You don’t need to be a web developer to improve your website.
In fact, all you need is access to the Internet, basic writing skills, and keen eye for small details like links and headings.
Minor improvements can make a huge impact for the health of your site and search engine optimization (SEO). We compiled a list of six easy ways to improve your website right now!
1. Add Google Analytics
In 2019, it’s still surprising to see how many websites still do not have Google Analytics connected to their website.
Adding Google Analytics to your site will not directly improve your website’s SEO, but will give you a much better understanding of its details.
The Google Analytics platform is built to help users understand the “ABCs” – or Acquisition, Behavior and Conversion of their website.
- Acquisition –> How do you acquire users? How many? From where?
- Behavior –> How do users behave on your site?
- Conversion –> Do users take a desired action on the site?
In addition, you can monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies, onsite content, user experience, and device functionality. That’s right – you can see how many people are using a phone vs. tablet vs. desktop computer when they are visiting your website.
Best of all, Google Analytics is free to add to any website! If you are not sure if your web developer put Google Analytics on your site, this is how you can check:
- Load your site on a browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.
- Right-click the page, then click View Page Source.
- You should see a lot of code.
- Hit Control or Command + F and search the page for gtag.js or analytics.js (for Universal Analytics) or ga.js (for Classic Analytics).
2. Add meta descriptions to your pages
A meta description is an attribute within a backend area of a page that helps describe your page. This snippet of text may appear in the search engine results under your headline, (though sometimes, search engines will pull a snippet of text from the main body copy of the page instead).
You can find the meta description on any web page by right-clicking on the page and selecting “view source” or “view page source”: Your meta descriptions act somewhat as “organic ad text.”
But it’s important to remember they are limited in character space. Meta descriptions are recommended to be 160 characters or less in length. Say what the page is about and why one should click on it.
A compelling meta description has the power to raise the click-through rate of your organic search results.
3. Ensure an <h1> title tag exists on each page of your site
What is an <h1> tag? The header tag, or the <h1> tag in HTML, will usually be the title of a web page or blog post, or other emphasized text on the page. <h1> tags are usually the most visually notable content on the page.
Tips for <h1> tag content:
- Place at the top.
- Keep it between 20-70 characters.
- Use terms that you are targeting for – the keywords you wish to rank higher for. Why? So their crawlers can understand better what the page is all about!
- Answer user intent with your <h1>.
In case you were wondering – the title of this blog post, 6 Easy Ways To Improve Your Website Right Now is the <h1> on this page.
Can you have more than one <h1> tag on the page? Google will not penalize you, but only one is preferred. If you have a need for multiple titles, then perhaps it should be broken into multiple pages, or use one <h1>, and add in <h2>, <h3> and so on.
4. Check for broken links
As time goes by web content can get taken down from other websites you may be linking to. For example, if the local news company did a story on you a year ago, and you linked to it within a page on your site, you may want to see if that link still works.
An easy way to check for broken links is to use a third party website like Brokenlinkcheck.com that can easily scan your site. This site can pinpoint how many broken links you have and where to find and remove them.
Why is this important? For at least two reasons. The first being that no one likes clicking on a page that goes to a “Sorry page not found” – so it hurts the user experience. Second, the search engines frown upon it and can potentially penalize you. If your site starts building up with broken links, it’s basically telling the search engines you’re not doing regular maintenance. Similar to your storefront, you want to look as polished as possible.
5. Add an SSL
What is an SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.
How do you know if your website has an SSL?
Look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate (the s stands for secure).
You can also look for a little padlock next to the domain name within the browser.
Your hosting company should be able to add an SSL to your site pretty easily and most the time for no cost to you. (There are different levels of SSLs, for example a higher level SSL may be recommended if you take credit card payments or collect sensitive information on your website.)
If you think you had an SSL on your website, but it’s displaying as insecure, you can test it at https://www.whynopadlock.com/ and determine what the issue may be.
6. Start a blog or vlog (video blog)
If you feel like your website is not getting enough traffic and want to give it a little boost, generating blog content is a great way to bring in more visitors. A blog is an opportunity for you to:
- Target specific customers
- Increase your ranking on SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages)
- Establish yourself as an industry expert
- Opens communication with customers
Maybe you are a furnace and air conditioner repairman – Everyday you tell people to replace their filters frequently and recommend an annual maintenance check on their system. Right there is an opportunity for you to put the reasons why on your website establishing trust and yourself as the trusted industry expert.
Not sure how to start an effective blog? Check out our in-depth article on improving SEO through blogging.
As we’ve said before video is growing in online world. It’s so easy with smart phone technology and video editing apps to start vlog or youtube channel and integrate with your website. Imagine a small bike shop competing with online retailers like Amazon, Ebay and Walmart. But generating custom content like how to make brake and gear adjustments, change tires and other maintenance techniques on something like a complicated electric bike opens that communication and trust with potential customers. Thus, encouraging them to spend a little more, but feel confident that the investment will be worth it, due to the demonstrated knowledge, quality of the product and customer support.
The take away…You can do this!
No matter what industry your business and website reside in, there is an opportunity for you to stay ahead of the competition by following these tips. If you need help getting started with any of these suggestions, reach out to the HenkinSchultz web team!