A Proven SEO Checklist You'll Need to Dominate Your Market

Adi Young

Written by Adi Young @ Eight Zero

The truth is, if the 3 main search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) haven’t heard of you, no one has.

Naturally, every company in the world wants to be the best within their industry, and with this in mind, the key to ensuring your business is leading the march is to make sure Google can efficiently reach and understand your website.

In this post I have put together my definitive SEO checklist which will help you to dominate the SERPS (search engine results pages) within your market. 

By the end of this article, your business will be well on its way to having a fully-focussed digital marketing strategy which will serve you by increasing your websites visibility, and crucially, growing the number of users clicking through onto your products or services pages.

1. It all starts with keyword research

Are you a marketing veteran? If so there is a good chance you will already be executing the following. However, if you are a SEO newbie you may not be aware of the importance of keyword research and SEO as a whole.

I'll tell you why an SEO strategy without any keyword research is always going to struggle. You see, selecting the correct targeted keywords are the difference between what I ‘think’ my target audience wants and what I know my target audience ‘really needs’.

So to successfully execute this mantra, you need to make sure you are targeting the right keywords, I would suggest as a rule-of-thumb, each page of content should be addressing at least one keyword or topic. 

If you, are completely at a loss of where to start, Google offers a free Keyword Planner tool which provides information on current industry trends. You can also check the popularity over time by using Google’s Keyword Trend tool.

2. Long-tail keywords: The new hero

This one's simple, but so important that it deserves its own section. If you’re not so confident with SEO and struggle to get the attention your website deserves in SERPS, the following is one of the magic keys to changing that!

If you are unaware, long-tail keywords are phrases that combine three or four specific words that your target users tend to be typing into the search engines. ie ‘SEO Services in Nottingham’ would be a long-tail keyword, opposed to just entering a single word keyword like ‘SEO’.

Understanding how long-tail keyword work will help you to identify just how your customers behave when using search engines. For example, most people would not just type 'laptop' into a Search Engine, they are likely be entering a long-tail keyword such as ‘best laptop under £300’. A slight difference, but a crucial one for someone trying to optimise their website wanting to harness as much targeted traffic as possible.

When you understand how to target your customers through the powers of SEO, your SEO game is taken to the next level. You should prioritise specific long-tail keywords and in no time at all your website ranking will start to flourish, along with the increased digital footfall to your landing pages.

3. Quality is king of the content

Some business owners seem think that creating heaps of spammy-content based around their products and services is a sure way to attract new customers and reach that all important Page 1 in the search result pages. I cannot stress enough how wrong this is!

The short growth bursts a business may receive (in the form of increased rankings) by fooling Google algorithms doesn’t last forever. Google is smart - very smart, and inevitably will correct the ranking mistakes. 

The big problem is that eventually a customer is going to click-through from one of their searches and actually read your content. If the quality is not up to scratch, you can be sure that person won't be coming back anytime soon! A customer lost forever.

The bottom line is to never over-optimise your content for search engines that get in the way of creating high-quality valuable content your audience will want to read. Search Engines are fully aware of black-hat SEO tactics, so if you wish to stay competitive and on the right side of the law (Search Engine Guidelines) your approach to content needs to be planned, concise and written for humans.

4. Mobile is the future

I bet you have heard many times 'Mobile is the future'. Well, the future is here and now and if your website isn't mobile friendly (responsive), you’re placing your business at a serious disadvantage against your competitors who do have mobile friendly websites.

More than ever, consumers search and shop on-the-go. And with over 50% of your target audience surfing your website through their mobile device, you want to make sure they are getting the best user experience as possible. It wasn’t long ago that Google publicly announced that mobile rankings count towards search rankings. So if you are not focused on improving your mobile experience, you will be in for a frustrating journey. 

If you're interested whether or not your website is mobile optimised for search you can check out Google's new test app.
Mobile Design

5. Get your user experience right

I would like to point out that Search Engine Optimisation isn't about trying to outsmart Search Engine algorithms. We should be building websites which offer our audience ‘Exceptional User Experience’. 

Instead of asking 'Will Google’s algorithms like this?' As business owners or digital marketing experts we should be asking questions like 'Will our users like this?'

Creating a flawless user experience (UX) is a tough task in itself but here are a few suggestions to get you on track.
1. Make sure images and photos are optimised for performance.
2. Ensure headings, sub-headings and breadcrumbs are well-structured.
3. It is paramount that your website is easy to navigate – a frustrated user isn’t a paying user!

When you have a fully optimised website for UX and SEO, it won’t take long before Google starts to take notice and begins to increase your authority within the Search Engine Results Pages. The key is to stick at it. 

Remember, your website and business are directly linked and should be run as smoothly and given as much attention as you give your business.

If your business would like to drive more traffic using SEO and online marketing, please give Eight Zero a call on 01158 967 855 to discuss your requirements.

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