The SEO Checklist

 

Know your numbers

First, there’s no use getting all stressed out if nothing’s wrong!  We all need to keep our stress supplies for those days we have teenagers, or grandbaby teenagers.  Keep an eye on your visitors and where they’re coming from using Google Analytics.

There are a number of things you CAN DO to make your content, website, networks and numbers the best they can be.  Being in control is usually a big stress reliever so lets discuss the so-called SEO Expert, and the SEO best practices to help fix your PR.

Things not to do

Hiring an “expert”

I caution you against hiring help from an SEO ‘expert’.  These experts (although I hope with the best of intentions) mislead and waste your money.  For example, the ‘experts’ will tell you that you have to have X number of keywords per page.  They’re wrong.  We know they’re wrong, because they’re trying to ‘trick’ google into seeing what your page is about.

Tricking Search Engines
If you and I can think of a way to clearly tell Google our keywords, spammers are thinking of it too.  And in turn, Google will change its algorithm to get away from spammy search results.  And perhaps demote our pages – with our legitimate attempts at communicating what our pages are about.
So if experts have advised that they know what Google ‘wants’, at best they know what Google wants at the moment. 
There is a better way!

Success over the long haul

The easiest, simplest, and least stressful Search Engine Optimization is following tried and true best practices.  The two foremost experts in these fields are Yoast.com and moz.com.  They’re reliable, honest and dependable.  They focus less on how Google is trying to stop spammers (because we’re not spammers) and more on the recommendations from Google for creating great pages (including pages that are relevant and ‘fresh’).

What kinds of things do they recommend?
  • On your images/videos/links/recipes, include relevant alt tags and title tags
  • Use language that speaks to the readers; use proper grammar and spelling
  • Network and get your site recognized by other bigger, better websites in your niche that might link to you
  • Pick a topic for each page and make sure that it is clear (use SEO for WP plugin by Yoast for page – by – page analysis)
  • Make sure you’re using Google webmaster tools to specify a canonical url – automatic in SEO for WP plugin by Yoast
  • Submit a sitemap to Google webmaster tools ( SEO for WP Plugin will assist with this)
  • Fix crawl errors and 404 errors
  • No-follow and no-index duplicate content (select only one: tags or categories for indexing, remove author indexes if you only have one author, and remove date-based archives if you use tags or categories)
  • Do use “nofollow” tags on your ads and sponsors
What kinds of things are we NOT to do:
  • Do not buy incoming links (by reciprocity or cash)
  • Do not stuff pages with keywords in places that don’t make sense
  • Do not overuse meta tags, tags, and categories
If you did all of the above, and worked on networking with others in your niche, used social media to meet your potential readers and clients in their own networks and circles, you would see a marked increase in your site’s search engine performance, guaranteed!