The Ultimate SEO Checklist – Best Practices Now Guide

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Elke Robins | 6 April 2022

Welcome to my website, my name is Elke.

Today I want to introduce you to The Ultimate SEO Checklist – Best Practices Now Guide.

Looking for a thorough SEO checklist to improve your site’s organic traffic and Google ranking? Not anymore.

I have created the ultimate SEO checklist, containing 41 best practices and activities.

From the basics to off-page signals, everything you need to know about SEO is here.

The Ultimate SEO Checklist

Jump Ahead


Download Free Tools Here 

Useful SEO Checklist

This checklist is divided into sections covering the main SEO focus areas:

  • SEOPicture of Search Engine Optimisation
  • Keyword Study
  • Page-SEO
  • Content
  • Off-page SEO

A comprehensive SEO approach will include all of the above.

Follow our checklist to verify you’re following SEO best practices.

Implementing best practices and addressing current concerns will increase your chances of SEO success.

SEO Checklist

Still unsure what SEO is? If you neglect the fundamentals, your site may struggle to rank for competitive phrases.

The following things are purely administrative yet are essential to a good SEO strategy.

1. Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools Setup

You may utilise Google Search Console to boost your site’s organic visibility and traffic.

My thorough guide explains why it’s so vital to use, set it up, and more. Google Search Console

Bing Webmaster Tools provides similar statistics and insights for their search engine.

These essential tools enable you to upload sitemaps, uncover crawl issues, etc.

Set them up now and thank me later.

2. Insta-Google-An

Good data is required for sound decision. How many people visit Google Analytics?

Google Analytics Organic Traffic

Google Analytics LogoMy Google Analytics beginner’s guide will teach you everything from setup to basic reporting.

Still, one thing is sure: you can’t conduct a successful SEO campaign without it.

To import data from Google Search Console, you will also need to connect to Google Analytics.

3. Install and configure a WordPress SEO plugin

Use WordPress as your content management system (39.5 per cent of the web currently does).

You should instal and set up an SEO plugin to offer the capabilities and features you need to effectively optimise your site.

We propose SEO plugins in our WordPress SEO checklist.

It’s a question of personal taste.”

Whether you don’t use WordPress, ask your developer if an SEO plugin or module is required.

Resource: SEO Plugin 

One of the most popular Shopify SEO software is Plugin SEO.

4. Create and send a sitemap

A sitemap helps search engines identify which pages to crawl and which is the canonical version.

Create a sitemap to ensure that your site’s content is scanned and indexed.

Includes when a file was last updated, how often it is edited, and any language versions.

Google accepts various sitemap types, although XML is the most prevalent.

Your sitemap is usually found athttps://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml.

Building a sitemap is routine if you use WordPress.

Otherwise, you may use one of the various sitemaps generating programmes accessible.

Once produced, send your sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

How to Submit Sitemap

Remember to include your sitemap in your robots.txt file.

5. Make a Robots.txt

Your site’s robots.txt file notifies search engine crawlers which pages and files they may access.

It’s usually used to restrict crawling of certain pages, not to de-index them from Google.

The robots.txt file is located at:

https://www.domain.com/robots.txt.robots.txt file

Check if you already have one.

Make one even if you don’t need to restrict any websites from crawling.

Your CMS may need you to manually generate and upload the file to the domain’s root.

CMS stands for content management system.This beginner’s tutorial explains how to utilise robots.txt files.

6. Manual Actions in Search Console

In rare cases, a manual action may adversely impact your site.

Manual precautions may be taken against unnatural links, thin content, concealed text, and even open spam.

Manual action will never impact most sites.

You may find them in Google Search Console’s manual actions tab.

However, you should always check before starting a new project or taking over an existing one.

7. Assure Google Can Index Your Website

Making ensuring Google can index your site is part of SEO fundamentals.

Resource: Step-by-Step Guide to Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts

When Google is unable to index a website, it is not as often as you may think.

When moving code from a staging environment to a live environment, developers often leave noindex tags in place.

Use the Site Audit Tool to test your website’s crawlability and indexability.

Plan your project’s site audit. After the audit, go to the Crawlability report for further info.

The most crucial pages of your site should be checked again to prevent wasting time later.

Doubtful Google has properly indexed your site?

It’s impossible to rank for the proper phrases without thorough keyword research.

Your traffic won’t convert if you don’t rank for the correct keywords.

8. Identify Your Rivals

Finding phrases that work for your competition is easy to start keyword research (i.e., competitor keywords).

I believe that no time spent analysing competitors is wasted.

Use the SEMRush Domain Overview tool to determine who your competitors are and how you visibility compares.

9. Locate Your Money Keywords

Money tree in a glass full of coinsYou must know your “money” keywords. These are the ones that will generate leads, sales, and conversions.

These are also known as head terms and pillar page keywords.

These are high volume, high competition keywords that really encapsulate your subject or area.

Consider the phrase “NFL Jerseys” as an example—it is a head term.

It is possible to find keywords for your products and services using the Keyword Overview tool.

10. Find Keyword Variations

A keyword strategy without long-tail keywords isn’t one.

In fact, long-tail keywords outperform head phrases in terms of conversion rate.

A long-tail keyword

Your SEO approach should target both long-tail and head phrases.

Finding your objective head phrase can help you focus on more specific long-tail keywords that convert better.

The Keyword Magic Tool can discover long-tail keywords.

The software provides a list of keywords with match types such as wide, phrase, exact, and related.

11. A Keyword Map

Your next step is to “map” or link your target keywords with your site’s pages and detect gaps.

Keyword mapping guide says:

Keyword mapping is a basic framework for targeting keywords that reflects your site’s structure.

For boosting traffic, the map may help identify areas for improvement.

12. Examine the Rank Pages’ Intent


Your page’s content must fit the searcher’s purpose.

This entails analysing the sites that rank for your goal phrases and matching your content.

Assume you want to target a word nationally.

Despite considerable search traffic and moderate keyword difficulty, the SERPs only show local results.

You can’t match your content with Google’s goal until you understand it.

Learn how to determine search intent and use this helpful graphic to categorise search features by intent type:

You may also utilise SEMRush Keyword Research tools to determine keyword intent.

The purpose selections differ to assist you in establishing the searcher’s buyer journey stage.

Navigational, informational, commercial, and transactional keywords.

13. Identify the questions being asked

Knowing your audience’s queries might help you better address them via your website’s content.

The Term Magic Tool can find relevant questions for any keyword.

Use the “questions” filter to show results.

This is an excellent place to start, mainly if you use more precise terms.

You may also utilise a tool like AlsoAsked.com to scrape information and find “People Also Asked” inquiries.

14. Determine Your Keywords’ Difficulty

A new website may struggle to rank for competitive keywords until then.

As a result, you must assess the keyword difficulty. Beginning your SEO strategy with realistic goals may assist.

Avoid broad keywords like “Toyota Camry” in favour of long-tail phrases like “Toyota Camry San Diego.”

Measure complexity using the Keyword Overview Tool (or any other tool that indicates keyword difficulty).

Technical SEO helps build solid foundations and ensures crawlability and indexability.

Here are some of the most prevalent technical best practices.

15. Use HTTPS Only

Since 2014, HTTPS has been a ranking factor.

There’s no excuse not to use HTTPS encryption on your site, so move now.

browser's URL barExamine your browser’s URL bar to see whether your site is HTTPS.

An HTTPS padlock is shown by a padlock icon to the right of the URL. The answer is no.

Visit the Site Audit tool and look at the dedicated HTTPS report for further information.

16. Check for Duplicate Sites in Google’s Index

Allowing Google to index just one version of your site is critical.

Each one should link to a single version of your site.

https://www.domain.com

https://domain.com

http://www.domain.com

https://domain.com

You may use either the non-www or www variant, but the most frequent is https://www.domain.com.

You may test this by typing each option into your browser’s bar.

If you’ve set up redirects without trouble but can still access other versions, do so immediately.

17. Fix Crawl Errors


Google Search Console can instantly discover any crawl issues.

In the Coverage report, you’ll see mistakes, excluded pages, warnings, and legitimate pages.

Investigate any problems and discover why URLs are missing from search results.

Issues like 404 errors and poorly canonicalized sites might significantly affect your website’s performance.

18. Boost Site Speed

Even Google admitted that page experience will be a ranking factor in 2021.

You must ensure that your site loads swiftly and that consumers demand more.

No one is waiting for a sluggish site now.

This tool may help you assess page performance and Core Web Vitals metrics.

Scroll down to see your total Performance score and recommended improvement activities.

A site Audit may also provide a glimpse of your Core Web Vitals and improvement suggestions.

19. Fix internal and external links

Broken links are bad for the user. Nobody loves clicking a link and being taken to a different website.

Your Site Audit report will include a list of broken internal links that you should update or remove.

20. Fix HTTP Links on HTTPS Pages

Most sites moved to HTTPS years ago, yet internal links still go to HTTP pages.

Even if a redirect is in place, it should be changed soon.

Fix the few broken links manually in your CMS.

If they are site-wide, you must modify page layouts or search the database to replace them.

If uncertain, consult your developer.

21. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

Google prioritises mobile friendliness. Google began indexing all webpages mobile-first in mid-2019.

Your organic exposure will suffer if you do not provide a mobile-friendly experience.

Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see whether your site is mobile-friendly.

22. Create SEO-Friendly URLs

An SEO-friendly URL structure helps search engines explore and comprehend your pages.

Resource: What is SEO Affiliate Marketing – Detailed Guide

Your page URLs should also be essential and descriptive.

An SEO-friendly URL looks like this:

https://www.domain.com/red-shoes/

Unlike a non-descriptive query string:

https://www.domain.com/category.php?id=32

Use hyphens to separate words in URLs, not underscores.

Keep URLs brief (a study by Backlinko showed that shorter URLs tend to rank higher).

23. Consolidate data

Structured data markup gains value as Google builds a more semantic web.

If you don’t use structured data, you should.

Schema.orgAlso available in the Schema.org vocabulary are data formats for assessing items and services.

Structured data like review ratings and pricing make your organic listings stand out on the SERPs.

Check whether your site utilises structured data by using Google’s structured data checker.

24. Check Your Site’s Page Depth

Pages should be no more than three clicks deep on your site.

If they are, you need to invest effort in flattening your site’s structure.

More pages in your website design mean less chance of visitors or search engines finding them.

The Internal Linking report in Site Audit shows how many clicks it takes to visit a page.

25. Monitor 302 Redirects

A 302 redirect is temporary, but a 301 redirect is permanent.

While Google has verified that 302 redirects pass PageRank, they must be changed to 301.

The Site Audit report will show any 302 redirects as pages with temporary redirects.

26. Fix Redirect Loops and Chains

Redirects should not create a loop or take visitors or search engines down a rabbit hole.

Replies should go from A to B.

The Issues tab in Site Audit will indicate any redirect chain or loop issues.

Update all redirects in a chain to the final destination or remove and update the redirect creating the loop.

On-page factors like excellent content and a pleasant on-page experience affect ranking and organic traffic.

These days, blog postings are very competitive.

Therefore, it’s critical to outrank rivals for vital keywords.

Resource: What is the best Keyword Research Technique in SEO

Check out our blog SEO guide for more information.

Check the boxes below and create great content for users rather than just for search engines.

27. Title Tag Duplication and Truncation

Title tags are a critical component of search engine optimisation.

They are frequently the first things an SEO looks at to help a page rank.

Title tags tell search engines what a page is about and influence whether a person clicks on it.

The title tags should be descriptive enough to let visitors know what they’re about to see.

Title Tag Shortening (you will see three dots after the title tag and part of it missing).

Title tags above 70 characters are usually trimmed.

You must also check for title tags (where the title tag is blank).

These problems may be fixed by updating your page’s title tags.

28. Resolve Meta Description Duplicates and Missing


While meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor, they assist people to understand your page’s content.

Your meta description influences whether or not a user chooses your listing over another (CTR).

Otherwise, Google shows the page’s content, which may contain navigation text and other unpleasant aspects.

If you have duplicates, you probably aren’t giving a compelling description that attracts clicks.

Remember that Google rewrites meta descriptions 70% of the time to fit search intent.

But always write one that inspires people to study more.

29. Fix Multiple H1 Tags

The H1 element is the page’s primary heading and should only be used once.

A site with too many H1 tags will be highlighted in the Issues tab of Site Audit.

Multiple H1 tags are often used to surround your site’s logo and main heading.

H1 tags should include a page’s primary target term, so be sure you’re labelling the proper material.

30. Revise your page content and title tags.

Your page titles and meta tags may help you rank for keyword variations and your main keywords.

Determine which pages in Google Search Console’s performance report have high impressions but little clicks.

Not having optimised your website with these variances in text or tags makes it relevant for searches.

Remember that just increasing keyword mentions won’t cut it.

Consider these keywords as themes for H2s or subsections.

Optimise your page with this in mind, and you’ll notice an increase in clicks and ranking position.

31. Conduct a Content Audit and Edit

content auditA content audit is an excellent approach to finding out what material is working and what isn’t.

Getting rid of information that doesn’t rank, adds no value, and shouldn’t be on your site.

Auditing content and removing thin, redundant, or low-quality information is critical.

Delete any material that doesn’t bring value to your site.

That’s it. Kevin Indig’s essay on using SEMRush for SEO pruning is a great place to start.

You may also use our Content Audit tool to determine which pages to rewrite, eliminate, or update.

32. Alt Tags for Images

Always focus on image optimisation.

This is an area of SEO that is often disregarded, from picture identification to size and quality optimisation.

Ensure that the significant pictures on each site page have alt tags that accurately convey the information.

Alt tags are helpful for both search engines and visually challenged people.

Check your site’s photos for missing alt text using the Site Audit Issues tab.

33. Internal Linking

Internal links are one of the most under-utilised link development strategies.

Improving your site’s internal linking strategy might provide immediate results.

An internal link from an authoritative page elsewhere on your site might help some marketers experience rapid gains.

Find sites that need to be connected to or that have authority that should be shared.

The Site Audit Internal Linking report’s “Notices” section lists pages with just one internal link.

What is Anchor Text? What You Should Know About SEO

34. Fix Keyword Cannibalisation Problems


Keyword cannibalisation occurs when numerous pages on the same site rank for the exact keywords.

Keyword cannibalisation is a confusing SEO term.

It isn’t necessarily a significant concern.

Assume you have two pages ranking for “SEO checklist”—one outdated and one current.

If Google favours the older page, it may not rank the more helpful current page.

In this scenario, combining the two carriers will avoid separating traffic.

With cannibalisation, search engines can’t select which page to show, making ranking difficult.

Set up a Position Tracking campaign and look at the Cannibalisation tab.

This cannibalisation tutorial will show you how to identify and resolve these difficulties.

35. Revive Orphaned Site Pages

Your site’s pages should constantly be connected to other pages.

A page with no links to other pages on your site is likely lacking authority and scoring low.

Orphaned pages in sitemaps are identified in the Site Audit Issues tab.

The Internal Linking report highlights it.

Link to these pages from one other related page.

36. Update Your Site’s Content


Content ages and becomes obsolete.

For significant gains, upgrading outdated information is one of the simplest chores.

Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina says:

We’ve discovered that updating previous blog entries is a great SEO strategy.

It’s time well spent if your page’s material is outdated or could use a new perspective.

After all, why would Google maintain ranking outdated content until it’s updated?

Off-page SEO factors are vital for SEO effectiveness. But, as we’ll see, it’s more than just link building.

37. Examine Your Competitor’s Links

In order to outrank your rivals, you need to be aware of their link profile.

Just as you should analyse your competitors’ content, you should investigate their link profile.

Analysing a competitor’s link profile might reveal the overall quality and authority of their backlinks.

Aslo, check out How To Get More Traffic To Your Website

38. Analyse Link Intersects

Do you lose out on links that your rivals get?

A link intersect analysis might help you identify quick wins.

Backlink Analytics lets you enter up to five sites to examine which links to your competitors.

A resource website that links everyone except you? Reach out and beg to be added.

39. Link Unlinked Mentions

Link Unlinked MentionsIt’s possible to come across news articles that mentions your firm but doesn’t relate.

This course shows you how to utilise Brand Monitoring to find unlinked brand mentions and connect them.

Customise your Brand Monitoring tool’s associated keywords.

40. New Link Building Possibilities

There are constantly fresh possibilities to develop connections but locating them might take time.

Building a high-quality backlink profile is vital and employing the correct SEO tools may help.

The Link Building Tool, for example, provides a steady supply of new chances and websites to contact.

Your possibilities will multiply in minutes, and you will have a firm plan to outperform your competitors.

Our Link Building Guide covers particular link building tactics.

41. Make a Google Business Profile

Off-page criteria include more than simply links, despite their importance in ranking.

Make sure your local company is listed (and ranked) on Google Business Profile (GBP).

A rival will basically get all of your visitors.

It takes effort to properly optimise and maintain your GBP listing.

But whether you serve consumers at their site or visit you, you will benefit from your time here.

Check out our GBP (previously Google My Business) guide to learn how to improve your brand’s local presence.

Boost Your SEO Presence Now!

Here is a 41-step SEO checklist that both beginners and expert SEOs may use to optimise their sites.

A checklist doesn’t guarantee SEO success.

You must follow these methods to boost your SEO to outrank your competition.

I hope The Ultimate SEO Checklist – Best Practices Now Guide was helpful.

Please Leave Questions and Comments Below and I will gladly answer them.Good Luck

Bye for now and Good Luck