For this TechTuesday article we’ll focus on the technical aspects of SEO related to site structure, link format and page layout. By applying these tips you will set your site up to increase both traffic and awareness in search engines.
One of the most important rules is to make your site for humans, not a search engine bot.
SEO is an ongoing commitment and all new content much be checked as it is added. If you don’t want to worry about this, remember that Site Management clients benefit from a monthly SEO health check of new content and site setup.
SEO Setup Checklist
- Add your keyword to your site title tag. Try and make the title meaningful and relevant. Also add your keyword to your site meta description and again, make it compelling
- Ensure every page has only one H1 tag and ensure that it sits above any H2 / H3 tags
- Use a reasonable page length – aim for over 100 words. Use plain english and write for your audience, not a search engine bot
- Add descriptive ALT tags and filenames to all images
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly – use Google’s mobile test tool
- Install Google Analytics and create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console
- If you have a WordPress site you can get analytics in your dashboard by installing Google Analytics for WordPress plugin
- Install an SEO helper plugin. Our favourite is Yoast SEO
- Check Google’s Search Console, Screaming Frog and Browseo to find crawl, duplicate content, missing titles and other errors
- Create a robots.txt file and submit it to Google Search Console
Last time out we explained what HTTPS is and what advantages it brings. This week we’ll show you how you can get a free SSL certificate and install it on your web site.
Aren’t SSL certificates expensive?
They can be, as they often come with financial guarantees and you can be sure the largest sites on the internet spend many thousands of pounds on security and the certificate is just one part of this. If you are reading this the chances are you don’t need this level of cover and a more basic certificate will do.We love LetsEncrypt as a great free solution – there really is no reason not to run SSL on your site nowadays. Of course, you can choose to purchase an SSL certificate from a provider, but we’ll be focusing on doing it with LetsEncrypt in this article.
From their website:
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).We give people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites, for free, in the most user-friendly way we can. We do this because we want to create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web.
How to install through your hosting provider
Hopefully, you’ve chosen one of the many hosting providers that have chosen to support LetsEncrypt, as this makes it trivial to set up and automatically renew your SSL certificates. The full list of providers can be found here. Log in to your hosting control panel and look for the setting in and simply follow the instructions there – a few clicks later and you’ll be all set.
If there is an option to “enforce” SSL then select this to automatically redirect site visitors to the secure version of your website.