SEO Checklist: Fundamentals for 2018January 10, 2018 Peter A. Liefer II
Whether you’re launching a new website or want an existing site to thrive, it’s crucial to have a technical SEO checklist. A thorough list ensures that your site’s core search engine optimization drives measurable conversions. Without a checklist, you increase your site’s risk of underperforming in organic search, resulting in a significant loss of traffic, leads, and business.
It’s easy to waste time thinking about SEO tactics that will benefit your company — but that’s where we come in. In this article, we will cover some of the most important aspects you should include in your SEO checklist. Let’s get started!
1. Is your website secured by an updated SSL certificate?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the backbone of our secure internet. If a URL begins with HTTPS, you can assume that the site is safer than most. SSL protects personal and sensitive information as it travels across the world’s computer networks. It provides critical security, privacy, and data integrity for both your website and your users’ personal information. Additionally:
- SSL provides authentication – A proper and updated SSL certificate provides authentication, meaning you can be certain of sending information to the right server and not an imposter whose goal is to steal your data.
- SSL provides trust – Visual cues are part of a web browser’s key features, which include lock icons or green bars that enable visitors to know that their connection is secured. This nifty feature gives your website trust by increasing the likelihood of a visitor buying from your online marketplace.
Take note that a reliable SSL provider should also give you a trust seal that generates more trust in your customers.
- SSL is required for PCI Compliance – For your website to accept credit card information, you must pass certain audits that indicate your compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. One of the major requirements is the proper use of an SSL Certificate.
There are many consequences to neglecting your users’ data integrity and confidentiality. PrimeView offers an annually renewable SSL Certificate for your site, including a one-time setup fee and configuration.
2. Is your website RESPONSIVE?
Responsive web design allows a website’s layout to adapt to varying screen sizes. For years, Google has recommended using responsive web design to support different devices, but the search engine took this recommendation a step further when they began adding a “mobile-friendly” label to websites that obliged. By recognizing sites that are mobile-friendly, Google is also penalizing those that are not, making responsive web design a significant factor in SEO.
All websites, regardless of their goals and target audience, will highly benefit from a design that works great across diverse devices and screen sizes. Being the leading web design agency in Phoenix, PrimeView ensures that responsive web design is a key feature on all website projects.
3. Do you create pages with AMP HTML?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a huge stride towards Google’s goal of a better, faster mobile internet. According to Search Engine Watch, “Accelerated Mobile Pages is a stripped-down version of the mobile web, which runs on a reinvented version of the language used to create web pages: HTML.”
According to Google, a page created with AMP HTML can load 15 to 85% faster compared to the non-AMP version. Additionally, since the launch of Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm in 2015, mobile-friendliness has continued to play a leading role in search rankings, with websites that pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test appearing high up in search engine page results.
4. Do you take advantage of the power of SCHEMA MARKUP?
Schema markup is a semantic vocabulary that you can manually put in your website. It significantly helps search engines return more informative results for users.
To get a better idea of what schema is, let’s take a look at this example: Let’s say the word “John Doe” appears in one of your articles. The search engine sees this, and produces a results page entry with “John Doe.” However, if you include the right schema markup around the name “John Doe,” you’ve just told that search engine that “John Doe” is the author of the article and not just a couple of random words. The search engine then provides results that display more accurate information for users searching for “John Doe.”
Schema tells search engines like Google and Yahoo what your data means, not just what it says — boosting your search engine effectiveness and visibility.
5. Is your site performance up to SPEED?
In correlation with mobile-first index, Google announced that site speed would be an essential ranking factor in 2018. Page speed is critical to user experience, evidently since slower websites can experience a drastic increase in bounce rates. Slow-loading pages have also been shown to affect conversions negatively. For search engines, speed performance is a sign of an excellent site that pleases customers, and therefore, often rewarded with a higher ranking.
When it comes to site speed, there’s no time for beating around the bush. You must work on making your site as fast and accessible as possible — or suffer the consequences of high bounce rates and low conversions.
A Word of Advice
Keep in mind that a good SEO checklist is the key to maintaining or elevating your organic presence in the vast world of cyberspace. A thorough list should serve as your guide to the essentials of a fully optimized website.
Are you in need of professional SEO services?
In the SEO industry, your work is never done. Your website is never too responsive, never too fast, and there’s always a new update that must be kept up with. A shift in search engine optimization practices is evergreen, and failing to adapt hurts your business in many ways. Make sure that you have a clear path towards online success by seeking PrimeView’s professional help. As the leading provider of web design and SEO services in Phoenix, our goal is to cross off every task in your SEO checklist. Call us today at 480-970-4688.