The 2016 Non-Techie’s Complete Website Checklist

checklistThis is a comprehensive, non-technical website checklist for any business or organisation website covering the most important aspects of web design, visitor conversion, usability and SEO. 

You can either expand each section individually or use the links below to expand the entire checklist on one page.

Each item on the checklist includes a plain-English explanation with links to further resources showing you how to implement these features on your own website.

If you would like to download the entire checklist as a PDF, please use the request form at the bottom of the page. 

Expand the entire Checklist | Collapse the entire Checklist

Domain Name  

Domain-Names

Your domain name is the unique name that identifies your website on the Internet.








Do you own the .com and local version of your domain name?

If you are, for example, a UK-based company targeting visitors who are mostly based in the UK, it’s a great idea to use a co.uk domain name. This will help your visitors understand where you’re based and improve your search ranking for UK visitors searching on Google.

Owning the .com version of your domain name is also advisable should you decide to internationalise your business and to prevent anyone else from registering the same domain name.

 

Is the domain name registered in your own name or in the name of your business?
Make sure that your domain name is registered in your own name or the name of your business and not the name of your web developer or domain registrar. This will help you to protect your business and ensure that nobody else can take possession of your domain name.

 

Is the domain name unique to your business?

If you have the same domain name as another website this could cause confusion to your prospective customers and make it harder for people to find your website.

Useful links:
12 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name

 

Is the domain name easily searchable, easy to spell and easy to remember?
googleMost people will enter your domain name into Google when they want to find your website rather than using the address bar of their browser. Make sure that, when they do, they will be able to find your website easily. Visitors who already know your name are those most likely to buy!

 

Is your domain name registered through a reputable and reliable domain registrar?
If your domain is not registered through a trusted and reliable registrar you increase the risk of losing your domain or being hit by punitive charges when it comes time to renew or transfer your domain name.

Useful links:
Choosing a Domain Name Registrar

Web Hosting

hostingA web host provides a place for your website to live on the internet. If you have used a DIY template service to build your site  (e.g. Shopify, SquareSpace etc.) they will also be providing your web hosting.

 

 

 

 

Is your website hosted with a reputable and reliable hosting company?
It is important that your website is always available and loads quickly. A good web hosting company will also provide fast and efficient technical support should your website ever go down.

Useful links:
How to choose the right web host for your business

 

Is your web hosting account in your own name or the name of your business?
Many web designers will offer to host your website on their own server. While this may be slightly more convenient for them, your business will be exposed to more risk should your relationship with the web designer ever turn sour. Make sure that your web hosting account is in your own name or the name of your business.

Useful links:
Why Your Should Never Let Your Web Designer Host Your Website

Web Design

web-designingGood web design is crucial if you  want to create a positive impression to your online visitors. This section lists the web design issues to consider when launching a site.

 

 

 

Has your site been professionally designed?

Most online visitors can quickly spot a website that has not been professionally designed. A self-built or template-based website is less likely to convey a professional image of your business and may reduce the number of sales or enquiries.

Useful links:
Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Web Designer

 

Are your images of a professional quality and relevant to your business?

Online visitors like to see high-quality images that represent your business, services and products clearly. Using generic stock photography is likely to reduce the ability of your website to convert online visitors into customers.

 

Is the text displayed using a large and clear font of a contrasting colour to the page background?

If online visitors struggle to read the text on your website they are significantly more likely to leave. Make sure that your text is at least 10 points and in a clear and contrasting colour to the page background.

Useful links:
The All-Inclusive Guide to Web Typography Best Practices

Navigation

 

menuSite navigation is comprised of the menus and links that help visitors find their way around your website.

 

 

 

 

Do your menu labels use conventional terms? e.g. About Us, Contact Us etc.

 

Online visitors don’t read your website menus in the same way as a restaurant menu. Instead, they think about where they want to go and then scan the menu looking for the option that is the closest match to whatever they had in their head.  If you use unconventional language for the links in your menus, visitors may not realise that you have a page that is relevant to their needs.

 

Do your navigation links make it clear to the visitor what they will see on the resulting page?
Online visitors don’t like surprises. Before they click on a link they have an idea in their head of what they are hoping to see on that page. Make sure that your navigation links make it obvious what type of content will be shown after they click. Then, when they click on the link, make it clear that they have landed on the page they were looking for.

 

Is your “Contact Us” link the right-most item in the menu?

 

It’s great when online visitors want to view your contact details. It’s a good sign that they may be taking a step towards making a purchase. ‘Contact Us’ links are conventionally placed to the right-most side of the main navigation menu. Stick with that convention and your visitors will be even more likely to visit the page.

Landing Pages

landing-pageA landing page is any page through which visitors might enter your site. For example, if someone searches for “bedside tables” and you have a category page that is relevant for this term, Google is far more likely to bring them in via this category page than the home page of your site.

As your landing pages are the first experience that most visitors will have of your website, it is important that the experience they have is just as positive as if they had entered the site via your home page.

 

Are you landing pages understandable within 5 seconds?

Online visitors are impatient and fickle and your website doesn’t exist in a silo.  When a visitor has come to your website via a search engine, they are just a short click away from clicking the back button and returning to the search results page if they can’t understand what your website is about within the first 5 seconds.

Most online visitors will make their decision to stay or leave within the first 3-5 seconds of arriving on your site. They need to get to the key information without having to scroll down or click on any links. Most of the content in the footer area of your web pages will never be read.

Useful links:
Don’t lose users for eternity in the first 5 seconds: How to survive the blink test

 

Do your landing pages display a clear strap-line that sums up what your business is about?

strap lineThe first thing an online visitor needs to understand is what your business is all about. Use a concise and clear strap-line just below your logo to help them achieve this goal.

Useful links:
The Anatomy of a Great Strapline: How to Write a Tagline that Sells

 

Do your landing pages display a clear and prominent heading that tells the visitor what the page is about?

Once they have understood what your website is all about, they next want to understand what the page is about. If you have a page that describes a “Sports massage service based in London”, make sure that you have a prominent heading that makes it obvious that the page is all about that service.

Try to avoid combining multiple topics all on the same page unless the page links out to other pages that specifically describe that topic in more detail.

 

Do your landing pages give a clear indication of why visitors should choose your business over any other business?

Your business does not exist in a vacuum. Online visitors are trying to quickly establish why they would choose your business over another. Help them to understand what makes your business unique using language that describes these features as a benefit to them.

Useful links:
What a Unique Selling Proposition Really Means & Why Your Business MUST Have One

 

Do your landing pages clearly indicate that your business is trustworthy and reputable?

Unless your business is a well-known and trusted brand name, online visitors will need to quickly establish that your company is trustworthy and reputable. Including reviews, testimonials and links to your social media profiles in a prominent position on every landing page will have a significant impact on your conversion rate.

Useful links:
How Trust Signals Can Double Your Conversions

 

Do your landing pages use text sparingly or with a simple list of bullet points?

The first rule of good web design is “Don’t Make Me Think!”. Online visitors don’t like to read large blocks of text. They prefer to scan the page or see a simple list of bullet points that highlight the unique benefits of your products and services in simple, plain English.

Useful links:
How to Review Your Own Website Copy
The 5 Best Copy and Conversion Posts You Should Be Reading

 

Do your landing page show contact details prominently in the header of every page?

contactIncluding your contact details in a prominent position at the top of every page makes it easier for visitors who prefer to speak to someone before placing an order. It also acts as a trust signal and adds to your reputation.

 

Do your landing pages include a clear Call to Action that leads the visitor to the page/s they are most likely to want to see next?

CTAIt’s a good idea to analyse the pages that online visitors most want to view after they have arrived on a landing page and then provide a clear Call to Action button that takes them directly to that page. If you make it easy for visitors to navigate your site they are more likely to stay. It may also improve your Google ranking.

Useful links:
Why Your Call To Action Copy Isn’t Converting

 

Does the wording of your Calls to Action reflect the desired action that the visitor will want to take?

cta2The wording of your Call to Action links should reflect the way that the online visitor is thinking about what they most want to do next on the site. Try to make your Calls to Action complete the sentence, “I want to…” For example, “[I want to] View a List of Services”.

 

Website Copy

copyCopy is the name for the words on your website’s pages. They may describe your products and services or tell visitors about your company.

Does the copy on your website describe the benefits of your products and services to your visitors?

Every page on your website should explain how you provide a benefit to the visitor. Even your “About Us” page should describe your business in a way that reveals a tangible benefit to your customers.

Useful links:
How to Write Website Copy Bursting with Benefits

 

Does the copy on your website address the concerns that your visitors might have prior to making a purchase?

barriersThink of the most likely reasons that an online visitor might be reluctant to place an order and then address each one of those concerns in the website copy or using a benefits bar in a prominent position on each landing page.

Useful links:
Break down barriers to keep people on your website pages

 

Does your contact page include your full address and telephone number?

Online visitors like to see a physical address and a land-line telephone number to feel reassured that the business is trustworthy and reputable. Make sure that your Contact page includes all of the relevant information that they will want to see.

 

Does your contact page include an enquiry form?

Having an enquiry form on your Contact page  is a convenient way for online visitors to send you a message. It is also a great way to track the visitors that take a positive action on your website. You can then create a Goal in Google Analytics to learn more about the type of visitors who complete the form, where they came from and what they looked at on your site before completing the form.

 

 

Is any of the content on your website duplicated? Can it be found on any other URL either on your site or another site?
If the pages on your website do not have at least 200 words of content that is unique to that page, you may be risking a duplicate-content penalty from Google. You will also make it harder for search engines to know which page on your site is the most relevant for any given topic.

Useful links:
What is Duplicate Content?

 

E-Commerce

add-to-cart-iconAn eCommerce site is one that includes an online shop and typically allows online visitors to add products to a basket and then complete the payment online.

 

 

 

 

 

Category pages

 

A category page is any page on an eCommerce site that lists a range of products in a specific category or sub-category. e.g. Bedside tables, Ladies Denim Jackets etc.

Do the links to your category pages use the same terms that visitors will use to search for those products?

All menu links to the category pages on your site should describe the category in the same way that the online visitor is most likely to search for that product or service on Google. This will help visitors navigate their way around your site easily and also help Google to understand that your category page is relevant for that search.

 

Do your category pages include text that introduces the range of products shown on the page?

When you show a list of products on a category page it is also a good idea to include a couple of lines of text to introduce the range of products and explain why your range of products in this category are different or better than your competitors. It is also a good idea to include the category name in the text to help Google understand that the page is relevant for that term.

 

Do your category pages show the prices of the products listed on the page?

When online visitors can see the price of a product clearly, they are more likely to click through to the product page and buy the product. Make sure that the prices are displayed clearly on, or every close to, the product thumbnail images.

 

Do your category pages include product thumbnails that link through to the relevant product pages?

If you show a grid of product thumbnail images on the category pages of your website, make sure that the images are also clickable links to the product page for that item.

 

Do your category pages allow visitors to filter the range of products to suit their needs?

Online visitors don’t like having to spend time scrolling through a list of products that are not relevant to their needs. Add a product filter to your category pages so that visitors can filter the page by the features most relevant to that product. e.g. size, brand, style etc.

 

Product pages

productProduct pages are the pages on an eCommerce website that typically display the details of the product, multiple images of the product and an “add to cart” button.

 

 

 

Do your product pages have a clear heading that describes the product in the same way that visitors will search for that product?

Many eCommerce retailers will give their products unique names. For example a clothing retailer may name a suede maxi skirt as “Penelope”.  While this may add some personality to your products, it does little to help online visitors and search engines  understand whether the product is relevant to their needs.

Give your products descriptive names and place the unique product name at the end of the product heading. e.g. “Suede Maxi Skirt – Penelope”. This will help visitors and search engines understand that the product is relevant to someone looking for a suede maxi skirt.

 

Do your product pages include a unique description of the product shown?

If your eCommerce website uses product descriptions that have been supplied by the manufacturer, it is likely that the same description will appear on several other websites selling the same product. This may lead to a duplicate content penalty from Google and also make it harder for online visitors to distinguish your website from others.

Try to create your own, unique product descriptions and add your own helpful review of the product to every product page.

 

Do your product pages indicate whether or not the item is in stock?

When an eCommerce doesn’t make it clear whether or not a product is in stock, visitors may be reluctant to place an order. Show this information clearly and close to the product’s price information.

 

Do your product pages show your delivery charges?

Few things frustrate online visitors more than having to go through the entire checkout process just to find out how much the delivery charge will be. Display this information close to the price on the product page or at least give a rough approximation of the actual delivery cost.

 

Do your product pages indicate when the customer is likely to receive the item?

When visitors have to click through to a separate page to find out how long a product will take to arrive, they are much less likely to buy that product. Show this information clearly on every product page and as close as possible to the product’s price.

 

Do your product pages clearly indicate your returns policy?

If an online visitor is uncertain as to the suitability of a product, having a clearly stated returns policy on every product page will make them far more likely to buy the product.

 

Is the “Add to Basket” button prominently shown in a contrasting colour?

Research has shown that when the “Add to basket” button is displayed in a prominent and contrasting colour from the rest of the page content, more visitors are likely to click on it.

 

Are the available payment methods clearly shown on the product page?

If online visitors can see that their preferred payment method is available they are more likely to buy the product. Make sure that all available payment methods are clearly shown on every landing page, category page and product page of your website.

 

Is all of the key information shown clearly on the product page without having to scroll or click?

If you make sure that all of the key information such as price, delivery cost, delivery time, stock availability and returns policy are shown  on the product page without forcing visitors to scroll down or click, they are more likely to buy the product.

 

Checkout Page

Is the visitor able to checkout without creating an account?

Research has shown that with every additional field you add to your checkout forms, the visitor is less like to make a purchase. Try to keep form fields to a minimum and allow the user to checkout without having to create an account.

 

Does the checkout offer an option to “Continue Shopping”?

If your checkout page has an option to “Continue shopping or Complete purchase?” you are likely to increase the average number of transactions made by each online visitor.

 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

googleSEO is the process of making your website as attractive as possible to search engines and search engine users.

By applying SEO to your website you will improve your visibility on search engines such as Google and increase the number of visitors and sales from search engine visitors. Search Engine traffic typically comprises more than 50% of all online traffic from first-time visitors. 

Applying SEO in a competitive industry takes time and knowledge but has the ability transform an online business and drive large numbers of qualified visitors to your site without paying for advertising. Learn more about SEO Training by attending my private course.

 

Keyword Research

Keyword Research is the process of selecting the best search terms for your website to rank for on search engines such as Google.

 

Have you chosen a target keyword for each landing page on the site?
When you create landing pages for your website it is a good idea to consider the search terms that visitors are most likely to use when looking for information on that topic.  Once chosen, you will want to make your pages look as relevant as possible for your target keywords. See the section on Relevancy below to learn how to make your web pages look relevant to Google

 

Does your target keyword have a sufficient number of people searching for it?

There is little point in trying to rank on Google for a search term that nobody (or very few people) are using. Use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool  to make sure that your target keywords have sufficient search volume before you add them to your web pages.

Useful links:
How to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool for SEO
Google’s Keyword Planner Tool 

 

Does your site have enough Domain/Page Authority to rank on page one of Google for the target keyword?

There is little point trying to rank on Google for a terms such as “Fashion” or “Homeware” if the websites already ranking for those terms are more authoritative than your site. Check the authority of your landing pages using the free Moz toolbar and compare them to your competitors’ before you choose which keywords to target.

Useful links:
What is Domain Authority?
Free Moz Toolbar

 

Does the target keyword suggest that the visitor will take the desired action on your site?
If you own a website selling women’s clothing, there may be little point trying to rank on Google for a term such as “Fashion”. There are many reasons why someone might search for this keyword and it may not indicate an intention to purchase.

Someone searching for “Women’s vintage jackets” is indicating a much stronger buying intent and revealing that they have already considered the type of product that they might want to buy.

As a general rule, the longer the search term, the more likely the visitor is to make a purchase. These are what we call, “long-tail keywords”.

Useful links:
Keyword Intent – The Secret to Attracting the Right Traffic

 

Relevancy

One of the first things that any search engine needs to do is to return pages that are relevant to the user’s search query. Making sure that your pages look as relevant as possible to a search engine for the keywords that your prospective customers are using is vital to driving organic search traffic from Google.

 

Do your page titles begin with the target keyword and contain no other keywords besides the name of your business/brand?

The page title is one of the most important elements of a web page. It shows search engines that the page is relevant to a user’s search query. It also appears as the heading when the page appears in the search results.
Make sure that your page title includes the target keyword at the beginning of the title followed by the name of your business or brand. Cluttering your page titles with several different keywords only serves to confuse search engines and visitors as to the topic of the page. Keep your page titles succinct and specific to one topic.

 

Does the URL of the page include your target keyword?

The URL is the unique address of the page on your website. It is the location of the page that appears after your domain name. Search engines will look at the words in the URL to determine whether or not that page has any relevance to the search user’s query. Be sure to include your target keyword in the page URL.

 

Does the meta description of the page include the target keyword and up to 174 characters of unique information about the page content?

The Meta Description is a text description of the page that usually appears in the search results below the main heading for that page.  It helps search users determine whether the page is relevant to their needs. Be sure to include your target keyword in the Meta Description and that your descriptions are unique for every page on your site.

Although the Meta Description is not used by search engines to determine your site’s ranking or relevance. It does play a vital role in persuading search users to click on your listings and visit your site.

 

Does the H1 heading of the page include your target keyword?

When a heading is added to a web page it can be marked as an H1 heading. This indicates to a search engine that this is the most important heading on the page. Search engines such as Google look at the H1 heading to determine the  topic of the page. Make sure that your H1 heading includes the keywords you are targeting for that page. Each page should have only one H1 heading.

 

Does the body of the page include the target keyword at least once?

Search engines such as Google look at the body content of a page to determine its relevance to the search user’s query. Make sure that your target keywords and its semantic variations are included at least once in the body of the page. Be careful not to overdo this by “Keyword Stuffing” or repeating keywords in an unnatural way. Always make sure that your web content appeals to human visitors first.

 

Do the ALT tags of your images include your target keyword?

If you have an image on your web page, make sure that the ALT tag of at least one image includes the main keyword you are targeting for that page. ALT tags help search engines to understand the subject of the image and the relevance of the page for the search user’s query.

 

Links

hyperlink blueLinks are the life-blood of SEO. They are still the main signal that Google uses to determine the trust and authority of a website. Gaining a large number of links from other high-quality, trusted websites will be the main factor that determines whether your website is ranking on page 1 or page 20 for your target keywords.

 

 

 

Do you have a sufficient number of external links pointing to your site?
If your website does not have links from other high-quality sites you may find it extremely difficult to gain traffic from search engines such as Google for any competitive keywords. You will need an effective strategy to produce high-quality, shareable content on your site that other sites will want to link to.

Useful links:
How to Get Links and Social Shares 

 

Have your links been manipulated or purchased in a way that may cause a Google penalty?

Your website’s ranking on Google will climb dramatically when you have earned links to your website from other high-quality, trusted sites. If the links to your site have been manipulated or purchased, Google may decide to apply a penalty to your website. This could prevent your website from ranking even for the name of your own business.

Useful links:
What is an Unnatural Link? An in-depth Look at the Google Quality Guidelines

 

Do you have a strategy for gaining more quality links to your site?
To gain high-quality links from other trusted websites you will need to have a strategy for producing content that other sites or blogs will want to link to and share. You will therefore need an effective strategy for researching and producing shareable content and then promoting that content to influencers.

 

Blogging

A Blog is the area on your website where you can produce content that will be relevant and useful to your online visitors.

 

 

 

 

Do you have a blog on the same domain name as your website?

One of the key benefits of having a blog is to get your blog posts linked to from other sites so that your website ranks higher on Google. If your blog is on a different domain from your main website most of the authority earned from those links will not be able to flow through to the landing pages of your main website. Always make sure that your blog and your website are on the same domain name.

 

Does the blog include content that people will want to share? i.e. non-promotional content

Many businesses will use their blog as a means of promoting their products and services. When online visitors get a sense that your blog posts are of a commercial nature they are far less likely to share or link to your posts. Make sure that your blog posts are non-promotional and aim to entertain, inform or educate your online visitors.

Useful links:
10 Tips to Write Blog Posts That Get Shared and Increase Traffic

 

Do you blog posts include prominent social share buttons at the top and bottom of each post?

buttonsYour blog content is much more likely to be shared if you make it easy for online visitors to share it. Make sure that you have prominent social share buttons at the top and bottom of every blog post for all of the major social networks.

 

Are your blog titles appealing to your target market?

The titles of your blog posts are crucial in attracting online visitors. Make sure that your blog titles are appealing, relevant and address a concern or benefit that will make your visitors want to read the rest of the post.

 

Are your blog posts relevant to your target market?
It is vital that you have a good understanding of your target market and that your blog posts are relevant to their interests.

 

Do you have a strategy for promoting your blog content on Social Media?

Simply posting content to your blog is unlikely to be enough to get the content shared on Social Media. You will need an effective strategy for promoting your content to influencers interested in your topic or industry.

Useful links:
13 Experts on How To Promote Content Before Hitting Publish

 

Social Media

social-media-optimizationSocial Media networks such as Facebook and Twitter have become one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach their target market and promote the content in their blog.

Social Media profiles are also viewed by prospective customers who want to see that a business has a good online reputation before making a purchase.

 

 

 

Have you created profile pages on all of the relevant social networks for your business?

Create a profile page using your business name or brand on every major social media website. Even if you are not ready to add content to the page it will prevent someone else creating a profile in your name

Useful links:
Free Name Checker Tool

 

Does your site include links to your social media profiles on every page?

Include links to your social media profile pages in the template of every page of your site. Be sure to use icons in the original colour of the social network to help visitors recognise the links.

 

Do your social media posts link back to pages on your own website?

The primary aim of your social media profiles is to drive traffic back to your website. Try to include posts that link back to engaging and relevant blog content  on your own website.

 

Technical

techIt is important to make sure that your website is in good technical shape to ensure that online visitors and search engines are able to navigate and access your content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are any of the pages on your site returning an error? e.g. 404 page not found

Make sure that there are no broken links on your site that may result in a 404 “Page not found” error. Broken pages give a bad impression to online visitors and may prevent search engines from indexing your website.

Useful links:
How to Find Broken Links Using Screaming Frog

 

 

Do your pages load in less than 5 seconds on a mobile device?

There are an increasing number of online visitors using mobile devices (phones, tablets and watches) to access your website. If your pages do not load quickly on a mobile connection visitors are likely to leave your site and search engines such as Google will rank your site lower in the search results.

Useful links:
Google Page Speed Insights Tool

 

Is your website responsive and optimised for mobile devices?

A responsive website is one that adapts itself to the screen size of all devices. If your web pages do not provide a good experience for mobile users, visitors will be less likely to stay on your site and search engines such as Google will rank your site lower in the search results.

Useful links:
Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

 

Does your website have an XML sitemap?

An XML sitemap is a special page on your website that is used by search engines to find the content on your site. Make sure that your site has an XML sitemap in the correct format and location.

Useful links:
XML Sitemaps: Guidelines on Their Use
XML Sitemap Generator

 

Does your website have a robots.txt file that prevents search engines from indexing pages unnecessarily?

A robots.txt file is a special page on your website that is used by search engines such as Google to understand which pages on your site they should or shouldn’t look at. By blocking a search engine from crawling pages that you do not need to appear in the search results you increase the possibility that the other pages on your site will be indexed. Make sure that your site has a robots.txt file in the correct format and location and configured correctly for the content on your site.

Useful links:
What is Robots.txt?

 

Are any of your pages being unnecessarily redirected to another page?

Sometimes, it’s necessary to remove or change a URL on your website. If that URL has links from any other page (either on your site or another site) or the page is receiving traffic from search engines, you may need to redirect the old URL to another URL on your site.

Each time a page is redirected it loses some of the authority that search engines pass through the links. Make sure that none of your pages are being unnecessarily redirected by updating your links with the correct URL.

Useful links:
Redirections – Best Practices

 

Have you configured your site correctly in Google Analytics?

checklist chartGoogle Analytics is a free and powerful tool provided by Google to help you understand where your online visitors are coming from and how they behave when they are on your site. Make sure that you have configured your site correctly in Google Analytics.

Useful links:
Get started with Analytics

 

Have your created Goals in Google Analytics?

It is especially important to understand the behaviour of visitors who take a desirable action on your website. By creating Goals in Google Analytics you can track visitors who make an enquiry, sign up to your newsletter, buy a product etc.

Useful links:
A Beginner’s Guide To Setting Goals In Google Analytics

 

Have you configured your site correctly in Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that helps you understand how your website is performing in Google’s search engine. It also includes various features that allow your to configure your site to ensure that Google indexes your site correctly.

If Google discovers any technical issues when it attempts to crawl your site, Search Console is the only method that Google has to communicate these issues to you, the site’s owner. Make sure that your site is correctly configured in Google Search Console and that the account is held in your own name.

Useful links:
A Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console

 

Have your submitted your Site Map in Google Search Console?

An XML sitemap is a special page on your website that is used by search engines to find the content on your site. Once you have created a sitemap you can then submit it to Google within Google Search Console. Google will also report whether their software is having any technical issues when crawling your sitemap.

Useful links:
Submit a sitemap to Google Search Console

 

Have you created a profile on Google My Business?

If you operate a local business it is a good idea to get your business listed so that it appears in Google’s local search and map results.  A Google My Business listing also allows your customers to leave reviews for your business that will appear with your listing on Google’s search results page.

Useful links:
The Small Business Guide to Google My Business

 

 

WordPress

WordPress_blue_logo.svg25% of all websites are now built using WordPress. WordPress is a fantastic platform for building a site but do remember to check the following settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you made sure that your site is being regularly backed up?

Use a free backup plugin to keep a copy of your WordPress site and database. That way, if anything goes wrong, you can bring your site back to life within minutes.

Useful links:
5 Simple Steps to Backup Your WordPress Site

 

Have you made sure that your WordPress site, themes and plugins are all up to date?

When you own a WordPress site it is your responsibility to keep it updated. This ensures that your site is secure and that you are using the latest version of the software. Look out for the notification messages to ensure that your WordPress software, your themes and any plugins are all kept up to date on a regular basis.

Useful links:
A Guide to Updating WordPress, Plugins and Themes

 

Have you installed the Yoast SEO Plugin?

Yoast SEO is a free plugin that will help you make sure that your pages look relevant to Google for your target keywords.

Useful links:

 

Have you set-up a Page Caching plugin to make your pages load faster?

Page Caching keeps a copy of the latest version of your pages so that they load faster for online visitors. Install a free Page Caching plugin to your WordPress site.

Useful links:
Yoast SEO Plugin



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