How to Carry Out Website Optimization
Written by Eleonora Zolotaryova
16 December 2016
Over time many webmasters start noticing the reduced speed of pages download, lowered position in the search results and appearance of pages duplicates. All these factors have an adverse impact on the user experience while browsing the site and on conversion rates.
Some webmasters believe that the technical optimization is very costly. And this is partly true since the processing of design, creating a mobile version and the transition to new engine require significant financial investments.
But we are going to tell you about improvements, which require just the time of the site owner.
A must for all website owners
Negligent website owners believe that a site is made once and for all. But this is not so, and the inattention to the technical features of the resource leads to disastrous consequences.
Over time, both technical and moral components of any web resource are getting obsolete. It is necessary to maintain the site in working order regularly, follow the latest trends in web design, and update it at least every 4-5 years.
improves the user experience when searching for information;
accelerates the crawler’s job in analyzing the structure of the site;
allows search engines to rank the documents correctly;
guarantees a full indexation of resource pages.
Internal site audit
First, you need to check the accuracy and convenience of the site's structure. Programs like ScreamingFrog or Netpeak Spider will help. Just enter the site's domain, and the program will analyze its pages, for example:
Swipe a resource analysis on the following points:
1. All pages must be distributed into the thematic groups. Each group should be accessed quickly from the site menu.
2. There is a golden rule – any page of the site must be available in 3 clicks. Well, in 4. Although this is the well-known maximum, some resources are still similar to the quest RPG.
3. If the structure of the site is complicated, do not forget about the ‘bread crumbs.’ It is an additional navigation, which helps the client to understand where he is and how to easy pass to another section.
bread crumbs on 6pm.com
4. Do not forget about the search tool on the site.
5. Do not make Flash-navigation. Search engines will not be able to find links to sections of your site.
6. Use internal linking between pages.
Checking content optimization is a crucial stage. On this depends whether search engines could find the site for the keywords and how the site snippet will look like.
Here are the main points you have to check:
1. All or almost all texts on your website must be unique. Even if another resource copies your text, try to make search engines to index your text as quickly as possible, so the bigger the chance will be to become the primary source.
2. When optimizing texts, do not forget about tags. The main title should be enclosed in the H1 tag. Subtitles - is H2, H3, etc.
3. The usefulness of text plays an important role. If it’s not interesting for readers and they quickly close the page, that will influence badly the page rankings.
4. Do not abuse meaningless phrases in the text, which are only needed to use keywords. Search engines learned to detect this long ago.
5. That may sound obvious, but always check the text for errors before publishing.
How to easily carry out content audit
Proofreading tools are an easy way to help you see and fix potential problem areas in your writing.
For example, Hemingway App. It highlights common problems that can get in the way of clear writing: too long sentences, too many adverbs, too many instances of passive voice. You can see an explanation of each error type here. It will also suggest simple words for complex ones.
Another indispensable tool we use is Grammarly. It can check for contextual spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and style. It also includes Plagiarism checker that can compare your piece to online resources and let you know if there is any unoriginal content.
A technical audit includes measurement of the speed of pages loading, checking the site URLs, meta tags and titles, pages status, broken links, redirects, backlinks.
In our example, we use Serpstat, as its design is very intuitive and the price is quite fair. There are even different ways of how to use Serpstat for free.
We selected hm.com as the example and carried out an audit of 1,000 pages, including subdomains. Normally you have to set an adequate limit to cover all pages of your website.
After completing the audit, we get the summary about the general condition of the site. All errors are divided into different groups depending on their solutions priority. Unique SDO score indicates how well the domain is optimized.
You can get the full list of links to pages with all errors.
And easy download lists for further work.
Also, don’t forget to check backlinks. They are one of the most important sites ranking factors.
During the audit it is necessary to consider:
1. The number of incoming links.
2. The anchor list – it must be diverse.
3. Types of links – links without anchors or from images are also valuable.
4. Donors’ TrustRank – better if the links sources were sites that already have some positive weight on the web.
If you want to see your website at the top of SERP, you always have to keep a finger on the pulse. When the search engine algorithms updates, your site must match the requirements. You also need to be always up-to-date with the latest trends in web design and examine and correct errors on the site regularly.
These are the keys to the success and long-term operation of the site.