Is your website ready for SEO? Using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques to improve your website’s performance in search engine results pages (SERPs) can greatly increase your website’s organic traffic. However, using these techniques incorrectly can potentially harm your search rankings if they are not compatible with the search engines you want to rank on or if you fail to meet some of their technical requirements, such as being mobile responsive, loading quickly and having an SSL certificate.
Below are the five main ways that you can ensure your website is technically ready for SEO and will be able to rank well in both Google and Bing SERPs.
Mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in 2015
Mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.8 per cent of global website traffic. This means that your website needs to be mobile responsive, otherwise you’re losing a big chunk of traffic. But don’t just throw a mobile version of your site up on its own subdomain. The user experience will be lacking and there are technical things you can do (see below) to make sure it is as SEO-friendly as possible too.
Ready for SEO – Mobile Responsive
A website that is mobile responsive, also called a mobile-friendly website, will display correctly on all devices. In other words, if you designed your website using HTML and CSS, chances are it is mobile responsive already. Be sure to test your site out on a variety of different smartphones and tablets before deciding whether or not you need to make any adjustments. If your site doesn’t work well on mobiles you can end up frustrating your visitors as well as seriously harming your Google ranking. There are also many services that can test your site for mobile responsiveness.
With the massive worldwide uptake of smartphones, online traffic on mobile devices overtook that on desktops in June 2015. When it comes to online searches, according to a report from Hitwise, nearly 60 per cent of all online searches are now carried out on a mobile device, with some sectors (Food and Beverage) reaching 72 per cent.
SSL and getting Ready for SEO
Search engines are in a constant battle against spammers, scammers and hackers. One of their most effective weapons is SSL, which encrypts your website and helps prevent spammy bots from accessing and manipulating your site’s content. This makes it more difficult to access your site through search engines, so if you don’t have an SSL set up on your site yet, you could be missing out on SEO traffic. Google is determined to be a trusted Search Engine and is massively reducing the visibility in search results of any site that is not carrying an SSL
Google introduced a new ranking factor they call speed index. It’s an update that looks at how fast your website loads, as well as how quickly users can get from page-to-page on your site. Using a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights is helpful here – it tells you what elements of your website could load faster and helps with recommendations on what actions you might take to improve your score.