A quick list of the SEO items that we consider to be "low-hanging fruit".
- Google Analytics (aka GA) - The first step in any SEO process is to be able to monitor and analyze site performance and traffic
- Create a Gmail account (or use an existing Gmail account) in order to manage your Google Analytics account
- Create the Google Analytics account using your existing Gmail account or the Gmail account you just created
- Create a GA profile for your website and copy the HTML code to implement on your website
- Have a developer (or someone familiar with the HTML and FTP of your website) upload the GA code in either the header or footer
- Go back into GA to set up "Conversion Goals" in order to track meaningful actions throughout your site (here is a quick example video on how to set up "goals" in Google Analytics)
- Google Webmaster Tools - This is a great set of tools, provided by Google, to help make a website more "Google-friendly"
- Connect your website to Google Webmaster Tools through Google Analytics by clicking on the "Traffic" tab on the left...then, click on "Search Engine Optimization"...then, hit "Queries". From here, just follow the directions to connect your Google Analytics account with Google Webmaster Tools. If that is a bit much, you can also add a website directly in Google Webmaster Tools.
- Once your accounts are connected, go ahead and add your website then you'll need to verify domain ownership by uploading a quick HTML file to your site (may need developer or IT help here)
- Once verified, you can go ahead and start utilizing Google Webmaster Tools for SEO value (here is an introductory guide to check out)
- The first things to do from an SEO perspective are these items:
- XML Sitemap - Upload an XML sitemap to ensure Google has indexed every page of your site. To do this you'll need to create an XML Sitemap by going to a site like this, save the file, upload it to the root domain in FTP, then click "Site Configuration"-->"Sitemaps" in Webmaster Tools. This process makes sure that Google has all the important pages of your website indexed for ranking.
- Preferred Domain - Make sure only one URL version of your site is being used (e.g. www.marketingadept.com vs. marketingadept.com). To do this, click on the "Site Configuration" tab then "Settings" and choose the preferred version under "Preferred Domain".
- Crawl Errors - Make sure to check in on any crawl errors by using the "Diagnostics" tab, under "Crawl Errors". There may be a few links that are pointing to the wrong place or to a page that doesn't exist any longer.
- HTML Suggestions - Visit the "HTML Suggestions" page, under "Diagnostics", to get an indication of any Title Tags or Meta Descriptions that are too long or duplicates. These are easy changes to make if you have access to change the back of the site
- Bing Webmaster Tools - Bing has a similar set of tools for site diagnostics and performance which should be used as well
- Use the same Gmail account as before to create a Bing Webmaster Tools account (you'll need to verify domain ownership here as well by uploading a quick HTML file or snippet of code onto the site)
- Once you've got an account set up, the first item is to submit the XML Sitemap page here as well (for this, click on your site URL, then hit the "Crawl" tab and select "Sitemaps (XML, Atom, RSS)".
- Besides uploading the sitemap, you can also monitor any inquiries, crawl errors, or traffic in here as well. This is obviously worthwhile in order to improve search rankings in Bing.
- Social Media - create a number of social media profiles that link back to your site (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc)
As you can see, many of these "low hanging fruit" SEO actions require access to the HTML portion of your website so you will need access to that area via FTP and/or a CMS (Content Management System)...or else you can utilize a developer/IT person. If you need help with any of these items, "Google" it to do a bit of research or you can give us a call.