SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most important requirements for websites to rank well on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
A type of search engine marketing, SEO helps websites rank higher in result pages. This is a process of ensuring that the contents of your site and pages are current, engaging, and creates value for your users.
It is a given that SEO will be a big part of a new website during development. Additionally, it should be part of most digital marketing strategies. Hence, to increase your website’s visibility, you must outline a comprehensive plan.
Nevertheless, as of today, we believe many brands struggle with the self-implementation of SEO. Usually, this is because they lack the money or the knowledge to do so.
There is a number of things to keep in mind. That is why we need a proper SEO Checklist even before starting the actual SEO work.
And if you are a website owner eager to build your audience and increase your organic search rankings, this post is for you. The following SEO Checklist will help you optimize your website.
SEO Checklist for all Website
Free Reporting Platforms
We start our SEO Checklist with the best free reporting platforms. Ensure your site is linked to Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager. Throughout the process, you will also need to work with SEO agencies. They provide you with diagnostic and analytical data that you can use along your journey.
Google Search Console
Using Search Console, you can see how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites. Website owners can use this to monitor and optimize their Search performance. This tool does not require daily logins.
Google Analytics lets you find out how to best reach your audience. Additionally, it identifies the channels that drive traffic to your website. You can use the Audience section to get valuable insight into the demographics of your site’s visitors.
Google Tag Manager
A free tool called Google Tag Manager lets you manage and deploy marketing tags on your website without modifying the HTML code. Through Google Tag Manager, information from one data source (your website) can be shared with another data source (Analytics). With lots of tags to manage, GTM becomes very handy because all of the code can be managed from one place. This one does, however, require some training.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools (Bing WMT) help add sites to the Bing crawler to appear on the SERPs. It is very useful in maintaining a site’s visibility. It can come in handy for anyone running a website. Be it a developer, owner, administrator, or marketer.
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Yoast SEO is a WordPress plug-in for search engine optimization. In addition to five million active installations, the plugin has been downloaded over 310 million times. It helps check your blog posts for readability, improve transitions, and provide tips on how to make your blog better. It is a must-have addition for any website owner.
Next in our SEO Checklist, you need to work on your XML Sitemaps. XML Sitemaps provide search engines with an overview of a website’s content by listing all of its pages. The use of an XML Sitemap is highly recommended for larger websites (500+ pages). Implement an XML sitemap by following these best practices:
- Refer to the XML sitemap in your robots.txt file.
- XML Sitemaps should not include more than 50,000 URLs.
- Update your website’s XML Sitemaps regularly.
- Be sure to keep it clean.
- And include indexable pages.
- Uncompressed files should not exceed 50MB.
How can you benefit from an XML Sitemaps?
An XML sitemap is a mechanism for letting search engines know about new or updated content on a website. Therefore, implementing them whenever possible is recommended. In addition, they are a necessity for large websites (500+ pages).
Robots.txt is a very crucial aspect of having a polished website. The file informs search engines about which pages or parts of the site not to index. As a rule, search engines look at all content they can find. If you don’t want search engines to index any pages on your site, then make sure this file exists:
- Is accurate.
- Validates in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Keeps important content (or your site in general) from accidentally being blocked.
How important is robots.txt?
Search engines read your Robots.txt file to determine which pages to crawl and index. In addition, it tells web robots which pages not crawl. By doing so, you can ensure that your website is secure and achieve the best results concerning SEO.
SEO Checklist about Website & Domains
The HTTP protocol is how Google distinguishes secure websites from non-secure ones. Essentially, HTTP is a virtual process that transfers information from a website to a visitor’s browser. With HTTPS, Google can ensure that the searcher’s information is safe while being indexed by Google.
As you probably guessed, the “S” stands for “secure.” You’ll need an SSL certificate to secure your website domain. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and its successor TLS (Transport Layer Security) allow computers to establish encrypted, authenticated links between each other. Your developer can assist you with secure your site, or you can hire website developers to do it. Remember that securing your site is extremely important for website owners.
Website architecture is the first thing to get right up front when building a site. You can make it much easier for Google to see who you are. If you organize your website into subdirectories and have clear strings of text (slugs) at the end of each URL. If, for example, you intend to launch a blog about SEO services and publish content relating to optimization, SEO, and link building– you should consider organizing the content of your website into that three sub-categories.
Well-established page authority is necessary to attract Google’s attention. The foundation is built upon topics. Accordingly, the more relevant content you publish, the higher your rank in search engine results. Remember, your brand can have the most beautiful website on the internet. But without SEO, prospective customers may have difficulty finding it.
Focus on SEO to create a user experience that’s engaging and effective. Keep in mind that SEO success depends on a combination of quality backlinks, positive user experience, and optimized on-page content. You now have a basic understanding of SEO. Fresh content comes along with it. That is, the higher the quality of content you make, the more trusted you become.
This leads to increasing authority and patronage for your brand. Keep in mind, branding yourself as an authority will take time and effort and a bit of storytelling as well. And quality SEO is key to achieving this goal.
The purpose of a search (or user intent) is to find information that addresses a particular need. It is the purpose behind a searcher’s query. In addition, it also plays a crucial role in improving your page ranking. So if you don’t include content that people want to read to make their lives easier, then you are unlikely to ever rank on the SERPs. A searcher’s intent is what drives their query. It is crucial to rank on page one. Content that is geared towards search intent is more likely to rank well. In addition, a page that fails to satisfy search intent cannot rank. Therefore, consider search intent while creating posts for your product.
What are the Types of Search Intent?
Ideally, there are four types of Search Intent. They are:
- Users seek information specific to their needs.
- Specific pages are recommended by search engines.
- Hence, provide valuable content that users will find useful.
- When a user searches for a specific website or tool.
- Questions such as ‘How do I’ are asked.
- Explain how you offer visitors value through different scenarios.
- Customers look for products when they are ready to buy.
- Looks for products that match specific criteria.
- Then purchases the item.
- Buyers are ready to make a purchase.
- Make the purchase process easy.
- Accomplish this by providing good user experiences.
A title tag is an HTML element used to specify the title of a web page. A title tag appears as a clickable headline on search engine results pages (SERPs). You can boost your search rankings with them. So, make sure that your headline includes compelling title tags. When writing Title Tags, don’t forget to include keywords while translating the topic clearly. If possible, limit your text to 60 characters, as visitors are only attentive for three seconds. Hence, keep it short and include a solution to a pain point.
Best Practices for Title Tag
- Include targeted keywords
- Clearly explain topics.
- No more than 60 characters.
- Avoid duplicating title tags.
- Stay away from keyword stuffing.
- Be concise.
- Provide a solution.
Every web page contains a meta description, which is a short chunk of HTML code. They display the title and description of a web page, as on the front and back of a book. Meta descriptions are the second most important factor in SEO. By providing search engines with more information about your site’s content, it improves SEO. This is why high quality website content is important.
Additionally, it affects Clickthrough Rate (CTR). You should strive to add a compelling meta description within 160 words (an industry standard). Additionally, make sure to add target keywords to rank higher in the SERPS. To write amazing meta descriptions, follow these best practices:
- Meta descriptions should be unique to each page.
- Ensure that it aligns with the page’s goal to reduce bounce rates.
- Ensure that your content is action-oriented.
- Use a call to action to get people to click.
- Include targeted keywords.
- Including search intent simplifies the work of the customer.
- Meta descriptions should be accurate.
SEO Checklist about using images
Once you’re done with the title tags and meta description, you need to focus on image optimization. It allows pages to load faster, improves your SEO rankings, and provides a better user experience. Image optimization accelerates page load time, increases SEO rankings, and enhances the overall user experience.
Keep in mind that large image files can cause the servers to slow down. Thus make sure that the image files are small but captivating. Consider using plugins to get it done for you because good images can boost organic traffic. Remember that a picture says a thousand words. Therefore, use them wisely. You can also hire professionals to do the job for you.
To learn more about SEO, you can read our blog: Why you need SEO Service
Use Multiple Images
A wide range of images helps your prospects better understand your product. It is essential to take numerous photos so that people are attracted to your website first. The end result is that your business has more opportunities.
Utilize High-resolution Photos
I think we all hate seeing choppy images, don’t we? Visual search can attract prospects when you have high-quality photos. Photos will be used by Google to match search queries. If your images are blurry or pixelated, this makes it hard for Google to crawl your site. Additionally, high-resolution images allow you to clearly showcase your product. Therefore, it is likely to lead to a more engaged and interested audience.
Conduct Keyword Research
We’ve probably mentioned keyword research a thousand times by now. Keyword research not only affects SEO, but also the visual search aspect. Keyword optimization allows for more accurate product descriptions. Additionally, your results will be sorted correctly. For visual search, however, we suggest using long-tail keywords.
To simplify your life, we’ve outlined a few tools to assist you:
- It speeds up a website and conserves bandwidth.
- Reduces PNG file size by 50-80% while preserving full transparency.
- Adapts smart lossy techniques to compress PNG and JPEG.
- Convert images into web-friendly formats.
- It’s one of the best tools for Mac users.
- Google usually suggests it.
- Excellent for JPEG, not so good for PNG.
- Compress images by 90%.
- Quality is not compromised.
- Fantastic WordPress plugin.
- Monthly plan includes 100 images for free.
Alt Text is a phrase or word that is used in an HTML document to inform viewers about the nature or content of the image. It appears in a blank area normally containing the image.
Alt Texts for images are essential as Google’s machine learning can decipher the content and images. This format simplifies the task of robots in understanding what the picture is doing and why it will be needed in search results.
Additionally, it makes web accessibility easier and helps browsers better understand images on a site.
Alt Text content also provides information-rich content that utilizes keywords and context to make Google’s job easier and guide the reader to the most relevant content on a page.
It is important to remember that you should always avoid keyword stuffing as it is no different from spamming. Misuse of Alt Text negatively impacts the user experience.
As you want to work with your customers, don’t bait or trick them into accepting something that isn’t useful.
Also, ensure your content is relevant because if it isn’t, Google will penalize you with a high bounce rate. Which will lead to your site being considered spam.
Finally, make sure to never skip on providing Alt Texts, be concise in your descriptions, refrain from keyword stuffing, and just do the right thing for your customers.
HTML documents use Alt Text to inform viewers about the nature or content of an image. It simplifies the task of robots in understanding the picture and why it is needed in the search results.
SEO Checklist about Web pages
Optimize Your Page
In SEO, optimizing the speed of the website is extremely important. In addition, many people now use mobile devices to find information before purchasing a product or service.
During COVID, the majority of transactions were made by mobile phone. As a result, people are making major life decisions using mobile devices.
Thus, if your service or website is personal. People may look for you first on a mobile device rather than on a computer.
Hence, speed optimization is necessary for your website. Make sure your website loads quickly for mobile phones. In other words, if your site is not optimized, you’ll leave many visitors dissatisfied. As a result, your ranking will plummet.
Google ranks websites with relevant content, fast page loads, and good user experiences. Therefore, ensuring that your website loads quickly is vital to your success.
Bear in mind that people only have a 3-second attention span. Will you be the one presenting the content or information during that time? If you don’t, they’ll switch to someone else and you’ll lose customers.
FREE Tools for Checking Web Speed
A key element of SEO is optimizing page speed. However, tools that test page speed are likely to cost you money. You can accomplish the same task for free using these tools:
- Shows how to improve page insight score
- Analyzes the content of a website
- Provides suggestions to make that page faster
- All-in-one toolset for enhancing online visibility
- Provides marketing insights
- Helps optimize website speed with site audits
- Gives an insight into page speed
- Shows what slows it down
- Provides recommendations to improve
- Get a free website audit
- Insights within 5 seconds
- Shows how fast your website is
Focus on URL Structure
When it comes to SEO, URLs are often overlooked. People often forget to optimize URLs while searching for a good domain. In any case, a good URL structure helps you tell what the content of the page is. Google recommends that the URL structure of a site be as simple as possible. In order to ensure that everyone can understand your content, consider structuring it logically and in an easy-to-read way. Because short URLs come up higher in the search engine results, try using them. Including the target keywords will help you rank higher in search engines. It is possible to determine the best words for URLs using Yoast. Lastly, don’t use words that fail to inspire action. Finally, check to see if the URLs look clean.
SEO Checklist about Content Creation
Content is often overlooked by clients. Ranking your website higher relies heavily on content. There is even a quote from Bill Gates, claiming that ‘content is king.’ In other words, adding fresh content to your website will provide authority and credibility. Hence, attracting more customers. Maintain regular updates to your site’s content to ensure it’s well-written and unique. You can always expect copywriting services from SEO companies. Therefore, use them wisely. In addition, we can provide content writing ninjas if you need them.
Try publishing Long-Form Content
This is a crucial one and should be at the top of our SEO Checklist. We cannot stress enough how long-form content helps rank your site in Google. It’s true that short content is useful, but the real magic is in longer ones. It is best to create long-form content for SEO purposes.
According to SEMrush, it helps you rank higher on Google. In fact, shares and traffic of content with 3000+ words are 3 times higher. In contrast to short articles, they are linked more often. Consider user needs over SEO standards when writing. Optimize your site to give users a good experience.
Ensure that your content is easy to understand as it converts leads into customers. It is possible to address customers’ pain points via long-form content. Therefore, gain knowledge before writing. Finally, make sure your target keywords are easily understandable
SEO Checklist about Keywords
Using Long Tail Keywords
The sales volume for long-tail keywords tends to below. However, they can also help you find the customers you need. You could, for instance, use the keyword ‘pen’. The word ‘pen’ will be searched tens of thousands of times. For example, if you say, “purple pen writes neatly,” it, would make a big difference to your customers.
This is because they intend to acquire something which will benefit them. Select mid-tail keywords with low to medium difficulty when you have a low search volume. It is possible to determine keyword difficulty by using tools such as SEMrush.
While Ubersuggest is a good tool to help you find keywords that are relevant to your content. To get the maximum benefit from your website, stick with best practices and follow the latest SEO trends.
Voice and Visual Search
Search has experienced a paradigm shift as a result of rapid AI advancement. We’re about to see search become even better and more intuitive. Through the use of natural language processing (NLP), voice search is possible. Similarly, visual search can be performed with the help of computer vision. This technology can completely transform the way people conduct searches.
The availability of voice search features is increasing rapidly. And we bet that you have used voice search at least once in the past six months.
In fact, more than 50% of searches are expected to be carried out over voice search in the next few years. And when implemented correctly, voice search can improve a business’s SEO and customer experience.
Voice SEO is a good way to increase search engine rankings. And, these facts will motivate you to think about it:
In fact, voice searches have generated $2 billion in sales so far, and 31% of smartphone owners use voice search every week.
Do these figures indicate that you need to optimize your site for voice? Most brands, however, have not yet adopted voice search, which makes early adoption even more important. Therefore, why wait? Keep up with the competition by including voice search in your enterprise SEO strategy.
An emerging trend in digital marketing is visual search. It involves taking pictures. Certain products are more easily accessible to consumers because of it. Clicking on an image allows users to identify a number of places, items, and terms. As per BusinessWire, 62% of millennials and Gen Z prefer visual search. As such, we wouldn’t be surprised to see visual search become widespread.
We have been asking our clients to utilize AI for digital marketing for a while now. This is because AI has sparked a paradigm shift in marketing and has made customer retention easier.
By artificial intelligence (AI), computers replicate human intelligence. As a result, they mimic human actions and think like humans. As of 2021, Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. AI is always with you, from your smartphone to your search engine and email. It boosts your traffic and improves your SEO ranking.
As far as marketers are concerned, they are still pushing forward. AI has allowed them to become more proficient with its tools. Further, AI is automating processes formerly carried out by humans. So it’s high time you integrate AI into your digital marketing solutions as well. You can also get an in-depth understanding of the positive impact AI will have on your brand by reading our blog: Artificial Intelligence in Marketing
Have a Social Media Marketing Strategy
The use of social media marketing boosts brand awareness, visibility, and results in increased sales. It helps to brand on Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks.
Social media marketing plays a crucial role in digital marketing. By collaborating with other sectors, social media marketing can produce incredible results.
Forbes reports 97% of marketers are using social media to boost their businesses. Social media also helps 78% of salespeople outsell their peers.
In other words, social media marketing helps businesses grow their brand and attract customers. In addition, customers are also able to contribute to brand messaging. Despite its affordability, not all businesses take advantage of it. Once you read our blog, you’ll definitely be convinced to get to know the benefits of having an SMM strategy.
Finally, Remember Black and White Hat SEO
This will be the last step in our SEO Checklist. Your perspective on SEO is changing, and you realize its importance now, which is awesome! Do you know that it’s possible to optimize your SEO strategy in two different ways? They’re referred to as Black Hat (utilizing tactics that go against search engine guidelines) and White Hat (following search engine guidelines and ethical practices).
In white hat SEO, you follow the rules. In short, you follow search engine guidelines and use only ethical techniques.
While a black hat SEO campaign uses tactics that go against search engine guidelines. The activities could range from keyword stuffing to more dangerous ones. It will eventually result in Google penalizing your website (i.e., having it appear on page 7 or 8). That’s as good as dead, isn’t it?
In other words, black hat SEO sites use techniques and strategies that harm search rankings and don’t inform users about the type of audience they are targeting.
Unlike black hat SEO, white hat SEO targets human audiences rather than search engines. White hat SEO techniques include keywords, keyword analysis, conducting research, rewriting meta tags to make them more relevant, linking, and writing content for human readers. If used correctly, white hat SEO can last for years for those who apply it to their websites.
These are the must-have SEO Checklist for any website owner. There’s actually more to include in this SEO Checklist. But these are the essentials that will give you a head start on creating a website. Remember to implement these to get your site up and running in no time.
Nevertheless, if you are unsure of what to do about the SEO Checklist, you can rely on us. With our cheap SEO solutions, businesses in Melbourne and all over Australia can have a competitive advantage online. Our SEO service for small businesses is specially designed. Therefore, it is affordable to all!
Feel free to dial or drop a line whenever you want! It will be a pleasure to talk!
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