mynewwebsite 300x44 You’ve poured hours of time into designing your website and got through the official launch without a hitch, so now you’re ready to sit back and relax while it works for you. However, there’s no such thing as “set it and forget it” if you want to maximize website performance and increase traffic. Diligent webmasters constantly monitor, update and make changes to improve user experience.

Use this checklist to streamline your website, make it more attractive to search engines and ensure users stick around long enough to engage and convert.

1. Proofread

You should have checked your website for mistakes at least once before going live, but it never hurts to do it again. Look for misspellings, incorrect prices and errors in contact information while ensuring ensure keywords flow naturally in text and double-checking for links leading to the wrong pages.

2. Get Speedy

Test how quickly the pages of your site load using the Google Page Speed tool, and assess performance on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Speed is used as a factor in search ranking, and poor performance is a major reason why users abandon sites before converting. Image optimization can speed up a website.

3. Optimize

If you did your initial SEO work correctly, each page of your site should be built around one or two main keywords. Ensure these words and phrases appear in page title tags and the ALT tags for images. Write attention-grabbing meta descriptions to provide more information about each page in search results. Don’t forget to name your images properly.

4. Map

Create sitemap.xml and robots.txt files for your site. A sitemap serves as a “guide” for search engine robots by listing all the pages in your site and making the structure clear, while a robots.txt dictates which pages can and can’t be crawled.

5. Test

Open up several different browsers and get out your mobile devices to see how your site looks to different visitors. Click around, tap on links and fill out forms to determine if there are any areas where navigation or use is difficult, and make adjustments for better performance.

6. Analyze

Sign up for Google Analytics and the webmaster tools from both Google and Bing to get detailed insights into where site traffic comes from, how your site performs, which pages are the most popular and which keywords bring in the most visitors. These details are valuable when it comes to performance optimization and targeting future marketing campaigns.

Come back soon for part 2 of this series. SEO algorithms change, security requirements get updated and new ways to clean up code are introduced, so plan to revisit this list often. The Internet Marketing SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) at SunAnt Interactive can do this for you. The more you can optimize your site for search and user experience, the better experience your visitors will have.