Web Development and SEO: 5 Things to Check Before Your Site Goes Live

web developmentDeveloping websites is challenging, especially for business owners with no web development background. Rank Fuse’s web development team knows that this is a challenging task, especially when you throw SEO into the mix. Search engine optimization is critical for businesses, and it is even more important to a new business looking to outrank their competition in search engines.

Here are five things that you will want to check before you push your website live from our experts.

404 Errors

When users try to view a page on your website and get a 404 error, they can get frustrated. Before you go live with your website, you will want to eliminate 404 errors and set up a custom 404 page so that the visitor stays on your website. You can also track 404 errors to give yourself a chance to fix any of these errors quickly. Our team leverages several website monitoring solutions to catch and fix any 404 errors that may occur within a 30 minute window.

SSL Certificate

Security is important for Internet users. Get an SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer) to show that you are just as concerned about Internet security as those who are browsing your website. An SSL establishes an encrypted connection between someone’s browser and your server to prevent anyone from intercepting data being transferred. In addition to user experience, now, browsers are starting to flag websites that don’t have an SSL certificate as “not secure” and displaying this to users. Many web hosts even offer free SSL certificates, so it won’t even cost you anything to get one.

Content Errors

You don’t want people to come to your website and see a lot of errors or dummy text. Be sure you comb through the content and images on your website to make sure everything is correct and looks nice. Your content should be easy to read. All font should be easy to read, and you want a fair amount of white space.

Images should be uploaded at an appropriate size and optimized so that they don’t impact page load time. Be sure that your images have alt text to help search engines better determine when they should appear in searches. In addition to SEO best practices, alt-text assists screen readers for those users with visual impairments.

Finally, make sure any audio and video files are working and display nicely before pushing the “Publish” button.

Mobile Friendliness

Mobile traffic surpassed 50% in 2017, and it’s still on the rise in 2019. Since many users will be viewing your website through tablets and smartphones, it is essential that you have a website that is mobile-friendly. Gone are the days of using mobile websites separately. Instead, you need to make a website that is functional on both desktops and mobile devices. Google focuses on mobile-first indexing, which can help or hinder you depending on whether or not your website is mobile-friendly.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help you determine if your website is mobile-friendly.

SEO Plugin

Before officially launching your WordPress website, make sure that your SEO plugin is working properly. While there are a variety of different SEO plugins to choose from, at Rank Fuse, we often use Yoast SEO. Using an SEO Plugin, you can input meta information for your website seamlessly. This is important because meta information helps Google and other search engines better understand what your website is all about.

All of this information, including titles, tags, and meta descriptions, tell Google what to rank your website for, which leads to more people visiting your website. If your website isn’t ranking for the terms you intend or is ranking for the wrong keywords, then you are going to have a hard time getting the correct people to your website.

Additionally, SEO plugins can help novices quickly and easily add a sitemap to their website. Even though these plugins generally automatically generate a sitemap, it is important that you double-check to make sure that the sitemap has been created and is working properly before you set your website live.

If you are uncomfortable pushing your website live on your own, Rank Fuse’s web development team is here to assist you. Our developers are pros when it comes to combining development skills with SEO expertise to ensure our clients’ websites look and perform their very best from day one. To get started, contact us today at 913-703-7265.

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