If you are looking for a step by step SEO checklist guide to building a successful and profitable business online, you have landed in the right place. I have been working and building digital marketing strategies and campaigns for more than 15 years.
Having the SEO of a website under control can be complicated: Wrong H1 there, a broken link there … As I know that you like things well done I have created this step-by-step SEO checklist so that you don’t go crazy blindly optimizing your site. The following list covers all the top steps you need to consider getting a new site live and into the search index successfully.
Every time you start a new SEO project for a website, you’ll typically find yourself doing the same steps over and over again, in order to lay the foundation for solid on and off-page optimization, I created this SEO Checklist that I change regularly according to the changes constantly made in the SEO world and search engines today.
There are some important things you should keep in mind before embark on your SEO project. As you go through the checklist make sure to give equal importance to both on-page and off-page SEO.
If you cannot complete all the steps on this list, it will not harm your project. All you need to keep in mind is to make your site as SEO-friendly as possible, and there are all type of metrics you have into your disposal to measure and monitor your SEO development. In general, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to complete all the below steps. But again, sometimes and depending on your niche and competition, small steps are enough to get you to the top organic positions on search engines result page (SERP).
Let’s go and remember for any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below, I will make sure to answer and help you with your questions.
Table of Contents
This checklist is Constantly updating as the SEO is quickly changing. so make sure to bookmark this guide and come back to it every-time you starting a new SEO project.
Note: Not all of the steps mentioned in the checklist are required for your project.Updated: 10/10/2020
Use the mobile-friendly test to check if your website is responsive according to Google´s standards. (With more and more people using mobile phones for searches, Google is taking into consideration how mobile-friendly your website is when ranking your site in its search engine.). Similarly, Bing offers a Mobile Friendliness Test Tool.
Check how your site is performing on mobile devices with the Mobile Usability Report, located within the Search Traffic section of Google Search Console. You can also use Fetch as Google within the Crawl section of Google Search Console to render your website the way Google sees it on different mobile devices.
Also have you checked it on multiple browsers with BrowserStack?
Install one or more of the below recommended tools for better managing your SEO campaigns.
Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool, Adwords Keyword Planner, KWFinder, KeywordTool.io or SEMRush to find and analyse the best keyword competitiveness. Be sure to consider searcher intent and difficulty, pick 1 keyword per page, and you’ll generally want to start with lower-volume keywords first.
Search engines are constantly improving to facilitate the search tasks for users, and as the mobile traffic is constantly growing, the need for a quick search methods are growing in importance as well. With more than 50% of searches coming from mobile devices today, the voice related keywords search are even so important.
Try to find your business and competitors as your customer would with a voice search. Are your website optimized for relevant voice search terms/keywords? Are you accounting for searches formed as questions and in sentence structure, more and more common with the advance of voice queries?
Accelerated Mobile Page (or AMP, for short) is a project from Google and Twitter designed to make really fast mobile pages. At its essence, it’s basically a stripped-down form of HTML to make websites super lightweight and load very quickly.
To validate your AMP pages, you use a tool that’s built into Chrome. Open the developer tools in Chrome, there’s a system there — and you can look it up on the AMP project website — where you can go to a page and you can ask it to validate, “Is this an AMP page,” and it will tell you any problems with that page.
This is the easiest way to get started with link building. This way, you can see what kind of anchor text they’re using, as well as how and where they’ve been getting their links. My favorite is Ahrefs – but you can also use Link Diagnosis, Open Site Explorer, SEMRush and Majestic SEO. Use the tool that suite you best.
Adding your primary keyword to the URL give the site that unique boost in the Search engines. For example if the site is about a local dentist in Zurich (Switzerland) have the keyword dentalcliniczurich in the domain name should boost your ranking locally.
Title tags over this will be truncated in results. Make sure to never exceed the maximum amount of characters.
Meta description tags over this will be truncated in results. Make sure to never exceed the maximum amount of characters.
Is your keyword in the tag? Is it before any (H2, H3, H4…) tags? Have your used H1, H2 and when needed H3? Have you followed the recommend heading structure, head section order, title tags, description tags, keyword tags, heading tags when writing your content with ?
My recommendation is at least 100 words, because you want to give search engines an opportunity to understand what the topic of your page is all about. You can still rank with less, and you don’t ever want to put unnecessary text on your site, but I recommend not creating a new page unless you have roughly ~100 words worth of content.
Remember: synonyms are great, and using natural language that’s influenced by keyword research (rather than just pure keywords) is highly encouraged.
Search engines “see” images by reading the ALT tag and looking at file names, among other factors. Try to be descriptive when you name your images. Don’t overdo it though!
Are you describing the page your linking to in the anchor text, so that both users and search engines understand what it’s about? I recommend not using anchor text in your global navigation because it can look like over-optimization. Stick to in-content links instead.
Transactional – These queries happen when a user has an intention to buy something now. For example, the exact brand and model of a product suggest the intention to buy.
Informational – These are research-oriented queries. Sometimes research is done in advance of a future transaction. For example, if someone searches for the best electric toothbrushes, there’s a good chance that a purchase in the near future.
Navigational – These are queries done to help a searcher get somewhere, whether online or in the physical world. Searching for the name of a dental clinic will get the user to that dental clinic’s web presence or physical address.
Utilize 301 redirects, canonical tags or use Google Webmaster Tools to fix any duplicate content that might be indexing and penalizing your site. Are you using absolute URLs in your code? Some CMS platforms give you the option. Use absolute URLs instead of relative ones.
I cannot stress enough the importance of a well structured sitemap for a website. This step is key for any well organized business online. Use XML-Sitemaps.com, Drupal XML Sitemaps or the Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin.
Use Robots module for Drupal or Yoast plugin / Rank math for WordPress.
Not only do you want to make sure no one else gets your account name, but you can often “own” all the results on the first page of a search for your brand if you’re a new website or company. Here is the URL structure of some of the major networks:
Have you setup social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, tumblr, reddit ? Make sure to share the create pages on your site as much as possible, engage users to share your content in all the social medias possible.
here are my 5 Free Website Audit Tools: MySiteAuditor, Screaming Frog, SEO Report Card, WooRank, Marketing Grader.
Make sure your SEO strategy is a white-hat SEO following Google Webmaster Guidelines and Bing Webmaster Guidelines. If you would need any more information, you can always refer to what Google accepts for SEO.
If you don’t understand some of the high-level concepts:
10 productive working from home tips
On-Page SEO – The beginner’s guide to SEO
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