by Brook Lenox
So many websites get built without search engine optimization included in the plan. Weeks or months later someone important says: “Why aren’t we ranked in Google for red widgets?!?”
Then the SEO efforts begin. If you’re busy and want to simply avoid the “big” mistakes, here is an SEO checklist you might want to follow.
Content (above the fold)
Domain name – #1
Your domain has one of the biggest impacts on your search engine optimization efforts.
I fought long and hard to get my site ranked above a site called www[dot]iphoneappmarketing[
They simply had “iPhone”, “app”, and “marketing” in their domain. That shows the power of your domain name. Be sure to put the most important keywords at the front and leave out irrelevant words.
You may need help with keyword research, before you get started.
URLs – #2
After your home page, you need to decide how to create URLs for every other page on your website.
The simpler the better as far as Google is concerned.
You should avoid URLS like this:
These all keep the search engine from reading the name of the page. Avoid symbols, numbers, words munched together and anything else that a search engine will not understand.
Instead create a URL like:
Page titles – #3
A page title goes right along with your URL.
If your URL is: http://www.company.com/search-
Your page title could be: “Search Engine Optimization”
In most cases they can compliment each other.
This is important because:
• A page title typically shows up at the top of the browser bar
• It tells the user (and the search engine) what the page is about
• It also shows up as the title of the search results in Google.
Choose titles that are interesting, readable, and relevant to the particular focus of the page.
Content (above the fold) – #4
Content is potentially the most important thing for SEO. Google wants users to find answers for the searches they are making. If your content isn’t relevant for their search, it’s in Google’s best interest to not show your page in a search result.
So your goal should be to:
• Create great, interesting, keyword rich content
• Put that content above the fold (rather than a bunch of graphics that Google can’t read)
• Have a site full of that content (rather than just one page)
• Update that site with new content frequently
• And eventually to have an authoritative site on your website’s subject
The more authoritative your content, the more Google will like it and rank it more highly.
Meta description – #5
The Meta description is also quite important, for two reasons.
First, some engines use it to determine what the page is about, but secondly because Google uses the Meta description (if it’s there) in the search results. So you get to write a specific message that ends up on Google for your users.
How great is that?
I encourage you to make that message using keywords, but even more importantly the message you think will intrigue users to click and go to your website.
For your main pages, you should know what’s being displayed in your search results. Just type in your full URL into Google and see what the page title and description look like. If you are not satisfied update the Meta description to something that’s more keyword rich and user friendly.
Hope this helps you in your SEO efforts. Best of luck!