We talk about search engine optimization (SEO) a lot on our blog, and for good reason. It’s one of the best and most efficient ways your website will get ranked on search engines and thus earn more attention from current and potential customers. Yet we see so many websites go un-optimized, and thus their rankings suffer as a result.

We want to help you host the best website for your business. To start, we’ve come up with a small to-do list of SEO tasks to help you understand what needs to be done.

Step 1: Figure Out What You Want

It seems basic enough, but just because you know what you want doesn’t mean others know what you have to offer. Figure out what you want to get the most out of your website, if there are any specific products or services you want your customers to use and buy most of all, and if you can pull out some of the details for step 3 (see below).

Step 2: Register Your Business in Online Directories

Again, this may seem like basic information, but we’ve seen small businesses with good potential go completely amiss on search engines because they didn’t add a NAP (name, address, and phone number) on to them. By this point, if your business is not registered on Google, you and your physical building are practically invisible to customers. So get online and register your business if you haven’t already.

Step 3: Keyword Research

Keywords are the best, if not the only, means of getting your website noticed by search engines. Conduct keyword research and see if there are any long-tail keywords or potential keywords you could optimize your website with. For more reasons as to why we think long-tail keywords are worth your time, see our blog post here.

Keywords are also something you can brainstorm on when it comes to step 1 (see above). Bear in mind that many of the most targeted keywords also garner the highest competition between businesses. This is why the long-tail keyword can be so handy – you might not become #1 on Google under the keyword “bakery”, but you might rank better for other great keywords such as “bakery open 24-7” or “bakery near me”, or even “bakery near me nanaimo bc”. The best keywords to target should have low competition between businesses with high search engine results from the users.

Step 4: Optimize Your Content

Once you’ve figured out which keywords you want to target, it’s time to really scrutinize your website’s content. Are there areas in which the keywords are stuffed in? Are there pages where there could be better targeted keywords? Do they read unnaturally because of them? Consider all of that and then if there needs to be rewrites in order to properly optimize the content, get it done.

Once you’ve finished going over your content, you need to figure out the following for each page: a focus keyword, a title tag, and a meta description tag. These all contribute to how the web page appears in SERPs (search engine page results). If your website is a WordPress one, this is where the Yoast plugin is especially useful, as it automatically indicates if a tag exceeds its character limit. Ideally, each title tag should be between 55-70 characters, while meta description tag characters should be no more than 150.

Step 5: Add Alt Text to Images

We’ve talked about alt text before, but we cannot stress it enough: alt text can be a big help, even if it doesn’t seem to appear so at first. Not only will it fill in the blanks of what kind of images you’re featuring, but also search engines will include the link to your website when people are searching for them. This is an especially important step if your website is an ecommerce-based one.

Step 6: Maintain and Upgrade

You have to bear in mind that unlike your contact page, which usually tends to remain static, the rules of SEO fluctuate thanks to search engines’ constant changes in algorithm. It’s important to maintain and if necessary upgrade your SEO where need be, especially if it’s been a while since you last looked at it.

And if it has been a while, you should get in touch with us. At V3 Media, SEO is one of our specialties next to branding, designing, and hosting websites. If you need assistance with any of these steps, or don’t feel confident enough in following through with our checklist, give us a shout. We’re more than happy to help.