Search engine optimization (SEO) is a core digital marketing strategy that drives organic traffic to your website, but ranking on the first search results page is no easy task. That’s why we created this SEO checklist to help your website move to the first page of Google to accelerate traffic and generate more business.
Reap the revenue and branding benefits of ranking on the first page by applying our SEO best practices below!
Why the First Page of Google is Important
When your business shows up on Google, you’ll be able to reach more customers and prospects without having to do pay-per-click ads (i.e. paid traffic) to drive them to your website. The first search results page is particularly critical. According to a Moz survey, only 7% of respondents said they browse past the first page!
Not only does the first page drive more traffic to your website, but also having higher rankings enhances your brand’s image as it makes your website appear more trustworthy to users.
A Couple of Things to Keep in Mind…
There are many advantages the first page of Google offers, but it’s crucial to have proper expectations. Although organic traffic is technically “free,” an effective strategy does require resources like using tools or paying for SEO services.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that SEO takes time. Your website won’t shoot to the first page overnight — it can take weeks, months, or longer, depending on your target keywords.
SEO Checklist to Jump to Google’s First Page
Whether you’re launching a new website or optimizing an existing one, it’s helpful to follow an SEO checklist to make sure that your strategy is on the right path. Some of these checklist items you might already have in place, but it’s a good idea to double-check.
Setup Google Analytics and Search Console
Connect Google Analytics and Search Console to your website to see detailed data on visitors, traffic sources, conversions, and more. This is crucial for tracking the results of your SEO efforts and refining your strategy.
Install an SEO Plugin (for WordPress Website)
If you have a WordPress website, we recommend installing an SEO plugin, like Yoast or Rank Math. An SEO plugin makes it easier to optimize content with meta titles and descriptions, keyword analysis, Google Analytics, and Search Console integration, and more.
Submit a Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that lists all of your website’s pages. Search engines read this file to better understand and crawl your website, helping your pages show up faster in results. You can create a sitemap (manually or with a generator tool) and directly submit it to Search Console.
Develop a Keyword Strategy
Research keywords that are relevant to your brand, product, or service. Popular keywords have high search volumes but can be difficult to rank on the first page due to competition. Consider long-tail keywords (i.e. longer, more specific phrases), which have lower search volumes but also higher relevancy to the searcher and less competition.
Create and Optimize Content
Content is crucial for SEO because that’s what search engines use to deliver results to users. Create quality content that follows Google’s E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) principle to rank higher and stand out from the clutter. Also, optimize your content with keywords, functioning links, appropriate subheadings, images with alt text, etc.
Have a Good User Experience
When your website has a good user experience, visitors will stay longer and explore. Google takes this as a sign of quality and will reward your website with higher rankings. User experience encompasses many things but here are some examples: fast page load speeds, mobile-friendly design, easy navigation, and accessibility.
Acquire Backlinks from Reputable Websites
Backlinks are links from other websites that link to your website. They’re like votes of confidence that indicate to Google that your content is E-A-T. However, not all backlinks are equal. Links from reputable websites with high domain authority have much more value than links from spammy low-quality websites.
Drive More Organic Traffic with Holistic Marketing
With this SEO checklist, you’ll be in a great position to move your website to the first page of Google — and even reach the coveted first position! In addition to SEO, leverage other marketing strategies to drive more organic traffic. Mavericks Marketing approaches marketing from a holistic perspective because businesses connect with customers beyond search engines.
Schedule a call now to see how holistic digital marketing will allow your business to attract more customers and disrupt your industry!