Ever wonder if you’ve made “big” SEO (search engine optimization) errors on your website? If left unfixed, these mistakes can keep your website from ever being found by people wanting your stuff!
If you’re as busy as I am, you might find a simple checklist helpful.
Here is a quick 7 point SEO checklist to help you make sure things are in order.
Content (above the fold)
Useful incoming links
Domain name – #1
Having the right domain name (www.yourcompany.com) can make a big difference. So can having the wrong URL.
For example, a website with very very little content called www[dot]iphoneappmarketing[dot]com ranked ahead of me for quite a while.
The words “iPhone”, “app”, and “marketing” were great descriptive keywords. They didn’t have any new content for months, yet ranked ahead of my content rich site. 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 should do keyword research to understand the words you’ll use.
Page Titles – #2
Here is what you should know about page titles:
- 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.
So it’s got both SEO importance, but also importance in pulling the user into your site. Use it for both!
The page title to this post will be: “Top 7 SEO Tips | Online and iPhone Marketing”.
Choose titles that are not just catchy, but also keyword rich. Make them interesting, readable, and relevant to the content on the page.
URLs – #3
URLs mean a lot to search engines at this point. They should tell the search engine the main focus of the website.
Some things to think about when creating URLs:
- Put the most important keywords at the beginning of the URL
- Don’t use symbols, numbers, or anything that is not helpful to a search engine
- For example: http://www.onlinemarketingrant.com/search-engine-optimization-tips
- Is better than: http://www.onlinemarketingrant.com/content/ID=?15111
Content (above the fold) – #4
Content is absolutely KING when it comes to SEO. You can do all the other 6 things, but without great, relevant, and expanding content you’ll go nowhere.
Here is why content is important:
- Google rates a site by how authoritative it feels it is for a certain search term
- These content attributes make a site “more authoritative” in Google’s eyes
- Lots of content on a subject
- Content so great that other sites will link to it
- Content that is new
- Relavent keywords in the content near the top of the page
- Sites that are more authoritative get ranked higher
Useful Incoming Links – #5
Pretty simple. A site that other important sites will link to, is a website that Google thinks other people should find in search results.
How do you get great incoming links?
- Write great content
- Offer to guest blog for another like website
- Make a list of websites, blogs, and forums that would find your content help, tell them about it, and ask them to link to it
- Link to and write about other great products and services in your niche (they might just end up contacting you)
What not to do?
- Don’t buy links
- Don’t trade links with sites that have nothing to do with your site
- Don’t link to a bunch of irrelevant sites that ask you to
Meta keywords – #6
Meta keywords used to be a way to tell the search engines what a site was all about. The problem was you could stuff a bunch of keywords together and rig your ranking even if your content was not that relevant.
More recently search engines like Google have become more sophisticated and don’t use Meta keywords. Some smaller search engines seem to still use them.
Since you are already doing the keyword research for your URL, page titles, content, etc it is very easy to just add 10-15 keywords to your Meta keyword description.
Meta description – #7
The Meta description is still quite important, mainly because it shows up just below the page title in Google search results.
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 makes sense and helps you jumpstart your SEO efforts. Good luck!