Are you planning on launching a new website for your home service business? If you’ve never done this before then there are lots of little things that you need to consider in order to maximize your site’s potential. One of the most important things you need to think about is search engine optimization.
Below are eight tips, in no particular order, that will ensure that your website is ready for the world and to help get your company noticed.
1. Install Analytics
While this list isn’t in any order, Google Analytics is something that should be close to the top of your to-do list. Analytics allows you to track how many people visit your website, how they got there, what they did on your site and many other important metrics that your business will benefit from knowing.
Google Analytics is most SEO’s tool of choice as it provides a huge amount of customization and ties in with other tools. Make sure that you have the code installed in a template file that is found on every page, like the footer.php or header.php so that you get accurate tracking.
2. Check for Errors
Before you launch your website, it is a good idea to ensure that it works the way you want it to. That means making sure that there are no broken links, missing titles, and meta descriptions, bad redirections, pages lacking canonical tags or broken links. Use Google Webmaster and follow this handy guide to help you diagnose and fix site errors.
The easiest way to do this is by running a crawl of your site with software that will check the site’s accessibility and bring up any errors. Make sure that you pay close attention to any errors that pop up and get them fixed before you launch the site – they could be the difference between success and failure after all!
3. Test Usability
What’s the point in launching a website if nobody can use it? Often you will have a very biased view here, so it is a good idea to get a third party in to check that everything works the way it should. They should also be looking at how easy the site is to navigate, you may find lots of issues popping up here but not all of them are essential and often they are based on personal preferences.
The most important thing is to ensure that your website works well across a range of different devices. Nowadays so many people access the internet via phones and tablets that you simply cannot afford to have a website that doesn’t work well on these devices.
4. Go Social
Having a strong social presence doesn’t just give you a platform to shout about what you’re doing, but it can help to drastically increase the number of people visiting your website. This will also make you a more familiar and trusted name on an already trusted platform, helping to increase your brand awareness which should lead to more site engagement. There is also the potential for your company to start ranking for your profile which can drastically increase visibility and therefore visits.
5. Make a Sitemap
If you are not that tech savvy, then it can be very easy to forget about “little” things such as sitemaps. Put this on your ‘to-do’ list and make sure it gets done. This will help to speed up the indexation of your new website and make it a lot easier for search engines to crawl your site. You can set up your sitemap on Google Webmaster – learn how with this handy guide.
Businesses that branch out into a lot of services and products can take advantage of this to ensure that their visitors can find everything they need as quickly as possible. Always remember, speed is key when it comes to keeping people on your site.
6. Create a List of Press, Bloggers and Industry Contacts
As a new site, you need to be thinking about creating good, relevant links to your website in order to increase your authority. One of the best ways of doing this is to find relevant press contacts, niche bloggers and contacts within the industry who can naturally talk about your website and provide you with quality backlinks.
7. Do Keyword Research
Naturally, you want your company’s website to start showing up in Google, but do you know what keywords you are trying to rank for? Carrying out keyword research using Google AdWords Keyword Planner you are able to find out the important terms you should be focusing on, how often they are being used and even the amount of competition surrounding them. This will let you know how to focus your content in order to get the most out of your website and allows you to conduct competitor analysis keyword research too.
8. Have a Blog and Use it
Blogging is a great way of generating fresh new content with company updates and creating material that people will want to link back to. This is an effective approach for getting visitors to come back to your website and can help you to sell your products and services. In addition to this, blogs are a way to increase your longtail keywords, helping you to rank for more search queries and be recognized as being more authoritative by Google.