If you have created a new website then you should also run it through an SEO checklist. This can help to boost your rankings in the search results. Higher ranking will help to drive more traffic.
These is the SEO checklist which uses semantic SEO, technical SEO and off-page SEO to help you rank on the first page of Google:
1. You should select the right domain name that accurately describes your business and use the right extension (.com, .org. and more). Keep the domain name short and use keywords to improve your website’s rankings. Use tools like GoDaddy and Namecheap for choosing a domain name.
2. You should choose the right web platform. The platform should allow you to improve your SEO and should be search engine friendly. You can try platforms like WordPress, Magento and Shopify.
3. Select SEO-friendly themes and plugins for your website. These themes are designed by keeping the search engines in mind. While selecting a theme focus on factors like loading speed, responsiveness, SEO plugin compatibility and more.
4. Optimise your page URLs as it will help the search engine better understand what your page is about. URLs should be short, concise and have keywords. This can help to boost your website’s rankings.
5. Use SSL certificates / HTTPS encryptions for your website. Google gives priority to such sites.
6. You should do keyword research and find out the list of semantic phrases and words that are used to describe your products / services. You should also find words that match the search intent of your target audience.
To find the relevant keywords you can use tools like Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer and SEMrush.
You should target your primary keyword on each page of your website. This will help the users to find the information they are looking for and also help in SEO.
You should also find long tail keywords. They are more specific and have low search traffic but high conversion rate.
7. You can do a technical SEO audit for your new website. Use Seo tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Site Audit tools by Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Majestic.
First check that all your pages result in a 200 OK successful status. You should not have pages with 4xx or 5xx errors.
All your pages should have the right meta tags like the page title, meta descriptions, H1, H2, H3 and more. Meta tags should be unique and have target keywords in them.
Your website should load fast enough as website speed is one of Google’s Core Web Vitals. Use tools like PageSpeed Insights to analyse your website’s speed.
Another factor is mobile friendliness so you should make your website mobile friendly. Google uses mobile-first indexing to index the websites. Use Google Mobile Friendly Test tool to find out if your pages are mobile-friendly.
When you create content make sure it is unique. Use canonical tags or redirects if you have to use the same content.
Create the right sitemap.xml file and provide the list of the live URLs in it. This file should not contain non-existing pages or pages with redirects.
Robots.txt file is used to direct the web robots to crawl pages on the website. This file should be configured correctly.
Build a website architecture which is SEO-friendly. Use internal links to connect the pages of your website. You can give more link value to the useful and valuable pages. Your website should be easy to navigate for the users as well as the search engines. You should be able to reach all the pages from the main menu and they should be easily accessible.
8. Implement external link building strategy to boost your SEO efforts. You must try to build links to your content as naturally as possible. You can get them from sources like social media platforms, forums, Q&A sites, web directories and catalogues.
Many forums allow you to add a link back to your website when you fill out the member profile. You should participate in the conversations which are relevant to your products / services. Each time you write a post you will get a valuable backlink.
Find out useful and relevant web directories and catalogues where you can submit your website manually. You can add your business to Google My Business, Bing Places and more. This will help to improve your visibility on local results and build trust from the search engines and clients.
Find out websites that allow you to add your website links on their profiles like About.me, Crunchbase, Foursquare and more.
Try out Guest posting and write posts for other websites and get links to your own website and exposure for your brand. Find out sites relevant to your niche where you can submit posts and get backlinks.
You can reach out to the bloggers and the journalists in your niche who may agree to write about your products / services in articles.
You can analyse your competitor’s backlinks using tools like Ahrefs SEO tool. You can find the domain that refers to your competitor and find posts relevant to their products / services. Contact the authors and reach out to them.
9. You should be active on social media and maintain social media pages of your products / services. Through social media platforms you can engage and interact with your target audience. You can get new ideas by communicating with those who use your products / services.
You can create content and the more comments and the shares it gets the faster search engines will find the content. You should provide social share buttons with your posts so that they can be easily shared. You can reply to your user comments. You can try out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.
Q&A sites and discussion platforms are good sources to drive traffic. You can create profiles at Reddit, Quora and more.
10. Create high-quality content regularly and add relevant content to your website. Content strategy is an important part of SEO. The more blogs you publish per month the more traffic you will get.
Use images in your content as people also use Google Image search to find content. The images you use should be copyright free if not then you must at least give proper credit. You should optimise your images and use Alt-text with all of them.
11. If you offer products / services in multiple locations then you will have to prepare your website for those language / country versions.
12. Your website should be available to your visitors all the time. You should ensure high uptime. If your site is down due to system maintenance then no visitor will be able to access it. You should select a reliable web hosting provider.
13. Track the performance of your website regularly. One of the popular tools to track your website performance is Google Analytics. You should track your visitors, which pages they are visiting, where they are coming from, how long they are staying on your website and what search terms are leading them to your website.