Ok friends, it’s time to say sayonara to 2017 and welcome 2018 with open arms: it’s gonna be a big year! To get you started on the right foot, we put together a short checklist of SEO-related action items you can start working on posthaste, because we think doing some SEO housekeeping is a great way to start the new year.
- What’s your hosting situation? A fast, reliable web host can make a huge difference in your SEO campaign for a couple reasons. First, using a secure web host means you’ll have a back-up if your site security is ever compromised. A good host is collecting data back-ups all the time, so if a hack happens, you’re covered. Second, investing in a fast hosting environment is crucial to successful SEO: a fast, responsive site allows Google to crawl your content faster and more accurately, which means your SEO efforts can actually pay off instead of costing you ranking position due to glitchiness and slow loading times. Check out our handy-dandy guide to managed WordPress hosting to learn more.
- Do you have an SSL certificate? Taking the time to make sure your SSL certification status is on-point can make a huge difference in your SEO ROI. Simply: an SSL certificate is an encryption layer that ensures secure data transfer between site and user. An SSL cert not only provides transaction security for sites that take payment or require a password, it’s also a powerful indicator of legitimacy for visitors viewing your site, and can even make a difference in your Google rankings. So even if you don’t sell anything or require passwords on your site, it’s worth getting an SSL certificate to avoid accidentally tanking your search ranking with an illegitimate-looking site.
- Are you acquainted with your site traffic? It’s the start of a new year: what better time to get a handle site traffic? Checking your traffic and rankings first thing in January gives you a method for measuring success as the year goes. Log into your Google Analytics account to get your traffic stats; this’ll be your baseline for 2018, and you can check back each month to monitor progress. Extra curious? Check out Semrush.com. You’ll find traffic estimates based on your keywords, and you can compare your site performance directly to your competitor’s, so you have an idea of where you really stand.
- Have you gotten involved with Google My Business yet? It’s imperative that you get a thumb on your Google My Business listing first thing in 2018. Google My Business is the information that shows up on the right hand side of a Google search page when someone searches your business. It contains operating hours, location, photos, and reviews, and it’s pretty much the first thing your customers see, so it’s important. Your Google My Business listing is free, so get started right away. Make sure all your listing info is accurate, and then set a 2018 goal of getting 40 great Google reviews so you can enjoy a nice little SEO boost, too.
So, are you ready to make 2018 your most successful year yet? You’ve got the tools, now get started.