Our SEO Checklist for Web Design

By Greg O'Kane, Production Director

When we design or redesign a website, search engine performance is right up there on the list of important stuff alongside usability. After all, what’s the point of building a beautiful brand new online home for yourself if it’s invisible to Google?

Whether you’re building out your new site internally or engaging a firm to do it for you, earn some quick SEO wins with this checklist of things North Street implements in our website projects on behalf of our clients.

HTTPS – HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website. Search rankings are beginning to factor site security into SEO. If your site doesn’t default to “HTTPS” with a little padlock showing up near the URL bar, there’s work to be done. If you believe you have already, but it’s not working properly, check Why No Padlock? to discover any potential issues.

Site Responsiveness – A responsive site is one that adapts its layout to look good and function well whether you’re visiting from a phone, tablet or desktop computer — something that Google now prioritizes on mobile search. So it’s important to ask: Is the design and content of your site equally responsive across devices? And, does Google’s automated web crawler agree with you? Test your site here — and be sure to check both the Mobile and Desktop results.

Google Tools – To position your new site for SEO success, Google’s own set of tools are invaluable:

  • Google Analytics – Offered both as a free or premium service, Google Analytics measures website, app, digital and offline data to gain customer insights.
  • Google Tag Manager – By simplifying tag management, this Google tool allows marketers and webmasters to deploy reliable website tags all in one place.
  • Google Search Console – A free tool that helps site owners optimize the visibility of their website by monitoring Google Search results data.

Yoast – If you have one of the 75 million websites powered by WordPress, then installing the Yoast SEO plugin is a no-brainer. Yoast enables you to easily review and edit your site titles, metadata, snippets and keywords. It also generates sitemaps, which are an important way of letting the search engines know where to find all of the pages on your site.

Microdata/Schema MarkupMicrodata is an important part of a local search engine optimization strategy. On-page information plays a major role in today’s SEO landscape and microdata aids the search engine crawl and indexing process. Schema markup as a whole has become key for all types of SEO strategies (local, regional, national, international). By definition, these elements consist of code that is placed on your website to help search engines return more informative results for users by telling what the data means, not just what it says. It’s like waving a flag to Google and saying “Hey! This little piece of content here is an event that starts at 8:00PM at the roller rink.” Or, “This block of words is our office location. Here’s the address and a phone number!”

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)AMPs are a Google and Twitter project designed to enhance the user’s mobile experience by creating faster mobile pages. These pages are coded in a stripped down version of HTML with the sole purpose of improving readability and speed. Google prioritizes them on mobile search for timely news-type articles, so incorporating them is vital to SEO if news is your bread-and-butter.

Implement the tips we’ve shared here and you’ll be well on your way to getting customer eyeballs on your site. Some are as easy as installing and configuring a plugin or code snippet, others are a little more complex and require getting your hands dirty under the hood. Do what you can. The important thing is that you’re doing something.

About north street

We engineer the thoughtful transformation of great organizations. Our proven process helps us understand what your competitors are doing right — and wrong. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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