Great! Your shiny new website is almost ready – but how do you make sure that people will find it? This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) shines, making the difference between a successful website launch and a not-so-successful website launch. While many will have you believe that this essential feature of online marketing is a mystery, many of the known elements of SEO are relatively common-sense, regularly linking back to user experience (UX). Here’s an SEO checklist to help you get started.
Make your website mobile responsive
While a striking desktop website and experience is great, more and more people are accessing the internet by mobile and tablet devices. According to Statista: “Mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2023, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 58.33% of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50% mark since the beginning of 2017 before permanently surpassing it in 2020.”
Making your website mobile responsive means that while your website will mostly look and behave in the same way, it will also work intuitively on smaller devices. This generally means: re-ordering some of your content, creating responsive images and ensuring that your copy is legible across all devices and browsers.
In SEO terms, search engines look to provide only the most accurate information and the best user experience for their visitors. So your organic search rankings will only improve if your website is suitable for both mobile and tablet users, as well as desktop audiences.
Check your website speed
Another key element of SEO is website speed. Again, this links back to user experience and audience expectations. Google and Bing have both publicly confirmed that website and load speeds are critical to rank your website organically. We also know that on paid search or PPC activity that this applies – making website speed a critical factor in your marketing.
There are several tools out there to check your page speed, including this tool from Google, which also comes with a list of recommendations to speed things up. Some common causes of poor website speed include: large uncompressed images, multiple external requests (such as from YouTube, Vimeo and other third parties) and uncached elements (meaning that each page has to load from scratch whenever anyone accesses it).
Optimise your content
It’s very important that when creating your website, you’re making sure that your information is not only useful and relevant, but also clear and written in an accessible format.
Optimising your content means checking that your headers, titles and page copy are all consistent with the information displayed on that page. You want to ensure that if your website is a baking supply shop, that you’re not creating misleading or confusing content – perhaps about shoes or furniture! Ensuring that your pages are cohesive, coherent and clear provides a simple and informative user journey throughout your website, and will ultimately help you rank higher on search engines.
Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Tag Manager – these tools will help inform your future decision-making by providing data and analysis to show you where your website is at its strongest, and at its weakest. Each of these tools does different things, but working together they can give you a holistic view of not only your organic traffic and your SEO efforts, but they can also help you to gauge the effectiveness of your complete marketing strategy.
Something that will help inform your marketing, website and future iterations to your website is a tracking tool. Before you go live, make sure you have the following applications integrated as part of your website:
Reaudit, reaudit and reaudit!
Once your website is live, it’s essential that you continue to monitor its progress regularly. It’s not about taking a quick peek in the first few weeks of your new website, it’s about constantly reviewing and updating your website to ensure that you’re maximising not only the ROI of the website itself, but also your marketing efforts.
There are plenty of tools out there (free, freemium and paid) that will allow you to monitor and report on the success of your website, so make sure you’re using these consistently to maximise the potential of your website.
We know this might sound like a lot of hard work, but we’ve seen time and time again how SEO efforts can make or break a new website. Need a hand? Our team is here to help, so get in touch today for a cup of coffee and a chat about SEO.