You’ve already downloaded my SEO Essentials Checklist (thank you!), so I wanted to share some tips to help you make the “SEO Essentials” checklist more actionable:
SEO Tip #1: Determine your goals
Before you can even get started implementing SEO, you first need to know what your goals are. As you go through the first step of the checklist today, take some time to figure out what you want to achieve and set some benchmarks for yourself.
A great place to start is by determining which one of these you need:
- Some foundational SEO tweaking
- A thorough SEO application
- A major SEO overhaul
On page 4 of my SEO Essentials checklist you’ll find a list of questions that will help you figure out what your needs are and where you should focus your attention most.
This step is crucial to your overall success, so don’t skip it!
SEO Tip #2: Is your site trustworthy?
This seems like such a basic question, but it really is important. Trustworthiness is key to gaining more leads from your site, but also for SEO ranking purposes.
Take a moment to look at your site with fresh eyes, and really think about the trust factor from a potential customer’s perspective. If it’s not a clear “YES!” then it’s a “NO!” There’s no in-between.
Here are some of the things you should consider when evaluating your site:
- Is the design current and user friendly?
- Is there social proof on the page (shares, likes, testimonials)?
- Is the copy informative and easy to understand?
Page 5 of the checklist has some additional points you should consider, as well as the next steps you should take to start making your site more trustworthy for site visitors AND for Google.
Remember, SEO doesn’t just happen, you have to MAKE it happen! And block time out on your calendar. Despite your best intentions, if you’re waiting until you have time for SEO, that will never happen. In my experience, people find SEO a little painful. If you do find yourself with some extra time, chances are you won’t use it for SEO.
SEO Tip #3: Review your site copy and CTAs
Did you know that Google can tell how long people stay on your site, how many pages they visit, and if they engage with your content? Crazy, I know! But it’s also pretty cool.
When Google sees that site visitors are actively engaging with your site, this definitely has a positive impact on SEO.
Don’t be meek in your messaging. Use your site copy and messaging to tell visitors what you have to offer, how you can solve their problem, and what they should do next.
On page 6 of my SEO Essentials checklist, you’ll find more info about why engagement is key to SEO success, along with some specific things you should be including in your copy to make sure your site really speaks to potential customers.
I want you to look at your site again and evaluate the copy and calls-to-action. Are you speaking clearly about the pain points your customers have, and telling them how you can help?
Make some notes on how you can improve your site so that visitors become engaged visitors, because engaging visitors leads to qualified lead generation. Any I’m pretty sure that’s one of the goals you listed out during step one!
I’ve got some other important actionable tasks listed out for you on page 6 that you won’t want to miss. Set aside 20-30 minutes to work through them and make a plan for increasing engagement on your site.
SEO Tip #4: List the foundational SEO elements you need to improve on
This is the part of SEO that surprises some of my clients. SEO is not just about the copy on your site; there are multiple foundational elements that contribute to SEO success.
On page 7 of the checklist there is a list of the foundational elements of SEO. Take some time to review them and jot down some notes about the areas that you think need the most improvement.
Don’t miss the section about the one SEO element that’s non-negotiable: uniquely valuable content. It’s, well, non-negotiable!
SEO Tip #5: Integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Have you ever wondered what I look for when I’m doing my SEO audits? Check out page 8 of the checklist for an explanation of my audit process.
An important tip for you is to make sure that you have Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) set up for your site. Those two tools can provide you with some great information about how your SEO efforts are working, and where you can improve. If you don’t have both of them set up (and integrated) take a few minutes today to do that. It’s pretty simple to do, and it will provide you with a wealth of actionable data as you begin implementing SEO for your site.
(Need some help integrating Analytics and Search Console? Here’s a handy tutorial I created to help my clients set that up.)
SEO Tip #6: Review your sales funnel
Sometimes there is confusion when it comes to what SEO actually DOES. This is important, so pay close attention:
SEO doesn’t drive leads.
It drives prospects and qualified traffic.
It’s your job to turn that traffic into leads once it hits your site.
I want you to think about how you move people through your funnel, and the steps you take offline to turn prospects into leads. Those steps will probably be pretty similar for your online process as well.
On page 9 I’ve listed out some more questions for you to ask yourself, and factors to consider when it comes to using SEO to transform your site into a lead generation tool. This step of the process takes a little brain power, so be sure you set aside some dedicated time for this portion!
SEO Tip #7: Research and determine focus keywords
For SEO Essential #7 we’re revisiting foundational SEO elements. On page 10 I’ve listed out the key elements you should be applying, along with some great questions about the “who” behind SEO to help you determine who will manage your SEO efforts when it comes to implementation.
I’ve also included a link to my Keyword Research Report. I want you to download the report and read through the beginning, and then set aside some time in the next week to work through the seven steps I recommend for researching and determining the keywords you’ll focus on for your site.
Don’t forget to go through the elements on page 10 of the SEO Essentials checklist too, because keyword research is important but it’s only part of the process!
SEO Tip #8: Create a plan for SEO execution
For this final item in my SEO Essentials checklist, we’ll be delving further into the “who” I mentioned for Essential #7. I’ve got some great tips on page 11 to help you determine how you can successfully integrate SEO into your ongoing marketing activities.
I want you to set aside some time to start thinking about who will work on your SEO implementation moving forward. Will it be you, your assistant, your marketing manager, or someone else on your team? Maybe you are just too busy right now to manage SEO in-house; if that’s the case, consider whether you should hire someone to manage those efforts on your behalf. Put it down on paper (or virtual paper!) so that you have a plan moving forward. All the research and preparation in world won’t do any good if you don’t have a plan for who will actually execute on SEO tasks.
As I’m sure you’ve learned going through the checklist, SEO is simple, but it’s not easy. But don’t let that stop you from succeeding! Keep my SEO Essentials checklist handy as you go through the planning, research, and implementation process for SEOing your site; you may find that you need to go back and revisit some of the different essential elements as you go along.
If you need additional guidance with SEO for your business, I’d love to chat with you more about the services I offer as an SEO expert, consultant, and trainer. I customize my services for each individual client’s needs, but here’s a quick list of some of the things I offer:
- 1-Day SEO Strategy Consultation
- Small Business Strategy and Consulting Engagement
- Corporate and Agency SEO Training Program
Want to find out more about how I can help your business succeed with SEO? Click here to schedule a time for us to chat about your specific needs and how I can help your business achieve SEO success.