This is the most comprehensive SEO checklist on the internet.
The best part?
Everything on this list is working fine right now.
So if you want Higher Google Rankings in 2020, you're going to love today's checklist. .
Let's dive right into…
How to use this SEO checklist
Hey, I'm Brian Dean.
J used this exact checklist to increase my organic traffic by 161.96% in 30 days:
It also helped me rank for SUPER competitive keywords, like "SEO on page ".
And "Keyword research ":
You don 't need to go all out on this checklist.
Just do your best.
The more you put in practice advice, the more traffic you will get.
SEO basics checklist
Let's start with the basics of SEO. Here is where you will discover the tools and plugins you will need to rank yourselfer in search engines.
1. Configure the Google search console
Google search console is VERY powerful free SEO tool .
Search Console is designed to help you track your site's performance in Google search.
That 's why it ' s full of useful features, such as:
- Find out which keywords get the most traffic
- Submit a sitemap
- Correct website errors
- Receive messages from the Google search team
- Much more
Bottom Line: If you're serious about SEO, setting up Google Search Console is a key first step.
2. Install Bing Webmaster Tools
Then configure Bing tools for webmasters .
Is Bing as popular as Google? No. But up to one-third of all searches are performed on Bing. So it is worth to be optimized for.
In addition, Bing's webmaster tools have some cool features, like a built-in keyword research tool.
3. Configure Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the BEST way to see how people find (and use) your site.
Its many useful features include:
- Discover the traffic generated by Google
- Find the pages on your site that get you the most traffic
- Check if your traffic is increasing (and by how much)
- Identify other sites and search engines search that send you traffic
- Your bounce rate , page views and time spent on the site
Pro tip: Log in to Google Analytics with the Google Search Console. When you do, you will see useful SEO information inside your website.re account Google Analytics.
Here is a resource that will walk you through the configuration steps.
4. Install Yoast SEO (WordPress users only)
Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin on the planet.
And for good reason.
Yoast makes it easy optimization of your WordPress site for search engines.
It also helps you with t technical SEO stuff , like robots .txt and sitemaps. Recommended.
Keyword research checklist
Keyword Research is the foundation of SEO. And in this checklist, I'll show you how to quickly find the keywords your customers are looking for.
1. Discover long tail keywords with "Google Suggest "
C is one of the best ways to discover words -long tail keys .
Here's how it works:
First, type a keyword into Google.
But don 't press Enter ... or the "Google Search " button. Instead, look at the keywords Google shows you:
(These keywords areknown as "Google Suggest ")
Keywords Because these keywords come straight from Google, you KNOW people are looking for them.
Which means they are excellent for optimizing your site.
Pro Tip: Check out Keywordtool.io . This tool scrapes keywords from Google Suggestions, which makes this process much easier to scale.
2. Find strong keywords in Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is the word- official Google key search tool.
It is technically designed for Google Adwords. That said, it is still VERY useful for SEO keyword research.
After all, the data comes straight from Google. You know it 's super accurate.
Here is a guide on the use of Google Keyword Planner for SEO .
3. Tap Into Online Communities
Reddit, Quora, forums and more Online communities are great places to find keywords.
And I created a video that shows you how to find untapped keywords in these communities (step by step).
Here it is:
4. Identify Low Competition Keywords with KWFinder
KWFinder is a freemium keyword research tool.
What makes KWFinder unique is that it gives you TONS of dataon each keyword.
As you can see, when you enter a keyword in KWFinder, you get information about:
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Estimated number of visits
This way you can choose low competition keywords that are easy to rank.
5. Find " Question Keywords "with ATP
Question keywords are PERFECT for blog posts and articles.
(For example : "How do you make cold coffee? ")
And you can easily find them with Respond to audience .
This free tool shows you the questions people are typing ch for online.
That way you can answer these questions with your content.
On-page SEO checklist
Now is the time optimize your content using a handle of on-page SEO techniques .
1. Include your keyword in your URL
Your URL helps Google to understand what your page is all about. And a word- key - a rich URL can improve your organic CTR .
This is why you want to include your keyword in your URL.
For example, my target keyword for this page is "SEO Checklist ".
So I created the URL for this page: https://backo.com/seo-checklist .
2. Use short URLs
Keep your URLs as short as possible.
A recent analysis of 11.8 million Google search results found that short URLs rank highest in Google .
3. Load before your keyword in your title tag
It's no secret that you must use your keyword in your title tag .
But not many people know that where you put your keyword is important.
Specifically, you want to put your keyword in front of your title tag.
For examplethe, my main keyword for this post is an "SEO case study ".
As you can see, my title tag starts with this keyword:
4. Incorporate the tag modifiers of title
Title tag modifiers are words and phrases to add to your title tag.
When you do, your page will be ranked for many long tail keywords.
Here is a video that walks you through this process:
5. Use your keyword once in the first 150 words
Google grants more important in the first 100-150 words of your page.
So be sure to use your keyword once here.
For example, for my article on SEO tools , you can see that I use the term "SEO tools " from the start:
6. Use your keyword in the H1, H2 or H3 tags
Make sure to include your keyword in the H1, H2 or H3 tags.
You may have noticed that j 've included the term "SEO Checklist" in the first subheader of this page:
Well, this subheader is wrapped in an H2 tag. And including "SEO Checklist " in an H2 can help me rank higher for that keyword.
This tip won't make a big dent in your Google ranking.
But when it comes to 'optimization for search engines, every little bit helps.
7. Optimize images
The images you use say a lot about your content.
Unfortunately, Google still cannot "see" images like a human can.
So to help them understand your images, you want optimizes your image alt tags and file names.
(Bonus: Optimized images also help you rank in image search)
First things first , when saving the image, use a file name that briefly describes what that image is.
For example, let's say you just took a picture of a spinach omelet with your iPhone.
Well, you would like to name this image something like:
Then when you add the 'image to your page, give-it an alt tag deive:
That 's all there is to it.
8. Use synonyms and LSI keywords
At the time, it made sense to " keyword " your page.
Today, Google is smart.
So instead of using the same keyword 1000 times, use synonyms and LSI Keywords .
For example, let's say you want to rank for "how to start a blog ".
Well, you would like to mention that exact keyword a few times on your page… and synonyms like:
- How to start a blog
- Create a blog
- How to create a blog
- How to set up a blog on WordPress
Yous get the idea 🙂
Then add some LSI Keywords .
LSI keywords are terms that match your ord master key.
You can find a number of them using LSIGraph. com .
Then just add a few of those LSI keywords to your page. And you're good to go.
9. Use external links
Make sure to link to 5-8 authority sites in your article.
For example, in this list of SEO techniques , I refer to trusted websites like Wikipedia and Google.com.
And these links show Google that my content is well referenced and trustworthy.
10. Use internal links
It 's very simple:
Every time you post new content, link to 2 to 5 other pages on your site.
Pro tip: Use keyword rich anchor text in your internal links .
For example, notice how I use the anchor text "on-page SEO ", in this internal link:
This tells search engines that the page I'm linking to is: " on-page SEO ".
Technical SEO checklist
Technical SEO can make or break your ranking. Fortunately, solving technical SEO problems is not sodifficult… especially if you follow the items on this checklist.
1. Identify exploration errors
A " Exploration error " means Google is struggling to display a page on your site.
And if they can't display your page, it won't rank for nothing.
You can easily find crawl errors in the "Coverage " report of Google Search Console:
If you notice that Google is having difficulty accessing one of your important web pages (for example example robots.txt blocks spiders from search engines), you 'wish this fixed asap.
2. Find out how Google sees your page
Sometimes users can see everythingon your page…
… but Google can't.
If Google cannot fully access your page, it will not be ranked.
That 's why I recommend using the Google Search Console "Inspect " URL ".
Just enter a page from your site at the top of the GSC.
When you do you will see your point page view from Google:
3. Make sure your site is mobile friendly
Google recently launched a new " Mobile-First Index ".
If your site is not optimized for mobiles , it will not be classed very wellse.
Fortunately, you can easily see the mobile friendliness of your site with Google mobile optimization test .
All you need to do is insert a page from your site ... and get a clear "yes or no" answer.
4. Fix broken links
Broken links can REALLY hurt your SEO.
You want so absolutely find broken links… and fix them.
The easiest way to do it? DrLinkCheck.com .
This is a free tool that scans your site for broken links:
5. Secure your site with HTTPS
HTTPS is a confirmed Google ranking signal .
So if you haven't already, it's time to move your site to HTTPS.
(Or if you just launched a new site, configure it with HTTPS on day 1)
Here is a guide to help you migrate your site to HTTPS ... without harming your SEO.
6. Check the loading speed of your site
Is your site loading incredibly fast?
Otherwise, your site will not also be classified .
This is why you want to go to PageSpeed Insights .
This free tool lets you know how fast your site is loading for desktop and mobile users:
It even lets you know what you can do to speed things up.
There's no question: if you want to rank in Google, you need to post quality content. C That's why content is now an integral part of any modern SEO strategy. And in this section, I'll show you the exact steps to creating the type of content ranked in 2020 (and beyond).
1. Create amazing content using "The Skyscraper Technique "
The skyscraper technique is a powerful formula for publishingamazing content.
Actually, I used this technique to double my search engine traffic:
Here is the 3 step process:
- First identify popular content in your industry
- Then create something even better
- Finally, promote this content
Obviously, I don't have a chance to go into more detail on these steps here.
So, if you want to learn more about skyscraper technique, here are two useful resources:
My favorite White Hat SEO technique of all time (59% more organic traffic)
How I increased my search traffic by 110% in 14 days
2. Dircraft your content to maximize readability
Nobody likes to read giant walls of text:
This is why I ALWAYS break my content into easy-to-read chunks, like this:
These blocks keep my bounce rate low, which is a key factor in Google ranking.
(More on this later)
3. Cover your page topic in depth
When we have analyzed more Of 11 million Google search results, one thing stood out:
The top-ranking content on Google tends to cover an entire topic in depth.
For example, I recently posted this guide on my site.
I could have posted some lame content like: " 5 tips for video SEO ".
AInstead, I created a guide that covered EVERYTHING on this topic.
And that's the main reason it ranks in the top five in Google for my main keyword:
(and gets tons of shares on social media)
4.Use schema markup
Schema markup helps search engines better understand your content.
That said, the Schema implementation can be tricky.
This is why I recommend Google Structured Data Testing Tool .
This makes using the schema a LOT easier than trying to do it manually.
5. Focus on the content formats that are currently working
The BuzzSumo team recentlyreviewed 100 million articles .
So what did they find?
First, the bad news:
"The majority of content does not receive any backs ".
Now some good news:
They discovered that some content formats work better than others.
Specifically, "the big winners are sites that have built a solid reputation for original and authoritative content. "
What is meant by "original and authoritative " content?
- Content written by experts
- Original research (such as surveys and sector studies)
- Content that is not only regurgitated information
- Case studies and real-life examples
- Evergreen Content which provides a value for YEARS
For example, I recently gathered this giant list of SEO tools :
I have personally tested and reviewed 188 tools. It was an insane amount of work.
But it was well worth it.
To date, this post has generated almost 9,000 backs.
6. Use multimedia
You may notice that this post contains a LOT of images.
I do this for two main reasons:
First , it just improves the content.
Second , images and other forms of multimedia help content rank higher.
So I recommend to use these forms of multimedia in your content:
- Content visual
- Interactive polls and quizzes
With that, it's time to cover a SUPER important part of SEO: link building .
Link building checklist
En When it comes to SEO, link building is KEY. In fact, Google has confirmed that the backs are one of their "top 3 " ranking signals . Unfortunately, link building isn't easy (which is why most other SEO checklists skip this step). But if you want to vou rank in Google, links are essential. And in this section, I'll show you how to do it.
1. Create powerful backs with Guest Po prick
Guest posts can be a strategy very effective link building.
There is a right and wrong way to post guest posts.
Right Way: Post your guest post on respected sites in your industry.
Wrong Method: Post guest articles on any website a "write for us" page.
In fact, I only post to sites that will send me targeted traffic.
For example, I posted this guest post on the Buffer blog:
Not only did I get an excellentent back of my guest post, but also a decent amount of traffic:
2. Reverse your competitor's backs
Why reinvent the wheel when you can copy your competitor's link sources?
To do this you will need link analysis tool.
I personally use Ahrefs .
But if you have a limited budget, you can use a freemium tool like Link Explorer (from Moz).
Whichever tool you choose, the process is exactly the same:
- Enter your competitor 's URL.
- Insert it into the 'tool
- Finally, get as many of their links as possible
For example, vohere a report on the Ahrefs links of my site:
Some of these links will be almost impossible to replicate
(By example, links to sites with which I have a relationship).
But many are quite easy to copy.
(such as links to articles and interviews from guests)
3. Create contextual backs with rounding links
This strategy works VERY WELL .
That said, it does come with a capture.
I reveal this capture (and how this technique works) here:
4. Becoming a guest of the podcast
This is similar to posting a guest.
But instead of contributing to an article, you go to a podcast as a guest.
For example, I went on this podcast last year:
As you can see, I had a good back (and a handfulof targeted visitors).
5. Mention influencers in your blog posts
This process couldn't be simpler:
First, mention influential bloggers in your content.
Then let them know you have them mentioned.
(Seriously, that's it)
For example, when I published my list of SEO tools, I informed the founder of each tool that I have presented the:
And , as you can see they happily shared my content on social media.
Bonus # 1 : Advanced SEO Tips and Tactics
Now that you have the basics, let me walk you through some advanced SEO tips and techniques.
1. Optimize your site for click-through rate
There is no doubt:
The more people click on your result, the higher you will be ranked .
CTR is a user experience signal that Google is paying more and more attention to.
I'm revealing EXACTLY how to increase user experience rates. clicks (CTR) in this video:
2. Limit website downtime
If your site goes down, users go crazy.
In fact, Google gets angry too.
In fact, they claim that unplanned site downtime " can negatively affect a site 's reputation . "
Fortunately, you can easily track w v site downtime with a co-tool.ms Pingdom .
Pingdom ping your site hundreds of times a day.
If it doesn't work, you will receive a notification so that you can fix the problem as soon as possible.
3. Delete the pages " Dead Weight "
Google recently stated that a huge site with tons of pages may be bad for SEO .
To quote the Google representative ( Gary Illyes):
This is why I make sure that every page of my site is awesome.
In fact, Backo generates over 300,000 unique visitors per month…
… despite only 100 posts:
How is thispossible?
It 's because I focus on 100% quality.
Despite the fact that this quality over quantity approach clearly works, I see a LOT of sites struggling with “Dead Weight” pages.
Dead Weight Pages like:
- WordPress Category & Tag Pages
- Obsolete Blog Posts
- Duplicate content
- Poor quality blog posts
- Ecommerce product pages with no sales
- Archive pages
- Light content / standard content
- Old Service Pages
And as you just saw, Google has said that Dead Weight Pages can hurt your SEO efforts. So I recommend removing them.
4. Improve time to reachnte of your site
Dwell Time is another key Google ranking factor .
Google wants Internet users to stay on your site.
If people bounce back to your page quickly and see another search result, it tells Google:
"People hate this page! ".
But when people get what they want from your page, they stay. And Google will take note:
How can you keep people on your site longer?
Here are some simple tips that really work good:
5. Update and relaunch obsolete content
Do you have oldarticles on your blog that collect dust?
If so, check this:
I recently updated and relaunched this post from my blog:
I've improved formatting, added more meaty content, included new screenshots and more.
(Basically I improved the page)
Next, I relaunched it was like this was a new post.
And that simple 1-2 punch increased search engine traffic to this page by 260%:
Bonus n ° 2: case studies and examples
Now is the time to show you the strategies from this checklist in action.
Specifically, I'll show you how Sean at Proven.com used a few items from this checklist to increase organic traffic by 88%.
1. How Sean improved his optimization on the page
Sean's site contained A TON of pages.
So it didn't make sense to spend hours on each one.
That 's why Sean has focused on optimizing his 10 most important pages.
Some of Sean's most important pages were blog posts, like this one:
Others were service pages, like its home page:
But in general, Sean used the SEO tips from this 10-page checklist.
Sean's content was already well-optimized. so needed a few tweaks.
For example, let's see how Sean improved his post on referral questions .
First, Sean adds his target keyword ("questions to ask references") in the first 100 words of his article:
It also sprinkled LSI keywords (like "trade references") in its content:
Now that Sean's content was keyword optimized, it was time to increase his click-through rate.
2. How Sean (Quickly) Improved his CTR by 64.1%
Sean posted an article on his blog titled: 100+ best job sites for finding niche talent.
This is what the organic result of the page looked like:
Not banned… but could be better.
Here is exactly what Sean did to improve the CTR of this listing:
First, he looked at AdWords ads for keywords, such as " job boards ":
And he noticed that most have listed a specific number of job boards in theirs announcements:
(Sean also noticed that neither of them used the term "niche talent").
Sean therefore changed his title tag to:
"100+ Job Boards For Job Seekers and Recruiters "
And its meta deion tag at:
"Find the best job boards on the web in one place. Check out our list of over 100 paintings here.
Here's what his Google result looks like now:
Today , the CTR of this page is 4.88%…
… 64.1% higher than before.
Pretty cool, eh?
3. How Sean made users spend more time on his site
If people stick to your site like the superglue, Google will give you a boost in your rankings.
Here's how Sean got people to spend more time on his site:
PreFirst, Sean pushed his contents above the waterline.
Well, Proven's blog posts had a big gap between the site navigation and the post title:
The top of your page is million dollar real estate.
This is why you want to avoid the unnecessary space that pushes your content under the fold.
So he reduced that space by 50%.
Proven's blog also had Ariadne's thread navigation .
Navigation in Ariadne 's thread is correct for an eCommerce site. But it 's not necessary for a blog.
So Sean got rid of it.
Proven's blog posts also contained massive images at the top of each post.
These looked really cool…
…but they've pushed Sean's excellent content under the fold.
So Sean has significantly reduced the images of his messages:
Next, Sean made his blog introductions "tacky ".
Your blog presentations are HUGE.
Because the truth is next:
If you lose someone in your intro, you have lost them for good.
But if you hook someone up 'one with an intro…
… they're MUCH more likely to stick around.
For example, Sean changed his intro from this:
What exactly has it changed?
First, Sean cut out the sentences that said It 's obvious.
It also formatted the content so that there are only 1-2 sentences per paragraph ( this improvee the readability of your content ).
These design and introductory improvements boosted the" Avg. Time on Page "program by 12.2%:
4. What happened with the proven removal of 10,000 deadweight pages
Proven had a LOT of deadweight pages on their site.
In fact 48,300 pages were indexed in Google:
Because Proven.com is an online job site, there were a lot of old job postings lying around:
Not to mention the profile pages of companies that haven't posted a job for months:
Additionally, Proven's search results pages were indexed…
… which created tons of duplicate content.
So Sean quickly deleted or redirected the Dead pages Weight from Proven.com.
In total, Sean deleted or redirected over 10,000 pages.
And this is one of the main reasons their search traffic has improved so quickly.
5. How Sean improved the speed of Proven pages
Our recent study of the target 1 million Google search results found a significant correlation between site speed and ranking:
(Not to mention the fact that Google said that they use page speed as a ranking signal ).
So yes, site speed matters for SEO.
Here's exactly how Prouvé speeds things up:
First, they ran their site via Google's PageSpeed Insights Tool :
Then they tested the loading speed of their site with GTMetrix.com .
Why did they use both?
The Google's tool only looks at the HTML code of your page .
GTMetrix actually loads your page .
(From this way you can see if the server is having issues slowing things down)
Overall, Sean's site loaded pretty quickly.
The only problem was that its images weren't well optimized.
Once he optimized his images (by manually resizing them and specifying the image dimensions in his HTML), Sean 's loading speed improved significantly:
As you saw, thisSEO checklist really works.
But before we start with the checklist, I 'd like to hear from you.
What do you think of today 's post?
Or maybe you have a question about something you've read.
Let me know by leaving a comment below.