Do you want to improve your website’s SEO on your own? Then follow these steps! This is how you can skyrocket your SEO for your blog or website. Grab your coffee and let’s start!
First SEO steps
- Market research.
- Keywords research.
- Competitors research. Make a list of your top competitors in SERPs.
- In different countries/languages research.
- Niche research.
- Data gathering.
- Insert the data into your strategy and content.
- What is the current status of your blog or website? Check once a month.
- Add clearly your business information: name, address, telephone number, opening hours, email etc.
- Activate Google Analytics or website analytics tools.
- Crawl your blog or website with a pro tool like seositecheckup.com
- Google your blog or website. Where do you find it? If there are healthy links referring to your blog or website consider to use them.
- Submit your blog or website in Google Webmasters tools. Manage search console issues through their panel.
- Submit your blog’s or website’s sitemap.
- Check for crawl errors (via Google Webmasters tools).
- Add SSL certificate.
- Also, submit your blog or website in Bing and Yandex Webmasters tools. Manage search console issues through their panel.
- Use Google Keyword Planner.
- Start using Google Adwords only if you have a solid quality blog or website.
- Check every week the status of all the above.
On Page SEO
- Create a clean and friendly to the eye architecture/structure on your blog or website.
- Add favicon.
- Add menu (use plain/human logic)
- Add breadcrumbs and navigation indicators
- Fix all issues that found in Webmaster tools. (Always)
- Avoid graphic noise or unbalanced design.
- Trust an expert in design about what works better.
- Use basic graphic design rules.
- Keep your blog or website as simple as possible.
- Add Robots.txt files. If you don’t know how to use them, hire a professional.
- Use Canonicalization
- If you are not using Yoast then you should consider starting using!
- Add or fix ALL meta Tags.
- Titles are very important. Must attract the visitor’s attention and include the main keywords.
- Equally important is the use of Headings in your content. Use one Heading 1, one Heading 2, a few (2-5) Heading 3 and with no limits for Headings 4, 5, 6, etc. Not having Headings is a self-destructive strategy for SEO. Headings 1 + 2 must include the main keywords.
- The main keywords must appear in the first paragraph of your copy.
- The main keywords must appear in your image files (description, alt text, image file name).
- Learn to think proactively about your long-tail keywords. Search which they are and use them to attract easily high traffic results.
- Fix or add meta titles. Keep it up to 60 characters. [<—This line has 52 characters-clicks, including and the spaces]
- Before you publish something, add the appropriate category and tags. Prefer up to 2 – 4 categories and up to 6 tags.
- Keep your URLs clean and healthy. They must be the absolute best option of the Title and without any stop words. Also must include the focus keywords.
- Be very careful about the clean URLs! For example, search results are considered not clean URLs: https://ideadeco.co/?s=seo&submit=Go. We never use this kind of URLs into our copy or linking strategy.
- The length of each post/article should be at minimum 300 words and with as easy to understand syntax. Avoid extra long sentences and the overuse of passive voice.
- Choose to externalize code CSS.
- Check your content, titles, URLs and focus keywords because the duplicate content is the express ticket to the Town of Oblivion.
- Choose only relevant to the copy visuals and graphics. And remember to provide relevant to the copy description, alt text, title and file name. It is the only trustworthy indicator for crawl machines to recognize and short out if your visuals belong to the best/top/relevant answer for a specific query.
- Use different types of media. There are several options out there! Like infographics, slideshows, videos, quotes, quizzes, surveys, gifs, animated videos, excellent quality photographs, podcast, tutorials, PDFs, digital seminars or workshops, ebooks, guides etc
- There is only one option for quality standards for media: the best.
- Optimize size for your media files.
- Use of Schema markup within your content. If all this sounds like Chinese to you, then read more about Schema in this article.
- Whatever you upload on your website for each post/article must include the focus keywords.
- Keep your content as close as possible to LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing).
- Use Website Silo Architecture and respect the categories that actually are the skeleton of your digital asset. Put each type of content under the proper categories.
- If it is possible, maintain the indexed pages static.
- Publish regularly. At least once a week in order to keep the freshness factor at the highest score.
- Google Trends can provide great and hot topics for your next posts.
- Internal linking is important for building a flow between relevant and quality pages on your blog or website.
- Similarly important is to be extra cautious when you are linking to an external source. Make it a habit of yours to check once a month if the external links you are using are still valid, trustworthy or safe.
- Old content (+6 months) should be updated with new information when and if it is necessary. You don’t want to have obsolete content or outdated data on your blog or website, do you?
- Create a content calendar and tasks to do for content in the same calendar.
- Recycle your content and make wise use of the most mature post and articles.
- Create cornerstone articles (+1000 words) with an extremely high quality of information, language, and visuals.
- Share your content on social media channels but optimize the copy and the visuals according to each platform. One size doesn’t fit all.
- Compress images.
- Use cache.
- Keep your blog or website mobile friendly!
- Check frequently how your website or blog behaves in different browsers.
- Run technical and plugin updates for your website or blog. You don’t want to end up with a hacker dancing on the floor of your website.
- Do you use Google Insights? It will help you solve several fix-now issues!
- Improve web and mobile speed.
- Use the best hosting service and not the cheapest on the market.
- Hire a professional technician to run all the updates and secure your website.
- Check your website or blog bounce rate every week. See what kind of content brings better result and keep feeding the hot topics. Numbers never lie!
- Error pages 404 are crucial for your blog or website. Don’t terminate them. On the contrary, you can add clever marketing reactions on your error pages.
- “Under construction pages” are part of your marketing strategy and SEO. Being under construction doesn’t mean that you are dead.
- Be GDPR compliant.
- Check all the above every week.
Off Page SEO
- Create social media accounts on all major social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat, Reddit, Quora, Medium etc
- In each social media, make good use of all given tools and extras.
- On Facebook post 2-3 times per week but interact with your community every day. There are many digital marketing actions that can promote your website or blog and gain high-quality followers. Two of these is Facebook groups and great positive attitude posts. Visuals, copy, and hashtags must be in perfect balance. Have in mind that only a Facebook business page is suitable to promote your blog or website. Never use a personal Facebook profile for business goals.
- On Instagram find your voice and personal style and keep a calm flow of posting 1-2 per day with only the most important/hot hashtags and a great text. Guide your audience to view more on your website or blog. Post stories, add highlights and videos. It is better to convert your account to a business one.
- On Pinterest join major and relevant group boards. Create stellar Pinterest posts with the proper hashtags.
- On Twitter, post at least once a day. Be precise and witty with great visuals & hashtags. Don’t forget to add a link to your website or blog.
- Be an active writer on LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, Quora, Tumblr, Reddit and other similar microblogging platforms. Slideshare is a great tool if you want to take the extra mile.
- Do you know Canva and PicMonkey? Will become your new best friends for creating astonishing visuals, PDFs, and presentations.
- Define which social media channels are a good fit for your blog or website to communicate with your audience.
- It is always a good idea to submit your content to curating platforms such as Flipboard, Pocket, etc
- Check your website or blog twice a month for linking to other websites. If you find a great fellow blogger or website owner that has linked with your content, seek for a collaboration.
- Detect successful content that is close to your topics and start testing new ways to create your content.
- Participate in global or local events.
- Offer free seminars or workshops. Build your personal brand step by step. There is no express ticket to the top!
- Join a challenge or create one.
- Become a sponsor of relevant events or seminars or celebrations.
- Become a mentor in your industry.
- Find mentions of your brand and act accordingly and on time. Don’t wait for 10 weeks to reply or react.
- Set up alerts for your brand through Google Alerts.
- Start guest blogging on famous and stronger websites or blogs.
- Add quotes to your content strategy once a week. They bring huge traffic!
- Give interviews and get interviews. Get over the fear of exposure. Blogging equals to exposure.
- Videos (short or long) are a must-have. Show how to create something or how to fix something or how to dress for an occasion or how to deal with a technical issue or how to prepare a recipe or details about your travels etc
- Get yourself published via an ebook or via a research etc
- Search and find competitions with high publicity. Go for the first award.
- Start commenting on other popular blogs with really useful tips.
- Give useful and positive reviews to popular websites/blogs/companies.
- Newsletters are very important funnels for traffic. Set up an account on MailChimp and start sending your Newsletters. Remember GDPR!
- If you detect a broken link on your blog or website just fix it.
- Support NGOs or charity causes through your website or blog.
- Give offers or contests only if it is really meaningful for 1-2 times a year is just perfect.
- Get your blog or website into an institution or organization by offering volunteer work/support.
- Try to be accepted as a writer into newspaper or magazine websites. Try local and global websites.
- If you win awards post them on your blog or website.
- Get indexed on local listings.
- Track new bloggers, follow them and interact with the new kids on the internet block.
- Stay informed and educate yourself as often as possible.
- When you find your content or images on other websites ask to link them back to your blog or website.
- Create your main hashtags and use them!
- Hey keep an eye on banned hashtags on Instagram and avoid those. See how to detect them here.
- Google queries and results can be really helpful if you want to stay at the top of your industry.
- Create a solid resources-bank and use it for creating 100% unique posts and articles.
- If you are into journalism blogging then subscribe to HARO.
- Do you offer a service or sell products? Then collect reviews and testimonials. Start using them on your blog or website.
- Ask for feedback. Be ready to hear things that maybe you won’t like them. Stay calm and polite.
- Create Q&A page for the most common topics on your blog or website.
- Invest time for an online Glossary or Guide on your blog or website that will stay focus on your target market needs/queries.
- Pay attention to SERPs.
- Become an active member of guides like Google Local Guides, TripAdvisor etc
- Once again will point out that is crucial to set up a calendar and stick to the schedule! (And organize your files.)
- Attend seminars, conferences, and popular events. Become a keynote speaker or an instructor. Get out of your comfort zone.
- Track your rankings and statistics every single week and detect what boosts more your numbers. Google Analytics and SimilarWeb are awesome!
This is not the end of SEO
If you haven’t already added social media buttons to your blog or website, please do now. We want visitors to share our content on their accounts, don’t we?
✔ Hey blogger! Have you added the appropriate text in the “social media text box” before you publish your post? It should include the focus keywords and a hint of what visitors will find in your post. The same rule applies to the excerpt text.
✔ Make it a goal to get into the knowledge graph of Google.
✔ Schedule in advance SEO checkups and follow the latest technical requirements.
✔ Check your backlinks.
✔ Google guidelines set the rules of the game. Just bite the bullet and comply.
✔ Claim your blog’s or website’s name on other networks. If there is a listing somewhere with your brand claim it or someone else will.
✔ Complaints and crises are part of the digital marketing game. Train yourself to respond with your better self. Make haters love your brand.
✔ Your domain is part of your blog or website entity. Never neglect to pay the domain fee or/and to check the status of your hosting provider or/and the credibility of your server.
✔ Domain age is more important than any backlinks. Mature domains get better results.
✔ Blogging is a full-time job. SEO supports your effort to keep your blog alive.
✔ Follow SEO professionals and join groups that can help you stay updated.
Who to follow?
What would you add?
We would love to read your additions to this SEO checklist in the comments section. What else would you add as a significant SEO landmark?
One last tip
When you add links to your post or article set them to open on a new page. The gap between your blog or website should be ONLY one click away. Having the tab with your brand’s name open at the top of the pages works as a beacon of trust. It is easier to remember where you have started your digital search than relying on your memory, right?
Also available in PDF form
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