To earn the real SEO rewards, it needs to be an ongoing campaign that really makes a difference to your website as a whole. In fact, for the best results, it needs to play a major part in your entire company culture. Here at SEO Junkies, our team live and breathe search engine optimisation and digital marketing. We are dedicated to using any white-hat techniques we can to ensure that your company raises in the search engine rankings of platforms like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Now, if you approach another SEO agency, they’ll probably tell you much the same thing that we just did. However, we’re going to let you in on a little secret. There are some techniques that you can employ, right now, to really start your SEO campaign off on the right foot. If you follow this handy checklist, you can really make an impact on your SEO before you start a campaign. Not only will it give you a good example of how effective search engine optimisation actually is, it can make it much quicker to start earning real, long-term results with a professional SEO campaign.
1. Don’t Forget Your XML Sitemap – The XML sitemap is extremely useful, just because it tells search engines what pages are actually on your website. Create an XML sitemap and submit it to the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) to let them crawl your website that much easier.
An easy way to do this is to make the most of online tools, like XML-Sitemaps.com, which will quickly build an XML sitemap of up to 500 pages. Of course, if you’re willing to pay, you can create a sitemap larger than this 500 page limit. These larger websites are typically eCommerce sites, or blogs which have been running for a long time.
Once you’ve generated this sitemap, add your site toGoogle Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools so these search engines can reliably crawl your pages. If you don’t already have an account for Google Webmaster, make sure that you create one! You can add the site to these Tools by going to optimisation > sitemaps and submitting your XML map from there.
2. Make Sure That Googlebot Is Crawling Your Site! – Unfortunately, if Googlebot can’t crawl your site then it won’t be able to access your site’s content. As a result, your website won’t rank in the search engines. This isn’t really a common problem, but it has damaged quite a few businesses over the years; particularly those that are new to digital marketing.
So, how can you make sure Googlebot is crawling your website?
Another option is to make the most of Google’s robots.txt Tester. This handy tool can help you to understand whether your robots.txt file is set up correctly for all the pages that you actually want Google’s spider algorithms to crawl.
3. Check The Indexing Status Of Your Website – If you head over to Google and search for “site:yourdomain.com” (for example, site:seojunkies.com) the result will show you how many pages Google actually has indexed for your site. Now, you need to be absolutely sure that your website has the amount of pages that the search engine recognises, If not, your website is likely suffering from one of two problems.
If the search shows less pages than you actually have, then that means Google isn’t able to effectively index your pages. However, if you have too many, then high volumes of duplicated content may be the problem.
4. Run An SEO Crawler On Your Website – By using an online crawler on your site yourself, you can quickly understand some of the negative SEO features which could be really harming your online presence as a whole. These tools are extremely useful when looking how to optimise your existing website or blog.
Although it can’t compare to the work of an experienced SEO agency, Screaming Frog is a great option. The tool allows a free trial of up to 500 URLs, which can pick up a range of different negative SEO features, including:
5. Check Your Site For Duplicated Content – You can use a range of different tools, including Copyscape and Siteliner , to run a quick check for duplicated content. These tools can provide information about duplicated content whether it is on your website or off-site. Both of these tools are free, but will only check up to a certain number of URLs. You can also use Screaming Frog to the same effect, though it can sometimes take a little longer and can quickly eat through your free URLs.
6. Check All Your Local Business Listings – Although they’re fairly easy to forget about once they’re made, making sure that your listings are consistent is really important. Approximately 20% of Google searches are related to local information, including business, organisations, events, transportation and weather.
Making sure that your business is visible on local search providers like Yelp, Foursquare, Bing and Yellow Pages. Make absolutely certain that your NAP information (Name, Address and Phone Number) is consistent across these data providers. Businesses can leverage local SEO to great effect by creating a unique page for every location.
Besides this, it can also be a great idea to add your local business to Google’s ‘My Business’. The dashboard for My Business gives you the opportunity to control all of your business’ information from one place.
Next, you can use the Moz Local Tool to conduct a speedy search for NAP discrepancies. This will search across all major search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing. All you need to do is type your business’ name and pin code into the tool and click on the ‘Check My Listing’ option.
7. Make Sure That Your Web Design Is Optimised For Mobile Devices – Already, more than half of Google searches come from mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Google itself has said that around half of all mobile users are likely to visit a store after conducting a search for a local business. That’s compared to only 34% of consumers who make the transition from interested search to actual footfall.
With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your website is designed for mobile devices as well as more traditional devices. A responsive web design is an essential component of any business, especially if you’re offering eCommerce and online retail to your customers.
Cutting down on load time can really help to improve your entire online presence as well. If the site takes too long to load on a mobile device, most visitors will just click away as soon as they can. This can have a devastating effect on bounce rate.
8. Check The Average Page Loading Time For Your Responsive Website – By using Google Developers’ PageSpeed Tool, you can quickly and easily understand just how long it takes for your site to load as a whole as well as individual pages. This tool is invaluable when discovering what is slowing your average load speed down, and enables you to quickly and easily make changes to speed up delivery.
Other reliable tools that you can use to analyse your website speed include Pingdom and GTmetrix.
9. Reclaim Links, And Other Mentions To Your Site – Link reclamation involves the discovery and replacement of broken links on your website, as well as other websites which point towards your online presence. It can be a great idea to look for pages that mention your business, brand, products and more but don’t actually link to you. If you can, try to get in touch with the website owner and convince them to link back to you.
There are plenty of online tools that you can use for this purpose, including Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO and Ahrefs. There is a similar function in Google Webmaster Tools. With these tools, you can grow your domain’s authority and boost your site’s overall potential.
10. Look At Your Content Carefully – This wouldn’t be an article about search engine optimisation and digital marketing if we didn’t, at least once, mention the phrase ‘Content is King’. The technical side of SEO can offer some fantastic advantages and prevent any negatives from dragging you down the search engine results pages.
There are plenty of things that you can do to optimise your content as part of your blog roll or your on-page content. Although an SEO agency will be able to provide a much more reliable, and high-quality, copywriting service, by making changes to your site’s content today, you can start to move in the right direction.
Here at SEO Junkies, the UK’s leading SEO agency, we are able to provide comprehensive digital marketing services which are dedicated to improving your sales and online visibility. Whether you need guidance for your social media, PPC or a complete SEO campaign, we are here to help your business.
Our search engine optimisation services are designed to increase your website’s position in search engine results pages, but we are also dedicated to ensuring that your business increases its revenue. We can help to improve your customer’s experience and interaction with your website and not only encourage eCommerce and online retail, but attract more clicks, grow your brand awareness and drive footfall to local retail stores.
For more information on the diverse services that our professional team of analysts, designers, copywriters, content creators and social media experts can provide, get in touch with the most experienced SEO agency in the UK on 0845 373 0595.
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