If you are building a new website you have almost certainly heard of SEO. Search Engine Optimisation is crucial to help your customers find that shiny new website you are so proud of. So before you press the button to make your new site live, take some time to go through our complete SEO checklist for new and rebuilt sites.
This is a comprehensive guide to everything you should do before you launch to make your life after launch more profitable.
Do Your Research
The first step is to do your research. You need to know what your customers are searching for. That means keyword research. If you need more information on keyword research, check out this moz guide. Once you know what people are searching for you need to make sure you actually have pages that can rank for those terms. The easiest way to do this is to create a list of your pages and a corresponding keyword you want those pages to rank for. There are a number of programs that allow you to do keyword research but Google's keyword planner (part of Google AdWords) is free and easy to use.
With that in hand you can use these same keywords in your titles, descriptions, h1s (tags to define HTML headings) and alt tags (tags that tell Google what a picture is). All of these help Google understand what your site and individual pages are about. It also means you can improve your overall Google rankings.
The next step is to make sure your site is usable across a range of devices and connections. If your site does not render correctly on a certain screen size or takes too long to load it can hurt your SEO and limit the number of people who actually visit your site. You also need to make sure your site loads quickly as a slow site is harder to use on certain connections. You can test site speed using Google's Page Speed insights. You can test your cross device usability on BrowserStack.
Start Collecting Your Data
Once you know the site is compatible you need to make sure you are collecting data. There are lots of different analytics platforms out there so you can choose the ones you like. Most people set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics. These are free and can help you collect plenty of very important data on your site visitors. Both programs can also help you quickly identify any problems that could arise in the future which will help you react quickly.
With your analytics programs up and running you should also address the other platforms that your clients may look for you on. This includes social media and any industry journals. The goal is to make sure that you cover all of your bases.
Sign Up For Google My Business
Finally it is important to set up your Google My Business profile. This will allow you to appear on Google Maps search results, improve your rankings in local search results and provide information for anyone searching for your brand.
Once you are sure your website has all its SEO ducks in a row, you can confidently push the button and make your new website live. If you would like to give your website a professional SEO audit before it goes live, download our New Site SEO Checklist. It will help you prepare your SEO before your site is ever ranked. You can also call Plug & Play to learn more about how our professional digital marketing team can improve your website.