If you hope to dominate your competition in the search results, you’ll want to make sure your on and off-site SEO efforts are always ahead of your competitors. To accomplish this, you’ll want to engage in an on and off-site checklist inspection for every website you wish to optimize. The following checklist will make sure all of your sites are user and search engine friendly and that they’re always ahead of the game in the search engine listings.
On Site Checklist
In order to know what keywords to use in your website copy, you must engage in extensive keyword research. Once you know which keywords to use, you should then create engaging content that your website visitors can use. This means using copy that will inform, educate and/or entertain your audience. Sprinkle your keywords throughout the copy, but never keyword stuff. On-site works best at around 1-3% keyword density. Also, make sure your materials are at least 350-500 words long.
Of course, don’t just use text on your websites. Use your keywords in your videos and images. We’ll discuss images in a moment in this on and off-site SEO checklist.
The locations of your keywords matters greatly when it comes to on-site search engine optimization. Pretend you are a website visitor and pay attention to where your eyes go on the page. Do they start at the top left or top right or center and how do they continue down the page? Place your keywords in your header, in your sidebars, sprinkle them throughout your text and place them in your footer.
If you can fill your website with your most relevant keywords in a way so that they are neither stuffed nor crowded, you’ll have accomplished one of the most important aspects of on-site SEO.
H1, H2, H3 Tags
Your webpage titles, subtitles and subheaders should be bolded and should include keywords. The search engine spiders will look for these tags to find out what your website is about. Make sure your H-tags are relevant to the copy and to the overall theme of the website for best results.
Use your keywords as the names of your images and also as alt-text when someone hovers over the image. Remember that search engines cannot see the images you place on your website. All the search engine spiders have to go by are the image names, alt-tags and any other data you decide to provide about each image in question. Use your keywords as these tags and the search engines will have no doubt as to your site’s intentions.
Meta Data (Title And Description)
If you don’t know how to code a website, it is recommended that you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress that makes on-site SEO and off-site SEO incredibly easy. The meta data, such as your website’s title and description, will give the search engines the best indication as to how to rank your site and in what position. In fact, when someone views your listing in Google, the snippet of text they are viewing is your title and description.
For this reason, your title and description tags need to be enticing and relevant to the copy users will find by clicking on that listing. Use your keywords in your title, though they don’t matter that much when it comes to descriptions. For descriptions, use calls-to-action to entice more people to click on your listing no matter where that listing ranks.
Use hypertext keywords to link relevant pages together within your website. A CMS will also make this easy. Linking pages together gives more juice to your links and content and it provides an easier way for website visitors to navigate your site.
When it comes to site design, think minimalism. Your site should be heavy on content and low on flash and it should be easy to get anywhere. Make sure you provide popular links, archive links and breadcrumbs to make your site easier to use. The search engines always reward sites with easy navigation so it will pay to consider this heavily for the best on-site SEO results.
High-Quality And In-Demand Content
Both on and off-site SEO requires the highest-quality content. Give search engine users what they expect and even over-deliver and you will succeed.
Off-Site SEO Checklist
Steady, Manual Backlinks
The search engines do not like cheaters. They don’t like people gaming their system. For this reason, never buy links, don’t subscribe to link farms and stay away from anyone who tells you they’ll make you rich online in thirty days.
These days, it’s all about steady and manual. Commit to getting ten backlinks a day, or fewer if you don’t have the time or resources. You may rank on other search engines if you get 1200 backlinks in a few days, but you won’t rank on Google. In fact, you may be sandboxed for trying to game the big G.
Relevant Hypertext and Landing pages
When you use hypertext as one of your backlinks, make sure it is relevant to the landing page. And make sure that landing page is of good quality. Nobody wants to click on a link only to find a crappy page that’s trying to offer them something they don’t need. Treat your prospects, customers, visitors and readers with respect and always give them what they want.
Do not sell to your audience. Instead, entice them with your engaging copy, use relevant hypertext and calls-to-action to entice the click and then wow them with relevant and high-quality landing pages that offer even more of what they’re looking for.
This is the key to on-site SEO and this entire on and off-site SEO checklist. However, we have two more important off-site SEO techniques to consider.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter help the search engines figure out what’s hot and popular with the masses. The more of your materials that get passed around on Facebook and Twitter and other popular social networking sites, the more prominence the search engines will lend to those materials. This will result in higher rankings and even more popularity, which can only mean boatloads of traffic to your website.
Article/Press Release Submission
The last element on this off-site SEO checklist is to engage in article and press release marketing. Writing regular articles and PRs can give you even more chances to promote your site using relevant backlinks and you’ll provide even more content for your audience, thus increasing your image as the dominant figure in your field.
Remember to submit regular content manually for best results.
Keep this on and off-site SEO checklist handy the next time you are ready to promote any website and watch your competitors tremble in terror.