On Page SEO Checklist
<head> <title>Example Title</title> </head>
Title tags are often used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, and are important both for SEO and social sharing. Make sure you are using a different title tag on EVERY page. Laser target your page's topic and describe it.
- Place Important Keywords Close to the Front of the Title Tag
- Keep the length below 55 characters.
- Optimal Format: Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
- Consider Readability and Emotional Impact
The description tag should also be mindful to include the most important info and keywords before the SERP cutoff at approximately 920 pixels wide, which translates to approximately 156 characters including spaces. Side note: Don’t forget to make the title and description compelling as this text assists in conversions. You don’t want to waste your prime real estate in the SERP with boring copy. The description tag is also used for articles shared on social media plattforms.
Use h1 headlines only one time on each page. Semantically organize your content with h2 and h3 headlines. Read more about it: 5 tips for writing compelling headlines that fit your SEO and Writing Headlines That Get Results
Focus on serving the best and most researched content. Be the king in your niche. Become an authority by providing in depth informations about your topic. If your topic needs 4000 words to be explained - do it. If the topic can be explained with 300 words - do it. Check your competitors' sites and find information gaps on their pages. Serve the missing infos on your page. Always aim for high quality content and avoid low quality and dublicate content. Do not spin your content. Let the searchengines know that you are the best in this area so don't be shy to provide as much info as available. Research on "skyscraper content" to learn more about the high quality content tactic. Aim for at least 1900 words for every piece of content that you publish.
Dashes vs. Underscores in URLs:
Underscores are alpha characters and do not separate words. hyphens are word separators, but should not appear too many times or it could look spammy. Keep it clean, descriptive and short. Always include your target keyword in your URL.
WordPress is using permalinks which makes it easy to build a clean url site structure.
- Good Example:
- Bad Example:
Each file is a request to your server and requires time. If your site is using 23 plugins each with its own css and js file you won't win a price for "fastest loading site". Reduce your the server requests by combining these files. Minify them to reduce file size.
- Combine CSS files into one file
- Combine JS files into one file
- Load vendor js files in the footer
- Minify css and JS to reduce file size jslint
A CDN (Content delivery network) will help to split the server load and serve html, css and js files simultaneously. By setting up a CDN your website can be loaded much faster due to multiple server requests.
Your site should have an HTML sitemap for improved usability, and every page should link to that sitemap, probably in the footer. You should also have an XML Sitemap you submit to search engines.
It’s important this file exists, even if it’s empty. The Robots.txt file tells the search engine spiders what not to index. Read more about Robots.txt
Regularly check your server, looking for 404 errors, 301 redirects and other errors. You can also build a custom 404 error page helping your visitors to find similar content or use your site's search box.
Pick a keyword term for each page. Optimize it accordingly. Check search volume and competition with google's keyword planner.
Aim for lower volume keywords (200-2000 per month) to get quick results. High volume keywords with millions of searches per month require a lot of off-site seo practice.
A fast loading site is a must have. Visitors decide within seconds if they stay or leave. If your page is loading too slow you will loose traffic. Use google's page speed insights to find the bugs. Aim for desktop speed score higher than 90.
Add the searchengines' webmaster tools to find errors and get further data. Webmaster tools accounts for Google and Bing give site owners insight into how search engines view their sites with reports on issues like crawl errors and penalties. How to Set Up Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools & Google's Webmaster Guidelines
It's important to support your content with related images helping your visitors to understand your topic. Make sure to use alt-attributes for each image. Do not spam your keywords. DESCRIBE the image i.e. "seo infographic 2016". This will also bring some traffic from image searches. Read More: How to optimize images for SEO
Also make sure you're images are optimized in size so your site is loading as quickly as possible. Use compressJPG or similar plugins which automatically compress your media files.
<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/blog" />
Canonical url points the searchengines to the original content page. Read more: Canonicalization
Use 2-4 outbound links to high authority sites per 1000 words - Rule of thumb by Brian Dean. Also interlink your own content where it fits in. If you got a related article on your site - link to it. Wikipedia is a great example for internal links. Read more: Internal linking
Google Analytics shows a bounce rate factor. The more pages a visitors clicks the lower (better) is your bounce rate. Read more: What does bounce rate mean and how to improve it.
Searchengines love active and regularly updated sites. Commit to a publishing schedule and create fresh high quality content. Don't forget to promote your posts. 80/20 works great where 80 is promo and 20 is creating. Read more: The Best Blog Posting Schedule Ever: Finally, Proof and Real Numbers!
Off-Page SEO Checklist
When looking for new backlinks, look at your competitors and see where they’re getting their links. Read more: Moz competitive link analysis guide.
Identify the influencers in your niche. Create an excel spreadsheet, list the authority sites. Connect with their social profiles. Share their content. Get in contact with them. Read more: 15 Experts on how they develop an outreach strategy & Outreach - The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience
You are an expert in your niche but nobody knows you yet? Search for guest blogging possibilities and get featured on authority sites. You can show your experience, reach a new audience, build networks and get a backlink to your own site. Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging & The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging
Show off your skills and experience in the most frequented forum and boards within your niche. Pick the top 3 boards and create your brand. Be active, helpful and start discussions. Get to known to others. Link your website in your signature. How to Use Forum Posts to Make Your SEO Campaign More Efficient
Ideal for business owners or digital product owners. Get into google news and send out the word of your new site. This off-page seo strategy requires a well planned schedule so be ready to spend some time on this. Read more: 12 Ways to Optimize Press Releases & Avoid Google Penalties & The 12 Ironclad Rules for Issuing Press Releases
Yahoo Answer and Quora are big plattforms for a community who is interested in everything. Also in your niche. Find the questions, answer it properly and link back to the matching article from your site. Read more: The Marketer’s Guide to Quora
Youtube is the second biggest search engine. Millions of people search for how-to guides, music, tutorials. Create a video and support your website with video content linking back to your site. Read more: How Video Marketing Creates Immediate SEO Results
Local SEO Checklist
Spend some time to create accounts on all those plattforms and submit your business details. You`ll receive high authority backlinks and more traffic.
Facebook Places, Apple Maps, Yelp, YellowPages, Foursquare, bing, local.com, whitepages, merchantcircle etc. Read more: How to claim your local business listing