Showing the world your brand new website is an exciting time. You’ve probably spent weeks sourcing images and writing the text to create a website that showcases your business, skills, products and services perfectly.
It can be hard to spot the little things that could have a big impact on your website’s performance when you’re so close to a project. Before you go live, here are 6 simple things to check to ensure your website is easy to find online, looks professional and performs well in online searches.
1. Do all of your links work?
Linking between your website’s pages and to relevant high quality external sites is good SEO practice. By linking internal pages together, you’re creating little door ways on your site that make it easier for Google to access all the pages within it when it scans trillions of websites for new information every day.
Why is it important to fix broken links on your site?
Simply put, a site with too many broken links isn’t as easy for Google to read. Continuing with the doorway analogy above, when Google’s search bots crawl your website to find new updates, if it keeps following broken links, it’s like having a door repeatedly slammed in your face – not a great first impression!
Tools for finding broken links on your website
In its own words, Google Search Console reports help you to measure your site’s Search traffic and performance, fix issues and make your site shine in Google Search results. There are plenty of tutorials online to get you started with the tools available in Google Search Console and this one from Moz.com is a good place to start.
2. Have you written unique meta titles and meta descriptions for each page?
Meta titles and meta descriptions tell internet users and Google, the title of your web pages and what they can expect to find when they visit them.
In the picture above, the ’20 Super Friendly Dog Breads – Dogtime’ is the Meta Title and the smaller grey wording below it is the meta description.
Why is it important to set your own meta titles and meta descriptions?
First impressions count. As this information is the first thing somebody sees about your business when presented with a list of search results in Google (or any other search engine), it pays to take some time to craft titles and descriptions that are accurate, useful and enticing.
By keeping titles short and concise, accurately showing what you do, and including key words for your business, Google is more likely to show your site in relevant searches and visitors are more likely to click through to your website over others.
If you don’t add your own meta data, Google will pull through default text from each page on your website and this won’t always create a positive first impression.
Tools for creating your meta titles and meta descriptions
Most website platforms like Word Press or Wix will have a box for your to fill in on each page for meta titles and meta descriptions and you can install helpful plugins on your site like Yoast for a user friendly tool to help you populate your meta data.
Is it actually clear what you’re offering?
You know what you do, but is it crystal clear to people landing on your website? A web visitor should be able to understand exactly what you’re offering and who you can help within 2 seconds of arriving on your site.
Why is it important to have a clear opening statement?
Time is precious and people want access to information quickly. If you can’t demonstrate to a website visitors that they’re in a place that can answer their questions and help them find what they’re looking for within 2 seconds of landing on it, they will very likely click away and go somewhere else that can.
Having clear navigation, call to actions and a simple, clear opening statements is an easy way to spell out exactly what you do and make it easy for your website users to know if you can help them.
Make sure your website is mobile friendly
In an ideal world, optimising your website for mobile would have been on your mind from the moment you started building your site. If you’ve got this far and haven’t been checking how your website performs on mobile, don’t go live until you have!
Why is it important to optimise your website for mobile?
Mobile use is continuing to grow all the time so you need check your website displays correctly on a mobile and is just as easy to use as the desktop version you built because simply put, it’s where your customers will be!
- 80% of users used a mobile to access the internet in 2019
- Over 80% of adults now own a smart phone
- 52% of all worldwide internet traffic came from a mobile in 2019
Read this guide from Moz.com to see if your site is optimised for mobile. If you’re using a template from WordPress, there are plenty of mobile optimised versions available and if somebody has designed your site for you – make sure they have taken a mobile first approach for the best results.
Have you got enough content on your internal pages?
Everyone spends ages crafting the homepage of their website as it’s usually the first thing people see when they land on your site. Failing to spend time writing enough content for the inner pages of your website is a common mistake.
Why it is important to add enough content to your web pages?
Google won’t index pages on your website if it doesn’t know what it is all about. Tell it by using words that describe what you do, why you do it and who you do it for. Aim to have 400 – 500 relevant words on each of your pages, (not so applicable for the contact page) and you will be off to a great start.
If the idea of writing that much content for your website fills you with dread, enlist the support of a content marketing specialist or copy writer and you will have the words you need in no time!
Ask people to proof your site for you
When you’ve been writing, reading and re-reading the same words over and over for weeks, you can become blind to what you’re actually seeing. Before launching your site, ask a trusted friend to proof read your site for typos and grammatical errors and consider putting it in front of a small sample group of your ideal customers to get their feedback too.
This is a great way to spot things that have been missed or get new ideas for areas that can be improved to make your site even more useful to your target customers.
Optimising your website for online search is a key part of your digital marketing strategy. If it’s important for your business that customers can find you online, completing the 6 steps above before you launch your website, or working through the points post launch will ensure you’re off to a great start! If you’re ready for even more top tips, check out my article for website optimisation for beginners.