The Basic & Ultimate SEO Checklist You will Ever Need!

The Basic & Ultimate SEO Checklist You will Ever Need!

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Last Updated: January 11, 2022

Are you looking to leverage the power of SEO to drive organic search traffic to your website? Have you implemented Local SEO strategies? Is your website page load speed optimal? Does your website provide a great user experience? Is there a content publishing plan? Have you defined your KPIs…? Target audience?

SEO has been a hot topic since…well ever since it existed on this planet, and yet often people are missing the point when they get into SEO.

So here’s a basic SEO checklist that pretty much covers almost everything which will come in handy when you decide to go full swing SEO! Let’s dive in!

Basics of SEO

  • Ensure that Google Analytics tracking code is installed on every page of your website
  • Set up Google Search Console & get it verified
  • If yours is a WordPress website, you can use Yoast SEO or All in One SEO plugin
  • Please make sure that About, Contact, Privacy Policy & TOS pages are properly set up with updated information

User Experience Does Matter!

  • Pretty Permalinks: please make sure that the URLs of the pages are descriptive and short, this helps in understanding the page even before it loads! For WordPress posts, go to Settings >> Permalinks and change it to the way you want it, done!
  • Mobile Friendliness: Please ensure that your website is mobile friendly, i.e. it does not break user experience when accessed on different screen sizes. There are various tools that help you check that. Here’s one tool from Google.
  • Page Speed: If your website’s page load speed is on the slower side, no matter how good you are at rest of the factors, you are not going to get the benefits. Ideally a website should load under 3 seconds! Yeah, that’s correct. Here are a couple of free online tools that help you check the speed of your website. GTmetrix, WebPageTest, Pingdom & PageSpeed Insights.
  • Claim Your Brand on Social Media Channels: If not already, please go ahead and create your brand’s online presence on top social media platforms such as, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Google My Business Profile, Twitter, Pinterest, Top Review Sites and other industry specific niche directories. That way, whenever a user searches for your business name, the page 1 of the search results will be showing only Your Brand!

Web Performance

  • Best Hosting Provider: Choosing a top notch web hosting provider is important as it will not only affect various SEO factors such as uptime, page speed, UX but will also create an overall pleasant user experience for your visitors.
  • Use a CDN: Content delivery network or a CDN is a service provider that lets you save static files on their servers. It not only adds an extra layer of security to your data, but it also saves you bandwidth, providing static content to load faster to your users.
  • Enable GZip compression: Gzip compression is a method to make files smaller in size for faster network transfers. It allows your server to serve the files quicker to your users. Ideally it should be enabled by your hosting provider, do check with them once!
  • Optimize Images: Images of above 100 KB do affect the overall page load speed of your website. Please make sure your images are compressed, without losing quality.
  • Updating Technology Regularly: This is especially true if you’re running a WordPress website. Ensure that the technology used is up to date. Themes, plugins, WordPress core are updated regularly. Since your website is running on a web hosting platform, the server should have the latest versions of PHP, MySQL, Apache or Nginx, etc.

Technical SEO

  • Check for SSL certificate: Search engines prefer websites that have security in place! If you’ve not already, please go ahead and install an SSL certificate. Once that is done, please do not forget to move all your HTTP resources to HTTPS with a 301 redirection.
  • Check for www & non-www version: Please make sure that your website resolves to only version, i.e. either with www or without www. If it resolves to more than 1 version, then that is going to be a problem.
  • Create a robots.txt file: Search engines recommend that a website should have robots.txt file. They also say that it is alright if your website does not have one! It is okay to have a blank robots file.
  • Create an XML sitemap: Sitemap is, well, what it says, a map of your website that lists all the page URLs and information about videos, images. Creating an XML sitemap and submitting it to Google search console helps better crawlability.
  • Correctly use NoIndex & NoFollow tags: Search engines recommend various tags that can help them understand a web page better. Noindex tag on a page is used to let search engines know that this page should not be indexed in their search results. Nofollow tag is used to tell search engines that links on that page should not be followed.

On-Page SEO

  • Titles, Meta Descriptions & Heading Tags: On-page factors such as Title, Meta Descriptions & Heading tags play an important role. Use your focus keywords wisely and make these tags descriptive.
  • Formatting Content: Formatting all the content on a web page is essential as it not only provides a great user experience but also helps search engines better understand the content on the page.
  • Internal Linking: Please link to your internal pages wherever it makes sense. It is a sign of a healthy website and also boosts in rankings.
  • Image Alt Text: Please use descriptive alt tags for all of your images to help search engines better understand what a particular image is all about. Please ensure those are compressed and should not exceed 100 KB in size.

Content & SEO

  • Keyword Research: Perform an in depth keyword research before committing to content production. Choose long tail keywords that have good search volume and low competition. You can also choose keywords that your competitors are using and create better content around them.
  • Content Strategy: Having a content strategy in place will not only help you gain traffic but it will also boost your rankings. Decide on the theme, keep producing unique, fresh & relevant content on a timely basis. Choose your keywords wisely, place them in appropriate places so that they can bring in traffic to your website.
  • E-A-T: Expertise, Authority & Trust. Whenever you are publishing content in your industry, please make sure that it reflects your expertise in the field. It builds up the authority of your domain and users look at your website as trustworthy. This helps search engines decide whether the website can be ranked or not!

Local SEO

  • Claim Google My Business Profile: If your business offers products or services in your vicinity, then you must create a Google My Business listing. Get it verified, and be active on the same. It will not only help you increase your local presence but will also help in SEO.
  • Bing Places: Just like Google my business profile, you should also create a Bing places listing as Bing is the only competitor of Google! Bing is a default search engine for Microsoft and its related products. Claiming and verifying your Bing places listing will help you expand your business further.
  • Consistent NAP: Name, Address & Phone number should be consistent on all the online properties wherever you are creating your business listing. It is kind of a “Signature” of your business. It should be same across all the listings you create. If you decide to change any of the above, ensure that it is changed across all the listings you have created.
  • Review Management: Getting reviews for the products or services you offer is a great way to improve your credibility online. Search engines do take these into consideration when determining your rankings. Ensure that you are responding to all the reviews you get on your local listings. Keep adding fresh content to your local listings that way when people are searching for a business like yours, only the latest content is served to them.

These are just the basic things you can work on to get quality organic traffic from search engines. Remember, your website is your online property, and to keep it up to date and in shape is your responsibility.

If this looks difficult to implement, let us help you. Get in touch with our experts who will guide you through your online journey to help you grow your business.