30 SEO Checklist Must Haves

30 Indispensable Ideas for Your SEO Checklist

In today’s digital world, the dominance of search engine optimization has reached a fever pitch. Many corporations now devote entire departments to their SEO, but this kind of investment isn’t necessary when you’re building up your website. Lendvo often works with small business clients who don’t possess the funding necessary to support an entire team of SEO specialists. Luckily, there is a great deal that website owners can now do to elevate their products and services to the next level. In fact, there are many actions that you can take to ameliorate your website’s ranking right now. When you’re developing an SEO checklist for your website, make sure that the following 30 tasks are front and center.

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1. Get your company’s list of products and services in order

It may seem like an obvious step, but many companies neglect to think about each and every product they offer. This is a major consideration when it comes to your keywords. You’ll want to get as creative as possible, generating different combinations of words to cover every possible phrase that would describe your business services. If you can, ask co-workers and family members to come up with a list as well. Once you feel as if you’ve exhausted every possibility, then head over to the Google Keyword Planner and look for even more ideas.

2. Optimize your Google keyword strategy

When planning your SEO checklist, it is absolutely imperative for you to find the keywords that boast the best return on investment. If you notice that a certain keyword is receiving a high amount of hits but still retains a low cost per click, then you should definitely add that keyword to the top of your list. Selecting keywords is an ongoing process that will be a part of your business strategy for the foreseeable future, and developing your keyword tactics is one of the best ways to solidify your website’s dominance. When it comes to presenting your loan application to a company like Lendvo, you’ll want your numbers to look as impressive as possible. Choosing effective keywords is definitely one way to get there.

3. Pay attention to your tags

You’ll also want to ensure that your tags are in the correct order. Arrange them with the title first, then the description and finally the keywords. Keeping your title tag tags to between six and nine words is always a good idea. You will have approximately 60 characters total to showcase what your business does.

4. Your description tag is what hooks new customers

The description tag should clock in at around 150 characters and must be persuasive enough to convince potential clients to click. Think about which words will jump out to someone who’s doing a quick search online.

5. Keep your keywords correct

When it comes to your keyword tags, start with the longest words and then end with the shortest. Check to make sure that there are commas between every keyword.

6. Take care with your heading tags

Put your heading tags in order, starting with h1 as the first.

7. Numbers count when it comes to your words

Google’s Panda update really changed the game when it came to website rankings. Nowadays, companies need to ensure that all of their content is of high quality in order to rank high on the search list. This means that you’ll want to keep the word count on each page between 250 and 450 words for optimized search. The copy should look polished and professional. If you or your fellow business owners aren’t writers, then you may want to outsource this task online.

8. Qualify your links and URLs

Again, Google does not look kindly upon websites that try to cut corners when it comes to links. Make sure that your links are all simple and sleek; this goes for your URLs as well. Monitor your outbound and inbound links on a regular basis.

9. If you don’t have a sitemap, then create one immediately!

If you want your website to look professional, then you’ll definitely need to create a sitemap for it. Especially if you’re seeking funding from a company such as Lendvo, it’s ideal to make sure that details such as your sitemap are in order. Building a sitemap is easier than one would think, and there are even some free online courses to help you if you’re not well-versed in this area. When you’ve finished building it, upload it to the website’s root directory. Once you’ve created a Sitemap XML file, then submit it to Google Webmaster Tools.

10. Keep the robots at bay

Your robots.txt file should also be uploaded to your website’s root directory. This file instructs search engines on what they should not be including in their results. Although it’s a relatively simple task, make sure that you’re doing it correctly. Some website owners have unknowingly excluded their whole website from search engines, which is obviously a catastrophic move.

11. Analysis is key

Installing Google Analytics is your best bet when it comes to staying on top of a website’s performance. More importantly than installing Google Analytics, however, is using it on a regular basis. You’ll gain invaluable insight into how potential customers are finding you.

12. Check your server

Another ongoing part of SEO maintenance is making sure that every part of your website is functioning. Click around your website every so often, keeping an eye out for redirects and other types of error messages.

13. Static can be a good thing

When it comes to your website’s ranking, making a few sections static can be quite helpful. By keeping the same content on your homepage, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor. Rewriting your URLs may also be a necessity, depending upon how well your pages are getting indexed.

14. Prioritize text

Although the old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words, in the world of SEO, a thousand words is worth more than a picture. Keep in mind that text is more helpful to your SEO strategy. When you’re writing text for your website, try to make your business’s offerings stand out from the crowd. What is it that your company does better than any of your competitors?

15. Unique content attracts unique visitors—and new clients

The more original your text sounds, the more likely it will be that you can generate buzz when potential customers click on your pages. Original content will always make your website more intriguing. Again, if you want to make your copy truly shine, outsourcing it to a professional can be an excellent idea. Once you’ve completed your copy, be sure to run it through Copyscape to guarantee that the content is completely original.

16. Make your website accessible to everyone

While you’re taking a look at the images, make sure to write descriptions of the images so that your site will be easy to navigate for those who are visually impaired. Also, adding alt tags is relatively simple and can make it much more convenient for search engines to understand the content on your website.

17. To supercharge your website’s reach, start a blog

Although it can be somewhat of a time commitment, blogging every week can work wonders for your SEO strategy. It casts a positive light on your business achievements and positions you as an expert in your field, all the while driving more traffic to your website. Blogging provides value for customers to keep coming back, and it’s a solid component for any soft sell strategy. Be patient, and you will eventually see the fruits of your labor.

18. Come up with creative content

Aside from blogging, podcasting is always an excellent way to hook new clients. However, it isn’t the only way to punch up your website in order to get more hits. Adding infographics is very in vogue right now, allowing businesses to impart wisdom in a way that’s entertaining and visually appealing.

19. Video is a more powerful tool than ever

Of course, creating a YouTube channel and then embedding it into your website is also a great way to drive traffic to your company’s offerings. With online video exploding at an exponential rate, there’s never been a better time to produce some videos for your site.

20. Include a privacy statement for good measure

These days, consumers want to know exactly what information is being collected whenever they visit a website. Adding a privacy statement to your site gives them the information that they need while making your business look professional.

21. Google Webmaster Guidelines can be an invaluable tool

If you want to avoid any practices that could cause your site to be penalized or removed from Google indexes, then you’ll definitely want to check out this important list of tips. Again, the practices that used to work five years ago may now be considered verboten, so it’s crucial to examine this list for any potential website minefields.

22. Google isn’t the only game in town

Although it’s sometimes easy to forget, Google isn’t the only search engine on the internet. Some consumers prefer to use Bing, so make sure that your site is also optimized for Bing searches. Sign up for Bing’s webmaster tools and familiarize yourself with their best practices.

23. Mobile is becoming even more crucial

With the popularity of smartphones and tablets also booming, it’s always smart to check your website’s performance on mobile. You may be surprised by what you find. Sometimes a font that looks perfect on your laptop will seem completely disjointed on a smartphone. Google’s Mobile Usability Report, which is located in Webmaster Tools, will give you all kinds of feedback about how your site is functioning on mobile. More and more purchases are now happening on mobile, so this component cannot be overlooked. When you’re presenting your website to lenders such as Lendvo, you’ll want your web traffic and sales to be as impressive as possible. Mobile can help you achieve your goals. The Mobile Usability Report truly gets down to the nitty-gritty, offering up invaluable insights about how your website translates to mobile.

24. Keep an eye on your site speed

Nothing turns off potential clients faster than a website that moves at a snail’s pace. Tools like GTMetrix will help you to evaluate this important component.

25. Use an SEO Cloaking Checker

Search engines really don’t react well when cloaking crops up. Cloaking occurs when there are two different versions of a website page—one that the search engine sees and another that potential customers can view. If it seems as though your site has a cloaking issue, huge problems may be on the horizon. There are many free SEO online tools that check for cloaking, so be sure to monitor this on a regular basis.

26. Don’t make your website a maze

For optimal SEO, you want all of your pages to be accessible from your homepage. If you do have pages that are “buried” in your website, requiring visitors to click on several items before finding them, then you will want to simplify your site.

27. Use anchor text effectively

When you use hyperlinks to take site visitors to a different URL, it pays to use one of your most popular keywords in the anchor text.

28. Analyze how your CTA (Call to Action) is performing

Although it’s important for websites to delicately balance hard sell and soft cell, a strong CTA is crucial. Tools such as Crazy Egg will help you to monitor if new customers are getting to the good parts of your website—or abandoning it after the homepage.

29. Flash and JavaScript navigation may be working against you

Always use some manner of text navigation in order to allow search engine spiders to find the important items on your page. Flash may look pretty, but text navigation is still a necessity.

30. The ultimate SEO checklist is always evolving

As you’ve probably surmised by now, the website work of a business owner is never finished. There’s always a new update to research or analytics to run, but this is also part of what makes the process interesting and enjoyable. When you do your own SEO, you’re able to better familiarize yourself with your customers’ unique preferences. This is an extraordinary resource that can affect all areas of your business, and it’s another reason why bootstrapping can be good when you’re developing your online presence. Companies like Lendvo look for initiative and innovation, which is why many start-ups who work with Lendvo choose to do their own SEO.