17 Aug BEST SEO checklist for launching a website in 2019
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most crucial online marketing strategies in 2019. However it can be a really hectic and challenging process without proper preparations. Below is our top picked SEO checklist for launching a successful website in 2019.
- The Importance of Search Engine Optimization in 2019
- Simple yet effective 10 point SEO checklist for launching a website in 2019
The Importance of Search Engine Optimization in 2019
The importance of SEO can be determined in terms of discoverability and Goodwill. Given the cut-throat competition these days, it has become a necessity to stay current in every aspect of business to increase your brand’s goodwill and gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in the industry. It is very effective when it comes to boosting your organic revenue since it drives more potential customers towards your brands via search results.
Check out our detailed article on basics of Search Engine Optimization for more on SEO or best free and paid SEO tools for a list of tools and services to help boost SEO ranking after launching your site.
Simple yet effective 10 point SEO checklist for launching a website in 2019
- Install Google Search Console and Google Analytics on your website to track performance.
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster tools) allows users to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. It measures your site’s search and ranking performance and suggests methods to improve these metrics.
Google Analytics is Google’s free reporting marketing tool that monitors and reports in-depth data about the traffic on your website. It measures things like age, gender, interest, device and location of your audience. It also provides reports on bounce rate (the rate that measures the percentage of people leaving your website after visiting one page) and suggests ways to address the issues leading potential customers to leave the site.
- Make sure to polish your landing pages.
Landing pages are the pages that show up on Google’s search results when someone conducts a search. A landing page is the first page a user visits on your site, so it needs to lead the user toward your desired page or action.
In the previous point I talked about bounce rate. Google lists it as one of the most important ranking factors, among other things. It is very important to have an interactive and user-friendly UI (User Interface) to keep users your website for a longer period of time. It’s also important to link your pages to create a web of connections that lead your users throughout your website to increase the time on site.
- Reduce Load Time
Perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to bounce rate is loading time. Studies have shown that people do not wait more than 10 seconds for a web page to load before leaving a website. Moreover, data released by Google shows that 53% of mobile users leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Therefore, it is important to reduce loading time by methods such as image optimization, removal of leftover code, cutting down on external scripts, making use of caching systems, etc.
- Optimize loading time and landing pages for mobile devices
Approximately 60% of all Google searches are conducted on mobile devices. Google also claims to place mobile compatibility as one of the major SEO ranking factors. The length of time users wait for a page to load is reduced on mobile devices compared to computers, hence it is necessary for a website to be compatible for mobile devices and maintain an attractive mobile interface.
In response to the growing numbers of users searching on mobile devices, Google recently announced that new websites will be indexed primarily through their mobile version. Over time, Google will be migrating most websites to mobile-first indexing. This means reducing the load time and optimizing for mobile will be that much more important.
- Follow the proper keyword research and target highly specific searches
Every search consists of keywords that (hopefully) link the user to relevant information. For new websites it is advised to focus on more specific keyword strings (also called long tail keywords). These are the strings of words that direct users who are looking for something very specific to your website. This ensures improved targeting and is cost efficient.
For example, an article about your product could include terms like “Where to buy…” or “…in Seattle” to rank higher in searches using those specific keywords.
Check out our list of best free and paid SEO tools to learn how and where to conduct keyword research.
- Link to relevant internal and external webpages in your content.
Backlinking is still one of the most important ranking factors in 2019. Adding relevant links to your own and other websites not only makes it easier for crawlers to discover your site, but it also boosts the credibility of your website.
- Focus on On-Page Optimization
On page optimization includes factors such optimization of title tag, meta description, image optimization, URL optimization, keyword optimization, and Backlinking.
- Title tags should be short and to the point. All sources will tell you a different number, but search engines may not read past 50-60 characters or around 9-12 words of the title tag. Your main keywords should be at the beginning in case the end of the title is not read.
- Meta description is the small block of text that appears beneath the title of your page on a search engine result. Search engines read this, but so does the consumer. Together, relevant titles and meta description should guide users to your link over another web page.
- Image Optimization is the process of using appropriate file types, sizing images appropriately, and filling out the meta information for the image to reduce load time and bounce rate. Search engines like to deliver relevant information quickly, so a page with a faster load time with the image alt tags filled out may outperform its competitors.
- URL optimization should follow the format of website/category/relevant webpage. For example the URL for Wikipedia’s webpage on Marketing Strategy is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_strategy, simple yet comprehensive.
- Keyword Optimization in on-page SEO refers to writing content with well-researched keywords that are relevant to the contents of your website. Search engines will rank your website higher if your page contains relevant information to the search, especially long tail keywords.
- Backlinking is still one of the most important SEO ranking factors. Linking back to credible sources helps Google crawler find your site as well, creating a web of content search engines can connect and learn from. It also increases your chances for getting linked back from other websites as it makes it easier to find your content. You should link your own and others’ sites whenever it is relevant.
- Focus on local ranking factors for small and medium businesses.
For a website interested primarily in local targeting, local targeting factors such as long-tail SEO, local link-building, Google reviews, locality based bounce rate, etc. should be given priority.
Neilsen MyBestSegments is a brilliant and creative tool for medium and small scale enterprises. You can analyze a local area’s consumption habits and demographic details, along with shift in consumption habits and trends as well. It is good for launching a targeted marketing campaign locally. It can also be helpful for competitor analysis to a great extent.
- Add a robots.txt file to your website and maintain a XML sitemap Robots.txt file is how Google crawler finds and lists a site. It tells crawlers what to list and what not to list. Google ranks web pages and not just websites. XML sitemap becomes relevant here because it is essentially a directory of all the pages on a site. It makes it much easier for crawlers to find out your website and rank your pages accordingly.
- Produce relevant and quality content.
Now that you have managed achieved a click to your landing page, the next important step is to keep the user there to improve your bounce rate. Even if the user doesn’t make a purchase, their time on page is valuable and could result in higher search engine ranking.
To keep a user on your page you must offer them superior value via your blogs, offers, etc. A user isn’t going to stay on a page for very long if it isn’t offering something of value.
Especially if you are blogging and/or producing content, it is necessary that the keywords that lead to your site are relevant to the actual search queries of your audience and are not simply a case of keyword stuffing. In any case, Black Hat SEO is not recommended since Google is vigilant about SEO tactics that try to cheat the system and will penalize your site if need be.
Google claims to have hundreds of factors when it comes to ranking. However the above listed SEO strategies and tools have proven to be repeatedly effective. It is important to stay dynamic and optimize your content as fresher ranking factors are introduced.
Search Engine Optimization is a lengthy process that never really ends. However with expert guidance it can be used to the best of your interests.
We Can help!
Symphysis maximizes the number of times you appear in organic search queries. Our SEO team begins by reducing loading time, improving image quality, removing leftover template code, implementing analytics, all while improving keyword ranking. For more information and a free initial consultation, call or text @ +1 (425) 390-4738.