The goal of successful SEO is to obtain a high ranking in the organic search results of the search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
Higher website rankings mean more traffic, more traffic means more costumers and more sales.
Do you want to improve organic traffic, drive leads and improve your position in search engine results? This SEO checklist can help.
Competing for top rankings in the search engines involves two elements:
- On-page – Optimizing and improving what is on your website pages, including Technical factors.
- Off-page – Measuring and improving things are that are happening beyond your site, such as the number and quality of links coming into your site from other sites.
Do your homework before creating your content?
For optimization purposes, you should have one, or at most, two target keywords or key phrases in mind per page. If you are trying to rank well for four or more keywords on a single page, it’s time to step back and consider breaking up the content into several different pages so you can create page focus.
The main purpose for your content, in search terms, is answering the searchers queries.
Now that you’re ready to begin, the checklist below will guide you in creating the perfectly optimized page. No single factor on the checklist is make-or-break for getting your page to rank well, but they work in combination to raise your overall score – Google looks at more than 200 key factors when it ranks every page.
On-Page optimization, and technical factors
- Title – (Meta Title)
Your title should be different for each sub-page. Your Keyword or key phrase should always be included in the title.
The title must not exceed 60 characters (since search engines rarely can display longer titles in searches).
- Description – (Meta Description)
Your description should be unique for each sub-page, and shortly describe what’s the page´s about. Your keyword or key phrase will need to be included herein.
The title must not exceed 156 characters long (since search engines rarely can display longer titles in searches – each can display 160 characters).
- Headings – (Heading tags)
Headings are also called H1, H2, H3 and is simply your headlines, the way your include those highly dependent on the platform your shop or website is made of.
Each webpage should have at least one or more Headings. Your keywords or key phrases should to be included here.
It is highly recommended not to have more than 30 Headings on one webpage. Search Engines could see more than 30, as spamming.
- Body – (Text content)
The body is simply the text content on each of your pages. Each text must be unique. Just as you should not “copy paste” from other pages or texts from the web, since you could be penalized by the search engines (Google) for “duplicate content”.
Your keywords should be included in both the Title, description, Headings and in the body.
Optimize your images for the web – Before you upload and insert your images in a webpage or web shop (so they are not huge, and take an eternity to load in browsers).
Of course, a full-sized banner image will need to have more pixels. However, even these should preferably not be more than 100 KB in size, and small images should preferable be under 10 KB.
Remember to name the images; Do this with either a Title-Tag, Alt-Tag and/or description.
Name the images – so it fits with the content of the image, and if possible, use your keywords to name it.
- Social Media
Are your brand/domain represented in the Social Media? – The importance and benefits of social media are huge. You gain both authority, links as well as being in contact with a variety of possible customer – All this can positively affect your ranking signals to Google and other search engines.
If not represented – Then start with placing social sharing buttons on web shop / website, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Create a company Facebook page, Google My Business page etc.
Loading speed – is it fast or slow? Fast loading speed is a benefit – Not just for the web user, who may not have the same patience to wait for your page to load, as yourself, but also for Google (and other search engines) that can penalize your site if it is not speed optimized proper.
Check your website’s speed by Google Speed Insights – Your page should preferably have a score above 70.
- Mobile Optimized
Mobile optimized website. More and more people are surfing via Mobile or iPad; therefore, it is important that your pages are Mobile Optimized. You can check this in Google Speed Insights.
Make sure that your “buttons” are large enough to press through your phone. If they are too small, they can be difficult to use.
- Sitemap.xml, Robots.txt and canonical
It is important that you have a Robot.txt and Sitemap.xml file included on its website or webshop, this helps the search engines and their “Robots” when they crawl and index your website.
A Sitemap is a map over your website. Be sure to make a link to your Sitemap at the bottom of your page (Footer) on all pages. Note! Some Web platforms generates a sitemap automatically, you might want to check if your page has a Sitemap by typing your page’s URL followed by Sitmap.xml.
A Robots.txt file tell the search engines, what webpages they can index; is it allowed or disallowed to index. Check if your page has a “Robot.txt” by writing your page´s URL followed by robot.txt as it should be there. Avoid Duplicate Content and different versions of your site by inserting “Canonical tag” – Read more about the use of Canonical tags at Google.
If in doubt, contact a SEO company and get them to look into it for you.
- Links – Off Page SEO
Do you have inbound links? Incoming links to your domain and individual webpages is probably the most important “weapon” when you have to tell the search engines that your domain is more important than the competitor’s is. When used right, the link gives your domain authority.
Check your competitor’s link profile, and get an insight in “what it takes”, to go past them on searches (in combination with On-Page SEO). You can talk with a SEO Specialist about this.
To build a good, solid Link Profile is something that takes time, and you can make some links yourself, but I recommend that you contact a serious and professional SEO company or SEO Specialist and consult him.
Following this checklist will result in an optimized page and domain for ranking well in searches.