When starting a website or conducting an SEO audit, there are certain things to be considered. This blog outlines all of these things such as keyword research, link building, technical SEO and more.
SEO Checklist for 2018
- Google Analytics: In order to measure web traffic, conversions, and revenue, which are key metrics of SEO, installing Google Analytics is a must. For measuring keyword ranking and for building links, you can use Ahrefs. Alternatively, you can also use Semrush, Majestic SEO, and Opensite Explorer.
- Yoast SEO Plugin: If you are using WordPress, it is best to download Yoast SEO Plugin. With this, you can work on a number of the best on-page and technical SEO practices all at one location.
- Verification of your site: A free tool that lets you check how your site is viewed by search engines through search queries, indexing status, and more, Google Search Console is the answer to have your site verified.
- Enhance speed and performance of site: You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze your site. (Score 80+) WordPress Plugins such as WP Smush, W3 Total/Super Cache, and Better Delete Revision can help speed things for your website.
- A site has to be user-friendly on every device used. Considering how mobile-friendly sites are favored by Google’s algorithm, taking the Google Mobile-Friendly Test can work to your advantage.
Keyword Research Steps
- Empathise with a buyer: One of the basic steps to keyword research is understanding what it feels like to be in the shoes of your customer. Their main objective is looking for information that is valuable for solving their problems.
- Keyword tactic: Target long tail keywords that your competitors find less competitive and have failed to address and build content around a wide portfolio of keywords rather than a sole term.
- Brainstorm: Create a keyword research template. Check out Wikipedia for ideas on topics. Use Ubersuggest, Keyword Shitter. Browsing through Quora is another way to come across untapped topics and keywords.
- Cut down your keyword list using Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Everywhere Extension. You can use CPC figures as a reference for commercial intent.
- Choosing Target Keywords: Once your list of keywords and phrases is narrowed down, begin by going through Google’s first page for every keyword. If you come across any established sites that have a great quality content, find out the number of links and authority that the competitors have using data from MOZ SEO Toolbar. Focus on those keywords that you can rank for and exclude those that are excessively competitive. The keywords you choose will be the foundation of your content.
Points for On-page SEO
- Start with low-volume keywords: Pick two keywords per page for a start.
- Search-engine friendly tags: Make sure every single page of your website has a unique tag that starts with a related keyword. Use modifiers such as ‘2017’, ‘best’, etc. and try keeping your title tags within 60 characters.
- URL Practices: Short URLs that have your targeted keyword (for example – www.example.com/target-keyword). Avoids numbers in URLs. Another important practice is to use hyphens and not underscores in your URLs.
- Meta Descriptions: It is best to keep your meta descriptions within 160 characters and highlight your USP as compared to your competitor within the description.
- Optimisation for Google image search: You can create this with Canva. While uploading the image, include the keyword in the filename and add alt-text that is keyword-rich.
- Lower bounce rates: Make sure your topic is clear by including the relevant keyword within the first hundred words of the article.
- Heading tags: Your H2 and H3 sub-heading should include your keyword at least once.
- Outbound links: Make sure you add a minimum of two outbound links to your authority sites in all the content pieces you publish.
- Internal Links: When a new article is published, add 2 or 3 internal links to older published articles.
- Content-length: Your content should be at least 300 words long and content with competitive keywords 1500 words long.
- Social sharing buttons: The social sharing buttons on your blogs and articles should be front and center. You can opt for Digg Digg WordPress plugin.
- Double-check: Once you begin using an SEO Audit Tool, cross-check everything.
Link Building Process
- Strategy: All backlinks are not equal. Earn quality backlinks (do follow links) from pages that rank high in your field. Create quality content that is relevant and that can be linked and promoted to earn this.
- Analyse Competitor: The most convenient way to link building is analyzing the backlinks, traffic, and traffic of your competitors. Take a look at the top 10 results of the search for keywords that you intend to target and check the link for every page with MOZ SEO Toolbar. Lay emphasis on all ‘Inbound links’ from the ‘only external’ sources to find out who has linked to it.
- Maximise the links for campaigns: Use the above tools to find out authoritative links and extend to the sources in order to deliver your products and blog posts. You can use Buzzsumo or Mention to search for non-linked existing content. Ask the author of the content you come across to link back you if they can.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.