The Importance of Site Health
Ask any SEO specialist and they will tell you that your website should be your number one salesperson. The importance of a ‘healthy’ site cannot be understated. That begs the question: “So, what does it mean to have a ‘healthy’ site?”
A healthy website is more than just its frontend development. Search Engines like Google do not index and rank your websites based on its beauty; they rank your site based on how well it’s optimized. If your site is not optimized, you will likely rank lower in search engine results, making it difficult for people to find your products and services, resulting in a lower quantity and quality of organic traffic, and thus impacting your overall sales. By not focusing your efforts on the health of your site, you are crippling your potential sales by missing out on opportunities to bring in quality organic traffic with high conversion rates.
Optimizing your site is an ongoing process, requiring constant maintenance and up–to–date restorations.
How to Determine the Health of Your Website
A great Search Engine Optimization tool we use to calculate our client’s site health is SEMrush.
SEMrush is an all-in-one tool suite for improving online visibility and discovering marketing insights. It’s an SEO tool designed to help with keyword research and strategy, benchmark your competition, and improve your site’s health and optimization through its Site Audit tool. SEMrush is trusted by internet marketers all over the world and is a must for any SEO specialist.
Through SEMrush, we can conduct a Site Audit that will measure the health of your site and provide you with areas of your site that need to be improved for SEO. The audit determines the number of total issues within your site’s crawled pages and separates them based on their severity. These issues are typically separated into three categories: errors, warnings, and notices.
It’s important to note that your first Site Audit through SEMrush will likely produce a sub-par site health rating. The majority of your website’s pages will have an obscene amount of errors, warnings, and notices associated with them. At first glance, this can a daunting sight. Fixing these errors is a frustrating and time-consuming process with most of these issues needing to be addressed one at a time. Hiring an SEO specialist will free up your time to work on your business and, although it is not cheap, a quality SEO specialist will pay back their salary and then some, producing a higher organic traffic volume to your site.
Aside: Monthly maintenance for a typical organization takes about 10 hours of development time. An SEO specialist’s obligations should not only cover your site health, but also include extensive keyword research and content development among other responsibilities. On average, SEO maintenance should take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours per month. That being said, I would be skeptical of any SEO monthly packages that advertise less than $750/month. $750/month, assuming that the specialist is charging $70 an hour, will only get you around 10hrs of development time per month which just barely covers the monthly maintenance costs of your site. Be sure to look through the packages you’re considering and pay close attention to what’s included in your monthly SEO allowance.
If you’re in need of an SEO specialist feel free to give us a call. We would love to schedule a chat to talk about your company, discuss your site, our process, and your goals.
Errors, Warnings and Notices
Errors are issues of the highest severity. They contain the most weight in grading your site’s health score. Some examples include:
- Pages with slow load speed
- Pages with duplicate meta descriptions
- Sitemap.xml files that have format errors
- Robots.txt files that have format errors
- Broken internal links
- Duplicate title tags
- Broken internal images
Warnings are weighted with moderate severity. Some examples include:
- Outgoing internal links which contain nofollow attribute
- Images that don’t have alt attributes
- Pages that have low text-HTML ratio
- Pages that don’t have meta descriptions
Notices are minor issues associated with your site. Although they don’t hold a lot of weight in regard to your site health, SEMRush found it necessary to notify you of these issues in attempt to improve your overall site for user experience and SEO ranking. It is recommended that you fix these issues as well. Some examples include:
- Outgoing external links that contain nofollow attributes
- Pages that require more than three clicks to be reached
- Pages which have more than one H1 tag
- Links on this page that have no anchor text
- Orphaned pages in sitemaps
Regardless of your site’s health score, the errors, warnings, and notices represented in your report will impact your website’s overall ranking in Google. As search engine’s algorithms for Website Ranking improve, so too will your website’s health score.
The biggest takeaway from this article is that your website needs to be maintained and routinely checked. Your site requires constant upkeep. As the web changes, and as your website is updated with new features and quality content, your site’s health score will also change. Website health scores will decay over time without proper upkeep. Not updating your website or optimizing your site will result in a reduction in organic traffic to your site, costing you revenue.