Search Engine Optimization remains an effective and important marketing strategy. SEO leads to increased traffic, increased ROI, cost effectiveness, increased site usability, and brand awareness. These are just a few ways for how SEO could benefit your website. But do you have all the right pieces in place?
We’ve built an SEO checklist to make sure you aren’t missing any elements when it comes to optimizing your website. A recent update came out from Google: Google has rolled out new SEO algorithm updates including the mobile-first index. Google suggested this mobile-first index roll-out has a high impact over the rest and will reward websites that are prioritizing mobile. Be sure to pay close attention to mobile and how to optimize it correctly.
- Switch to HTTPS: The longer you wait, the more difficult the migration will be. Google lists 3 important reasons to switch: encryption, data integrity and authentication. HTTPS overall helps secure your website is safe from “dark traffic”.
- Single URL Format: Your URL version should be used exclusively and the alternative should redirect correctly. Also, ensure that no links are broken on your website or are redirecting to foreign places.
- Internet Protocol (IP): Check your site for funky patterns and use an IP spam neighborhood tool to find any signs of spam. This isn’t about low quality content, this is about legit spam on your site.
- Check for Server Errors: Fix all redirects or broken links. Use a tool like Screaming Frog to help you find the 301’s or 404’s. Remove any links that are broken and fix the ones that redirect.
- Google Cache: See how Google is caching your site. This will show you how Google sees your site. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:[your URL here].
- RSS Feeds: Rich site summary feeds can pick up additional links and are often used by crawlers. Change your source code to make sure your RSS feed lines up properly with the reader.
- Automatic Social Media Posters: Use automatic social tools as long as the content is updated on a regular basis. This will help grow your exposure and ensure your pages are getting results.
- Sitemaps: Verify that a sitemap has been uploaded to Google Search Console. Whenever a new page is added, it is important to make sure the sitemap is constantly updated. Make sure sitemap code validates properly and use the correct URL structure to make sure you don’t get any bounces like 301’s or 404’s.
- Missing titles: Making sure that every page on your website has a title tag is extremely important. If your website lacks title tags, you’re losing a big opportunity to implement those huge keywords to pull people to your site.
- Meta Descriptions: It’s important to make sure your meta descriptions are kept under 160 characters. Include keywords in your description so they show up in the snippet. Another key to a quality meta description is to make sure there are no duplicates. These are bad for your site!
- Keywords: Having a target keyword will ensure better results for your site. If your content does not have a keyword applied, it will not have a better chance of showing up on the search engine.
- Alt Text: Alt-text is the background words behind the image, so be sure to use words that describe the image itself. Keep in mind that alt-text is used as an alternative to the visually impaired people or to sites that cannot generate the image, so try to keep the words relevant to the description of the image.
- Logo Links: Linking your site logo in every tab on your site is important. If someone is browsing on your blog page, you want them to be able to click back to the home page by clicking on your logo.
- Link Depth: Link Depth is how many clicks does it take to get to the point of the page. Navigating to pages should not be more than two clicks deep and should be reachable from the homepage.
- Hierarchy of Pages: Your main categories like home, shop, about us, etc. should be accessible from the homepage. Subsequent pages should be reachable from these categories and then different levels of collections and so on. This will help your site not have a flat architecture.
- Internal Linking: Your site’s internal links pass high value. Internal linking in the main content of your page or of your blog helps content receive higher recognition on the search. Also for product pages, linking similar products is important.
- Responsible Design: Nearly 60% of searches now come from mobile devices. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your mobile design is appealing to your audience. When designing a website, pay attention to the mobile view closely and make sure everything is stacking appropriately.
- Easy Navigation: When it comes to navigating tabs on a mobile device, make sure that each tab is easy to access, has a clear and concise message and is not unattractive. Make sure it matches the layout of your website.
- Try a Mobile-Friendly Google Test: Take this test to find any specific issues Google has with the mobile view of your website.
- Responsive Images: Having your photos sized down to fit your mobile screen is incredibly important for your brand image. When images are the right size, it creates a clear and appealing message for your consumer. If the images are too zoomed in or out, it causes your consumer to do more work by having to search for your brand message. Resize your images to be mobile-friendly.
This SEO checklist will help make sure your small to medium sized business is getting the organic searches it needs. Need help optimizing your website? Contact us today!