If you’re looking for a step-by-step SEO checklist that can be implemented straight forward to your site then you are at the right place. This post includes the complete SEO checklists for your website.
This checklist is simple but very effective to grow a site online. In fact, this includes the exact process that I am implementing on my blog for better SEO results.
But, before diving into this detailed SEO Audit checklist, let us first understand the meaning of SEO and its importance to your website.
- What is SEO and how does it work
- Importance of SEO
- How to use SEO Checklists
- Basic SEO Checklist
- 1. Create Webmaster Accounts
- 2. Install Google Analytics
- 3. Create Sitemap Free
- On Page SEO Checklist
- 1. Title of the BLog Post
- 2. Include Main Keyword in First Paragraph
- 3. Include Keyword in Headings Including SubHeadings
- 4. Optimize Your Images
- 5. Use Proper Heading Tags
- 6. Optimize Structure of URL
- 7. Meta Description Tag
- 8. Internal Linking
- 9. Length of the Blog Post
- Takeaway Tips for On Page Optimization
- 2. Social Media Checklist
- 1. Daily Socail Media Checklist
- a. Scheduled your Posts
- b. Reply to Comments
- c. Monitor Mentions
- d. Check your Competitor’s Social Profile
- 2. Weekly Social Media Checklist
- a. Track Performance
- b. Attend Events on Social Media
- c. Update Social Media Advertisements
- 3. Monthly Social Media Checklist
- a. Deep Dive into Campaign Performance
- b. Perform a Social Media Audit
- 3. Technical SEO Checklist
- 1. Create Robot.txt File
- 2. Avoid Mixed Content Warning
- 3. Make your website Mobile Friendly
- 4. Identify Crawl Errors
- 5. Improve Loading Speed
- 6. Make your Website HTTPS
- 7. Fix Broken Links
- 8. Disavow Backlinks
- 4. Off Page SEO Checklist
- 1. Link Building
- 2. Do Guest Posting
- 3. Blog Commenting
- 4. Be active on Online Forum
- 5. Social Media Sharing
- 6. Question and Answer Websites
- 7. Use Web 2.0 Websites
- 8. Online Reviews
- Now Your Turn
What is SEO and how does it work
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In simple words, SEO means optimizing your website for ranking higher in search engine results.
In order to do SEO, the Search Engine will first crawl your webpage and determine how easy it is to read and navigate? At the same time, it also considers other factors like Social Media sharing, Number of backlinks, etc.
Next, its algorithm will rank your webpage based on more than 200 factors and thereby add to its index.
Now, next time when a user searches a query and it matched your content then Search Engine will display on your webpage on its search result.
Importance of SEO
It is known facts
- The best place to hide the dead body is 2nd Page of the Search Result. This is because, no one goes to it.
- The first page will display only the top 10 websites or blogs.
Hence, if you want to build a successful site online then it needs to appear on the first page of the search results.
This can be done only by Search Engine Optimization.
And of course, don’t forget that as of today there are more than 1.9 billion websites online. Hence, the competition is really tough.
How to use SEO Checklists
For your convivence, I have broken down the checklist into different categories named basic SEO checklist 2022, Local SEO checklist, On-Page SEO checklist, Off-Page SEO checklist, Technical SEO checklist, and Social Media checklist.
Definitely, you don’t need to implement every part of this checklist. Only try to implement as many as possible and don’t worry if you miss a few.
Next, it is not possible to implement the whole checklist within a day. Take your time in implementing it. It’s Ok
Remember, SEO will not come just by following the checklist alone. To succeed, you need to resolve various issues, outrank your competitors and maximize opportunities where you can.
In short, Just do the best you can.
So, What are we waiting for? Let’s dive into the best SEO checklist for your website or blog below.
Basic SEO Checklist
Let us first tackle the basic checklist of SEO.
Though this will not have a direct impact on your site’s ranking it is still advisable to implement these SEO practices before going further.
Always remember, unless your site does not include the basic covered it will definitely struggle to rank higher in the search engine
1. Create Webmaster Accounts
This is the very first step to start Search Engine Optimization. You will find this step in almost every article posted on the SEO Audit checklist online.
Webmaster Account is the account where post verifying the ownership you can keep an eye on the performance of your website.
Since Webmaster accounts are free to create. I strongly advise you to set up a free account on both search engines before doing anything else.
2. Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free web analytic service provided by Google. Once you create the account on this, it will provide you with all the analytical information about your website for free. For example, Source of Traffic, Number of Pageviews, Demographic Information On Traffic, Devices Used, etc.
All you need is simply to create an account on Google Analytics and thereby copy and paste its tracking code on your site. Next, you will find all analytical information about your website in its dashboard.
3. Create Sitemap Free
In very simple words, the sitemap is an index page, where it lists all pages of the website with the domain name.
In SEO, a sitemap acts as a blueprint, which helps search engine spider to find, crawl, and index web page content easily.
Sitemap tells the search engine which files are important and also share important information about them.
Though there are two different kinds of sitemaps a) XML format and b) HTML format. For Search Engines, it is strongly advisable to prepare the sitemap in XML format only.
On Page SEO Checklist
After implementing the basic checklists, it is a time to do the On-Page SEO of your content.
On-Page SEO refers to practice to optimize the webpage content for search engine optimization. It includes Headings, Images, Keywords, Meta Description, Title, URL, Interlinking, etc.
In short, it includes everything that can be applied to your content on the website directly.
Let’s discuss all On Page SEO Audit Checklists in detail below.
1. Title of the BLog Post
Your blog post title will be the first thing that a visitor will see even before visiting your website. It will appear directly in the search results of all search engines.
Hence, it is very important to optimize your blog post title for better conversion.
But, a question may arise? How do choose a good title for a blog? To get the answer, please read below.
Since your title appears directly in the search results. Every title is a potential advert for your website.
If optimized properly. it will drive good traffic to your website for free. Here are a few critical recommendations to write good and catchy titles for your blog.
- Limit Length of the Title: The title limit of the Google is 600 pixels. It means it will show only 60 characters (including space) of you title in the search results. Post 60 characters, it will trim off the title adding an ellipsis to it.
- Include Focus Keyword: I highly suggest to include the main focus keyword in the title of the blog post. If possible then please include the same in the starting of the title.
- Add your brand name: Adding your brand name behind the title can improve your click through rate especially when you have a famous brand name.
- Don’t do Keywords Stuffing: In the lure of getting rank higher, please do not stuff your title with lots of keywords in it. Trust me, this will have a negative impact on its ranking.
2. Include Main Keyword in First Paragraph
Search Engines including Google put high weightage on the first paragraph (of around 100-150 words).
Hence, it is strongly recommended to include your main focus keywords in the first paragraph of your article.
For Example, for this post, you can see that I have included the keyword ‘SEO Checklist’ in the first line itself.
3. Include Keyword in Headings Including SubHeadings
There is no denying to the fact that Heading tags are one of the critical factors for site ranking. But this can be further optimized by adding the main keyword to it.
Trust me, if anything Google pays attention to, then it is worthy to add ‘Keyword’ to it.
Try to add ‘Targeted keyword’ to all Headings (including Sub Headings) but please do not overdo the same.
Next, if possible then use LSI Keywords across headings. This will further boost the search engine visibility of your blog post.
4. Optimize Your Images
Images play an important role in creating quality-rich content. Today, every blog post includes at least one image file in it.
Moreover, Search Engines can’t see images like a human. It requires ‘Alt Text’ to read it.
Here, the role of Image Optimization comes.
Below, I have highlighted a few critical optimization tips for images.
- Choose right Image Format: Generally speaking, there are three major formats for Images i.e., JPG, PNG and GIF. All three formats will have different file size. Hence, it is very important to select the right image format for your content.
- Don’t forget to add Alt Text: Alt text stands for Alternative Text. It describe image to Search Engines who can’t see it. Of course, adding main keyword will boost its visibility.
- Reduce File Size: A large image file will consume more space and thereby will take more time to load completely. Hence, it is very important to reduce the size of the image file without loosing the quality.
5. Use Proper Heading Tags
Starting from H1 to H6, there are six different types of Heading tags available online.
But, a question may arise on how to use these heading tags? What is the best way to use Headings in a blog post? To get an answer, please read below.
Firstly, you should limit the use of one H1 tag per webpage. H1 tag is generally used for the title of the page or post.
Next, use the H2 tag for different sections in your content followed by the use of H3 and H4.
The remaining H5 and H6 tags are rarely used. But, if required then you can follow the H4 tag. The below image will clear all your doubts.
In very simple words, you should structure your headings in such a way that it makes it easier for search engines and readers to read it.
6. Optimize Structure of URL
When it comes to On-Page optimization, you can’t ignore the URL of your blog post. An SEO-friendly URL will include the following.
- Include Targeted Keyword
- Exclude Stop Words
- Short, Simple and Relevant
Update: Recently, Google has stopped showing the URL in the search result.
However, Bing is still showing the URL in its search results.
Hence, you can’t ignore the importance of URL completely in Search Engine Optimization.
7. Meta Description Tag
Meta Description is a brief summary of the entire web page. Search Engines including Google and Bing show this brief description in the search results.
Now, as told earlier, if anything Google pays attention to then it is really very important to optimize the same.
The followings tips will help you to write a good meta description
- Write unique Meta Description for every webpage.
- Include Main Keyword in your Meta Description.
- Keep it up to 155 characters only. This is because, Google trim off snippets to 155 to 160 characters.
8. Internal Linking
In very simple words, Internal Links are those links that connect one webpage of your website to another webpage of the same website.
In SEO, Internal Links are as important as ‘Backlinks’. It provides the following benefits to your site.
- Drive Traffic to other page of the website
- Spread Link Juice (the power to rank) across website
- Allow easy navigation to users/readers.
- Help Spider to crawl and index your website easily.
9. Length of the Blog Post
Way Back in 2013, one of the articles at Google Webmaster Blog, mentioned that
From the above snapshot of the article, you can clearly observe that Google is indirectly highlighting the importance of long-form content in SEO.
Next, according to one study made by SERPIQ over 2000 keywords, the length of the content and its rankings is directly correlated to each other.
It means, if you write a long blog post then chances are the higher that your blog post will rank higher in the search engine. This is the only reason why we have to write this blog post very long.
But, a question may still arise? What is the ideal length of blog posts?
According to Buffer, the ideal length of the blog post is 7 minutes that is around 1600 words.
In very simple words, a long-form of in-depth content will contain more numbers of keywords and hence there are higher chances that it will rank easily in the search result.
Takeaway Tips for On Page Optimization
Below are a few takeaway tips for improving the search engine visibility of your blog post.
- Include Focus Keyword in the beginning of the Title and Meta Description.
- Use various keyword variation across all headings used.
- Use proper keyword while interlinking the content.
- Write content rich quality article
- Use emoji wherever possible
- Include highly paid CPC keywords in the article. This will help you to display high CPC ads on your site.
2. Social Media Checklist
According to one study, in 2020, there is a growth of 7% in the use internet and a 9.2% increase in the number of active Social Media users as compared to the last year 2019.
Of course, there is no doubt in the fact that these growths are due to the Pandemic situation and complete lockdown imposed in the major parts of the world.
Now, from the above fact snapshot, you can clearly observe that as of Jan 2020, there are more than 3.8 million active users on Social Networking sites.
This means almost 49% of the total population is using Social Media today.
Hence, there is no doubt in the fact that Social Media is the best place to target almost half of the total population.
But, with thousands of posts made every one second, it is very important to draft a precise strategy that works online.
Below I have shared the best social media checklists that will boost the presence of your social media posts.
For your convivence, this checklist has been divided into three parts.
- Daily Checklist
- Weekly Checklist
- Monthly Checklist
So What are we waiting for? Let’s discuss them in detail below.
1. Daily Socail Media Checklist
The daily checklist includes a task that needs to be followed daily in the routine. The first task in the list is
a. Scheduled your Posts
According to a HubSpot study, every social media platform draws an audience at a different time in a day. For example, Facebook gets more share posts at around 3 PM whereas in LinkedIn the best time to post is midweek from 3 to 5 PM.
I strongly suggest scheduling all social posts first in the morning. Once scheduled, you can sit back and it will be posted automatically at your scheduled time.
b. Reply to Comments
After scheduling social posts the next thing that you need to do is:- ‘Replying to all Comments made‘.
Of course, it will take more time if you decided to respond to all comments made on various social networking sites. But, trust me, it is worth responding.
By replying to all comments, you tell your users that you are interested to take time to support your product and services.
Moreover, the people will ask more questions if they know they will get the response.
Next, it is also important to reply to all negative comments within time. According to HubSpot, 80% of customers expect responding time to 24 hours for their social posts.
Hence, it is very important to reply to all customers within 24 hours or once a day.
c. Monitor Mentions
Monitoring your mentions is as important as replying to your social posts.
This is because, whenever people talk about your brand, they are spreading the word that it exist.
Now, if feedback is positive then there are higher chances that you will get new customers and if in case the feedback is negative then it needs to be sorted out immediately otherwise it will impact your reputation online.
In both cases, you need to react immediately to all feedback.
But, with more than 250 networking sites and 3.8 million active social media users, it is very difficult to monitor social mentions online.
This can be easily done using the Social Mentions service available online. For example, Google Alerts.
Google Alerts will monitor the web and send you an email whenever someone mentions your brand name online.
d. Check your Competitor’s Social Profile
This is another important task that you need to do daily. The below example will clarify everything.
In 2017, the Big B Amitabh Bachan tweeted about troubles in sending SMS through Vodafone Network.
But, these tweets become selling pitches for Reliance Jio. The representative from Reliance Jio immediately responds asking to deliver Jio Sim to him.
Hence, it is very important to spy on your competitor’s social profile daily. Might be you also get the chance to sell your product or service.
2. Weekly Social Media Checklist
The weekly Social Media checklist includes
a. Track Performance
Tracking performance is as important as investing your money and time. If you do not track the performance, then chances are higher that you make the uninformed decision and increase the risk of failure.
For example:- Suppose you scheduled daily social media posts for one month. Now, at the end of the month, you found that the daily scheduled posts do not work as per expectation.
In such a case, it became too late to reverse your decision. The situation might be good if you track the performance on a weekly basis and change your strategy as per the requirement.
Hence, tracking performance weekly is very important for achieving the desired goal.
b. Attend Events on Social Media
Oftentimes, social media events occur nearby you or online on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Attend those events to learn new and updated social media strategies.
c. Update Social Media Advertisements
Updating Social Media ads is another important task to be done on at least a weekly basis. Check and refresh the social ads. Keep the ones that are working. Iterate on the ones that aren’t.
3. Monthly Social Media Checklist
a. Deep Dive into Campaign Performance
I know you are already tracking the performance of your campaign on a weekly base but once in a month take a deep dive into its detailed analysis and identify your Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.
Next, considering these SWOT analyses, plan an effective social media strategy for the next month.
b. Perform a Social Media Audit
Monthly Social Media Audit includes
- Changing Profile photo, Cover photo of the fan page and/or description of your account.
- Referral traffic from various social networking sites
- Growth in number of Social Followers
- Under your audience
- Identify which social platform/channel is best for you.
3. Technical SEO Checklist
No matter, how good your content is, if your website is facing technical issues then it will not gain visibility in the search engine.
As the name suggests, Technical SEO refers to the technical part of your website or blog. Like On-Page SEO and Social Media, these are the unseen elements of your website.
For example, Robot.txt file, Crawl Errors, Mobile Friendly site, Install SSL certificate, etc.
Below we have discussed the technical SEO checklist in detail.
1. Create Robot.txt File
Robot.txt is a text file that tells web spiders which pages on your site is for crawling.
You will find this file easily in your Webmaster account. If you are running a WordPress blog then it will look something like this.
What does the above code in the Robot.txt file do?
- user-agent: * denotes this instruction applies to all web crawlers irrespective of search engine name. In simple words, this instruction will applies to all search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- Disallow: /wp-admin/ indicate not to crawl the given webpage.
- Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php is particularly mentioned here in this file because in the previous line we have disallow all webpages starting with URL pattern /wp-admin/
2. Avoid Mixed Content Warning
A mixed Content warning will appear when a webpage contains both secure (HTTPS) and unsecured (Non-HTTPS) content together.
For example, When your website is fully secured (using HTTPS) but you linked an URL starting with HTTP then you will get such a warning on your browser.
Next, your browser will block the unsecured content, and thereby it will not appear on your user screen.
This problem can be easily resolved using a Full SSL Certificate in the Cloudflare account. For more details please refer to this article completely.
3. Make your website Mobile Friendly
Trust me, If your website is not mobile-friendly then it will not rank well.
You can take this mobile-friendly test to check whether your website is mobile-friendly or not?
4. Identify Crawl Errors
Crawling is a process where a search engine visits your website and crawls all web pages via its bot.
Now, a Crawl error occurs when the search engine’s bot tries to reach your webpage but could not get succeeded.
You can easily find such an error in your webmaster account.
Resolve crawl errors (if any) otherwise, your webpage will not rank well.
Always crawl error indicates your webpage is not crawled by search engine spider and hence it will not appear in the search results.
5. Improve Loading Speed
According to one study, a 1-second delay in loading speed can reduce the page views by 11%.
In 2020, Google also replace the Speed Experimental in its webmaster account with Core Web Vitals.
Core Web Vitals includes a set of specific factors that measure the overall user experience. These factors are the largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.
6. Make your Website HTTPS
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure.
Actually, it is an encrypted version of HTTP, which uses the SSL/TLS protocol to encrypt communications so that attackers can’t steal data.
Now, getting an HTTPS website is easy using a Cloudflare account. Within a click, you can enable the “Always Use HTTPS” option and all visitors of the HTTP version will be redirected to the HTTPS.
7. Fix Broken Links
No one will like to click on the link that will lead to a ‘Not Found’ error. This will eventually lead to a poor experience for your users.
Moreover, it will also restrict the flow of link juice, and thereby its impact adversely on your site’s ranking.
Backlinks play an important in the ranking of the content.
Backlinko analyzed 11.8 million Google search results and found that top-ranking webpages have more backlinks than others.
It is also important to note that here Backlink means Good Backlinks.
Spammy or bad backlinks will have a negative impact on your content ranking.
But, What if, you have bad or spammy backlinks pointing to your site?
Your competitor has built bad backlinks on your behalf using Negative SEO.
How to resolve this problem? To get the answer please read below
- Request webmaster to remove link pointing to your site or
- Use Disavow Tool
Disavow tool will allow the webmaster to tell search engines to ignore certain backlinks while ranking content in the search results.
In simple words, using Disavow tool, you can ask search engines including Google to ignore bad or spammy backlinks.
4. Off Page SEO Checklist
Unlike the On-Page SEO checklist, this includes techniques that can be implemented outside your domain area.
In simple words, it includes everything that can be done on someone else website to improve your site’s ranking. For example, building backlinks, Blog Commenting, Guest Posting, etc.
So, What are we waiting for? Let’s discuss Off-Page SEO techniques below.
1. Link Building
Simply put, Link Building is a process to build links pointing back to your site.
Trust me, Link Building plays an important role in SEO. If you want to improve your search engine ranking then please don’t ignore it.
For link-building strategies 2022, you may refer to the below-attached image file.
Please click below to download the above Backlink Building Techniques file in PDF format
2. Do Guest Posting
Guest Posting will not only help in building backlinks but also helps in increasing website traffic free.
For more information, please refer to this article on Guest Posting.
3. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is a great way to build backlinks.
Though these links are no-follow, it is a great way to attract traffic to your blog.
In fact, this is the easiest technique. If you are a beginner, then I highly recommend giving a try to this.
Unlike other techniques, this will not require any SEO knowledge to start it. All you need to do is visit authoritative sites and then comment on their blog posts.
4. Be active on Online Forum
Online Forum is another great Off-Page SEO technique to improve search engine ranking. Like Blog Commenting, the secret to the Online Forum technique is also ‘Relationship’.
To get the best results, be active on various forums. Simply, posting once in the blue moon will not help you.
5. Social Media Sharing
If you want to make your business website popular then Social Engagement is very important.
Thanks to Social Networking sites. They have made this work easier. Now, you can easily interact by creating a fan page.
Within a click, you share your message and promote content to all your fans free.
6. Question and Answer Websites
A Q&A site is a great way to drive traffic to your site. Quora, Answerbag, Yahoo Answer are a few examples of such websites.
All you need to do is join such sites and answer the question. Next, if allowed, you can also give a link to your website for more information.
7. Use Web 2.0 Websites
Web 2.0 in SEO refers to those websites that allow their users to create webpage on their subdomain. For example, Medium, Tumblr, Blogger, Just page, Quora, Hub Pages, etc.
You can visit such websites and then create a web page or blog on them.
In very simple words, all websites ending with ‘blogpost.com’ domain names are blogs build using Web 2.0 technology.
Like other techniques, Web 2.0 will also help in getting free backlinks and driving traffic to your site.
8. Online Reviews
Do you know Online Reviews are very important for the success of any website?
According to hostingtribunal, more than 72% of customers won’t take any action before reading online reviews.
Hence, online reviews will help you to increase conversion and build trust.
It is very obvious, along with positive reviews you may also get negative reviews online. So, you go negative reviews, please don’t get panic. This article will help you to push down negative reviews online.
Above all is the only SEO checklist that you may require in 2022 to improve the search engine ranking of your site.
Now Your Turn
There you go. The above article includes a complete and detailed checklist for Search Engine Optimization of your site.
Next, How is your SEO Checklist look like? Don’t forget to share your message in below comment box. We will be happy to hear from you.
You can also post below if you have a question about something you read above.