We all know that strategic research and planning is very important before diving to whatever what it is that we want to do. In the same way, when it comes to building a new website, one should have extensive research on how they are going to grow their site before starting it. Building a website is not just about the design and development part. It needs to have a great SEO strategy to make sure that it gets the best search engine performance. If you put it aside from the start, it will leave a lot missed opportunities later on.
Search Engine Optimization has now evolved into one of the keys to a successful website. As more people are now on their mobile phones, search engines have upped their game. Instead of just keyword content, search engines are evaluating more in keyword intent. Social search and voice search are now even making an impact on SEO. This is the very reason why having high-quality, engaging, and relevant content is very important to improve one’s search engine performance. So with SEO continuously evolving through the years, it is important that we are all updated and well-informed about it.
Here are 7 simple but effective SEO checklist for 2019.
1 Make your website mobile-friendly.
This can’t be stressed enough; mobile-friendly sites rank better. For one, Google prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly. Considering the number of people who mainly use their mobile phones for searching content, it is no longer a surprise that mobile friendliness is one of the biggest factors that can affect one’s website performance. When you are building your website, use Google’s checker tool if your site is mobile-friendly. And when it comes to choosing a theme, choose one that is mobile-responsive. Otherwise, you can definitely lose rankings and most importantly, leads if your website is not mobile-friendly. Don’t forget to test all your website pages as well as functions on different devices so you can guarantee that your website is indeed mobile-friendly.
2 Optimize your website.
The speed of your website is one of the biggest factors that Google consider when they rank a website. So with that in mind, this should come as a priority when you are building your website. Here are some important steps that you do to increase website speed.
• If you use images repeatedly such as the icons, logo, or buttons, try to use CSS sprites instead to save the load time.
• Without compromising the quality of your images, make them compressed as possible. Use JPEGs for photographs and PNGs for graphics instead.
• Check the health of your website speed consistently on PageSpeed Insights Tool.
3 Use long-tail keywords and implement it.
Long-tail keywords are more specific and competitive compared to shorter ones. They are made up of at least three words. Moreover, they make up 70% of all web searches so it is only fitting that you prioritize it when it comes to optimizing your website. When creating content, make sure to incorporate long-tail keywords into them.
Here are easy tips to do this:
• First, find short keywords that describe your products, services, or your business in general. You should have a seed keyword to start with so you can find the right long-tail keywords.
• Use a keyword research tool such as the Google Keyword Planner so you can find related keywords to your seed keyword.
• Only pick the keywords that are relevant and are also in demand.
• Look for long-tail variations of these keywords and incorporate it all throughout your website. For example, if you are selling women’s shoes and you have that as your keywords, a good example of a long-tail keyword would be ‘buy women’s shoes online’.
4 Update your XML Sitemap.
What makes Google to easily find your website pages is your XML sitemaps. You should keep in mind that Google does not rank one’s entire website, but rather the individual pages. So to optimize your website, make sure to update your XML sitemap. First, you need to generate one using a sitemap generator. Next, test it your using the Google Search Console Sitemap Tester. Lastly, submit your sitemap on the Google Search Console.
5 Write unique and actionable metal descriptions.
Meta descriptions help a lot in making your content more visible on Google. It is important that each page of your website has it. In simplest terms, it is the description that people see beneath the title of your content on Google. So with that, it is important that you use keywords that describe your content and includes the most important details. You have to be clear, accurate, concise, and most importantly, it has to end with a call-to-action.
6 Measure your website’s performance regularly.
If you want your website to be successful, you need to commit to monitoring and measuring your website’s performance. And if there is room for improvement, do it. So when you are starting a website, it is important that you set up your website analytics to track correctly. You will be able to access important information about your visitor, customers, assess each page popularity, see your sources, and even more. All these information are valuable and you should use it your advantage. Some of the best tools that you can use are Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and many more.
7 Optimize your heading tags.
To format the content, adding headings tags is important. It helps users and search engines at the same time. So it is important that you put H1 tag on each of the pages and include your primary keyword on it. Use it correctly so that Google will be able to identify the topic and the most important keywords on each page. Utilize the H2 and H3 headings as well according to your content.