Skip to main content

Is Your Website Ready for the Search Engines?

 

Photo by sarah b on Unsplash

Let's be clear. When it comes to search engines, keep in mind that SEO is an experiment, there are no rules. The algorithms changes regularly (estimated 400 times a year) and Google doesn’t share specifics on those changes except general guidelines on their site.  That being said, there are some best practices to help improve the rank of the website. We can't cover all of them here, but there are some obvious ones.

This applies to the majority of search engines, so don't feel like you need to cater to each one individually. 

Most of all, if this is greek to you, consider hiring someone to handle your SEO. Also, if they make promises of specific results, run far away. SEO is a slow, continuous process.

Make Your Content Clear

According to Google, they want to "see your page the same way the user does". That being said, when you see a search engine entry, you notice the title and a brief description. These are placed are placed in the "head" section of the HTML. The title can provide more information than just your business name. It can have a brief few words or a phrase such as "McAllister Park Design - Web Design and Hosting Services".  Your description needs to be an accurate summary. Avoid default words like "Page 1" or Untitled".

Mobile Friendly 

Your website needs to be mobile friendly. That means it is responsive and can resize to accommodate the various cell phone screens, tablets and laptop or desktop computer.  You can check how mobile friendly your website is by visiting Google's mobile friendly test area.

Your website also needs to load FAST. How fast? Well, Google doesn't say, but most agree with less than 2 seconds. The reason? People leave the website if it doesn't load quickly. They might feel it isn't working or that they don't have time. 

Maile Ohye, states in a  Google Webmaster video, that “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.” 

SSL Certificate 

Your website must be secure, even if you aren't selling anything. Many hosting companies provide free certificates, so consider this when looking at hosting. I recommend WebHostPython for shared hosting and yes, this is an affiliate link. I have been with them for years and they provide great support and have dealt with various issues promptly and with grace, even when I messed up! They aren't my only hosting company as I have various options for my clients and their needs but for shared hosting, I recommend them.

Organize Your Website 

Just like your cabinets, keeping things organized makes it easier to locate for you and anyone using your kitchen! This applies to your website as well. Keep topics together, Use headers appropriately with H1 at the top and reduce down with subtopics using H2 and below. This also benefits accessibility.

Google also recommends using breadcrumbs, a way of providing navigation in addition to the menu. 

Most of all avoid complex web of navigation links as well as going overboard by "slicing and dicing your content" so it takes a large amount of clicks to get to the information.   

Know What Your Readers Want 

Provide fresh content with proper spelling and grammar, If you have difficulties with this, Grammarly is your friend. Make your content and writing user friendly to fit your visitor's needs. The days have passed for keyword stuffing or hiding text from users, making it only available to the search engine bots. 

Cultivate Trust

Most of all, your site needs to be trustworthy.You are the expert and you provide quality in your product and/or service. Your pages need to reflect this good practice. 

There are many other "Do's and Don'ts, but like Googles SEO Basics documentation is about 50 pages. I will most likely address more in the future. 

And let me remind you...
SEO is an experiment, there are no rules...
just a good website that caters to its audience with quality content that loads quickly.

 

 

 


 

 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Hello, This is Bridget (Or Rachel) from Card Holder Services"

When it comes to running a business, the last thing you need is to be inundated with junk phone calls and the number one pest is "Card Holder Services". Matter of fact, the FTC considers "Bridget from Card Holder Services" to be Enemy #1 . Well, the FTC may not have solved this ongoing problem but I have found help from the customer reviews at Amazon.com. I searched online, then narrowed it down to a couple of options. I was very excited when I found the CPR Call Blocker capable of blocking 1200  (yes, 1200) numbers. Robocallers can change their number and I still can block them!  I reduced the robocallers to my business line within a couple of days of adding this device. CPR Call Blocker V108 - 1200 Number Capacity - World #1 - Block Telemarketing Calls Now! (Amazon.com Affiliate Link but personal review without any payment. Just passing on a great tip!) The setup took about 15 minutes for me (some said it only took a couple of minutes in the reviews). The ins

Things you DON'T want on your website

Now, this admission will reveal my age.  I have been a part of designing websites through ~every single aspect~ shown on this infographic chart from Who Is Hosting This . Click here to view the infographic. You may need to click again on the image to make it large enough to read. From gradients to web counters, I have done them all. Take my advice and do not ask me to add these things to your website unless you are wanting a "retro" look. Except maybe drop shadows, I like drop shadows. They may have their place depending on the design.☺

Washable Computer Keyboards

There is almost always a cup of coffee on my desk. Yes, ALWAYS.  But there is a risk. Once a keyboard is wet, it is a gonner.. toast, terminated. When my daughter was much younger, in elementary school, she was home after school and wanted to help clean house so she took my proprietary keyboard from my Amstrad 8086 Dual Floppy computer (now a museum piece). and washed it.  As in, put it in a sink of soapy dish water and washed it.  It was very expensive to replace the micro-controller for that keyboard let me tell you! Well, it isn't really new but there are some washable keyboards on the market now.  Logitech has a the scrubbable, submersible, spill-proof, K310 Keyboard that has pretty good reviews.  Kensington K64407US Pro also has a washable keyboard with anti-microbial protection for a little bit less money.  There are also washable mice but those are usually covered in silicone which I personally would prefer to not hold onto throughout the day. I did find the Seal Sh