Small Business SEO Checklist

In 2005 there were 11.5 billion web pages that could be publicly index able by the web. There is an over abundance of information and your browser gives you access to all this information, and to the say the least there is going to be a multitude of so-called experts on any subject and SEO is no different.

There are some SEO best practices that stand the test of time, and regardless of the ongoing debate there are some basics that you need to check off before you start going any further with higher level SEO strategies. You may hear terms like, personalized search, or link building, but before you start getting lost down the rabbit hole please have these items checked off on your list and have these best practices on your tool belt.

Everything Starts with the Key Word

You could know everything there is about SEO, you could have a greatest web designers in the world and have an entire multi-million dollar infrastructure built around your business but in the SEO world if you don’t have the key words that you want associated with your business and eventually ranking for your website it’s similar to having a Ferrari without ever filling the tank with gas and taking it out of the garage to take it for a spin.

You are going to need key words, and you are going to have to find good ones. Good key words, in the SEO world, can be described as key words that are searched for allot but don’t have allot of competition. Eg., the keyword “real estate” is searched for quite a bit but is it realistic to go after such a key word that is very competitive? No.

So do some due diligence and use some free tools on the web to find the keywords that you think will be a good fit. As a general rule of thumb the more niche the better. Yeah, “Red Widgets” may be a great key word with good search volume, but “Red Widgets San Diego” would be allot easier to rank and it is geographically specific to your area so there is a higher chance you will close the deal if it’s a local customer versus somebody who’s calling your from Whistler, BC.

Search Engine Spiders Eat Text

This may seem like Chinese to you but this phrase will make sense if you know how a search engine works. The only way a search engine is going to find your site is with their search engine spider which crawls the web and sends back all the text it’s crawled and it caches it on their servers.

To make sure that your site is cached for the right key word you must tag your HTML appropriately with the level of importance as follows.

  1. Title
  2. h1
  3. h2
  4. first key words of your paragraph
  5. meta description
  6. meta keywords
  7. alt tags for images
  8. actual text on web page

New Content

One very important aspect of a web site that search engines weigh in heavily with their rankings is the updating of content and the indexing of new content. That’s why it’s always recommended that you have a blog on your website that is updated daily with new posts.

If it looks like your site is being outfitted with fresh content on a daily basis that offers more information on your service, brand or product to searchers so Google, or Yahoo! will consider that when ranking their search results for certain keywords.

Submit Your Sitemap

It’s important to have content on your website that is useful to the visitors to your site, but it’s also important for the content to be easily to navigate through. So build a sitemap, make it easy, readable and submit it to Google Webmasters.

Get in the Habit of Linking

Links are basically the scaffolding of the world wide web, they hold all the information together organically with out having a central nervous system, or data center. The web just IS, it’s a force of nature, and an ever expanding organism and the more links your have linking to your website the more scaffolding you have holding up your site, the more relevant you become for certain subjects.