SEO Checklist for new websites - DIY guide

Megan Bennett - Thursday, February 21, 2013

SEO your website so it's visible in GoogleGot a new website and you need to know how to get it ranking? Or maybe your current website visibility needs improving? This DIY Check-list can help to get you started.

Accessibility

Make sure the site is accessible for humans and search engines — both need to be able to reach all the content on your site

  •   No 404 errors
  •   No 500 errors
  •   No 302 redirects
  •   No duplicate content
  •   No missing title tags
  •   No thin content

 Keyword Targetting

To be found, you need to have the right keywords that are relevant to your site with good search volumes.  Choose low difficulty, high volume searches that you know you can work on to build content like feature pages, blog posts etc.

  • Pick the right keywords to target and ensure they are on your pages
  • Make sure it's relevant to your site
  • Choose low difficulty and high volume keywords

Quality Content and Value

When your visitors arrive will they see will the page give them the answer they are looking for. Great content gives users satisfaction and your pages will love your quality content. 

  • Choose the right keywords to target and ensure they are on your pages
  • Make sure it's relevant to your site
  • Choose low difficulty and high volume keywords

Design quality, user experience and site usability

Go with a simple design that will give a great user experience and the make site is easy to use.  Like the point above about quality content, the site design and quality content almost go hand in hand with design quality and the user experience. If the site is difficult to navigate and your site visitors can't find the information they are looking the user will be frustrated with the site, which equals a bad user experience.

Social account set up

Because social and SEO are now an integral part of any digital profile, it really pays off to be using social media. Social signals help search engines better rank content, as well as having the second effect of user usage, branding, plus the overall impact of people seeing sites through social sharing.

Set up these accounts as a minimum for social account using ~

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Link Building

 Many site owners start off with the wrong method with their link building strategy. Ensure site back links are quality and trustworthy. Build a backlink profile over time and consistently. 

  • Business contacts and customers
  • Guest posts and content
  • High quality resource lists and directories, industries associated directories
  • News media and blogs
  • Social media link acquisition — connecting with others
  • Content marketing

These are all great, safe ways but are not short term wins. They will require time and effort, authenticity in your marketing. Stay away from the rapid link building with reciprocal link building on your own site, low quality directories, article marketing and spinning, paid links, link farms and forum spam commenting.

Further Reading

SEO Moz comprehensive "Pre and post launch check-list with guidelines".

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