Search engines read your website source code all the time, and so should you. Even if you hire a digital strategist or SEO consultant, it’s incredibly useful to learn more about website source codes. The codes are designed to help your site, but they can also slow down page load speed and cause confusion if not managed correctly. We’re just looking at the basics here, so go ahead….take a peek!
#1 Right click your mouse and select “view page source”
#2 Go to “settings” in right corner and find “tools / developer tools”
#3 Use the keyboard command for view source code. “Google” the keyboard command if you’re not sure what it is for your browser. (Ex: PC using Chrome is CTRL + U)
NOTE: The command CTRL + F (for Find) is another good one to quickly scan your source code for important SEO elements.
- Title Tags: Google produces your title tag with search results. Be sure you can see a single unique & keyword/content relevant title tag for each page on your website. It will likely be near the top in the <head> section. It will be designated by the opening tag: <title> and ending with the closing tag: </title>.
- Meta Descriptions: This is your 160 character free advertising- make it work! Think about what you can say, unique to each page, which will make searchers click to see more.
- H1 Headers: It’s the biggest headline on your page. Can be a call to action. Just one good H1 tag on each page is all you need; be sure page keyword is there.
- Alt Tags: Robotic search engines can’t “see” images. The only way to maximize images for SEO is to ensure there is an alt tag associated with them. Don’t overdo it; like don’t alt tag design images, but all other images are fair game.
NoFollow Note: This “no-index” tells Google and other search engines not to follow your page. To focus on the pages that matter most, it’s ok to have this attribute associated with the comment section of a blog, an author page, thank you page, or any page with uninteresting content. But if you’re looking for visibility, be certain this this code is not on page.
Google Analytics: You need analytics to view website performance after an analytics account has been established. This code should be found on every page of your website. Your GA account always starts with “UA” and is followed by a seven digit number.
Google Tag Manager: Tag manager is just a Google product that allows you to manage multiple tracking codes in one place. Analytics, AdWords, and remarketing tags are managed from tag manager. Prevent double tracking: If you are using TM, there shouldn’t be an additional code for GA.
Social Media: You may see codes for tracking Facebook, Youtube and other social media accounts. These are fine, just double check to ensure you need them. Tracking codes associated with your site take up Bytes, which means having more than you use could slow down your page load speed.
Paid Ads: The trend is that PPC people are using Tag manager but there are other paid-related codes that may be found on your site such as doubleclick.net or call tracking.
When to Remove a Source Code
Have your digital team review the tracking source codes regularly to ensure optimal performance. If you see something that is questionable, ask for clarification. Anything that is not being used should be removed. Contact Leaning Tree Digital for more info.