Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing business around the Internet for a long time, you’ll know the importance of search engine results pages and website optimisation. You’ll probably also know all too well how difficult it is juggling the requirements of business with all the other things you’re required to think about.
To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a checklist of things you need to think about as a small business concerned with website optimisation. Whether your aim is to optimise a site that’s running but not fulfilling its potential or to give a new site the best chances for success that you can, we very much hope you’ll find it a useful tool.
Get On the Right Track
•Have your goals written down. This way you won’t lose sight of your objectives. It’s important to keep your eye on the prize.
•Brainstorm and think carefully about search queries. Put yourself in the shoes of the person sitting in front of a computer searching the Internet. Understanding what they type into search boxes is pivotal.
•Keyword research. What you’ve decided about user habits will allow you to select the keywords which will be a crucial part of your website optimisation. Needless to say, choose them carefully and use them wisely.
•Use what you’ve learned about keywords. Know where to use them on your site, how much and what for. Don’t lose out through being careless.
•Do some analysis of current search engine results pages for your keywords. It’s always good to know what you’re dealing with, and checking the lay of the land could prove to be invaluable. From noting the situation at the start you have a point of reference when it comes to monitoring achievement.
•Create a list of your competitors. Make it more than a list. Knowledge is power and much of it is at your fingertips.
•Study the competition’s links using Yahoo Site Explorer. This will give you some good ideas about who you want to link to your site and let you see how others operate.
•Run Google Analytics for 2 weeks prior to commencing. Remember when undertaking website optimisation that it’s all about results. To see the fruits of your labour you’ll need an accurate picture of how things stand with the site you want to improve before you begin.
Get Things Moving
•Think carefully about design. Get a free search engine optimisation analysis and take advice from SEO experts. Don’t forget such important issues as what to include in the design, whether Flash and Java are absolutely necessary etc.
•Check various browsers for compatibility. When the site’s running, visit it from a variety of browsers, including Macintosh, to ensure that it always renders well.
• Create a new e-mail address for the project. This is important when it comes to incoming links. You’ll stay organised and keep good records with a dedicated inbox.
•Think HTML and optimise tags. Basically, bare in mind all the technicalities surrounding search engine ‘spiders’ and what they look for when they can see when they search your site.
•Add the address and telephone number of the company. This is essential to local search. Add these details to every page. This is good SEO because search engines will always recognise this information.
•Decide whether a Meta description is necessary. Do you trust search engines to accurately describe your site on results pages? If not or if you think you can attract users better, make a Meta description.
•Add text for robots. Don’t forget to give the robots sent by search engines the instructions you have for them.
•Add the website to local listings. Get as much exposure as possible.
•Add the site to industry-specific directories.
•Get the links your competition has.
•Find more incoming links. Do what you can to go one better than the competition.
•Decide about social media optimisation.Look at all avenues when it comes to promoting the site and don’t limit your scope.Remember that social media’s taking over the world!
•Create site maps and submit them.
•Create a ranking spreadsheet and update it regularly.
•Keep making changes, introducing fresh content and monitoring progress. Keep thinking with SEO in mind. Fresh content is good, and staying on the ball will give you the edge in business you need.