SEO Checklist for New Non-Ranking Sites - SEO for 2016: The Complete Do-It-Yourself SEO Guide (2015)

SEO for 2016: The Complete Do-It-Yourself SEO Guide (2015)

Appendix A. SEO Checklist for New Non-Ranking Sites

If you’re new to SEO, I have created a quick little list to help you start ranking quickly. I have also included recommendations on how to make your website overcome each issue. Keep in mind that I am assuming you have already completed all the steps in Chapter 3.


Users and search engines both need to be able to reach all of the pages, you also need to make sure you don’t have any dumb mistakes that can harm your SEO. These are things like 404s and 500 errors, and 302s instead of 301s, missing title tags, or thin content where there is not much material on the page for the search engines to grab on to and maybe for users as well. Get an or report done to help you eliminate these issues.

Keyword Targeting

Choosing the right keywords to target. You might not be able to target high value terms because you are also looking for low difficulty when you are first launching a site. You can look at search volume, the relevance to the website, and low difficulty.

Content Quality and Value

If you have users coming to this page and they are thinking this does not really answer my question or maybe only one part of my question, but I wish there was more detail. If you can change that to “I like this site, it makes me happy!” This kind of satisfaction from your users with the quality of the content that you produce, you are going to do much better in the search engines. Google has gotten so much better about noticing the true quality and value with results.

Design Quality, User Experience, and Usability

Unless you have a professional designer or you have a professional design background, you almost certainly need to hire someone or go with a very simple, basic design that is very user friendly. Then take a survey from friends and people in your company, see how they react to the site. Their reaction will tell you if the design works and if the usability is easy to understand. There is really no point in ranking unless you are nailing these two, because you are not going to get many more customers. People are just going to be frustrated by the website.

Social Account Setup

Because social and SEO are coming together like never before, Google is showing plus ones and things that people share by default in the search engine rankings. It really, really pays to be in social and social signals help search engines better rank things as well as having a nice second order effect on user and usage data, on branding, on the impact of people seeing those sites through social sharing and potentially linking to them.

For your social account set up you will want to have these four: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook are all over 150 million users right now and growing every day. Twitter is at 200 million and Facebook is at 750 million, their numbers are growing quickly. While having your accounts spread throughout these social accounts you will want to keep them looking consistent so when people log on they know it is your site. Things like logos, colors, and photos help people to feel comfortable as they get to know you.

Once you have got these social accounts set up, you can feel good about sharing the content that you are producing through those social accounts, finding connections, building up in that world, and spending the appropriate amount of time there depending on the value you are feeling back from that.

Link Building

When you don’t have any trustworthy quality links to boost you up, this is when low quality links can hurt your website the most. So, start with your business contacts and your customers to see if you can exchange links. If the contacts that you have in the business world are willing to say, “Hey, my friend Steve just launched a new website, boom, that is a great way of getting a link”. All your email contacts, your LinkedIn contacts, the people that you know personally and professionally, if you can ask them, hey, would you support me by throwing a link to me on your “About Page” or your Blog Roll or your list of customers or your list of vendors, whatever it is.

High quality resource lists are great too, this would be things like the Better Business Bureau. If you are a startup in the technology world, you definitely need to have a CrunchBase listing. You might want to be on some Wikipedia lists, it is a good place to start getting some visibility. Another great way is talking to the press, let them know when you are launching a new site or changing a branding, anything that could draw attention to the company and bring about publicity.

Social Media Link Acquisitions

This is where you spend time on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, Google+ connecting with people and over time building those relationships that will get you the links possibly through one of these other forms or just through the friendliness of them noticing and liking, and enjoying your content. That is what content marketing is all about! All of this is very important and are really great ways to start, but they are not short-term wins. Most of these things require effort, investment of time, energy, creativity, good content, and some authenticity in your marketing versus a lot of the stuff that tempts people very early on.

It is not like you will just go out there and instantly link up with 500 links and all of a sudden everyone is working together happily, there is much more work than that. Almost all low quality directories have spammy manipulative link profiles. Plus, they will not even show the brand names on the list.

Stay away from the low quality directories they will not help you with your business. You might want to also avoid article marketing or article spinning, unless you know how it really works it can hurt you way more than help you in the links world. One last thing to be cautious about are the forums, open forums, be careful of where you decide to leave a link. Google looks at sites that are grouping with a bunch of bad sites and will penalize them for their actions. A term for this is link farms, essentially this is when people are setting up all these different systems of links that point to each other across tons of domains that are completely artificial or link for no human reason, they are there merely to manipulate the engines, Google does not look onto these very nicely.