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A Complete SEO Checklist for New Website Owners: Get Ready to grow your audience and increase your organic search ranking? Use this exhaustive SEO cheat sheet to optimize your website.
Seo has become a crucial requirement of internet sites. This is no longer optional.
As with all the factors that make up a good website, thinking about SEO or "organic search" for a new site is a given and important in most digital marketing plans.
We are well ahead of the "if you build it, they will come" era in terms of website thinking.
In addition, I know a lot of website owners, from startups to small companies to nonprofits and even large brands, who are struggling with self-implementing SEO or already have a website are the owners. are working on. are doing. There are budget spreads that don't leave much to put into SEO.
Because of the competitive noise and focus, I would like to offer you one checklist to use as an internet site owner to figure through the important aspects of SEO that you simply can address now and build to maneuver forward can do. What can be done?
Indexing and on-page items are controlled within the website, while external factors shouldn't be forgotten and wish to be a part of a bigger SEO strategy down the road.
Technical SEO Cheat Sheet
Before focusing on the specific content that you want to rank in search engines, you need to make sure that your site can be indexed and crawled.
All this comes under the category of technical SEO.
Free Reporting Platform
Start by making sure that Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager are connected to your site. All of these tools bring you the best clinical and analytical data and will help you along the way.
This is a table of contents for your new website. A sitemap file is a modern way to "submit" your pages to search engines.
Most website platforms have this built-in or have plugins/add-ons which may create a dynamic sitemap that stays in sync with the pages on your site.
At a minimum, you should have at least one stable that you can generate through several free tools.
This file instructs search engines which pages or parts of the site not to be indexed. by default, search engines will check out all the content they will find.
If you don't want to restrict search engines from indexing any page on your site, also make sure this file:
If you own more than just your primary domain name, make sure you know what each of your additional domain names is doing. It doesn't matter if they are parked and not in use.
If they redirect to your website, check to form sure they are doing a 301 redirect thereto (versus mirroring the location or doing a 302 redirect). This can be a quick area to easily check and move on, but don't overlook it as it can lead to duplicate content and confusion as to which domain name is the real one.
The more hierarchy and structure you can create in your navigation and sections of your site, the better. This will benefit users and search engines and provide organized topics and content (more on that later). A great goal is to get your directory structure and URL to match the literal page and file structure of the content on the site.
Taking a step back and mapping out your site's structure or sitemap is a great starting point. It forces you to think about content, how you prioritize certain aspects of your site, and how you want to funnel your users (as well as search engines) through it.
We continue to see statistics that show users spend the least amount of time before being bounced.
There are some great developer tools that can help you identify the right areas to optimize your website to bring your page load times to competitive levels.
It is a given that we have to be mobile-friendly. However, just because you've built your site in a mobile framework like Responsive Design, make sure it's actually valid.
Make certain to run it through Google's mobile-friendly test. Also, do as much user experience (UX) and quality assurance (QA) testing as possible to make sure it actually works for your users on all the devices you intend to use. let's guess.
Don't forget to create a custom 404 page and put useful information on it. You don't want to lose your site visitors because the default browser error pops up.
You should create a 404 page that has helpful links, navigation, site search functionality, and get in touch with options.
Having a secure site is also important, as are mobile-friendly and site speed requirements. If your website is not under SSL, viewing a security warning in Chrome or other browsers can cause users to lose access to your site before they can do so.
Build trust in your website by taking the usually simple step of implementing SSL certification on your site.
Plugins, Add-ons, or Extensions
If you're using a content management system, chances are you're already using plugins or other code extensions that you trust. Most platforms have tools you can add to your site that provide additional control over SEO and analytics functions.
Whether it is WordPress SEO plugins or others for Drupal, Magento, etc., you should look for reliable plugins that give you maximum control and functionality.
Do you have stuff from a previous site or an old, outdated SEO strategy? Or, maybe you have a valid reason for having duplicate content on your site and on the web.
Before getting into on-page optimization it is important to know what you are facing. If you have more than one duplicate page for a good reason, you may want to consider an authenticator strategy or a way to use robot instructions for indexing.
It's important to be aware of and sort it out before investing time and effort into page-level optimization. Copyscape is one of my favorite tools, along with Screaming Frog, for finding copycats and analyzing content before digging into on-page content.
On-Page SEO Cheat Sheet
Whenever SEO is mentioned, most people think of on-page factors (eg, keywords, content, title tags). However, in the days of customizing only a portion of the pages or websites are gone.
Search engines care more about context than keywords, so don't be tempted to just update the meta tags or body copy and move on.
The way we build context is in all the on-page elements of a page and then it thinks about how the pages relate to each other within the sections and navigation of the site.
Keywords and Topics
Before you can really focus on context building, you need to know what you want to build it for. If you haven't done keyword research or extensive research on your target audience, you need to take some time to stop here and learn what topics and phrases your audience will use to find your website.
Remember that the days of stuffing words into pages or tags are gone.
We have to use SEO tools to uncover the right words, phrases, and topics that we do. From there, we can drill down into different terms to implement within the site architecture.
Basically, you need to know the words that matter, map them to your content, and then work on the rest of the on-page factors to follow the list.
If you have few words and aspects to your website then it is hard to compete with sites that are strong and full of content. More is not always better as higher quality certainly outweighs higher quantity. But, if you'll achieve both, you will be in a good better place
Rich content was written for users that resonates with them and where you win is obvious to search engines. Don't be tempted to use outdated tips that hurt the user experience and put you at risk with search engines.
This is the first element of the page and is sometimes ignored. Search engines can index ugly, facetious URLs just fine.
However, URLs are an opportunity to present a clean directory structure that includes keywords and context as to what the page is about. Don't miss the opportunity to allow URL paths to be customized for your site.
Again, just the title tag won't do much for you. However, you should have a relevant, unique tag for each page.
Be mindful of best practices for the length and keywords most relevant to the page topic and write and apply static tags or make sure you have dynamic formulas to populate the title.
Like the title tag, we should have a custom and contextually relevant meta description for each page. Whether static or dynamic, make sure it is helpful to the user, includes relevant keywords for the content, and helps build context with the title tag.
Headings or "H" tags are debated for SEO. Again, I'm not focusing on a single element, but on how all the elements work together to create the context.
If you can use title tags, do so in a systematic way and make sure they use relevant keywords. Try using only one H1 tag and give it the first tag.
Often website platforms or developers use these for CSS purposes, so you might not have any H1 tags and a bunch of H6 tags on the page. Be mindful of those and the way they're woven into your code and content.
While much of the old school attention focused on covert semantic indexing, keyword density, and formulas for how often words need to appear on a page, you can't ignore the fact that body copy is often the largest on a page if a block occurs is for indexable content.
Don't skip including your focus keyword in the body copy because you need to tie in the context you've been building up to this point in other areas.
However, there is no objection to using a keyword 37 times. Do what's natural and focus on the big picture and you'll be in good shape.
Image Alt Attributes
One of the biggest red flags I see in the results for Accessibility and On-Page Auditing reporting tools is not Alt text. Alt-text is helpful for search engines to understand what the image is about.
This is another opportunity to work keywords into one page. Also, you need to consider the people in your audience who are using screen readers and make sure your site is fully accessible.
While not necessarily a direct ranking factor - Schema.org markup construction takes the center of context.
Using properly structured data markup for your website content can help provide another indication to search engines as to which segment or category your subject matter is in.
If there is no easy way to add it to your website platform and if it is a large line item in terms of cost or time, put it at the back of the line behind the items mentioned above. However, keep it on your radar.
External Seo Factors
External factors are things you cannot control on your website and do not necessarily fall into a checklist. However, I'm sorry if I paint a picture that you just need to do the indexing and on-page things and you're going to get to the top of the search engines.
On-page factors affect the relevance and trust of your content to search engines. External factors affect your "authority" status and validate your site as a subject matter expert.
Links (a.b.a., backlinks) that come to your website from trusted and authoritative websites play a huge role in SEO. Unlinked brand mentions (a.k.a., quotes) and how much your website gets discussed on the web are also important.
There's a lot to be said about creating great content that folks naturally want to link to. To complement your amazing content, it doesn't hurt to look for great sources of quality links in your industry through natural connections, identities, and potential traffic sources.
You want to focus your efforts on quality sources that are relevant to your topic - and never pay for a link in a way that violates search engine contextual guidelines.
If you have a physical business, local directory and search site citations are important.
While claiming and properly owning your listings helps protect your brand on a basic level, you need to ensure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP data) are on all local and social directory listings is be displayed. are relevant to. Sites are accurate and consistent.
There's a whole local directory ecosystem and if you can at least deal with NAP data, you'll be building a good foundation.
Social media can also enhance your SEO (and other digital marketing) efforts, even if it doesn't directly affect your rankings.
Making sure your website links to the social media accounts you own and active and vice versa is an important first step.
In addition, you need to make sure that your level of engagement is on par with that of your higher-ranking peers. This is a relative scale, but by understanding what your competition is doing, you can ensure that the SEO aspect of social is included.
Customizing your website is not quick, easy, or a one-time affair. But you have to start somewhere. If you'll master your technical SEO and on-page optimization, and influence the proper external factors, you'll set your website up for fulfillment.