As the economy and social distancing guidelines remain shaky despites the latest eases to nationwide lockdowns, many business owners are wondering what they can do while they wait for COVID-19 to be over. We don’t know when or how a complete reopening will occur, and it may be another year before anything goes back to normal. So, the best thing business owners can do right now is take a look at their websites and see how they can optimize their SEO.
Having a high Google search ranking will help businesses beyond just right now. Harry Sanders, the founder of SEO dedicated agency StudioHawk, is teaching entrepreneurs and business owners how to optimize their SEO through his newly launched Hawk Academy. The academy is a digital learning platform intended to teach students everything Sanders has learned about SEO and digital marketing in his over nine years in the industry. He shared with us his top recommendations for quick SEO wins any business owner can capture while gearing up for post-COVID times.
- Organize your website’s title tags.
One of the first places to start is with title tags, which many simply overlook. Say that your website has four main pages: Home, About, Testimonials, and Contact. Each of these pages will show up on Google Search, and where they are ranked has an impact on your overall website’s SEO. You can determine if these need to be updated or re-organized by the meta description under the title tag in the Google search results.
“It’s great if you can get viewers to your site, but you miss out on some serious traffic if your site’s title tags aren’t optimized. This almost always plummets your website’s clickthrough rate (CTR). To organize efficiently, first Google your own website to see your title tags,” Sanders recommends. “Search through all of the Google Search results, and make sure to change the title tags and meta descriptions of the pages that show up later on Google (not just the first or second page). I’ve seen this improve websites’ CTR quickly, and with more quality traffic countless times,” advised Sanders.
He also sees this as a pertinent problem on some larger Shopify sites that have a lot of pages because of their number of products, so if that’s your business, invest a few hours in investigating the search results.
2. Fix broken internal links.
Broken links on your website aren’t only reputation knockers for you and annoyances for website viewers; they’re detrimental to your site’s SEO. So, make sure all broken internal links are rectified. According to Sanders, there are two ways you can do this. The first is by doing a site audit through your SEMrush account, which will show you which links are broken.
The second is to utilize a free tool called “Broken Link Checker” which is a software that can scan all of your links. Sanders advises to use both and check your links manually from time to time, too.
3. Optimize images.
Finally, make sure your site’s images are optimized. However, this doesn’t mean improving image quality or using larger image sizes. Quite the contrary. “Few people know this, but 53 percent of mobile visits are abandoned if a website takes longer than three seconds to load,” shared Sanders. One of the most major deterrents to website speed is oversized images. To determine how long your site takes to load for a viewer, Use Page Speed Insights, which can tell you if the images on your site are contributing to the problem.
If it is the images, you can easily optimize them using tinypng.com, which compresses .png and .jpg files without necessarily tampering with the quality of the images. Sure, HD images have a time and place — but if they’re slowing down your site’s loading speed and deterring 53 percent of your mobile traffic, it isn’t worth it. You may need to shrink all images if necessary, but the speed will also help your CTR!
To learn more tips about how to optimize your SEO, stay tuned for Hawk Academy at hawkacademy.co, or join Sanders for his LinkedIn “Tea Time” where he shares his best resources for SEO learners.