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Your 9 Point SEO Checklist

SEO Checklist

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

February 16, 2022

The most prevalent marketing tactic now is search engine optimization (SEO). With this SEO Checklist, you’ll have the right formula for success!

It’s also logical! Every year, Google serves billions of queries, and if you rank high, you’re practically certain to get quality visitors. But here’s the thing: Google’s recommendations are lengthy and difficult to understand, particularly if you’re new to SEO.

You’ll need an SEO audit checklist to ensure that your site has the highest chance of ranking #1.

Use the nine-point website optimization checklist below to get started optimizing your website (and achieving those top rankings). Rank Fire will assist you with your website’s SEO checklist if you want expert assistance.

Every day at Rank Fire, we work in organic SEO, assisting our customers in generating online traffic, leads, and sales. Upwards of $2,416,945,839 in income and 6,271,747 leads were created for our clients in the past five years.

To develop an SEO plan for your company, contact us online or call 833-777-RANK immediately!

1. SEO Checklist: Basic setup

A basic setup of must-use tools, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console, should be included in every SEO checklist for new websites (and even current ones). Use this website SEO checklist to get your accounts up and running and connected to your site! Remember that many website optimization tools are available to assist you with your SEO!

Set up your Google Analytics account

Google Analytics is a major player in website analytics and search engine optimization.

You can observe the following using Google Analytics:

  • How much traffic does Google, social media, other websites, and other sources provide to your site?
  • Which pages have the highest bounce rate, time on site, conversion rate, and other metrics?
  • How long do consumers take to convert after discovering your website?
  • Plus a lot more

Google Analytics also integrates with several other services, including:

  • Google Adwords
  • Google Data Studio is a tool for analyzing data.
  • Google Search Console is a tool provided by Google.

Follow these five steps to get your Google Analytics account up and running.

Set up your Google Search Console account

The next step is to create a Google Search Console account to connect to Google Analytics.

Google Search Console, like Google Analytics, is a free tool. It’s also a strong tool, giving your company much information about your website’s performance in search results. Google Search Console shows how people discover your website through organic search results.

You may use Google Search Console to:

  • For indexing, submit your website’s sitemap as well as individual pages.
  • Look for crawl faults and mobile-friendly issues on your website.
  • See the most-linked pages, the most-linked sites, and more.
  • View each page impression and click counts.
  • Determine which terms generate the most page visits and traffic.
  • Plus a lot more

After you’ve set up Google Search Console for your website, you can go to the following step of our SEO audit checklist.

Set up Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing has a sizable share of the search industry, despite Google’s dominance. That is why Bing Webmaster Tools is beneficial. Bing Webmaster Tools, like Google Search Console, allowing you to view how your website and pages perform in search results – but only on Bing.

Bing Webmaster Tools has a few features that are worth making use of:

  • Submitting and uploading your sitemap
  • Getting a copy of your biweekly SEO report
  • Checking your site using the SEO Analyzer tool

Follow Bing’s simple how-to tutorial to get started with Bing Webmaster Tools.

Set up Yoast SEO for WordPress sites

Do you have a WordPress site? Then you should include Yoast SEO installation in your SEO audit checklist.

Yoast SEO is a free plugin with premium upgrades that helps you improve your site for search engine optimization. Your organization may employ customized versions, such as for local SEO, video SEO, news SEO, and even WooCommerce SEO, in addition to the standard version.

You may use Yoast SEO to:

  • Establish canonical URLs
  • Maintain sitemaps and robots.txt files.
  • Redirect pages even if you don’t know how to code.

Learn more about the premium and free editions to evaluate which version of Yoast SEO is ideal for your site.

2. SEO Checklist: Keyword research

Keyword research is a process of searching what people search for when looking for information about your business or industry on Google.

After that, you can begin employing those phrases on your website to attract visitors and, more importantly, prospective consumers.

Use our exclusive keyword research tool to uncover high-quality keywords for your content and PPC advertising.

Identify top keywords

Check out our quick guide to keyword research if you’d want to learn more about the process of doing keyword research.

We’ll stick to the fundamentals with our SEO checklist for new beginner’s guide to keyword research.

Create a seed list of keywords

You are the only one who comprehends your company. As a result, keyword research usually begins with brainstorming to generate a seed list of possible keywords.

Any keywords you know are important to your company should be included in this list. Anything related to your business, industry, or even headquarters is a good place to start for keyword research.

A local thrift shop, for example, may start with keywords like “vintage t-shirts in [their city]” or “thrift shop [their city].”

An electrician, for example, may use keywords like “electricians in [city].” They might also target more generic questions like “how to connect a dimmer switch” or similar informative requests.

While your business may vary from these examples, the concept remains the same: choose keywords that your consumers are likely to look for.

Then it’s time to locate the right keywords.

Look up keywords in tools

It’s time to check your keywords once you’ve created your seed list.

You may accomplish this by using a keyword research tool to look for your keywords. Google Keyword Planner is the most popular since it displays pay-per-click (PPC) statistics.

(This information is only accessible to individuals who conduct AdWords campaigns; if you don’t advertise on Google, you may use one of many other keyword tools.)

However, in terms of search volume, popularity, and competitiveness, such data is still useful for SEO.

Search volume, or how many times people search for a term in a particular month, is the most useful piece of data. This will provide you with extra visits your website may attract and convert to clients.

However, keywords with many searches aren’t necessarily the ideal options. Because more organizations are attempting to rank for terms that are searched more often, this is the case.

This means you’ll face greater competition, which is why it’s critical to understand what makes keywords lucrative.

Make sure you investigate the search volume, cost-per-click (CPC), and competitiveness for the terms you chose. Following this section of the website optimization checklist will help you target the most valuable keywords, which will assist your SEO strategy.

Record valuable keywords

This is a common trend among the best keywords:

  • Long (3+ words)
  • Specific
  • 10+ monthly searches
  • Low competition
  • High relevance

Long-tail keywords are what they’re called. They may not attract a large number of individuals to your site, but you may target a large number of them to generate simple, consistent traffic.

Because you rank for so many various searches when you target more of these keywords, your brand will start to expand online as you target more of them.

You may then go on to more generic keywords after establishing that foundation for your website.

However, longer, more precise keywords are preferable for nearly all companies.

Additionally, particular terms are linked to buyer intent. Someone searching for “men’s size seven running shoes,” for example, is considerably more likely to become a buyer than someone searching for “shoes.”

After all, the more explicit they are, the more evident their intentions are.

While it’s important to keep track of the positive keywords you come across, it’s also critical to eliminate the poor ones.

Remove poor keywords

The definition of “bad” keywords varies by industry; however, they often follow this pattern:

  • Short
  • General
  • A large number of searches
  • High competitiveness
  • Low importance

Targeting these keywords with a new website is typically ineffective, which is why we include this task on our new website SEO checklist. That’s because you’ll be competing against national (or perhaps global) firms with more powerful websites than you.

Some of these phrases may ultimately make terrific objectives, but if you truly want to make them work, you’ll need to build up to them.

You may start targeting those keywords with content after reducing your list of keywords.

3. SEO Checklist: Technical SEO

A technical SEO checklist may be frightening, particularly if you or your team are unfamiliar with the technical aspect of SEO. Technical SEO, on the other hand, is critical. That’s why you should go through and implement this technical SEO checklist.

Fix crawl errors in Google Search Console

Do you recall Google Search Console? You may use it to detect and fixing crawl errors, for example.

A crawl issue occurs when Google cannot read or see your website, which is problematic. Google will not rank your page for the phrase you want if it doesn’t comprehend what it’s about. That implies less traffic for you; thus, resolving this issue is a top priority.

These steps may assist you in identifying and resolving crawl problems in Google Search Console:

  • Log in to Google Search Console.
  • Go to the “Index” menu and choose “Coverage.”
  • Check for any crawl issues.

Google will offer further details for each crawl error. You may learn more about the issue and how to repair it by clicking “Learn More.” After you’ve repaired the problem, you can confirm the remedy by going back to the error and selecting “Validate Fix.”

Use “URL Inspection” in Google Search Console

While considering Google as a user is beneficial, Google (and its bots) cannot view your website in the same manner that most consumers can. For example, Google uses alt text to figure out what the image is and what it’s for when it comes to photos.

Because Google may not perceive your site the same way you do, it’s a good idea to utilize the “URL Inspection” tool:

  • Go to Google Search Console and sign in.
  • Choose “URL Inspection” from the drop-down menu or type your URL into the search box.
  • Select “Test Live URL” from the drop-down menu.
  • Select “View Tested Page” from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose “Screenshot” from the drop-down menu.
  • Take a look at your page from Google’s point of view.

After seeing how Google perceives your page, you may make required tweaks or modifications.Fix broken links or 404 errors

A 404 error, often known as a broken link, does not please Google or users. That’s why 404 errors should be checked for on every website optimization checklist – and fixed as quickly as feasible.

You may use a variety of tools to discover broken links on your site, including the ones listed below:

The Screaming Frog is a frog that screams.

  • Screaming Frog
  • Link Check
  • SEO Minion

This item in your SEO checklist should simply take a few minutes if you have a modest website. On the other hand, a bigger site may take more time and resources to repair 404 errors, particularly if it hasn’t been updated in months or even years.

In any case, you’ll want to track down and repair any broken connections.

Make every page responsive or mobile-friendly

It is unavoidable to have a responsive or mobile-friendly site. Because mobile devices account for more than half of all Internet traffic, having a mobile-friendly website is critical. If you don’t, not only will you lose traffic and ranks, but you’ll also lose revenue.

There are many techniques to test the responsiveness of your website and its pages, including:

  • Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool
  • “Mobile Usability” or “URL Inspection” in Google Search Console
  • Dev Tools for Chrome in Device Mode

Make it a point to make your site mobile-friendly.

You don’t want to lose a high search ranking because your website isn’t mobile-friendly.

 

 

Have an HTTPS site

An HTTPS site is just as important as a mobile-friendly site.

Because Google considers HTTPS a ranking factor, getting an HTTPS certificate is necessary for any search engine optimization checklist. For the record, HTTPS is a protocol that aids in the presentation and security of online sites.

You want to provide consumers, as well as search engines, a safe online experience. HTTPS is important even if your organization does not accept transactions online. It serves as both a ranking component and a user trust indicator.

Set aside some time to work with your development team to secure your website.

Check your page speed

Page speed is the last thing on your technical SEO checklist.

Google employs page speed as a ranking factor once again. If you don’t deliver a quick experience, users will leave, and Google is well aware of this. Consequently, the search engine’s algorithm takes your page’s speed into account when ranking it in search results.

Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool will help you determine how fast your pages are.

Your report will give practical guidance to your team. The suggestions may be perplexing in certain circumstances. This is the time to consult your development team or consider page speed optimization services.

4. SEO Checklist: Content creation

Any element you contribute to your site, including text, video, music, images, and more, is referred to as content.

From blogs to infographics, there are six types of material that websites constantly utilize to appeal to their clients.

Because content is an important part of any SEO campaign, it merits its SEO checklist.

Blogs

A blog is a component of your website to write about current events, industry news, or business news.

Blogs are wonderful for discussing almost anything, and regularly adding fresh entries to your site helps Google better read and comprehend your site.

That means you’ll get more and better ranks, as well as all the prospective clients that come with them.

Articles

Articles are text-based material that addresses themes important to your company, comparable to blogs.

Articles, on the other hand, operate best when they are evergreen.

A common example is using articles to speak about your goods and services — particularly why someone should select you over your competition.

Many of these pages might be dedicated just to a single term, depending on the size and breadth of your company.

That’s very normal, and it’s also reassuring. As a result, the more keywords you target, the more potential customers you’ll be able to attract.

Images

Because they provide a visual aspect to text-based material, images are excellent additions to blog posts and articles.

While Google’s algorithm can’t “see” photos as a person can, it can appreciate the fact that you have an image on a page that adds value to your reader.

This indicates to Google that you’re writing material with the user in mind, which will help you rank higher in search results.

Infographics

Infographics are visual representations of facts on a certain subject that are great for attracting visitors and connections to your website.

If you post them on social media, they may also help you attract visitors, particularly if your fans share them with their friends.

This is because most people can read and enjoy an infographic at a glance. This is in stark contrast to blog entries and articles, which need readers to read in-depth material to gain a complete picture of the subject.

However, you should use fewer words, more facts, and a lot more data visualization in infographics.

In the long term, that’s a winning formula for any infographic.

Videos

Videos are terrific as stand-alone pieces of content and increase the SEO value of a website.

You may summarise a whole post or blog in a handful of minutes using videos. In other words, it suggests that your message can be understood in only a few minutes, rather than requiring the reader to read a whole page.

This delivers a lot of value to your users, which Google appreciates.

You are adding high-quality videos to your website, whether as independent content or to enhance a page, is an excellent approach for any company.

Interactives

Interactives are sections of your site’s content that allow visitors to complete tasks by tweaking settings, entering data, or changing other criteria.

Interactives are more interesting than videos and are even better at garnering links than infographics.

A successful interactive will get thousands of links, create social media shares, and climb the rankings of Google search results day after day.

The drawback is that interactives need the greatest planning, construction, and testing time.

But after you’ve done that, you’ll have an internet product that will pay off for years.

Provide value

All sorts of content have one guiding principle: you must deliver value.

If you don’t provide anything useful to your site visitors — such as information, answers, or ideas — they won’t stick around.

That implies they’ll leave your site and go to a competitor’s instead, where they’ll purchase from them.

That’s the very last thing you want to happen with an SEO effort!

So, regardless of the content type you like, having a vision for the value you’ll provide your visitors is critical.

5. SEO Checklist: On-page optimization

On-page optimization is the process of simplifying your website’s code and content to make it easier for Google to read, interpret, and rank it.

You’ll rank higher overall if you make it simpler for Google to perform its job.

You must follow the steps outlined in this website optimization checklist to do this. You should check off various factors to rank in search results, ranging from improving your title tags to utilizing your keywords.

Title tags

One of the most important SEO factors for each website is the title tag.

Title tags serve as a page’s actual title, informing Google about anticipating that page. Your title also appears in search results, and it might influence whether or not a person clicks.

While Google cannot “see” photos or videos, it can read text. Google will not rank you in search results if your title tags do not fit the context of your page’s content.

When you employ title tags, it’s preferable to include something that naturally draws the user’s attention. A numbered list, an eye-catching term (shocking, horrific, etc.), or any other concept you have to capture someone’s attention in search results might be that aspect.

When your page’s title is good, it will automatically attract clicks that might otherwise go to your competition.

Meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are summaries of your page that inform visitors about what to anticipate when they visit your website.

In Google search results, meta descriptions appear underneath your title tags. They don’t directly affect your search results ranking, but they may assist persuade Google users to click.

Alt tags

The alt tags in an image, video or audio file inform Google what the picture, video, or audio file is about.

Remember how we claimed before that Google couldn’t “see” images? Steps will help to again solve the problem.

Short, three- or four-word descriptions of a multimedia element should be used as alt tags. This allows Google to see what you’re presenting to your visitors and assess how excellent of an experience you’re providing.

Always utilize an alt tag whenever you use a multimedia file on a page.

It may seem little, but it may easily make the difference in search engine rankings when competing against a strong opponent.

Keyword usage

Although Google has become much more intelligent in recent decades, it is still critical to utilize your target keywords on each page.

Because your keywords will be tied to your title tags, this shouldn’t be a problem. That means you just have to write about your subject, and the keywords will come to you naturally.

Take a step back and examine if it’s the wisest course of action if you find yourself adding keywords to various areas on a website on purpose.

In Google’s opinion, keyword stuffing is a serious issue. If your keywords are interfering with the flow of your writing, you’ve included too many.

Simply write as you would talk, and keywords will appear on the page as naturally as they would in a conversation.

Latent semantic indexing

Thanks to latent semantic indexing (LSI), Google now knows synonyms.

This is significant for two reasons:

  1. It aids your ranking for untargeted but related keywords.
  2. It allows you to write in a more conversational tone, beneficial to readers.

Making LSI work for your site is still a bit of a science. In general, the table below may be used to ensure that a good page on your site will appear incomparable queries.

You’ve nearly finished your on-page optimization now that you’ve performed all of this.

It’s time to get down to business.

6. SEO Checklist: Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of submitting your company to several web directories to market your brand to local clients.

Though there are dozens of local SEO channels throughout the globe, we’ll cover the four most important sources in our SEO checklist.

Google My Business

Google My Business allows you to add your company’s name, address, phone number, and operating hours to Google’s directory of businesses.

This allows you to appear in searches for your goods, services, and location. That means you don’t always need to target a keyword to appear in search results (though it helps) – all you have to do is sign up for Google My Business.

Starting with Google My Business is a good place to start. Even if you feel the other channels aren’t worth your effort, you’ll have a local Google listing to fall back on.

Bing Places for Business

Similar to Google My Business, Bing Places for Business lets you manage your online presence. However, it is exclusive to the Bing search engine.

It has all the same data and search advantages as Google, making it an excellent supplement to any local SEO plan.

Yelp

Most people use Yelp to write reviews of businesses on the internet nowadays. Even if you haven’t signed up for the site, people may use it to discuss their experiences with your company in depth and grade you on a scale of one to five stars.

That means people may already be talking about your company without your knowledge. Anyone might say anything, and you’re not there to provide your perspective!

That’s why it’s critical to “own” your Yelp listing.

You may personalize your listing by adding your name, address, phone number, and other details. It’s also a location where consumers can see how trustworthy you are as a company.

Even better, it allows you to regulate the comments made about your company.

So, whether you need to respond to a bad review or express gratitude for a customer’s company, you can do it all in one spot.

Yellow Pages

Yellow Pages is a company that publishes both a paper and digital phone directory of companies in the United States.

You may join their digital product for free, and it will provide you with an additional internet listing from a reputable source.

The most crucial benefit is that you may use any Yellow Pages advertising choices that are available.

Even though they aren’t entirely digital, they are one of the most well-known brands in the industry. This may go a long way toward exposing your business to new clients and keeping you ahead of the competition.

However, local SEO is just the start. You may utilize social media to complement and enhance your marketing to truly get your brand out there to prospective clients.

7. SEO Checklist: Social media

The most popular internet activity in the world is social media. That implies you need to include a social media marketing plan in your SEO strategy to reach out to consumers.

You can contact your clients where they already spend their time online by utilizing social media to encourage them to interact with, promote, and purchase from your company.

The most popular social network on the planet is the greatest place to start.

Facebook

Globally, Facebook has around 2.7 billion monthly users.

In a nutshell, this indicates that you will most likely find consumers there.

Businesses may create free pages on Facebook to include their name, address, phone number, and other pertinent information.

Facebook is a fantastic local SEO channel. Because of this, however, it may not have the same strength as Google My Business or Yelp.

Even still, it’s a good idea to include as much information as possible so that consumers can locate you on the site.

You may then utilize that page to promote your site’s content and get new followers. Participate in dialogues with your followers, answer their questions, and, if necessary, give answers to their issues.

You don’t have to give your services out for free; it’s simply nice to indicate that your company has a human aspect to it.

As a result, your organization becomes more friendly, approachable, and trustworthy.

You can see the effects of those concepts in your bottom line, even if you can’t quantify them with statistics.

Twitter

Every month, Twitter attracts more than 328 million people who use it to communicate with each other.

Creating a Twitter account for your company is more about entering a discussion than joining a social network.

Consequently, you can expect a lot of Twitter users to speak at or about you.

Twitter is currently used as a customer service platform, and any of its users who know your username may contact you.

You acquire a new platform to market your site’s content and attract new consumers using Twitter. You may even run advertising to target people depending on their preferences.

And if your material is popular, you’ll be able to view it in real-time, as well as in your website’s statistics.

Instagram

Instagram is one of the world’s most popular online photo-sharing networks.

Among photo-sharing websites, Instagram is among the most popular.

Because Facebook owns it, you can manage your Facebook and Instagram advertising from the same dashboard.

Apart from that, Instagram is an excellent platform for promoting your business using photographs and short videos.

These may include images of your firm, staff, goods, and outcomes, among other things. Text descriptions and hashtags increase the visibility of your images, which helps you get more followers.

Those followers will then become a regular audience for your future posts.

Put another way; you have a group of loyal customers you know interested in your company.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a popular picture and idea-sharing social network that encourages users to interact visually.

More than 66% of Pinterest’s users are women.

Pinterest is also popular among high-income households, which bodes well for any businesses that use the platform to promote themselves.

Pinterest is a terrific location to promote photographs in connection to your brand, whether you’re sharing photos of your business, leadership, goods, services, site content, or anything else.

This allows people to “re-pin” your content, which is Pinterest’s version of sharing.

This effectively compares Pinterest to Twitter. On the other hand, Pinterest has some purchase capability built-in, making it a great match for eCommerce and shops.

B2B businesses may use Pinterest to promote their content, share industry insights, and more.

In other words, Pinterest is beneficial to all types of businesses, regardless of industry.

LinkedIn

Your company’s LinkedIn profile will allow you to connect with business leaders of all sizes, from small-business owners to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn is the most popular social networking site for professionals in the world.

It’s also possible to share information from your website, create a blog about your company’s history, and attract new clients by doing so (or leads).

Best of all, you can build hyper-targeted, professionally-oriented advertising that only appears to LinkedIn members who meet certain criteria, such as job title, company, and so on.

As a result, LinkedIn allows you to reach out directly to professionals focused on their work.

This is especially beneficial to B2B businesses, but it is also beneficial to B2C businesses. By publishing the correct information and advertising the right items, office supply shops, for example, may have a lot of success on LinkedIn.

8. SEO Checklist: Link Building

Link building is the practise of obtaining links from other websites.

The most significant SEO ranking component links. Google sees them as digital endorsements or votes of confidence from one site to yours.

When it comes to links, though, quality trumps number. So even if you only have a few links from reputable sources, Google will still give you a higher ranking than a competitor with 1000 spam links.

Many high-quality links are the ideal position for any link-building strategy. That’s easier said than done, but that’s precisely why it’s perfect!

So, since it’s such a high objective, how do you achieve it?

We’ll go through the three most successful link-building strategies below.

Email outreach

The practice of distributing your website’s material to journalists, bloggers, and other significant individuals in your business who are interested in the content’s subject is known as email outreach.

This strategy is most effective when you combine outstanding content (such as an infographic) with a short, effective message.

This allows someone to peruse your email fast, click on your material, and determine whether or not they want to link to it from their website.

In general, email is perhaps the most dependable method of gaining new links. It’s ideal to email a specific individual rather than utilizing “info@” or “contact@” email addresses.

Check read our blog article on how to send great outreach emails to learn more about email outreach in general.

Social media outreach

A social media outreach campaign is similar to an email campaign in idea, except it takes place on a social media site like Twitter, Facebook, or another.

In general, social media outreach isn’t as efficient, persuasive, or personal as email. As a result, you should only use it if you can’t discover someone’s direct email address.

Nonetheless, it brings your material to the attention of an influencer, who may or may not share it with their audience.

Even if your intended target doesn’t connect to your site, residual links might come from others who noticed your link, liked it, and linked to it.

Natural acquisition

The natural acquisition is based on a well-known business principle: excellent items sell themselves.

If you develop something genuinely unique, useful, and entertaining, you’ll automatically get links as others find and promote your material.

As a result, the natural acquisition is a self-sustaining connection approach.

The higher the quality of your content, the more links you’ll get online.

The more web links you have, the higher your content will rank in search results.

More people will find your material if it ranks higher in search results.

Then you start all again with more links, higher rankings, and more visitors.

When it comes to natural acquisition, the idea is to create the greatest product possible to acquire results without your help.

9. SEO Checklist: Ongoing SEO

SEO isn’t a one-time event; it’s a continuous effort.

It’s time to restart the SEO procedure or checklist once you’ve “completed” it.

Stopping your website will make it impossible to continue. This means that your rivals will eventually surpass you.

Fortunately, SEO is seldom as complicated as it seems on the first attempt. That means you’ll keep improving your SEO strategy until you’ve converted your website into a lean money-making machine!

Complete your website’s SEO checklist with Rank Fire

This simple SEO checklist might assist your company in getting started with SEO.

That isn’t to say that incorporating a search engine optimization checklist into a website is simple. It takes effort, commitment, and a basic understanding of SEO. Our award-winning staff at Rank Fire can assist you in crossing off every item on your to-do list.

Fill out the form below or call us at 833-777-RANK to get started on SEO for your site.

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