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Congratulations on taking the first step to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Making the decision to ramp up an SEO campaign can forever change the way you attract customers/clients, for the better. It can effectively complement your existing marketing strategy while providing one of the most cost-effective and sustainable solutions for acquiring new business. Of course, all of this depends on your website’s ability to land itself on primetime real estate–the first page of Google.

For many, the Holy Grail of page-one can seem like a pipe dream. You’ve got dozens if not hundreds of direct competitors all clamouring for the same spot. And what’s the deal with these Google algorithm updates you’ve been hearing about? Is it true that you can be on page-one one day, only to fall back to page two or further a day later? You’re justified in your uncertainty. It’s a fact that SEO is an ever-changing, continually adapting, and at-times capricious form of marketing. Nevertheless, when it is effective, the benefits are well worth the effort.

In order to set you on a path to search engine success, we’ve laid out an updated list to help you with your SEO “health checkup”.

3 Health Checks for Successful SEO

1. Make Sure Your Website Architecture Supports SEO

This is arguably the most important, yet often neglected step in SEO. Search engine ranking factors award on-page optimization as being the top-ranking factor for websites. What is on-page optimization? Essentially, it is the architecture and content on your website.

For starters, some web design platforms make it hard for Search Engine Bots to access the content. For example, if your website uses an I-frame (common to older e-commerce applications), Google may have difficulty ‘crawling’ the content, leaving the site with little to no opportunity to rank. But there are many more common examples of how site architecture can fail you.

Page Speed

If your website’s page speed is poor, people and Search Engine Bots may be having trouble accessing your content. This is because people want instant gratification, one poll showed that 40% of people will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Those are valuable prospects! Likewise, a slow page speed means Search Engine Bots crawl fewer pages using their given crawl budget. Easily check to see if this is affecting you with Google’s page speed test.

Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design

It’s important to stay on top of all modern web development requirements, and not just for aesthetic reasons. For instance, Google recently started giving ranking preference to websites that provide a better mobile experience (i.e., smartphones and tablets). A website that is not responsive and mobile-friendly, drop further down on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Meta-Data and UX

The for on-page optimization doesn’t stop there. There is more to it than providing people (and search bots) with a phenomenal user-experience (UX). Your website’s platform must allow integration of structured data, and allow you to insert custom meta-data. What does meta-data mean? Simply put, meta-data is a set of data or a description that gives information about other data. Examples of basic meta-data would be, author, date created, date modified, and file size. You should have, or be able to have, custom meta-data in:

  • -Title tags
  • -H1 (and H2, H3, etc.) tags
  • -Meta-descriptions
  • -Image titles and ALT descriptions

The above meta-data requirements may seem like a mess of jargon, but they are what allow you to insert the keywords that you want to rank for.

2. Checkup on Your Keywords

With your website architecture in place, you can continue on your SEO inspection. When selecting keywords it’s important to keep monthly search volume in mind. Chasing high-volume (1,000+ local searches per month) keyword targets can be a waste of effort if you don’t have the resources to do so. In addition, these high-volume keywords may be too general to convert a visitor into a customer. For example, even if a Realtor was able to rank well for “Vancouver real estate”, there are a lot of tire kickers in that group of searchers. The visitor to conversion rate may be poor because of this. However, if the same realtor targets “Burnaby condo for sale” you know that the people searching for the expression are much further along in the sales process. So, while there are fewer people searching for this keyword, they are more likely to be a valuable client.

3. Need Help?

The only way to truly ensure the full health of your website’s SEO is to let an expert manage it for you. Without a doubt, SEO management is at minimum a part-time job, but the bigger your business is, and the bigger your goals are, the more demanding it becomes.

How can you be expected to manage your business if you have your head buried into weekly content updates and analytics/keyword reporting? In addition, you probably don’t want to allocate full resources to hiring someone to work in-house as an SEO Specialist, complete with salary, benefits, and office space.

All of the above can be solved via a much more cost-effective and efficient solution–securing the services of an online marketing firm that specializes in search engine optimization. Whether you’re located in Burnaby, the Tri-cities, or Vancouver Strategis can create, maintain, and update your SEO strategy to bring you qualified traffic that converts into paying customers/clients. It all starts by contacting us, right here.

Allemande After earning her degree at Simon Fraser University for New Media Journalism and Editing, Allemande has become an accomplished writer and editor. She is also certified in strategic social media marketing, Google Ads, Google Analytics, and digital sales.

Allemande fluently identifies the channel and content mix that is precisely right for your business and audience. She conducts in-depth analytics for continuous improvement in your audience engagement and generation of sales leads through strategic planning and search engine optimization (SEO), establishes KPIs and related metrics and prepares meaningful reports that you can quickly action. Connect with Allemande.