The 2015 SEO Checklist
The seemingly never ending process of SEO is always moving and morphing into different shapes and has so many constantly moving parts that it can be very overwhelming to a small business owner to stay on top of. Besides, as a business owner, you know you should be spending your time working on the day-to-day operations of the business and not allowing your website to take up huge amounts of your time.
That’s why we put together this quick list together for you to check against your own site, or to ask your SEO / Website Development company if your website currently has all of these items.
If you have any questions along the way, feel free to contact us and we’ll help answer all of your questions!
- Does your website properly use H1, H2, H3 ect… heading tags?
- Does the content on your website have any focus keywords?
- Have you constructed unique meta titles and meta descriptions for each of the pages on your website?
- Are there any pages on your website with “thin” content?
- Have you checked the load speed of your website?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- Are the URL’s of your website descriptive?
- Do all of the images on your website utilize alt-tags?
- Did you claim your business listing with Google My Business?
- Have you installed Google Analytics for Visitor Tracking?
- Are you taking advantage of Google Webmaster Tools?
- Does your website have duplicate content?
- Are you reaching your local audience with local content?
- Have you submitted and tested a sitemap with Google and Bing?
- Have you claimed all of your local directory listings?
- Is your website easy to share?
Does your website properly use H1, H2, H3 ect… heading tags?
Heading tags on the pages of your website help the search engines determine what your site is about and are a factor in determining where you’ll rank in searches for your services or products. Think of heading tags on your website like newspaper headlines, they allow you (and search engines) to quickly identify what the page is about.
Does the content on your website have any focus keywords?
The key to making sure your website is found online is to have specific keywords mentioned in the copy of your website. If the keywords that you want to rank for aren’t ever mentioned in the content of a page, you’ll have a hard time getting your page to rank well.
Have you constructed unique meta titles and meta descriptions for each of the pages on your website?
What is a meta title?
A meta title or page title is used by the search engines to display the title of your page on their search engine results pages. It’s important to write a proper and compelling title for each of your pages to help the search engines index your page better, and to entice the searcher to click on your link.
What is a meta description?
The meta description of your page is an HTML element that describes your page to the search engines. The meta description attribute plays a significant role in SEO rankings.
Are there any pages on your website with “thin” content?
“Thin” content means that the content on the webpage does not provide value to your customers for the services they are looking for. This usually means that there is very little content written on the page or the content is written poorly and doesn’t make sense.
Content like this is usually automatically generated, scraped from other sources, or a low-quality articles written by a guest blogger. Content like this will usually be flagged in the search engines as spam and can lower your search engine rankings.
Have you checked the load speed of your website?
The page load time is an important aspect of any site and can dramatically improve or decrease the user experience on your website. When you have a website that loads very slowly, you will often have a higher abandon rate or bounce rate as visitors get impatient waiting for your site to load.
Is your website mobile friendly?
Having a mobile website is one of the most important issues with online marketing in 2015. The number of people who are searching for the products and services they need from their smartphones or tables has consistently grown over the last few years and if your website isn’t mobile, you are probably missing out on a large percentage of customers.
As of late, two of the major search engines have even started to reward mobile sites with higher rankings on mobile search. Read more about it on this article: Bing Announces Mobile Search Results Changes – By: Brett Wiley.
Are the URL’s of your website descriptive?
All of the URL’s on your website should be descriptive (whenever possible) for a couple reasons:
- A well crafted URL makes sense to the user and is easier to remember. Whenever the URL makes sense and is readable, it is easier for the customer and the search engines to understand what the page is about.
- When the URL contains the keywords that are relevant to your product or service, the search engines are more likely to rank your pages better.
Do all of the images on your website utilize alt-tags?
You can (usually) tell what an image is about just by looking at it, but to the search engines, all images are the same. By adding appropriate alt tags to your images you can tell the search engines what the subject of the image is.
Did you claim your business listing with Google My Business?
So many businesses miss the boat with this aspect of their Local SEO and online marketing efforts. By claiming your Google+ Business Listing and completely filling out all of your business information, you are telling your customers and Google that you are a legitimate business and that you care about your business image online.
Have you installed Google Analytics for Visitor Tracking?
Google Analytics can be a great tool to find out where your traffic is coming from, what pages your customers are looking at, and what actions they are doing on your site. Google provides a very powerful tool with their Analytics platform and once it’s installed on your website, you can access a large amount of information about your visitors.
Are you taking advantage of Google Webmaster Tools?
Another great tool from Google is their Webmaster Tools platform which allows you to set-up your site with the search engine and to track where errors may be occurring as well as tell the search engine how and where to crawl and index your website.
Does your website have duplicate content?
Duplicate content on any website can become a problem with the search engines because they often don’t know which page or version to include or exclude, which one is the original or most trustworthy, and which of the pages with duplicate content should rank for different search queries.
More often than not, when a website has duplicate content, it will suffer from a drop in rankings and lose traffic because the search engines discount it as a relevant, trusting site.
Are you reaching your local audience with local content?
The fact is that your local business needs a website, you should already know this by now. But it doesn’t benefit your local business located in Chambersburg, PA or Hagerstown, MD if you are getting a lot of search traffic out of your service area.
Have you submitted and tested a sitemap with Google and Bing?
Submitting your sitemap to Google and Bing tells the search engines how to index your pages, the priority of your different pages and the structure of your website.
Have you claimed all of your local directory listings?
Claiming all of your local listings with the top directory sites tells the search engines that you are open for business in your area. You need to make sure that you’re entering the same information in every listing to keep your contact information consistent across ever local listing site.
Local listing sites include:
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Local
Is your website easy to share?
By publishing great content that is easily sharable online, your visitors, customers and subscribers will be able to quickly share and spread your content through their network of friends and connections. This gets you in front of more eyes and more potential customers.