30 Nov Complete SEO Checklist To Improve Your Ranking in 2023
SEO strategies are important tools whether you have a small or big website. SEO helps your audience in reaching out to your website. This is necessary to spread awareness and engage new customers. Owing to this fact, most online businesses look for quick guides on the best SEO strategies.
By browsing the web, you can see a diversity of SEO checklists suitable for different purposes. The most common examples include international, local, and e-commerce SEO.
How about having a fundamental SEO checklist that includes the most important factors to look at, while being concise enough? The SEO checklist discussed here understands these requirements. We have also recommended some smart SEO tools that can simplify your SEO tasks to a much greater extent. Let’s get going!
Website technical SEO aspects to consider
You should put the following things in place to ensure maximum visibility of the content published on your website. You can use them when launching a new website. They are equally beneficial for attracting more visitors to an existing site.
- Register on GSC (Google Search Console)
You can register your website with Google on this platform. You must visit the ‘Google Search Console‘ and log into your existing Google account. Provide the necessary information on the platform to begin. That’s it for now. You can use the console in the future to perform maintenance tasks and submit sitemaps.
- Register on Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing is a widely preferred search engine that works under Microsoft. You can access a series of site owner utilities by registering on ‘Bing Webmaster Tools‘. These site owner tools help you to get Bing indexing. You can also use the SEO and additional functions of these tools to make your website grow online. Visit the official ‘Bing Webmaster Tools’ site and log in to your existing Microsoft account to register on ‘Bing Webmaster Tools’.
- Create an XML Sitemap and Submit to Google and Bing
After your website’s registration, you need to create an XML sitemap in the next step. This will inform search engines about the URLs you add to your site for quicker indexing. Indexing means getting your website ranked on different search engines. Using WordPress, you can get the rankings automatically generated with the Yoast SEO plugin.
- Install Google Analytics
Google provides the Google Analytics tool for free to all users. Being a webmaster, you should install it on your site. You can access limitless varieties of information with Google Analytics on just anything you wish to know about website visitors. You can also access and analyze their engagement pattern with your website. You can use Google Analytics in the future for planning SEO strategies and performing site maintenance tasks.
- Check Your Site Speed
Site speed is a necessary ranking factor that you may commonly ignore. Search engines penalize your website if it runs slowly. You should hence make sure that your site runs smoothly and quickly. You can look for ways to improve your website’s speed using ‘Google Page Speed Insights’.
- Mobile First Design
The quality of your website’s mobile browsing experience also plays an important role in site ranking. Format your website with a decent appearance and quick and simple navigation. This applies to desktop as well as mobile browsing. Google is paying much attention to ‘Mobile-First Indexing’. It would be wise to align your site with the current trend for maintaining and increasing your website’s search engine rankings.
- WordPress SEO
Built-in tools are an important part of SEO checklists. The Yoast SEO Plugin mentioned above is our recommendation in this regard. You can get the necessary tricks and tips for on-page SEO with this tool.
- External SEO
Apart from on-page SEO and website architecture, you can work with off-page SEO. It is a strategy to analyze the progress of your competitors. You can also check backlinks and improve your site’s social media competitiveness with this process. We recommend using ‘Serpstat’ for this purpose. We will explain the usage of this tool for different elements of this SEO checklist. We will also add screenshots from the tool where applicable in the upcoming sections.
Keyword Research SEO Checklist
When you have set up your website, the next step is to plan the content. You are anyway browsing an SEO checklist, so search engine optimization must be the focus of all content on the website. This is most important for generating maximum traffic from non-branded keywords, in case you write blog posts. You should plan a careful keyword strategy to ensure massive visitor traffic.
- Find Keywords Relevant to Your Business
After a website setup, your SEO checklist guides you toward keyword research. You can search keywords in different ways. The commonest method is to look for keywords actually. There are many free and paid online tools available for keyword research. Make sure you target low-competition keywords with high volume searches.
- Check Search Volumes for Keywords
SEO optimization does not end with finding the correct keywords. The reason behind this is the greater popularity of some specific keywords than the regular ones. The differences can result from factors like relevance, subject awareness, and others. A sample of a keyword search performed in Serpstat showing search volumes according to keyword variation is given below.
- Know Search Intent for Keywords
In the simplest words, search intent defines the expectations of visitors from a keyword search. You can also understand the visitors’ need for searching the particular keyword. For example, someone may search ‘puppy house training tips’ for getting tips on reducing the risk of ‘accidents’ for their new puppy. He/she may also look for the keyword to help a friend having a puppy with the acquired information. You can see 2 different search intents from this example.
The best method for confirming a keyword’s search intent is searching on Google for the keyword and looking through the results. Google is a company of intelligent and smart professionals. They are experts at identifying the visitors’ search intent when searching for a particular keyword.
If the Google search results for your target keyword don’t match the services and products offered by your company, you should switch to a different keyword. The first keyword may not get ranked the way you want. Even if it does, there are limited chances of it staying on the first page of Google search results for a long time.
- Make Sure You Check the Keyword Difficulty
You should include the point of finding out the competitiveness of each keyword on your SEO checklist. A keyword with a limited number of associated web pages may have a low competency. On the other hand, a keyword that everybody is posting on has higher competitiveness. In most cases, targeting the ‘easier’ keywords is considered a smart move till you create a greater domain authority than your competition.
On-Page Content SEO Checklist
Having your keyword strategy set up and ready, you can move ahead with creating actual content using the target keyword for creating SEO-optimized content. Like the previously stated sections of this checklist, SEO is also important at this stage. Listed below are the major factors you should look at in this SEO checklist while moving ahead with content creation.
- Use The Target Keyword in the Most Relevant Parts of Your Website
You should particularly make sure to include the target keyword in your SEO, SEO title, H1 title, description, a few subheadings, and the starting paragraph. This makes it easy for search engines to locate your target keyword. The early keyword placement also states its significance in general.
- Include Target Keyword In Your Page URL
Long URLs are harder to share online. Platforms like Twitter have URL shorteners, but every content distribution channel does not have the facility. Also, including your target keyword in the page URL indicates its significance to the search engines as well as the viewers of the URL. This makes it easy to find and remember your page.
- Optimize Your Images for Speed
Slow loading of your website is an automatic hindrance to your SEO. Bing and Google never prefer slow websites. Also, visitors tend to leave your site if it takes too long to load. Leaving visitors increases the bounce rate, which brings down your site’s SEO ranking.
- Include ‘Alt Tags’ on all Images
An alt tag is the text you place behind the images added to your content. It works as your image’s description and helps in the SEO processes of getting indexed by search engines. Alt tags also provide an image description that can be detected by screen readers used by the blind. It appears even if the image takes time to load, or does not load at all.
- Link to Authority Sites
An SEO checklist is incomplete without a discussion of domain authority. Search engines identify websites with high domain authority as significant places for topic-related information. Linking to these authoritative websites, you can establish yourself as an expert, which improves your domain authority. Moving a step further, this helps you in getting a better position on the SERPs.
- Include Internal Links to Your Content
Internal linking is an important step to maximize your SEO performance. The strategy motivates your site visitors to navigate through other pages. This helps them to view the additional content offered by your website. The trick works exceptionally well for blogging and e-commerce sites. The general effectiveness of your website is increased if customers linger on it. The added links increase your overall SEO strength. If you are a WordPress user, LinkWhisper can help you do this in a better way.
- Increase Dwell Time by Including Visual Elements
In the simplest words, the amount of time visitors spend on your web pages is called the dwell time. Dwell time is also specified for the website as a whole. It is calculated for each visitor logging on to your site in this case. Search engines use these 2 metrics to determine the relevance of your website for the interested visitors in your niche. Your website becomes a welcoming place for visitors to spend time when you add visual elements. These elements are also an additional opportunity for adding SEO keyword information.
- Leverage Semantic Content Optimization with Keyword Clustering
Keyword clustering breaks down your keywords into different groups. For instance, one keyword category on this website is related to content marketing, while the other one is SEO specific.
- Add ‘Schema Markup’ Where It’s Possible
Schema markup is a system developed by the leading search engines for showing website owners the importance of their content. The markup helps the search engine in a proper analysis of the site. The search engine can hence, more accurately catalog the information. If you take keywords as high-level category tools, search engines can dig deeper with the help of schema markers.
Post-Publishing SEO Checklist
Pushing the ‘Publish’ button is not the end of the SEO process. To increase organic traffic from search engines, you should continue the website, while building upon its existing content. You can follow the ‘Publishing SEO Checklist’ post for driving more links to your content.
- Know Your Google Search Engine Rankings
After successful SEO efforts, you can expect to rank for the target keywords of your content. Track them regularly. Pay attention to the major changes that signal competitiveness, search intent trends, or other important factors.
- Optimize Google CTRs
Looking at the SEO checklist, building and maintaining the favorable links you receive for your site’s content becomes important. You can do this with the help of A/B testing, which increases your Click-Through Rate on Google. For instance, you can do this with tools like ‘ClickFlow’ to enhance your success possibility. Your SERP ranking gets a boost when visitors click on search engine results to view your page.
- Republish Outdated Content
All content on your website cannot be evergreen, despite your sincere efforts to make it relevant for a considerable period. For example, content on large in-person gatherings has become less important in the last 2 years. Such posts often needed an update by their creators. You can update your content by saying things everyone wishes to know according to the shifts in discussions, or changes in circumstances.
- Prune Irrelevant Content Time by Time
Knowing the right time to take something offline is a significant part of an SEO checklist. You should remove content from your website when it becomes irrelevant or outdated, and cannot be updated further. Eliminating invaluable content from your site keeps visitors interested while maintaining your SERP position over time.
- Find Google Search Console Crawl Errors
Smart machines can also make mistakes. Google Search Console lets you see Google’s crawling time and activity on your website for indexing it. You can also see where technical errors were made, and problems like misunderstanding your content popped up. You can then submit the needed corrections to Google from this platform.
- Fix Broken Links
Broken links are a big threat to SERP rankings. Site owners keep removing and relocating pages over time. You can face the issue of a broken link at this instant. If your website has a lot of broken links, it can be penalized by search engines. Fixing or removing them, therefore, becomes quite important. Also, most of your visitors get frustrated on running into broken links. Too many broken links are a hindrance to the regular traffic on your website.
Using the audit functionality of Serpstat, and similar SEO tools, you can look for and redirect the broken links if required.
- Build Backlinks through Guest Post
The freedom to guest post on the blogs of fellow creators is what we enjoy the most about being a blogger. This is exciting and fun while being a great help for the SEO of our websites through backlinks. Our visitors navigate the other creators’ sites, and theirs check mine. Guest posting is, therefore, an intelligent idea for strengthening your site’s SEO.
- Build Backlinks by Appearing on Podcasts
You can appear on podcasts to smartly get backlinks for your web content. We have a self-created and running podcast. You can, however, see me as a guest in other people’s podcasts as well. In the same way, We invite guests to our ‘Your Digital Marketing Coach’ podcast occasionally. We show courtesy to them by linking to their sites in our show notes. This also helps our visitors with added information.
The more backlinks you get from other creators and websites, the better it gets for your site. You should, however, avoid appearing on podcasts just for getting backlinks. Keep posting information-serving content on your site to get a natural flow of backlinks.
- Build Backlinks With HARO
The last point on this SEO checklist is also about backlinks. HARO, or ‘Help a Reporter Out’ is a web space for media persons and reporters to ask for sources for some particular content they wish to create. You may be asked for a quote submission over a phone interview. Most of the time, such quotes also backlink your website on being published as an attribution. HARO offers great help for being found, showcasing your proficiency, and building backlinks for your site.
Looking at its widespread aspects, SEO requires sincere effort and hard work. The exponential increase in the competition level across the web in the recent past has established the truth of this fact. Also, the number of tools used to improve search engine rankings has become larger than ever. However, you can stand a strong chance to fight this competition by adhering to the guidelines discussed in the SEO checklist.
About Author: Parker2010.com is Local SEO Agency in Chicago offering a range of Digital Marketing Services including Local SEO, social media, keyword research, on-page optimization and content marketing services in California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts, Tennessee, New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Boston along with United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
At Parker2010.com, we have a team of Local SEO experts who can help you optimize your website for local SEO. We can help you claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, build high-quality links, and optimize your website for search engines.
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