What is A Basic SEO Checklist?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is important to incorporate in your website’s marketing plan for many reasons. The main benefit is that SEO makes your website more visible. More visibility means more traffic to your site and in turn more searchers and potential customers & clients clicking on your website. In this post we will be going over a basic SEO checklist that will cover several ways to utilize each component. Using this basic SEO checklist can not only create an organic and trustworthy path for people to discover your site, but it can also improve brand awareness and generate more sales.
Keyphrase, Basic SEO Checklist Essential
Form a key phrase that you’d like each page of your website to compete for in search results against other websites. No keyphrase should be the same as another. For example: “Philadelphia Artist Resources” & “Free Database for Philly Artists” are key phrases. Think of a short string of words that you believe someone may Google and that you’d want them to stumble across this page to answer. Typically a keyphrase is four words, but it depends. If you go beyond four words, you may be getting too complex.
Ensure your copy has the keywords or phrases you want to compete for in search results. The number of key mentions will depend on the length of the text on the page, but it is recommended that the key phrase comes up at least twice for every 600 words.
Even if you’re not familiar with metadata descriptions, you’ve certainly seen them countless times. When you search something on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. the metadata descriptions are the brief descriptions found under each link. Make sure all of your pages have metadata descriptions. This should be between 155-160 characters, and it should describe what the page is about for Search Results. It should include the key phrase from above.
Each page should have a short URL with appropriate keywords. This can include the key phrase—for example, muralartsinstitute.org/philly-artist database. Use dashes “-” and not underscores “_”.
Copy Length, Basic SEO Checklist Essential
Make sure the copy length of your pages is a length that will be crawled when searched. Over 300 words on each page is a good start, but depending on the text-to-HTML ratio for each page, some text will need longer if it will require more code to bring a website design to life. To learn more about text-html ratio and SEO, click here.
Have internal links to other pages on your website on every page and continue to build connections. It’s good to reference your content. For example, a recent blog post about Managing a Public Art Project may link to a blog post from the past about what a Project Manager does for Public Art Projects.
Add external links, links to other websites, to improve SEO favorability. Including external links ranks your site as useful and as a quality resource. Make sure to only use external links to reputable, trusted and established. Use external links in a relevant way to improve SEO. When using external links, have the link open in a new tab so that the person clicking isn’t taken away from your website.
Continue to build the website and publish content like blogs, landing pages, case studies, etc.
Image Alt Text, Basic SEO Checklist Essential
Make sure all your website images have alternate text and keywords. The best way to start this is to give all image files names, and then the developer can add in alt text and a title or show the client how to after an image is uploaded. Pictures should describe what the photo is about. Bonus if you add in keywords that may not be too obvious to help the image rank in Image Search Results. For example, “Black female arts painting a mural” is okay, but “African American female artist in North Philly painting the Cecil B Moore mural in a playground” is even more descriptive and particular. Image alt text should be around 125 words.
Titles and Headers
Ensure the titles and first paragraphs of your pages are set as Header 1 and Header 2 titles (H1 and H2), so the search engines can crawl them properly. They should include the key phrase in them.
Basic SEO Checklist, Conclusion
SEO is a great way to gain more visibility, more traffic, and ultimately more business. If you want your website to be more reputable and trustworthy, SEO is the way to go. By following the steps laid out in this checklist you’ll be well on your way to gaining a high quality SEO score.