A Simple 15-Point SEO Checklist for 2019

December 6, 2018 | SEO checklist, SEO maintenance, SEO Retainer, Uncategorized | By Sankar

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become more important than ever as users are looking for answers to their questions or finding a solution to their problem via search engines.

SEO increases the position of a website on search engine results pages. If you optimize your website it will automatically improve your SEO ranking. Hence, you should follow a checklist in all probable cases, right from launching to post-launching your website to make sure that you aren’t missing anything.

Below are some of the major factors that we recommend to include within your SEO checklist.

Keyword research

First, you must find out the phrases/queries that users search. Keeping your target audience in mind choose a primary keyword along with a set of secondary keywords.

You can also use the below tools to find the right keywords easily.

  1. Keyword tool – For keyword suggestions.
  2. Google Keyword Planner – For CPC and monthly search volume.
  3. Online communities like Quora, Reddit, etc – topic and keyword ideas.
  4. KWFinder – For low competition keywords.
  5. ATP – For question keywords.

Points to focus

  • Competitive keywords cannot be targeted immediately. So you should target long tail keywords which we can be found through search suggestions

 

SEO on-page optimization checklist

After picking the keywords it’s time to optimize the content with some SEO techniques. Here are some useful on-page SEO optimization techniques that will help you to optimize the content.

SEO friendly URL

A uniform resource locator (URL) or a “web address” defines the position of a resource (such as a web page) on the internet. It helps people to understand what the entire page is about. You can use short keywords in the URLs by keeping the meaning of the page unchanged.

Points to focus

  • Use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) as it is secure than HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). HTTPS encrypts any form of communication between a user and a website so that hackers cannot read or steal any data in-between
  • Avoid keyword stuffing in URL

SEO title tag

Using keywords in the title is a well-known strategy but, using it in a right place matters. Title tags are displayed on search engine results hence make it catchy. Title tags are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.

Title tag preview

You can preview how the title will look in SERP preview tools or WordPress plugins. One of the most famous plugins in Yoast SEO. Before publishing a page, test various versions.

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Points to focus

  • Title tags are visible in the search engine result pages (SERPs), web browsers, and all social networks. So create a keyword rich title
  • Google displays only 50-60 characters of a title tag
  • Target keywords in the title can use separators like dot (.), comma (,), pipe (|)
  • Add keywords at the beginning (in first 150 words) of the webpage

Meta description

Meta descriptions are a short summary of a page or blog that gives an idea of what a particular blog or page is about. You can include secondary keywords in the meta description.

Points to focus

  • Descriptions (snippets) can have a maximum of 150-160 characters including spaces
  • Write to people and don’t overuse keywords

Importance of heading tags in SEO

Heading tags are HTML tags used to differentiate heading and subheadings from other text in your content.

The topic with a proper heading tag can be clearly understood by both the users and search engines. It may also help to improve the readability of your blog.

Points to focus

  • Use your primary keywords in H1 (main heading of the page)
  • Use secondary keywords in H2- H6 tags
  • Utilize heading tags to add an architecture to your content

 

Image SEO optimization

Search engines are not good at reading images hence, you should optimize it. In an image, you have to optimize image URLs, alt tags, title tags, captions, and descriptions. By adding these brief descriptions, search engines can understand what the image is about and may help in image SEO.

Points to focus

  • Size of the image must be small
  • JPEGs are the best option for website photos
  • Add detailed captions
  • Beware of Copyright
  • Images will help you to reduce page bounce rate
  • Write SEO friendly alt, names, and titles for images

Using synonyms and LSI keywords

Search engines are getting smart at identifying duplicated, low-quality content, and heavily keywords stuffed content. Instead of repeating the same keywords several times in a blog, you can use synonyms of the same words.

You can get a lot of different LSI(Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords from LSI graph.to find more related keywords for the keywords you are searching for. LSI keywords are also found in the bottom of search results.

Internal and external links in SEO

External links point you to a separate domain and internal links point you to content within the same domain. While publishing any new content make sure to have minimum two internal links. Linking to high authority pages will boost rankings hence, make sure that the external links are relevant and you have at least five authority sites linked.

Points to focus

  • Find and fix the broken links. Even one or two broken links may impact your page rankings
  • Getting backlinks from high DA websites will help to improve the traffic and DA of a site
  • Links from poor-quality websites can actually have negative consequences

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Page loading time

A page which takes more than 3 seconds to load will disappoint readers and force them to refer another website even if your content is good. We have written a detailed blog about how to improve page speed, do check it out if you like to learn more.

Points to focus

  • Minimize CSS, JavaScript, and HTML to increase page loading speed
  • Optimize images
  • Reduce the number of redirects

Structured Data and Schema Markup

A structured data is a code which clearly explains to the search engine about the information present in a webpage. The schema can be easily Implemented with the help of Google’s structured data testing tool. For example, look at the below website with a lot of recipes,

To create such a description you need structured data to your webpage. Click here to learn more about schema

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SEO redirection

Redirect is the simple way to drive audience back to your website when a particular link is broken. It carries both the users and search engines to a different URL when the one they originally requested was broken. This helps visitors to stay on your own website.

Points to focus

  • 301 is recommended for pages which are moved permanently
  • 302 is recommended for pages which are moved temporarily

 

All in one SEO sitemap

Every single page of a website is ranked individually. Search engines can easily find your website pages with XML sitemaps. You can generate sitemaps using Google’s sitemap generator.

For WordPress users, you can download the Google XML Sitemaps plugin to make it easier for you. This plugin helps you generate an XML sitemap without having to do anything but activating it.
After the plugin has generated your Sitemap, you can find the Sitemap at an address like this:http://YourURL/sitemap.xml

SEO OG tags

OG (Open Graph) tags are meta tags which help to maintain a healthy communication between the website and social media. It allows you to control what content shows up when a page is shared on Facebook.

Points to focus

  • There are many Open Graph meta tags that provide different information to Facebook and these tags can be added to your pages manually

Link building SEO

Link building is the key to SEO and it is clear that backlinks are one of the top ranking signals. Building links aren’t easy but below are some useful tips to build more relevant links.

Points to focus

  • For powerful link building strategies use guest posting
  • Check your competitor’s backlinks using Ahref, Open Site Explorer

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Winding up

SEO may be a little tricky, but you have to choose the correct method to follow. The above checklist will help you to move a step forward.

We at Web Design Retainer enjoy educating our audience to build high-quality websites. We provide monthly website retainer packages like graphic design retainer services, website maintenance retainer services, SEO retainer services, and more. If you find it difficult to maintain your website, do contact us anytime. We will be happy to help you!

Do you have any queries? Share them in the comments section. Our team will reach you back as soon as possible.

About the Author - Sankar

The founder and mastermind behind ColorWhistle is Sankarnarayan, a professional with over twelve years of experience and a passion for website design services and digital marketing services. Our team has a wide range of skills and expertise and we always put our clients’ satisfaction first. This is what sets us apart from the competition – an eye for detail and the best website development services from the start to the completion of your project.

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