I spend hours every day working on multiple sites in multiple industries and over the last year or so I’ve discovered the following potential issues when a site is not ranking on the SERP’s as expected. This is not a guarantee in any way that you will suddenly hit page 1 by making these changes but it does give you a bit of a head start while working on other concerns like quality, relevant content and building a loyal social media following.
- Are you Sandboxed?
There is some debate out there about whether or not there is actually a Google Sandbox, I for one believe there is something out there in the Googlesphere that puts baby in the corner until it’s confident it will do no harm.
- Are you up to speed?
- The ideal speed is 400 milliseconds but that isn’t always realistic for the average business owner with a website on a shared hosting solution. If you shoot for 3 seconds or less on page speed – check gtmetrix.com or https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ it’ll improve your visitors overall experience and therefore the amount of time they spend on your site.
- once you are done with all the design/content go get Wp smush-it or some sort of image compression plugin and reduce size of your images
- go through all the plugins on the site and make sure you delete any you aren’t using – I sometimes will install plugins to try them out then forget to remove them when I make a decision.. so clear out all the unused plugins
- minify your css and js
- Are you Mobile friendly?
- https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly – check sites for mobile friendliness
- https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/ConfigureViewport – confirm that the mobile viewport is <meta name=viewport content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>
- avoid minimum-scale, maximum-scale, user-scalable in the viewport declaration (some of the WordPress themes actually have user-scalable in the viewport declaration so make sure to remove that) – it’s an accessibility issue and seems to make a difference on how mobile friendly Google thinks your site is…
- Too Many Plugins
- Submit that sitemap