SEO

SEO Checklist for 2018

Written by Naven Pillai

When you’re starting a new website or updating your current website, you need to lay a solid SEO foundation. I’ve decided to develop an SEO checklist 2018 for businesses like yours to implement solid SEO foundation.

There are a lot of SEO checklists available when you search on Google. However, we have compiled the most important tasks need to be performed before you embark on your SEO journey. You need to focus on on-page optimization as it provides incremental benefits. But some of the tasks on the checklist consist of off-page optimization as well.

Most people have a misconception that missing one element from SEO checklist resulted in poor ranking. But, this is just the starting point. If you can get everything on this checklist, it will be great. Try your best to get most.

Your ultimate goal is to make your website SEO-friendly. In general, most people aren’t able to do everything on the checklist. This is the exact checklist we’ve been using for our clients.

  1. Install Google Analytics. If you don’t know learn here.
  2. Add your website to Google Search Console. If you’re not sure how to do it, learn it here.
  3. Add your website to Bing Webmaster Tools. Learn here how to do it.
  4. Are you using WordPress Platform? Install Google Analytics plugin. There are many. Choose your preferred one here.
  5. Make sure to install Yoast SEO Plugin. It will make your on-page SEO 100x easier.
  6. Check Google Search Console for 404 or 50o error pages, duplicate contents, missing titles and other technical SEO issues and rectify them with given instructions.
  7. Use Browseo to find additional technical errors with your websites which includes 302 redirects.
  8. Find search engine crawl errors, crawl problems and broken links with Screaming Frog.
  9. Google’s Keyword Planner is not free anymore unless you have Google AdWords account. You can either use paid keyword discovery tools like Keyword.io and SEMRush or a free one like KWFinder. Take a look at your preferred keywords and consider the difficulty and searcher intent. Picky only one keyword per page for your website with lower-volume.
  10. Analyze the link profile of your competitors to identify what keywords they are ranking for and how they are ranking for them. Moreover, you will also know where they are getting authority links. You can use the following tools for competitor analysis: Ahrefs, SpyFu, SEMRush and Majestic SEO.
  11. Incorporate your primary keyword or anything close to that keyword in your page URL.
  12. Is your keyword in your title tag? Is your title tag enticing? What’s the CTR? You can check in Google Search Console! Add the right keyword to your title tags. Figure out whether your title is attractive and enticing. Check the CTR of that particular page with Google Search Console if you already have necessary data.
  13. Implement Meta description for every page on your website. The meta description is a description of your pages showing on search engine result page. Although Google is currently testing with longer Meta description the ideal length should be 160 characters.
  14. Add your keyword naturally to H1 tags on your pages. Make sure your keyword added to your H1 before any other headers like H2, H3, H4 and more.
  15. You need to have a healthy amount of text for search engine accessibility. Although you can have at least 100 words, I would suggest you keep it at least 300 words. You won’t be able to explain a page on your website with just 100 words.
  16. Use LSI keywords to your pages other than primary keywords. LSI keywords(Latent Semantic Indexing) are basically keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT just synonym or keywords that are similar in meaning.
  17. Write descriptive ALT tags for your images. Search engines won’t crawl images and only crawls ALT Tag and filename.
  18. Are you linking to your internal pages in an SEO-friendly way? Are you describing the page you’re 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.
  19. Perform internal linking between your pages in a natural way without over optimizing. Describe your internal links with the variety of anchor text. It will allow search engine spiders to understand what those links are about.
  20. Develop a link building plan for your website. If you’re clueless how to do it, let SEO experts at Exposureville help you.
  21. Make sure your website is not creating duplicate contents. You can use Google Search Console or Canonical tags to rectify duplicate content issues. Be extra cautious with this task if you have an eCommerce site.
  22. Are you using absolute URLs in your code? Some CMS platforms give you the option. Use absolute URLs instead of relative ones. Do not use relative URLs which comes with anonymous number and start using absolute URLs. If you’re using CMS, it is easy to configure.
  23. Check your website loading speed with Google PageSpeed Tool, Pingdom Website Speed Checker or GTMetrix.
  24. Make sure your website is responsive in all devices.Check your website responsiveness withResponsinator.com
  25. Create XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. If you’re using WordPress generate sitemap with Yoast SEO plugin.
  26. Have you created a Robots.txt file and submitted it to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools? Create a robots.txt file and submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
  27. Make sure to claim your business names on major social media websites. It improves your visibility and credibility as well. Check out the list of websites you should create accounts with your brand name:
  • http://www.twitter.com/brand-name
  • http://www.instagram.com/brand-name
  • http://www.facebook.com/brand-name
  • http://www.yelp.com/biz/brand-name
  • http://www.youtube.com/user/brand-name
  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/brand-name
  • http://brand-name.wordpress.com/
  • http://brand-name.tumblr.com/
  • http://pinterest.com/brand-name/
  • http://www.hulu.com/profiles/brand-name
  • http://technorati.com/people/brand-name
  • http://about.me/brand-name
  • http://brand-name.posterous.com/
  • http://profile.typepad.com/brand-name
  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/brand-name
  • http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/brand-name
  • http://www.etsy.com/people/brand-name
  • http://en.gravatar.com/brand-name
  • http://www.scribd.com/brand-name
  • http://brand-name.livejournal.com/
  • http://brand-name.hubpages.com/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/brand-name/
  • http://photobucket.com/user/brand-name/profile/
  1. Setup profiles for your business in angel.co, e27.co, and F6S.com
  2. Use an SEO Audit tool to check whether all the on-page optimization elements are in place.
  3. Review all the above-mentioned tasks before completing this SEO checklist.

 

I hope this checklist will help you get started with SEO.

About the author

Naven Pillai

Founder of Freelancewave & Digital Marketing Analyst at Exposureville. You can find me online, tweeting about current trends in the digital marketing industry, or playing Football Manager. Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit.

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