The checklist below details the key areas of your site to consider for your search engine optimization plan.
Domain Name – Make sure your domain name is registered for a significant period of time. If your domain name is scheduled to expire within one year, consider renewing it early and for multiple years. The search engines like to know that your website intends to stick around.
Meta Tags – Meta tags include the title tags, description tags and keyword tags that appear in the back-end code for your website. All three types of tags should include your selected keywords and keyword variations.
Title Tags – This is the title for your site or the title for your page. The title tag is the only meta tag that is visible to the website visitor. The title tag appears at the very top of the browser window and should be less than 80 characters.
- Description Tags – The description tags describe what your website is about. These are typically written as full sentences and should be less than 250 characters.
- Keyword Tags – This tag is essentially just a list of your keywords and keyword phrases separated by commas. There should be no more than 25 keywords and less than 500 total characters.
Alt Tags – Alt Tags are strongly recommended for use with any images throughout a website. The Alt Tag is the text that appears when you mouse over an image. These image tags are critical for a few reasons:
- They help search engines ‘read’ and, therefore, index the images on your site.
- They offer additional opportunities for keyword saturation throughout the site.
- They help to make your site handicapped accessible and W3C compliant – which search engines love.
Content – Content is now and will always be critical for search engine optimization. So make sure that you’re including your keywords in the copy throughout your site. You can also increase your keyword saturation by adding headers and sub-headers throughout your text. (The headers and sub-headers also improve readability and scanability for your website visitors.)
Inbound Links – Obtaining links from reputable industry associations, directory listing, partner companies, etc. to your site can have a dramatic effect on your search rankings. Inbound links are basically digital referrals – if you obtain a link to your site from a well-regarded, highly ranked website, your site will benefit from their prestigious ranking. These types of links establish trust and relevance with the search engines and will naturally increase your search engine rankings.
Keep It Fresh – Search engines like to see that you’re keeping your website fresh. Once your website is launched, create a plan to periodically add information, update product details or post press releases.
Following these few simple steps will help to ensure that your website attracts the maximum amount of qualified search engine traffic.