READY TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT BUSINESS?
OPTIMIZE YOUR SITE LIKE A QUALITY PROFESSIONAL!
We’ll now provide a detailed SEO checklist to help manage your website to success.
The 10 Steps EXPERT SEO Account Management Checklist for Guaranteed Digital Success.
1. Onboarding – Greeting
You’ve got a website or an idea for one? Good!
You’ve put a plan together. Even better!
You think you are ready to launch. Gre— wait a minute!
You think you are ready? As in, you aren’t quite sure? Well, that would make sense, otherwise, why would you be reading this article?
It’s quite normal to harbour doubts about your digital marketing strategy.
As an SEO Manager, I come across quite a few clients who’ve made one too many assumptions about the opportunities available to achieve success. But as my 7th-grade teacher drummed into our heads, “when you assume, you make an ‘ass out of you and me’”. Better to investigate and to know more.
The greatest digital fail is to ignore web possibilities. Countless brands, successful ones too, have no clue how much more can be achieved by exploring search engine optimization opportunities. We are going to cover just about everything you need to consider in order to achieve digital success.
2. Acquire CMS Access
Each Content Management system is configured uniquely. Learn the capabilities of yours.
Learn which modifications you might have to implement in order to achieve your goals. Learn how to use your CMS, understand the admin interface and discover how to make changes.
3. Acquire FTP Access
With FTP details, your developer will be able to perform a more technical optimization of your site.
4. Install or Acquire Analytics Access
Explore site data. Monitoring site performance through Google analytics/ Google Search console is going to be a critical aspect of your responsibilities. You’ll be able to gauge the behavior of your audience, methods of traffic acquisition and overall conversions. Create reports by interpreting the data collected and grouped by various search metrics.
5. Install or Acquire Google Tag Manager Access
Save yourself the hassle of relying on developers when you need to track site user interactions.
6. Run Technical Audit with Screaming Frog / Sitebulb
7. Crawl the Site for on Page Optimization Opportunities
Scan for best practice implementation of the following –
- Title Tags
- Header Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Keyword Focus of on-page text
8. URL Structure
Create subfolders that reflect your top of the funnel key terms. Parents topics and respective subcategories ought to follow a logical pattern. Sort from high search volume categories down to the bottom of the funnel product pages. Avoid using numbers in your URL path. Keep URL page titles short and simple.
9. Site Architecture – Internal Linking & Anchor Text
An effective site architecture generally enables Google’s crawlers to reach your main pages you are looking to target within 3 clicks.
Use Screaming Frog, Sitebulb or Deep Crawl to review the sites internal linking structure. Check for orphaned pages. Distribute link equity intelligently. Ensure that you are relying on a varied selection of anchor text.
10. Review Site Indexing Issues
Check your page indexing by performing a ‘site:’ lookup.
What is the point of having a site if no one will ever see it? Making sure your web pages are indexed by Search Engines is integral to the organic success of any website.
In the World Wide Web, Search engines can be regarded as a sort of census bureau, registering the millions of updates and new pages which are built daily.
In order to be as accurate as possible, Search Engines send out robots, spiders and crawlers to collect data on for the database of sites available to web users.
If they come knocking at the door of your site, you’d better hope you have properly taken care of home. Better yet, you best hope they know to look for you.
We are going to discuss the key agenda items to consider to make sure your website is indexed by various search engines.
Redirect non-www version of Site to the www version
You really don’t want to confuse search engine crawlers when they get to your site. Make sure you know which version of the site you prefer to focus on (ie. Choose between the WWW or non-WWW versions of your site). Be sure the less preferred version of your site is redirected towards your preferred version( the canonical domain). Otherwise, you’ll end up sharing valuable link authority between two variants of the same site, and that is a no-no.
Fail to redirect your site and you may also begin to experience some content duplication issues as search engines struggle to decide which version of your content and domain name they ought to display on search engine results pages.
Make sure the robots.txt file exists at the root of your domain
We could spend time trying to explain all the reasons why this is such a crucial step but someone else did the explaining better than we ever could. Here is a great guide by Yoast which will help you understand the robots.txt file.
We especially trust Yoast to explain robots.txt files to you because they are the reason we feel confident about its implementation on our site. If your site is based on WordPress then the simplest route to ensure you have a robots.txt file is to install the Yoast plugin.
Once you are done digesting Yoast’s article, reinforce your knowledge with this incredible piece put together by WPBeginner.com: How to Optimize Your WordPress Robots.txt for SEO. When it comes to understanding robot.txt files, you should pretty much be caught up to speed by the time you have gone through these two articles.
Submit your site’s updated XML sitemap to search engines
We won’t waste your time if you have no clue what we are talking about this is one of the most reliable resources you will find on the topic: How To Submit A Site To Search Engines Like Google, Bing & Yahoo
A mini indexing checklist –
- Non “www.” domain-redirect
- Duplicate Content
- Internal Linking
- HTTPS Protocol
- Page Exclusions
- Page Inclusions
- Broken Links
- Check Htaccess
- Query String review
11. Review and Implement Canonicals
In continuation of your plight to assists search engines with their indexing initiative, use implement canonicals.
Don’t confuse search engines with duplicate content.
Search algorithms favor variety. If they find two of the same page on your site, they may discard both, or they may divert traffic to conflicting pages.
Add the rel=”canonical” tag to the <head> section of related and identical pages.
12. Check Page Load Time
Review your site speed. Use GTmetrix.com or PingDom for a review and grade of your site speed. Follow the list of recommendations. Be sure to configure cache settings, optimize images and compress backend code.
13. Image Optimisation and Decisions
You’ll be sure to compress your images when optimizing page load time but also decide if your site will benefit from displayed from a Content Delivery Network. Set a standard for image quality, design, and dimensions.
Include Image name ALTs – Alt text ought to be edited to describe the image on a site.
14. Check Mobile Friendliness
Make sure your site is mobile responsive.
Google faces two massive choices.
One – Dedicate a whole new search engine for mobile searches. One that would require a new database and expensive servers.
Or two – Prefer mobile search performance over desktop.
They decided not to separate search results by device. Search engine performance trends in a direct relationship to mobile responsiveness.
Many users are searching through their smartphones. Actually, just about everyone is and search engines can’t afford to get left behind. That means you can’t either.
15. Conduct Market Research
Getting to know what appeals to your digital audience
For a thorough digital understanding of your audience, we’re going to leave a list of three important points. We separate this from the rest of our digital agenda because we’d like to limit our recommendations within the scope of SEO. However, here are three important tasks you ought to explore as per your ability.
Find out why your potential customers are motivated to buy: What is the problem that motivates your target audience
1. Find out the most important drivers of your users’ motivation: Identify the most critical pain points (the ‘why’ behind the ‘why’)
2. Find out how your audience searches: Learn how your future customers seek resolutions to their problems.
To corner your market digitally you have to do the following:
1. Identify who are your best customers and what are their most critical unifying characteristics
2. Understand why they are motivated to acquire your products or service
3. Pinpoint the typical digital gathering spots of your audience
4. Consider how they search, find and evaluate your product or service
5. Examine how they compare your offering to that of competing brands
Before considering the competition, scope out your market and narrow your digital strategy.
Are you aiming for a global or local search?
Depending on what best sustains your business, your SEO focus will shift. If you are reading up on SEO because you are a small business owner trying to boost business from your community then focus on local solutions. General SEO knowledge won’t suffice. Learn about Google My business pages, location pages on your site, implementing reviews etc.
If you’re a blogger trying to be noticed by people who share your interest then you ought to learn why a guest post isn’t only valuable because of brand awareness but also link building. As part of your checklist, you have to decide what sort of audience you are targeting, it will shape your priorities.
Find competitors you admire. Which brands dominate the top search positions for your target terms? Who seems to have set the UX bar in your niche?
16. Conduct Keyword Research for Potential Target Terms in Your Niche
1. Find out the search terms used in your niche
Seek key terms with potential will provide high search volume and low ranking difficulty.
One tool you may use to identify the words people enter as they search for pages in your niche is called Google Keyword Planner. Or rely on your favorite keyword analysis tool to identify potential target keyphrases.
Can you deliver content for these keywords and can you put together a plan for structuring your site in accordance with these key phrases. You are going to have to figure out how these keywords relate to your homepage, your category pages, you category pages, your blog posts etc.
Google’s Autosuggest can also be a great hint as to which terms your audience is searching for.
2. Identify questions asked and pain points of your audience
Use answerthepublic.com to find out which questions are being asked online in relation to your key terms (products or services)
3. Put together a keyword map.
17. Review Your Site for Key Terms Your Site Is Already Ranking For
Seek, examine and sort out the organic keywords that your site is already ranking for. Be sure to order identify high volume terms and their corresponding pages.
Track the page position on SERP for priority terms. This will help you decide which pages ought to be optimized.
18. Track Search Opportunity Against Natural and Paid Search
Strengthen your research into organic traffic potential by reviewing your paid search performance.
Search engine optimizes your PPC efforts. Learn where how users are responding to your paid search tactics, which bids provide the best opportunities.
Examine key terms to compare impressions, clicks, click through rate, and conversions.
For those engaging in Search Engine Marketing and paid ads, integrate your Adwords account. We will focus purely on organic strategies in this article but a complete SEO checklist cannot skip the mention of paid search.
Review high-performance search terms and implement your SEO strategy by including paid landing pages. You will improve overall ROI by monitoring search metrics and gauging visitor engagement.
19. Conduct a Backlink Analysis
A link is the almighty internet vote.
And the internet is the only real democracy left in the real world. On the internet, billions of searches are entered every day. The results that come out on top of Search Engine Results Pages have to be voted for.
A history of traffic and higher quality backlink count is what it takes to be promoted to relevance. But beware. Not only do you need to earn, but these links also have to be from reputable sites.
Google is on a campaign to clean up the internet. Search engines like Google run a meritocracy governed by a set of rules or algorithms. Spiders, robots, and crawlers head into the web-o-sphere on the hunt for quality content and links.
However, some webmasters try to take advantage of the rules, cutting corners. They litter the web with thin content and gimmicks.
A few of them even came up with this crazy plan of tricking desperate site owners into paying large digital agency fees. They promised to get sites on the first page.
The collected a deposit. They logged onto a network of worthless sites which only exist to link to other sites. You don’t want to be caught anywhere near these link farms.
Run from anyone that promises hundreds of links in a few days. Search engine optimization is a lengthy process.
Poor quality links from other sites may lead to your site being penalized by Google. Given that new links are added all the time, it’s important to review this regularly and proactively improve the quality of links particularly if a site suffers a fall in rankings.
This is done through a combination of telling Google to remove links using a Disavow file, removing links by contacting site owners (where possible) and adding new quality links through organic link acquisition and outreach.
20. Face the Competition
During your market research, you identified key competitors, time to dissect them.
1. Conduct competitor keyword analysis
Step one for your market potential analysis is to put together a list of competing websites.
We prefer the SaaS for scoping out the competition.
Step number two, gather a list of top organic keywords they rank for.
Step three, run an SEO audit on competitors for use of headers, titles, descriptions, and created pages. If you stumble on something they are doing correctly, remember that imitation is the best form of flattery.
Run a content gap analysis to identify terms your competitor is ranking for, but your site isn’t.
Identify which competitor traffic attract the most traffic.
2. Conduct competitor backlink analysis
Domains linking to your competitors may provide you with rank boosting linking opportunities.
Perform a link intersect to identify links pointing to your competitors but not your site.
21. UX Audit
Optimize the site to ensure the smoothest possible user experience. Audit site to ensure Pages reflect search intent for their respective target key terms.
22. SEO and UX Review of Homepage
Of all the landing pages on your website, your homepage is perhaps the most important.
Search engines will crawl through the entirety of indexable content on your site in order to find pages which offer relevant content for search queries, however, your homepage is critical in defining your first impression.
It is important to stand out from your competition by clearly demonstrating your unique selling proposition and level of expertise to web visitors.
As the most visited page on your site, your homepage ought to highlight your product/service while influencing consumers in order to generate leads, improve conversions, encourage more traffic or boost sales.
- Include a user-friendly navigation bar which makes it easy to explore the website
- Compelling, Keyword-Focused Title Tag
- Compelling Meta Description Tag
- Attention-Getting Headline
- Benefit-Focused Content
- Use Proper Content Hierarchy
- Visual Clarity
- Secure Inbound Links
- Include Social Sharing Options
- Include copy which does not rely on industry jargon but rather language that is accessible to the target audience.
- Implement clear and conversion driven Call-to-Action
23. Improve Category and Product Pages
SEO for your main category and product pages is vital for generic and specific long-tail searches for your products and services.
• <Title>, Headings and natural use of product keywords and synonyms in text
• Persuasive and unique meta descriptions
• Duplicate content by using similar product copy across similar products or faceted search leading to similar pages for product variants OR to content on other sites (especially for retailers selling other companies sites)
• In-line (non-run-of-site nav) links from product pages to category and sub-category pages improve rankings
• Include a range of other content
24. Improve Existing Blog Pages
Blogs and news sections are still a common feature on both B2C and B2B marketing sites and rightly so. However, they often don’t integrate well with the main site.
1. Update the blog frequently
It is important to keep a blog up-to-date with fresh content in order to help you increase your visibility for the blogged about subjects. You should update your blog frequently (at least twice per month) and offer fresh insights for your readers.
2. Include Sharable Content
Content should always be written with the end user in mind. Some pieces should be written to encourage visitors to share the content. It’s great that you have social share buttons on your site. You should use at least one image per post. Taking into account the nature of your business, you can create INFOGRAPHICS.
3. Optimize your blog SEO factors
Create optimized titles. Headers, meta descriptions and key terms. Add date, categories & authors to your blog. Include images or videos to maintain the reader’s interest & showcase related articles on your blog.
• Multiple keyword strategies to attract visitors with your target and generic, long-tail terms
• Update frequency – more frequent is generally best, but quality content to attract links and shares is more important
• Standard markup – Title, Headings and natural use of keywords and synonyms in text copy
• In-line links with natural anchor text linking back to product and services category and product pages
• Duplicate content, e.g. through archive pages which can limit SEO effective
• Unfocused content through lack of focused category and tag pages which may be seen as duplicate content
• CTAs for lead generation
25. Social Charge Your Content
Are you amplifying or ‘socialising’ content to encourage link-building?
The use of social sharing as a signal by Google is debated, but it’s clear that more sharing will lead to more links and more visits, so it’s important social sharing is efficient with clear prompts within each blog post, or other appropriate page types which will attract shares.
26. Call to Action
Affect conversions by implementing an engaging call to action on your web pages.
27. Schema and Trust Factors
If your brand has earned some positive reviews, show them off.
If large publications have mentioned your brand, tell your audience about it.
Implement the schema markup on your site to directly communicate page value to search engines. Boost your click-through rate by enticing users with more informative snippets.
Implement breadcrumbs on your site to effectively demonstrate the relationship of various linked pages on your site. This is an intelligent practice for both users and search engines.
29. Design Content Plan
Map out future content. Time the posts of various topics to coincide with planned marketing initiatives.
30. Set up Keyword Tracking
Find your preferred rank tracking platform. It pays to receive alerts when your ranking falls or improve.
Your site utilizes cookies and you don’t even know what that means. Aside from the fact that your site may be hacked, you may also be collecting personal information of web users.
As cybersecurity remains a global concern, political institutions like the European Union are keeping an eye on how business keep and use consumer data. Protect your site from attacks and be aware of vulnerabilities.
32. Set Goals and Execute
You are ready to begin your campaign.
Execute your strategy with an eye on these five pillars of SEO digital success –
Identify the right audience and channels. Set conversion goals and decide how you will report performance
2. Strategic Positioning
Intelligently present your value proposition with the consideration of key competitors.
3. Improving web visibility and experience
4. Boosting Engagement
Optimize content on thin pages. Create new pages according to keyword research. Create content and communicate in a way that resonates with your audience
5. Maximizing conversions
Convincing users into customers (Motivating users to take action on your site, especially to complete a transaction).
33. Tools & Products To Consider
1. Tool Name: AHREFS
What is it: Ahrefs has already become essential for any SEO since it gives you new ideas for link-building and content analysis; social stats and ratings; export of any data for further analysis on your own; various charts and graphs for visual representation and much more.
Why: SEO analysis to help review the backlinks on your site. By earning quality links from authoritative sites, your sites will rank higher. And by managing your links to low quality or spammy sites, your site will avoid search engine penalties.
What is it: Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a keyword research tool that allows you to find the right keywords to target for display ads, search ads, video ads and app ads.
Why: If you know what to look for, Google can help point you towards SEO success. We will drastically improve your chances of standing out online by providing a keyword map and a content plan. Both will be influenced by GKP insights regarding keyword search volume and keyword competition.
What is it: The primary benefit of Screaming Frog’s Spider is the ability to search for and filter various SEO issues. You don’t have to have a deep knowledge of SEO to figure out what is and isn’t done properly; the tool will help filter it for you. It can find bad redirects, meta refreshes, duplicate pages, missing metadata, and a whole lot more.
Why: Though our team of experts are trained to spot and anticipate SEO complication by manually reviewing your site. Screaming Frog helps ensure we do not omit any SEO related concerns which may affect your site.
4. Tool Name: BUZZSTREAM
What is it: BuzzStream helps identify sites from which to request links, and makes this link building process efficient and human. The BuzzStream for Link Building tool works in 4 key ways: Identifying contact information, managing communications, managing link opportunities and link request sent, and monitoring backlinks achieved.
Why: To help identify the right influencers who will help promote your site and help attract a wider audience.
What is it: SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing suite with tools that cover SEO, PPC, keyword research, competitive analysis, social media, PR, content, and more.
Why: We will monitor the progress of your site performance along with gauging the behaviours of your competition. We will be able to provide you with updates on your positioning within Search Engine Results Pages.
The Importance of Search Engine Optimization for Digital Success
Most entrepreneurs still don’t ask enough questions about how the internet can work for their business.
I mean sure, you’ll hear just about every new business owner rave about the need for a website. But how many of them actually understand what it takes to be successful online. And how many have the time to grasp the endless possibilities available? We can say from experience, not many.
However, we are also blessed with the advantage of investigating the internet every day. Instead of bragging, we are going to show you what the internet can do for your site.
Here are a few things SEO professionals can do for your brand:
We can tell you exactly why your competitors are successful online. We’ll explain which key terms are driving traffic
2. We can map out exactly what you need to do to catch up. We’ll design everything from your URL structure and site architecture to your URL structure.
3. We can tell you the type of content your audience tend to search before and after opening up your website.
4. We can tell you which type of content is likely to resonate with your audience. And we’ll explain why your content ought to generate links.
5. We can tell you how to optimize conversion by creating a tailor-made path on your site
6. We can tell you the characteristics of your audience, removing plenty of guesswork. We’ll break down their behavior on your site
7. We can map out the blueprint for online success
We say all this, not to impress upon you a need for an SEO expert, but to motivate you.
Because guess what? Just about everything us experts know can be found online if you know which resources to trust.