When partnering with an online marketing agency, it is important to have your goals laid out so that your program can be a success. Plan out what you want to achieve so that you can brainstorm with your online marketing team strategies on how to get there. There are a few things that your business can be doing prior, so that the process is not delayed. All too often marketers see these items occur that distract from program progress and ultimate goals. By fixing up these things, you are making your online marketing agency’s job so much easier and saving them valuable time that they can be using to make your business a thriving success!
- Load Time
Slow and steady wins the race? Nope! Not when it comes to your website’s load time and page speed. Load time is the amount of time it takes content to fully be displayed on a page. Google takes into account the page speed for websites when ranking pages. When there is a slower load time, users have no patience and will abandon the website thus a negative user experience signal to the search engines. PageSpeed Insights from Google Developers is a free test that will score your site on speed, experience, and even gives suggestions of items to work on! Here are some common things to look for to help minimize load time:
- Minimize Redirects
- Optimize Website Code
- Set Expiration Date for Browser Caching
- Optimize Images
In today’s day and age, most individuals are surfing the web using a smart phone or tablet when they are on the go. In fact, more than 50% of Google’s searches happen on mobile devices! That being said, it is extremely important for your company’s website to be mobile-friendly. Users are expecting to have a seamless searching experience across all platforms of technology, whether they are browsing on their desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet. Their business with you depends on it! Accommodate all of your users by upgrading to a responsive website design. Google’s update, “Mobilegeddon”, gives businesses with responsive, mobile-friendly websites an advantage over those without. In an even more recent update from Google, changes to the mobile-friendly algorithm are helping to boost search rankings from mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results more than previous updates. Wondering if your website is responsive to all devices? Try this Mobile-Friendly Test from Google Developers.
- Clean Up Broken Links
Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share! Broken links are links on your website that point to pages that no longer exist. These create a very frustrating experience for your users and search engines. When someone comes to your website, they are expecting to find data and information that is easily accessible and valuable. There is nothing more frustrating when you as a customer, are expecting useful content and end up with a 404 Page Not Found error instead. Google also knows that broken links make for a negative visitor experience, and could penalize your business’s search ranking accordingly. Find the broken links on your site with tools like Google Search Console, Xenu and Screaming Frog and properly redirect them to the most relevant page.
- Don’t Buy Shady Links
Shady links, also known as link schemes, may seem like a great idea…until Google penalizes you for being spammy. Google considers link schemes to be low quality content and a way to fool the search engine algorithms to get a higher search ranking. If your business practices this method, problems down the road are inevitable, and your online marketing team will have to spend time fixing them. Once penalized, it’s really hard to get back in Google’s good graces. So much time and investment is needed for Google to even consider giving forgiveness. Take the proper steps to eliminate bad backlinks and avoid having to dig your business out of a shady link hole!
- Don’t Have Duplicate Content (Especially E-Commerce)
Duplicate content in general is a big “No No” in the online marketing world, but especially for e-commerce websites. Be sure that product pages on your website are not just copying and pasting the manufacturer’s product information. Give them a little something extra, and tailor the content to highlight special features or offers from your business! When pages look “cookie cutter” across the board, it will give the appearance that large sections of your site are being duplicated, which in turn, can damage your search visibility. By making sure that you are creating unique product descriptions, calls to actions, and calling out product specific characteristics or materials, it will make optimizing your website a much more efficient and streamlined process with your online marketing team.
Online marketing agencies want to make sure that our time serving your business is used in the most effective way. Time is precious and by looking for these items right off the bat, your business will be saving time and money when partnering with an online marketing team!