A website is much like an electronic baby (what a way to start an article, am I right)? By this, it can be considered a living thing on the internet that needs TLC and regular maintenanceto make sure it is in pristine condition to succeed. You cannot just write content, make money, from, say, adverts, and everything will fine and dandy. In actual fact, websites need to be regularly checked up on to make sure there are no ‘flaws’ in it that could be hindering the performance of it, particuarly in search engines.
For this reason, the tool that everyone should use to to help maintain their website is the free Google Webmaster Tool. This is by far the most useful tool you will find on the internet, for free. I guess a reason why this is the case is because Google wants to give every website owner the opportunity to improve their website for search engine rankings – at the end of the day, if everyone’s website improves, the whole browsing experience on Google improves.
Therefore, without further ado, here are two housekeeping activities you should perform on your website to make sure it is free of flaws and as Google friendly as possible.
#1 Fix 404 Erros
404 errors are the term for web pages on your site that cannot be found by Google. This usually happens if:
- You changed the URL of the website after Google indexes the first URL of a page.
- The web page has been deleted or taken down.
- There is a geniuine error to why the web page will not load the content.
Either way, Google Webmasters Tools allows you to view what crawl errors are on your website so you can look into fixing them, be it soft 404s or ‘Not Found’ errors. If you don’t do this, they can start to increase quite rapidly over time…
Although Google does not take into consideration 404 errors when determining the organic health and SEO of a website, having a lot of 404 errors will affect your web users’ experience on your site. This is because the liklihood is that, if you were performing good SEO, you would have internal links scattered in your content, linking to different internal pages. If these links go to 404 error pages, it will not help your website from having a web user visit such a page. Therefore, try and keep up to date (once a week roughly), with your 404 errors and address them as they come up.
#2 Analyse Your Search Analytics For Problems
It is difficult to put a value on the SEO of a website – some people seem to think that the Google Pagerank is a good way of doing this while others disagree with this. For me, I think the best way to determine the SEO of a website is to see the average position it gains on Google for all of it’s pages using Google Webmasters Tool. This can be done under ‘Seach Analytics’, which highlights the clicks gained from Google, what people searched for, countries, devices, position and CTR of the organic search results.
For this reason, stay up to date with your search analytics to see just exactly what the SEO is of your website day by day. I found this to be brilliant when it came to changing domain names, since the SEO effect of changing domain names affects SEO in the short term. It is also a good way to see, after the short term, whether changing domain names actually improved SEO or not.
A student in England studying a Masters in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created AskWillOnline.com back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as PoemAnalysis.com and RestoringMamods.com You can follow him @willGreeny.