Should You Sweat the Small Stuff?

Working on a strategy document for a new client, I discovered that they had a 14 year old domain and almost 75,000 indexed pages.

They also had missing alt tags, missing meta descriptions, and some URLs that definitely could be improved. We often see those things when we’re preparing strategy documents, and we usually go into a certain amount of detail on how to fix them. This time? Maybe not.

This is kind of like the two natural foods grocery stores being built in our town. One recently opened and did some stout marketing, with free chicken coupons in direct mail and stuff like that. The other is Whole Foods. Most of us have shopped at a Whole Foods before. Plus they have a whole new road which has been built for them, with a new stoplight, and their construction has been affecting main street traffic for a year. They have a sign telling us when they’ll be open, and that’s about it. They can advertise if they want, but they really don’t have to. We know they’re there.

If your website is a well established one with a high page count and hundreds of thousands of backlinks, you can pretty much do what you want with your alt text. Sure, you should still have it for people with limited vision, and the company in the example does have competitors. We want them to polish everything up and be the top dog.

But if your website has 200 pages and a five month old domain, you need to pay a lot more attention to small things. Instead of deciding not to sweat the small stuff, decide to enjoy the little things.

Little things like well-chosen URLs, alt text including appropriate keywords, and alluring meta descriptions can make a big difference for a small website.

Naturally, you should work toward that impressive collection of great posts and articles, that well-established domain, and certainly toward the kind of usability and value that make a website shine.

But enjoy the little things while your website is growing. It will make a difference for you.

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