In an increasingly competitive online marketplace, it’s important to ensure that your small business website uses search engine optimization (SEO). Good SEO makes it easier for potential customers to find your website, either by directly searching for it or by searching keywords related to your business. While you may not be an SEO expert, you can still do a basic SEO audit of your website to check fundamental elements of SEO and verify that your site is optimized to draw traffic. Here are some basic SEO checks you should periodically conduct.
Ensure Only One Version of Your Website is Viewable
You can check, by doing a simple Google search, various possible versions of your small business website’s domain name to make sure that only one actually brings up your site. Check the standard variations such as http://yourdomain.com, http://www.yourdomain.com, https://yourdomain.com, and https://www.yourdomain.com. All except one should redirect to your actual, preferred domain name.
It’s commonly recommended practice to go with “https” rather than “http”. First, making your site SSL-enabled gives it a boost in search engine rankings. Second, it increases your website security and helps strengthen customer relationships by making your customers feel more secure doing business with you. If you don’t already have one, letsencrypt.org offers free SSL certificates.
Also, don’t forget to check very basic information. Do Google, Bing, and Yahoo searches, as well as checking directories such as Yelp, making sure that all listings of your business name, address, and phone number are correct.
Check Your Meta Tags and Meta Description
Next, check your meta tags, including the meta title tag, and meta description for each page of your website. The meta title tag should include the name of your business and two or three of your most important keywords. Any location-specific pages — for example, if you have separate pages on your site for more than one retail location — should also include the location information in the meta title tag.
Each page of your website should ideally have its own separate list of keywords. There will usually always be some overlap in keywords, but be sure to avoid simply repeating the exact same keywords for every page.
Look to see how much of your meta description actually shows up on search engine results pages (SERPs). Optimize the description by writing it so that all of your most important keywords appear in the visible meta description of your website.
You can use tools such as Google Analytics, barracuda.digital’s Panguin tool, or SEMRush to get an analysis of your site traffic, both organic and paid. Site traffic review tools will show the top keywords used in searches that led people to your website. Check to make sure that these match up well with your chosen keywords for your business. If not, you may want to re-examine how you’re presenting your business brand. You’ll also be able to see how you’re doing against your main competitors regarding whose website is getting the most organic traffic.
Other possible SEO audit operations include checking backlinks, and doing an online reputation or social media mention check.