SEO is a crucial part of building any website. People often think that SEO starts once the site is ready and a few contents have been published. So, they miss the essential steps that should be completed first.
In my long SEO journey, I’ve seen this too many times.
That’s why, I’ve come up with this SEO checklist for new websites that includes all the necessary SEO tasks you need to work on from the very beginning of planning for your site. If you’re preparing to start a new website, don’t miss this.
It’ll also help even if you’ve started the site already.
It might be a bit of a long article, but full of value. So, don’t avoid it. Without further ado, let’s get started.
SEO Checklist for New Websites
Select a Good Domain Name
The domain name has a good impact on SEO. So, you must invest sufficient time in finding it. If you already have a business, the domain name will be according to that. But if you’re looking for an independent domain name, try to include your focus keyword or a part in the domain name.
Don’t make it large. Rather, keep it precise and memorable. Don’t include hyphens, numbers, or any special characteristics here.
You can try domain name generator tools or search tools to get the perfect one for your purpose.
Pick the Right Platform
The platform you choose is important. Most people use WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. No matter what you use, conduct research first. Pick one that is SEO-friendly and resource-rich.
Other factors in picking a platform are- pricing, customizing options, availability or analytics, user community, support system, integration opportunity, etc.
Pick the Right Theme
Theme plays a crucial role in your website’s SEO. Lightly-coded and SEO-friendly themes make your SEO strategies fruitful. On the other hand, the ones with complex coding won’t help you much.
Make sure the theme you’re choosing is responsive, goes well with all browsers, and receives regular updates. Also, it should be compatible with necessary plugins.
Design a Site Structure
The ease of navigation depends on the site structure. A proper site structure allows search engines and visitors to surf through your website without any difficulties.
It may take some time to create a content hierarchy for your site, but you won’t regret doing it. Make a primary plan by listing the content you want to include on the website. Then, arrange them in a proper structure.
Make sure that any important page can be found within three to four clicks after entering the website.
Get an SSL Certificate
Any SEO Checklist for new websites must include adding SSL certificate. An SSL-certified website is safe from outside threats and harmful activities. Thus, it increases trust among the visitors.
Search engines like Google are prioritizing websites that have an SSL certificate over the ones that don’t. So, you must get one if you want to stay strong in this SEO war.
Get your SSL certificate from a trusted provider and install it. The sooner you do it, the better.
Install SEO-friendly Plugins
You’ll find several plugins available for the same purpose, especially on popular platforms. But not all of them are equally designed. Some are SEO-friendly while some are not.
Before installing a plugin, research to make sure that it won’t barrier your SEO efforts. If you can find a better alternative, go for that. Also, don’t install unnecessary plugins. Keep the site as light as possible.
Research for Keywords
Keyword research is a must-do when it comes to ranking a website, right? So, it’s time to look for keywords to optimize the content to rank in SERP.
As you’ve designed a site structure, you must know the topics you want to start with. Keywords are the words people use to search for those topics. For example- the focus keyword for this article is- SEO checklist for new websites.
Use keyword research tools to find keywords with high search volume, low competition, and buying intention. Take help from keyword research experts. Without the right keywords, it is almost impossible to rank.
Find out long-tail keywords too. A proper mix of focus keyword and long-tail keywords help your content to rank.
Create Keyword-optimized Content
Content is still the king. So, there is no alternative to writing keyword-optimized, unique content that covers the relevant topic properly. Search engines love the content created to help visitors.
Use the main keyword in the title once. Also, use it in a heading. Don’t forget to use the keyword within the first 100-150 words of the article. You must include it in the conclusion part too.
Overall, use the focus keyword 6-8 times when it is a 1000-word article. Maintain the ratio for larger or smaller articles.
Publish Content Properly
This is a crucial point in this SEO checklist for new websites. A well-written, keyword-optimized content may fail to rank if you don’t publish it properly. It includes optimizing the URL, writing a proper meta description, adding images, etc.
The content URL should include the focus keyword. Besides, keep the URL clean and meaningful. Something like ‘/art=7924804/’ is not a proper URL. Use something like ‘/seo-tips/seo-checklist-for-new-websites/’.
Write a meta description that tells what the article discusses. I suggest the meta description should include the problem that the article will solve. Use the focus keyword once here.
Use lightweight, relevant pictures that keep readers engaged in the article. Using compressor tools, resize them without losing quality. Add titles that express what’s inside the images. Besides, add alt texts that describe the images and include focus keyword there.
Allow Search Engine Crawlers
Search engine crawlers crawl and index the sites that allow them to do it. So, you should ensure that your site permits this. Besides, the pages should be optimized in a way to ensures that crawlers can easily know the content.
Check if the pages are crawlable or not. Follow the platform’s instructions to allow crawlers to index your site. Using keywords properly in meta information, URLs, and content can make crawling easier for search engines. Also, check for errors frequently.
Optimize Website Speed
It’s very important to keep your website fast. People nowadays have no time to wait for a webpage to load, especially when they have a lot of options. So, maintaining a fast loading speed is a must.
Google PageSpeed insights can help you know your website speed and give you some tips to load them faster. Also, you’ll find several other tools to help you with this. Check page speed at least twice a month. The perfect loading time is around 2 seconds.
Keep It Mobile-friendly
A mobile-friendly website is a must in this competitive world. The reason is simple- most internet users surf the internet through mobile devices. If your site is not compatible with mobile, you’ve already lost more than half of your potential visitors. Also, search engines love mobile-friendly sites.
Use a mobile-friendly theme, install mobile-supported plugins, and keep the pages light. Try Google’s mobile-friendly test to check if your site can be surfed well through mobile or not.
This SEO checklist for new websites ensures a perfect start for new sites. So, if you’re working on a new site that has just started, it’ll be very helpful. Strictly following this will give you a website perfect to start off-page SEO and rank faster. Bookmark it and share it with others.
We’re here if you require any assistance with optimizing your website for search engines. Our well-equipped team is capable enough to handle all types of SEO issues.