Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be overwhelming without a clear map. To simplify the content, I decided to compile a free SEO checklist.
The checklist includes strategic keyword usage, efficient linking practices, and ensuring your site’s compatibility with search engine crawlers. Regardless of your SEO level, this checklist will help you dominate search engine rankings and attract more traffic.
This article provides an SEO checklist for 2023 in 6 important areas. You can apply each strategy once, periodically, or ongoing.
The SEO Basics checklist covers everything you need to set your site up correctly (including analytics tools and SEO plugins).
The Keyword Research checklist covers the keyword research process, from mastering search intent to finding valuable target keywords.
The Content checklist provides detailed information to craft the best content.
The On-page SEO checklist provides optimization strategies for your content.
The Link Building checklist helps you get high-quality backlinks.
The Technical SEO checklist allows you to resolve all the technical problems.
How To Use This SEO Checklist?
I have compiled everything I know about SEO in this free checklist. The checklist includes 6 sections:
Off-page SEO and Link Building.
Moreover, I will show you exactly when you should use these tactics. Some of these tasks can be done once, periodically, or ongoing.
SEO Basics Checklist (Do this once)
Set Up Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a fundamental tool for any website. It gives insights into how your website performs in search results. Here’s how to set it up:
Create a Google Account: If you don’t already have one, create a Google account. The account gives you access to all Google’s tools.
Visit the Google Search Console Website: Go to the Google Search Console site and click on Start Now.
Add a Property: Add a new property on the dashboard – this is just SEO jargon for your website. Enter your website URL.
Verify Ownership: Verify that you own the website. Google provides several methods for this; one of them is uploading an HTML file to your website. Follow the instructions provided and then click Verify.
Explore the Dashboard: Once verified, you can access data about your site’s performance, any crawl errors, search engine traffic, and more.
Set up Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing also offers its webmaster tools to help you improve your site’s visibility in Bing.
These tools give you valuable insights about your site’s performance on Bing so that you can make data-driven decisions to enhance your SEO strategy.
Learn how to set it up here.
Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is your ticket to understanding your website visitors’ behavior. It’s like having a feedback loop with your audience without asking them a single question. Exciting, right?
Hootsuite has a great article on setting up Google Analytics. Check it out!
Remember, Google Analytics is a powerful tool, but only if you take the time to understand the data and use it to make informed decisions.
Install SEO plugins
SEO plugins help you optimize the Three Kings, which I will mention later. This process can significantly improve your search rankings.
I highly recommend 2 options: Yoast SEO and All-in-one SEO. I prefer using Yoast SEO to optimize Newbies Media. This powerful SEO plugin is a favorite among many users because of its user-friendly interface and comprehensive optimization features.
After installing Yoast SEO, you can access many tools to improve your site’s SEO. It guides you to write better content, optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, and more, ensuring your website is friendly for users and search engines.
The ultimate goal of installing SEO plugins is to enhance your website’s visibility and drive more organic traffic. So, once installed, explore its features and utilize them to the fullest.
Create and Submit a Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that helps search engines find, crawl, and index your content. It directs them to all the important pages on your site, ensuring that they don’t miss anything crucial.
If you are using WordPress, a sitemap is automatically generated.
If you are not on WordPress, you can generate it via XML-Sitemaps.com. Then, you can submit the sitemap on Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster like this:
Google said that regularly updating your sitemap is a good rule of thumb. It allows search engines to find and index your pages faster.
Keyword Research Checklist (Ongoing)
Master the Search Intent
Understanding search intent is an essential aspect of any successful SEO strategy. Search intent refers to the reason why a user conducts a specific search. Are they looking to purchase a product? Are they seeking information or answers to a question? Understanding this can help you tailor your content to the users’ needs.
When you master the search intent, you align your content with the searcher’s goal. This makes your content more relevant to their search, increasing the chances of your website appearing on the search engine results pages. It’s about getting into the searcher’s mind and delivering exactly what they want.
To help you master search intent, consider the four main types of search queries: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial investigation. Once you’ve identified the type of search intent your target audience primarily uses, you can use this knowledge to inform your keyword strategy and content creation.
Understand search volumes
Search volume is the number of searches expected for a particular keyword over a certain period. These numbers are usually averaged over 12 months to account for seasonality and provide a more comprehensive view.
For instance, a keyword like “holiday gifts” might have a higher search volume in November and December but a significantly lower volume throughout the rest of the year. By averaging the search volume over a year, you get a more accurate picture of the keyword’s potential reach.
Search volume data is extremely useful in prioritizing keywords. High search volume keywords can indicate high demand or popularity, equating to more potential visitors if you can rank for those terms. However, remember that these popular keywords often come with stronger competition.
An effective SEO strategy typically combines a mix of high-volume and low-volume keywords. For instance, you might target a high-volume keyword like “running shoes” alongside a lower-volume, yet more specific keyword like “women’s waterproof running shoes.” This balanced approach allows you to compete in the crowded marketplace while catering to more niche queries.
Understand keyword difficulty
Keyword difficulty is a critical metric that helps you understand the level of competition in ranking for a particular keyword. It’s essentially a measure of how hard it would be to outrank a keyword’s top-ranking pages.
A high keyword difficulty score indicates that the top-ranking pages are well-optimized and have a strong backlink profile, making it more challenging to outrank them. Conversely, a low keyword difficulty score suggests you have a better chance of ranking higher with well-optimized content and a robust SEO strategy.
You can find keyword difficulty scores through various SEO solutions. It’s important to note that while it may be tempting to target only low-difficulty keywords, remember that these often come with lower search volumes.
Find a balance and aim for a mix of keywords, some with higher difficulty but high search volume and others with lower difficulty and search volume. This diverse approach allows you to reach a broad audience while targeting more specific, niche queries.
Find your seed keyword
Your seed keyword, often known as a core or primary keyword, is the foundational term that defines the content of your page. It is the umbrella under which all your secondary keywords and related phrases are housed. Your seed keyword should be highly relevant to your topic, fairly broad, and indicative of your audience’s intent.
You can find your seed keyword by using an SEO tool like Ahrefs. Just type in any keyword you can think of in the Keyword Explorer tool. Then, look at the section “Parent Topic.” If the keyword in the parent topic matches the keyword you are researching, it is the seed keyword.
Find long-tail keyword variations
Long-tail keywords are extended phrases related to your seed keyword. They are typically 3 to 5 words long and are more specific than the seed keyword. Due to their specificity, long-tail keywords usually have lower search volumes but higher conversion rates than broader keywords.
There are several methods to find long-tail variations, and one effective way is to use the Google autocomplete feature. This function predicts and displays search queries based on what you start typing into the search bar.
Go to the Google search page and start typing your seed keyword. As you type, Google will suggest different search terms that people often use. These suggestions can give you a wealth of long-tail keyword options that are closely related to your seed keyword.
For example, suppose your seed keyword is “digital marketing strategies”. As you start typing it into the Google search bar, you might see suggestions like “digital marketing strategies for small business,” “digital marketing strategies and tactics,” or “digital marketing strategies to increase brand awareness.” These are all long-tail variations of your seed keyword.
Target keywords that your competitors are ranking for
Knowing what keywords your competitors are ranking for can give you a strategic advantage. You can leverage this information to discover potential keywords you might have overlooked.
To do this, start by identifying your main competitors. These could be businesses offering similar products or websites appearing when you search for your seed keywords.
Once you’ve identified your competitors, use a tool like Ahrefs to analyze their websites. You will find a list of keywords they are ranking for. Pay specific attention to the high-volume keywords where your competitors rank in the top 10 but your website does not.
For example, if you are in the SEO niche, Search Engine Journal could be your competitor. You can do a competitor analysis of the Search Engine Journal and then pull all the keywords it ranks for.
Remember, just because a keyword is effective for your competitor does not automatically mean it will work for you. Consider the relevance of each keyword to your content. Does it align with your brand? Will it help you attract the right audience?
This competitor analysis can give you a broader view of the keyword landscape in your industry. It allows you to spot trends, opportunities, and gaps you can capitalize on.
Create a keyword map
A keyword map is a framework that links keywords to specific pages on your website. This not only helps with on-page SEO but also assists you in creating content that is relevant to your audience.
I often use Surfer SEO for this process. Surfer SEO is a robust keyword research tool that helps you identify related keywords for specific topics.
Surfer SEO has a great article on how to create a keyword map (topic cluster). Feel free to check it out!
Content checklist (Ongoing)
Solve problems for your readers
Your content should solve your readers’ problems. Understand your audience’s pain points and craft content to address these challenges.
For instance, if you are in the web development niche, your readers might struggle with creating responsive designs or optimizing their website speed. Therefore, creating a comprehensive guide on How to build a responsive website or Tips to improve website speed will provide immense value to your audience.
Remember, the goal is not to attract visitors but to retain them and turn them into loyal readers and, potentially, customers. When your content consistently solves problems and adds value, your audience will perceive you as an authority in your field. This trust is fundamental to generating sustainable, organic traffic to your website.
Write a compelling intro
The introduction of your content is your first chance to capture your reader’s attention, which can significantly affect whether they choose to continue reading. Statistics indicate that the average reader only spends 10-20 seconds on a web page before deciding to stay or leave. Your introduction must be compelling and engaging enough to convince your reader within those first few seconds.
Start with a hook that immediately draws the reader in. This could be a surprising fact, a provocative question, or a bold statement related to your topic. This sets the tone for the rest of your content and primes your readers for what’s to come.
Moreover, your intro isn’t just about grabbing attention – it’s about maintaining it. Ensure your introduction provides a clear and concise overview of what your content will cover to set the right expectations. This builds curiosity and trust, as readers will feel assured that they’re investing their time wisely.
Structure your content with headings
Headings create a roadmap for your content. They break up large blocks of text, making it easier to read and providing a clear outline of your content’s flow, allowing readers to navigate and understand your key points easily.
Like chapters in a book or signs on a highway, headings guide your readers through your content, letting them know what’s coming next. Creating descriptive and engaging headings is important to pique your readers’ interest and keep them engaged.
Moreover, headings play a vital role in SEO. Search engines, like Google, use headings to understand the content on your page. Proper use of H1, H2, and H3 tags can improve the visibility of your content in search results.
So, put some thought into your headings – they’re more than just big, bold text; they’re strategic signposts directing both your readers and search engines.
Add flavors to your content
A picture is worth a thousand words. Incorporating relevant images and videos into your content can vastly improve engagement and understanding. Visual aids, such as infographics, screenshots, or tutorial videos, can help break down complex ideas into digestible, easy-to-understand formats.
Moreover, they provide a welcome break from text, making your content more visually appealing and less monotonous. An eye-catching image or a captivating video can hold your reader’s attention and keep them engaged with your content longer.
Just remember that every image or video you include should serve a purpose. Whether it’s to illustrate a point, demonstrate a process, or break up text, make sure it adds value to your content. After all, you aim to enhance your reader’s experience, not just to fill space.
Additionally, remember to optimize your images and videos for SEO. This process includes using descriptive file names, adding alt text for images, and using video transcripts. These steps will help search engines understand and index your visual content, boosting your visibility in search results.
Add a table of contents
A table of contents is valuable for improving user experience and SEO. It provides a roadmap of your content, enabling readers to navigate easily to the sections that most interest them. This improvement in usability can lead to a longer consuming time on your page, which is a positive signal to search engines.
Adding a table of contents may seem minor, but these small tweaks can collectively make a significant difference to your visibility. So, pay attention to the power of a well-structured, easy-to-navigate table of contents – it could be the key to unlocking higher search rankings for your content.
Use short sentences and paragraphs
There’s a strong reason to favor short sentences and paragraphs in your content – readability. People’s attention is getting shorter. Thus, they don’t want to spend much time reading something complicated. Online reading has become a scan-orientated activity, and people are more likely to absorb and retain information presented in a digestible format.
According to Wylie Communications, readers can understand 90% of the story if the sentence is 14 words long and only 10% of the story if the sentence is 43 words long. Note that a short paragraph for web content is 1 to 3 sentences long. This creates white space, which gives the reader’s eyes a break and helps to hold their attention.
Furthermore, a study by the Nielsen Norman Group found that users read at most 28% of the words during an average page visit. Keeping your sentences and paragraphs short makes you more likely to convey your key messages within this 28% window. Remember, clear and concise content isn’t about dumbing down; it’s about opening up your content to a broader audience in a user-friendly way.
On-Page SEO Checklist (Ongoing)
Optimize your SEO title
When it comes to SEO, your title carries a lot of weight. One of the key strategies in optimizing your SEO title is ensuring you include your keyword. The key here is balance; the keyword should appear naturally within the title, not forced in. Google uses keywords to understand and categorize your content, but it’s smart enough to recognize and penalize keyword stuffing.
While search engines are important, your primary audience is human readers. So, make sure your title is interesting to them. That’s why you need to optimize for Click-Through Rate (CTR). An appealing title attracts searchers and compels them to click on your link. Use persuasive and emotion-evoking words in your title to promote curiosity and urgency.
Optimize your URL
Your URL isn’t just an address for your webpage; it’s an interaction with your audience. The cleaner and more readable your URL is, the better the user experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to optimize your URLs.
Start by including your target keyword in the URL, which helps search engines understand the page’s content.
Moreover, keep your URLs short, simple, and descriptive to make them more user-friendly. Avoid unnecessary numbers and characters, and use hyphens to separate words.
Include your keyword to your H1 tag
The H1 tag plays a pivotal role in your web page’s SEO. Readers see this tag first when they land on your page, so make it count. Including your keyword in your H1 tag helps Google understand your content, and it’s a strong signal that your page is relevant to a particular search query.
In addition, keep your page title engaging and natural. A forced keyword can turn off readers and diminish the user experience. Think of your H1 tag as a newspaper headline. It should be informative and interesting to readers.
Find and fix keyword cannibalization issues
Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your site target the same keyword, leading to competition among your pages in search engine rankings. This can dilute your SEO efforts and ensure search engines know which page to rank higher for a specific query.
To find keyword cannibalization issues, begin by conducting a site audit. My favorite tool for this process is SEMRush. Position Tracking Cannibalization Report helps identify duplicate content or pages that rank for the same keywords. Once you’ve spotted potential issues, it’s time to fix them.
To resolve keyword cannibalization, consider merging similar content into a comprehensive post. If the pages serve different user intents, adjust the keywords to reflect the unique value of each page. Another option is the canonical tag, which tells search engines which version of a page you want to appear in search results.
Build a topical authority with internal linking
Internal linking is a simple yet powerful strategy for building topical authority and enhancing your website’s SEO. It involves linking from one page on your site to another, typically in the context of the content.
According to a case study on OnCrawl, the author (Koray) grew a site to 300000 monthly visitors using only internal links! What a result for an SEO. You can see how powerful internal links are.
To effectively build your topical authority, start by identifying key pages or posts that you want to rank high in search results. These are your pillar content.
Then, find opportunities within your site to link back to these cornerstone pages. When you link to a page, use anchor text that matches the topic or keyword of the destination page. This helps search engines understand the context and relevance of the linked page.
The goal is to create a logical and intuitive link structure that adds value for your users. By doing so, you enhance the user experience and guide search engines in understanding the hierarchy and importance of your website’s content.
Over time, building strategic internal links can significantly boost your site’s topical authority, making it more likely to rank high in search engine results.
Link to outbound authoritative resources
Outbound links play a vital role in your SEO strategy. These are hyperlinks that point from your website to another across the Internet. When you link to authoritative and relevant resources, you are telling search engines that the content on your site is well-researched and reliable.
This practice also contributes to the web’s interconnected ecosystem. Extending this digital handshake to high-quality, authoritative websites allows search engines to understand the context of your content better. It’s akin to citing sources in a research paper—demonstrating the depth of your research and validating the information you’re providing.
Outbound links to authoritative resources can significantly boost your SEO ranking. Search engines like Google appreciate when you provide value to your readers by directing them to further helpful, reliable content. This can lead to increased visibility and improved credibility in the eyes of both your audience and search engines.
Remember, the key is linking to relevant, high-quality websites that complement and expand your content. A thoughtful approach to outbound linking can enhance the value of your content and solidify your website’s place as an authoritative resource in your niche.
Answer questions in People Also Ask
The People Also Ask feature on search engines represents another opportunity for enhancing your SEO strategy. By answering these questions in your content, you may increase your chances of appearing in these boxes in the search results.
To leverage this feature, identify the common questions about your niche that often appear in the People Also Ask section. Then, craft concise, straightforward answers to these questions in your content. The content will increase your visibility on search engines and position your website as a helpful, authoritative source of information.
A clear and concise answer that adequately addresses the user’s query is more likely to be featured by search engines. So, focus on creating high-quality, informative responses that enrich the user’s experience and meet their informational needs.
Ensure your content is updated regularly
Search engines love fresh content. Regularly updating your content shows search engines that you’re committed to providing quality information, which can improve your search engine rankings.
To ensure regular updates, consider implementing an editorial calendar and scheduling a weekly or monthly routine for content updates. This helps keep the content on your site fresh and up-to-date, boosting SEO performance and user engagement.
Finally, monitor your content performance using Google Analytics or similar tools. This will help you track which content is performing well and which needs improvement, allowing you to adjust your strategy accordingly.
Link Building Checklist (Periodically)
Understand authority metrics (DR, UR)
There are 2 critical metrics you need to know when selecting a site for link building: Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR). These metrics are provided by Ahrefs, which gives SEO experts a better insight into the quality of the website they try to reach out to.
Domain Rating (DR) measures the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile. A higher DR indicates a larger number of high-quality backlinks, equating to a more authoritative site in the eyes of search engines.
On the other hand, URL Rating (UR) evaluates the strength of a webpage’s backlink profile. UR doesn’t consider the quality or relevance of the page’s content; instead, it’s determined by the quantity and quality of links leading to that page.
To maximize your link-building efforts, strive to earn links from websites with high DR and pages with high UR. Ahrefs can help you assess these metrics.
Reverse-engineer your competitors’ links
You can reverse-engineer your competitors’ links to identify opportunities for yourself. This involves investigating who is linking to your competitors and finding opportunities to earn those links for your site.
Start by identifying your competitors whose products, services, or content align closely with yours. Use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to analyze their backlink profiles and pay attention to the sites that frequently link to them. Evaluate the content or pages these links are tied to, and consider how to create similar or better content.
Then, reach out to these websites, showcasing your superior or complementary content, and suggest they might also want to link to your site. Remember, the goal isn’t just to replicate the links but to understand and use the strategies that work in your niche.
Write guest posts for relevant sites
Guest posting is an excellent strategy to boost your SEO and establish credibility within your industry. It involves writing and publishing an article on a site that is not your own but is relevant to your niche. You will have an opportunity to share your expertise with a new audience, increase your online visibility, and earn valuable backlinks to your website.
When identifying sites for guest posting, consider their relevance to your industry, the quality of their content, and their Domain Rating (DR). You want to ensure that your content aligns with your audience’s interests and that the backlink you earn will add value to your SEO efforts.
Once you’ve identified potential sites, reach out to them with a proposal. This should include a brief introduction of who you are, why you’re interested in guest posting on their site, and a few topics you believe resonate with their audience. The goal here is to provide value to the host site.
Writing guest posts requires time and effort, but the benefits can be significant. It’s a powerful way to build authority and drive traffic to your site.
Get media mentions with HARO
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a useful platform for gaining media mentions and enhancing your online presence. It connects journalists and bloggers with relevant industry experts who can provide them with valuable insights for their stories.
To leverage HARO, sign up as a source and respond to relevant industry or area of expertise queries. When creating your response, ensure it is concise, informative, and adds value to the reporter’s story. Include your name, qualifications, and a brief bio to establish credibility.
Remember, journalists receive numerous responses to their queries, so make yours prompt, professional, and helpful. A successful pitch could lead to a valuable media mention and a backlink to your website, significantly boosting your SEO efforts and brand exposure.
While HARO can be time-consuming, the potential benefits of media exposure and SEO make it well worth the effort. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise, build relationships with journalists, and earn high-quality backlinks.
Use broken link-building
Broken link building is another effective strategy to enhance your SEO efforts. The concept revolves around finding web pages with broken links, typically resulting from a site going offline or a page being moved or deleted.
As webmasters are usually keen on providing a good user experience, they will likely replace broken links that lead to 404 errors with working ones.
To use this strategy, identify broken links on websites relevant to your niche. You can use Dead Link Checker to automate the process. Once you’ve found a broken link, create high-quality content on your website that matches or improves upon the non-existent content the original link pointed to.
Reach out to the site’s webmaster with the broken link, alert them, and suggest your content as a suitable replacement. Keep your message polite, concise, and professional, demonstrating that you’re providing value by fixing a problem on their site.
Though broken link building can be labor-intensive, the potential payoff for gaining high-quality backlinks is substantial. Not only does it improve your website’s SEO, but it also helps to establish your site as a valuable resource within your industry.
Turn unlinked mentions into links
Another strategy to enhance your website’s SEO is to turn unlinked mentions into links. This is an often overlooked but highly effective technique. Unlinked mentions are instances where other websites mention your brand, product, or service but don’t include a link back to your site.
To leverage this strategy, use tools such as Google Alerts to monitor the mentions of your brand on the Internet. When you discover a mention without a link, contact the site owner. Thank them for the mention, and ask if they would consider adding a link to your site. This provides their readers with a direct route to your website and enhances your SEO by increasing your backlink profile.
This process requires you to be tactful and professional. You’re asking for a favor, so it’s essential to be polite and ensure your request doesn’t come off as demanding or pushy. When you are open to new opportunities, people are more likely to collaborate with you.
Fix broken inbound links
Repairing broken inbound links is another essential tactic in your SEO toolbox. Inbound links, or backlinks, are hyperlinks from other websites pointing to your site.
Broken links result in a frustrating user experience and negatively impact your website’s SEO. Search engines perceive many broken links as a sign of a neglected site, which can lead to lower rankings.
To fix broken inbound links, start by identifying them. Tools such as Google Search Console or Ahrefs can help you find the broken inbound links to your site.
Once you have identified these links, reach out to the website owners who linked to your site. Inform them about the broken link and provide the correct URL they should link to instead. Be friendly in your approach. After all, you’re asking them to take time out of their busy day to fix something that benefits you.
Broken inbound links will improve the user experience on the linking sites and boost your website’s SEO significantly. Maintaining a healthy link profile is a continuous process, but the rewards in terms of improved rankings and increased traffic make it worth the effort.
Get interviewed on podcasts
Getting interviewed on podcasts is an excellent strategy for expanding your reach and enhancing your website’s SEO. When you appear as a guest on a podcast, you expose your brand to a new audience and solidify your position as an authority in your field. More often than not, podcasts include notes that link back to your website, creating valuable backlinks.
To get started, research podcasts relevant to your niche and pitch yourself as a guest. Frame your proposal in a way that highlights the unique insights you can provide and the value it would bring to their audience. Be prepared to discuss engaging, relevant topics, and ensure you mention your website during the interview.
Remember, the primary goal is to provide value to the podcast’s audience. This approach will naturally lead to increased interest in your website, higher traffic, and improved SEO.
Technical SEO Checklist (Do this once)
Fix crawl errors on your site
A crawl error is when search engines try to crawl your site but encounter a problem. Crawl errors include canonicalized pages, 404 pages, etc. You want to avoid encountering crawl errors, which hurts your website’s SEO.
You can fix crawl errors using Google Search Console. Here’s how to do it.
First, head to the Page section under Indexing in your Google Search Console.
Your pages are divided into 2 groups: indexed and noindexed. The crawl errors lie under non-indexed pages. Look at each of them carefully and fix them one by one.
Fix broken links on your site
Broken links can leave a poor impression on visitors and negatively affect your SEO, leading to dead ends and discouraging users from further exploring your site. Fixing these links is imperative to maintain a healthy, user-friendly website.
To identify and fix broken links, consider using Ahrefs. Ahrefs will crawl your website and flag any broken links. Check out this article to learn how to fix broken links on your website.
Make sure you use HTTPS
HTTPS is a protocol that ensures your website is secure. What does that mean? Well, imagine your website as a house. HTTPS is essentially the lock on your front door. It ensures that any information exchanged between your website and visitors stays private, secure, and uncompromised. It’s a critical feature, especially if your website involves transactions or collects sensitive information, such as credit card details or personal data.
Search engines like Google put security as their top priority. Therefore, they favor HTTPS websites, which can significantly boost your SEO rankings. To switch from HTTP to HTTPS, install an SSL certificate on your website’s server. It might sound complex, but many hosting providers offer this service with detailed guides to walk you through the process.
In today’s digital world, security is not optional. Make sure to switch to HTTPS to protect your site and users.
Remove duplicate content from your site
Duplicate content on your website can confuse search engines and lead to a drop in your SEO rankings. When the same or similar content appears on more than one page, search engines can struggle to determine which version is more relevant to a given search query. This can cause all versions to suffer in rankings.
Once you’ve identified duplicate content, you must decide which version to keep and which to remove or alter. If two pages serve different purposes and need to include similar information, consider rewriting the content to be unique on each page.
By managing duplicate content effectively, you will enhance your search engine rankings and provide a better user experience for your visitors. They will encounter various unique and engaging content rather than seeing the same information repeated.
Speed up your site
Site speed is a significant factor influencing user experience and search engine ranking. When a site loads quickly, users are more likely to stay engaged, reducing bounce rates and enhancing the overall user experience. Conversely, a slow-loading site frustrates users, who may abandon the page before it fully loads, negatively impacting your site’s dwell time and bounce rate.
To improve your site’s speed, I highly recommend using SiteSpeedBot. This tool identifies all potential Core Web Vitals problems and offers actionable suggestions to improve them. By using this tool, I reduced the first-time load of Newbies Media from 15s to 1.5s!
Furthermore, consider utilizing a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A Content Delivery Network is a cloud system that puts your content in different machines worldwide. Thus, users from any location will experience the same site speed for their content. Cloudflare is the best CDN in the market. A free version is good enough to kick off your site’s speed.
Make your site mobile-friendly
A mobile-friendly website is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. An increasing number of users are browsing the web on their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. You will lose potential customers if your site doesn’t render well on these devices or offers a poor user experience. However, making your site mobile-friendly is easier than it seems.
First, test your site’s mobile-friendliness with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. This tool can give you insights into how well your site performs on mobile devices and even provide recommendations for improvement.
Next, ensure your website design is responsive. This means your website’s layout and content adjust smoothly to fit different screen sizes. A responsive design ensures that regardless of the device your visitors use, they will have a consistent and satisfying experience when browsing your website.
You can check this by clicking on your website and then choosing Inspect.
Then, click on this icon on the top left of the panel and adjust the screen to see how your site is presenting. Think about the user experience. Make sure buttons are big enough to be tapped with a finger, text is readable without zooming in, and navigation is simple and intuitive.
Use schema markup for your website
Schema markup offers a powerful way to optimize your website for search results. It involves adding specific codes to your website to help search engines better understand your content and provide more relevant results to users.
Incorporating schema markup into your web strategy can significantly boost your visibility on the search engine results page (SERP) and increase your site’s click-through rate. It can also enhance your listing with rich snippets, like additional text, images, or even star ratings, making your website more appealing.
Semrush has a great article on how to implement schema markup. Check out this article to add structured data to your site.
Check your website’s crawl depth
Your website’s crawl depth refers to the number of clicks needed to reach a particular page from your website’s homepage. An optimal crawl depth ensures that users and search engines can easily navigate your website to find the information they seek.
Here’s a simple guideline: Try to keep your most important pages within three clicks from the homepage. This might involve rethinking your website’s structure, creating comprehensive menus, or adding relevant internal links.
You can check your website’s crawl depth by using SEO tools like Screaming Frog or Semrush. These tools crawl your website like a search engine would and provide useful insights into your site’s structure. If you identify issues with your website’s depth, restructure it.
Check if your site is indexable
Ensuring your website is indexable is vital, meaning that search engines can visit and understand your site’s content. If your site isn’t indexable, it’s like hosting a party without sending out invitations – nobody will know to show up!
Google indexes your site’s content using web crawlers (or spiders). It navigates through your site, following links and gathering information about each webpage. It uses this data to determine when and where your site should appear in search results.
But how can you be sure your site is indexable? You can use Google’s URL Inspection Tool in the Search Console. This helpful tool gives you a snapshot of how Google sees your page. It can highlight potential issues, such as blocked resources or problems with the robots.txt file, which might prevent your site from being indexed.
Remember, even if Google crawls your site, it doesn’t necessarily mean Google will index it. Regular checks and appropriate SEO strategies can ensure your site is visible and indexable by search engines.
If you find any issues, fix them promptly so your site can be accurately indexed and stand a better chance of ranking highly in search results.
In conclusion, there are many ways that you can optimize your website. This SEO checklist provides all the steps to optimize your website, enhance visibility, and increase traffic.
Remember, SEO isn’t a one-time event but an ongoing process. Regularly updating your content, building high-quality links, performing SEO audits, and making necessary tweaks are essential to staying ahead.
The journey might be long and demanding, but achieving your SEO goals is within reach with patience, consistency, and the right strategies. Good luck!
What is an ideal SEO checklist?
An ideal SEO checklist consists of various tasks and best practices to ensure your website ranks well in search engine results and attracts organic traffic. Our checklist has covered the 7 main areas, from SEO Basics to SEO Monitoring.
How can an SEO checklist benefit my website?
An SEO checklist gives you the fundamentals to climb the SERP ladder. An SEO checklist makes you feel more confident in ranking on search engines.
How do I do SEO for free?
No, it’s not possible to do SEO for free. You need some initial investment to get things started. However, you don’t need to break your bank to see results. Follow our SEO checklist, and you are more likely to get the desired results.
Can I do SEO on my own?
Yes, completely! You can do SEO independently if you have a solid strategy. Follow this DIY SEO guide to learn how to get your site to the top of Google.
How do you find relevant keywords?
You can find relevant keywords through the People Also Ask section and Google autocomplete feature. These are the best places to get new keyword ideas for your article.
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