Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, is a critical part of growing a website and one that is often overlooked. SEO has a reputation for being a mysterious art, partly because it’s a vast and complex subject, and partly because the technology that determines how we optimise our websites for search is always changing. The simple fact is that when done right, SEO does work and will help a website to grow and increase its revenues, but for this to happen it needs to be optimised by an expert.
Vu is offering free SEO reviews for anyone whose website is not ranking well in google, or is not ranking at all. We’re also offering the reviews for any websites which haven’t been optimised for a while. The SEO landscape is always changing and regular optimisation is required to maintain a spot at the top of Google’s searches.
Below is what Vu will look at when we review your site’s SEO, and what the next steps are if you want Vu’s experts to optimise your site.We’ll tell you the good news first
We believe in good news first here at Vu and when our army of robots reports back on its survey of your site we’ll tell you what you’re doing right at beginning of the review. You can put these things out your mind and there’s plenty of elements of good SEO, such as correctly setting up error pages, which if done right once won’t need doing again.
Indexing and crawlability
Indexing and crawlability is all about how easy our robots, or robots in general, find it to navigate your site. Robots analyse a site’s code and content and determine how a site should be indexed in Google. If the code and content are confusing, if it sends the robot back to Google with the wrong information, or creates a barrier to the robot’s progress, your site will struggle to maintain a good rank in Google for your chosen keywords.
Examples of indexing and crawlability errors include missing or renamed pages, or a missing xml sitemap. A sitemap is simply an up-to-date list of all the pages on your site, and a map of its structure, which will help the robots to navigate and not get lost. Any time a site’s structure is changed, its pages moved or deleted, then a new sitemap should be created.
In this section we’ll look at any pages which redirect to other pages, the status of your site’s SSL certificate, and how the HTTP and HTTPS sections have been set up. While redirects are perfectly legitimate and encouraged for SEO as they can aid navigation, if they’re not setup correctly SEO will suffer.
It’s important to make sure that only one version of your site is being indexed, i.e. your www. address with either HTTP or HTTPS at the beginning, to avoid Google thinking you’re duplicating content. It’s also essential for any websites taking transactions or collecting sensitive information to have their SSL certificate set up correctly, so visitors know it’s nice and secure and that they’re data is being transmitted safely.
Encoding and technical errors
It takes thousands of lines of code to make up a website so it’s not unusual to find a few errors in the code of any site. While a lot of these mistakes can be non-critical there are many which will affect a user’s experience of your site, which can harm your search rankings. Small errors mean things can display incorrectly in certain browsers or result in a loss of functionality. We use W3C markup validation service to check your code, this is a widely used and well-respected tool for analysing the code of websites.
In this section we’ll also tell you whether your site is mobile-friendly (aka a responsive site). If your site doesn’t dynamically resize to fit different display sizes this means that a lot of your users, the ones on smartphones and tablets, won’t be having a great experience using it. This is not good in Google’s eyes and can prevent a site from rising in the rankings.
While many of us ignore the URL of the webpage we’re looking at in the top of browser, they’re actually quite important from an SEO perspective. A URL is an address that tells a browser where the contents of a page can be found so it can display them. URLs that are too long, or contain long strings of letters and numbers, are difficult for humans to read but they’re also difficult for robots to read. A clean url that looks something like www.randomwebsite123.com/about/about-random-website.html provides clear information to a robot about not only where the page is, but what it’s about.
Google uses broken outgoing links as a sign that a website hasn’t been updated in a while and may downgrade the site’s rankings. We’ll look for broken links that may be sending out the wrong signals to Google, and tell you what they are. An easy fix.
On-page SEO refers to features of individual pages that it’s essential to optimise, in both the website’s code and its content. For example in the template for your webpages you need to make sure that each page has its own descriptive title between the <title> tags and that you have proper <meta> description tags in place. For your content you may need to ensure that your site employs a proper heading structure, so that there’s only one title which is wrapped in <h1> tags and subheadings which use <h2> and <h3> tags.
Domain strength is a useful measure of how strong your website is and is measured on a scale of 0-10. Your website’s strength is determined by a complex variety of factors including domain age, backlinks, and social signals. This is a good indication of how effective your SEO tactics so far have been.
Links from other sites to yours are known as backlinks and are a key SEO ranking factor. Quality backlinks come from reputable sites that are directly related to yours. They are one of the strongest signals that tells Google your site should be ranked higher, and in which searches it should be ranked. It’s also one of the most challenging things to improve.
In this final section we’ll analyse the keyword visibility of your website. This means looking at the keywords most relevant to your industry and seeing how easy it is to find your site in Google.
Vu won’t suggest anything in the review that we won’t be able to fix, and will provide you with a provisional date for a meeting where you can discuss the review with us and find out what the next steps will be if you want to hire Vu to take things further. The advice we give out will always be honest and delivered with the aim of helping your business to grow – not just simply fixing a problem.
There’s no obligation and no follow-up if you don’t want it – just our expert advice and an offer of help. If you’re interested in getting your SEO reviewed for free get in touch with Vu and find out how we can improve your search presence.
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