It seems just about every year, I write one of these posts.
Does search engine optimization change drastically year to year? The spam marketing emails with vague ‘your website is not optimized’ messages would have you thinking yes. (Note, if you want to stump these people, ask them for 2-3 specific recommendations for your website. I doubt they write you back.)
Now if you want, you can pay someone like us to ‘audit’ your website. With a fresh set of eyeballs and some expertise, we are happy to go through our battery of tests and make you some recommendations. (Contact us here.)
Otherwise, read on for stuff I haven’t said in previous yearly-ish posts about SEO:
Move to a Let’s Encrypt web host.
I was working on the SEO for giftmdi.com when someone suggested I load the entire site in HTTPS and not just the payment pages. I did it and my Google score jumped 27 points…in about the 27 seconds it took to switch it from http to https! (This is one of the many tools Google has to test your site.) And rather than buying (and remembering to update) an SSL every year you can just use a host that uses Let’s Encrypt. The certs are:
1) free and
2) automatically renew so there is zero downside.
We know Svaha has Let’s Encrypt SSLs but simply Google ‘NAMEOFWEBHOST let’s encrypt SSL’ to see if yours offers one. And if not, might be good to see who does!
Think about setting some Facebook markup code.
If you want people to share links to your website on Facebook, unless you intentionally set the image, title, and description displayed on Facebook it could pick something really random. You can set the image, website title, and description that gets shared on Facebook, either as a default for the whole site or page by page.
To see what Facebook is getting from your website, try their debugging tool. Note: don’t just test your homepage but pages you want people to share too.
Use Facebook marketing pixels and other tools to fully integrate your website.
Did you know if you have an ecommerce store and you upload your catalog to Facebook, you can tag products in Facebook and Instagram? Did you know you can target ads specifically to people who have looked at specific pages of your website or have taken a specific action, like made a purchase? Take advantage of Facebook’s Business Manager to fully integrate your website into the world’s biggest social network.
(If you care more about the Insta, here’s the how-to for that.)
Note: there are many ways to mess this up, and I have done most of them, so hire someone like us to help you if you aren’t sure. Remember, you need to know how to use it, setting it up is something you only have to do once.
Make your site load faster.
You could have the prettiest website in the world but I bet even your mom would click away before the 8 seconds it needs to load. Test your website (and this will test it objectively from servers in different states and countries) and it’ll tell you what to do, whether it’s optimizing images or loading too many elements on a page. We’ve said this before but it’s worth saying again.
Consider an interactive element.
Did you know you can use Facebook messenger on your website to answer visitors’ basic questions? Big companies use bots but it doesn’t have to just be for them. Consider how your customers and website visitors get information and whether it’s offering order updates via email, a text message system for upcoming event alerts, or a Facebook bot that does customer service, making sure your website is a bit interactive will get those visitors to your website to be repeat visitors and maybe even customers.
Search Engine Optimization is basically improving your website so the experience for search engines *and* people is great. So keep on making changes for the better and Google and the rest of them will reward you for your efforts.