A proper search engine optimization (SEO) plan is an important part of every solid web strategy. For starters, it’s what makes your website easy for search engines to crawl and understand your intention. When executed correctly, SEO will help you secure a spot in Google’s coveted list of returned results so that your prospects can find you and ultimately purchase your product or services.
Yet, with Google’s constantly changing algorithms and obscure penalties, it’s no surprise that many marketers are more than a little overwhelmed when it comes to implementing SEO best practices on their own.
Let’s begin at the beginning.
Before you even start writing your website content, it’s best to begin with some ideas about the keywords or topics you’d like to target. Identify up to 15 terms that coincide with each product offering or area of your business. If you sell socks for example, will you have a page focusing on blue socks and another for children’s socks?
In general, it’s most effective to target terms that have a medium-high search volume, but are low-medium competition. This means that users are definitely searching for those words, but there aren’t many other sites out there catering to them. Long tail keywords, those that are three and four words in length (in this example, “blue women’s athletic socks”), are very specific and typically have a higher conversion rate, as the user is typically looking to purchasing exactly what they are searching for.
Next, take a long hard look at your content. Is it relevant to your keywords? Avoid “keyword stuffing” and instead take care to craft valuable content that that is useful to your readers. Believe it of not, Google can actually discern intent from context, so save your reader from reading boring robot copy and give them something that is enjoyable and makes sense.
Some other things to consider:
- Do you have any broken links or spelling/grammar errors?
- Are you keeping a consistent link structure?
- Evaluate your usability — Is your site mobile optimized? How are the load times?
To view the full list of tips, download the 2016 SEO Checklist now.