Content Marketing - A 20-Point Website Checklist

By Karen Cioffi

Writing SEO content, in a way, goes hand-in-hand with website optimization. There are a number of similar elements. Having an idea of how to optimize a website will make your content marketing efforts much more successful. 

Here is a checklist of 20 elements, just about everything you need to be aware of, in website optimization:

1. Keywords / Keyword Phrases – words that people search for in the Google search box (or other search engine search box). They’re necessary in everything from your domain name to your website content to your post tags. Have ‘relevant to your site’ keywords with useful content and Google may put your link on the first search engine results page (SERP).

2. Long Tail Keywords – these more focused keywords narrow the playing field. Instead of saying “allergies,” say “allergy symptom relief.” it’s important to use long tail keywords as often as possible.

3. Authority Status – this is what you want your readers and visitors to believe you have. You want to be known as an authority (expert) in your niche or field.

4. Title Bar – this is the horizontal label in the top left area of the window. It should have the name of the current page visible. This is one of the primary places Google and other search engines look at when scanning your website. You want it to have relevant keywords for each page on your site.

Here’s an example:

5. Navigation Menus – this is how visitors will navigate your site (go from page to page). Make sure they’re easy to find and easy to use.

6. Images – Use keywords in the file name, alt text, tag, and description.

7. Title Text – should be relevant to the page and keyword effective.

8. Internal Linking or deep linking – linking to other pages and content within your site.

9. External Linking – linking to other relevant and ‘high’ authority sites.

10. Anchor text – hyperlinking relevant keyword phrases within your blog post to other related content.

11. Copyright and Dates – be sure to update your website copyright text and other dates on the site. Nothing makes a site look ‘stale’ quicker than having old dates.

12. Web Design – Google’s motto is ‘simple is best.’ Keep the site easy to read and uncluttered. Along with this, the most effective design, according to Marketing Experiments, is dark text on a light background.

13. Multimedia – use a variety of content, including audio and video. SlideShare presentations and animations are good choices also. Remember to mix-it-up.

14. Text – your text should be USEFUL to your reader, keyword effective, engaging, easy to read, relevant to the website, and shareable.

15. Above the Fold – keep the important information, such as your opt-in, above the fold.

16. Stickiness – make the site effective enough to keep visitors on it. This relates to 'visit page lengths.'

17. 1st Person Tense – keep the content conversational.

18. Social Interaction – encourage interaction and social networking. Be sure to have social media buttons on the site and at the bottom of each post. This makes ‘sharing’ easier for the visitor. It also reminds her to share.

19. Opt in Forms – have it easy to find, easy to use, with easy to follow instructions.

20. Testimonials – people will usually buy based on what others like, so be sure to have a testimonials page on the site. You should also include testimonials in the sales copy.

21. Contact Info – okay, I went over the 20, but this is one of the biggies. You must have your contact information on every page – having it in a footer widget makes this possible. You should also have a separate Contact Page.

Websites optimized with these 20 21 elements will have a much better chance of getting more opt-in YESES and customers.

Your website should look professional and relay the essentials quickly: who you are, what the visitors can get, and why he should get it from you.

Give your website an audit today.

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