Thursday, March 31, 2016

First Step to Digital Marketing: Have a website that works!

Since I started the Digital Marketing class, I have played with the tools learned by going into different websites from successful brands to small businesses (mostly owned by friends and family).  I have tried different free online tools to grade them, find their faults, things that could be done better, etc.  And to my surprise more than often I found websites that not even meet the 50/100 grade.

In most cases, I believe, they are not worried about search or they simply don’t have the budget to even think about it, or maybe they imagine there is a complicated algorithm to it.

In reality, it is kind of simple. You don’t need to be an expert in programming, you just need to know what to ask for, and find someone to fix those little problems for you.  Your website can rank high on search engines, putting you on the top of the search results, by simply remembering the following:

Freshness – Refresh content often. Search engines look for the most updated content and tend to display these results first.
Social Engagement - Linking your social media accounts to your website helps drive better customer relationships and allows for instant interaction between your brand and current/prospective customers
Mobile Friendly  - The future of search is mobile, and those websites that are not mobile friendly really suffer when getting a ranking from search engines.
Contact Info – Make it easy for customers to contact you if they have questions that are not easily found or if they simply want to say hi! This small adjustment provides a better user experience for your website visitors.
Security - SSL certificates protect websites from attacks and give visitors confidence that your site is authentic and trustworthy.  

SEO (This is where it turns technical)
Sitemap File – This is somehow technical, but if you are not sure, ask your programmer to include one. As explained on one of the tools “Sitemaps allow search engines to find all of your webpages that they might otherwise overlook when indexing your website. If you are not using the standard naming conventions of sitemap.xml or sitemap_index.xml, (…) search engines may not be able to index all of your webpages”.
Main Heading – Having a <h1> main heading tag is the most important text on the page, because that's what search engines look for!
Image Descriptions - Search engines can't "see" your photos, graphics, and videos unless you tell them they are there with <alt> tags. If you don't include descriptions, you are missing an opportunity to get your images included in search results.
Site Title - Of all the things on your page that search engines look at, the site title is one of the most important to your website. Make sure it is specific, unique and compelling, and not the name of your web domain.
Site Description - The meta description for a page describes what that page is about. The description should convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. It doesn't necessarily show up on the page itself when people visit your site, but the search engines see it.       

Ask your website developer to remember things like Page Size, Page Speed,
Browser Caching, and Compression.  All these make your website rank higher on search engines and offer a better user experience.

So go and test your website now!!

Recommended Free Online Tools for grading your website:

No comments: