On the 5th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: TEST YOUR CONTACT FORMS AND EMAIL LINKS
Customer service is marketing. If your website is going to be your most powerful marketing tool, it has to deliver a good customer experience. That means the portals through which existing and potential customers can contact you online have to work—all the time, every time.
You will never know what your customers may be experiencing unless you test your “contact us” capabilities yourself. It’s easy to do:
- Create a testing schedule—at least once per month
- Assign someone to complete the form on the Contact Us page of your website
- Before entering data, clear your browser history
- Fill in all fields and hit the button to submit the form
- Follow up with the person/email account to which form submissions are sent to make sure it was received
Of course, a working Contact Us form is useless if no one is checking the email where form submissions land. Make sure that an experienced customer service representative is checking this email multiple times each day and responding to and/or forwarding customer messages appropriately.
SonicSEO.com tests contact forms as part of our inclusive site maintenance. Contact us to learn more.
On the 4th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: TEST YOUR WEBSITE’S LOADING SPEED
Internet viewers have no patience for slow-loading websites, and search engines know it. To boost ranking potential (because it boosts user experience), your website has a need for speed. But you don’t know if your loading speed needs improving until you test it—both your desktop and mobile version.
There are a number of speed tests you can use, but our favorites include:
—this is Google’s speed test, which shows your mobile and desktop speed test results in side-by-side tabs
GTMetrix.com—this site generates a report with all the major data points about your website’s loading time, like page speed score and fully loaded time in seconds
Google’s PageSpeed Insights have a number of clickable results that provide guidelines and tips for how to fix issues dragging down your page speed. Many loading speed problems can be remedied by optimizing and/or compressing images, updating caching parameters and compressing back-end code that controls how your website renders.
If your website loading speeds are poor, contact SonicSEO.com for a website tune-up.
On the 3rd day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: OPTIMIZE YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE
Google likes to keep Internet searchers on their properties, which includes Google maps and the snippets of top-ranking results immediately below the map, like these results for “private security Albuquerque”
To show up in these snippets, you have to provide Google with your contact information rather than make Google search for it…and optimizing your Google My Business profile is pretty easy. Assuming you already have a Google My Business profile, here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure all fields (required and optional) are filled in—leave nothing blank
- When possible, in relevant fields, incorporate keyword terms that you want to be found for and your target geographic location—be as specific as possible without being restrictive
If you do not already have a Google My Business profile (or have no idea if you do but want one), contact SonicSEO.com.
On the 2nd day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: MAKE YOUR SITE LOCAL SEARCH-FRIENDLY
Mobile devices have GPS integration. Because mobile devices and their users can be located on a map, their mobile searches should be able to find the business and services they need close by. That’s why “near me” searches are skyrocketing.
Make sure your business’ website shows up for “near me” searches relevant to your products/services by:
- Updating and optimizing your My Business (a Google property) profile
- Including your contact information—including street address—as indexable text on your website
- Creating content targeted to local searches and searchers
For help “localizing” your website, contact the Internet marketing experts at SonicSEO.com.
On the 1st day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: EVALUATE YOUR WEBSITE’S INDEXABILITY
The “indexability” of your website refers to:
How many pages of your site have been indexed by search engine bots compared to the total number of pages you have posted
The absence of restrictions that prevent search engine bots from indexing your website’s pages
To evaluate your website’s indexability:
- Find out how many pages of your website have been indexed using site: command.
In the Google navigation bar type site:yourdomain (do not put a space between the colon and your domain name and include the .com, .net or whatever)
- Compare how many pages your site: command query shows compared to your sitemap.
In the Google navigation bar type your domain name (including .com, .net or whatever)/sitemap.xml
The sitemap shows how many pages you think are on your website. The number should be close to what the site: command query showed. If the number of pages from site: command is low compared to your sitemap, there may be something restricting the bot’s permission to crawl your site. If the site: command count is high, you may have spammy pages, duplicate pages and/or image being indexed as pages.
You can see if there are restrictions keeping the search engine bot from indexing your website.
In the Google navigation bar type your domain name (including .com, .net or whatever)/robots.txt
This query will populate a list of pages that are disallowed, meaning the search engine cannot index them. “Disallows” may happen by accident or because someone has tampered with your website. (Please note: there are other reasons why a site or page may not be indexed. Some can be fixed; some have to do with the search engine’s algorithm and prioritization scheme, over which no website developer or SEO expert has any control.)
If your evaluation indicates any issue with the way search engines are able to navigate and index your website, contact us to schedule a consultation or for technical assistance.
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