This is the most optimized SEO checklist on the internet.
Not only that
Every part of this list is effectively working at the time of this writing.
If it’s higher rankings you’re looking for in 2019, this checklist will serve you well.
Lets get started…
Hey, I’m Will Lawson.
Don’t worry you don’t have to do every single one of these steps outlined.
Just do your very best and it will definitely pay off.
The more of these tips you can use in your business the more traffic you can get.
SEO Basics Checklist
To rank in the search engines there are some basic tools and plugins for your website to help you along the way.
We’ll cover these to begin with.
Its great features include:
- Incoming traffic from Google
- Data about which of your website pages generate the most traffic
- Find out if your traffic is increasing or decreasing and by how much
- Identify which social media platforms, search engines and other websites send you traffic
- Your average time on site, bounce rate and page views
Tip: Connect your Google Analytics account with your Google Search Console account. The steps to setup a Google Search Console are next up on the checklist.
You will receive a lot of helpful data once you do this such as information about your landing pages.
2. Setup The Google Search Console
The Google Search Console is a tool that can help index your posts faster.
It’s super important to have in your SEO setup.
This tool gives you data on how your website performs in Google search.
It has many useful options such as:
-find out what keywords people are using to find your website
-submit a sitemap for Googles robots to crawl your site
-See your websites most popular pages
-Receive messages from Google Search support about errors on your website
-Learn what devices people use most when visiting your site mobile or desktop
-and lots more
To Wrap it up: If you’re determined to raise your SEO game then setting up Google Search Console is an important step.
3. Setup Bing Webmaster Tools
Up next, setup Bing Webmaster Tools,
Is Bing more dominant than Google?
No, however Bing still has around 12billion monthly searches worldwide.
So it pays to have your site optimized for Bing as well.
There is a great bonus about Webmaster Tools, you get a free in-built keyword research tool once you setup an account.
4. Install All In-One SEO
(WordPress Users Only)
All in One SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins for a reason.
All in One SEO allows you to optimize your website for search engines in the simplest way possible.
It also makes the technical parts of SEO easy, automatically creating robot.txt and sitemap files for you.
These auto generated files help search engines scan and understand your site more efficiently.
Keyword Research Checklist
Keyword research is one of the main pillars of SEO. Getting this research right is really important.
This checklist will help you find the keywords you customers are searching for.
1. Find “Question related” Keywords using A.T.P
Question Keywords are AMAZING for writing articles and blog posts to better serve your potential customers and readers.
(for example: “how do you build an email list?”)
But how do you find this type of keyword?
Answer The Public. [affiliate link]
This neat tool shows you questions that people search for online.
You can answer those questions within your blog or article content.
2. Tap Into Online Communities
Quora, Reddit, any forums or online communities relating to your niche are gold mines for finding high value keywords.
Simply use the name of your industry/business as a search in Reddit to see what kinds of conversations people are having.
This research can reveal what’s currently popular and which products and topics are being discussed.
You can then use these popular product names/topics as high value keywords.
Providing value to your customers and increasing traffic to your site.
3. Long Tail Keywords using
This method is proven to uncover Long Tail Keywords
Heres the breakdown:
Type a Keyword into Google.
Instead of hitting enter right away, check out the keywords that Google shows you:
(The results are called “Google Suggest” Keywords)
These results only pop up when large volumes of people are searching the same keywords in Google.
So you KNOW people are definitely searching these terms.
This evidence shows you that it’s wise to optimise for these keywords.
4. Identify Low Hanging Fruit Keywords with KWFinder
KWFinder is a valuable keyword research tool.
The amount of data that you get from a search in KWFinder is what makes it different from the many other keyword research tools out there.
As the above image shows it shows you:
-CPC (cost per click)
With this data you can select the low competition keywords that you have a higher chance to rank for.
On-Page SEO Checklist
Time to improve your content SEO by using proven on-page SEO tactics.
1. Include target keyword within the URL
Google looks at your URL to figure out what your article is about.
This means its important to include your keyword in your URL.
My target keyword for this post is “SEO checklist”
SO i made the URL for this page https://passiveincomeseeker.com/seo-checklist
2. Use Short URLS in Google
Keep your URL as short as you can.
A shorter URL makes it much easier to share your content by other users.
It gives cues to search engines and users what your page is all about.
Generates more user trust and looks less spammy to people skimming over search engine results.
Aligns your content with user expectations when they click through to your site.
Adds benefit to your sites structure by making it easier to navigate and find a topic faster.
3. Begin Title Tag with Keyword First
Common best practice is to add your keyword in your title tag.
WHERE it goes is the point that catches a lot of people out.
The most beneficial place is in front of your title tag.
To see an example, just take a look at the image of this post below, the keyword being “How to build an email list”
4. Embed Title Tag Modifiers
Modifiers are words and phrases to beef up your title tag.
Here are some examples:
-What are the best
In the above image i used “how to build” and “fast” to help that post rank for those keywords.
Simply by adding them to the title of that post.
When you add a modifier your page will rank for a wide array of long tail keywords.
Simply adding one of these title tag modifiers is really effective.
This helps you steal top rankings from big box retailers and large marketplaces online.
5. Mention Your Keyword within the first 150 words
Google ranks the first 150 words as important in analysing what your article is about.
Include your keyword once within this text.
Example: For my how to build an email list post, right off the mark I used the term:
“how to build an email list” within the first 150 words of the article.
6. Use Your Keyword in H1,H2, or H3 Tags
Including your keyword in the H1,H2, or H3 tags is a neat way to add some more uses of your keyword on your page
without appearing to be spamming it in every sentence.
This tip will not make a BIG difference in Google search rankings.
Consistent optimization in these areas will however make a greater difference overall to your websites SEO.
7. Optimize Images
Google is terrible at reading images, this is why it’s important to help out by adding alt tags and file names to add optimization.
Use a descriptive file name when you save the image that clearly defines what the image is.
If you have a picture of sports athlete taken on your phone. In this case at the tennis watching Roger Federer.
You would want to name it roger_federer_matchpoint.png
When you decide to add it to your page, use a descriptive alt tag.
Alt text is what helps Google read what your image is about making it easier to rank your page higher based on relevant images that can provide a more helpful answer.
It’s as easy as that.
8. Use synonyms and LSI Keywords
Overpopulating your page with keywords is an outdated approach, no longer having any effect.
Google has caught on to this less than ideal behaviour, punishing websites for it with lower rankings.
Instead of spamming your page with keywords, use LSI keywords and synonyms instead.
For example, lets use the phrase “Website design guide”
You will need to use the exact keyword multiple times on your page… and use synonyms:
- How to design a website
- Starting a website
- How to create a website
- How to setup a website
Next step is to add in your LSI Keywords.
LSI Keywords are terms that accompany your focus keyword,
You can generate heaps of these LSI variations by using the tool at LSIGraph.com
After using the tool, just sprinkle a few of these keywords within your pages content without taking away from the readability of it overall and you’re all set.
9. Use External Links
Link to 6-9 authority sites within your blog post/article.
For example, in this post on high quality backlinks, I link to trusted websites like Google.com, and Wikepedia.
Trustworthy references shows Google that my article is high quality and more trustworthy.
10. Use Internal Links
This step is easy to do:
Before you publish a new piece, link to 3-6 other pages on your website.
Hot Tip: Use keywords as your anchor text for your internal links.
Example: notice how I use the anchor text “high quality backlinks”, on this internal link:
Technical SEO Checklist
Technical SEO can really do some damage to your ranking if it has flaws that need attention.
Fixing them is quite easy, just follow the checklist and you’ll be fine.
1. Find Crawl Errors
What’s a “Crawl Error”?
It means that Google has found a problem when viewing your website.
If Google can’t see your page, it won’t rank for the keyword your writing about.
To find these crawl errors, using Google Search Console click on “Coverage” to view a report.
If you find that Google can’t access one of your web pages
(example: robots.txt is blocking search engine spiders)
Find the time to fix it ASAP to make sure Google can view your web page.
2. Discover How Google Views Your Web Page
Google and users see a web page in a different way.
Your users might see everything clearly…
…Google however might see nothing at all.
This means your page won’t rank.
To fix this, simply use a tool in Google Search Console called URL Inspection.
It will crawl your individual web page and weed out any errors Google has with viewing your page.
I found this page had mobile usability issues.
Helpful to find these issues and fix them fast.
3. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
Google has launched as of July 2019 Mobile First Indexing
If your site is not mobile optimized, your ranking will be hurt.
Googles Mobile Friendly Test makes it easy to find out your own sites mobile friendliness.
Simply enter any page from your site and get a black and white answer of “yes” or “no”.
4. Repair Broken Links
Broken links can do BIG damage your SEO rating.
You will want to find broken links… and repair them asap.
The best way to do that? DrLinkCheck.com.
This free tool that will scan your site and search for any broken links
A complete scan of my site took around 8 minutes
5.Make your site secure with HTTPS
HTTPS is all about making your website safer for users to browse.
For this reason Google has adopted it as the safest way to filter web pages for its search users.
They have confirmed HTTPS as being a ranking signal to make web browsing safer for everyone.
If you have already moved your site to HTTPS, great.
If your site is relatively new, set it up with https from day 1.
Follow this guide to make the transfer over as painless as possible without affecting your SEO rank.
6. Check site loading speed
Pingdom checks overall site speed using a range of factors to determine the test.
Google Page Speed insights only reads your web pages html (web code on your page)
It tells you what’s slowing your site down as well and what needs to be fixed to speed it up.
Publishing content thats high quality works, taking up a large chunk of any SEO strategies resources for any of todays websites that are consistently ranking highly.
Theres one undeniable fact about ranking in Google, publishing high content consistently is a large reason why a website will rank high.
For this reason, 2019 SEO strategies prioritize creating great content first and foremost.
I will show you the steps required to creating your own style of content that ranks in 2019 and well into the future.
1. Create The Highest Quality Content
Researching a topic before you write about it gives you some very important information.
First, it tells you what type of content Google is ranking and what makes it great.
Secondly it gives you a starting point to make sure you can exceed what is currently considered the most valuable information to Google.
If a post ranking number 1 has 1900 words, 5 images, and 1 YouTube video.
Your goal should be to write 3800 words, include 10 images, and maybe 2 or more Youtube videos.
The pay off for going the extra mile and creating something better will pay you back 10 fold.
If Google sees your content is more valuable it will reward you with the top rank instead.
This doesn’t happen over night, but it will happen.
Using Google Search Console to help Google find your new article speeds up the process considerably, along with sharing your content on social media.
2. Keep Your Content Bite Sized To Make It More Readable
Colossal walls of text aren’t enjoyable for anybody to read:
How to build an email list fast from scratch (Strategies that Work) Despite the rise of chat apps and instant messenger email still retains around 3.9 billion users in 2019 and is set to grow to 4.3 billion by 2023 (statista). Email marketing has retained its well known high return on investment in any marketing efforts carried out by businesses worldwide.
I always space the content out so it looks more like this:
How to build an email list fast from scratch (Strategies that Work)
Despite the rise of chat apps and instant messenger email still retains around 3.9 billion users in 2019.
Email is set to grow to 4.3 billion by 2023 (statista).
Email marketing has retained its well known high return on investment, still being used by businesses worldwide.
3. Write About Your Topic With Gumption
After researching multiple studies on Google Search Results, one point definitely keeps popping up.
Content that explains a topic in great detail ranks highest in Google.
Writing a minimum of 1900 words each post will ensure that it does well into the future.
As we covered previously though, sometimes that won’t be enough to provide the best possible solution to users question.
4. Use Schema Markup
Schema markup aids search engines to figure out what your content is all about.
Google has gone on record saying that Schema can improve your rankings.
Putting Schema to work on your site can be perplexing.
To make it easier, just use Google’s own Structure Data Testing tool.
This automates the process, WAY easier than trying to mark it up manually.
5. Format Content For Better User Experience
Sites that do well in the rankings have content with a distinguishable format that does well over and over again.
Some examples are:
- Content written by experts on each topic
- Original research done by gathering information from industry studies and surveys
- Content that is unique and different and not just the same re-spun information thats already available.
- Content that is so valuable it stands the test of time.
This format not only does well but gives websites a better reputation for publishing this type of quality original content consistently.
6. Use These Types of Multimedia
Search engines love to rank content with a mix of multimedia.
It provides better answers to search queries.
Content with a mix of the right kinds of media makes it more digestible.
The following types of multimedia do the best to add value to your content:
- Interactive polls and quizzes
7. Video Optimization
To receive the maximum reward for your video creating efforts, optimization is important.
Just like written content has individually preferred forms, so to does video.
Not all written content forms can have the same affect in a video though.
As a business, focusing on videos that educate and inform or invoke some kind of emotion will be a wise choice.
Focus on the following aspects of your videos to begin optimization in the most efficient way possible:
Video Title: Include your target keyword, keep it short and engaging to tell the story of your video in a few words.
Video Description: Explain your video in detail, so that people can read what your video will cover in depth before watching.
If possible include your target keyword in the description as well.
Thumbnail Image: What will grab a viewers attention when scrolling past your video amongst the dozens of others in the search results?
A thumbnail that is eye catching, and relevant to the topic/keyword will be an effective way to get more people clicking on your video instead of scrolling right past it.
Keep it relevant: Create videos that are highly relevant to the post or pages content or topic.
Use subtitles: A large chunk of people watch Youtube videos without any sound so it’s important to make subtitles available.
Next up is link building. A vital part of SEO
Link Building Checklist
Link building is crucial SEO.
The higher number of backlinks your site receives is a key ranking signal for search engines.
Building backlinks is not for the feint hearted, it takes work.
This word “work” seems to be the reason lots of other SEO checklists skip over building backlinks.
If your goal is to rank in Google, high quality backlinks will get you there faster.
Within this next section I’m going to lay out a plan for you to make backlink building a not so daunting task.
1. Guest Posting To Produce Backlinks
Guest posts are one of the best ways to build backlinks.
Executing guest posting correctly is a skill like any other.
Similar to most obtained skills, there are correct ways and incorrect ways to guest post successfully.
Correct way: Find authority sites in your industry, enquire about posting your content on their website.
Incorrect way: Mindlessly submit your content to every site that has a “write for us” section.
Carefully selecting sites within your industry ensures quality traffic that is interested in what your website has to offer.
2. Conduct Competitor Detective Work
A great way to get a headstart in finding similar websites in your industry is to carry out some detective work.
To be successful at this, you can use free versions of tools like ahrefs.
Another great option if you need a free tool is Link Explorer (by Moz)
Whichever tool you choose to go with, the steps are identical.
1. Copy your competitors URL
2. Paste it into the toolbar search area
3. Replicate as many of their links as you can.
Some links will hold a higher level of difficulty than others to obtain.
Such as a long standing relationship between the site and your competitors.
However, links from guest posts and interviews are definitely obtainable for your backlink building efforts.
3. Reach Out To Podcasters and Become a Guest!
This is very similar to guest posting except you’re contributing to a conversation with a podcaster and their listeners.
Similar to the correct way of approaching guest posting, make sure the podcaster is relevant to your industry.
One of the great things about being a guest on a popular podcast is you’re appealing to an entirely different audience.
An audience that is engaged and all possible future customers.
Audio content is one of the most popular forms of consumed content in 2019 and for good reason.
It has the power to inform people whilst they are doing seemingly laborious things.
Things such as driving, commuting on public transport or even getting their daily chores out of the way.
The podcaster will not only create a quality backlink to your site.
They will also open up the possibility for more targeted traffic after their audience has listened to your insight.
4. Write About Influencers In Your Blog Posts
Begin with mentioning bloggers with influence amongst your content.
Contact them after publishing your content.
Notifying them that you have mentioned them after writing about their product or service.
That’s all there is to it.
This will provide them with an opportunity to share your content with their audience.
In turn creating more backlinks to your site.
Prior to jumping into this checklist and implementing it for your site. Lets talk!
How did you feel about todays post?
Perhaps you have questions about the items on this checklist, or need further clarification.
Regardless I would love to start a conversation with you.