On a broad scale, I see SEO becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics.” – Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager, Bing
Are you in search of an SEO checklist that will assist you in boosting your organic traffic and ranks on Google? We’ve got you covered!
Let’s begin by taking care of a few SEO building blocks. The goal is to help you get some SEO strategies in place that will help you monitor your website’s performance.
Keyword Research Checklist
Great keyword research is critical to any SEO strategy and should be considered an ‘essential pillar’ in your marketing strategy. Without the right keywords, your search engine strategy will fall short. Ensure you have all of these “keyword research benchmarks” covered to maximize your search traffic potential.
Find Your Competitor Keywords
One of the fastest ways to begin with keyword research is to find out which terms your competitors are ranking for and use those terms to optimize your own business as well. Instantly find good keywords to target, and make smarter keyword choices by doing more effective competitor analysis. Customize those keywords to suit your offerings.
Long-Tail Keyword Variations
Your SEO strategy should be targeting long-tail keyword variations on your business’s site as the foundation of your marketing efforts alongside the head terms that people use for searches. What does this mean? Manage and optimize your web presence around these keywords, linking them up to related pages that contain a large amount of context for users searching or browsing for these terms.
Here’s how you can utilize Google Suggest effectively:
- First, begin a new search for any topic in Google by just entering one word. Next, hit enter as if you were looking for results.
- You might notice that Google will show you what comes up with what you entered and similar phrases that include other popular searches related to your topic of interest (in order of relevancy).
Keyword Research Tools
- SEMrush – SEMrush has a grand assortment of tools for advertising and marketing. This includes a full suite of tools that help you conduct research, from backlink analysis to competitive keyword analysis and PPC analyses, so that you can stand out from the competition.
- Adwords Keyword Planner – If you want to know the prevailing search queries in a specific industry right now, you should use Adwords Keyword Planner. This can help you identify which kind of searches people are doing when looking for things to buy in your niche.
Technical SEO Checklist
Technical SEO enables fundamental building blocks for your site. When you are extra thorough about this aspect of SEO, it can mean the difference between a website that can be found by search engines and one that cannot be found. That becomes the bottom line of any successful brand online.
Technical SEO has several best practices that any business owner must work on to ensure his or her startup will become discovered via the organic results in search.
Users should be able to effortlessly interact with your website. Websites should be designed to make it easy for your customers to quickly tap on buttons, engage with media, and – of course – consume content instantly regardless of what device they’re using. One way you can easily achieve this goal is by designing a website that’s fully mobile-friendly! Compatibility to multiple devices is key.
When working with images and video, make sure they load quickly and easily on the users’ end. By doing these little things, the user will feel better able to take action, whether it be reading or giving you their contact information!
Remove Crawl Errors
If a search engine like Google tries to reach a page on your website and they get blocked, a crawl error occurs. You must ensure that every link you’re putting out there goes to an actual page so that Google isn’t left frustrated by being unable to reach some pages of your website.
Be sure whenever you build a new website, you need to double-check that everything’s going to the right place and not leading Google down a rabbit hole. Use the Crawl errors report in Google Search Console, or the Internal broken links check in SEMrush Site Audit to quickly identify potential issues.
Use HTTPS to secure your site.
This is very important: If you have a website, make sure that its SSL / TLS certificate has been acquired and installed. The HTTPS protocol will protect data in transit between end-users and the web server via an encrypted connection.
This is very beneficial for sites that handle personal or sensitive information about your users, such as their credit card data, for example. You can confirm that your site is using HTTPS by looking at your browser’s URL bar. If you see a lock icon, then you are using an encrypted connection. If this does not appear, then your site is unsecured, and transmissions are not being encrypted!
On-Page SEO Checklist
Regardless of what industry you are in, content is of paramount importance. Without great content, you are at risk of struggling to rank and increase your organic traffic. With so much competition, it all comes down to proper, optimized inbound – especially when it comes down to website pages and blog posts for specific search terms.
Internal Links are Important
Internal links (including website links) are an often-neglected SEO strategy in search engine marketing. Developing your site’s internal link structure SEO-wise can greatly boost your search engine rankings.
A solid internal link structure can aid search engines to find the pages on your site, which leads to more traffic from the search engines and greater on-site popularity. Internal links also make it easier for users to navigate through a website because they keep them on one particular website at all times instead of sending them from page to page.
Use ALT tags for Images
Image optimization is an often-neglected area across the web. From naming the file properly to optimizing its size and quality, it is an area that has a huge effect on your site’s SEO. One of the most common mistakes we see is people not using ALT tags properly by failing to describe the content properly in HTML.
Websites that load slowly are not appealing to potential or returning customers. They will leave the site without looking at anything else. Make sure your site does not lose any traffic, it is important to choose images with a file size of less than 5 MB for pictures, and the same constraints apply to other media such as video. This will make sure pages load quickly and easily.
Meta Descriptions can be a Game-changer.
A meta description is a search-friendly snippet displayed below a company’s website URL in search engine results, meaning the next time your business comes up for a user and they decide whether to click through to your site or not. Make sure you have this set up correctly so that you’re drawing in site visitors!
Off-Page SEO Checklist
You’ll need to take care of the Off-Page SEO as best as possible. One way you can achieve this is by making sure that all of the profiles and other pages linked back to your website are up-to-date and relevant, as they may also be considered when ranking a site against others.
Check competitors’ backlink profiles
It’s a good practice to check your competitors’ backlinks, especially if they are direct competitors. You want to investigate their backlink profiles as well as their online competition.
There are many backlinks analytics tools out there that can help you with everything from monitoring your competitors’ rankings to signal reporting or even link removal.
Link Building is essential
Link building is the approach of obtaining links to your company from other companies. In SEO, these links are called backlinks. Getting links from other companies is a good way for Google to see that your company is the authority in your industry. Backlinks are a form of positive feedback and self-signaling which reaffirms your brand’s qualities and its eminence in the market.
Internal Linking System
A solid internal linking strategy designs your site for external SEO activities. A tight funnel effect is formed when internal links are used to direct pages on a site linked on another domain to funnel them through a series of similar or related pages, steering traffic away from non-relevant areas and into a targeted landing page.
To Wrap it Up:
Search engine optimization is an important cornerstone for getting any website to rank well online. In today’s competitive digital world, it’s critical to optimize every way possible and stay up to date on the latest strategies in order to help your content rise to the top. The practices mentioned above are just a few basic guidelines you can use to test and improve your organic search rank over time.