If you own or manage a website, I’m sure you know that regular new content gives the site a better chance of performing well in search engines. For ranking well in 2018, SEO expert Rand Fishkin advises that it’s not just about creating great content, but also making sure the content is better than anything else on page 1 for your keywords.
Successful content is defined by how useful or entertaining it is for the reader. It needs to be well-written and designed, engaging and easy to consume. Its success also depends on how widely it’s been shared and whether it’s been recognised by credible sources.
However, there are lots of little things you can check before publishing a new web page, to make sure it gets the best start in life on the internet.
Whether you’re publishing a new blog post or creating a new page for your services, these SEO checks will make sure your content has a better chance of ranking well in search engines.
Have you nominated a targeted keyword for your web page? This should be something that accurately describes the content on your web page, otherwise you will not be attracting the right visitors.
Is your web content broken up with headings? Not only does this make the text easy to read; it also helps your page to rank more effectively in search engines.
Your web page’s headings should be structured correctly, and include your targeted keyword. Check in the HTML code to ensure the right heading tags have been used. The very first heading should be <H1>, the second <H2>, and so on.
The main body of text should naturally include your targeted keyword at least once, along with synonyms of the word. Essentially, the topic of the page should be clear so that search engines can recognise how to rank the page.
Paragraphs should be kept short so they are easy to read. Readers want to get to the point as quickly as possible, so you need a good balance between content being engaging and concise. There is no set word count for a web page; I go by the rule that it should be as long as it needs to be, but no longer. No one likes waffle-y web pages!
It’s fairly obvious, but it’s worth checking that nothing has been copied and pasted from another source without attribution. Fully unique content is best!
Does your content include links to other pages on your website? Have you linked to pages on other websites? Make sure you include both to increase your web page’s chances of performing well in search engine results pages.
Meta Title and Description
Have you included a customised meta title and description to include the right keywords, and to describe what the page is about?
If you have used images on your web page, have you compressed them? A slow loading page will not attract many visitors, so images be as small as possible to reduce the load speed. A site like Zarra4 will compress your images without having to adjust the actual size.
Have you written alt tags that accurately describe the images on the page?
Have you checked that the URL is friendly? Does it accurately describe the page and include your targeted keyword?
Is your website responsive, e.g. does the design adapt to fit different screen sizes?
Once you’ve ticked off these ten SEO checks, your web page will be optimised and ready to publish. Don’t forget to give everything a final check for spelling and grammar – sometimes we can get so caught up in getting content ready to publish that we miss the simplest of spelling errors. Try to pick these up before your readers do!
I hope you’ve found this checklist useful for your own content. If there’s anything you think I’ve forgotten, do let me know.