Search Engine Optimisation is a massive field, and constantly developing. But there are basics actions which should form part of any website setup.
We’ve often been asked for a checklist – the following steps are a good place to start.
Basic SEO Checklist
1. Install Google Analytics
2. Add Website to Google Search Console
3. Check Site Page Speed at Google PageSpeed Insights, correct as needed
4. Install and set up SEO plugin – usually Yoast SEO. Check Sitemap uploaded to Google Search Console.
5. Check Site Responsiveness for Tablets and Mobile, correct as needed
6. Check Broken Links, correct as needed
7. Validate HTML and CSS (HTML validator, CSS validator, and mobile code validator).
8. Check Robots.txt File created and uploaded
9. Check everything in Search Console, including crawl errors, duplicate content errors, missing titles and other technical errors
10. Advised: install an SSL Certificate
11. Claim the Business on Google Business, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin
12. Create Google Adwords account and link with Analytics account
13. Create keywords list using AdWords Keyword planner and other tools as needed, including Google Trends.
14. Analyse top competitor’s keywords and backlinks and add these
15. Add/refine Title, Meta Description, and ALT Tags to all relevant pages and images
16. Check Header Tags and Internal Links
17. Review on-page content for readability and use of keywords and synonyms
17. Check user experience with UX testing – follow through the user paths to sales and iron out any barriers
18. Advised: Add Rich Snippets markup to highlight key information
Off-page linking needs to be relevant and link to matching areas of content on the site. Valid Reviews, Directory listings, PR articles, genuine links from genuine blogs are all valuable.
It’s been well established that attempting to game the Google system with spam links, but appropriate and relevant links to a website from external sites remain very valuable.
Some ways to build these that will have lasting value include:
Press releases – well-written releases to relevant publications, including local ones, run a good chance of being published
Regular Blog articles – done weekly, or at least monthly, good articles on a subject of interest to potential readers. Good topics include ‘How-To’, ‘Best’, and Infographics.
Directory listings – not necessarily powerful links but are still worth doing, for local areas and narrow subjects