Chelsi Graphic’s SEO Checklist for Small Business Websites

Chelsi Graphics, LLC is offering this 2017 SEO Checklist for Small Business Websites. This list of steps is an aid to handling your own Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Hover over bold text in this list with your cursor to obtain additional information such as definitions, explanations, etc.

Prepare for an “Optimized” Website

  • Choose a domain name (aka: URL) and check for availability.
    • A domain name that does not bring up a website is not necessarily available; it may be “owned” already.
    • Incorporate your primary keyword into your Domain Name, if possible.
    • Be descriptive, but simplistic.
    • Do not use multiple domains that point at the same website.
      • Search engines penalize this practice.
      • For multiple domains, use the main URL, forward (redirect) any additional domain names.
  • Gather and organize your information, (i.e., copy, images, videos, etc.)
    • If you’re paying a web designer or developer, don’t pay them for what you can do.
  • Give some thought, if not research time, to pinpointing your target market.
  • Browse other websites to get an idea of what you need, and what you want.
    • Do not duplicate any other website; only get ideas to implement into your unique site.
  • Learn a bit about web development, protect yourself from scams.

"Optimizing" Your Content

  • Optimize content (text, images, videos, etc.) on each page.
  • Explain the topic of each of your pages; your information should add value to visitors; filling a need.
  • Use descriptive copy to get your message across.
  • Keep text concise and pertinent, catchy and informative; keep users from bouncing;
  • Use at least 100 words on each page. Images that contain wording do not count as text by search engines.
  • Use common speech patterns in your text with bulleted, easily read copy.
  • Use your keywords in context.
  • Keyword Research
    • Google and Bing are no longer as focused on keywords as they once were. But some keyword research is advised. A great deal of help is available online.
    • Check out high-ranking competitors’ sites.
      • Do not duplicate content; simply research.
      • What keywords are in their text?
      • What type of links do they display?
    • Use synonyms in addition to keywords.
    • Do not just list keywords; content must flow sensibly for readers for Google to list your site.
    • Use fresh content; Infrequent quotes are acceptable, but do not plagiarize content from any outside source.
  • Use only one “H1” tag on each page, before any other "H" tags, preferably containing your keyword.
  • Use additional “H” tags (i.e., H2, H3, …)
  • Navigation Buttons with text should be short and descriptive.
  • Include images and videos whenever possible.
    • Use descriptive filenames for all images and videos.
    • Include “ALT tags” for each image and video.
  • Practice "Link Building"
    • Be sure to link only to valid, live websites.
    • Use search-friendly anchor text for all internal links, as well as hyperlinks.
    • The text visitors click to link elsewhere should be descriptive of where they’re going when they click.
    • Test all links or run a "Link Checker" utility to eliminate errors.
  • Use "Title Tags" on each page; when possible, include your keyword.
  • Include "Meta Descriptions" for each page of approximately, but no more than, 160 characters, that include your primary keyword.
  • Test to be sure your site is responsive to various web platforms (browsers), such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge, etc.
  • Your site must be mobile friendly, or have a mobile counterpart.

For WordPress Users Only

  • Install and utilize the Yoast SEO Plugin
    • This is currently the premier SEO plugin – and it’s free! Filling in the Yoast criteria for each page and post is the simple way to get a handle on your optimization.
    • Check Yoast SEO errors and, at minimum, correct the red markers.

Search engines such as Google and Bing offer tools to help increase your search rankings and track the status of your website. My next post topic will cover these tools. In a later post I will explain how to use Social Media to increase your web visibility.

I hope this information is profitable. Blessings!

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