What Should I Include in My SEO Checklist?
There are so many factors that go into search engine optimization, both on-page and off-page, that it can be overwhelming. Even if you’re not new to internet marketing, you still might find it challenging to keep up with everything – especially considering that search engines are constantly changing how they rank pages.
To make things a bit easier on you, here is a guide to some of the most important on-page and site-wide optimization factors.
On-Page Optimization Checklist
- Have the correct head section order.
- Make sure that your meta tags are done correctly: Title – Description – Keywords. The information you put in the head section is what searchers will see in the search engine results page.
- Include the most important information in Title Tag.
- The title tag should be approximately six to twelve words long, or 55-65 characters (including spaces). It should be concise and to the point. Include the most important keyword and information before the SERP cutoff.
- Format the heading tags correctly. Heading tags are important for organizing content. The first heading tag is <h1></h1), the first sub-heading tag is <h2></H2>, and so forth. While keyword tags aren’t really ranking factors anymore, they should still be used for the sake of convenience.
- Consider the content and word count.
- While you do want to provide visitors with a lot of useful information, you don’t want them to become bored, either. The idea is to create content that is informative, to the point, and intriguing. Avoid using unnecessary words and fluff. Make sure the keywords appear naturally. Keep the keyword percentage lower than 2%.
- Don’t forget keyword descriptions. Even if your webpage doesn’t have a high ranking in search results, your images might. Remember: search engines allow for people to do image searches for keywords. Add the ALT attribute with a keyword describing the image. This is also helpful for visually impaired visitors.
- Make sure links are working and qualified. Confirm to the search engine crawlers that every link on your page is valid. One way to do this is to use fully qualified, yet simple URLS rather than complex ones such as …/…/nameofpage. Also, the sitemap should contain all of the fully qualified URLs. Check your links often to make sure they are not broken.
Site-Wide and Off-Page SEO Checklist
- Monitor your inbound links. How many sites are linking back to yours? Are they quality websites that are following all of the SEO rules? Or are they spammy type websites? The quality backlinks is far more important than the quantity.
- Have index pages with consistency.
- While updating your home page and/or landing page regularly is important, there should still be some consistency with the content. Try to maintain some of the most important chunks of the content to make the page more static.
- Check your server on a regular basis. Errors such as 301 redirects and 404 will hurt your site’s rankings. Check your server configurations at least once a week to make sure everything is running smoothly.
- Monitor your PPC ads and utilize web analytics tools. Your analytics tools should be properly set up. They play a huge role in an SEO strategy. Monitor them often to make sure the keywords you are using are really generating traffic. If not, then try other keywords and create better PPC ads.
This SEO checklist should be enough to get you started. However, keep in mind that search engines – especially Google – are changing their ranking factors all the time.