SEO is constantly changing and it is important to keep up to date with the latest changes in search engine algorithms.
This checklist is designed for people who have a website, but would like to improve their Search Engine Optimisation (eg Google rankings).
- Make sure that you use keywords, and combinations of keywords, that clearly describe the content and purpose of your website. There are tools available to help with choosing keywords, for example: kwfinder.com
- Use the TITLE meta tag to create a separate meaningful descriptive title for each page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for SEO.
- Include your keywords near the beginning of the meta TITLE tag.
- Use the meta DESCRIPTION tags on each page – search engines display this information in their results lists. This is your chance to entice people to click on your webpage. Also, it is good to include your keywords in your meta description because Google will highlight the search term in bold in their search results.
- Use keywords and phrases several times, near to the top of each page. The first paragraph of your pages is the most important. It is always best to add your keywords within the first paragraph if possible – Google crawls content from top to bottom, and if it finds your keywords there it will help improve your search results position for this topic. Similarly, include your important information near the top of the home or landing page.
- Place your keywords and phrases between Header Tags (H1, H2 or H3) in the first two paragraphs of your page, and use bold type for keywords and phrases at least once.
- Try to link to your own website pages, and use keywords in the link text rather than ‘click here’. For example here are 10 things you can do to improve your SEO.
- Make navigation easy for users on every page so that they don’t need to click several times to get to the information they need. Details such as contact information and social media profile links should be easy to find.
- If you use a left navigation bar, the search engine will read it before the body of your page – so make sure you include your most important keywords there, too.
- For page names use descriptive keywords that people are likely to use when they are searching such as “childrens-beds” rather than “general”.
- Similarly, for images you should use descriptive names such as “wooden-bedstead.jpg” instead of “image1.jpg”. Always-use-hyphens-in-urls. Never_use_underscores_in_urls.
- With images you should use the ‘ALT’ image tag to enable search engines to understand what the image is about (for example, alt=”Wooden Bedstead”). This is especially important if the image contains text in graphical format. As well as being important for SEO purposes, the ALT tag is used by screen readers – browsers used by blind and visually impaired people – to tell them what is on the image.
- Avoid describing all your products or services in one page. Instead, create different pages, each with its own differently optimised content and key phrases.
- Create a sitemap. A sitemap gives details of all the pages in your site, and helps search engines to find and index all the pages in your site.
- Search engines trawl the web all the time looking for new content. However, if you notice that website content is not showing up in the search engine results listings you may want to manually submit your website or page to the most important search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Building links is important for SEO because links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource. Therefore, sites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings. There’s a right way and a wrong way to build links to your site. Try to build links organically from relevant quality websites and never buy links or your website may be penalised in the search results.
- To check how many of your pages Google has indexed, go to Google and type in the search box:
I hope you find this SEO checklist helpful. Alternatively, contact Jane Walker on 0777 169 1194 for free advice or to discuss how I can help you on a regular basis.