There are thousands upon thousands of blogs and articles on the internet on how to successfully optimise your website for search engines. Some are more advanced than others but it’s important to cover the basics. So here is your no-nonsense SEO checklist to be sure you’re not missing the obvious (and often easy to resolve) elements to achieve higher search engine rankings.
Optimise those Title Tags
Use relative keywords to the content and make it short and sweet. An ideal Title Tag is 55 characters so it’s important to make sure it’s focused and the Title Tags for each page on your website are unique. It’s also important to remember that if Title Tags are too long, the end will be cut off in Google search results.
Make use of headings
Be sure to use H1 and H2 headings to organise the content on your page. Google will credit it and it will improve the visitor’s experience.
Sensible use of targeted keywords
It’s important to make sure you have targeted keywords in your content, especially within your opening paragraph. However stuffing your content with keywords is bad SEO practice and your website will be penalised by search engines.
Add value to your content with media
Google will love your website if you use media such as videos with your content. This will increase the chances of your page being ranked above other which don’t take advantage of this.
Build internal links between your pages
A connected website is a well optimised website. Internal links to other pages on your website will create a network and it will be easier for search engine bots to crawl your website. This in turn can help to improve your search ranking.
Integrate social media
Allow visitors to easily share your content on social networks. This will not only optimise your website in search but it will also drive traffic and awareness from other sources. So be sure you add those social network widgets to your pages.
Categorise your content
A well organised website will help search engine bots to crawl your website. Therefore use categories and sub-categories to organise the content on your website. For example if you have a section for haberdashery & gifts, split it up into separate categories.
An HTML and/or a XML sitemap will improve the visibility of your website and will provide keyword rich links to all the pages on your website. So be sure to check if you have one in place!
Build external links
Creating links to other websites will improve your Domain Authority which will – that’s right, improve your search ranking. If you’ve seen your article or product mentioned on another website, get it linked! You can also research who currently links to your website.
SEO friendly URLs
If the URLs for your pages on your website aren’t keyword optimised then this will make it hard for Google to pull your page into search results. So make sure these URLs are search engine friendly
For example – http://www.example.com/forums/seo-checklist
as opposed to – http://www.example.com/forums/thread.php?threadid=12345&sort=date
Optimise your images
It’s important to know that when you use images with your content (which is great for SEO), they should have alt tags applied. These are important for SEO because search engines find images more difficult to understand than text. So having alt tags for your images will improve your chances of being returned in a search.
Search engines really love fresh, relevant content. So be sure to keep your website up to date and post new content regularly with a news section or a blog.
For further explanation of common SEO terms, have a look at our SEO Glossary.
Whether you have any great simple SEO tips, or struggling with your SEO, we’d love to hear from you!