Essential SEO Quick Check List

be_newsletter_coverThis is an article from our most recent Smart Talk. If you’d like a copy grab one here.

Print this off, grab yourself a coffee and get all of these done at the weekend. Easy peasy, you can start ranking next week!

Page Titles
Make sure your page titles are unique, don’t repeat words and are relevant to your business.

Bad titles:
Roof tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles
Tiles, ceramic tiles, square tiles, red tiles, blue tiles, plastic tiles, wall treatments, concrete render, wall render

Google titles:
Wall, floor and roof tiles
Specialist car valeting in Birmingham

Tips:
Don’t put your company name on the end of every URL unless you separate it from the rest of the text with some kind of delimiter.
This is bad: Wall, floor and roof tiles Shiny Tile Company Ltd This is good: Wall, floor and roof tiles : Shiny Tile Company Ltd
Although really, there’s no need to have your company name at the end anyway, and certainly never put it at the beginning.

Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions have no effect on ranking, but they are displayed in search results, so go through each page and make sure the descriptions are consise and enticing.
They should be like an ‘elevator pitch’ and explain what the page is about in two short sentences.

Meta Keywords
If your page has lots of meta keywords stuffed in there, get rid of them. If you do want keywords in your page, then only have a maximum of maybe fifteen, but seriously, don’t bother with them.
If in doubt, take them out, they’re not used for ranking at all.

Pretty URLs
If your page web addresses look like this: www.mywebsite.com/index.php?id=5 Then you need to take action.
They should look like this: www.mywebsite.com/about-us
or www.mywebsite.com/shop/cameras/nikon
The URL should describe the page you’re on because it aids with navigation and is also a big help to Google.

Sitemaps
Sitemaps are like the index to your website, they tell people and search engines where every single page is.
Get your XML sitemap done and submit it to Google Search Console. Then, get an HTML sitemap generated.
The HTML one is actually preferred by Google, so do that one first. Get one created here: https://www.xml-sitemaps.com

Image descriptions and ‘alt’ text
Make sure the ‘alt’ tag of your images is descriptive and only two or three words long.
DO NOT stuff a ton of keywords in there expecting to rank, you won’t. In fact, you’re more likely to end up being knocked out of the search results completely.

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