Optimize your website for search engines

This is part two of our website update suggestions. Last week we kicked things off with some helpful pointers on how to give your website a refresh or update.

This week we have a few more pointers that you can optimize your website for search engines. These are great tips to help people find you and your site organically through search. It will help you appear more prominently on search pages, and help you stand out among the rest of your competitors.

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1. Add a site title - Even if you’re using a logo you should add a site title, as the text may be Indexed by search engines. We recommend you keep the title under 60 characters and include one or more keywords.

2. Add a site description - Add a short (50-300 characters), relevant, readable description of your site to your SEO site description. This text may appear below your site title in search results, depending on what your visitors search for.

3. Add your location - Your site has a better chance of appearing in searches for your area if Google and your customers can see your location. If you have a business with a physical location, we recommend you create a Contact us page with your address and a map.

4. Connect a custom domain - Using a custom domain strengthens your brand and makes it easier for potential customers to find you in search results.

5. Connect to social media - Set up social sharing to link to your social media profiles, push content as you publish it, and encourage people to share your pages.

6. Add a browser icon - Your site’s browser icon or favicon gives visibility to your site’s brand. The icon may appear in search results, browser tabs, and elsewhere on the web.

7. Add social sharing images - Social sharing images display on social media when you or someone else shares your site. Add one to represent your whole site, one for each page individually, and one for each blog post, product, and event.

8. Add SEO descriptions - Ensure each page on your site has a unique SEO description. The text should be short and readable (50-300 characters), and describe the content of the page. You can also add SEO descriptions to individual blog posts, products, and events.

9. Check your page and title formats - Control how your page titles appear in browser tabs, social shares, and search engine results. You can set this for page titles, the homepage, and collection items (such as blog posts or products).

10. Create a custom 404 page - Customize the 404 Page with links to some of the popular or important areas of your site. This encourages visitors who encounter a broken link to stay on your site, rather than immediately going back to search results.

11. Choose your blog post URL format - If you’re blogging, choose how your blog post URLs are automatically created. While you can choose any options that fit your needs, we recommend you always include the post’s title.

12. Check URL slugs - It’s best to have URLs that reflect the content of the page. If you save a blog post, product, or event before adding a title, the URL slug will be a random string of characters. Check the slugs for each page and item on your site, and change any that don’t use real words.

13. Ensure SSL is enabled - Confirm your SSL panel is set to the Secure setting.

14. Review your content - Ensure you’ve followed our content best practices for all pages on your site.

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