The Only SEO Checklist You Need
As a business owner, you want to make sure that your website is ranking as high as possible in the search engines. After all, if your website is not ranking, you’re not getting any traffic. And if you’re not getting any traffic, you’re not making any money. That’s why it’s important to have an SEO checklist.
SEO is the practice of optimizing a website so as to increase its rank in the search engine results pages for certain targeted keywords.
The main aim of SEO is to improve the visibility of a website so that it may attract more visitors from the online space, through the organic or unpaid search results.
Every business with a website needs to invest in SEO. This is because, without SEO, your website will be very difficult for people to find online. And if people can’t find your site, they can’t do business with you. Simple as that.
There are two types of SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to all the things you can do on your website to help you rank higher in search engine results pages. This includes optimizing your titles and metatags, using keyword-rich descriptions, adding alt tags to images, improving your website’s speed and mobile friendliness, creating quality content, and more.
Off-page SEO refers to all the things you can do outside of your website to help you rank higher in search engine results pages. This includes optimizing your social media profiles, building links from other websites back to yours, creating quality content that others will want to link to, and more.
Set up GSC and Bing Webmaster tools
No matter how big or small your website is, it’s important to track your progress in the SERPs. This will help you understand what’s working, what needs improvement, and where to focus your energies going forward.
There are lots of different tools out there that will help you do this, but two of the most important are Google Search Console (GSC) and Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT).
GSC is a free platform offered by Google that gives you insights into how your website is performing in their search engine. You can use it to track things like your average position, the click-through rate (CTR) for your listings, and the number of impressions you’re getting.
Bing Webmaster Tools is very similar to GSC, but for Microsoft’s Bing search engine. It too is free to use, and it will give you insights into how well your site is performing in Bing.
Setting up both of these platforms only takes a few minutes, and I highly recommend doing it as soon as possible. Not only will it give you valuable data about your SEO progress, but it will also help you spot any potential issues that need to be addressed.
Set up Google Analytics
Installing Google Analytics is simple and only takes a few minutes. Once you have it set up, you can start tracking your site’s traffic and activity. Here’s how to get started:
- Create a Google Analytics account.
- Follow the instructions to create a new property in your account.
- Choose the tracking method that best meets your needs:
- If you’re using a website builder or CMS, there’s probably an plugin or extension that will do the job for you.
- If you’re comfortable working with code, you can insert the tracking code directly into your website’s HTML.
- Check that the tracking code is working properly by visiting the Tracking Code Verification page in Google Analytics.
Install and configure an SEO plugin (wordpress)
An SEO plugin is a must for any WordPress site. It will help you optimize your site for the search engines and make sure you are using the best practices.
There are many SEO plugins available, but we recommend Yoast SEO. It is a comprehensive plugin that covers all the bases, including titles, metatags, sitemaps, and more. Once you install and activate the plugin, you will be prompted to configure it.
Here are the settings we recommend:
- General: Set your target country and language. Set the default mode to Advanced.
- Your information: Choose whether you want to display your name or company name in the search results. If you choose company name, enter it in the next field. Select whether you want to show your social profiles in the search results. If so, enter your Twitter username and Facebook Page URL. Choose whether to show an Brief description in the search results. If so, write a brief description of your site in the box provided. This will be used as your meta description if you don’t set one explicitly for each page or post.
- Webmaster Tools: Enter your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools verification codes here, if you have them. These tools will provide valuable insights into how well your site is performing in the search results.
- Titles & Metas: The most important setting here isForce rewrite titles? We recommend setting this to yes, as it will ensure that each page on your site has a unique title tag that is optimized for the search engines. For more information on title tags, see our post on How to Optimize Your Title Tags for Improved Rankings . Other settings on this page can be left at their defaults unless you have a specific need to change them..
- Social: The social settings will let you control how your content appears when it is shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. We recommend leaving these at their defaults unless you have a specific need to change them..
- XML Sitemaps: XML sitemaps are a powerful tool that helps search engines index your content more effectively. Yoast SEO will automatically generate an XML sitemap for your site and submit it to Google and Bing automatically when you save a post or page..
- Advanced : The advanced settings let you fine-tune some of the more technical aspects of yoast SEO’s operation.. By default, Yoast SEO will use meta descriptions froms existing content if they are not explicitly set.. You can change this behavior by checkingno under Use meta descriptions from page content? . If this box is checked (the default), Yoast SEO will use any existing meta descriptions on pages as templates for new pages created by students without meta descriptions filled out.. Checkingthis box may cause issues if students do not add their own meta descriptions when creating new pages..
Before you can even begin to optimise your website for the search engines, you need to understand what keywords people are actually searching for. This is where keyword research comes in. By understanding what keywords people are searching for, you can better match your content to what people are actually looking for. Keyword research can be a time-consuming task, but it is worth the effort.
Identify your competitors
In order to find the right keywords for your business, you need to identify your competition. The first step is to create a list of your top competitors. Once you have a list of competitors, you can research their keywords.
There are a few different ways to research competitor keywords:
-Use a keyword research tool: There are a number of keyword research tools available that can help you find the right keywords for your business. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer are two popular options.
-Check out their websites: Another way to research competitor keywords is to take a look at their websites. Look at their menus, titles, and content to get an idea of the keywords they are targeting.
-Look at their online marketing: Take a look at how they are marketing themselves online. What keywords are they using in their ads and social media posts?
Conduct a keyword gap analysis
Performing a keyword gap analysis is a great way to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for that you are not. This can help you to focus your SEO efforts on areas where you are weak and improve your overall performance.
To conduct a keyword gap analysis, simply compare the keywords that you are targeting to the keywords that your competitors are targeting. If you find any gaps, then you know which keywords you need to focus on.
There are a number of tools that you can use to perform a keyword gap analysis, but one of the easiest is to use Google AdWords. Simply create a new campaign and add in your competitor’s URL as one of your negative keywords. This will ensure that their ads do not show up for any of the keywords that you are targeting.
Once you have added in your competitor’s URL, run an AdWords report for the last month. This will show you all of the keywords that they have been bidding on. Simply compare this list to your own list of target keywords and look for any gaps. These are the keywords that you need to focus on.
Find your main ‘money’ keywords
Your ‘money’ keywords are the ones that are going to make you the most money from your website or blog. They are the keywords that people are searching for that you want to rank for in the search engines.
To find your main ‘money’ keywords, you need to do some keyword research. There are a number of different keyword research tools that you can use, but my personal favorite is Google’s Keyword Planner tool.
Once you’ve found your ‘money’ keywords, you need to make sure that you include them in your website or blog content in a way that is both natural and effective. You don’t want to stuff your content full of keywords as this will only serve to irritate your readers and it will also get you penalized by the search engines.
Autoblogging can help you rank higher in the search engines because you will have more content on your site. However, there can be a few downsides to it as well. Let’s get into the details.
Leverage “Inspect URL” feature in GSC
“InspectURL” feature in Google Search Console provides webmasters a quick way to check on the indexing status and rendering of a particular URL on their website.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
As mobile search continues to grow in popularity, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is optimized for visitors on mobile devices. In addition to having a responsive design, there are a few other things you can do to ensure your site is mobile-friendly and will appear as high as possible in mobile search results.
One way to improve your mobile SEO is to make sure your website’s loading speed is up to par. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is a great way to check your website’s loading speed and see where you can improve.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to mobile SEO is the fact that people are searching on the go, which means they may not have the time or patience to fill out lengthy forms on your website. If you have any forms or other content that isn’t absolutely necessary, consider removing it or making it easier to fill out on a mobile device.
Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly will help you attract more visitors from mobile devices, and making sure your site is up to par in terms of loading speed and form simplicity will help you convert more of those visitors into leads or customers.
Check your site’s loading speed
You can check your site’s loading speed with Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool. Just enter your URL and click “Analyze.”
PageSpeed Insights checks the speed of your site on both mobile and desktop devices. It also provides recommendations on how to improve your site’s loading speed.
On-page and Content
On-page SEO is all about optimizing your website to rank higher in the search engines. This includes optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and more. Content is also important for on-page SEO. Your content should be relevant to your keywords and should be of high quality.
Fix duplicate, missing, and truncated title tags
Duplicate title tags are a common problem on websites. This can happen if there are multiple pages with the same title or if the same title is used across the site. This can cause confusion for search engines and can result in lower rankings.
To fix this, make sure that each page on your site has a unique and descriptive title tag. If you have any pages with missing or truncated title tags, add them in.
Content is another important factor in on-page optimization. Make sure that your pages have relevant and keyword-rich content that is targeted at your audience. Adding new content on a regular basis can also help to keep your site fresh and relevant, which can help to improve your search engine rankings.
Find and fix duplicate or missing meta descriptions
If you want more traffic from Google, you need to make sure your website’s title tags and meta descriptions are optimized for both search engines and human visitors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you find and fix missing or duplicate meta descriptions on your website.
What are title tags and meta descriptions?
Title tags and meta descriptions are HTML elements that you can customize to reflect the content of your web pages. Title tags and meta descriptions can impact your click-through rate (CTR) from organic search results.
A title tag is the HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed in two places:
- search engine results pages (SERPs).
Your title tag is typically what appears first in the SERP, and it should accurately describe the content of your page.
A meta description is a short description of a web page. Meta descriptions are displayed in SERPs underneath the page’s headline (title tag). The purpose of a meta description is to give searchers more information about what they can expect to find on your page.
How can I find missing or duplicate meta descriptions?
To find out if you have any missing or duplicate meta descriptions, we recommend running your website through a crawl tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Screaming Frog will crawl your website and return results for all Title Tags & Meta Descriptions found on each page, along with their associated status codes.
A “200” status code indicates that a given Title Tag & Meta Description was found on a particular webpage, while a “404” status code indicates that a given Title Tag & Meta Description was not found on a particular webpage. If Screaming Frog finds any “404” errors for Title Tags & Meta Descriptions, this means that you have some work to do!
In addition, Screaming Frog will also identify any duplicate Title Tags & Meta Descriptions that it finds during its crawl. In general, you want to avoid having duplicate Title Tags & Meta Descriptions across your website, as this can be confusing for both search engines and human visitors alike.
How can I fix missing or duplicate meta descriptions?
If you find any missing or duplicatemeta descriptions on your website, there are a few steps you can take to fix them:
- Add missingmeta descriptions: If Screaming Frog identifies any pages withoutmeta descriptions, we recommend adding uniquemeta descriptions to these pages as soon as possible. You can do this by editing the source code of these pages directly, or by using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO if you’re using WordPress.
- Fix duplicatemeta descriptions: If Screaming Frog identifies any pages with duplicatemeta descriptions, we recommend either editing the source code of these pages directly to remove the duplicates, or using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO if you’re using WordPress.
- Monitor your progress: Once you’ve added/editedmetadescriptions on your webpages, we recommend re-running Screaming Frog periodicallyto ensure that all of your changes have been correctly implemented
Find and fix multiple H1 tags
Duplicate or missing H1 tags can be a common issue on websites. H1 tags are supposed to be unique to each page, and they’re used by search engines to understand the structure and hierarchy of your site.
If you have multiple H1 tags on a page, it’s important to find and fix them. Otherwise, your site may be penalized by search engines.
Here are some tips for finding and fixing multiple H1 tags:
- Use a tool like Screaming Frog to crawl your website and find pages with multiple H1 tags.
- Once you’ve found the pages with multiple H1 tags, look at the code to see if there are any duplicate or missing H1 tags.
- If you find any duplicate H1 tags, remove them from the code.
- If you find any missing H1 tags, add them to the code.
Analyze your competitor’s link profile
There are many different ways to analyze your competitor’s link profile. Some methods are more complex than others, but all of them can give you valuable insights into your competitor’s SEO strategy.
One way to analyze your competitor’s link profile is to use a tool like Majestic or Moz’s Open Site Explorer. These tools will give you information about the links pointing to your competitor’s site, including the anchor text used and the PageRank of the linking page.
You can also use a tool like BuzzSumo to see which content from your competitor’s site is getting the most social shares. This can give you an idea of what content is resonating with their audience, and it may give you ideas for content that you can create that will be popular with your own audience.
Conduct a link intersect analysis
Link intersect analysis is a process of identifying common linking patterns between websites. By analyzing these patterns, you can develop relationships with other webmasters and improve your website’s link popularity.
Here are a few tips for conducting a link intersect analysis:
- Use a tool like Majestic SEO or Ahrefs to generate a list of websites that link to your competitors.
- Export the list of websites and remove any duplicates.
- Use a tool like Link intersect to identify which websites link to both your website and your competitor’s website.
- Export the list of websites and remove any duplicates.
- Contact the webmasters of the websites that link to both your website and your competitor’s website to let them know about your website.
Target your competitors’ broken backlinks
One of the best ways to improve your SEO is to target your competitor’s broken backlinks. You can find these links using a variety of tools, including Ahrefs, Majestic, and Moz. Once you’ve found these links, you can contact the website owner and offer to replace the link with a link to your site. This will not only improve your SEO, but it will also help you build relationships with other website owners.