Often, it’s the little details that matters. Ever since Uber became a thing and I’ve linked my credit card to my Uber account, I’ve stopped paying serious attention to the money I spent on transportation. I mean, I mostly only make small trips to and from work but it turns out that those small trips do add up and before I know it, the majority of my credit card bill consists of the accumulation of those small charges. I’ve since started cutting back on those trips and my budget has started to move back into the red.
It’s not just in personal finance, the same philosophy also holds true when it comes to SEO and web development. There’s a tendency in this startup generation to constantly try and disrupt or innovate things when really, most of the time, making small changes and improvements to a certain project is actually the way to go. For business and SEO services, even making low-profile but numerous changes to your website can lead to a greater boost in traffic than a novel approach might brings.
Don’t innovate, improve
In software development, we have this philosophy referred to as iterative design. The conceit behind iterative design is simple, instead of treating a project, any kind of project, as a one-and-done case, treat it instead like a living, breathing entity that you can constantly tweak and improve as you go along, even after whatever you’ve been working on has been released to the public. It’s not exactly a novel idea but given the contrast with the start-up culture that we currently have, iterative design might seem like a breath of fresh air.
In the current start-up culture, engineers are constantly urged to find new innovations or disruptive technologies, even in industries that don’t really need disrupting. Start-up founders too often sell their business once they’ve seen success or pivot to a new direction when they feel it’s not working out. There’s a tendency now to constantly seek new things instead of improving on what we currently have and that’s not a good thing.
Over in the videogame world, the Japanese company Nintendo has been making the same types of game they’ve been making since the 80s, back when they first released the Nintendo Entertainment System or the NES for short. For two and a half decades, video game franchises like Mario and Zelda have been a constant presence in the industry and have been worked on by the same people. It’s no surprise then that Mario and Zelda games have garnered critical acclaim even this far into their life, they have 20+ years of experience and improvements to build up on.
For websites, instead of starting from scratch or performing major changes, it might help to take a peek under the hood and identify small things that you can improve on. For one, it’s both cheaper and easier to do and if you’re already fond of your current website, you could still stick with the same general design but added with minor tweaks. What those tweaks are exactly will be covered in the following section.
Use website crawler tools to identify pages that need some work
If you’re confused on where to start, try getting your hands on the plethora of website crawler tools available online to perform a quick audit of every crawlable page of your website and look for things that could be improved. Simple errors such as 404 links can be easily identified using this tool, which could save you a lot of time. If you’ve been making some changes to your website, these tools are also useful to see if the changes you’ve made have adversely affected other sections of your website.
Adding schema and metadata
Search engine is an algorithm and unlike human beings that can spot an approaching tsunami from a mile away and reasonably claim that yes, that is a tsunami, and proceeded to move to higher ground, an algorithm isn’t capable of that, not without some assistance. Switch this tsunami for an internet article and the statement would still work. This assistance I was referring to is schema and metadata, which are basically markers for search engine algorithms to read on what this content is all about.
Life in general is chaotic and websites, by extension, can also be chaotic. Algorithms tend to have a problem making heads or tails out of this chaos, which is where schema and metadata comes in. Schema and metadata gives a semblance of structure into your webpages to make it easy for search engine algorithms to do their job. Adding proper schema and metadata is a simple matter but could lead to tangible improvements when done right.
Don’t underestimate the importance of an SSL certificate
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, let me inform you that data privacy and web security is now a pretty huge deal. Even web browsers are now displaying this information prominently on their interface, with a green padlock icon visible on the address bar in Firefox to indicate that a particular website is secure. SSL certificate is important not just for the purpose of SEO; it’s also something that could add your site’s credibility in the eyes of users.