So you’ve worked with a talented designer to produce the digital showcase of your dreams – great colors, images and really clever writing. Now that your site is live and you’re sharing it with the world, is it vital? Just like people, websites have vital signs and just like people you often can’t tell how healthy someone is just by looking at them!
In this post, we’re going to discuss how to “check the vitals” for the website you rely on to bring customers to your business – healthy site > MORE CUSTOMERS!
If you’re expecting your website investment to help you grow your business, it will need to do two things: 1) Attract new visitors, and 2) Inspire visitors to take action by purchasing your product, becoming a client, signing up for your mailing list or another action that helps your organization grow. Inspiring your visitors to take action will be the subject of a later post. The “vital signs” discussed here will impact your site’s search engine ranking compared to your competitors.
The following list can be used as a checklist to examine the “health” of your site with regards to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Notice that while Google and other search engines can only evaluate your site using a formula, each item listed below is a legitimate concern for anyone trying to find your services and thus, a formula based on these criteria should be an accurate measure of the quality of your website!
Vital Signs (quality score)
- Have other sites with high quality and related content linked to your site?
- Is your hidden page information (meta data) complete and accurately describing the visible content of your page?
- Are the various elements of your page properly identified to help the search agent understand the message?
- Does your page load quickly?
- Is your site registered with the major search agents such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc?
- Is your site information (Name, Address, Phone, etc) indexed consistently with local search indexes (Google My Business, Yelp, etc)?
- Does your site provide an .xml site map to make it easy for search engine bots to navigate?
- Does your site have SSL encryption (https://…)?
In addition to your website attracting new visitors and inspiring them to take action, your site must be secure and free of malicious code. Another measure of your site’s well being is how well protected it is from hacking. Hacked sites will not perform as designed, they will often load pages slower and depending on the type of hack can result in lower site quality scores by search engines or be blacklisted altogether. Protecting your site from malicious activity is your insurance policy against your site being hijacked for purposes that will disrupt your business and jeopardize the security of your visitors.
Vital Signs (security)
Current Code Updates
- Is all code up to date (WordPress core, themes, plugins)?
Site Hardening Software
- Do you have security measures in place to prevent common hacker strategies?
- Do you have automated backups storing backup versions apart from your host’s server?
If you’re curious to have a free evaluation of these vital signs done for your website, feel free to contact us.