First 10 Steps to Good SEO

When we run a client's website through our 75+ Step SEO Audit, we take notice of a few basic steps that should be completed on ALL websites.  While these steps seem a bit basic, you'd be surprised at how many websites fail to have some of these items checked off the list as being completed.  Let's take a look at the first 10 steps we check as we do our SEO Audit.

  1. Do you have Google Analytics set up?
  2. Are you tracking your primary keyword phrase?
  3. Is your website crawlable?
  4. Is it indexable?
  5. Are you targeting the right keyword phrase?
  6. Have you already targeted this keyword phrase?
  7. Does your website satisfy the identified search intent?
  8. Is your primary keyword phrase in the meta title?
  9. Is your meta title click worthy?
  10. Can you add modifiers to your meta title?

If you have not set up Google Analytics for your website, how do you know where your traffic is being obtained, and what about the behavior of your site's visitors?  Google Analytics is a free tool that all websites should be using to track this data.  Also, have you identified your website's primary keyword phrase?

Let's say you have a law firm in the Tampa Bay Area, and specialize in personal injury.  It's too broad to try and rank for a keyword phrase like best law firm.  The competition for that keyword phrase would make it nearly impossible for you to ever rank significantly for a phrase so broad.  Instead, what type of law do you practice, and let's also tie a geographical flavor to it.  Instead of best law firm, a good primary keyword phrase would be something like best personal injury lawyers Clearwater.  This narrows and focuses the search for the type of law your firm practices, and also where.  If you tend to get clients from Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater and all the smaller communities that make up the area, you could try to rank for best personal injury lawyers Tampa Bay.  Or, you could create landing pages for each specific city, and rank for those individually, if the competition for the above keyword phrase is too high.

To make sure Google can crawl your website, it needs to be able to go from page to page, checking all the links to make sure they work, and you also need an XML sitemap.  Here is an example for the website:  sitemap.xml

As you can see, it's not much to look at, but what it does do is tell Google the URL of every page of your website.  All of our Responsive Websites automatically generate an XML sitemap.  The easiest way for you to check if your site has a sitemap is to look in Google Search Console or in Bing Webmaster Tools under “sitemaps.”

There could be issues that prevent a search engine from being able to index all your pages in your website.  The site structure needs to be organized, with the ability to link to all the pages from within your site, and perhaps from external sites as well.  Make sure your site doesn't have any broken redirects, resulting in crawlability.  Watch out for broken server redirects also.  Various scripts like Javascript or Ajax may block content from web crawlers as well.

Here are some tips on improving your website's crawlability and indexability.

  • Submit a sitemap to Google.
  • Strengthen internal links
  • Regularly update and add new content.
  • Avoid duplicate content.
  • Speed up your website's loading time.

In the next post, we'll cover items 5-10.  Stay tuned for more SEO tips!

seo first steps
seo first steps
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