Start Your Website on the Right Foot: A Quick SEO Checklist

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Believe it or not, SEO starts before the website design and development! At 71Three, we share this strategy with clients who are just starting out. If you’re reading this article, I assume you already understand why a website is important for your business, so I won’t bore you with that and jump straight into the SEO strategy. 

A new website does not have any indexed pages, and it does not have backlinks (Read: The Importance of Backlinks), so it’s fair to assume your new website isn’t going to be generating much traffic. To keep things as simple as possible, I’ve put together a quick checklist to help you start off on the right foot, with a SEO boost that leads to more revenue.

1. Domain domain domain

Your website visitors will either be manually typing out your domain name, find it in some search results, or discover you through social media. You can imagine why choosing the right domain name is such a big deal and a new domain name means you’re starting from the ground up. How do you pick the right domain name? Consider this:

  • Is it too long to type out?
  • Is it catchy and easy to remember?
  • Does it do a good job of representing your brand?
  • Is there a keyword within the domain name that’s similar to the service you provide? It’s not necessary, but it can definitely be helpful.

Time to see if it’s available! We recommend a big name registrar like GoDaddy or Google Domains.

2. Pick a lightning fast website hosting company

We recommend AWS or DigitalOcean to all of our clients, due to their performance, scalability and uptime. The quicker your website loads, the better the experience will be for your visitors. Websites that take around 3 seconds to load are abandoned by nearly 60% of the visitors, so keep this in mind when selecting a hosting company.

3. Configure Google Search Console & activate Google Analytics

Domain? Check. Hosting? Check. Before moving any further, I highly recommend that you set up your Google Search Console. In case you haven’t heard of it, I’ll tell you that this is the first line of defense for your website (consider it a superhero, if you must). With this free tool, you’ll be able to monitor your website’s health, by identifying server errors, page load speeds and even security issues like hacking and malware. In addition to being a superhero, it also provides a great deal of data for you to optimize your search performance. Google Analytics takes this one step further by allowing you to track your website traffic to better understand user behavior. This will give you an abundance of data that you could use to enhance your ad campaigns.

4. Research keywords and identify your audience

Keyword research early on will set your business up for success. Start by putting together a list of a few keywords that are associated with your business (e.g. residential remodeling price, if you’re a contractor that provides home renovation services). This can be achieved for free using Google’s Keyword Planner tool. There are a lot of paid options as well, the two major ones being Moz & Semrush. Once you’ve made a list of keywords and identified your audience, you can create content that will help them reach their goal and also help you skyrocket to the top of search rankings.

5. Keep writing and post regularly

Get the creative juices flowing and map out a calendar to post regularly. You can aim to post at least 4 pages a month and this is easiest achieved if done through a blog. It’s best to pre-write content for a month or two, so that you have a head start on the content creation. A lot of our clients create a full calendar to highlight significant events and holidays, this is a great marketing strategy too.

Ready for launch!

If you take only one thing away from this article, I want you to remember that the race to the top of search rankings is a marathon, so stay consistent my friend! 71Three is a leading digital marketing company in Houston but we work with clients nationwide. Reach out for help, I double dog dare you!

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