Industry experts agree that your “on-page web site optimization” (aka on-page SEO) contributes up to 30% of the value that is ascribed to getting your web pages listed on page one of the search engine results page (SERP). Page one is the ultimate goal for every business owner I speak to in a day. So I thought I would break down “on-page optimization” to it’s basic parts. Today I’ll cover how visible your web site is to search engines and common errors to watch out for.
On-page optimization refers to everything on your site that you can control and therefore having a properly functioning site signals to the search engines that you have invested the right amount of time and resources to show you are a site that deserves a visitor. You should have an approximate idea of how many pages are contained on your site. To confirm that Google is seeing these pages just open Google.com and type: site:yourwebsiteurl.com and hit enter. The pages that Google associates with your domain name will be listed # of “results found” and a total number of pages found can be seen in the top left area of the page below the url bar. If this number differs from what you expected, then you may have visibility issues.
Visibility Issues: (robot.txt, permanent redirects, connecting problems and malware)
Robot.txt: Does your robot.txt file allow search engines to index all of your pages? Sometimes you don’t want Google to index all of your site, so you use the robot.txt file to tell search engines what you do not want indexed. When used properly, this is a positive attribute on your site, however when used incorrectly it can bring indexing of your site to an end…so be careful. If you are asking, what is a robot.txt file then you should probably send me a message for some assistance.
Permanent Redirects: When you are permanently moving your site to a new URL or permanently renaming pages for some reason, you should use 301 redirects to indicate that the content has moved and to ensure Google does not punish you for having “page not found” messages on the pages on your site. Matt Cutts of Google delivers the background and details on redirects below. Bottom line, 301 redirects can improve user experience, so Google likes them when used to help users find permanently moved pages.
Connectivity Errors: If your server is slow or out of service, if you mis-configure your DNS or your firewall you can end up inadvertently blocking the search engines, so your website cannot be displayed. This is a big issue and must be corrected as soon as it is discovered.
Malware: If your site has become infected, it is usually because a weakness in your security allowed a hacker to take control your site. Hackers do this for a variety of reasons such as phishing for your visitors credit card info or to attack other sites anonymously. You can use the Google Search Console to determine if your site has been attacked or most often your will see dramatic changes in your search traffic and warnings will come up on your pages in the SERP’s. However you discover the infection, you need to instigate a process to remove the malware from your site and get the warnings removed. Get help if you need it. Do not delay.
I hope this helps you to take a fresh look at your sites visibility. If you have any questions, please use the comment feature below and I will respond asap. Thanks Robert Dunford