01 Aug 17-Step Ultimate SEO Checklist
No matter what industry you are from, SEO plays an essential role in getting your brand an organic reach. This is because Google keeps on updating its algorithm, which determines how your site would rank on the search engine.
So, here’s an actionable SEO checklist to rank your website in 2021:
1. Get one version indexed
For you, the below versions may be the same:
But, for Google, they aren’t!
Make sure Google indexes any one version of your website, and whatever query someone puts, it redirects to the primary version of your website. If it’s not, you can redirect it using 301 redirects.
2. Shift to HTTPS protocol
If you are still using HTTP, you should consider moving to HTTPS because back in 2014, Google announced it as a ranking factor. But why?
HTTPS protects data from leaking or getting hacked, thereby giving people assurance of their security.
3. Make it mobile-friendly
More than 50% of searches are using mobiles. Therefore, it is important to make sure your website is well-optimized for mobiles. You can check the mobile-friendliness of your website here.
4. Speed up!
Speed plays a vital role in ranking. Google prioritizes websites that have high speed. But why is it?
Today the attention span of people is almost negligible. If your site doesn’t load faster, people switch to other sites. Make sure your site doesn’t take over 3 seconds to load.
5. Delete unwanted pages
To increase your traffic on your important pages, it is essential to eliminate unwanted or irrelevant pages.
For example, if you have archive pages or categories, old and irrelevant posts, etc., consider deleting them. You should also remove thin content or that with less word limit.
6. Find and fix indexing problems
Check your Google index coverage for any indexing problems on your website. Fixing them would enable Google to access those pages. So, make sure there are no broken links.
7. Measure your organic traffic
Measure your organic traffic using Google Analytics to find out which pages are ranking, the common queries people search for, and how your organic traffic has been over time.
Even if you see a flatter or downward curve, do not get disheartened. Just make sure you work on it based on your demographics and keywords.
8. Improve your on-page SEO
On-Page SEO is extremely important for any web page to show up in the results. Make sure you include your keyword in the following:
Within the first 100 words
At least 2-3 times in the body of content
Also, use LSI Keywords and add five internal and five external links to build authority.
9. Set up keyword rank tracking
You can use SEO Analyzers like SEMrush to determine what keywords you are ranking for. You can also manually check your rankings for any particular keyword. It would enable you to improve your rankings further, based on the report.
10. Build your backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most important factors in Off-page SEO, which determines your website and page authority. Analyze your Edu backlinks using Ahrefs or any similar SEO tool and find out the influencers in your niche to engage with them.
11. Spy on your competitors
To rank high, you must know what your competitors are doing. What is that they are ranking high for? Where are you lacking? How can you improve your content to rank higher than your competitors? Analyze their performance and get inspired. But, you shouldn’t copy the content, only seek inspiration.
12. Improve your content
You need to analyze the average time a person spends on your web page. Then, to increase the time and ranking, make sure you do a competitor study and make your content ten times better.
For this, make your sentences and paragraphs short, keep the structure neat and add more visual-based content like images and videos.
13. Optimize for UX signals
UX signals are the behavioral patterns that Google uses to affect your page rankings. It is based upon the user experience of your page, which is determined by the average time spent, bounce rate, and click-through rate.
Optimize your content in a way that people spend more time reading it and switching to other pages of your website, engaging with it and sharing it.
14. Have a flat structure
Make sure your website has a flat structure and is not deep. The flatter it is, the easier it becomes for Google to crawl it. This means it shouldn’t take over three clicks from any page of your website to get to the home page.
Moreover, pages closer to the home page are considered more important and are at a greater chance of getting crawled and ranked.
15. Target featured snippet
Being featured in the snippet can get you loads of organic traffic. To increase your chances of getting featured, do the following:
Use a lot of H2 and H3 tags
Add FAQs or short answers for commonly asked questions
Link back to credible sources (High DA)
Keep your site secure (HTTPS)
Make sure your site is mobile-optimized
16. Work on internal linking
Internal linking is one of the most underrated SEO factors. Internal links don’t just add authority to your pages but also get you organic traffic on your interlinked pages.
You must focus on adding up to 5 internal links in your content. But, make sure all the added links are relevant to the content (same niche).
This would help you, especially for your pages that are getting high organic reach.
17. Use a site audit tool
Use an SEO tool like SEObility or SEMrush for auditing your website and finding out the technical aspects that require your attention. The audit report would allow you to make the necessary changes on a timely basis.
So, this was our 17-steps SEO checklist 2021, which you must consider incorporating to make your site stand out.