Introducing Your 2016 SEO Best Practices Checklist
SEO stands for search engine optimization. If you’ve ever tried to optimize your website, or just web page, you’ll likely appreciate a checklist for SEO best practices, and we have an excellent SEO checklist for you below in this article!
SEO has both a technical and creative side to it. It is used when businesses want to improve rankings, drive traffic, and ultimately increase awareness in search engines.
Generally speaking, the higher your web pages are ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. This is key for you to understand if you’re operating a business.
Why is SEO Important?
SEO is one of the most important thing in the business world today. If you don’t spend time on SEO for your website or your content then essentially no one is going to be able to find it.
Imagine you take time with proper, professional SEO for your blog/infographic and it was top ranked for organic content on Google; your content would receive much more engagement and views which will ultimately lead to more attention on your website.
SEO isn’t an easy digital marketing strategy to execute but below we will help you get started with the best practices and a few tips on how to become top ranked in today’s world of business.
SEO Best Practices Checklist
When trying to optimize your site to increase traffic and reach, the best thing you can do is to have yourself a checklist to ensure you manage your time and efforts.
Here’s a detailed SEO checklist updated for 2016 that will ensure you have all the bases covered when trying to increase traffic and search engine rankings.
1. Understand Your Marketing Personas
Think about your ideal prospect; now think about what drives them to become your customer. What are their challenges and how can you solve them?
Also think about what phrases your target market is using when searching for the products and services you provide.
That’s when your going to figure out what kind of content you’ll be creating.
You always want to create content based on the user and that solves a user’s query.
For example; If your service is a travel company and provides deals and promotions to your consumers and your main target market persona is a female who is 70+ who just retired from being a doctor for 40 years, then you should be producing content based on the best deals, promotions, and destinations that will peak her interest.
Creating content for the user is key because it keeps your website’s content relevant and increases brand awareness of your company. If the your customers find the content that you produce to be useful, and share with their networks, you’ll start increasing your reach and engagement through social media platforms.
2. Browse Google Suggest + Related Searches
Once you know who your main target market is then it’s time to throw some keywords into Google without hitting ‘enter’ – using Google “suggest”. This will allow a drop box to appear with some related searches other users have been searching.
Add these words/phrases as well as the Related Search Phrases found at the bottom of the page once you hit ‘enter’, to your master keyword list.
3. Expand Your Keyword List
Once you’ve got your relative searches, now it’s time to use the Google Keyword Planner to expand your amount of keywords and phrases to use in your content. This tool is available to all registered Google AdWords users and is extremely useful in determining what keywords to focus on.
Vee calls this “blowing up” the targeted keyword phrases in order to come up with the most relevant and most valuable, short and long-tail keywords and related phrases to use in your SEO strategy.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner will allow you to sort popular keywords and phrases into the number of average monthly searches for that term. It also shows you the level of competition for certain keywords.
While analysing the competition of keywords may sound useless for someone who is not considering an AdWords/PPC campaign, you need to look a little further outside of the box to see the real value.
I won’t go into to further details, but I suggest you read the excellent tips in this article: How To Build a Keyword Strategy.
4. Filter Out Your Keyword List
Once you have a big list of all your keywords narrow out which keywords are searched in order from highest to lowest and how many people have searched that keyword monthly. This can all be viewed in the Google Keyword Planner.
5. Target Keywords For Your Consumer
Once you’ve broken down into a spreadsheet which keywords are the most relevant and most useful for your content (competition, relevancy) you can then think about which keywords you can include in your page title, headers/sub-headers, and other vital SEO opportunities in your metadata.
Make sure to always choose keywords that are relevant for the user. That’s the key. If they aren’t useful for the user then you may never get the search rankings you’re looking for.
6. Writing Your Content
Once you’ve finished organizing all your keywords, then it’s time to start writing. Let it all flow out on the screen (or on paper) and don’t be concerned with SEO and optimizing for search engines at first. You can worry about that when you’re finished. Just be sure to include those top relevant keywords and phrases, naturally, within your content.
Be sure not to force the keywords anywhere because that’s not making the content very useful for the user. That type of strategy is optimizing the content for the search engine first. That’s not recommended.
Your primary keywords, based on your research, are going to be what get’s you search rankings. Use those keywords in all your sub-headings and especially your page title. Use them in alt and title tags on all your images, and use them in your meta description.
7. Sharing Your Content over Social Media
Once you’ve optimized your content and filled it with all your top keywords then it’s time for sharing it all over your social media platforms. Whether you use Twitter, Facebook,
Instagram, Google+, etc.
It’s important that you make your copy very appealing and click worthy.
This creates more engagement and reach to your main target markets. Once you have the perfect copy you think will get the most engagement then SHARE SHARE SHARE!
8. Re-purposing your content & Keeping It Click Worthy
Creating content is always a good thing, but it can also be very time consuming. The best way to keep engagement flowing without writing new content everyday is to schedule your content on social media using different copy and a different image.
You need to repurpose your content because not everyone is going to see it, or consume it, when you first post it. Remember the average lifespan of a Tweet is less than 18 minutes.
A great social media management app to keep you organized and on track with sharing your content is Buffer. It’s one of the tools we at VPDM use and love.
9. Using Different Mediums
Once you’ve created your content in one medium, make sure to try and switch it up and use that content in 1 or 2 or even 3 more mediums.
For example; if your original content was shared in a blog, try sharing that same content within an infographic, video, slideshow etc. This will ultimately continue engagement within your business.
As you now know how important SEO is for your business, if you haven’t already started brainstorming what your next piece of content is going to be about than you should start now!
Figure out what your customers are talking about and create content based on solving those “needs”. It’s also a smart idea to create content based on timely events such as upcoming holidays or anniversaries within your business.
Always make sure your content is relevant and for the user. This way people are going to be more engaged and want read more relevant content you’ve posted.
Contact VPDM Digital Marketing if you have any further questions or inquiries on how to start your business off right with SEO.
Latest posts by Maddie DeVries (see all)
- The Quick and Easy SEO Checklist for 2016 - November 18, 2015
- Top 30 UX Stats Your Competition Doesn’t Know About…Yet - November 10, 2015
- Social Media Management Tools Your Business Needs Today - October 30, 2015