The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Checklist for Beginners

Get ahead of the competition

You don’t have to pay a company thousands of dollars a month to improve your SEO. You and your team can do it yourself. 93% of search engine traffic goes to those on the first page of a search, so it’s important to rank highly. Google is the primary influencer in the search engine game, and you should play by its rules.

Search engines use algorithms to determine how to pull data from your site and decide how to rank it. Traffic, Keyword Optimization, and Linking are the three key ingredients.

Remember to build your site for a human first and the computers second. If it looks terrible, it’s no help to you anyway.

Fun fact - the top three search results get 65% of the traffic.

We’re going to be talking about white hat SEO and not black hat SEO. White hat is doing what the search engines suggest, and black hat is trying to trick them which doesn't help you in the long run anyway as they will probably find out and block your site.

When linking, try not to link out too much because it shows that your site is not as important as the ones that you are linking out.

You can test if anyone is backlinking to your website by doing a Google search for “backlink watch.”

When determining keywords, you can go to for ideas related to your company.

Google Keywords

Site tiles are the most critical use of keywords. Your site title should be accurate and concise. It should also be readable and between 50-70 characters.

When using description tags you can use up to 160, but they are not a huge factor in SEO. Try to focus on increasing your conversions with this copy as it will most likely appear in a search engine. Focus on improving your click-through here.

Use keywords in URLs as they will be displayed in a google search. Use hyphens (-) to separate words so Google can read them. Make the URLs as simple as possible. The shorter, the better such as

In page content, use keywords naturally and towards the beginning/top of the page.

Proper grammar and spelling are essential for Google to understand what you’re saying.

Design your site with mobile design in mind first and make it a responsive and fluid design.

Long URLs hurt ranking and make it hard to understand.

Page age is also a factor in SEO.

Producing quality content, growing traffic to your site, and using the right keywords appropriately is your key to SEO success.

Provide ALT tags for images when possible with keywords that represent the corresponding image.

You should only have one H1 header per page, and it’s important to have keywords in there appropriately. That being said, do not overload headers with keywords.

Avoid duplicate content. Duplicating a page and then changing the title would be considered duplicate content. Doing this does not help you.

Add a contact us page.

Your site uptime will play a factor in SEO.

The length of time people spend on your pages will factor into your SEO ranking.

How fresh your content is will also factor into its ranking in the search engine. I would advise regularly blogging and updating your site to show to Google that it’s still relevant.

Leverage Google analytics to see how you’re doing.

Load time is essential, and the quicker your site loads, the better. You can consolidate code and resize image sizes to improve it.

Adding your physical address will help your business show up higher in your area.

Make a Google My Business page.

Avoid using low-quality images which link to your site.

Avoid using more than one pop-up.

Talk about relevant topics in your blog and make your website a place people want to visit.

Submit a sitemap to Google and leverage Google search console.


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Evan Knox

Founder of Caffeine Marketing