Do you have your website ready, and are on the verge of hitting the big red launch button? Do you desperately need an exact, step-by-step search engine optimization (SEO) checklist to use before going live? If that’s you, you’re going to love this post.
Here, we’ll discuss a direct process that will drive more traffic and more customers to your new website as quickly as possible.First, let’s see how far we’ve come.
Looking down memory lane, ranking a webpage on Google simply required you to craft a glossary of not-up-to-snuff articles stuffed with hundreds of relevant keywords and a little manual link building. If you try doing that today, you’ll be out of the game before you even realize it.
We are living in a completely new era, the post-Panda, Penguin era that demands fresh content and well-planned search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
This is the era characterized by significant algorithm updates that saw millions of webpages de-ranked by Google. Gaming the system to rank top is difficult to achieve, especially as everyone is doing the same.
So, what should you check before launching your site?
Install Google Analytics
Coming in at the top of our checklist is installing Google Analytics. This tool will help you determine keyword rankings before launching your website. Many new websites — like yours — only focus on website ranking in SERPs and that’s simply missing the logic.
How much traffic should your site actually be getting? The true measure of on-page SEO and the best way to appreciate how the organic traffic is generating leads for you is by using the Google Analytics tool. It is, perhaps, the best free analytic resource you’ll find out there today.
The Google Analytics tool will help you understand critical data like:
- The amount of organic traffic your site is receiving versus how much is coming from elsewhere
- The quality of search traffic that your site is getting and the exact keywords used during the search
- The performance of your organic traffic along the lines of dollar value by simply comparing how much your keywords are worth in pursuance of Google AdWords
- The pages in your website that are loading sluggishly and hindering the general user experience
Installing this tool to your site is simple. All you need to do is install Google Analytics plugin if you are using a Content Management System like WordPress.
Add Your Website to the Google Search Console
The Google Search Console was some time ago known as the Webmaster tool. It is a great tool that will help enhance your site’s on-page SEO.
If you are determined to improve your SEO rankings, you need to add and verify your site and it will enable you to analyze its productivity in many ways. This free resource will help you appreciate:
- How much traffic you are getting through search
- Your site’s click-through rate and how new users are finding you
- The most common devices used to browse your site
- The best performing page in your site
Setting up the Google Search Console only takes a few minutes so there’s no excuse to not having it up and running. If you want more details on setting it up, read on.
Add Your Website to Bing Webmaster Tools
It’s no secret that Google rules the world of search and comparing it to Bing would be a great disservice. As a matter of fact, the lion’s share of your traffic will come from Google. However, it doesn’t mean that you should overlook the Bing Webmaster tools. Bing holds significance in the SEO world in the following ways:
- We all want to have more and more search traffic and despite Bing contributing a small section of your website’s aggregate traffic, it is relevant and that means it has a high possibility of generating sales.
- It has been on the market for quite a while and, as a matter of fact, recent reports show that Bing’s stake in the search engine market is increasing faster than that of Google.
- Even though the Google Search Console shares similar features with Bing Web Master, a few of them are specific to Bing. For example, Bing Webmaster Tools are able to access Yahoo data, which is not the case with Google.
Keep in mind that your number one source of organic traffic will be Google. Bing will come in Second. You should focus on both Google and Bing if you want to increase traffic to your site.
Keep a Tab on Page Speed
You need to check on your page speed before hitting that launch button. Page speed refers to the time it takes a page display its entire content.
It is a fact that your visitors would want to browse a website that loads fast. Google shares similar sentiments and that’s why Google checks how fast a site is loading to determine its rank.
In the event that your web pages are slow, Google’s spiders will crawl just a few pages. Having web pages that load quickly will improve your rankings and will also generate more sales.
Page speed can be improved significantly by
- optimizing your images
- enabling compression
- reducing redirects
- using browsing caching
Google PageSpeed Insights is a free resource by Google to check page speed. For best results on search engines, you should target to achieve a score of 80or above.
Improve the Quality of Your Pages
You should ensure that your pages are well designed to be accessible by search engines. They will not rank if they are of poor quality.
Scan through your site by the use of an SEO tool to ensure:
- Your pages don’t have any misplaced no index tags. Failure to do so will ensure those pages are not indexed. All your web pages should be accessible to search engine spiders.
- Your web pages have unique content only. Google won’t punish you for plagiarized content but it won’t applaud you either. You need to ensure that none of your pages have plagiarized content. Use tools such as Grammarly or Copy scape to check for plagiarism.
- There are no pages with irrelevant content. Google favors content that will offer real value to your visitors.
Once you have all these boxes checked, it’s time to hit that big red launch button.