15
Oct
SEO Checklist for new website owners

SEO Checklist

You started a new venture and are tied with lots of things currently going on in your life with the new start up – like budgeting, staffing, working out marketing strategies and much more. As a new business owner you want to make your market space, build your reputation and have as many leads as possible to come to your store/office. And to do that you need to add one more thing to your new start-up and that is your online location – your website. Website is as important as your physical location. Talking about the SEO measure for your website I have formulated a basic SEO checklist that will easily guide you in maintaining your SEO approach. These are basic changes that can give your internet marketing strategies a jump start.

1. Selecting your domain name

  • Go through your services and make sure that you select your domain name that has your basic service (keyword) in it.

  • Don’t incorporate difficult spellings into your domain name. Lets say you want your domain name to be www.thatlasttree.com (just making up something..:D), its looks confusing especially when there are two consecutive “t”s. User might end up tying something wrong in-turn losing that lead.

  • Avoid punctuations in your domain name. Though hyphens are word separators it will confuse users when saying your website name. My personal suggestion is to avoid them. Lets say your website is www.myhomebusinessonline.com. A user will say it as www dot my business online dot com. But if you name it as www.my-home-business-online.com will your user say www dot my dash home dash business dash online dot com.

  • Make it easy to read, type and speak. If your website is www.usedbooksnreviews.com (in texting language we use ‘n’ for “and”) but its not a good domain naming technique instead it will be smarter to name it www.usedbooksandreviews.com. Verbally speaking “n” and “and” sound same misguiding the visitor (direct traffic visitor)

 

2. Keyword Research

  • Do your keyword research by noting down all the products or services that your business will be offering. Study your market and see what your visitors are searching for which your business has to offer.

  • Make use of free keywords research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Bing Keywords Research Tool, WordTracker, etc to study the keyword competition, monthly search and location based search terms to filter out your targeted keywords.

  • If your business is about serving local customers try included local geographical terms into your keyword. Eg if you sell cakes in Las Vegas, your visitor is more likely to search for “cake shops in las vegas” instead of “cake shops online.

  • Also target synonyms as your keywords. Taking the above example of the cake shop, use synonyms for cake stop like “cake store”, “cake shoppe”, “cake place” etc.

 

3. On-page optimization

  • Write relevant content for your website describing your business, services and other important details that customer would prefer reading before buying any product or services from you. Educate your user with your services. Also it is important for search engines to know your website so it can deliver it tot the right audience, without content even search engines would not be able to filter them out.

  • Include header tags (h1, h2, … h6) for your content based on the relevance of its placement. Header tags are like guides for search engines.

  • For all the images that you put up on your website related to your content, put ALT tags for them. Search engines cannot read the images for them what ever you describe in ALT tag is what search engines understand

  • Give your page a title using the <title> tag. Have a short relevant description and targeted keywords in your <meta description> and <meta Keywords> tags. “Page Title” for search engine is like the book title for you when you enter a library in search of a book. Imagine a library where all the books have same covers and no titles!! Don’t let search engines face that if you want a better ranking.

 

4. Off-page optimization

  • If possible start blogging, it builds your presence and your makes your visitors more familiarize about your services and would freely talk about it on your blog.

  • Build two-way links by mutual link exchange.

  • Do Social bookmarking, article submission and video submissions.

  • Submit your site to directories and local submission like yelp, yellow pages, google places, etc.

 

5. Account Setups

  • Set up your Google Analytics accounts. You can use your regular gmail account and go to google Analytics and setup your website in there. Keep monitoring it on daily basis.

  • Do the same for Google Webmaster tools and link your webmaster and Analytics account. Google Webmaster tool will notify you of any crawls errors, duplicate meta tags and other HTML errors.

  • Setup your website for Bing webmaster tool, you will need a hotmail or live.com email id for this.

 

6. Social Presence

  • Make your business’s online presence on the major social networking websites like FaceBook, Twitter, Google +. Social networking sites play a very important role in generating online leads.

  •     Create and share content on these social networking sites. It helps attract lot of visitors and encourages them to share your content among their network.
  • Interact with your audience regularly on social networking sites which helps build relations with them.

 

7. Competition Study

  • Keeping a close eye on your competition is the most important point of this checklist.

  • Study their website design, services provided, the keywords they target and other marketing strategies like what is their SEO strategy, do they do any kind of PPC marketing, content marketing or any other approach followed by them.

 

There is much more to SEO tactics than this checklist. But to start out with this basic things will give a jump-start to your SEO campaign. And with major search engines updating their search algorithm every once in a while it doesn’t harm in changing our approach as needed.

 

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