Basic SEO Checklist for A Brand New Website

Did you get yourself a brand-new website?  Then this basic SEO checklist is for you. 

Here we will explore and learn, what you should be setting up after you install a fresh website.

Before that you must know what SEO is – 

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a method where you make changes to your website to be better equipped for search engine rankings. 

Want to learn more about SEO and terminology?: Read this Basic SEO Terminology Guide.

If you haven’t followed how to build a SEO friendly website then this article will cover the basic SEO Checklist setup for a brand-new website.

We all know that Google dominates the search engine market, and most of the SEO and marketing is practiced under Google webmaster guidelines.

SEO is one of the most critical aspects of digital marketing, and every online business is implementing SEO for better search visibility on Google, Bing, Yahoo search, etc.

But here are some questions that might have crossed your mind – What about SEO for a brand-new website? Should we do it? What is the basic SEO checklist?

So I have written this SEO checklist blog to point out the basic implementation you should do and in the later part, I will discuss if you can get a ranking or not.

So let’s dive into the SEO Checklist for New Websites

I have divided this into the following categories – 

  1. Clean Website Structure
  2. Basic SEO Tools
  3. Keyword Research
  4. Optimizing keywords
  5. On-Page SEO Checklist
  6. Technical SEO Checklist
  7. Content Checklist
  8. Backlinks
  9. Conclusion

1. Keep A Clean Website Structure

Clean website structure, I have added this SEO checklist because having a website is not enough, a clean site structure provides a higher user experience and positive response from your site visitors.

While starting a new project, you must consider a clean website structure because many ranking factors are associated with it. More than that Google has introduced Core Web Vitals as ranking factors. 

Core Web Vitals is a metric that measures how well a site page loads in real-time, and how it maintains its visual stability. Here’s the Google document on CWV.

A clean site structure includes server response time, responsiveness for any device, proper call-to-action buttons; fewer color schemes, easy navigation, important page linking, and more.

So while designing a website, a clean structure should be the top priority.

Why is this important?

  • With a clean structure, you can focus on what users want to see
  • Websites load faster
  • Makes it easy for visitors to navigate
  • It helps to increase the conversion rate
  • High user experience

Here’s an example of a clean website – 

2. Implement Basic SEO Tools

The first thing you should set up after a clean site structure is web analytics and SEO plugins.

Why? These SEO tools will help you monitor the site’s activity and user behavior. 

Here are some web analytics tools SEOs recommend – 

  1. Google Analytics tool
  2. Google Search Console
  3. Bing Webmaster tool
  4. Microsoft Clarity

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that shows website data; you can get audience data, acquisition, behavior, conversions, and more.

Webmasters show the website errors, most hit pages, keywords, core web vitals, etc. This information is very vital when planning marketing strategies to achieve your goals.

MS clarity provides recordings of the user behavior which can help you to determine which part of your site needs improvements.

These SEO tools are free to use and provide vast data that can help your site grow organically.

SEO Plugins 

  • Yoast SEO (both Shopify & WordPress)
  • All-in-one SEO
  • Rank Math  (WordPress only)

These are some of the most popular and essential SEO plugins. Remember, these plugins are only available on WordPress CMS. They come in both free and paid versions.

Use Plug-In SEO, if you have a Shopify website.

Why are these important?

Using these plugins, you can create sitemaps, update robot.txt files, update metadata easily, update 404 pages, implement canonical links, and more.

3. Keyword Research

Keyword research is the most fundamental thing to do in SEO. Without it, your website is not going to be visible in search engines.

By analyzing and targeting the right keywords you make your site SEO friendly which helps search engine bots to find your site easily.

Well, you can start keyword research by –

  • Creating a list of words that speak about your business
  • Listing some primary (Single word) keywords or money keywords.
  • Listing up some long-tail keywords.

While the primary keywords are single words and are more specific to your business, the long-tail keywords are broad and should support your primary keywords. It is helpful to create more search terms.

Tools & Techniques for finding keywords –

You can use this tool to find and analyze keywords.

1. Google Keyword Planner – Though designed for Google Adwords, it is still helpful to find keywords for SEO because keywords and their metrics come directly from Google data.

2. Use Google Suggest – Type the keyword of your business and wait for Google to show up more results. Here you can see what users are already searching for.

3. Use online communities – Such as Reddit, Quora, etc., where you can tap into communities related to your business and analyze what users are looking for. 

4. Find question keywords – These keywords can be important because people are looking for these queries, and answering them will increase the chances of search visibility.

Optimizing keywords –

You have a list of keywords for your business; now it is time to select and map them to your website.

Find the intent of the webpage, whether the keyword should be used in an onsite blog, service page, or product page, according to the purpose of mapping these keywords.

4. On-Page SEO Checklist

On-page SEO or onsite optimization is the process that is implemented on your website. You must follow the standards of Google guidelines to avoid getting penalized.

Here is a must-needed checklist of on-page for a new website-

  1. Check for a duplicate version of the website
  2. Generate and submit a sitemap using the SEO plugins I mentioned earlier
  3. Your webpage URLs or Slugs should be descriptive and short (Tip – use keywords to create URLs)
  4. Include keywords in the front of the Meta title
  5. Use keywords in H1, H2, etc
  6. Avoid using multiple H1-tags
  7. Add an Alt Tag to the image
  8. Use internal and external links

5. Technical SEO Checklist

Tech SEO goes more in-depth into a website’s root, such as an issue from the server side or checking the crawlability of a website.

Following is the Technical SEO checklist –

  • Find crawl errors using Google Webmaster. (Tip – Do this after a few days of implementing the site)
  • Inspect the URL to check how Google views your page.
  • Check if the website is a mobile-friendly site.
  • Fix any broken links.
  • Check for HTTPS errors and secure the site with a secure protocol.
  • Check for site loading speed.
  • Find and Fix Redirect Chains and Loops (if any).

Here are the tools to do the above task – 

  • Google Search Console 
  • Technical SEO Mobile test tool
  • GTmetrix
  • Google Lighthouse
  • Ahrefs broken link checker 

6. Content Checklist

We all know that content is king. To rank in a search engine, you need to scale high-quality content, that solves your audience queries, provides information, and more.

Tip – Content should be written for the user while optimizing your keywords. A well-written content that solves user queries is most likely to achieve a higher ranking in SERP.

Here is the content checklist that you can follow –

  • Write blogs using the skyscraper technique.
  • Break up long content into short lines (it helps to maintain the bounce rate low).
  • Cover the topic in-depth.
  • Use schema mark-ups.
  • Use images, charts, infographics, or visual content (if relevant).

7. Backlinks

Backlinks are an essential part of any SEO setup; they create authority by linking to your website.

You can create backlinks by using an off-page SEO technique, such as –

  • High-quality guest posting.
  • Competitor backlinks.
  • Mention influencers or other content creators.
  • Promote content to social media.

Some useful tips –

  • Delete the dummy content or pages before you go live.
  • Work page by page.
  • Do not leave any page empty or incomplete.
  • Avoid using stock images for your website.
  • Use a hero section on your website.
  • Stay active on social media.

Conclusion

This SEO setup is an essential and mandatory setup for any website.

If you have a very new website, it is essential to work on your website before promoting it. You have to check those setups and keep on modifying them as you go on.

Tip – Don’t push so hard to rank your new website within a month after going live. Instead, make your website valuable; keep on adding what users want.

Will I get a ranking implementing this SEO checklist?

SEO depends on many factors and variables that need to be considered. And organic SEO always shows unpredictable results. This beginner SEO guide for small businesses will surely improve your website to a great extent.

Tip – Add this SEO checklist, and keep on improving your website. Maintain KPIs and monitor Google Analytics and webmaster to check for website errors, etc. Maintain this for 3 to 6 months, and you will surely see results.

Wrapping up,

This is a beginner’s SEO best practices checklist for a brand-new website. Hopefully, this guide will help your website to set up and improve.

Note: SEO constantly changes, stay up to date.

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