The Complete Off-page SEO Checklist for Your New Website
Off-page (also known as off-site) SEO encompass all activities which can be done to improve the website SEO authority through placing and receiving back-links from other websites.
According to our team in Eltoma Marketing, these are the most important technical SEO factors you should focus on when creating or updating your website:
Google Search Console
Setting up the Google Search Console (Webmaster tools) is one of the SEO basics. It helps you to monitor and maintain your website’s presence and performance in the SERP in the largest search engine globally, Google.
The Search Console helps you analyse your keyword rankings, CTRs, possible Google penalties and many other useful data for technical SEO.
Other features include content mobile usability, choosing what you want to be indexed and what not, site errors, structured data errors and links.
Search console pointers to keep in mind:
- Every website needs to be verified to use Search console features.
- Connect Search Console with Google Analytics to monitor your traffic.
- How to verify your website (or property) in the Search Console.
Website speed & performance
Website speed is one of the ranking factors so you should always aim to improve it. Statistics show that 50% of users have a subconscious expectation for a website they are browsing to load in 2 seconds or less. If it doesn’t load in 3 seconds, at least 75% are likely to click back and leave.
Website speed pointers to remember:
- Test the speed in PageSpeed Insights.
- Optimize images, enable GZIP compression, HTML compression, JS and CSS minification and try to decrease server response time.
- Quality web hosting plays a big role in the website speed, so make sure to select a trustworthy provider.
- Testing site speed of your website
Mobile optimisation stages for a new website
Mobile optimization is a must. The world is shifting from desktop to mobile. In fact, running a website that is not mobile-optimized will negatively influence your rankings.
Google started rolling out the mobile-first indexing in March 2018. The mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking.
Mobile optimisation pointers to keep in mind:
- Test the responsivity of your website in the Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Monitor your keyword rankings in mobile search results.
- Make sure the mobile version of your website is working well.
You can also consider the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). It’s an HTML code extended with custom properties that enable to render static content faster. In 2017, it was one of the main Google’s projects of mobile search. We’ll see if there’s any future for this.
Does every website need a sitemap?
A sitemap helps index your website. What does this mean? One of the ways search engines like Google rank your website is by crawling the site content. This is essentially an online file where all website sections are listed. It can be particularly helpful to have one when handling larger websites with a more complex structure or if the website uses rich media content such as embedded videos.
Having a sitemap doesn’t mean your rankings will automatically improve. This is one ingredient in part of a larger recipe for search engine optimization. According to Google, it’s a benefit but you’ll never be officially reprimanded for not having one.
Sitemap pointers to keep in mind:
- A very simple or template website may not need a sitemap.
- There are more sitemaps than just the standard XML type.
- A sound sitemap should be simple, without exceeding 50 MB and shouldn’t have more than 40,000 URLs.
Place the sitemap in the root directory of the website: www.eltoma-marketing.com/sitemap.xml
Robots.txt is a file that tells crawlers which website sections you don’t want them to be accessed. It’s located in https://example.com/robots.txt and it’s a publicly listed page.
It’s a handy tip when you don’t want certain scripts, unnecessary files and images to be indexed.
To read our complete on-page optimisation techniques guide, click here.