By Jennifer Chan
Small Business Owners: Here's your SEO Checklist.
Over the course of the last few months, we've published a series of posts by James Florence on SEO for SMBs. But we understand that as a small-business owner, you have limited time and resources. With this in mind, here’s a checklist of the most critical SEO tasks for any website.
(Some of these are included in every Nu-Designs Digital website build; call Nancy at (707) 575-5373 to see if it's already taken care of!)
SEO Checklist for Small Business Owners
- Add Website to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
These free web services allow website owners to check indexing status and optimize visibility.
- Create and Upload a Sitemap.xml
Submit your sitemap link to Google and Bing using Google Search Console/Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Create and Upload a Robots.txt File
This file tells search engines which pages to pay attention to and which pages to ignore (like admin pages).
- Install an SSL Certificate
The SSL Certificate allows secure connections from a web server to a browser and is a critical piece of your web security.
- Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free program that tracks all of your website traffic so you can determine how efficient your website is at generating new business.
- Check Site Page Speed
Do this for free with Google PageSpeed Insights. Your page load should be no lower than 85/100.
- Online Directories
Claim your business URL on all social networks and online directories. Make sure all of your business details (NAP) are consistent everywhere your business appears online.
- Identify Keywords
Identify 5 to 10 keywords for which you would like your website to be found. Use these keywords in your content, page titles, meta descriptions and image tags.
- Titles and Meta Descriptions
Write a title and a meta description for every page on your site. Page titles should be 60 to 65 characters. Meta descriptions should be around 155 characters. If you want phone leads, consider putting your phone number in the meta description.
- Create Content
Every page should have at least one paragraph of text. Use clear language that naturally incorporates your keywords.
- Update Content
Update your content frequently (at least once a month is optimal). If you can’t maintain a blog, at least upload new projects, FAQs and/or images.
Proofread your content and then proofread it again. Also, it’s always a good idea to have someone else proofread it with fresh eyes.
It pays to use terrific images. Even if your industry isn’t visually oriented, your potential users are. In addition, Google pays attention to the quality of images.
- Header Tags and Bullet Point Lists
These will help both users and Google understand the structure of your site.
- Internal Linking
When it makes sense contextually, link to other pages on your site. Again, this will help both users and Google understand your site structure.
Photo: Glenn Carstens Peters, 2017