The best SEO foundation for small businesses

If you are a business owner and want to improve your visibility online, you need to ensure that your SEO efforts are on track. Here is an SEO checklist for small businesses to help you get started.

Before you start with any SEO techniques you need to carry out some basic research to ensure that you know what you want to change and why you need to change it. Importantly –  you’ll learn how to change it. When this is done, you can go ahead and move through this checklist.

  1. Create accounts on Google Analytics, Bing and Google+
    This allows you to get the basics in place and be able to monitor your visitor information and site performance from the beginning.
  2. Install Google Search Console
    This is not optional. Google Search Console can help you to find issues with your website, submit pages and view important information.
  3. Compile a list of keywords for your website
    You need to know which keywords you want to rank for, including specific keywords that your competitors are using and currently ranking for.
  4. Expand on your keywords with Google’s Keyword Tool
    This will allow you to research your chosen keywords effectively, determine which ones perform best, and what the forecasted search volumes will be.
  5. Create sitemap and submit to Google and Bing
    If you use a CMS there are usually many plugins that can handle this on your behalf.
  6. Find technical errors
    You can do find errors on your website with a tool such as Browseo. You can also find broken links with a tool like Screaming Frog.
  7. Start creating your pages
    Create a page of well-written, authoritative content for every keyword you want to rank for. The more pages you have, the better for SEO purposes. Make sure you have keywords in H1 tags.
  8. Create a content plan
    Create additional content pages for your website on a monthly basis. This should be an ongoing effort to consistently improve your rankings. Make sure you don’t have duplicate content.
  9. Create your meta descriptions
    Write a unique title and description for each page. Ensure that your descriptions are not duplicate and add keywords in your descriptions. They should be 155 characters or less.
  10. Add your images’ ALT tags
    For every image, add an ALT tag and keywords.
  11. Add your contact details
    Make sure that your contact details are displayed prominently on each page. Include your telephone number and email address.
  12. Link to content
    Make sure you link to relevant content pages from the main menu on your home pages. Try to allow visitors to find every page in less than three clicks.
  13. Check your loading times
    Ensure that your website’s pages load quickly in all browsers. You can test this often and improve where necessary. Try Google’s Page Speed Insights.
  14. Link building
    Ask partners and suppliers or customers to link to your website if possible. Use Ahrefs.com to find out what backlinks your competitors are benefitting from.

As a business owner, doing your best to optimise your website, you can often find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, and then wondering why you don’t see any results with your SEO efforts. This checklist is a great starting point and it can allow you to get the right foundation for your website’s online success.

You can do a lot to boost your SEO efforts and remember, great content is at the heart of your website’s success. Speak to the experts at The Content Works to help you craft great content for your website, and to help boost your incoming links.

 
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