Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. (@sparkerjr)
Spring is now in full swing and it might be time to slough off some of the excess on your website, replacing it with fresh SEO-friendly content. We’ve compiled a few questions for you to ask yourself as you go through the process. These are fairly basic SEO tips that marketers sometimes forget about in the midst of trying to create new and refreshed content.
So how do you know if your website needs an SEO spring cleaning?
Here are five questions to ask yourself:
1. How are my conversion rates?
Dive into your analytics, taking stock of the pages where users seem to drop off. If it’s cluttered, has confusing language or an odd color scheme, these are things that can all be changed to improve the appearance and navigability of your site. Keep in mind the search engines want to be able to assess how easily users can navigate your site. Making it easier for the user makes it easier for the search engine.
1a. Additionally, if an action you want users to complete is too lengthy, it might be time to assess a new way of doing things. For example, if your shopping cart to checkout funnel has seven steps, it’s time to clean this up. Scrapping additional screens has the potential to decrease your cart abandonment and increase sales.
2. What do my SEO title tags look like?
You want your title tags on each page to be straight-forward and to the point. Having an excessively long title tag (too many keywords or repetitive keywords) will actually work against you in terms of SEO.
3. What does my URL structure look like?
This is probably the easiest thing to mess up, especially if you have a lot of products. Many times, products fit into more than one category and URLs end up looking messy. For SEO, it’s important to streamline your URLs and make product or service pages easy to ascertain. An easy example would be if I categorized the same white t-shirt under “white t-shirt” and “women’s white t-shirt.” This can create a lot of duplicate URL content in a hurry. Stick with one unique URL for this product to avoid confusing the search engines (and maybe even being penalized).
4. Is my site loading quickly?
We’ve seen before that a slow-loading site will decrease visitor time on site. Most people will only wait about three seconds for your page to load (even on mobile sites). This means it’s time for you to figure out what is holding your site back from loading quickly. Perhaps it’s the hosting service, perhaps it’s the cluttered content, perhaps the use of Flash or videos, etc. Get with your web development team and solve the issues.
5. Is it easy to share my content?
Uploading awesome, entertaining, informative SEO-friendly content is the best way to get your site visible in the search engines, but it’s also very important that your content is easy to share. If you have a lot of informative or opinionated articles, be sure you have Facebook and Twitter share buttons. If you upload a lot of pictures, you might want a Pin It! button. It depends heavily on who your audience is, but be sure there is a way for your fans to share your content with their communities.