Monday, February 11, 2013

Small Business: 10 Point SEO Checklist

Estro Communications
By +Steve Estrellado | @steveestro | Download PDF

To compete in today’s market your small business needs to develop a strong digital marketing strategy.  It is your strategy that will place your business on top of Google’s search algorithm.

 When budgeting for your website you need to make sure that you include a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) package.  In this blog, I will share 10 do-it-yourself SEO tips.  These tips can be implemented by you or your webmaster.  Before you begin updating your SEO, see your website like a search engine sees it by using (

Enclosed are my top 10 SEO tips:

1.  If you happen to find a duplicate copy of your website online ( and you will need to redirect one of them.  In order to specify your preferred domain - I prefer keeping the www - you will need to write a 301 redirect and update your website’s .htacess file.

Example: 301 Redirect Code
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

2. Set up your website’s Google Webmaster account.  First assign your preferred domain then upload your website’s XML Sitemap (

2b. Create a Google+ business page.  Once you create your page, link your Google+ page to your website via the code provided.

<meta name="google-site-verification" content="Google+ Code Example" />

3. Think of your top 3 search key phrases.  Use Google AdWords to identify your top search phrases.  It is best practice to write out your company’s SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis and identify your unique selling proposition.

4. Once you determine your top 3 search key phrases.  Pick 1 website per search phrase (3 in total) that you would like to compete against. 

5. Update your site’s metadata.  Metadata is used to describe your website’s content.  Google uses this data when adding pages to their search index.

Example: Metadata
<title>Insert Title Here</title>
<meta name="description" content=" Insert description here" />
<meta name="keywords" content=" Insert keywords here" />
<meta name="Copyright" content="Insert copyright here"/>
<meta name="Author" content="Insert author here" />
<meta name="Publisher" content="Insert publisher here" />
<meta name="Owner" content=" Insert owner here" />
<meta name="Robots" content="Insert robots here" />
<meta name="googlebot" content="Insert googlebot here" />
<meta name="Distribution" content="Insert distribution here" />
<meta name="Classification" content="Insert classification here" />
<meta name="Rating" content="Insert rating here" />
<meta name="Revisit-After" content="Insert revisit-after here" />
<meta name="Allow-Search" content="Insert allow-search here" />
<!—Insert comment here-->

6. Manage your online ranking with an SEO software e.g. SEOmoz.  SEOmoz is an online reporting tool that develops data driven action sets focused on advancing your SEO.  

     5 benefits of using SEOmoz:
  1. Track your website’s ranking
  2. Find errors and missed opportunities
  3. Find recommendations for improvements to your website
  4. Track your competition
  5. Discover link data and metrics
6b. Monitor your website’s backlinks and develop a strategy to create targeted link building.
I recommend using Open Site Explorer (

7. Since you run a progressive business, take control of your local listings by using ( This tool can make the process of claiming business listings on Superpages, Yelp, and other prominent local search directories more efficient.

8. Set goals and measure your website’s traffic on Google Analytics.  Monitor your:
  • Direct Traffic: Determine which URLs are the most popular destination for direct traffic.
  • Referral Traffic: Determine which domains are referring the most traffic to your site.
  • Search Traffic:
    • Organic Keywords: Learn which keywords drive the most visitors to your site.
    • Paid Advertisements: Create compelling digital advertisements i.e. AdWords traffic, as well as paid traffic from other advertising platforms.
9. Submit your website to Google (  Only submit your website if there is a significant change or when your site has dropped from the search index.   

10. Create a social media (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) content strategy.  I will discuss the importance of social media and content marketing in a later post.

Keep in mind Facebook’s Graph Search.  Graph search will revolutionize the way search is done.  Your likes and recommendations will go a very long way in tomorrow’s search index.

All original content copyright Steve Estrellado, 2013.

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