SEO Checklist for Website Owners
SEO is a tricky process, time-consuming and non-stop monitoring task that actually delivers results to your pages. Yes, it can be confusing but it is worth to get to know beyond the basics to make sure your business is awake. Go Beyond the regular On Page Tricks, go through our SEO checklist to capitalize on being a Website Owner. As a business owner, your goal is to make sure the website is search engine friendly, readable, accessible and optimized.
SEO On Page Optimization
- Title Tag: Keep the title tag between 7-9 words or 57-65 characters. This is also the most important on-page factor. Search engines put a lot of weight on this, so include your main keywords here. Try it this way: Keyword | Variation and Description | Company Name
- Tip: Use an excel spredsheet to write the new characters on your page. Type the characters and use then =LEN() function to see if you are past the character limit.
- Tip 2: Remember the Title Tag or the Page title, however you call it, has a huge impact on your CTR, think about including a Call to Action or showing a benefit as to why consumers should click this link.
- Tip 3: WordPress users, download the Yoast Plugin to easily edit and change your title tag or page title.
- Tip 4: Title Tags can also be used as anchor text to provide users an overview of the page.
- Header Order: Meta tag order should follow: Title, Description and Keywords
- Description Tag or Meta Description: Although it does not affect rankings, it can have significant increase in CTR. Cut it at 156 characters (this is your biggest piece of text, take advantage of it)
- Header Tags: H1, H2, H3, H4 etc. should always go in the body of the content with H1 always being the most important and followed by the H2, then the H3 etc. Feel Free to use several H1s (up to 2) on your page and then jumping into the following number. Rinse and Repeat the process until getting to number 6. Download and Install the Moz SEO-Toolbar to read Top Headers without having to view the source.
- Keyword on URL: Include the main targeted keyword on the URL whenever possible. However, you are going to need to be careful. This is a best practice and the most ideal situation, but Google can certainly see your page as “over optimized” or “spammy”. Be careful, do not let that hard work go to waste by getting de-indexed.
- Keywords Tag: It is always good to include to follow best practices. Separate these keywords with commas.
- Alt Attributes: Use keywords related to your page to describe images on the page. alt= “keyword”
- Tip 1: The Alt Text is the strongest signal search engines receives about images
- Tip 2: Alt Attributes show look like this: <img src=”folder/imagefilename.jpg” alt “Put Your Target Keyword Here and Describe the Image”/>
- Quality Content or Body Copy: For every page, every post or every piece of content being delivered, try to educate the consumer with more than 600 words. Keep users intrigued with information, interesting topics that demonstrate expertise, and they will always keep on scrolling down to learn. Make sure to utilize your keywords and have them strategically placed a couple of times on the paragraphs.
- Duplicate Content: Make sure your content is fresh, new and you are not duplicating another website’s content.
- Dashes on URLs: Use Dashes to separate keywords on URLs. Follow this naming convention throughout Paid and organic campaigns. Also, users are more likely to perform search queries with dashes instead of underscores. To Learn More about Dashes vs. Underscores, check out Matt Cutt’s article here.
- Sitemaps should have qualified Links: In order to avoid crawling issues on your page, include the http:// or https:// on all links.
- Sitemaps: The website should have two sitemaps. 1) HTML sitemap that links all pages to the sitemap and a 2) XML sitemap that gets submitted to search engines.
- Keyword Strategy: One of the most important aspects of your SEO Checklist and SEO 101 strategy. However, this task never ends and note there is always room for improvement. A thorough keyword strategy is one of the greatest SEO Challenges.
- Linking and Domain Strategy: Inbound/Outbound links on your website. Remember that Off-Page SEO is just as important and it requires a deep and detailed strategy that needs to be monitored at least every week.
- Robots.txt File: Even if blank, they tell the search engine what to index and what not to index. Be very careful with this.
- Set Up Analytics: Keep track of the customers coming to your site. See what landing pages they are coming to, how long they spend on your site, bounce rate, ctr, check what keywords generate the most traffic etc.
- Text Navigation: Prioritize text navigation over flash navigation for both user and search engine experience.
- Check Errors: Unfortunately, more than once, your website will run into a 301 redirects or a 404 error. Therefore, check errors quite often to avoid taken users to incorrect pages.
- Set a Privacy Statement: Note, this page does not have to show up on all of your pages, but some customers care about “collecting cookies” and the data being obtained while visiting the site.
- Page Speed: Check and Optimize for Page Speed Issues. Check out Varvy to see if can improve your website’s page speed.
- Shareable Content: Writing blogs is easy and can be done pretty easily. However, do not just publish to ensure there is content, publish with the idea that the information you provide is worthy of sharing. Take the time to see what your users are searching for, and provide an experience for them. Write content that gets spread throughout different social media platforms and increases your revenue!
- Grammar: Check the grammar. Believe it or not, Search engines do know about grammar and actually downgrade for grammatical errors.
- Social Media: Now that you have written great content and check for misspellings, include social media links and discussion opportunities. Remember that the higher the visitor interaction is, the more it will benefit your page. The Meta Keywords are used to describe what the page is about on Open Graph Facebook and Open Graph Twitter.
- Mobile: Make sure your page is intended for mobile devices. Therefore, the page needs to be coded so the search engine can recognize it as a mobile page.
- Webmaster Tools: Set up Webmaster Tools to get crawl errors, manual penalties and to review mobile usability issues.
- Structured Data: Add schema markeup to HTML. Enhance rich snippets shown below the page title.
- Grouping and Mapping: Grouping keywords by recurring themes will help you stay organized while creating extension pages. It is likely that your blog post or page will need revisions over time, or that the page will have to be re-optimized.
Your own Voice, is what will attract and retain customers. Sure it is easy to go ahead and copy content, use “seo techniques” that basically re-write content, but add value by being Original. Define how your target wants to get their content, and tailor that information to make sure they remember. If you want to be funny go ahead and do it, get clever and get creative. Whether you want to teach, be serious, get cocky, use polls, host q&a or send informational emails it is wonderful, but be consistent and keep the momentum rolling.
This SEO checklist will certainly help you get started or continue improving your SEO tactics and strategies as a website owner. Remember SEO is not a one day, one time, one week one month project that gets implemented and it is good to go forever. Business owners need to always provide customers with fresh and new content in order to stay on top of mind. Use this SEO checklist to see how to improve your current post/pages and to ensure your new pages and post follow best practices guidelines.