SEO Checklist For A Website in 2019
I have had a number of requests from some of our clients and members of our community to provide information to help them as well as anyone who needs to understand what is involved in the SEO process. Some of you would like to design and manage your own website while others simply want to have a basic understanding of the process so that you may better understand what your SEO Consultant is doing for you. This article is therefore intended for beginners. My goal is to provide a checklist that is easy to follow to help you understand the various aspects of the SEO process.
This SEO Checklist provides you with tips, tactics and SEO Best Practice that are incrementally beneficial. Therefore, the results will not come overnight. You must be consistent and persevere while gathering data, measuring performance, making adjustments, measuring again, and making adjustments again, etc. again, your goal is to increase your organic traffic by ranking high on Organic Search Results.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the quality making improvements to a website in order to increase the level of visibility of a website content online to website visitors who are querying the search engines for answers and information related to the content published by our clients. The goal is to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website and converting the website visitors into customers.
Your goal for implementing SEO processes is to improve your standing or ranking in organic search results (SERPs). There are two types of search results: organic search results (unpaid) and paid search results (resulting from online paid advertisement such as Google or Bing ads).
At the heart of this effort is keywords or key phrases that Internet searchers enter into the search tools to find specific answers to their queries. I will write more about this vast topic in a separate post soon.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the most important aspect of Digital Marketing. The introduction of Social Media Marketing and Messenger Marketing (i.e. Facebook Messenger) have added to the importance of SEO.
Pre-Requisites to SEO Implementation:
SEO Checklist for 2019 And Beyond
The following SEO Checklist is provided as a Guide – not necessarily in chronological order. There are hundreds of factors that affect your website rankings (over 500). I am only list a few here. If you need more information, please contact our SEO Consultants for more assistance. You may also Request our FREE SEO Audit to measure your website.
Website accessibility represents the ability for search engine crawlers and users to access your website content easily. If search engine crawlers are not able to reach your content, then your content will not be featured on search engine search results. And if website visitors cannot access your content, then that defeats the very purpose for which you published a website.
To ensure easy website accessibility, you must avoid mistakes and errors on your website. Most common errors include:
- 400 – Bad Request
- 500 – Internal Server Errors
- 302 rather than 301.
- Duplicate content.
- Missing title sand meta tags
- Little content on your web page
- Broken links
The goal should be for all your web pages to be 200 Status Code.
As a marketer, you must aim at providing searchers with the exact information or answers to their queries. And the purpose of search engines is to find the most relevant and best answers to the queries of the searchers. This is a match making operation. The most important strategy is to understand what and how web visitors are searching for answers. Keep in mind that every search is different. Ask yourself how you would search for what you offer. This must be an ongoing process because about 15% of searches are new to search engines. There are about 4 billion searches being conducted on Google at this very second.
Keyword research must be an ongoing brainstorming process and you must target the right keyword for your content. Remember that there various degrees of competition for each keyword.
Another key consideration in your keyword research is to find keywords that are relevant to your website. If your website is new, you may want to consider using low-volume keywords. It will be easier for you to rank with low-volume keywords rather than high-volume keywords.
Remember: Your first primary purpose for publishing content on the Internet is to be found. Everything else online depends on this one thing: If Internet visitors or searchers cannot find you, they can never take any other action on your website. Remember that about 18% of Mobile Searchers (about 1 in 5) made a purchase in the store on that visit (for local SEO Strategy).
Content Quality Designed To Rank
Create content of high quality that answers the queries of the searchers. Your primary goal in creating content must not be to simply rank at the top of the organic search results. If searchers come to your page and your content does not provide them with the relevant answers they are seeking, they will hit the back key and “bounce” out of your page. So, address their queries fully.
Incorporate your target keywords in your content without keyword stuffing. As applicable, include images, videos, graphs, data sets, references, etc. Make your visitors’ delight your ultimate goal for publishing content.
Your content must be relevant to the audience you want to reach. If they are looking for something that describes or explains a process, or if they are seeking content that provides references, or a technical manual that provides how-to instructions, just make sure to give them what they are looking for and provide complete information.
You must also write your content with search engines in mind. Search engines algorithms have become sophisticated nowadays that they are increasingly capable of understanding searchers’ intent and human language.
Take time to research the topic. If necessary, hire a copywriter. Before you publish your content, conduct a quick survey with your business partners, relatives, friends, and obtain feedback.
Also, test the usability (Mobile friendliness) of your content. There are resources online that can help you with this process. Build relationships within your business echo-systems.
Write quality and relevant topics. Research forums to see what questions your audience is asking. Spy on your competitors to see what they are publishing. Then find areas you can improve and publish the same topic providing key information that is missing on their posts.
Break content into chunks to make it easy to read. Write “Why” and “What” types of content with rich multi-media (infographics, videos, images, graphs, etc.). Such content get significantly more back-links.
Site Speed & Mobile Friendliness
If visitors get to your website or blog and it takes too long to load, they will abandon your page immediately causing higher bounce rates. Search Engines interpret this signal as a bad user experience for your website visitors. As a result, your website is pushed down in search results rankings.
Search engines value websites that provide excellent user experience to their website visitors. The loading speed of your website is therefore a major ranking factor.
Large images and scripts can considerably slow your website. For WordPress websites, there are many plug-ins that you can use to improve the speed of your web page.
You may have to test pages individually. Search engines rank pages, not websites.
There about 4 Billion searches being done continually (see https://internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics) About 40% – 50% of all searches is for local information (Local SEO).
Over 50% of all search engine searches is done on mobile devices. It is estimated that about 35% of these searches visited the local physical store the same day.
For local businesses, this represents a huge opportunity because according to research, about 18% of those searchers made a purchase on that same visit.
This represents a huge opportunity for local businesses to place themselves on Google Maps and market themselves with Google My Business (GMB) and be readily accessible on mobile devices.
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your content. Search Engines consider such links as votes of confidence for your content. But you must choose wisely. Do not rush. Quality link building takes time. If you publish amazing content, others will be happy to link to it. Again, this will take time and effort. Avoid link farming, link exchanges, paid links, etc. Search engines will penalize you if you practice these cheap strategies.
Some of the best sources of backlinks that add value to your website include:
- Your Social Media accounts.
- Industry Directories (also known as citations or mentions)
- News Media Websites & Blogs
- Better Business Bureau
- Go on respectable Podcasts. You will get a nice contextual link from your appearance.
- Promote your content on your Social Media accounts. Build your audience and encourage your followers to share your content.
- Again, reach out within your echo-system. Request mentions from your business partners, customers, vendors, etc.
- Guest Posting.
One of the benefits of building qualities backlinks is that they will send traffic to your website or blog.
This will take creativity, patience, persistence and some efforts on your part. In everything you do, do not forget to remain authentic.
If your website or blog has been up and running for a while and you have made some of the mistakes mentioned here, you can do link cleanup.
If you need help with this, we would be very honored to help you. Our Social Media & Reputation Marketing Experts can not only clean your junk links, but also help building new and quality links for you.
Build A Strong Social Media Presence
Social Media and SEO are increasingly coming together like never before. Your social media activities are being picked up in Search Engines as Social Signals that indicate interest in your content. Your social signals positively impact your search engine ranking. They have an impact on your traffic and branding.
At the minimum, set up the following Social Media Accounts:
Add as many Social Media accounts as can be relevant to your business. Remember, your goal is to build an audience.
Remember, there are about 2.3 Billion users on Facebook. LinkedIn accounts for 575 Million Users. Instagram has 800 Million members. Twitter has 350 Million people. YouTube has 1.3 Billion accounts. These numbers represent a huge opportunity to grow your brand and draw traffic to your website.
Maintain your branding consistency on all your Social Media account and share relevant content regularly. You can set up a tool for posting and monitoring your Social Media accounts simultaneously.
Engage with your audience, build and nurture relationships. Offer them
Elegant Quality Technical Design
Your website is now the first thing most people first come in contact with your Brand. In order to build a strong Brand and a loyal community, it is important that you build a professionally designed website that meet all requirements for beauty and technology today and into the future.
You must craft a strategy that enables you to exceed your audience’s expectations and delivers exceptional solutions. At the same time, you need a website that is welcoming to the visitors.
If you want to build the website yourself, make sure you conduct enough research to understand current website development trends. Check my article New Website Development Trends for 2019 for a few tips and ideas on technical website development requirements required today and into the future.
Unless you have the skillset and experience, I strongly advise hiring an experienced Website Developer. Learn more about our Website Development Services at Website Design. If you choose towork with us to help build a website that is not only elegant but also technically sound, please contact us at Contact us
Robots.txt And XML Sitemap
The Robots.txt file determines what activities crawlers are authorized to perform on each page of your website. It controls the way that search engines crawl and index your website. It can be set different for different types of crawlers allowing you to establisdh different protocols for different search engines.
The XML site map, on the other hand, helps search engines understand the structure of your website as well as find all the pages on your website that you want to have indexed.
- Google’s robots.txt tool
- Google XML Sitemaps Plugin (WordPress)
Like I said earlier, SEO is the probably the most important aspect of your digital marketing strategy because it is the process that enables you to get your content in front of your target audience at the moment they are searching for what you offer on search engines.
SEO enables you to adopt an omnichannel strategy, to execute a programmatic advertising approach that leads to more sophisticated and targeted campaigns, and adapt a brand engagement approach that help deliver highly relevant, effective and measurable content at scale. It is SEO that enables you to know how to design creative compelling and execute integrated technology to offer a unified, cross-channel digital experiences to your audience. Our SEO Experts are available to help you with your SEO and Local SEO needs. You can also chat with us at
If you have questions, please feel free to ask below. I also encourage you to add ideas and share experiences. This is a place of sharing and discussion. And if you have found this article to be useful, please share it in your own social media environment.
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