Search Engine Optimization has been evolving very rapidly during the past few years; Google keeps changing its algorithm in an attempt to kick out bad and copied content and boost fresh and quality work. Optimizing your website for search engines requires patient, consistency and most importantly quality content, in other words, do not write for Google but for humans. Help your readers learn something new that they love to share with their friends on social media and you will be rewarded for this.
Here is the ultimate seo checklist you should always go through prior to optimizing your website or blog posts for search engines, do not forget, it may take up to one year to see any significant results out of your SEO planning and execution.
1. Keywords selection
By far the most important decision towards any SEO planning. Decide carefully for the words you want to optimize your page. Using specific keywords may have significant impact on your brand as well, for example, if you run a 5 star hotel you certainly do not want to use keywords like “ cheap hotels “ or “ discount hotels “ go for quality and not for quantity.
Do not optimize your website for more than 2-3 keywords otherwise Google will punish you and it will be more difficult to see any results. Do not forget, Google needs to make money from its Google Adwords.
Use Google Keyword tool to find keywords’ suggestions. Try to play niche and avoid generic terms, select keywords with as low competition as possible. FOCUS ON THE LONG RUN. SEO RESULTS MAY TAKE 1 YEAR TO REALIZE.
Before starting optimizing your page for search engines, make sure you create a sitemap. It is used by search engine to read your page content and how often is updated. Creating a sitemap is very easy by using online tools that take care of this process in few minutes. Will I rank lower if I do not have a sitemap? Probably not, but it certainly helps search engine see your content clearly.
3. Page url
Your page url should be following the keywords you are optimizing your website, for example if you optimize for “Hotels in Dubai” then your url should include this phrase e.g www.myhotel.com/hotels-in-dubai.
4. Page title
Make sure you start with your keywords and NOT your brand, unless you are Google or Facebook e.g Hotel in Dubai – Genesis Hotels. Page title is the first thing search engines see, so let them know what your page is all about.
Do not optimize for more than 2-3 keywords, stuffing with keywords is a black hat strategy and Google will punish you.
5. H1 Title
Again start your page content title, blog post title, with the same keyword you placed at the page title.
6. Main content
Repeat your keywords once for every 150 words of content and DO NOT OVER DO IT. Do not forget the golden rule “ Write for people and not for search engines “
7. Meta tags
Add your main keywords at your page meta tags, again do not overstuff.
8. Image files’ names
Save your images with the keywords you are targeting, for example, if you optimize for hotels in Dubai then you should save your images within this page as hotels-in-dubai.jpg
9. Image Alt text
Alt text stands for alternative information and search engines are using to read images, therefore, use your keywords as an image’s alt text description
10. Internal page links
There are links within a page content that link to another page within the same domain. It helps search engine spiders find important content within your site. For example “ Genesis hotels in Dubai provides great options for dinning, within a great selection of international cuisines’ delicacies “ link the words “great options for dinning” to your restaurant page. This way search engines will understand that your restaurant page has significant importance for SEO.