Are you looking to find out if your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is in excellent shape and driving online visitors to your site? Maybe you are wondering your site could use some work? Use our SEO Health Checklist to discover if your current SEO activities are robust and working for your business.
Proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the main determining factor of your position in search engine rankings. This ranking will control if online prospects will ever see your website. These days, everyone is online and 64-66% of your online traffic comes from organic searches (meaning a website has not paid to appear in that position in the search engine rankings.) You don't want to sacrifice potential business opportunities because your SEO isn't as strong as it could be.
Use the checklist below to review your website for SEO performance indicators. There are five major factors that you need to evaluate: content, images, site navigation, code and off-site SEO. You can use this tool to perform and analysis of these aspects of your SEO strategy are in great health, or if you might need some professional help with your optimization activities.
Is Your Content SEO Ready?
- Do you have enough copy (content) on your webpages? Your content needs to inform visitors and to satisfy the search engine crawler? You should aim for a minimum of two paragraphs on each page for optimal SEO results.
- What is your keyword frequency? Keep it simple, write your content naturally and don't keyword stuff. The method of cramming in as many keyword phrases as possible is outdated. You can use akeyword density analyzer if you want to know the frequency of your keywords, but keyword density guidelines are quickly going out of fashion in the SEO world. It's all about readability and relevance.
- Do you have a blog? Regular blogging is essential to keeping the content fresh on your site. Having a Content Management System (CMS) is a useful tool to add new blog entries and webpages to your site.
- Does your content educate your visitors about a problem your product or service will solve? Do you put yourself in the shoes of your customers and address their worries, or does your copy just promote your own business?
- Is your content duplicated from another source? You should avoid copying and pasting product descriptions from a manufacturer or competitor websites and write original product descriptions on your website. You can also use plagiarism detection tools such as grammarly.com or plagiarisma.net.
Are Your Images Helping Your SEO?
- Do you have alt (image) tags? Alt tags are written descriptions of the images on your site and they need to be present for increased SEO benefit. You can click here for a tool to detect if your site has alt (image) tags.
- Are the descriptions relevant to the pictures? Describe the subject of the image, graphic, or chart using as much detail as possible.
- Are the descriptions unique? Write original alt tags and include a keyword that you need to optimize on that page.
- Are your alt (image) tags concise? They shouldn't be overly wordy, try to make them the length of a sentence.
- Will the size of your images and graphics display well on mobile devices? You should check your images and graphics to ensure they display consistently across smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
Is Your Navigation Set Up Properly?
- Are the headings in the navigation bar relevant to the content on the page? You need to let your visitor know what to expect on the page they are about to click on so they can quickly find the information they need.
- Are the headings in the order of importance to your visitor? Your visitor reads from left to right so you want to place your most important pages about your business and products at the left-hand side of the navigation.
- Are the "Products" or "Services" pages near the left-hand side of the navigation?
- Are the "Contact Us" and "Blog" pages on the right side of your navigation bar?
Is the Code on Your Website Written to Aid Your SEO?
- Is your site written in HTML? HTML is a coding language and it is much harder to work with when completing SEO activities. It is much more time-consuming because each page and template must be created individually; with a Content Management System (CMS), you can just click on a button to add a new page and you also keep a consistent design.
- Do you hide certain elements on your site, such as text or graphics? You can determine if elements such as text or images are hidden by highlighting the page (sometimes white text is hidden on a white background). Hidden elements can be obvious if you are familiar with, or have a professional, reading the code. Don't hide things on your site, it sends up red flags with search engine crawlers. It shows you are trying to manipulate the search engines, instead of improving user experience.
- Is your code clean and concise? You shouldn't use twenty lines of code when three or four would do the trick. Overly complicated and lengthy code leads to slower loading speeds. There are circumstances when the design or functionality of the site requires long strings of code, but it should be avoided if possible. Click here to learn more about the quality of your code.
- Does your code organize and format your content properly? You want your site to look organized and consistent. If your code is not carefully written, it can impact the layout and organization of the content and images among different electronic devices.
Are You Paying Attention to Off-site SEO?
- Do you have outgoing links? Where do they go? The websites you link to have a search engine ranking and content that is tested for accuracy and trustworthiness. Link to sites that rank well and always check the quality and accuracy of the information.
- Do you have any inbound links? Where do they originate? If other websites link to yours, this is a great boost for your authority and trustworthiness; especially if they are well-known sites with a solid online presence.
- Do you have a social media presence? Are you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? If you aren't, you should take the opportunity to connect with prospective customers using these channels.
- Are your social media or blog posts being shared? The more your content is shared, the more online relationships, leads and authority you build.
- Are there any reviews of your business on Yelp or Google+? Are they positive of negative? Positive reviews increase your search engine rankings while negative reviews harm the credibility of your business.
How did your site hold up to your scrutiny of this comprehensive SEO Health Checklist? If you have discovered you need some help with your Search Engine Optimization activities, contact a professional digital marketing agency and they can get your website up-to-date with SEO best practices.