Search Engine Optimization is the process of influencing natural search results, so that your web pages appear for the keywords you’d like to rank for. It is important that your website is optimized for those keywords so that people can find your site on different search engines.
Below is a SEO checklist for new websites. However, it can also being used to optimize your current websites.
- Create a new Google Account
- Install Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools
- Check Webmaster Tools for duplicate content, 404/500 errors, missing alt tags and missing titles
- Check MetaFever’s SEO Report: www.metafever.com/free-seo-report
- Check SEO Browser for technical errors
- Use Xenu to find broken links
- Use the Google Adwords keyword planning tools to create your keyword list
- Check competitor keywords using LinkDiagnosis
- Map keywords to your content
- Incorporate the keyword into the page URL
- Title Tag is the most important keyword, it should be 65 characters or less
- Meta Description does not affect rankings but will affect click-through rates
- H1 Tag – this should contain the primary theme of the page
- Image ALT text – it’s important to be descriptive and include a keyword
- Internal Link Anchor Text – should describe the content that it is linking to
- Duplicate content – make sure you do not have duplicate content on your site, use 301 redirects.
- Absolute vs. relative URLs – pick one, but use absolute when possible
- Site speed – check your website speed using the Google Webmaster Tools or Firefox sitespeed plugin
- Submit XML sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools
- Set up accounts via appropriate social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ (Google+ is very important for SEO)
- Mobile – mobile is becoming increasingly important (eg. User experience ), make sure your website is mobile friendly!
There are many free SEO tools out there to help you optimize your website for search engines. Use them! If you think of anything else for the checklist above, please let me know in the comment!