Do you have a new website and don’t know where you should start to make it more SEO-friendly? Here is our ultimate SEO checklist that will guide you and your website in the right direction!
Since there is a lot to do for any new website owner in terms of search engine optimisation, it is a good idea to categorise the numerous tasks into five major groups. This will also help create the right mindset by highlighting the importance of these five segments in search engine optimisation.
Setting up the foundation
Before you do anything else, it is crucial to set up the right foundation upon which you can make a search-engine friendly website. Setting up this foundation means creating necessary accounts, selecting a content management system, and installing the right plugins.
Here are a few steps you need to take to set the right foundation for your new website:
- Select a content management system (CMS). You will be publishing a lot of content, and a content management system ensures that you can do it all on your own easily — without seeking help from a professional web developer. Our recommendation is to install WordPress — the #1 CMS in the world right now.
- The next step is to install the necessary plugins. You should not install too many as they can slow down your website, but Yoast SEO plugin is an exception. It will make your life 100x easier.
- Set up a Google Analytics account so you can learn more about your traffic, how you acquire them, and how they behave on your website.
- Set up a Google Search Console account.
- Verify your website in Google Search Console.
Keyword research is one of the most integral and crucial aspects of search engine optimisation. It is even more important for a new website that is trying to make its mark and rank in search engines. Here is a list of tools that we recommend for thorough keyword research:
Here are a few tips to get you started with keyword research:
On-page search engine optimisation encompasses numerous steps that you must take each time you publish a new web page or blog post. This includes setting up policies around:
- Formulating the right URL structure. It should be short, concise, keyword-rich, and free of special characters and stop words.
- Setting up heading tags. The post should be divided into multiple subheadings (H2 tags) and sub-sub headings (H3). These headings should be interesting, descriptive, and contain primary and secondary keywords.
- Meta title. Each web page should have a unique meta title within 50-60 characters, so it doesn’t get truncated in the SERPs. The meta title should have the main keyword.
- Meta description. The meta description gives you more space (up to 300 characters) to include more primary and secondary keywords and convince search engine users to click on your web page.
- Linking policy. Each post will contain some external links (to other websites on the internet) and internal links (to other pages on your site). Aim for at least 5-6 external and 5-6 internal links per 1,000 words.
Apart from on-page optimisation, you will also require a policy for off-page SEO. Off-page search engine optimisation mostly revolves around acquiring high-quality back-links that you can generate by:
Over the last few years, user experience has grown in importance as a search engine ranking factor. You will have to make sure that your website provides a great user experience to new and recurring visitors alike.
Here are a few things that this user experience category encompasses:
- Website design – a bad design will almost always lead to a poor user experience. This includes the overall design, use of white space, and choice of colours, among other things.
- Website navigation – the navigation should be clear, familiar, and easily accessible. Can a new visitor easily browse your website and reach on any page from anywhere?
- Technical errors – dead-ends such as 404-page errors can be a buzzkill.
- Readability – online users want information. What’s the point if they can’t easily read what you are sharing?
- Bounce rate – bounce rate refers to people who don’t visit another page on your site before quitting. You want to keep it low by making your website more easily navigable and providing amazing extra content.
- Website loading speed – a slow-loading website makes people quit. It is also bad for search engine rankings. Increase the loading speed of your website if you want to achieve higher rankings in the SERPs.
Final thoughts …
When considering SEO to market your business online, keep in mind that it will take time to achieve great results, but given time and patience, the return on investment can be extremely fruitful. We offer tried-and-tested SEO strategies to improve the visibility of your business online, helping you to generate more website customers, enquiries and sales. If you would like to talk to us about SEO, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat!