Without a thoughtful SEO strategy, the chances of your website’s showing up in search engine results pages (SERPS) are next to nil. SEO is what helps improve your brand’s visibility and drives traffic to your site. Here is an easy checklist to help increase the SEO value of your website.
- Make sure your website is responsive—that it translates to mobile devices. This is by far the most critical-mission issue right now. Take a look at your website on your phone. If you have to do a lot of manipulation, if the text is tiny and inaccessible, it’s time to think about a new website. Google is punishing the desktop sites that have not created mobile versions. Google has created this site that will quickly tell you if your site is mobile friendly or not.
- Create a unique, branded domain name.
- Create an HTML site map for easier indexing by search engines.
- Also submit an XML sitemap that will speed up indexing.
- Use Heading Tags (H Tags) for headings and subheadings throughout your site.
- Use images. Audiences these days are sophisticated, the expectations high. Quality, high-resolution images are affordable on stock photo sites, generally as packages.
- Label your images with the name of your company, image_name of image. If the image doesn’t show up—and it may not on mobile devices—users will have an idea of what they’re missing.
- Optimize keywords, using them in title, H tags and description. Forget keyword stuffing; focus on keyword placement.
- Develop internal contextual linking strategy.
- Create more SEO value by using alt tags on your images—additional fields that you can fill in with the name of your business.
- Do write your own metadescriptions; otherwise, you’ll be stuck with the default, which won’t do you any favors. If you’re using WordPress, install Yoast and fill in these fields for each page. Metadescriptions provide a 160-character overview of each page on SERPs.
- Reduce popups and distracting ads to avoid losing traffic. Let’s face it—these are just too annoying.
- Optimize load time: make sure images are complete hogs that prevents your site from loading.
- Check for broken links, which can hurt your ranking. This is part of periodic site maintenance. If you’re linking to external sites, these often disappear after a while, so your pages need to be updated accordingly.
- Quality content that isn’t duplicated. There are different opinions about landing page length, but many experts recommend 300+ words to rank well. Frontload this, with the most important information in the first paragraph, above the fold, including your keywords. One thing that’s nonnegotiable: well-written, quality content. If you’re a crappy writer, find someone else to write this for you–talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing–this is what we do!
Keep it simple
Never—ever—forget that people will be pulling this up on their phones. Something else to be thinking about. SEO doesn’t stop with your website. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. You need to be continually adding fresh new content—add case studies and a blog. Make sure that you’re keeping your site updated with your products and services. You need to be looking at your presence across all of your online marketing channels—your social media sites, Yelp, etc. Owning a website is a responsibility. If you want it to work for you, you need to work it.