31Mar'14

The Ultimate SEO Checklist – Are you doing it right?

on-site-seo-checklistSEO is a continuously evolving field. Activities that were once essential are now considered outdated at best and in some cases even harmful. For example, submitting your website to a zillion search engines and directories went out of fashion with colored skinny jeans for boys. Rich snippets, on the other hand, are an example of the ever growing ability of search engines to parse complex data and pass on the benefits of on-page search engine optimization to webmasters and searchers.

Here is an SEO checklist that you should keep handy, it has been created to separate the wheat from the chaff and presents important and current SEO must-dos for your websites.

  1. The single-largest and recurrent aspect of SEO is content optimization. Content has to be optimized for not only for the search engines but also for different social media platforms that have their own search features. On-topic and crisply written tweets carrying appropriate hashtags stand a better chance of appearing on the SERPs. The point being made here is that the scope of content SEO has widened to include qualitative aspects and social media.

  2. Choose your battles wisely. In other words, your selection of keywords that you wish to rank for should be done keeping in mind their potential to drive traffic, competition, and of course, relevance. This is an ageless, evergreen SEO activity and a crucial one because appropriate keywords melded with great content serve the dual purpose of appealing to both, humans and the search engines.

  3. Write for your audience. Nothing beats the satisfaction of having the trust of your audience, because it leads to endorsements from contended customers and appreciative visitors. Earlier, these endorsements were in the form of links; one-way links back to your site. Quality links are still an important standard for a site’s worth. Correct choice of anchor text for incoming links constitutes good offsite SEO. Today, apart from backlinks, businesses can leverage reviews for offsite SEO. Satisfy your customers and you will accumulate a collection of positive references that cover different variants of beneficial phrases, i.e. choose long tail keyphrases on different domains pointing toward your site. Search is no longer about search strings; it is also about social signals.

  4. The foundation of an SEO-friendly website is laid when web designers factor in search engine optimization from the outset. Like knowing that a responsive design offers serious benefits from as SEO perspective, such as backlinks pointing to a single URL. A separate mobile website would require additional SEO work and maintenance. Landing pages have to be designed such that they match and fulfill the expectations raised by the content linking to them. Choice of anchor text for category, number of categories, and placement of navigation buttons strengthens or weakens internal page rank.

  5. Implement sitewide SEO-friendly practices such as having an XML sitemap in place, spiderable text navigation as opposed to Flash or images, web analytics to implement a proper keyword strategy, clearing debris such as broken links and 404 errors, etc.

It actually takes more time to go through a list of SEO activities than it takes to implement them for an article before publishing. With a template in place for good SEO practices, your website’s ranking on the search engines is bound to improve.

About Brett Relander

Brett is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder with specialties in mobile marketing (apps & sites) and social media marketing. He is a featured contributor to Entrepreneur.com and SocialMediaToday.com as well as a speaker and small business advocate.