SEO Checklist for small businesses

With over 1.6 billion live websites on the internet right now, ensuring that yours gets seen isn’t easy. But it can be achieved. Here’s all you need to know in an easy-to-read checklist.

A business in Cornwall building an SEO Checklist

Table of contents

SEO Checklist – Part One: Tools
SEO Checklist – Part Two: Keywords
SEO Checklist – Part Three: On-Page SEO
SEO Checklist – Part Four: Backlinks
SEO Checklist – Part Five: Advanced Tools

How to get more visitors to your website

A well-designed website is the greatest marketing asset at any modern company’s disposal, and can be the key to increased offline sales as well as online conversions. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to see those benefits if nobody knows of your site’s existence. Therefore, getting more visitors to your website should be a priority for all Cornwall businesses and we’ve put together an easy-to-follow SEO Checklist for you to use.

With over 1.6 billion live websites on the internet right now, ensuring that yours gets seen isn’t easy. But it can be achieved. Here’s all you need to know.

SEO: The Key To Increased Web Traffic

Before taking the necessary steps to boost your online traffic, you must first find the right pathway. After all, you cannot reach the intended destination if you do not have a sense of direction. SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, is the most important factor by far.

SEO is a term that relates to how your website is viewed by Google and other searches. When web users run a search for a product or service, the Google algorithms instantly scan the World Wide Web for the best websites before presenting them in the order of relevance. This is known as the SERPs, or search engine results pages, and the quality of a website’s SEO strategy is the most influential feature for determining your position.

Here’s why a strong Google ranking is so vital:

Google processes 67,000 global searches per second. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
The first page of results captures over 70% of all clicks. (Source: Forbes)
SEO can bring conversion rates of 14.6%. (Source: Small Biz Trends)
Over 18% of local searches lead to offline purchases. (Source: Tech Jury)
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (Source: Digital GYD)

So, now that you appreciate the need to pay attention to your SEO strategy and Google ranking, the next step is to take a comprehensive approach to search engine optimisation. The following checklist will cover all the key areas.

SEO Checklist – Part One: Tools

Whether you’re using WordPress or another CMS system, your website needs to be supported by the right tools for monitoring purposes. By tracking the performance of your website, along with the impacts of any incorporated changes, it becomes possible to make data-driven decisions built to fire your site up the rankings.

The following steps should be taken to put the right foundations in place:

Setup The Google Search Console

The Google Search console is entirely free to use, and can be used to monitor a number of issues related to your site’s Google ranking performance. This includes seeing which keywords are bringing the most traffic, fixing errors, and submitting a sitemap.

Setting up the Google Search console can point you towards smarter decisions.

Setup Bing Webmaster Tools

While Google has the lion share of the market, Bing remains a good search engine that generates traffic. Its keyword research feature is of particular significance, but using all of the tools to ensure that your site ranks highly on Bing’s results pages will pay dividends.

Used well, the Bing webmaster tools can support your bid to increase organic search visibility.

Utilise Google Analytics

Google Analytics is perhaps the greatest tool of them all. It will show you which search terms are bringing visitors, tell you which pages are getting the most traffic, and even track user habits such as bounce rates and time spent on site.

It can also identify which browser and devices people have used to access your site.

Use A CMS SEO Tool

If you are using WordPress, Yoast SEO is a tool that helps you optimise the content on each page. From title tags and metadata to the readability of the work, the simple traffic light system makes it easy to master the process.

This is of particular use for the ongoing performance of your site’s content.

SEO Checklist – Part Two: Keywords

Keywords are the backbone of any successful SEO strategy, as they are literally the terms that search engine users are typing into their browsers.

To truly master keywords, you’ll need to:

• Discover long tail keywords and phrases that people are searching for.
• Find solid keywords.
• Identify low competition keywords that can be targeted for success.
• Find geographic terms (such as SEO terms linked to Cornwall).
• Utilise keyword questions.

In addition to identifying the right keywords, it’s vital to consider the strategies needed to actually see results in relation to those targeted keywords. However, it’s also important to avoid the incorrect strategies such as keyword stuffing as they can lead to Google penalties. When this happens, your website will be blacklisted from the SERPs, meaning that all organic traffic is lost.

SEO Checklist – Part Three: On-Page SEO

On-page SEO means optimising your pages and content so that the Google ranking improves. Google’s algorithm needs to know what your website is about while confirming its authority. Therefore, simple ideas like including your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information and contact details can have a positive impact.

There are a number of additional steps that can be taken to ensure that the on-page search engine optimisation is at the desired level. Some of the best ideas include:

• Using your keyword in the webpage URL.
• Keep URLs as short as possible.
• Front-load keywords within the title tag.
• Embed title tag modifiers.
• Use the keyword ONCE in the first 150 words.
• Use the keyword in H1, H2, and H3 tags.
• Optimise images by changing the alternative text.
• Use synonyms and LSI (latent semantic indexing).
• Link to internal pages on your site
• Link to external websites with authority.

Additional tricks may include using keywords or including pages that generate a lot of traffic in the menus. This way, the keywords and links are sure to appear on every page in a natural manner.

Off-site SEO is another crucial step towards gaining a better Google ranking. The main focus of this element revolves around the concept of backlinks. These are essentially links back to your website for an external platform. Google considers them a vote of confidence from the linking site, which makes them a key metric for ranking sites on the SERPs.

Backlinks can be achieved in many different ways. It’s vital that the SEO strategy covers each of the following.

Blog Posts

Guest writing blog posts that include a link back to your site is an ideal solution. Blogger outreach allows you to target the sites that you wish your content to appear on, which allows you to gain links from authoritative websites and sources.

This is a great way to encourage the linking site’s visitors to visit yours.

Social Media Posts

Similarly, links from social media can work wonders. While each link on these sites has minimal impact, the fact that posts could be shared thousands of times means that the relevance soon builds. It’s a great way to use keywords and geographic links in a natural tone.

Podcasts and similar tools can work wonders too.


In today’s climate, Google My Business is an essential directory tool. Signing up for a listing is free and the content can aid your organic SEO as well as your presence on local searches and map searches. It can even fire you into the Snack Pack.

Other directories, especially industry-specific and local platforms are also of great use.

Press Coverage

Gaining press coverage is another particularly useful option. It serves very much like blog spots, only it gives you a far better shot at appearing on stronger sites. Moreover, the coverage ensures that your business is the central focus of the piece.

Getting PR through good networking can truly strengthen your position on the SERPs.

SEO Checklist – Part Five: Advanced Tools

Moz logo
We use Moz software to help us find technical errors on sites, and for reporting and documenting rankings etc.

The way in which users interact with Google and online businesses has changed massively. Therefore, it’s imperative that you learn to incorporate the advanced SEO strategies into the on-page and off-page processes.

Mobile technology has taken over, and Google now presents different SERPs depending on whether a user completes a search from their smartphone or desktop computer, which is why optimisation for mobile is key. Meanwhile, voice searches are the next big thing in Google searches, and should play a role in on-page SEO.

It’s also necessary to focus on some technical SEO ingredients. These include:

• Identifying crawl errors.
• Fetching as Google.
• Securing the site with encryption.
• Fixing broken links.
• Improving the load speeds.

When these features are used to support the above SEO checklist elements, the company’s presence on Google and other search engines will soar.

Let SEO Pilot Guide You To Success

Mastering the SEO arena is hard work, not least because the Google algorithm incorporates in excess of 500 changes every year. Thankfully, with SEO Pilot, you no longer need to be a tech whizz to get yourself on the coveted first page of the organic or local Cornwall SERPs .

SEO Pilot offers a comprehensive range of SEO services, starting with a website audit to pinpoint areas of your business website that need addressing. Following this, we’ll build and implement a winning SEO strategy to fire your site up the Google ranking in style.

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