Essential SEO checklist

These days, Google has a lot of power over businesses of every size. Long gone are the days of phone books and newspaper ads. If you want your business to be seen, you need to be online. Not only do you need to be online, you need to be easy to find.

Are you doing everything you can do to get to the top of Google and stay there? If you suspect your SEO efforts require improvement so you can boost visibility and brand engagement, read on. Even if you only have the most basic knowledge of SEO, it’s essential that you follow these key SEO checklist tips in order to get your business seen by those in need of your products and services.

1. Mobile-friendliness

What’s the first thing you do when you’re in a new place and trying to decide on a place to go for dinner? We’re guessing you probably pull out your phone and type in ‘best burger in x’.

More and more, search activity is moving onto mobile devices.

There are loads of useful tools available online that will tell you how efficiently your site performs on handheld devices. If your site is not working efficiently on mobiles, you’re probably missing out on a whole range of customers.

2. Use headings

Google loves web pages that use H1 and H2 headings throughout the content. It rewards these formatting efforts with higher rankings.

Those little Google bots are skimming your pages to find out what your website and its pages are about. When you use headings and give your content hierarchy, it is clear what your content is about. Google will pick that up and push it through to the search page of your potential customer.

When you add H1 and H2 headings to your pages, you can tell users what your content is about before they head to your site and draw them into your online space.

3. Loading times

The faster your pages load, the more brownie points you earn from Google.

The search giant sees the user experience as a key factor when determining rankings. Aim to provide the least frustrating user experience you can. No one likes a slow website. We’ve all been through that rage inducing experience. Google is on the user’s side, always.

4. Offer fresh content

Google is also big on rewarding fresh, original content. Try to add interesting, exciting and informative blogs and articles to your site as often as you can.

Don’t post for the sake of it, but do try and offer something of real value to your customers. Add images and videos to your posts to engage people and keep Google on your side.

5. Avoid keyword stuffing

Once upon a time you could cheat at the search engine game by packing your page full of keywords. All the sneaks who were hiding them in white text at the bottom of the page ruined that for you. Google’s onto those tricks these days and keywords are no longer the sole ranking tool. In fact, if you use too many you will get penalised.

You do still need a few keywords scattered through your content though, thoughtfully. Focus on writing natural, useful and relevant content that answers the questions your customers are searching for.

6. Be social-friendly

If you read an interesting article and didn’t share it on Facebook, did it even happen? People love sharing content that they relate to or find interesting, don’t deny them the pleasure.

Make it as easy as possible for your site visitors to share your content on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. This drives traffic and raises awareness for your brand or business considerably and is one of the most important SEO checklist tips.