The start of a new year is typically when we, as marketers, go through our website and do a quick checkup to test our website health. We’re trying to ensure that it still performs its crucial function, funneling organic traffic onto the site.
For marketers, organic traffic serves a few essential functions. First, it brings warm leads onto a website. These people were actively searching for a topic that you have covered in a post or are an expert in.
For another thing, organic traffic is free. You do not get organic traffic through Google advertising or a well-placed Facebook ad. Organic traffic comes from your ranking in web searches.
That’s why you need a healthy website.
Why is website health essential in 2022?
Aside from attracting that organic traffic, the health of your website serves another critical purpose as well.
The website is often one of the first touchpoints a client or potential client makes with your business. That means your website is making the first impression for your business.
If your website is out of date or it takes too long to load, that client will find another website.
Don’t lose business because you failed to take the time to care for your website properly.
How do I keep my website healthy?
This leads to the big question. What do you do to keep your website healthy?
One of the first things you have to do is take the time to give your website a checkup. The beginning of the year is always a good time to evaluate the health of your site. You should also do this in the middle of the year too, usually around summertime.
Below are some of the red flags you should watch out for.
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
The idea for this article came from a headline I read recently about keyword cannibalization. It’s such a jarring phrase, but it’s an important topic.
Keyword cannibalization is when you use the exact keywords for several different articles on your website. When you use the same keywords repeatedly, your content starts competing with itself in search engine rankings.
When your content competes against itself, it usually knocks all of your content down in the rankings.
One of the easiest ways to avoid keyword cannibalization is to use different but similar search terms for your posts. By using similar phrases instead of the exact same phrases, your articles can rank in multiple search queries.
Not only does that improve the health of your website, but it adds to the opportunity for organic traffic. Now, instead of covering just one search term, you’re covering several.
Speed is Key
No one likes slow load times for websites, and search engines are no different. In fact, website loading time is one of the factors search engine algorithms take into account when they rank websites.
Make sure that your website loads quickly and without any issues. The faster it moves, the higher score a search engine is going to give your website.
If you want to test the speed of your website, there are several free tools out there, including Google’s Page Speed Insights (here).
Google and all of the other search engines want new and fresh content. They don’t want to provide the searcher with information that’s out of date. That’s why you need to update your content regularly.
By offering updated content, you’re letting the site visitor and the search engines know that you’ve taken the time to ensure your information is accurate and fresh.
Fix Broken Links
Speaking of updated content, check your links while you’re updating. Search engines hate broken links. In other words, links that lead to inactive web pages. Broken links show that the information provided by a website is wrong, whether that means outdated or inaccurate.
Insufficient data will hurt your website’s search engine rankings, so fix those broken links.
Use Social Media
Aside from reaching your audience, social media serves another purpose; it helps the health of your website. Search engines rank websites higher when the website has a steady flow of traffic.
Use your social media accounts to drive visitors to your website. That traffic will help your website rank higher in search engine rankings which helps the overall health of your website.
If your website is not mobile-friendly by now, I can guarantee you’re losing out on customers. In 2018, Statista reported that more than 50 percent of people worldwide used a mobile device to access the internet. That number continues to rise.
Mobile is where the customers are, so if your website is not mobile-friendly, you’re not just hurting your bottom line, but you’re also harming the health of your website.
If you need tips on making your website mobile-friendly, check out this previous post here.
Search engines only want to recommend sites that best serve the search engine user. That’s why they don’t direct people to unsecured websites or websites that might contain malware.
If you want to rank higher in search engine searches, make sure your website is secure.
If you’re not sure how to make your website secure, talk to your IT department. If you don’t have an IT department, check with your web provider. Companies like WordPress offer SSL encryption on a website for an extra fee.
In 2022, the health of your website will have a direct effect on the health of your business. If you fail to keep your website healthy, I can guarantee that you’re losing out on business.
Written by Erika Towne