Ahh, the New Year — A clean slate, a fresh start and a chance to start over! Should I be more organized? Should I actually put away 10 percent of my paycheck? Should I read a book every month?
We aren’t here to tell you what your New Year’s resolution should be – that’s up to you. But we do want to provide a few quick wins to help ensure your website is error free, so you can start the new year off on the right foot!
This first quick win is a reminder to change the copyright date in your footer! There, you’re done until 2019.
Fill out the forms that live on your website. How was the experience? Was your team member notified of the form completion? Make sure everything is running smoothly before funneling traffic to the form landing page.
While you’re going through your site, test out all of your links using a tool like Dead Link Checker. Broken links equal broken trust.
Page Titles and Meta Description
Go to Google and search your domain like this: site:example.com. The search result should be ALL of your website’s pages. How do your page titles look? Consistent? How are your meta descriptions? If you were your target or current customer, would you click on your company’s link?
Does your company story need to be updated? What about employee bios?
Grab your phone and explore your company’s site. Are the interior pages optimized for mobile?
Let’s Get Technical
Check out this site and enter your website domain like this:
What do you see?
If you see one 200 result, and 301à200’s for the rest, collect $100 and pass go. And by that we mean you may proceed to the next section. If not, keep on reading!
To a search engine, all of the above URLs are different – yes, they may have the same content, but they don’t all live in the same place. Only one of them should be accessible (200). If they are all accessible, which one is the real homepage? If you have several URLs, you have duplicate content – which is a big no-no for search engine rankings.
Work with your tech team to identify which of the above URLs should be primary, and then set up a 301 redirect from the remaining URLs to your preferred URL.
If identical content appears at more than one web address, you have duplicate content. This is a problem: the two versions will compete with each other for search engine rankings, and instead of all inbound links pointing to one piece of content, they will be spread amongst several. This means search engines won’t know which version is more relevant to rank, and other sites won’t know which version to link to.
The result? The content doesn’t achieve the search visibility or inbound traffic it otherwise would.
Fixing this issue comes down to specifying which of the duplicates is the correct one. Talk with your web team about canonicalization, 301 redirects and noindex for search engines.
Need help prioritizing this list? Or, not sure where to start? We can help – don’t hesitate to contact us.