If you have a new website or even an old one that you haven’t looked at much in terms of how it performs on search engines, the following checklist will assist you in getting your website optimized for best performance in the free or organic listings on search engines and also what to look for and do if you are considering paid search.
Remember: If you are not on the first page of the search results, it is unlikely your listing will be clicked. People simply very seldom look further than the first page of search results.
Search Engine Marketing (SEO and SEM) Checklist
- Are your Title tags describing the content on each page of your site effectively?
- Do your Meta description and keyword tags accurately reflect the content on each page of your site?
- Do you have Alt tags on each image?
- Are you using real text for content (instead of graphics with text in them)?
- Are you including keywords and are the keywords relevant to the content on each page?
- Content: How good is it? If it’s not great, don’t expect a lot.
- Is your site and content shareable?
- Do you have an RSS feed set up?
- How many links are coming into your site?
- Can you think of people, site owners who would be willing to link to your site and content?
Have you asked those people to link to you?
- Is your site link-worthy?
- Have you submitted your site to search engines?
- Have you started a blog and/or posted articles about your area of expertise or the product or service you are promoting with your site?
- Are you checking how you rank against competitors for particular keyword terms?
- Is your content fresh?
- Have you run your site through http://website.grader.com?
SEM (Paid Search)
- If you are unable to get a top page organic search result, have you considered paid search? Since Google has 84% market share, its AdWords Program is a good place to begin.
- Are you choosing your keyword terms effectively?
- Are you monitoring which ads are working better than others?
- Are you monitoring which keywords are your best performers?
- Do you have goals set up in your paid search tool? Is your site listed in as many places as possible?
- How focused is each page of your site around a particular keyword term?
- What are the top 5 keywords that people are finding you with on search engines?
- Do you have pages dedicated to those top 5 keywords?
Measure, Monitor, Monitise (MMM)
- Are you tracking your linkpopularity? http://www.linkpopularity.com is a good starting point.
- Have you started tracking and monitoring visits to your site with analytics tools?
- Do you have analytics on your site? Are you monitoring your statistics and making changes to the site according to what you notice from the statistics reports?