Don’t you wish there was a “launch” button you could press to get your website up, running, and easily discovered by customers and search engines? With the way technology is advancing, perhaps one day there will be! But in the meantime, these things involve work — especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). You may have an incredible looking website, but if people aren’t finding it, it’s not going to bring in business. If you’re unsure what steps to take to optimize your site for SEO, worry no more! We made a little SEO checklist to help you out…
When it comes to optimizing your website for SEO, it’s best practice to start with a keyword-to-URL map. Let’s just say you’re a dentist in the Denver area, and your goal is to have a website that promotes your services to prospective patients. First, you need to do some research to discover what keywords people are searching for to find dentists in Denver.
Once you find the best ones, you need to create a list that will map out the keywords you’ll be using for each page and URL on your website. The great part about this process is that it will also help you to categorize your content and allow you to give each page its own keyword focus. So, for example, you can have separate pages for general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orthodontic dentistry, or whatever types of dental services you offer. Each of these pages (and their URLs) must be structured to fit your target keywords. This will make them easier for potential customers to find when they’re searching the internet for these specific services.
It’s all about user experience! That’s why good website design is really important when it comes to SEO. Not only should your site design incorporate your brand, but it should also engage and inform visitors. Consistency and credibility are key. A well-designed and easy-to-navigate website that looks professional will definitely earn more clients than one that doesn’t have these qualities.
Let’s face it… It would be a shame if you spent a ton of money on your website design, only to discover that it doesn’t work well on mobile devices. Keep in mind that most people access websites on tablets and smartphones. Your website must be responsive, ensuring that a good browsing experience is available for all.
There’s a few things to consider when it comes to content optimization. First, you should always remember to incorporate the keywords you’ve researched and wish to target into the content itself. Use each keyword the proper amount of times and in the right places to maximize placement in search engines. When you do this, make sure that your content is written in a conversational tone that is simple for people to read and understand. And never, ever keyword stuff.
Next, you’ll want to build internal links within your content. The best way to do this is to use anchor text to link to other pages on your site. For example, if you’re writing a dental blog about how important it is for athletes to wear mouthguards, you could link to a page on your site that describes the custom-fit mouthguards that you offer. This way, you’ll help visitors find more information about the topics you’re presenting.
And speaking of blogs… Setting up a blog is also an excellent idea. After all, blogs enable you to use content to boost your SEO ranking.
Meta Data and ALT Tags
Aside from the content itself, it’s also imperative to optimize your meta data and image ALT tags. Meta data is the information that will be shown on search engines when your website or a specific web page from your site appears as one of the search results. The meta description must be optimized with your target keyword to make it easier for search engines to crawl through. At the same time, it provides additional information for human visitors about the topic of the page. This further increases the chances of your website getting traffic.
The images you use on your site also need to be optimized with target keywords. This will provide accessibility to viewers and will help images rank higher when a related image search is conducted.
A sitemap is another necessary component of SEO, because it tells the search engines what content is on your site and how often it’s updated. Once you create a sitemap (placing your most important pages at the top), submit it in the proper section of Google Search Console (previously known as Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.
We’ll be honest. The harsh reality of website SEO is that your work is never truly done! You should consistently perform SEO checks on a periodic basis. This will enable you to identify any errors, broken links, broken pages, and more. You won’t be able to make any improvements to your SEO in regards to these if you’re not able to detect them.
An SSL certificate is a ‘must have’ for any website — whether it’s an e-commerce site or not. Purchasing and installing an SSL certificate will help you build trust with both visitors and the search engines.
Last — but not least — don’t forget to use analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools and others on your website. For instance, adding your site to Google Search Console will help you find technical issues with your website as well as information about click-through rate (CTR), visibility and search rankings. Installing Google Analytics will give you insight about your traffic data, as well as the demographic of your visitors. With Google Analytics, you’ll be able to determine where most of your traffic is coming from and which sites are referring the traffic to your website. You’ll need the information provided by these tools to customize your marketing plan and have success with both on-page and off-page optimization.
Need some help with SEO?
Use this general checklist as a guideline when evaluating your website’s SEO, and let us know if you need some help! You can give us a call at 303-357-1509 or send us a message. When it comes to SEO, this certainly isn’t the end. That’s why we’ll be covering many more SEO tips and tricks in future blogs… so stay tuned!
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