Are you planning your SEO strategy? Or maybe you’re just interested in the best practices a website owner can utilize? Well, you’re in the right place. We’re about to present and discuss a complete SEO checklist that will help you get more organic traffic. So stay tuned, and read on!
SEO Basics Checklist
When it comes to SEO, there are a few basics that you need to check off your list in order to make sure your website is performing well. And that means getting the right SEO tools.
The first step is to make sure you have Google Search Console set up and linked to your website. This will give you visibility into how your website is performing in search, as well as any errors that Google may be seeing on your site.
The next step is to install Google Analytics, so you can see where your website traffic is coming from and how they are engaging with your content. Finally, using SERP simulators can help you visualize what your potential visitors will see. Checking off these three basics will help you get started on the right foot with SEO.
Technical SEO Checklist
Technical SEO checklist is probably your most helpful tool. Having some great content or even the right tools will mean nothing if it’s not backed up on the technical side. So, what exactly should you check off the list? Read on!
Perform a Site Audit
A site audit is the first step in any technical SEO process. This will help you to identify any potential issues with your website that could be impacting your search engine rankings.
Check Your Website’s Speed and Performance
Slow loading times can have a negative impact on your SEO rankings. You should use a tool like Google Pagespeed Insights to check your website’s speed and performance and make any necessary optimizations.
Create Short and SEO-Friendly URL Structures
Your URL structure should be short, keyword-rich, and easy to understand. Avoid using long and complicated URLs that include unnecessary characters or words.
Create Robots.txt Files
Robots.txt files help to control how search engines crawl and index your website. You should create a robots.txt file if you want to prevent certain pages from being indexed by search engines.
Set up Redirects Properly
Redirects are used to send visitors from one URL to another. If you have recently changed your website’s URL structure, you will need to set up redirects to ensure that visitors are directed to the correct page.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
Mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor for search engines. You should use a tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website is mobile-friendly and make any necessary changes.
HTTPS is a security protocol that encrypts data transmitted between your website and visitors’ browsers. You should use HTTPS if you want to ensure that your website is secure and improve your SEO rankings.
Fix Any 404 Errors
404 errors can hurt your SEO rankings, so you need to fix them as soon as possible. Use a tool like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console to find and fix any 404 errors on your website.
On-Page SEO Checklist
Now that we’ve covered the technical side, let’s talk about the on-page SEO checklist. Some of the issues are also technical in nature, however, they could relatively be easily done on the site and without any help from a specialist. Let’s see what you should do!
Verify that all metadata (meta titles and meta descriptions) are accurate and descriptive. Making sure all metadata is accurate and descriptive is important for on-page SEO and click-through rates (CTRs). This includes checking if the meta title and meta description are both relevant to the content on the page. You should make sure they are optimized for both humans and search engines.
Check that all headings are properly formatted and include the appropriate keywords. Headings should be properly formatted so that your content is legible and makes sense to the reader. Not only that, but they also help search engines accurately recognize the type of content you have.
Identify and fix any duplicate content on the page. Any duplicate content on the page should be identified and fixed as soon as possible. Duplicates can make both of them invalid, and none may pop up in search results. This also concerns URL structures. If two separate pieces of content, however different, have too similar of a URL structure, they will count as duplicates.
Optimize images for SEO using appropriate keywords and alt text. Images can play a big role in SEO, so you need to make sure they are properly optimized. Use a tool like ImageOptim to compress your images and improve their loading times. It may seem irrelevant, but it can significantly improve the user experience.
Keyword Research Checklist
Keywords could easily fall under the on-page or the content SEO checklist. However, as they both appear here and there, there’s a lot to do just about them specifically. Below, you’ll find a list of questions you need to ask yourself about keywords that will help you optimize your site.
- What are your target keywords?
- Have you conducted research for both short-tail and long-tail keywords?
- Do you have a list of keywords that are relevant to your business?
- Are your target keywords included in your website’s content?
- Are your target keywords included in your website’s title tags and meta descriptions?
- Are your target keywords included in your website’s header tags?
- Are your target keywords included in your website’s images’ alt text?
- Are your target keywords included in your website’s links’ anchor text?
As a content creator, it’s important to always be aware of your audience and what they are looking for. A content checklist can help ensure that your content is relevant and keyword-rich.
Use keywords throughout your content, including in the title, in the body, and in the keywords section of your website. Nevertheless, it’s an outdated practice to just stuff as many of the keywords as possible. It’s better to use them within a certain distance from each other.
You should also make sure that your content is well written and easy to read. The better quality your content is, the bigger the chance the visitors will come back to your site. In addition to that, a well-optimized blog post or article can help attract more search traffic to your site. You may also conduct a content audit to make sure that all of your content is up-to-date and relevant.
Off-Page SEO Checklist
If you want your website to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to focus on both on-page and off-page SEO. Off-page SEO refers to the activities you can do outside your website to improve its visibility and authority. Here is a checklist of some of the most important things you can do:
- Get other websites to link to your site. Quality links from high authority websites are one of the most important ranking factors. Focus on getting natural links rather than paying for link placement or participating in link schemes.
- Optimize your social media profiles. Make sure your profiles are complete and up-to-date, and that they include links back to your website. Post engaging content regularly and interact with other users to build up a strong social media presence.
- Monitor your online reputation. Make sure negative reviews and comments are buried under positive ones by encouraging customer feedback and responding quickly to any negative reviews.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and algorithm changes. Google makes hundreds of changes to their search algorithm every year, so it’s important to keep up with the latest developments in the SEO world if you want to maintain a high ranking.
Link Building Checklist
When it comes to SEO, link building is still an important ranking factor. Search engines view links as votes of confidence, and the more links a website has, the higher it will rank. Of course, not all links are created equal. In order to be effective, links must be high-quality and relevant to the site’s content. That’s why it’s important to use a link building checklist to ensure that all of your links meet these criteria.
First and foremost, make sure that your links are coming from reputable sources. A link from a well-established website will carry more weight than a link from a new page. Furthermore, the anchor text should be relevant to the page you’re linking to. For instance, if you’re linking to a page about gardening tips, the anchor text should contain keywords like “gardening” or “garden tips.” Finally, ensure that your links are permanent and static. Links that are constantly being changed or removed are less valuable in the eyes of search engines.
You should also practice using internal links. Even though they are not as valuable as external ones, they will increase the chances of the visitors staying on your website. And if you have a clear site structure, they may browse just for the fun of it.