An important everyday task for many businesses is to update and manage a website. You will want to do everything possible to boost your search engine rankings. 

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is regarded by some as highly specialised, but it can be boiled down to a number of key principles. This checklist explains those principles. See the ThinkBusiness.ie guide to SEO for reference.

Speed

The faster your website pages load, the better rankings they will get on search engines. You can increase speed by using a fast server, optimising images, reducing redirects and compressing files where possible.

Content

Search engines trawl the Web for content which is relevant to the terms that are being searched for. Never underestimate the importance of creating new site content, be it on a blog, through news stories or refreshing old page content.

Links

Building link authority is something that will boost your website’s ranking, but comes with an element of risk. The best kind of links are those posted by a trusted website, while spammy, paid-for links run the risk of penalisation by search engines, leading to a lower ranking.

Analytics

This is vital for you to track who is using your website, how long they are on it, what they are browsing for, what they are searching for, etc. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for businesses that’s free to use.

 Webmaster tools

These tools, such as Google Webmaster Tools, allow you to check your website’s health for potential problems, understand how visitors are finding your site, and make optimisations so Google has better visibility of your site.

Hosting

Your website’s hosting provider will make your site accessible on the internet through its server. If the server is slow, has a lot of downtimes, connection failures or hosts spammers, your website will suffer in the SEO rankings.

Mobile

Ensure your website is optimised for mobile. A growing number of internet users are accessing the Web through smartphones. If your business’s website is not mobile-friendly, you might lose traffic.

URL

Using content management systems can sometimes lead to ‘messy’ URLs. Be sure to clean up your URLs, by including keywords that explain what the page is about, to get a better SEO ranking.

 Navigation

If your site navigation isn’t clean and concise, your ranking will suffer. Visitors will also be dissuaded from using it again.

Redirects

If your website or a website page needs to be moved to a different URL, you should ensure it uses 301 redirects to maintain its search engine ranking. Google Webmaster Tools is a good way in which to do this.