When starting a new company you will most likely be concurrently starting a website, whether you intend to do business online or simply building a site dedicated to telling consumers who you are and what you do. Both are equally important because both build traffic.

The only difference is that one uses SEO to build traffic to an eCommerce site where all financial transactions will take place online and the other directs traffic to a webpage that in turn directs foot traffic to your local business.

SEO is vitally important for both because that’s how searchers find you! In either case, here is a seven point SEO checklist every startup needs in order to establish a successful web presence.

1. Run a background check

It is imperative that you run a background check on the domain name if you don’t want to get a new domain without backlinks. If it was previously owned and penalized for any reason, choose a new clean name. “Second hand” domains might have had negative reputation with Google. Make sure the site’s previous owner’s strategies did not trigger penalty yet, they might in the future.

2. What kind of address will you use?

While dot com is the most common for a business site, you may want to use dot net, dot info or any other suffix. You may even want to leave the ‘www’ out of your domain name. Research this well and use the address you are most comfortable with and you think people will most easily remember.

3. Verify that you own your site

You know very well that mistakes do happen. Before going any further, make sure you in fact own your domain name. It’s a process that can save you from a lot of problems in the future. Your domain registrar can guide you to verify your domain in simple steps.

4. Tracking and analytics tools

Your website is only going to be as effective as your SEO strategies. Check out tracking and analytics tools on sites like seoguruatlanta.com, many of which are free to use or try. SEO tools can help you identify the best keywords for your business. You will be able to identify how your competitors rank for specific keywords and what you can do different. Make the most of analytics tools.

5. Prevent indexing until you are ready to go live

While you begin building your site the one thing you need to be very, very careful of is preventing Google from indexing your site or pages until you are ready for them to go live. In this way you can change things up, edit content and make any number of modifications without being penalized for breaking one of the Google King’s rules.

6. Build your site strategy

Some would argue that this should be #5 on the list with preventing indexing as #6, but any way you look at it, strategy is crucial and if you are not yet ready to go live, you could develop your strategy as your content begins to unfold.

Sometimes the two work in tandem so it doesn’t matter if you outline a strategy first, then tell Google not to index your site, or start by telling Google no one is at home and then begin outlining your site’s SEO strategy with content you are creating.

7. Populate your site

When you are told it’s time to start populating your site, don’t think that this means filling it up with a bunch of informative articles and pages. That is NOT all that content is about because content could be images, videos, shares from social media, music, images and so much more. Don’t just share content to rank better, write with your customers in mind. Populate your site with humans in mind.