In our seventh week of our mini-checklists designed to help website developers and do-it-yourself website-operators, we are going to focus on how you appear to the search engines.
#20: XML Sitemap Created and Submitted
Help the search engines find you easier by uploading an XML Sitemap. Google has some great information for building and submitting a sitemap to their Google Webmaster Tools interface. You can also submit to Yahoo, Bing, and Ask.com by following the steps at dynomapper.
#19: Key Phrases Used Appropriately
First, you’ll need to have at least 300 words on each of your pages. Within each of those pages, you should have your keyword-phrase listed 2-3 times, so that it makes up about 0.5% of the content. Your key phrase should be contained within the Page Title, as well within an H1 (Header Tag) and very near the top of your content. If you have images, make sure that the key-phrase is used within the “alt tags” of your images. This should be done for every page where you’re trying to target a given key-phrase.
#18: Site is Google PageSpeed Optimized
Nobody likes waiting for a slow loading website. Sometimes it is due to slow network traffic, but often it is due to the actual construction of the web page. Google created a tool called Google PageSpeed Insights that was designed to help webmasters learn how to speed up their web pages.
If all other metrics were considered equal (responsive layout, engaging content, key-phrases, authoritative inbound links, social standing), if you take two websites, where one is fast loading, and the other is slow… which do you think is going to rank better in search?
That’s right, the faster site.
The trouble with the recommendations from Google is that some, if not most, are difficult to implement for those who are not web-gurus.
We here at i3dTHEMES developed a tool that automatically implements the recommendations from GooglePage Speed Insights to rocket your PageSpeed score for you — and it’s ridiculously easy to use.
#17: Robots.txt Set Up Correctly
The short story is, you can really mess up your position in the search engines if you do not have your robots.txt file set up correctly. One of our clients experienced this earlier this year when they forgot to change their WordPress configurations setting that was set to “discourage search engines”.
If you are unsure of how to set up your robots.txt file, read up on it on the robotstxt.org site.
#16: Social Media Profiles Linking Back
This should be obvious, but it is extremely important that your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, you Google+ brand page, your LinkedIn profile and company page, ALL LINK BACK to your website!
Everything you do on those social platforms, everything you post and comment on, and share, it all impacts your social standing. As social becomes more and more an important factor in search, you need to consider this a part of your strategy for marketing, even if you’re just starting out small.
Anywhere someone can find you, you need to have a link back to your website.