulting firms.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.