I have new clients approach me to look at their website that’s been setup by another website developer, that isn’t performing well, I have a few basic, but essential SEO practices that I check over to see where their website needs improvement.
As someone passionate about creating websites with the technical SEO setup to a basic minimum standard, it’s frustrating to discover that crucial elements have been missed even when the client was promised an SEO friendly website from their website designer. Here’s a breakdown of the fundamental backend essentials SEO practices that every developer should implement for a website and what I look for:
Meta Descriptions & Title Tags: I like to use a plugin like RankMath to easily fine-tune titles, descriptions, and permalinks. Crafting compelling meta descriptions and titles is crucial as this is the first point of contact visitors have with your business, in search results. You need to think of this as a little advertisement for your business and be catchy, and even salesy to grab the attention of the customer and get them to click through to your website. Descriptions need to be around 150 characters long and titles are around 50 characters. You can’t copy and paste the same for these across all your pages, each title and description needs to be relevant to your page content.
Media Optimisation: Images play a vital role in the look, as well as the search engine results, if you set them up correctly. You must reduce the size of the image with a site like tinypng.com for faster loading. Properly naming images and including correct Alt tags is crucial for search rankings and accessibility. The alt tag can be read by screen readers for the visually impaired and also crawled by search engines to affect your ranking, so make sure it is appropriately tagged. Similarly, host videos on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo to avoid slowing down your site as the large video files uploaded on your website can slow things down considerably and cause you to lose customers.
Heading Tags: All the headings and tags need to be coded for search engines to crawl the website better and know what to read (relevant information) and what is not so important (lower content). There should only be one H1 per page, which is the main title that’s relative to the content on that page. If there is more than one H1, search engines don’t know which one to read and can ignore the whole page.
Good Copy: Engaging and informative copy is vital. Conduct keyword research and structure your content accordingly, balancing readability with informative content.
E-commerce and Blog Setup: Ensure shop and blog pages are setup correctly with categories and tags for easier navigation by visitors and better indexing by search engines.
User Experience & CTAs: Streamlined user experience and clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs) guide visitors through the site, leading to better conversions. You don’t want them lost and scrolling to find where they need to be.
Genuine Backlinks: Backlinks from credible and relevant sites are valuable. However, authenticity matters; quality over quantity is key. It’s like keeping good friends in real life, you don’t want to be associated with negative, badly setup websites.
Backend Essentials: Configuring plugins like Analytics, Search Console, Security, and Backup Plugins is essential. Often, these plugins are installed but not set up correctly, leaving the website severely lacking in security and SEO.
Bookmark this guide, and next time you’re in the backend of your website, look at a few of the things I’ve mentioned for a quick check on your website’s SEO essentials.
SEO is an ongoing process that demands staying current with evolving trends. Continuously updating and refining these elements ensures your website remains competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Have a few questions regarding your SEO needs? Get in touch.