The Big SEO Checklist
When your launching your online business the initial build of the website is only a half of the effort. Within this resource I will run through all elements of a search engine optimised website which is certain to rank high within search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo. I will provide an easy to understand checklist for you to work through before your website is optimised for search engines and take an in-depth look at the importance of your websites content, link building methods, and the technical side of SEO as well as provide a run-down of the top tools for helping your business with it's SEO aims.
What is SEO?
Before we begin the Big SEO Checklist you must firstly understand what search engine optimisation is and how it effects the way consumers find your website.
Search engine optimisation is the method in which you optimise your website in order for search engines to index it's contents and better present it to consumers or searches in an organic way. The entire search engine optimisation process includes the use of keyword's to add relevance to which search results your website will appear in as well as the overall content your website serves up. Furthermore, link building and technical code also allows Google to index your website in a more navigational and faster way.
The way in which Google indexes your website is very simple, every so often Google sends out "crawlers" who will search through your websites contents as well as search for links in and out of your website and then index this. They will then list your website in search results which have relevance to your websites contents.
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While it is not known exactly how Google's own algorithms calculate the importance and quality of your website it is know that Google takes contents, media, links and many forms of statistical information such as bounce rate and load time into consideration when ranking your website within it's searches.
Initial Setup (Tools)
Now that you aware of what SEO is and how Google and other search engines rank your website within search results you can now begin to optimise your website. However, firstly you will need a selection of tools which will be mentioned throughout this resource guide which are listed below.
- Google Analytics: Google's own analytics tool is free for website administrators (web masters) and provides detailed insights into your websites users with a daily round-up of page views, unique visitors, load times, bounce rate and much more. It also provides detailed information on what devices and where people are viewing your website from.
- Google Webmaster:Google's Webmaster tools are consider the butter on the bread of Google Analytics. It's provides insights into your websites SEO efforts as well as information on how Google indexes your website and much more.
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The first step to a optimised website is keywords. Using words which relate to your products, services and brand is great, but you need to use keywords which consumers are likely to search for. For example, is you are selling Windows PC's on your website you may use keywords such as Microsoft Computer, Windows PC, Windows Computer and the list goes on. However, don't just guess which keywords you should use.
The best tool for keyword research comes from Google within their Webmaster tools. The Keyword Planner allows you to search for keywords and then find out how many people search that term per month as well as find out how much competition their is for that very keyword within Google's search results.
Once you have researched and chosen your keywords you should then list these and select which once are most important and narrow it down to 3 - 5 specific keywords to target within your website. But this not mean you can't use the others, however; by focusing on a handful of keywords you are strengthening your websites overall SEO capabilities and targeting more relevant consumers.
However, once you have selected the keywords you will target you should then review these keywords monthly and re-do the process again and again. All with the aim to make your website more visible to searches.
Now that you have the essential tools and your keywords ready you should now focus on the websites content itself (which will always be the most important element of any SEO strategy). To make this stage of the Big SEO Checklist simpler I have bullet-pointed the essential features of great and search engine friendly content below. If you follow these rules your website is sure to be high ranking within search engines.
- Make sure that each page on your website has over 350 words and ensure it's unique and can not be found on any other website.
- Use videos, pictures, infographics and PDF downloads as Google loves media and will also crawl this content.
- Ensure that your website has a blog and publish a new post at-least once per week. This will keep your websites content fresh.
- Use the header tags (H3, H4 etc.) within your website; this is because Google will index this and see it as a important part of text on your webpage.
Link building is an old school SEO tactic and still very vital in 2013. Originally link building was seen as spam but Google noticed this and changed it's algorithms. For this reason it's no longer about the number of links which point to your website but the quality of them links. The best way to link build is by placing or requesting your link to be placed on another website which is high ranking within search results and has relevance to your business, product or service.
In my experience a great way of creating quality links to your website can be done by creating your own content. If you create infographics, videos etc. then this will likely be used on others websites and you may request a back link to your own site. Furthermore, you can leave comments on popular websites such as the Guardian, New York Times etc. but don't spam and always add value with your comment. Furthermore, you should always research possible targets for back linking and target industry influencers.
In regards to placing links onto your own site you must be very specific. If your website has too outgoing links it will weaken it's SEO, you should have no more than two outbound links per page and maybe up to four per blog post (but never link to a competitor).
TOOL: Moz's Open Site Explorer tool is a great way to find quality back links.
Onsite SEO is also extremely important as it will allow Google to better understand the contents of your website and which keywords are relevant. I have listed a handful of ways to make your website optimised for search engines from behind the scenes on your website. Also, be sure to check out what other sites in your niche are doing like this one for example: http://evident.ca
- Use & tags within images.
- Use (header) tags within page titles and sections.
- Provide a meta description and unique page title for each page. However, never go over the limit of 150 characters within your meta description.
- Use anchor text within links.
- Use keywords within your URL's.
Now that you have beefed up your websites link building, content optimisation, onsite SEO and keywords you can now be assured that your website is strong and optimised for search engines. However, SEO is a continuous battle and you should review your websites SEO monthly and also refer to Google's rules of SEO within their Webmaster platform.
If you have any further questions relating to SEO please do not hesitate to leave a comment below.
Posted in SEO Post Date 05/29/2015