Do you own a website or blog?
Are you looking for an SEO checklist that will help you increase your site’s traffic?
Do you want to rank on Google?
In this guide, you will get a detailed comprehensive checklist that is necessary to achieve success in SEO. Right from SEO basics to all you need to know when analyzing your signals when you are off-page.
Below are the necessary categories to be covered in this guide.
- SEO basics checklist
- Keyword Research checklist
- Technical SEO checklist
- On page SEO and content checklist
- Off-page SEO checklist
SEO Basics Checklist
You need to get the basics covered to prevent your site from struggling to rank for competitive terms. The basics of Implementing a successful SEO strategy are:
Set up Google search console
This is a very essential tool that will help provide valuable insights into your website’s performance as well as a wealth of data that you can use to improve your site’s visibility and traffic.
Bing webmaster tools
This is also an equivalent platform that provides data and insights for search engine. These tools allows you to view the search terms and keywords that users are finding your site for on SERPs. They also submit sitemaps, identify crawl errors, and many more.
Set up Google Analytics
This free analytics tools allows you to view data and insights about your visitors, who they are, and how they engage with your site. You can not runs successful SEO checklist with this tool.
Install and configure an SEO plugin
You need to install and configure an SEO plugin to provide the features and functionality you need for optimizing your site. If you are using WordPress as your CMS. If you already have it installed, know that it powers 35% of your website.
Par adventure you are using a different CMS to WordPress, you can speak with your developer to see whether you need to install a dedicated SEO plugin or module or whatever the features that you need. Also, Plug in SEO is an example of a good and popular Shopify SEO apps.
Generate a Sitemap
To improve your SEO checklist, you have to generate and submit a sitemap. This is to help search engines decide which pages should be crawled or not.
Note: a sitemap tells the crawler which file you think are important in your website. It also provides valuable information about these files. For examples, it checks when a page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and other alternate language versions of the page. Also, Google supports quite a good number of different sitemaps but XML is the most commonly used. Once you generate your sitemap, make sure that it is submitted to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Make sure you also reference your sitemap in your robots.txt file.
Create a Robots.txt file
Your website’s robots.txt file informs search engine crawlers the pages that web crawlers can or cannot request from your site. Most importantly, it is used to prevent certain sections of your site from being crawled. Also, it is not intended to be sure as a way to de-index a webpage and stop it from showing in Google. Many WordPress SEO plugins allow uses to create and edit their robots.txt file. But if you are using a different CMS, you could manually create the file using a text editor and upload it to the root of your domain.
Allow Google Index your Website
You have to make sure that Google can Index your website. Uncommon as you may think, it is possible for a website to not be indexed by Google. Often times, a sudden de-indexing of a site is caused by developers. They accidentally leave no Index tags in place when moving code from a staging environment to a live one.
KEYWORD RESEARCH CHECKLIST
Keywords help you rank for the right terms. Without a solid keyword, you will not get as much traffic as you need to improve your conversion rate. Here is an SEO checklist of the important keywords research you need to ensure enough coverage.
Identify your competitors
One of the fastest ways to get started with keywords research is to find the terms that are working for your competitors. While running your domain, you should spend time analyzing your competitors, That way, you will be able to know if you are in the same space with your competitors and how to compare your visibility.
Find your ‘money’ keywords
Also, you need to identify your main ‘money’ keywords. Simply put, your main ‘money’ keywords will drive you leads, sales, conversions, and better traffic. These keywords are also referred to as the head terms and pillar of your page. Generally, there are high volume, high competition keywords that really summarize what you offer, either at a topic or category level.
Find long-tail keyword variations
One amongst other important SEO checklist, you must make sure that your SEO targets long-tail keyword variants as well as head terms. In terms of optimizing your site’s pages, you must make sure they are ranking for a variety of related terms. Also, you must create supporting content that sits alongside your key content.
Create a keyword map
As soon as you identify your target keywords, you need to map them to the pages on your site and also endeavor to identify gaps if there are any. In other words, keyword mapping is a framework of your target keywords that mirrors your site’s structure. The specific goal of the map is to help you discover where to optimize, what content to build, and where you can add new pages to attract more traffic to your site.
Analyze the intent of your pages
You must make sure that the content of your page matches the searcher’s intent. Take your time to analyze the pages that rank for your target terms and make sure your content aligns. Furthermore, know the questions that your audience ask, that can help you provide answers through your content. You can use tools like AlsoAsked.com to find further ideas and questions to answer with your content.
TECHNICAL SEO CHECKLIST
This SEO checklist helps you create solid foundation for your site and ensure that your site can be crawled and indexed. Here are some key areas you need to pay attention to.
This is 2020 and there is no excuse for not using HTTPS encryption on your site. If you are still working on HTTP, it is time to migrate. By looking at your browser’s URL bar, you can easily confirm if your site is running in HTTPS.
Find and crawl errors
With Google Search Console, you can easily identify any crawl error. If you head to the coverage report, you will see both errors and excluded pages. Take your time to resolve any error that you find, and explore the cause of excluded URLs.
Improve the speed of your site
Nobody wants to stay on a slow site because it encourages poor user experience. You have to make sure that your site loads quickly and acknowledge that users will expect more. No one is waiting around for a slow site.
Fix broken internal and outbound links
Broken links are another symbol of poor user experience. No one wants to click a link and find out that it doesn’t take them the page. Broken internal and out outbound links can be found in your site audit report. Hence, you should fix identified issues by updating the target URL or remove the link entirely.
Make your site mobile-friendly
This is a key factor in the technical SEO checklist in Google’s upcoming page experience update. The main reason why you should be concerned about the mobile-friendliness of your site is because Google switched to mobile-first indexing for all site’s.
Your organic visibility will suffer from this if your site is not mobile-friendly.
In addition, make sure you have a SEO-friendly URL. It makes it easier for search engines to crawl your pages and understand what your site is about. Your URL must be simple and descriptive.
Add structured data
Structured data markup is becoming increasingly valuable as Google continues to build a more semantic web. Also, structured data helps your organic listings stand out on the SERPs. Furthermore, while you add structured data, check the depth of your site. Ideally, your pages should not be any further than 3 clicks deep into your site. You need to flatten your page, because the deeper your page, the less likely users or search engines are going to find it.
ON-PAGE CONTENT AND SEO CHECKLIST
You will struggle to rank your site without great content and on-page experience. This also applies to website pages and blog posts. There is so much competition, hence blogs have to ensure they are taking every step to outrank other blogs for important search terms. To generate great traffic, make sure your blog generates quality content for the users. For your on-page SEO checklist, you need to do the following:
Fix missing and truncated title tags
The very basics of SEO is optimized title tags. They are often the first thing any SEO would consider to help a page rank on search engines. In fact, title tags informs search engines what a page is about. You can find any issue of missing or truncated title tags in your site audit report and fix it by updating your page’s title tags. Also, do well to fix duplicate and missing meta descriptions.
Head to the performance report in Google Search Console and identify keywords on each page that have a significant number of impressions but low clicks and a low average position.
This usually means that your page is deemed relevant for the queries, and is ranking at least somewhere, but that you have not optimized the page by including these variations in your content or tags.
Rework and re-optimize your page with these in mind, and you will almost certainly see an uplift in clicks and ranking position.
Run and prune content
Ensure images use ALT tags
Improve internal linking
Clear outdated content from your page
OFF-PAGE SEO CHECKLIST
To drive SEO success in 2020, you must not turn a blind eye to off-page factors. It may be simple to link, but there is more to that. Below are ways you can carry out this SEO checklist.
Analyze your competitor’s link profile
Just as it is important to analyze your competitor’s content, you should also direct same energy into digging deep in to their link profile. That way, you get to plan a strategy to outrank them.
Conduct link intersect analysis
Conducting a link intersect analysis will often quickly help you to find quick-win opportunities that competitors are enjoying. With the backlink analytics tool, you can enter up to different domains to gain insight into which domains are linking to which of your competitors.
Find new link building opportunities
It is of utmost importance that you build great links to your site. It may be difficult finding these opportunities, but if you use the right tools, your search will be a lot easier. You can use the link building tool as a really simple and straightforward means of seeing a continual steam of new opportunities.
Set Up Google My Business
Off-page factors go way beyond just links, despite these being a key ranking factor.
If you are running a local business, make sure that you rank on Google My Business; otherwise, you will literally be handing visits to a competitor. It is no news that it takes time to optimize your Google My Business to a decent standard. Keep doing it till you have tidied it up. Don’t forget that it takes time but you will definitely gain something.
Now, you have the basic SEO checklist for both beginners and advanced SEOs. Follow them and find at least few ways to improve your site’s optimization and generate traffic. You could also make SEO checklist for yourself that fits perfectly into your own workflow. In other words, you must follow certain rules to generate traffic to your site. Do leave a comment if this guide was helpful.
Also read: Search-engine-optimization-basics