Chances are that today you’ll be sitting in the office and face a barrage of “hilarious” pranks on all your favourite sites in celebration of April Fools’ Day. One might do a funny news story. Another might launch a fake product. Google might even pretend they’re changing the world by launching a social network of their own. If there’s one thing you don’t want to be a joke though, its your website. So today, why not take heed of some of these jokes and make sure your site isn’t seen as one.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because it couldn’t find your location!

The simplest thing to do in the world, that businesses of all sizes never get right. If you have a business, do a quick brand search on Google. If all your key info isn’t right there on the page, GET IT UPDATED NOW! The more information you provide Google with for your business, the more real your business is seen as being. And the more authentic you’ll be seen on local search. And then the more authentic you’re seen, the more people will be inclined to review your business. Google love this stuff. Here in the UK they only recently incorporated this type of search on to the SERP fully..

indian restaurants glasgow

Notice how the top result doesn’t have the most reviews (still a lot though), but has a photograph in place and just that extra chunk of information (opening time) to sit on top for a very popular search term. It helps too that the information creates a picture of what the restaurant is all about, rather than simply saying some artificial language like ‘CURRIES,JALFREZI,NAANNAANAAN’.

Knock. Knock.
Who’s there?
A potential customer.
A potential customer who?
A potential customer who had to scramble across your site like a lunatic to find the page they were looking for.

It’s a test we always tell clients to do when they have a free minute. If you sell a product on your site, just randomly click on any link that you see. When you’ve done that and find yourself on a new page, try and get to your most popular product page in as few clicks as possible. If you do it in one, well done. If it takes you three or more, and YOU know where exactly that product is, then you’re in trouble. Supermarkets put milk in the back to make customers wander through and potentially buy items they never thought of. Websites shouldn’t act in the same way.

An Irishman, a Scotsman and an Englishman are looking to buy a product while on holiday together. The site they’re on though is in Spanish so they’re completely out of luck and don’t help finish this joke as planned.

Does your site need to be just as valuable here in the UK as it would be in Norway? Well do you speak Norwegian fluently? No? Well think about language options on your site if you’re in multiple markets.

multi language sites

Companies like Michelin have different pages with the same content in different languages because it helps different audiences understand what they’re looking at.

Did you hear about the blonde who forgot to properly tag all her photos?
Well of course you didn’t because jokes like this are derogatory, but seriously you should be tagging more.

It’s the one little thing people forget to do (even we are guilty of it from time to time) but it can make a world of difference. Giving attributes to images as much as possible can help with long term back link health for your site. Now we’re not saying you have to sit and fill in every property of a photo for 15 minutes before uploading it (even photos in this post don’t), but starting off with something as simple as giving a picture a correct title can help.

What do we mean by this? Everyone has images they’ve dragged from a site to a desktop to use quickly. They’ll usually have a file name like Dskdhujgert333j.jpg. It doesn’t say jack about the photo to a search engine. Simply changing the title to something relevant does help. Here’s an example for you. Last year some of us here at Boyd Digital went to Brighton SEO. We wrote a few blogs and the main banner images had precise titles. Do a quick image search for Brighton SEO to look for something like a logo or photos of people at the event and you’ll see this:

brighton seo

In between all the lovely photos, there we are twice. And because they’re featured images for blog posts, they in a way act as call to actions to check out this site. Now it’s only accounted for the grand total of 6 sessions on this site, but imagine if you correctly title and tag all the meta data on all the images of your site. That can equate to a lot more visits from a lot more sources looking for the exact thing you have over time.

A horse walks in to a bar. The barman says “Why the long face?”. The horses says “I didn’t listen to that advice Boyd Digital gave me.”

Seriously, don’t waste time today thinking about putting salt in someone’s tea, putting a whoopee cushion on someone’s seat when they go to the bathroom, putting cling film over the toilet bowl (a serious no-no in an office), unplugging the mouse while someone isn’t looking or changing someone’s name on Facebook because they can’t change it back for six months unless they actually send photographs of their ID to Facebook (a right pain from personal experience).

Instead, apply some of the tips dished out in this blog post and make sure your site doesn’t look like a joke.

Author Colin Boyd

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