12 Steps for Search Engine Optimization

This post by Kristy Crabtree

Posted in Business Start-Up, Marketing, Technology, Tools

A checklist to use during the development process

Are you ready to build a website for your small business or for yourself? There are simple search engine optimization steps you should consider during the development process.

The following 12 step optimization checklist will bring you one step closer to maximizing your revenues with smart web design.

1.) Choose a domain name, that is a URL, that is descriptive of what your website will represent:

  • Your business name (ex. WestwardStrategy.com)
  • Your first and last name (ex. KristyCrabtree.com) or
  • Keyword specific phrase (ex. WestwardDesignGroup.com)

2.) Decide what keywords and/or phrase targets the visitors you are looking for, and that best describes what your business offers.

3.) Sub directory names using keywords or phrases should use hyphens in the url: http://url.com/descriptive-keyword/

4.) Title tags are the words that appear on site visitor’s browser tabs as they navigate through your site. Clearly define your title tags for each individual web page making sure that it is accurate and descriptive of the page’s content. Keep it 70 characters or less.

  • (Example 1) Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
  • (Example 2) Brand Name | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keyword

5.) The meta description is the primary source of information search engines review, and this is also the information that appears along with your site name in the search engine results. Clearly define your meta descriptions for each individual web page making sure that it too is accurate and descriptive of the page’s content. Keep it 155 characters or less

EXAMPLE: Keyword/Phrase Search Results

Key Word/Phrase Result Image

6.) Develop keyword rich content on all pages including the keyword and/or phrase within the content

7.) Use descriptive words for your navigation when it makes sense

8.) Name all images on website with descriptive image names:

  • (Example) chocolate-lab-running.jpg vs. img0893.jpg

9.) The title tags are the words that visitor’s click to reach the hyperlinks behind them. Add descriptive title tags to anchor links

  • (Example) title=” Descriptive Title Tag” vs. title=”Click Here

10.) Setup Google Analytics and see who’s visiting your website and who’s giving you referral’s: http://www.google.com/analytics

11.) Create a sitemap and submit to Google Webmaster Tools and other search engines. The free tools give you a look under the hood at your website performance: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools

12.) Add new website to local free business listings and other free directory sites


Contributed by Kristy Crabtree
Westward Strategy & Design Group

3 Responses to “12 Steps for Search Engine Optimization”

  1. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:40 pm NSBDC » Blog Archive » So you have a new website…now what? Said:

    […] a follow up to the 12th step in the SEO Checklist for Your New Website, I recommend adding your site to the following 8 Free Business Listing Websites: Google, Yahoo, […]

  2. On March 1st, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reno Computer Repairs and Website Development Services Said:

    This is a little dated but the content is still very relevant! Nicely put!


  3. On March 27th, 2012 at 11:59 am Kristy Said:

    Colleen – as quick as technology changes.. you are correct that this list should be updated however a lot of it still has relevance in terms of search-ability. Thanks for you feedback. – Kristy

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