SEO Checklist 2014 – For New Websites

Transcript of Video by Martin Astern @

  1. Create Google account and email address for your site (not necessary but makes things easier)
  2. Install Google Analytics
  3. Install Google Webmaster Tools
  4. Install Bing Webmaster Tools
  5. For WordPress: install Google Analytics for WordPress and SEO for WordPress (these plugins will make your life 100x easier)
  6. Check Google Webmaster Tools for 404/500 errors, duplicate content, missing titles, and other technical errors that Google has found; make sure to keep up with any messages Google is sending you
  7. Use Browseo to find even more technical errors; the most common detrimental errors people tend to make are 302 redirects that should be 301 redirects
  8. Use Xenu to find any broken links you might have (free and easy way to check)
  9. Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool; be sure to consider searcher intent and difficulty; pick 1 keyword per page and you’ll generally want to start with lower-volume keywords first
  10. Look at competitor link profiles; this is the easiest way to get started with link building; you can see what kind of anchor text they’re using, as well as how and where they’ve been getting their links; input competitor domains at Link Diagnosis, Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, and LipperHey
  11.  Incorporate your primary keyword (or something close) into your page URL
  12. All title tags should be ~65 characters or less; anything longer will be truncated in results; all meta description tags should be ~155 characters or less for same reason
  13. Use an H1 tag, utilizing a keyword in the tag; It should be before any (H2, H3, H4,…) tags
  14. Start off-page optimization and begin building links; this is the hardest, most important aspect of SEO; see “ClickMinded Link Building Strategy Guide” to get started
  15. Assure that all text is search engine-accessible; at least 100 words, because you want to give search engines an opportunity to understand what the topic of your page is; you can still rank with less and never want unnecessary text on site, so only create a page when you’ve got ~100 words worth of content
  16. Use synonyms in your copy; synonyms are great, and using natural language that’s influenced by keyword research (rather than just pure keywords) is highly encouraged
  17. Images must have descriptive ALT tags and filenames; search engines “see” images by reading the ALT tag and looking at file names, among other factors; try to be descriptive when you name your images, but don’t overdo it
  18. Link to internal pages in an SEO-friendly way; describe the page you’re linking to in the anchor text, so that both users and search engines understand what it’s about; don’t use anchor text in your global navigation because it can look over-optimized; stick to in-content links instead
  19. Use absolute URLs in your code; some CMS platforms give you the option (use absolute URLs instead of relative ones)
  20. Check site speed with Google Page Speed Tools
  21. Create XML sitemap and submit it to Google and Ping Webmaster Tools; use or the Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin
  22. Create a Robots.txt file and submit it on Google and Bing Webmaster Tools
  23. Assure site is mobile-friendly; check it on multiple browsers with BrowserStack
  24. Set up social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ at the minimum
  25. Claim your business/website username on other major networks for reputation management reseaons; not only do you want to make sure no one else gets your account name, but you can often “own” all the results on the first page of a search for your brand if you’re a new website or company; here is the URL structure of the major networks (note: these may change over time):
    3. http:// youtube .com/user/brandname
    4. http://www.yelp .com/biz/brand-name
    21. /brandname/
  26. Add Authorship Markup to your site; use the “Authorship Markup Walkthrough”
  27. Use the MetaFever SEO On-Page Optimization Report to double-check everything once you’re live
  28. Review all of the free SEO tools at your disposal before completing the audit

Step 2: Create a Brand

Ever have a great idea, just to forget what it was an hour later when it’s time to create?  It happens to all of us and is completely normal!  Words of wisdom: write your ideas down immediately!  Whether you’re on the toilet and have to get creative with the rump wipes, or have a voice recorder always on hand, ensure that you capture what your subconscious mind is telling you.  Chances are that the idea that “suddenly appeared” is actually the output of hyperactive thought processes operating beneath the surface of your consciousness, analyzing arbitrary information that is immediately stored in the stuffy attic of the mind.  Utilize this benign knowledge, and make it work for your life and business in every regard.

The first step comes with imagining your brand.  I’m a fan of digging deep and discovering the root cause for everything, most importantly, that of success.  Many leading corporations have created their businesses based upon mundane, even elementary branding.  Although these organizations eventually achieved success, it was done quite inefficiently.  Lame brands create that much more work going forward while you struggle to figure out innovative ways to distinguish your business throughout its life-cycle.

Be smart from the start!  Save yourself the effort of constantly maintaining inferior branches of your tree by carefully selecting a superior seed to plant!  When creating your brand, keep the following two concepts in mind:

1.  Plant your seed in the conscious mind of your consumer.  To do this, you must first conceptualize the thought pattern and habits of the average member of your target market.  If you’re aiming to reach people from multiple markets, write down your thoughts for each, and identify the factors they all have in common.  With this list, conceptualize what your typical user would require in order to notice of your product or service.

Focus on all five senses; real examples of this include the welcoming sight of a colorful Google logo across everything digital, the intoxicating smell of the gourmet “crack” that lingers just inside every Starbucks, the bold music in every Chevy Pickup commercial, the rich taste and infinite variety of applications of Heinz condiments, and the feel of a durable pair of Prada sunglasses.

Your brand must address each of these senses in each contact it has with members of your market.  Synergy across all products and their respective markets is the key concept here.

2.  Differentiate your seed.  What sense does it make to plant a pine tree in a forest of pine trees, and hope it gets picked to glorify someone’s holiday decor?!  Be different, and get noticed!  When creating any business process it’s a great practice to draw upon inspiration from existing brands rather than reinventing the wheel; however, don’t let their practices narrow your imagination.  As scary as it may be at times, you must figure out a way to shake up the industry in which you operate.

As this seed sprouts into a full-blown business, you’ll realize that some changes are inevitable.  In today’s business world, one must remain flexible to the evolving state of his/her industry.  There exists a delicate balance, however, in changing aspects of your business without forgetting about the seed you planted, in order to avoid alienating your core markets.

Too often, business owners become so wrapped up in what’s going on around them, that they quickly lose sight of where their businesses were conceived, as well as the ultimate vision of that business’s success.  Control your business before it controls you!   Branding is easily one of the most crucial factors when it comes to this creed, as it represents the very foundation upon which your business stands.

Charlie Day’s Commencement Speech Goes Viral

Wow! I love the show “#Always #Sunny in #Philidelphia”, but this speech gives me a whole new respect for its creator, #Charlie #Day. Finally, somebody who tells it how it is to a very warm response; hoping this is a sign of things to come:) #entrepreneur #Create your #Own #Future! It’s looking #brighter! If you don’t have time for the whole video, highlights here!

#Mentality Weighs on Everyday #Success, for Good or Bad

I know (according to MY perception that is) that I’m certainly different, in many ways, than most of our society.  I am, however, just as much a citizen as the next, making the U.S. one of the most interesting countries in the world, speaking of diversity in physical, mental, and spiritual nature.  This, I attribute to my incessant thinking beneath the surface, rather than of simply what’s apparent to my five natural senses, and further dictating my actions based on the perception formed around this introspection.
Borrowed from DailyOM @

If you feel like you can relate to this, BRAVO!; your reality certainly will reward you again and again for it!  Put simply, turn off the Kardasians, stare at a cloud for 10 minutes and let positive thoughts come as they will, unmolested by the endless noise we worship as a society.  Resolve your resultant peace of mind, and go forth in whatever venture evokes your passion, then bask in the sunlight of your mental response to this!

The state of mind we begin each day with ultimately defines the output we produce throughout said day.  This universal concept applies to an infinite number of factors, including, but not limited to mood, nutrition, exercise, occupation, relationships, and ultimately wealth in the form of paper, mind, body, and soul, alike.

Can you tell which one of the prior examples is not like the others?  If you said “paper”, then you’re certainly on the right track.  Our primary goal  should never directly be to chase money, but rather health in mind, body, and soul.  Once you begin to improve these, the money will inevitably follow.  The only justification that I can conceive of for the desire for a bunch of green leaflets, is to empower myself to help others.  I hope this mentality begins to propagate quickly throughout our society through today’s means of somewhat free speech and reach we have in social media.  Use it, don’t abuse it!

If you’re still with me, great!  My point is simple, yet so powerful.  If you strive to be the best that you can be, forget any institution that promises to fulfill that wish.  There are certainly numerous amazing institutions out there, but only you have the power to determine what it is you do with this life, and how you do it.  Align your occupation (as it consumes the majority of the average American’s life) with whatever it is you’re most passionate about.  Then you’ll never work a day in your life, realize exponential growth physically, mentally, and spiritually, and possess the power to impact the world to whatever extent you wish!

Don’t Burn Bridges, but Don’t Kiss Ass

On a daily basis each of us is confronted with the agendas of people and situations that challenge our gut instinct, and ultimately lead us to respond in ways we never would, had we been operating in a vacuum void of judgement.  Unfortunately, we don’t exist in a social vacuum, making things quite messy along the way to success.

Quite simply put, success is within our own being, and life merely is a challenge to examine oneself in the search for esteem, will, and perseverance.  We each hold our own key to happiness of self and those around us, and must learn that in order to obtain said key, we must at times go against the grain, regardless of any perceived consequences.  Why worry about something that hasn’t happened?  You’d be better off wasting your time and energy doing nothing at all.

In this society built on fear, we have been programmed (intentionally or unintentionally, by capitalistic societal evolution) to internalize that fear and let it guide our actions.  No individual can possibly be happy nor can they achieve true success personally or professionally when living according to this protocol.

Be yourself, be aware, and challenge the world around you; you have only to gain in every aspect from it.  If you screw up?  Lesson learned, lesson internalized, and lesson applied to all  future actions!



Step 1: Welcome to yeSEO Blog!

Welcome, and thank you for visiting! Far too often, novice entrepreneurs and small business owners are inspired to build their businesses upon the foundation of an idea, before, first, considering the potential market of a service or product resulting from that idea.  This strategy may work for some lucky individuals, but in most cases, it simply leads the owning firm of that idea down a dark and mysterious path, from which returning proves to be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Don’t let this fact kill your creativity, however, as constant innovation is necessary to survive in today’s global business environment, regardless of the industry in which you work or of the markets that you serve.

In creating yeSEO Consulting, I intend to share with you all of the entrepreneurial, business marketing wisdom I obtain along the way, as well as answer any inquiries you may have concerning your own business venture(s) to the best of my ability.

Some of the topics that will be covered include social media strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), media buying, and branding for business.  Please join me in this effort by sharing any feedback you may have.

I hope to see this blog evolve into an open forum, and invite those who master these techniques to contribute any content that encourages mutual growth for all readers.

I formally welcome you to this blog, appreciate very much your involvement, and look forward to the collaboration of those interested in creating the best businesses possible!  With synergy comes infinite success!

twitter: @yeSEOconsulting