The 2017 SEO Beginner’s Guide Checklist

Ready to dive into your first SEO campaign? Picking up where you left off a few months ago? Make sure you are utilizing these basic SEO tactics. How far along are you? Find out now!

1→ Data Tracking. Incorporate Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager to identify and evaluate traffic, conversions and to benchmark growth.

2→ Google My Business. Include business name, address, phone number, and hours on GMB to strengthen local listing results.

3→ Existing site errors? Use Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) to identify bad links and other errors related to your core page elements.

4→ Keywords and placement. Placing your primary keyword into your page URL and title tag is highly encouraged. Use Google’s Keyword Planner or SEM Rush. Synonyms are essential.

5→ Page load speed. Make use of Google’s Pagespeed Insights to determine whether or not your website’s load time is harming user experience. Google heavily values this variable in regards to your page rank.

6→ Competitor Research. Browse competitor websites and social channels to get an idea of competitor keyword and content strategies in your industry.

7→ Content Creation. Create content that directly links to your website and social profiles, and include as many quality keywords you can without redundancy. Shares on this content will increase traffic to your website, increasing both your page and domain authority in the eye’s of Google

8→ Image Optimization. Add keyword-relevant ALT tags, Title tags, and descriptions to each image. Google identifies images through these tags and is an essential part of on-page SEO.

9→ Backlinking Strategy. Backlinking entails linking to other websites for both inbound and outbound URLs. Post original blogs, comment on blogs, and always include a link to your page.

10→ Social Media. Create a social schedule for posting relevant information everyday. Follow influential leaders, engage with followers, and keep content fresh and consistent.

11→ URL structure. Your products/services be accessible by no more than 3 clicks from your homepage. The focus keyword should also be the focal point of the URL structure. I.e. product page:

12→ Participate in industry discussions. The wider your digital presence, the more likely your site will receive follow-up clicks. This can be done through Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Google forums, Reddit, and industry specific niche sites.

13→ E-commerce optimization. Categorize products properly and thoroughly, avoiding duplicate content, and make buyer feedback/reviews visible to your customers.

14→ Email campaigns. No better way to keep your customers updated than to send daily, weekly, or monthly newsletters. Programs such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact can be configured for full-scale marketing automation.

15→ Local Listings. Maintain your business information on local directory sites such as Foursquare, Angie’s List, Yahoo, Yelp and an abundance of others.

2017 Mobile-First Indexing - Why It's So Important.

What does a Mobile-First Index Mean for Your SEO?

What Exactly is Indexing?
In a nutshell, crawling is Google's process of discovering new pages by following links from page to page. After Google crawls the pages of your website and finds your content, it indexes them and stores them in a database. Once stored, Google will use these copies in algorithms that determine search engine results pages (SERPs).  Google is changing its methods of crawling through sites, so it is important that you consider how your website will be affected by these changes.

What is Google Changing?
Google has officially begun to modify the way that it crawls through websites.  Up until now, Google would crawl sites and index pages for SERP’s as a desktop user. This method of indexing is a way of the past now, as Google will now crawl and index as a mobile user. Here are a few impacts that it will have on your website, and how you can make sure you don’t fall behind as desktop search importance declines.

You’ll Need a Mobile Friendly Template
Most Google searches originate from mobile platforms, and up to this point, Google indexed through desktop. If you don’t currently have a mobile site, don’t panic. Google will continue to index your pages as a desktop user. However you will need to make your website mobile responsive ASAP, as it will begin to hurt you by not having one.  Once you have a mobile responsive website built, you should use the robots.txt testing tool to confirm that Googlebot is accessing your new mobile site.  Be sure to complete your mobile site before launching, as a compatible desktop site will be more visible to Google than an incomplete mobile version.

While a mobile friendly site isn’t a requirement, you should adopt a mobile friendly template sooner rather than later as a mobile friendly designation will allow you to rank higher in search results.

Google May Miss Your Desktop Content
If the content on your mobile and desktop sites is not consistent, Google may fail to index it. In short, if there is content on your desktop site that is not on your mobile site, Google will miss it entirely. To prevent your pages from being missed, avoid complicated redirects and optimize your desktop and mobile pages for the same keywords. These methods will keep your pages consistent and visible to Google’s crawling robot.  

While you may not see changes immediately, your search rankings will take a hit over time as Google transitions to strictly mobile indexing. For this reason, adopting a mobile compatible theme is imperative to staying competitive.

Things to Keep in Mind
Google offers the following tips for mobile-first indexing preparation:

  • If you have a responsive site where the content is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you do not have to change anything.

  • If you have a site configuration where content is different across mobile and desktop, you should make some changes to your site.

  • Verify the mobile version of your site in Search Console.

  • If you do not have a mobile optimized site, you need to build one

  • If you only have a desktop site, it will continue to be indexed.

If you have any questions regarding mobile indexing or search engine optimization of your website, please give us a call or drop us an email.

Claudia Post - 215-298-1555 or

(215) 298-1555
800 N. 2nd St. Suite 188 Philadelphia, PA 19123
Copyright Post Advisors, 2017
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