If you have recently got a website designed for your new business, you are probably feeling pretty good that you have ticked this off your list of to-dos.
But one thing you shouldn’t do is forget about it and move on to your next task. A website needs care and attention if you want to have it work for you.
Many new small businesses have budget constraints and so ensuring that your website is optimised and being updated usually falls to the business owner.
If your site isn’t optimised correctly from the beginning, you’ll miss the full potential search engine optimisation (SEO) has to offer your business. Here is a list of things that you should be doing regularly on your new website:
Update your content regularly. In 2023, content is king, and it’s what makes a website unique. If you don’t have high-quality content on your site that answers visitors’ questions or offers the solutions they’re looking for, people won’t be interested in visiting it. Google’s search algorithm also likes to see that you regularly update your website with fresh, quality content that delivers value to users (this means no copy and pasting!).
Consider creating a blog or a “news” page. Update your customers on what is happening to your business or any special offers that you are promoting. Or add new testimonials. Not only are you adding content, but you are also promoting your good name!
Link to your website content on social media. Social media can help you improve SEO ranking signals. Linking to your content on social media effectively can increase website traffic and improve brand awareness. Based on the social media platform you’re using, we recommend adding a link to pages on your site, whether than be your blog page, FAQ page, or homepage, in all captions or bios.
Try and get it listed in local directories. This is one of the easiest ways to get more traffic. Not only will you get a link back to your page, but you may also drive traffic to it from these sites. Some of these sites, e.g., Yell, have a huge presence on the search results pages and will usually beat local websites to top spots. So, getting listed in them is a must.
Bonus Tip: Ensure that you’re listing yourself on reputable directories (and not spammy ones) so that you don’t hurt your reputation by getting caught up in any “search engine blacklists”.
Add it to Google Search Console. In this way, you can verify it with Google and check out how Google sees your website. Once you figure out the toolset, you can use it to your advantage. You can use the data to improve your articles, pages, get more backlinks, and optimise your website better. Google may suggest improvements through its tools or inform you about errors that need attention. Ensuring that your website is “healthy” will help it rank better.
Google Search Console also lets you check your page speed and core web vitals which is super important in 2023. If your page doesn’t load quickly, users will abandon your website. In fact, 53% of users will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. To ensure that you keep leads on your website, you must improve your page’s load time, which is exactly what you can do with the help of Google Search Console.
The core web vitals report on Google Search Console identifies groups of pages that require attention based on real-world data. Google recommends fixing everything labeled “Poor” first, then prioritise what to do next based on issues affecting the most URLs. Non-technical users may need assistance from an SEO consultant if they want specific issues fixed and to get the most out of the platform.
Using analytics on your website will help you spot pages where people either leave or do not stay long. You can then adjust the web page – add content or restructure it – to see if this will make visitors stay and move through your website. You’ll also be able to see which pages get the most traffic, what keywords bring in the most traffic and what people are searching for on Google, which is great when deciding what content to produce next.
Bonus Tip: Universal Analytics will stop processing data in July 2023, making it more difficult to compare year-over-year metrics. Upgrading to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) now will allow you to begin collecting, and have a benchmark of, information on the new platform. Furthermore, Google announced that existing Universal Analytics properties would only be able to be accessed for around 6 months after this date. This means that all historical data could be gone forever. If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to upgrade GA4.
Ensure your website and any new content is optimised for mobile. As of 2018, mobile traffic accounted for 2 percent of the worldwide total, and it’s predicted that phone searches will only continue to rise in 2023. To see how mobile-friendly your website is, start by typing “Google Mobile-Friendly Tool” into Google. This will bring up a box where you can enter your site’s URL to be evaluated by Google.
Here are some more tips for auditing your site’s mobile friendliness:
Make sure your mobile site’s text is readable and laid out well. Text that is too small or too close together can hinder your new site’s SEO performance.
Ensure your website was created with a responsive coding and framework so it automatically changes how it looks depending on the device used to access it.
Page load speed has been a ranking factor for mobile results for a while, so making sure your site loads quickly is an essential strategy for new site SEO.
Reducing image size, improving server response times, and minifying code are good ways to reduce load times.
Update WordPress and plugins regularly. Now that you have a new and improved website keeping it safe and secure is essential. One of the most important things you can do is ensure that your WordPress installation and any plugins are up to date.
If you’re using automatic updates, then this will happen automatically when they’re available. If not, then make sure you keep an eye on new versions of WordPress and plugins being released because sometimes there are security issues with software updates requiring urgent action. There is one thing to point out here, though: updating WordPress or a plugin might break something on your site. That’s why we recommend ALWAYS doing backups first before making any changes to your website.
Ensure any internal links aren’t broken. A broken internal link is a link that points to another page on your site that doesn’t work. This can happen if the page you link to doesn’t exist or was deleted, there’s a typo in the link’s URL, or there was a change to the page’s URL, but no redirect was added.
Broken internal links create a negative user experience for your site visitors. If a user clicks on a broken link, they’ll see a 404 page, weakening the overall user experience. Second, bots like Googlebot use links to crawl your website. Therefore, broken links prevent bots from exploring your pages, and this can result in a waste of crawl budget.
To find broken internal links:
Look for them manually
Use Google Search Console
Use Chrome’s Inspection Tool
Use an SEO platform
Add Schema Markup. If you haven’t yet, add schema markup to your website and add it to any new pages that need it. Schema markup, found at org, is a form of microdata. Once added to a webpage, schema markup creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results. Rich snippets make your webpages appear more prominently in SERPs.
According to research by the HTTP Archive, the usage of Structured Data increased in 2022 in comparison to 2021. Of the websites they surveyed, they found that the use of JSON-LD (Schema) on homepages rose from 34% in 2021 to 37% in 2022 on mobile devices. This upward trend of Structured Data usage reflects the growing popularity of structured data as an SEO strategy, and we predict this trend to continue in 2023.
These are just a few things that can help keep your website in tip-top condition.
Don’t just leave your website to sit there and wither. The key here is consistency. Want to go further and get your website ranking? Contact us for a chat about SEO for small businesses.
Caroline Phillips is the owner of Alba SEO Services which offers quality SEO services to SME's. Established since 2013, Alba SEO has a track record of success.
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