3 Technical Hacks to Optimize your Website.

By Winnie Kuria

Wed Jan 30

The technical side of marketing can seem intimidating, but this is exactly why you should embrace it. By doing this you are ahead of the competition that refuses to embrace technology in marketing.

Apart from the use of keywords and consistently producing evergreen content, there are a few technical tips that you can practice to optimize your website on Google.

I promise you don’t need to learn how to code.

But, you do need to know what to look out for and the valuable tools you can use to optimize your website.

 

THE HACKS

 

1. GOOGLE SPIDERS

How does Google find your content? One way is through links to your website when referenced on another blog or on social media like Twitter

 

    XML Sitemap

Google finds the URLs on other blogs or on search engine results is by using XML Sitemap. If you have XML SiteMap enabled on your website, it takes your content and presents it in a format that is google spider friendly. If you are using WordPress you have an SEO tool called Yoast and in there you can enable XML sitemap to make sure Google is able to find your website.

Yoast also allows you to have control over which web pages appear on your sitemap. This allows you to tell Google which content is important to you, for example, your services page. This is ideal because it saves on the index “budget”, which essentially leaves more room for your most important content to be indexed by Google.

The XML Sitemap tool is not only great in making your site accessible to Google, but it is also invaluable for the Google search console.

Google search console is a free and insightful platform that gives you information about your website. Information like what keywords people are using to access your content, impressions, and click-through rate (CTR) and which links are using your site.

You, however, have to authenticate the site is yours. You do that by pasting a meta tag provided by Google search console on your website and you are authenticated!

When don’t you want your site to be indexed?…

On WordPress, it is very easy to keep your site from being indexed because all you do is tick a checkbox.

Most people do this when they are developing a new site and they want to avoid duplicate content which is two versions of your site competing on google search results.

 

 

 

 

NOTE : Most people forget to uncheck the box even after the new site is live, which means it continues to discourage Google from indexing their site.

Tools on Spiders

  • Yoast SEO
  • Seerobots – it is a chrome extension that shows if your site is           indexable
  • Screaming Frog – it shows you what pages have repeating title tags, pages without a meta description, pages showing error messages, pages that are redirecting and so much more.

 

2. CONTENT FORMAT

    <H1> Tag

On the web, very few people read content word for word. Most people scan through your content and pick the most important points. This is where the power of headings and subheadings comes to play.

Furthermore, this is how google spiders are able to tell the top level content on your page. The most important is to always have the title of your content in a h1 tag… Not a h2, not a h3, always a h1 tag.

You can check for this by opening the page source and look for the h1 tag looking like <h1>

 

    Canonical Tag

What is a canonical tag?! It is simply a URL that is a representation of the master content.

This is important because each unique piece of content has a specific URL, otherwise, if the content is duplicated, it is indexed under two different URLs which results in poor ranking on the search engine.

Specifying canonical tags to one URL helps avoid double indexing of the same content.

 

 Tools on Content formatting

  • Yoast SEO – it provides you with a snippet editor where you can create SEO optimized titles and meta descriptions.
  • Meta Tag – it is a very insightful tool where you paste in your URL and you get an idea of how it will look on different mediums like Google, Facebook Twitter and more. You get a preview of what your readers will be seeing.
  • Facebook debugger – once you share your content, it is cached on Facebook and when you change something like an image it does not reflect the change. This helps in debugging and allows your changes to be loaded on Facebook.

 

3. PAGE SPEED

For you to understand just how serious loading speed is on the web, here is a hilarious realization from a survey. It was reported that 4% of people threw their phone while using slow mobile sites.

As funny as that may be, the consequence is serious. 25% of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load which translates to 7% reduction in conversion rate with every one-second delay.

In short, slow sites are bad for business.

One easy way to speed up your site is by optimizing your images. Images occupy most visual space on a website and are the most downloaded. Optimizing your images often yields the largest bytes savings and performance improvements on your website.

Check out these 10 Must Know Tips on image optimization by Shopify.

For more insights on the effect of images on your website check out Page weight . It is a platform that gives you these insights just by pasting your website URL

 

 

Tools on Page Speed

  • Google PageSpeed insights – it tests your website speed and gives recommendations on how to improve across all devices.
  • Pingdom – it allows you to test your website speed from different locations
  • HTTPS – this is a secure version of HTTP; the protocol by which data is sent between a browser and your website. If not on HTTPS your site is marked insecure by Google which will have a negative impact your ranking and speed.
  • Strattic – this is yet to be launched, but, it will allow you to have a static, server less version of your WordPress site without any change on how you manage it which allows for faster loading speed because everything is pre-rendered hence you do not have to query the database.

 

Make sure to practice these 3 hacks and with the help of the many options of tools we have listed out for you, you can definitely improve your web visitor’s experience and increase your conversion rates on the web.

This blog was inspired by Miriam Schwab from her presentation during Content Israel conference.

Check out her interview with us on Youtube.