How to ensure that your website is set up for success

We all wish to be successful in our online endeavors. But are we doing everything to ensure that we are successful?

Let’s find out.

If your website is already designed and hosted and has been up and about for quite some time, I am certain that it has been indexed by search engines. (One does not need to submit a URL to search engines anymore, search engines find you!) If you are unsure, you can check by typing in your URL on the search field on any of the search engine, and if it returns your website, your website has been indexed. If not, the alarm bells should start ringing. (Though before you press the panic button, you may want to check if your website has been disallowed by checking your robot.txt file)

Almost all websites can be optimized for better performance and success online. Sometimes there are issues that get created unconsciously or unconsciously by us, and that hampers a website’s performance on search engines. If your website has been in existence for a while and is not ranking for any keywords, popular or unpopular, the answers to the questions given below, will provide some insights as in why your website seems to have disappeared into oblivion :-

1. Define your website structure and layout.
2. Does your website adhere to SEO best practices?
3. Is there relevant content to compliment or substantiate your website’s presence?
4. Do you have an in-house SEO team or do your outsource the SEO work?
5. Do you have a list of SEO activities that have been implemented on your website?  

These are some of the many questions that needs to be answered, because in your answers will lie key information that will help SEO experts in diagnosing the issues and creating a customized plan to address these issues. Sometimes, some SEO techniques, that are frowned upon or are not considered to be the best practices, can cause so much harm that you will indeed find it painstaking and time taking to undo the harm done to your website.

Nothing is impossible; it takes time and effort to show up on the search engines results page (SERPs) on the key search terms that is relevant for your business. Again, it might be of value to note that what you consider the best keywords for your business may not be the best. There exist a lot of relevant keywords that are perhaps not as popular but might work for your website and bring you more conversions; therefore just focusing on popular keywords is definitely not the answer. You might want to read this article for an insight into long tailed keywords.

If your website is doing decently but you are not satisfied because you want more, you might want to do a thorough SEO health check of your website, by doing a detailed SEO Audit (explained at the end of this post), and it may be worthwhile to revisit your online marketing strategy.

For every business to be successful online, relevancy and authority are extremely important. Every website owner should build on these two critical factors. If you have a brick and mortar business then it is actually easier to establish an online credibility. You already have some goodwill offline; all you have to do is build on it online. But, if your business is completely online, then the initial effort will be a lot more. It will take you several months to build credibility, establish authority and trust. It takes a lot of focus and effort to bring it to that level. Thankfully, the internet has  evolved so much that you have various options to spread the word. Just keep at it and don’t ever give up.

Remember there are no short cuts to achieving a decent position on search engines. Anybody who promises you otherwise is not being completely honest with you.

Coming back to SEO audit or a SEO health check, this is a check that should feature on every webmaster’s list. It is critical for your website’s success.It is a way of finding out if your website has implemented SEO best practices and is Search Engine and human friendly. If not, there needs to be some changes made in your web site. This would mean getting key people like your CEO, web designers, content writers, marketing team, and any other stakeholder, on the same page. Everyone needs to understand why these changes are important. Getting everyone to be on the same page is crucial for a website’s online success, the more support you get the better it is for you. After all with everyone in agreement you can get changes implemented faster.

There are various levels of SEO audits. One would be for websites that have been in existence for quite some time and need SEO audit in order to determine if they are missing some key factors. The second type would be for newly launched websites, and the third would be for websites that seem to be not in the good books of search engines. I will write about performing SEO audits in my next post.