Dominate Online: Follow This Checklist for Total Search Engine Optimization
29th March 2019
Dominate Online With This SEO Checklist
Do you want to improve organic traffic, drive leads and improve your position in search engine results?
We suggest you start with on-page optimization.
This is everything done to each of your site pages so search engines understand what they’re all about. A proper search engine optimization strategy will help you boost your website to the coveted first-ranking position on Google for organic or unpaid keywords.
This Search Engine Optimization (SEO) checklist can help, but before you get started with our checklist, keep these tips in mind:
- You should have one, or two keywords for each of your website pages. Trying to rank for multiple keywords on a single website page can be difficult, as search engines have a hard time knowing what keyword to rank you for. If you have multiple keywords on one page, consider breaking up the content and keywords across several different pages.
- Arm yourself with knowledge of where your keywords currently rank. Ask us about an SEO assessment to see where you stand now. If you are already on page one of Google search for your keyword, leave the page alone.
- Use Google Adwords: Keyword Planner to determine which keywords your audience may be searching for. You might be surprised at some of the keyword variations that will show a high search volume.
Create Optimized Web Pages with our SEO Checklist
The checklist below will help guide you in creating optimized web pages. Keep this in mind: Google uses over 200 components in their algorithm to rank your website pages. No single component on the checklist will help you rank better, rather, they work in combination to raise your overall search engine ranking.
- Create a new Google Account and Email address for your website
- Install Google Analytics
- Install Google Webmaster Tools
- Install Google Analytics for WordPress and SEO for WordPress or on whatever CMS you’re using
- Use our free SEO assessment tool, and learn if you are already ranking for keywords
- Check Google Webmaster Tools for 404 errors, 301 redirects, duplicate content, missing titles and other technical errors that Google has found
- Choose 1 keyword per page. Google Adwords Keyword Planner or the SEMrush Keyword Research Tool are two tools available in helping to choose keywords.
- Add all title tags
- Add all meta description tags
- Add keyword to H1 titles. If possible add in H2, H3, H4 titles, too
- Add descriptive ALT tags using keyword for any images on your page
- Add internal page links and use the page keyword you are linking to in the anchor text
- Make sure your content and keywords are relevant so both users and search engines understand what your website is offering
- Double check spelling and grammar
- Test your site’s speed with Google’s Test My Site tool
SEO in 2019
SEO has changed heading into 2019 with the goal of providing users with more comprehensive results and a shift to mobile-first indexing. The checklist above was sufficient in the past but today that is considered the bare minimum. To help you rank better in 2019 Digital Giants suggests using the following:
As we move into 2019 Google continues to improve. Previously, Google could only check pages for keywords and often the “best” result was not the best for the user. This was due to Google only being able to see and understand elements like the titles, meta description, and alt text. Now, as Google becomes smarter it has improved its ability to analyze content. It is no longer about strictly content but context. The better your content or page solves the users’ intent, the better it will rank.
Content that ranks well Google has become longer and more in-depth. A study by Backlinko found that the average length of the content on the first page of Google was 1,890 words. Including images also helped content, as it outperformed those without images.
To help Google better understand your website and content you should link related internal pages together whenever possible. You will want to use natural anchor text. Generally, you would link pages by category or similar posts. An example would be our recent SEO blog as it is about the same subject.
Review Old Content
As Google improves and changes, your old content may no longer be optimized for search in 2019. You should be regularly checking and updating your content to ensure it is always optimized. The advantage of doing this is that you can refresh older content rather than creating new content from scratch. This will save you time and resources as well. We recommend starting with your oldest content (that is relevant) and working your way to more the more recent stuff.
Optimize for Questions and Voice Search
A simple way to help your content rank better is to optimize it for user questions. Common questions can be found using tools such as Moz’ keyword explorer or even Google’s “related searches”.
In 2019 voice search in anticipated the grow. With the increased use of devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo users will rely on voice search much more. Most queries include a question such as “How do I…”. It is helpful to include the question as well as the answer on your page when trying to optimize for these searches.
Voice search has increased the use of modifiers. These are words such as review, best, and near me. Including these in your content will help it appear more relevant.
When creating content you should always try and mix it up. Rather than have blog post after blog post you could create a listicle, infographic or a video. You can also include a variety of media within your content. A common method is having a video and a blog about the same topic where the blog is often a transcript of the video. The benefit of this is being able to share this across multiple channels ( website and Youtube).
Youtube is a great channel for content as it is the second largest search engine, behind only Google. Many users will visit YouTube to watch product reviews, demos, etc. If users are searching on Google there is a good chance a video will appear in the results. A great example of this is instructional content such as “ How to install X”. Videos like these are great for answering questions around products.
Do you need to make video content? A great way to find out is to search for questions around your product or service industry. If you find industry professionals or your competition in the results you should consider creating your own content.
Page Speed / Mobile Friendly
With the recent change to mobile first indexing, Google is now prioritizing websites that perform well on mobile devices. It is now important that your website’s speed is quick and navigation is easy for users.
To find out how fast your website loads you can test your website using Google’s Test My Site tool.
Some of the changes required are more technical and we recommend asking your developer to assist you with these.
Google My Business
As voice search grows in popularity, so does the need for local results. This has increased the importance of Google’s My Business platform. Be sure to build out your business’ profile as much as possible. This will help users find you and your products/ services. Once you have your profile built out and make sure to update frequently, adding things such as photos and other content. Regular updates will help your users when they are searching.
As SEO and search continue to grow and techniques change, there may seem like a lot to cover. As a whole search engines are becoming very good at providing the best content to solve the user’s query. This requires that the search is actually solved, the site is easy to use and fast, and the format is the best one for the user. Many of the changes are in response to both mobile device use continuing to grow and voice search improving.
SEO is a fundamental part of your digital marketing strategy and skipping the basics will prevent you from fully maximizing revenue opportunities. If you need help figuring it out, reach out to us and we’ll help you get you started.