SEO Checklist for Startup Websites

Creating a start up site can be a real challenge! It is not easy to build a high performing website and get top rankings on all the search engines.

I’m sure you already know how important your online presence is. As important as social media is these days your website will still be performing the bulk of your online activity and will be the primary reason people sign up and/ or purchase your product/ services.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be your primary concerns from the development of site to launch. You can optimize your website to improve its performance in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), but this optimization requires continuous maintenance, testing and monitoring. A website that isn’t optimized well isn’t going to give you the visibility you’ll need to thrive and grow your business.

Below is the checklist that you can use at the start of any new campaign.

Artistik Designs has a wide range of Search Engine Optimization packages that are customized to fit your needs.

1. Strategic keyword usage/ keyword phrase research

Yes, keyword research is still relevant in 2015 (and beyond). We can’t explain how important this is.

Do you have a page on your site for each of the important terms you want to attract traffic from? What will people be searching for when they’re looking for your product/services?

Choose keywords that are too competitive, and you won’t get any search traffic. Choose keywords that aren’t relevant, and your conversion rates will suffer.

2. Is the site indexable

Quite often when you start building your site there is a default setting to prevent the site from being indexed by search engines. The priority is to design posts and pages for people but do not forget search engine crawlers, as they are critical to your website’s online success.

If not done with some finesse search engines will just ignore image type content.

Below are some of the content search engine cannot index easily:

  1. Images – you must use “alt attributes” (alternate tags) which provide search engines with a text description of the visuals content. These consists of  just a few words and does not compare with the “1000 words” humans see.
  2. Search boxes should be supported with navigation and crawl able links.
  3. Flash or Java plugins supported with text on the page – note crawlers can read Java’s script.
  4. Video and audio supported by accompanying transcript

If you’re not indexed, you will NOT show in the results!

The other thing to check is the robots.txt file that you’re using. Make sure it doesn’t contain the line:

Disallow:/

As this will stop the search engine robots form crawling your site at all.

3. Page title

Your title tag is the most important on-page SEO factor. You also want to pay attention to where you place your keywords in your title. They should also contain the most important key phrase for that particular page.

Every webpage (e.g. homepage, subpage) has its own title. The page title is laid out in HTML code and appears in the title bar of the browser. In addition, search engines use page titles in order to recognize what information the website contains. Ideally page titles should include the search term for which the website has been optimized.

In general, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has with search engines.

4. URL structure

Another point to get right now, before your site gets bigger is URL structure.

The reason for this is that the Category option can cause your product URLs to change if you re-categorize your products or change the Categories URL. We want to avoid changing URLs as it causes some or complete loss in established ranking for a page.

Also, the URLs that you use should make sense to both humans and search engines. Generally they are called “Search Engine Friendly” URLs.

Artistik Designs can assist you in saving current ranking if you need t switch domains which will cause the URL’s to change. Contact us today for additional information.

5. Install analytics and webmaster tools

Finally, its time to make sure that you’ve got some means of measuring the success of your website.

Out of the many SEO tools, Google Webmaster Tools is one of the most popular and useful. They come with a range of features and the best part they’re completely free!

They will help you track visitors, see how they are using your site, see which pages are working best, track any conversions taking place on your site, etc. They will also help you identify problems with your site with features like Crawl errors, search queries, links, keywords, sitemap etc.

With all of these factors in place, you should be able to launch a site, which from the beginning has the ability to rank in search engines.

The huge advantage of getting this right in the beginning is to save time and hassle, down the line, when the business is booming.

We’d love to hear from you about any problems you’ve had with search engines and processes, contact Artistik Designs today.