Do You Need An SEO Checklist? I Bet You Do!
Having an SEO checklist is great but don’t be fooled into thinking that SEO is easy. Over the years, SEO has just become more and more complex. It’s an umbrella term that covers a range of different tools, strategies, and tactics. However, it is also the bread and butter of your digital marketing campaigns. Using the SEO checklist below, our hope is you will find the holes in your SEO campaigns and plug them up for better SEO success.
There’s a reason why SEO is important for small businesses. Organic rankings are far more useful compared to the Pay Per Click alternatives, also known as “PPC Marketing”. However, to make sure that you rank with your SEO campaign, there are a few checks that you need to make.
Following this SEO checklist, you’ll know what areas of SEO you need to focus on and where you should be spending most of your time.
Let’s Get Started.
1. Correct Those Technical Problems
There are a few technical issues that will impact your rankings. If you have these issues, your website can be as pretty as a picture, but still, struggle to rank.
Don’t forget, the Google algorithm does look at how look users stay on your site. Technical troubles will ensure they click and click right back off. So, what problems need to be addressed?
- Speed – In this day and age, a web page should be loading in seconds, not minutes.
- For example, your website should load in four seconds or less.
- Optimization – All your pages should be fully optimized.
- Make sure all images are compressed properly, image tags, heading/anchor text tags are filled out correctly.
- Broken links
- Links help you rank but only if they are both high-quality links and are working.
- Content Duplication – Do not fall for this amateur mistake.
- Simply put, make sure the same or similar content is posted in multiple pages or posts or both.
You can use a lot of tools to sort out these issues, but our recommendation would be the Google Search Console.
There are plenty of technical issues, but one of the biggest is your site is not loading on certain devices, browsers or screen resolutions.
Check your site on as many as you can and fix any problems that you find.
2. Check Out Your Competitors
You do need to keep a check on your competitors. Make sure that you look at the top sites in the search results for the keywords that you’re going to target. There might well be issues with their website that you can exploit.
They could have:
- Missed out crucial keywords
- Failed to index pages
- Low-quality links
Learning about your competitor’s flaws and strengths will give you a competitive advantage.
You can use tools like Majestic to check out how your competition is doing.
You may also want to think about what backlinks your competitors have. Quality backlinks are a brilliant way to boost rankings. If they are working for your competitors, they will also work for you. Using Ahrefs.com, you can replicate them.
3. What Are Your Customers Looking For?
For SEO to be effective, you need to know your customers inside and out. Key details like when they are going to be online and how they decide they need your product can help you know how to set up your SEO campaign.
Are they looking for your products in an emergency or perhaps out of an ostentatious desire? Learning these facts using a tool like Whiteboard will help you understand what keywords your customers are searching with.
4. Create An SEO Checklist for All Pages That Must Be Optimized
Remember, this isn’t just about putting keywords on the page. You need high-quality, unicorn content with a great structure that fits those keywords. You need to seize every opportunity without spamming.
Don’t forget about relevant or alternate long-tail keywords that your target audience will use. Optimization should be across the board and include meta descriptions, titles and the content body.
5. Don’t Forget About Google My Business
You might think that Google My Business isn’t relevant to your small company but it is a key asset and it’s free! Use all the options provided to fully optimize your GMB and Google Maps listing; more information, the better. Learn more about how to optimize your Google My Business listing.
Remember, customers can now ask you questions. You need to stay on top of these questions and provide the answers that your customers are looking for.
6. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Paid
Search Engine Optimization isn’t an overnight fix for your site. You will find that ranking organically, particularly on page one can take months. As such, you will probably want to start generating leads immediately.
To do this, you need to make sure that you use some of your budgets for paid SEO (or Pay-per-Click Marketing). This is a great way to compliment your organic SEO and make sure that you are getting leads to your site as soon as you get started.
7. Keep Your Local Business Listings In Check
Make sure you are keeping a check on your local business data. It’s important to remain consistent. Information on your business will be shared by data aggregators, so it needs to be accurate. Listings and citations will boost your presence locally, but what’s the best way to make sure that this works?
8. Use A Schema Markup
A search engine can only use as much info as you provide. That’s why you want to make sure that you use a Schema markup. This will send search engines signals with everything from your address to phone numbers and ratings. Ratings are particularly crucial because this is the type of info that will lead to higher clicks.
Schema markup can also lead to a rich snippet. Info like ratings will be displayed underneath the listing in the SERPs and make your website stand out more from the rest.
Google Structured Data Testing Tool is what you need for a Schema Markup.
9. Users Trust The Wisdom Of The Crowd, So Should You
We’re talking about reviews. Everyone looks at reviews before buying a product. It should come as no surprise that reviews were one of the top ranking factors in 2017. Reviews also boost conversions, so it is worth paying attention to, this variable.
By using feedback and reviews, you can improve your business and transform it into exactly what customers want. Use a range of platforms to manage a review campaign. Alternatively, you can push customers to leave reviews on the major review sites that users frequent.
GetFiveStars.com is a great tool for boosting those review numbers.
10. Get The Right Local Links
Small business owners need to focus on local links. Links are one of the best ways to improve your ranking and gain increased sales as well as a higher level of customers.
There are lots of ways to attract local links to your sites. One option would be to focus on press releases. You need to make a push to spread the word about your business and make sure that people are interested, excited and aware. Get involved in the community and make sure that you are putting your business into the spotlight as well. It can take a while for local links to build but they are certainly worth the time and indeed the effort.
Don’t forget, when you’re looking for ways to get local links, there’s no harm in using your connections. Ask partners, suppliers, clients and even friends to link to your site. This will be a lot faster than trying to grow connections from scratch.
11. Create An SEO Checklist to Gain The Upper Hand With Images And Videos
Everything on your site should be optimized. But did you also know that includes images and videos? If your site is trailing behind with SEO, make sure that you optimize these areas.
Remember, sometimes an image or video will not display. As such, it’s worth optimizing the description that will instead. Optimizing images and videos can also help you gain the high ground with competitive keywords.
12. Make It Easy To Navigate
Your site doesn’t need to just load. It needs to be able to find everything that your customers would want on it as well. A good structure will also make things easier for the crawlers that rank your site.
To do this, simply make sure that every page of your site can be accessed from your homepage in just three clicks.
It sounds simple, but if your website structure is a mess, it can be quite complicated to fix.
13. Create An SEO Checklist for What Keywords You Want To Use
Think carefully about the keywords that you want to target with your small business. Make sure that you keep in mind the language that your clients will be using.
Then, check out the keywords competitors are targeting. This should help you create a good starting list.
You can then use Google’s Keyword Tool to perfect the list, refining it to make sure that you are focusing on ones that you can rank with.
14. Keep Content Fresh
Content is arguably one of the most important factors for SEO. Make sure that your content is fresh, relevant and exciting.
You need to add content at least once a month to your site to make sure it doesn’t stagnate. It can be any type of content you wish as long as it is new and appealing to your target audience.
Similar to Social Media posting, you can use the “70-20-10 rule”.
- 70% of the time: Unique content
- 20% of the time: Relevant content
- 10% of the time: Promotional Offers or Call-to-Actions
Use this SEO checklist, and you can make a complicated matter like SEO a lot easier for your small business.