SEO checklist for new businesses

14 July 2023

You have heard it a thousand times by now, and we can’t help but say it once again – having a strong online presence is essential for businesses, especially for new ventures trying to establish themselves in a competitive marketplace.

One of the key ways to build and consolidate a robust online presence for your business is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

In this post, you will find a comprehensive SEO checklist for new businesses to get you started on your SEO journey.

Why SEO matters?

Before we get into the details, let’s first understand why SEO is crucial for new businesses.

Today, search engines are the primary source of information for most consumers. When people are looking for products or services, they turn to Google and other engines to find what they need.

Without a solid SEO strategy, your business may go unnoticed, buried in the depths of search engine results. By implementing effective SEO techniques, you can improve your website’s visibility, drive organic traffic, and ultimately, attract more customers.

Why do new businesses need to focus on SEO?

As a new venture, you may not have an established brand presence or a large marketing budget to rely on. SEO offers a cost-effective way to level the playing field and compete with more established businesses. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can attract targeted organic traffic, enabling you to expand your business without breaking the bank.

In addition, SEO also provides valuable insights into your target audience. You can gather data on user behaviour, demographics, and preferences. This information can help you refine your marketing strategies, tailor your content to better meet your audience’s needs, and ultimately improve your overall business performance.

Furthermore, focusing on SEO from the early stages of your business can have long-term benefits. As your website gains visibility and authority in search engine rankings, it becomes a valuable asset that continues to attract organic traffic even as your business grows. This means that investing in SEO today can have a lasting impact on your business’s success in the future.

Initial SEO steps

First things first, let’s go over the basics of a solid SEO strategy.

✓ Choosing the right keywords

Keywords are the foundation of any successful SEO campaign. These are the words and phrases that people type into search engines when looking for products or services.

By understanding the keywords used by your target audience, you can optimize your website’s content to increase its visibility in search results.

Several tools are available for conducting keyword research, including Google Trends, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. These tools assist in identifying the most relevant keywords for your website, along with information about their search volume and competition level. You can also check out extensions for Chrome such as Keywords Everywhere and Keyword Surfer.

Once you have identified your target keywords, it’s essential to incorporate them naturally into your website’s content. Avoid the practice of keyword stuffing, which refers to excessively using the same keyword multiple times on a single page.

Instead, strive to use keywords in a manner that is relevant to your content and makes sense to your users. Incorporate them naturally throughout your website’s content, including page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and body text.

Check out our article on What are keywords and how to choose the right ones if you’d like to learn more about this basic element of SEO.

✓ Setting up Google Analytics and Search Console

An integral part of any SEO strategy is measuring and analyzing its effectiveness. To do this, you need to install Google Analytics and Google Search Console on your website.

Google Analytics provides valuable insights into how users interact with your website, including metrics like page views and conversions.

Google Search Console, on the other hand, allows you to monitor your website’s performance in search results and identifies any issues that may be affecting your visibility.

By regularly monitoring these analytics tools, you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize your website.

Learn more about Analytics in our article on the Differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics.

✓ Creating a Google Business account

Once you have Google Analytics and Search Console set up, the next step is to create and optimize your Google Business profile. This tool allows your business to appear in local search results and on Google Maps, enhancing your visibility to potential local customers.

Once your profile is verified, optimize it by adding business hours, uploading high-quality photos, and writing a detailed business description that incorporates your targeted keywords. Regularly update your profile, encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews, and respond to these reviews to improve your online reputation.

You can also share updates and promotions to keep your profile fresh and provide additional value to potential customers.

A well-optimized Google Business profile not only boosts your local SEO but also enhances your overall SEO strategy, improving your rankings in SERPs and attracting more organic traffic to your website.

For more tips, check out our article What is Google Business and how to make the most of it.

On-page SEO

Now that you have your initial SEO setup in place, it’s time to focus on optimizing your website’s on-page elements.

We also have a detailed article on How to improve website visibility with on-page SEO, where you can find pro tips and guidance.

✓ Optimize meta descriptions and title tags

Meta descriptions and title tags are essential elements for optimizing your website’s on-page SEO.

A meta description is the brief snippet that appears below the title tag in search engine results. It provides a concise summary of what your webpage is about and entices users to click through.

Ensure that your meta descriptions accurately reflect the content of each page and include relevant keywords.

Title tags, on the other hand, are HTML elements that define the title of a webpage. They appear as the clickable headline in search engine results and browser tabs. Optimize your title tags by including targeted keywords and making them compelling to attract clicks from searchers.

✓ Create high-quality, SEO-friendly content

In the realm of SEO, content is king. High-quality, SEO-friendly content not only helps search engines understand the relevance of your website but also provides value to your target audience.

Create engaging and informative content that incorporates your targeted keywords naturally.

Focus on producing content that answers users’ questions, solves their problems, or provides useful insights.

By consistently publishing quality content, you establish your brand as an authority in your industry and increase your chances of ranking higher in search results.

Content also refers to pages such as About, Services/Products, Team, where you should aim to have comprehensive descriptions, that also incorporate your keywords and provide focused and up-to-date information to your website’s visitors.

✓ Assure good website architecture and proper use of headings

Website architecture refers to the organization and structure of your website. A well-structured website facilitates easier crawling and indexing by search engines, ultimately enhancing its SEO.

Among the crucial elements of website architecture are heading tags. These tags serve the purpose of structuring your content and aiding search engines in comprehending the relevance and hierarchy of different sections within your website.

Heading tags are available in six levels, ranging from H1 to H6. H1 tags hold the utmost importance and should be utilized to designate primary headings on your website. H2 tags are employed for subheadings, and so forth.

By correctly implementing heading tags, you can enhance the overall structure of your website, leading to increased visibility in search results.

Off-page SEO

While on-page SEO is crucial, it’s equally important to invest in off-page SEO techniques to boost your website’s visibility and authority.

✓ Build high-quality backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to yours. They serve as a vote of confidence and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

Building high-quality backlinks is essential to improve your website’s authority and visibility.

Reach out to relevant industry websites, influencers, or bloggers and pitch them high-quality content in exchange for a backlink.

Participate in industry forums and engage in guest blogging opportunities to further expand your backlink profile.

Remember, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to backlinks, so prioritize genuine connections with authoritative websites.

✓ Social media and SEO

As social media continues to dominate the digital landscape, its impact on SEO cannot be disregarded.

Social media signals, such as likes, shares, and comments, send positive signals to search engines about your website’s relevance and popularity.

Maintain an active presence on social media platforms related to your business and regularly share your website’s content to increase its visibility and reach.

Engage with your audience, respond to comments, and foster a community around your brand.

The influence of social media on SEO is only expected to grow, so integrating social media into your SEO strategy is a wise move for any new business.

Technical SEO

In addition to on-page and off-page SEO, paying attention to technical aspects of your website is crucial to maximize your SEO efforts.

If you’d like to dig deeper into technical SEO, check our article How to do SEO: Technical aspects.

✓ Website speed and mobile optimization

In today’s fast-paced world, website speed is a significant factor for user experience and SEO. Ensure that your website loads quickly and is optimized for various devices, especially mobile.

With the majority of online searches now happening on mobile devices, Google has introduced mobile-first indexing. This means that Google primarily uses the mobile version of your website for crawling, indexing, and ranking purposes.

Optimize your website’s technical aspects, such as page speed, mobile responsiveness and navigation, to provide a seamless browsing experience for your audience and improve your search engine rankings.

You test you page in the Mobile-Friendly Test and PageSpeed Insights.

✓ XML sitemaps and robot.txt

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website. It helps search engines understand the structure and organization of your site, making it easier for them to crawl and index your content.

Create an XML sitemap and submit it to search engines like Google to ensure that all your pages are discoverable.

Additionally, the robots.txt file informs search engine crawlers which pages should or should not be crawled and indexed. Ensure that your robots.txt file is correctly configured to optimize your website’s visibility and control what search engines can access.

SEO as an ongoing process

Regularly tracking your website’s SEO performance is crucial to assess what strategies are effective and which ones require adjustments.

This information allows you to make informed decisions and refine your SEO approach.

Several tools are available for tracking SEO performance, such as Google Search Console, Ahrefs, and SEMrush. These tools monitor your website’s search rankings and provide insights into the number of visitors you receive through organic search.

Conclusion

By checking off all the items on this comprehensive SEO checklist, you are setting your new business up for success in the digital realm.

SEO is an ongoing process, so remember to regularly monitor your website’s analytics, stay up to date with the latest algorithm changes, and adapt your strategy accordingly.

With a well-executed SEO strategy, your new business will gain the visibility and online presence it needs to thrive.

SEO checklist for new businesses – FAQ2023-07-14T12:21:49+00:00

Why is SEO important for new businesses?

SEO is crucial for new businesses because it helps improve website visibility, attract organic traffic, and ultimately bring in more customers. Without a solid SEO strategy, new businesses may go unnoticed in search engine results.

How does SEO benefit new businesses?

SEO provides a cost-effective way for new businesses to compete with more established ones. It allows them to attract targeted organic traffic and gain insights into their target audience’s behavior, demographics, and preferences. Focusing on SEO from the early stages can also lead to long-term benefits as the website gains visibility and authority.

What are the initial steps for implementing SEO for a new business?

The initial steps for implementing SEO for a new business include conducting keyword research, setting up Google Analytics and Search Console, and creating a Google Business account.

How do I choose the right keywords for my new business?

To choose the right keywords, you can use tools like Google Trends, SEMrush, and Ahrefs to identify relevant keywords with suitable search volume and competition. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your website’s content.

How can I optimize my website’s on-page elements?

To optimize on-page elements, focus on optimizing meta descriptions and title tags by making them compelling and including relevant keywords. Create high-quality, SEO-friendly content that answers users’ questions and incorporates targeted keywords naturally. Pay attention to website architecture and proper use of heading tags.

How important are backlinks for SEO?

Backlinks are essential for improving website authority and visibility. Building high-quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative websites can positively impact your SEO efforts.

How does social media affect SEO for new businesses?

Social media signals, such as likes, shares, and comments, can send positive signals to search engines about your website’s relevance and popularity. Maintaining an active presence on social media platforms related to your business and sharing your website’s content can increase visibility and reach.

What technical aspects should I consider for SEO?

Ensure your website loads quickly and is optimized for mobile devices. Optimize technical aspects like page speed, mobile responsiveness, and user-friendly navigation. Create an XML sitemap and configure the robots.txt file correctly.

How do I track my website’s SEO performance?

You can track your website’s SEO performance using tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, and SEMrush. These tools monitor search rankings and provide insights into organic search traffic.

Is SEO a one-time process?

No, SEO is an ongoing process. Regular monitoring of analytics, adapting to algorithm changes, and refining your strategy are essential for maintaining and improving your website’s SEO performance.

By |2023-09-25T21:29:15+00:00July 14, 2023|Digital Marketing Posts|
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