We all understand the importance of having a website or at least anyone in business right now should. But the biggest misstep is to think that all websites are equal and simply having one’s job done. People are changing and the way they look for information is changing with them. A website that cut the mustard a couple of years back may be the equivalent to a dinosaur now and as big a blockbuster that Jurassic Park was, the same enthusiasm won’t be felt for the website.

To bring light to this and to help people make smart decisions we’ve just released a pretty sweet new tool that takes your website on a bit of a health check and delivers really actionable steps to fix it up. And to try and make this report easier for you to understand we’ve put together this cheat sheet that’ll give you some more details around each area the report looks at. Then use this blog to help you get to grips with the results. You could, of course, read through the blog, run the report and then explain it to others whilst showing off your immense understanding of the subject. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone. And once you’ve done all this talk to us and let’s see how we can get your website fixed up.

Speed
The loading speed of a site is vitally important, with people’s attention spans shortening, having a quick loading page is important to keep those customers on your page and not clicking elsewhere. The overall speed of a page factors in a few things like the initial load time, the size of the page and total amount of files it must request to load for the viewer. Optimise this, and your page will be loading in no time and you’ll keep those eyeballs on your website!

URL
When it comes to your website’s URL, it’s important to be SEO friendly so you have a higher chance of having a good ranking in Google. Is the main keyword you use for your website in your URL? Does it contain underscores or dashes? If so, get them out of there! How far away are the the pages on your website from the main page? Take a look at this one for example  www.example.com/hello/goodbye/seeyousoon/goodmorning/toolong

Something like this needs to be shortened to reduce the time people have to spend trying to find certain areas of your website.

Title Tag
Title tags are very important, this is what people see in the rankings when they search for you on search engines. Is your keyword inside the title tag? Does the keyword start the title? And is it an appropriate length? Make sure it’s not too long.

Description Tag
Now, in the rankings in a search engine, just below the title tag is the description tag, a little snippet of information. Make sure your keyword is in the description tag and that your description fits the appropriate length. Not too short, not too long. Just right.

Images
Images are extremely important to having a visually appealing website. But there are a few things to remember when it comes to adding them. Make sure the image have “alt” tags (these are the text descriptions of what the image is for one the image doesn’t load or for anyone using a screen reader) and that your chosen keyword is included within this “alt” tag. Furthermore, the keyword should also be included in the image filename and the filename should not include any underscores or dashes. This may sound confusing but any good web developer will understand this straight away!

Headings
When it comes to structuring your website it’s a good idea to use headings. This helps the likes of Google grasp main topics within your website and determine whether you are relevant to the search. Make sure you include these and that you have your keyword in the headings. Another important thing to remember is that there should be no duplicate headings. Each page should only have one H1 tag as an example. We get this and any good web developer should understand this too.

Copy
What’s the copy like on your website? Having quality content and copy on your website is a great way to boost your website as Google claims this as ‘SEO-Friendly’ and will start to rank you as more relative for the search term. Improve your copy score by making sure all your copy reaches the minimum word count, using your keyword in the copy and making sure it’s in the first 100 words. Including this keyword in the anchor text, or the link people will be clicking, is how Google instantly recognising that your content could be relevant to what people are searching. Don’t fall into the trap of just putting your keyword on the page a bunch of times. If it isn’t relevant to the sentence, don’t use it. After all, the people reading your website are humans and google has tools that can spot keyword hiding and overuse. One of the greatest benefits of getting your website with Grow Digital Marketing is that we’ll take care of the copywriting for you and you’ll get 2hrs/month to make changes if the desire should strike you.

Code
Now I’m sure this is where most people are scratching their heads as a lot of this probably seems like gibberish but making sure you have a valid web address, does not contain flash or online CSS, have a good text-to-HTML ratio, includes ‘schema tags and has the XML sitemap are all important to let Google know your website is fresh and up to date. Don’t stress though! We’ve got you covered or whoever your web developer is, let them know and they will understand it better.

Social
Now here’s something we all understand, social. Google wants to remain up to date and with the times and where are people these days? They’re in social. So it makes sense for people to be able to have the ability to share what they like when they like. Make sure you have buttons that take people to your social pages and also include share functions to social channels on your blog.

Mobile
Make sure your website is mobile friendly! This is an absolute must as you will be penalised big time by Google if you’re not. Get in touch with us or with your web developer if you’re not, it’s not a major to get it fixed. While they’re at it, if need be, they can fix other factors to make sure the mobile side of your website is fully optimised like making sure your server uses compressed files for faster downloads, has a sitemap and correctly setting the viewport so the screen renders to smartphones.

Links
It’s called the world wide web for a reason, that’s because everything’s connected. Get your name on every relevant directory possible and try to get people to link to your website. Get as many links flowing back to you as possible. Once you start gaining more links to your website, you’ll be gaining what is called authority. Where the more relevant links you have directing the user to you, the higher your authority score, thus placing you higher in search engines. We are using Moz’s tool to gauge how many links are coming to certain pages of your website, what’s your trust, rank and authority score. Having a high score in all 3 boost your SEO rankings.

Root Links
In a nutshell, this is a number of other sites that link to your page. The total number is determined by the unique number of domains linking to you, 5 links from the same website will only be counted as one root link. So the more connected you are with other websites, the higher your authority will be. Not all links are equal though, think the NZ Herald vs your uncle’s plumbing website. Both count, but one carries more weight behind it.

Domain
Your domain name is your website. It’s the first thing people see in the search rankings and it’s the first thing they type when searching for you directly. Make sure it’s not too long, although a domain name may be a total length of 253 characters, try keep it as short as you can. You should also be including the main keyword around your business in the domain name. Make sure your WWW-redirect is setup correctly so that when people type in your domain name, e.g  example.com they will get redirected to the correct domain name of www.example.com. Get your website safe by including SSL so that your website’s data remains private and have that extra layer of protection between your the server and browser. Make sure you include robots.txts files, search engines use these so that their web crawlers can find and categorise you. Get your favicon up! A favicon is a small icon used in the url, bookmark icon, tab icon, shortcut icon. It’s a great way for people to remember your brand. Now a lot of this you won’t be able to do, it’s for those tech heads, so get in touch with your web developer or talk to us to get it up to speed.

So that’s the explainer. Hopefully, it all made sense. Don’t worry if it didn’t, after the report is run one of our team will get in touch to explain it to you and help you get to grips with what it all meansIf things turn out bleak – don’t panic. We’re in the business of building great websites and we’ve got packages starting at just $150 per month. Head here to learn a little more about our websites, then get in touch.