SEO Checklist - How to Rank in 2018You may feel that keeping your website well-optimised for Google is a minefield, and that you’re constantly battling to get the Google search page result (SERP) you desire. Well, fear not because we’ve asked Digital Marketing experts, Big Reach Marketing, to put together an easy nine-point checklist of the major SEO tasks you need to complete this year to get your website ranked.
Shout-out also goes to Moz for putting together their 2018 SEO checklist.
1. Make sure your pages are crawlableLuckily for the arachnophobes out there, we don’t mean by actual spiders, but by the Googlebot spiders. When they come across your page they need to be able to understand the content that’s on there in a text readable format, to understand images and visuals. Essentially everything you have on your page needs to be in a format that they can easily put into their web index.
2. Do your (keyword) research!Before investing time and money in to your SEO, you need to first work out what keywords your customers are using. Once these have been established you’ll have a much better idea of what your customers would be looking to get from your website, and the type of content that we help convert them.
You’ll want to establish a primary keyword and then hopefully a set of related secondary keywords that share the searcher's intent. Then you’ll have a primary and a secondary set of keywords that you can target in your optimisation efforts.
A great free tool to explore this with is Google Keyword Planner.
3. Investigate the SERPWhat we mean by this is, we want you to do some search engine results page (SERP) digging. Put your search query in to Google and use the top results to help you work out what Google believes to be relevant to the keyword searches. You’ll then be able to work out the type of content that’s required and what your website may be missing to help get you to the top spots!
4. Invest in good contentTo make a splash in 2018 you’re going to need amplifiable content, and to create that you’re going to need to invest in someone in your team or a copywriter to create it for you. If you do, you’ll make amplification, link building and social sharing much more likely to happen. Your content will also become more credible - in both the eyes of the people searching for your website and in Google’s eyes too.
The main aim of the content on your website is to help serve the searcher’s goal and serve their search query. If you’ve managed to get your website up on page one you’re going to want to make sure your content answers the searcher’s query better than anyone else on page one. If not, over time Google will realise searchers are frustrated with your result compared to other results, and they're going to rank those other people higher.
5. Don’t forget your meta descriptionGoogle does still take in to your meta description in to account and it’s crucial to your SEO efforts. How Google displays your result on the SERP determines whether people want to click on your listing or someone else’s - so make it count! Be sure to optimise it from a keyword perspective, as well as relevancy to what the page is about, in a way that is compelling to a searcher.
6. Primary, secondary and related keywordsGoogle’s search algorithm is constantly evolving and updating, and it’s now clever enough to work out if your content not only features your main keywords, but if it includes related keywords too. Make sure to research what your primary and secondary keywords are so that you can weave them in to your pages.
7. Speed is of the essence!One big key to a successful and well-optimised website is page speed. The faster your website loads and the quicker the users can navigate the site, the better. This year Google will begin to penalise sites that are slow loading so we’d suggest investigating and improving your speed in 2018!
8. Offer a great solutionPeople turn to Google to ask questions and to find answers to queries they have – if you can offer the perfect solution to their search, then the higher you’re going to rank. Make sure your content is relevant, easy-to-read and of a high quality.