We all want our websites to look their best for search engines. But as they say, no pain no gain. Before you ever get a chance to get on top, you need to do a lot of work on optimization of your website. But what does it entail? We present you 16 steps you need to take in order to improve your website. Our SEO checklist includes:
1. Starting a website audit
Check the code, content and usability of the site for compliance with the basic rules and guidelines of search engines. Complete site audit includes a comprehensive analysis of all important factors of optimization such as verifying technical parameters, the quality of the current content, site position, user behavior etc. Ideally you will end up with a list of ideas on how to improve site’s performance.
2. Keyword research
Creating a semantic core of relevant keywords and key phrases is essential at this stage.
The semantic core is divided into query groups and distributed among the pages. If needed, you should readjust the site structure; add new pages, redistribute menu items. The written content should be relevant to chosen keywords and at the same time pleasant to read and informative.
4. Optimization of the landing page
Landing page optimization involves placing the texts correctly, wise implementation of meta tags (titles, descriptions, and keywords), creating header tags (h1-h6) and an internal cross reference system.
5. Adding the site to Google Webmaster Tools
This way you’ll be getting accurate information on your site’s performance directly from search engines.
6. Targeting by location
It’s crucial to inform search engines about your location preferences and specify the desired region. Your clients may be looking for your products or services exactly in your area.
7. Creating of the robots.txt file
You should double check the system file that controls the indexing of your website. Let search engines find what you want them to find and hide the rest.
8. The creation and placement of the sitemap.xml file
Your site map must be relevant, automatically updated and contain the required parameters such as priority, last-modifyed and-changefreq – page priority, the date of the last update and chosen frequency of updates. And don't forget to make sure that the site map does not contain URLs prohibited in robots.txt.
9. Check the statistics
Evaluating the effectiveness of SEO is all about obtaining good data. Your minimal package to go is Yandex.Metrica or Google Analytics. Your best package is both of them.
10. Check out the layout
You’ll need to work hard on this one: check if css and html are adequate, micro data available and headers put right.
11. Check page load speed
Just test your main, hub, and destination pages through PageSpeed Tools from Google. Then correct all the errors.
12. Make sure your design is responsive enough
Again, a handy tool from Google will allow you to determine if your website mobile friendly. It’s never a bad thing to make it even more mobile device friendly.