Guest post by Gabriel Miller
As a website design agency owner here in Buffalo, I constantly come across websites of local businesses that are not ranking or doing well in Google because of simple errors that a ton of business owners are making here in WNY.
Many of these website issues are easily fixable and could be patched or improved in a matter of hours. Many business owners do not understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) nor do they understand the implications website problems can have on how your business performs online.
It is understandable most people would miss this as many business owners specialize in offering their product or service, and not in digital marketing or website design. I think it is imperative that someone bring attention to these issues to help many local websites improve their Google ranking here in Buffalo. It is Google’s sandbox after all, and we are just the children playing it…we need to follow Google’s rules to rank when it comes to our website!
In this blog post I want to discuss easy changes you can make to improve your Google ranking as well as your online digital presence.
1. Mobile Responsive Website
The biggest mistake I see so many people make is that their website is not optimized for smartphones or mobile devices. This is a huge no-no! Google’s own Matt Cutts has made many statements about the importance of mobile optimization in ranking your website in Google.
Google cares a lot about user experience signals in 2020 (how positive a user’s experience is on your website), and it is vital that you make sure your website is dressed up on every device type people use to visit your website. With more and more search traffic being on smartphones, now is the time to make sure your website automatically resizes to fit the screen width.
If users have to scroll in just to navigate your website…well they won’t! They’ll bounce off the page, and go to a competitor! Google keeps track how many users stay on your page versus leave, and if a large percentage of users are bouncing off of your website Google will penalize you and move you down in the search results.
2. HTTPS/SSL Certificate
Many users are now taught to look for the padlock when they go to a website in the upper left. You need to make sure your website is secure! Not having a HTTPS/SSL certificate can hurt your SEO…plus make users wary of your legitimacy. You need to make sure all traffic on your website is encrypted!
Luckily, HTTPS/SSL certificates are very affordable – and in many cases free! Entry level hosting plans with companies like HostGator and GoDaddy now include free HTTPS/SSL certificates for your website. You can also use free tools like ZeroSSL to make your own certificate, or have your website developer implement one. I see so many fantastic looking websites that have stellar design, yet no SSL certificate implementation. I truly don’t understand why. It’s quick to implement and important for SEO and site security in 2020. If you don’t have one, get one!
3. Social Media Icons
Social media is an important part of any business marketing strategy in 2020 and beyond. You need to make sure you are in front of your customers on all fronts; you need to be visible on all digital channels. You should be capturing website visitors in some capacity as leads and making sure you continue to remarket to them.
Social media icons are a quick and easy way to gain more followers on social media platforms at no additional cost, just by simply having them on your website. Anyone who does not have these implemented on their website is missing out – and I genuinely do not understand why you would not have these somewhere on your site.
4. Have An SEO Plugin If You Are Running WordPress
With over 35% of websites on the internet using WordPress as a backbone, you need to make sure you are utilizing the best SEO practices available for the CMS. Having a good SEO plugin can truly take the heavy lifting out of your website and help you rank much more easily.
Yoast SEO is one of the best free WordPress SEO plugins, and it truly makes on-page SEO optimization a sinche. Simply install the plugin, follow the initial configuration steps, and boom! Your on page SEO is a breeze! The plugin allows you to easily optimize each page by setting a focus keyword you want to rank for. They also have a built-in checklist that walks you through properly optimizing every page to its maximum potential.
5. Use WordPress
To borrow a point from number 4 on this list, you need to be using WordPress for your website. It’s 2020, and there’s a reason WordPress is the king of website backend platform choices. WordPress has so much power and functionality, and takes the heavy lifting out of website design and maintenance.
Want to make edits to your website? No problem, just use the click and drag editor in your WordPress dashboard! At my agency Presto Website Design, we design all of our client websites using WordPress so they can go in and take care of any future changes they would like to make to their websites. Almost all WordPress themes lead to your website automatically being mobile responsive, which checks off number 1 from our list.
With hundreds of thousands of plugins to extend the functionality of your website, thousands of free tutorials on websites like YouTube, and more communities online then we can count…well let’s just say WordPress is the best option for building a website in 2020 and the years to come.
This post was written by Gabriel Miller, Founder & President of Presto Website Design. Learn more about his business and find his via his information below:
Phone: (716) 902-3214 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
See My Portfolio: https://prestowebdesignbuffalo.com/portfolio
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