Good On-Site SEO is Still Important
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has been around for quite a while and the tactics continue to evolve for both On-Site and Off-Site SEO. A lot of the basics of On-Site SEO, though, have remained relatively unchanged and continue to be very important if you want to garner your fair share of organic search traffic. Following is our quick ten step checklist to help you manage your On-Site SEO like a pro.
10 Step On-Site SEO Checklist
- Pick a Strong Domain Name: Choose a domain name that is as short as possible and is relevant to your website content and, if it’s important, location. This is the first place to get started on the practice of making every keyword count.
- Keep Your URLs Short and Simple: Our rule for URLs is the shorter and simpler the better. Limit your words, skip the symbols (other than hyphens) and use relevant, detailed keywords.
- Make Meta Tags Relevant and Unique: These aren’t as important as they once were, but they still have some value. Try to keep your meta titles and meta descriptions very specific to your website content and don’t bother keyword stuffing as it’s only counter-productive.
- Limit Your Clicks: We generally follow a 3 Click Rule. In short, you shouldn’t need to click more than three times to get to any page on your site. Wider is better than deeper.
- Use Your H1 and H2 Tags: The text in your H1 and H2 tags may be the most important words on your website pages. These are how you tell the search engines what your site is really about and what’s important so definitely use them but don’t abuse them.
- Use Internal Links: While this may seem to contradict the previous point it actually supports it. It’s a good idea to embed internal links to other relevant pages of your website throughout your website content (not just in the menu). Don’t overdo it but it just stands to reason that search engines might find your pages more important if you demonstrate that they are to you as well.
- Get Your Keywords in Your Content: If you want to get found in search for the right reasons it definitely helps to have plenty of the right keywords in your content. If it seems overdone it probably is so make sure your website copy seems natural to the reader but get your keywords in there. Get a Google account and track your keyword density at Webmaster Central to make sure it’s where you want it.
- Tag Your Images: If you properly title and tag your images they add value to organic search. The title tag is what will show up when someone hovers over that image. If for some reason the image doesn’t load, or your visitor is using an assistive device to view your page, the alternate text tag is the text they’ll see in place of your image. These are searchable and are a good way to help search engines understand what your website is about.
- Don’t Forget Your Site Map: The easier your site is to crawl the more likely it is you’ll rank well in search. An XML Site Map makes your site more transparent to search engines and there are plenty of sites on the web to help you create one if you don’t know how.
- Keep the Content Coming: Don’t let your website content get stale. If you want people, and search bots, to keep coming back, you need to give them a reason to. We recommend doing content updates at least monthly and more often is better.
Understanding Your SEO
That’s pretty much the basics you need to be aware of in setting up your website for optimal search engine visibility. If you’re interested in the full-fledged Google version, you can always reference their downloadable Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. If you have specific questions, feel free to comment or shoot us an email and we’ll be happy to help.