What is SEO? SEO is a process that has a set of rules you can apply to your website so that search engines can access, crawl and index your content without problems.

Your overall goal with SEO is create better websites both in terms of content and usability that will keep both users and search engines happy.

Search engines are governed by complex algorithms that use a number of parameters before making a decision as to which websites to show in the top of the search results.

To be able to control the whole SEO process and give algorithms what they want, the various SEO rules are grouped into different categories and thus how other terms like technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, local SEO, mobile SEO are born.

Here is your technical SEO checklist:

  • Add and verify all your website variations with the Google Search Console

  • Check your permalink structure and make your URLS SEO Friendly

  • Set your preferred domain in Google Search Console and WordPress

  • Install SSL and make sure that your website is https

  • Check the ‘Blocked Resources’ report in Google search console and ensure that Search Engines can access all website resources without blockings

  • Check ‘Fetch as Google option’ in Search Console

  • Check and optimize your robots file

  • Check WordPress visibility settings

  • Check your comment settings and make sure that all comment links are ‘nofollow’

  • Optimize your menu and site structure

  • Create and optimize an XML Sitemap

  • Check for sitemap errors in Google search Console

  • Add structured data markup data to your homepage (website + organization, person or local business)

  • Add relevant structured data markup to your articles or products

  • Test your schema markup implementation using the ‘Google Structured Data Testing Tool’.

  • Enable breadcrumb menus on all your posts and pages

  • Check that your schema implementation for breadcrumbs is correct

  • Check that all your pages define a canonical URL

  • Implement hreflang if your website is available in more than one languages

  • Use pagination SEO for multi-page posts

is all about the content of your page and it has two major goals. To help you create content that satisfies the user intent and give you guidelines on how to create SEO friendly content that is easily understood by search engines

  • Optimize your logo (name, alt text schema and size)

  • Optimize the page titles of all website pages including the homepage

  • Optimize the meta description tag of all website pages including the homepage

  • Check how your website looks when you search for your brand name in Google (search result snippet) and optimize your site structure for sitelinks.

  • Check and optimize the H1 tag for all websites pages including the homepage

  • Check for proper usage of subheadings (needs to be in a hierarchical structure)

  • Revise your internal linking strategy to ensure that they comply to best practices.

  • Revise your external linking strategy and give credit to other high quality websites.

  • Create content that satisfies the user intent

  • Perform keyword research and enrich your content with long tail keywords and LSI keywords.

  • Make sure that your target keyword is included in your opening paragraph

  • Add text content to accompany non-text content

  • Create long-form content

  • Beautify your content (formatting and styling) and make it easy to read

  • Optimize your images (file size, ALT text, caption below images)

  • Create dedicated image sitemap and submit to Google

  • Optimize your videos and other multimedia elements (with proper schemas)

  • Create dedicated Video sitemap and submit to Google

  • Optimize titles / description / content for your category pages

  • Review ‘tag’ usage and noindex them if not needed

  • Optimize candidate posts for Google’s featured snippets.

In simple terms, off-page SEO is about website promotion techniques and how to convince search engine algorithms that your website deserves a higher ranking in the search results than other websites.

Higher rankings will lead to more organic traffic and this is what all website owners want. Off-Page SEO is not optional but a necessary component of your SEO strategy.

  • Understand the difference between a good link and a bad link

  • Understand the difference between white hat and black hat link building

  • Understand the difference between normal links and ‘nofollow’ links

  • Learn how to start link building for a new website

  • Learn how to do link building for an established website

  • Create a list of websites you can potentially get a link

  • Understand how to use social media for link building purposes

  • Read more about retargeting and how to use this for link building

  • Understand how to email other bloggers asking for links (blogger outreach)

  • Learn what is the best way to get incoming links from premium websites

  • Regularly review your link profile to identify and remove bad links

  • Use the Google disavow tool (when necessary) to get rid of bad links from your link profile

Get found for location aware searches and get more people visiting your brick and mortar store.

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears in the first positions of Google, Bing and Yahoo for searches that are related to your area / city / country.

  • Optimize your logo (include your brand name and location in the alt text)

  • Work on your titles, descriptions and URLS and make sure that they include your brand name and business location

  • Add NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on the home page

  • Add NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on the rest of the website pages (footer is a good place for this)

  • Make sure that NAP information is consistent across all channels (website, Facebook, local directories, Google+, etc.)

  • Add a Google map in the contact information page

  • Register your company with Google My Business

  • Register with Yahoo! Aabaco Small Business

  • Use Schema (structured data markup) to give more information about your local business to Google

  • Register your website with Bing Places for Business

  • Register Your Business with Local directories

  • Create a Local business page on Facebook

  • Register your business with Yelp for Business Owners

  • Encourage and reply to every single review on all platforms

  • Seek mentions (links) from local press

  • Get Links from high quality websites

  • Optimize your website for mobile

  • Start a blog and publish content related to your local area

  • Engage on Facebook, Google My Business, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube

Get your website ready for Google’s ‘Mobile First Index’.

If you haven’t done this already, go and check your Google analytics statistics and in particular the Devices Report (that’s under Audience / Mobile).

Here is your Mobile SEO checklist:

  • Make sure that your website passes the Google mobile friendly test

  • Check your mobile speed using Google’s mobile speed test tool.

  • Test your mobile website on different resolutions using the Chrome Device Emulator

  • Make sure that your URLS, titles, descriptions and content are the same as desktop

  • Check ‘Fetch as Google’ (mobile crawler) and ensure that Google can access your mobile pages without any problems

  • Avoid using popups on mobile

  • Check that your CTA on mobile are visible and easy to access

  • Consider adding Accelerated Mobile Pages support for your blog pages

  • Add Google Analytics support for AMP

  • Add schema support for AMP Pages

  • Check your AMP Implementation using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool

Conclusion

Having a checklist is a great way to work on your SEO. What you read in our SEO checklist above covers almost all areas of SEO.

If you manage to make your website compliant with all the above items, then you can feel confident that your website is in good SEO shape and this will eventually translate to higher rankings and more traffic.

Courtesy of
Alex Chris – Digital Marketing Consultant and author. Alex has more than 18 years of practical experience with SEO and Digital Marketing
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