SEO Task Checklist For 2018

SEO is complicated, and essentially consists of grinding out content that provides value to readers on a specific topic that you would like to rank for.  Creating links from other content to that content allows Google to further realize it’s value, and creates increases in positioning for that article within searches for that topic.  There is, however, a list of tasks that everyone who is attempting to do SEO for a website should follow.  These tasks include both onsite and offsite elements, and will all have an impact on your rankings overall. If you are trying to do basic SEO for a website, follow this comprehensive list of tasks in order to create the best situation possible for the website to function, and be indexed. Ultimately, the highest rankings will be dominated by the websites that show content that has the most value, but these tasks will help to give the site the best platform to present that content within.

Setup Google Tag Manager

Setup Google Analytics

Set Up Google Search Console

Perform keyword research

  • This means going into either Google Adwords or another program to find lists of the most appropriate phrases to target your ranking efforts towards.  This list should be narrowed to manageable levels that you can produce lots of content for, and be based on both search traffic and appropriateness for the business.

Try to get your keyword into your page URL

  • Systems like WordPress will automatically create URLs that use the words you put into your title, as long as you set the system up to do so.

Add your keyword to your title tag and make it compelling

Add your keyword to your meta description and make it compelling

  • Do not keyword stuff, but attempt to put the target phrase into the description in a way that flows naturally.

Add your keyword to your H1 tag, and make sure to only use one

Use your keyword 3 times, and make sure you have at least 100 words per page (but 500+ is ideal)

  • This is not a rule as far as usage levels, but creating content that uses the keyword a few times in natural ways will help.  Overuse will result in penalties.

Use synonyms in your copy

  • Make copy read naturally.

Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) in your copy

  • One of the easiest ways to find LSI terms for your keywords is to search those keywords in Google and use the alternative suggestions Google provides you.

Add descriptive ALT tags and filenames to your pages

  • Make them descriptive, but not too stuffed with keywords.

Link to other pages with SEO-friendly anchor text

  • Linking out from your content to other content that further develops the subject shows Google that you are trying to provide value for people.

Use Ahrefs to analyze your link profile

Evaluate your competitor’s link profiles

  • Many different programs are available to reverse engineer competitors link profiles.  Find them, analyze them for quality, and try to get the links for your site that are good.

Check Google’s Search Console for crawl errors, duplicate content errors, missing titles and more

Identify bad redirects (302s that should be 301s)

  • 302s are temporary. 301s are permanent, know the difference and how to use them.

Look for broken links, errors, and crawl problems

Make sure you don’t have duplicate content

  • Duplicate content on your website hurts rankings, duplicated content from elsewhere on the web does you no good at all, or may penalize you.  Copy some text from your paragraphs and put it into Google, if it is indexed on a different website then change it.

Check your site’s speed and keep it fast!

Make sure your site is mobile friendly

  • Use Google’s mobile compatibility checker.  If your site isn’t mobile compliant then change it.

Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console

  • Many SEO plugins on WordPress do this for you.  Use Yoast and you won’t have to worry about this.

Create a robots.txt file and submit it to Google Search Console

Claim your brand name on as many social networking sites as possible

  • Create and fill in your profile in as many places as you can, and try to influence ratings for your brand within those websites.

Use an SEO Audit Tool to double-check everything

Care about the US? Setup Bing Webmaster Tools

  • Yes Google is the big elephant, but Bing also controls about 30% of US traffic.

If you found our list helpful, please take just a moment to give us a five star rating below.  We provide SEO and website design locally to Las Vegas, NV businesses so your linking to this post using this link and providing a rating will help us rank higher in Las Vegas (and it is appreciated!)


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