SEO Checklist For The Do It Yourself-er

SEO and digital marketing are part of an ever-changing industry, and learning can take years of experience and education. It can be intimidating for people outside of the field, but there are areas that can be easy for anyone to learn and apply to their own site. With that in mind here are ways that you can take control of your website’s success.

Keyword Research

This is the cornerstone of any SEO campaign and can be completed with ease. However, there are things to consider when conducting this research.

Tools – Other than Google Search Console, the best free tool available is the Google Keyword Planner. This tool will give you all of the important information about keywords, including search volume and related words and phrases. A great tool for starting the initial keyword research

Relevance – When conducting your initial keyword research, you should begin with the most relevant keywords to your business that reflect the services you offer. After narrowing that done, you can expand into long-tail keywords (more than 1-2 words). Let’s say you own a cleaning business. One of your services may be “house cleaning”, which would have a rather high search volume and a very high competition score. If we expand that keyword to “weekly house cleaning service” we will see a much smaller search volume. This might affect your click-through rate though, as you will now be targeting a more specific audience.

Geo-Modified – Generally while searching, most of us will add a location-based keyword, such as their city, which is definitely something we want to capture. This is done by targeting your geo-modified keywords. For example, changing “cleaning services” to “cleaning services in Toronto” will help to capture searches for this service in the place. This type of targeting is often great for building up your local rankings.

Important Meta Tags

Meta Tags are used for summing up your website, including what it is about and the type of content that should be on the page. Below are the must-have meta tags that you should have. You will need a working knowledge of PHP and HTML to change these tags.

  • Meta Title – This is the title of the page and shows at the of the browser and open tab. This is one of the most important tags for any page, and we will look at it further below.
  • Meta Description – As the title tag, this is also a very important tag for SEO and will cover with more detail below.
  • Meta Author – This tag should contain your company’s name. It tells Google that this website and its content are the property of your company.
  • Meta Language – This tag declares the default language, which helps Google know where this website should be indexed.
  • Social Open Graph Tags – Open Graph tags were originally developed by Facebook, but they are now commonly used with the majority of social media platforms. The purpose of these tags is to connect your website to your businesses social pages, which helps to create your website’s authority and increase search engines trust of your website.

Meta Titles & Descriptions

Meta Titles – These tags should be within 50 – 60 characters. They should contain the purpose of the page, a targeted keyword, and if you have room, your location. This meta tag will not just be visible on the site itself, but will also be displayed in search results. In a lot of cases, this will be your first opportunity to attract visitors, so creating the right tag is very important.

Meta Descriptions – Like the title tag, the description is also displayed in the search results. Description tags should be no less than 50 and no more than 300 characters. These tags should contain a unique, brief introduction to your business and contain at least one targeted keyword. Be sure to only create descriptions and titles that are relevant to the content on the page, as misleading data lowers search engines, and visitors, trust level for your site.