A Comprehensive SEO Checklist For Website Owners

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SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search engine results. Any website owner needs to know what SEO options are available and how to use them. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about SEO, from the basics to more advanced concepts. From creating an SEO plan to optimizing your website for search engine ranking, this guide is perfect for anyone who wants to improve their website’s visibility in the online world.

SEO is now one of the most important aspects of your website’s success. To keep your website ranking high in search engines, you need to ensure your website is configured properly. However, making a comprehensive SEO checklist can be difficult. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will help you get the most out of your SEO efforts.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a broad discipline where it can be easy to get stuck or caught up in details.

So in this column, you’ll find a full checklist to help you craft an SEO strategy built for your unique needs. You’ll work through key considerations for:

Technical SEO.
On-page optimizations.
External factors.


Technical SEO Cheat Sheet

Before focusing on the specific content you want to rank in the search engines, you must ensure that your site can be indexed and crawled.

This all falls into the category of technical SEO.

Free Reporting Platforms

Free Reporting Platforms Start by making sure you have Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager tied to your site. These tools all deliver great diagnostic and analytics data to help you.

XML Sitemap

XML Sitemap This is a table of contents for your website. The sitemap file is the modern way of “submitting” your pages to search engines. Most website platforms have this built-in or have plugins/add-ons that will create a dynamic sitemap that stays in sync with the pages on your site. At worst, you should at least have a static one that you can generate through many free tools.

Robots.txt

This file gives instructions to the search engines on which pages or sections of the website they should not index. By default, search engines will examine every page they discover.

Even if you don’t intend to prevent a web search engine from indexing the pages on your website, ensure that the file is in place:

Does it match up?

Validates the validity of Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Make sure you don’t block important. 

 This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about SEO, from the basics to more advanced concepts.

Domains:

If you have more than the primary domain, Make sure you know what each of your domain names is doing. If they’re parked and not used, then that’s fine.

If they redirect users to your site, you should be sure they redirect to the site (versus mirroring the website or 301 redirects).

This can be a simple spot to check and forget about; however, don’t forget about it because it could cause issues with duplicate content or confusion about which domain name is the legitimate one.

Site Architecture:

The more structure and hierarchy you can incorporate into the navigational and section of your website, the more effective. This will help users and the search engines and present organized content and topics (more on this later).

Make sure that an organization structure for your URLs and directory structures is in line with the page’s literal and the file format of your website’s content.

Retrospectively drawing out the structure of your site or sitemap can be a great start. It forces you to consider the website’s content, how you’ve prioritized particular aspects of your site, and how you wish to guide your visitors (as an engine) to it.

Speed

There are still stats showing that people spend shorter periods before bounces. The search engines have been working overtime to incorporate the speed of pages into ranking factors. Try to find ways to limit the usage of JavaScript and large loading chunks of code on your web pages. Also, find ways to store or load externally loaded elements.

There are many great developers tools to aid you in identifying the most effective areas to improve your website to bring your page loading times to competitive levels.

Mobile-Friendly:

It’s not a surprise that our websites must be mobile-friendly. But, even if you created your website using a mobile-friendly framework such as responsive design, you need to verify that it’s approved. Be sure to run it through Google’s mobile-friendly test.

Also, conduct as much testing of user experience (UX) and quality assurance (QA) tests as you can to ensure it will work for your customers on any device you expect they will use.

404 Pages:


Make sure to create your own 404 page and add helpful information. It isn’t a good idea to lose visitors to your website due to an error in the default browser coming up.

You must make a 404-friendly page with useful hyperlinks, navigation, site search capabilities, and contact options.

SSL:

Like mobile-friendly and site speed requirements security, having a secure website is crucial. If your website doesn’t have an SSL or SSL certificate, you could lose visitors before accessing your site if they get a security warning in Chrome or any other browser.

Ensure your site is secure by taking the comparatively easy step of implementing an SSL certification for your website.

Extensions, Plugins, Add-ons, or Extensions:


If you’re using a Content management system, the chances are that you’re already using plugins or code extensions you are comfortable with. The majority of platforms offer tools that can be added to your website to give you more control over SEO and Analytics functions.

It doesn’t matter if these are WordPress SEO plugins or others designed for Drupal, Magento, etc. It would help if you were looking for reliable extensions, plugins, or add-ons which give the most control and flexibility.

Essential Web Vital Information:


The Core Web Vitals is a category of other technical factors on pages that are currently relevant to Google. They are added to Page Experience elements like the mobile-friendliness of your site and speed of pages. These factors for page experience can certainly lead you down the path of deep coding and IT fields.

Do the necessary research to understand CWV. If you’re not in charge of the technical implementation of changes to optimize the performance of LCP, FID, and CLS, Prepare a convincing argument for why they are important to SEO and then present this information to your team members who you will rely on to implement.


Pre-existing Issues:

Do you have any traces of an earlier website or obsolete SEO strategies?

Perhaps there is a legitimate reason to have duplicate content on your website and the internet.

Understanding what’s happening is crucial before diving into optimizing your web pages. If you’ve got multiple duplicate pages with an excellent reason, it is advisable to think about the canonical method or strategy you’d like to implement robots’ instructions to index.

It is crucial to keep this in mind and address it before you put time and energy into optimizing your page’s performance.

Copyscape and Screaming Frog are my favorites for locating duplicate content and analyzing content before SEO on-page.

The On-Page SEO Cheat Sheet

When SEO gets mentioned, most people tend to think about on-page factors (e.g., keywords, content, or title tags). The days of optimizing just a few elements of websites or pages to improve their SEO are long gone.

Search engines are more concerned with context than words, so do not get attracted to simply changing the meta tag or copy of your body and then move forward.

The way to build the context of a page is by considering every element inside a page. Then, contemplate how pages are connected within sections and navigate the website.

Keywords and Topics

Before you can concentrate on creating the context, it is important to be aware of what you intend to construct it to serve.

Suppose you’ve not conducted search engine optimization or other analysis of your intended audience. In that case, you’ll need to stop now and take a moment to find out what topics and phrases your customers will are using to locate your site.

Be aware that the days of tucking in terms into tags or page copy are over.

We must use SEO tools to identify the correct terms, phrases, and subjects that are compatible with what we are doing. Then, we can go into the specific words that we can use in the site’s design.

It is essential to understand the terms you need to know and map them to your website, and then do the other on-page factors to be followed.

Content

Content is essential to demonstrate relevance. If you’re only using a few words and elements on your website, it can be hard to compete against sites that are solid and full of information. There is no need to be more as the quality of a website is always superior to quantities.


If you can do both of these, you’ll be in a better position. Engaging content written for the user that resonates with them and is clear to search engines is how you succeed. Avoid using outdated strategies that could hurt users’ experience and put you in danger from your search engines.

URL

It is the very first part of a webpage and is often neglected. Search engines can index ugly URLs that are faceted and ugly just fine.


The URL, however, is an opportunity to show an uncluttered directory structure with keywords and a context of what the page’s purpose is. Don’t pass up the chance to personalize these URLs.


Title


The title tag on its own isn’t going to be enough for you. It is important to include a unique, relevant tag for every page.

Be aware of guidelines for length and keywords that are the most relevant to your page’s topic, and then write and use static tags. Also, make sure you have dynamic formulas to fill in the title.

Meta Description

Similar to the title tag, we must be able to create topically pertinent meta descriptions for every page.

If you are using dynamic or static content, be sure that the content is beneficial to the user. Also, it should contain keywords that relate to the text and help establish context by using titles tags.


Headings

Headings and “H” tags can be debated on the importance of heading tags in SEO. However, I’m not focusing on one particular aspect but on how all elements are interconnected to establish the context.

If you’re able to use heading tags, make sure to do it systematically and ensure that they contain relevant words. Use only one H1 tag, and make this be your primary.

Many developers or platforms for websites use these tags to serve CSS reasons, so you may not have an H1 tag on your page but an array of H6 tags. Be aware of these tags and how they’re woven within your program and your content.


Body Copy

While the majority of the concentrate upon latent semantic indexing keywords density and formulas to determine how many instances words must appear on a webpage are out of date, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the body copy on the page usually is the largest block of content that can be indexed.

Make sure you include your primary keywords in your body copy, as you’ll tie them into the context you’ve created throughout the other areas.

But don’t get caught up in the 37 times you’ve used a word. Use your instincts and concentrate on the big picture, and you’ll be on the right track.

Image Alt Attributes

One of the most significant warning signs I see in my accessibility results and other on-page auditing tools is that they do not have alt text. Alt text can be helpful to search engines to comprehend the meaning behind an image.

This is another chance to incorporate keywords into a website. Additionally, you should consider the users that may use screen readers and ensure that your website is accessible.


Structured Data

Although it is not a definitive ranking factor, Schema.org markup gets right to the core of creating the context.

Utilizing the correct markups for structured data on your website’s content could help give a different clue to search engines to determine what section or the category your content is placed in.

If your platform for the website does not have a method to include this, and when it’s a significant amount of price or time, place it at the bottom of the line after the other items mentioned above. But make sure to keep this on your radar.


External SEO Factors

This is the bonus area. External factors are the things that aren’t managed on your website and do not necessarily fit into an inventory.

But, I’d be irresponsible to paint a picture that all you have to do is indexing and the on-page aspects, and you’ll be at the top of search engines.

On-page factors affect the relevancy and trust of your website for search engines. External factors impact the “authority” standing and establish your site as an expert in the field.


Links

Inbound links (a.k.a. hyperlinks) to your website via trusted and trustworthy websites play an important impact in SEO. Additionally, the brand mentions that are not linked (a.k.a. citations) and how often your website is being talked about online.

There’s much to say about the process of making great content that people will naturally like to share with others.

To enhance your content, don’t forget to search for excellent sources of high-quality links via natural relationships, accreditations, and potential traffic sources within your industry.

It is important to concentrate your efforts on reliable sources relevant to your topic. Do not pay for an online link in a manner that violates the guidelines of search engines.


Local Search

Local directory listings and site citations are essential if you own an office or a service-based company.


While claiming and legally owning your listing is a way to safeguard your brand on the most basic level, you must ensure that your address, name, and telephone number (NAP information) are consistent and accurate across all social and local directories relevant.


There’s a complete local directory network, and if you’re able to at the very least work on NAP details, you’ll be able to build an excellent foundation.

Social Media

Social media also can help search engine optimization (and other marketing) strategies, even if it doesn’t directly impact your ranking.

Making sure that your website is linked to your own and active social media accounts, and in reverse, is an important first step.

Beyond that, you have to ensure that your engagement level is at par with that of your top-ranked competitors. This is a scale of relative importance; however, by knowing what your competition is doing, you can ensure that SEO aspects of society are being addressed.

Conclusion

Hope this list will help to improve the performance of your site. By making changes to your site’s technical and on-page SEO, you can assist Google in the index and find your website’s content. While you work to improve your site, monitor your organic search results in Google Analytics to see the effects of your improvements.