Websites take a lot of work to build from scratch. The last thing you want is to launch a brand spankin’ new website that you toiled over for hours only to miss some simple but important things. Things that could completely ruin your search rankings or website experience. Even if you are not a website developer, you can use this list of must haves to make sure your site was built correctly.
SEO Must Haves
- Google Analytics – Even though this doesn’t directly affect SEO it is crucial in understanding just how well your website is functioning. Here are just a few things you can use Google Analytics to track:
– How many people view your website
– Which pages people visit most
– How long people stay on your site
- Meta Data – This directly affects Google Rankings as well as how your website looks to people using a search engine to find you and your business. When you google “Stranger Things Season 2” or whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll probably start by skimming over the titles and descriptions Google displays to pick the one that sounds best. These titles and descriptions can be customized by using a WordPress plugin (like Yoast SEO), along with much more that can affect your website.
- Content – All content on a site is processed by Google to understand what your site is about, and what search terms it would be a good fit for. Google isn’t just looking for content, but GOOD content. This means it should be well written, with titles and articles that fit naturally with terms you want to rank for. Just don’t forget that Google is all knowing and all seeing, so don’t just plop in a ridiculous amount of keywords back to back or attempt to hide content from Google. They will find you… and they will kill you. Just Kidding. (But not really.)
- A Fast, Mobile Friendly Site – Page speed is very, very important to the overall user experience of the site. All sites in this day and age, with all of the devices we own, should be mobile friendly. The longer a user waits, the more likely they are to abandon the page. But, what most people don’t realize is that both of these factors also impact your site’s performance in Google. Their recently updated guidelines take responsiveness and page speed into consideration when choosing which website to recommend first based on a user’s search.
- Quality Testing – Test the contact forms, 404 page, search page, look at the site on different devices, link check, test errythang. You never want to have broken links or pages, especially since this will also have an impact on your site’s search rankings and user experience on your site.
- A Backup System – Websites need to be worked on before and after the site is launched. The internet is a crazy world with hackers and outdated plugins, and it’s not always possible to prevent unforeseen problems in the future. So, have your bases covered and make a back up your site files and databases whenever you can, so that you can restore to an earlier (and healthier) version.
Using this checklist, along with the resources mentioned in this article, you’ll have all your bases covered when its time to launch your site. And, of course, we’re always here if you need a helping hand.