SEO Website AuditSearch engine optimization must be considered as you design the website and add content and imagery. Behind the scenes in the website is the nuts and bolts of the business success. When search engines visit the site and determine your value they are looking for a clean code and great content.
This will be the factor that gets your site listed and ultimately helps to get you found by your target audience.  Listed below are a list of common mistakes that many site owners make when developing the site.  Look for these and take steps to receive a higher SEO rank.

  • Choosing a template or design which is not mobile friendly:

Before building the site, choose a custom responsive design or choose a responsive template which will offer your visitors a mobile browsing experience. This is the item which is most important and therefore we are listing this first on the list.

  • Adding meta language to the site:

If the site is built using a template, you’ll find a great meta tag plug-in which can be used. If the site is a custom site, most programmers are familiar with adding meta language to each page which consists of the title, keywords and description for all specific page links. As you add content to the blog you can also add new meta language with each post, building your site to one of authority.

  • Add a site map to the bottom of each page:

This is sometimes referred to as “breadcrumbs.” This helps the search engine robots understand where each link lies and what is beneath. A site map will add ability to easily follow the map to each specific page content.

  • The advantages of adding backlinks:

Another method which increases user friendliness for your site is called “backlinking.” Backlinking is accomplished by linking a targeted keyword in the page content to another page in the site.  This offers the viewer even more information about the subject.

  • Use jQuery method rather than “Flash” for animation:

For quite a while now we have been recommending clients who love animation and moving images to stay away from Macromedia Flash. Flash animation cannot be seen on any I-Pads, I-Phones (Apple Products). Since Apple products are chosen by a larger and larger group of viewers it is important that the website functions properly for them. The safe rule of thumb is to choose jQuery for this purpose. jQuery can be seen on all browsers and is a safer choice for changing images, etc.

  • Page content should be kept to a minimum for best SEO results:

More and more of the top sites are using less text and more bulleted lists to save space and to provide a more content rich environment. It is recommended that you should use about 200 words for the home page and 300 to 350 words on other pages for best results. Creating a new page is the most user-friendly way to offer more information, not stuffing many paragraphs on a single page. There is nothing user-friendly about scrolling down the page to read text. Information displayed in a shorter page is viewed twice as much as a vertical page which is too long and too wordy.

  • Broken links on a website will lower your SEO rank:

I’m sure all of you at one time or the other have clicked on a link going nowhere “page not found.” This is not professional and causes those searching your site unwanted stress. Check the links on each and every page and make sure they work properly.  Many companies have been brought down in rank never knowing about broken website links.  Check and re-check to be safe.
Stay tuned (next time) for part two.  SEO Report Card.  Auditing your site for common errors and mistakes.
Jean Holland-Rose
Chief Creative Officer and SEO Professional
Inside Design Orlando