Whether you’re launching a new website or trying to improve the visibility of your existing one, it is important that you have the right search engine optimization checklist to help you. Knowing the steps to take will ensure your website’s SEO efforts produce maximum conversion.
It is easy to waste your time, resources and efforts on SEO tactics that will not benefit your business. This is why in this article I’ve put together for you some of the most important steps that should make up your SEO checklist for 2019.
1. Install essential tools
One of the first things you should do transform your SEO strategy is to get digital tools that’ll effectively fix online issues and monitor trends and traffic on your website. Your list should include:
● Google Analytics - This will help you track traffic on your website and gain insight into your visitor’s habits and preferences.
● Google Search Console – Previously known as Webmasters Tools, this can help to fetch important data about your site’s status and organic performance in Google search engine.
● Bing Webmaster Tools – If your website is focused on traffic from the United States, you need to install Bing webmaster’s tools. It is the equivalent of Google search console, and while not as popular as the search console, it is very relevant for US traffic.
● Yoast SEO plugin - If you’re using Wordpress, Yoast SEO plugin will help to optimize your website’s content for better performance on search engines.
● SEO auditing tool – An SEO auditing tool will speed up the process of identifying and analyzing errors on your website. It will also offer solutions to help you fix any discovered problems.
2. Check your site for broken links and errors
Broken links make it difficult for search engines to index your website and drive traffic to it. Broken links usually happen when content on a page is removed or its URL changed. They can slow down your page and result in poor user experience, and poor user experience will definitely cause your site’s SERP rankings to drop.
Cleaning up internal broken links on your website is quite easy. It requires you to turn the broken link into a link to an existing page on your website. It is important to ensure that no page is more than three links away from your homepage.
3. Do keyword research
Understanding the terms people use when searching for the type of content you provide is vital for the success of your SEO strategy. You need to uncover the words and phrases people are actually using to get answers to the problems your website provides.
Keyword research is all about user intent – knowing what users are looking for based on the combination of keywords and phrases they use. When you identify the keywords that are most relevant to your website, your website will enjoy better visibility on search engine results page.
Ranking for the right keywords can be the deciding factor in the success or failure of your website. By finding out the keywords that drive the demand for your content, you’ll know how to create your content with terms and phrases that’ll bring the right visitors to your website.
4. Optimize for speed and mobile
Studies have shown that visitors are likely to abandon a page that takes more than a couple of minutes to load. This leads to poor user experience and a
high bounce rate.
Website load speed is a very important factor for Google page ranking. Unfortunately, the majority of websites do not meet the benchmark for page load speed.
Here are a few steps you can take to improve your website’s speed for desktop and mobile:
● Optimize images on your website;
● Use a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver static content to your visitors via server nodes closest to their locations;
● Take advantage of free tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and other resources to test your website’s performance and implement the changes they recommend.
5. Optimize for voice search
With the rise in use of mobile devices for consuming content online, it is safe to assume that voice search will in no time, account for a larger percentage of search queries.
Currently, one out of every five search queries is voice search based and it is important that businesses position for this obvious evolution.
While you are at this, make sure your website is optimized for mobile. Google is preparing to implement its mobile-first indexing, which is why you should try to make your mobile website as efficient and functional as possible.
6. Review your sitemap
Most website owners’ look at sitemaps as a thing of the past, but your sitemap has a lot of influence on how search engines and human visitors access your website. Reviewing and improving your sitemap will significantly increase your site’s visibility. You can quickly check for errors in your sitemap by clicking Crawl and navigating to Sitemaps in your Google Search Console.
There are four points to consider when reviewing your sitemap:
1. Don’t make it too large. Google has a sitemap limit of 10MB and 50,000 URLs. If your sitemap is larger than this, break it into multiple sitemaps or create a single index file and submit to Google.
2. Regularly update your sitemap to reflect any new content you added to your website.
3. Keep your sitemap is uncluttered by removing every non-canonical links and error pages.
4. Asides from your XML sitemap for search engines, remember to update your HTML sitemaps also. This will be useful for user experience.
7. Choose the right SEO expert
While most of the processes in this article are easy enough to implement, not everyone has the skills to get it done right. You need the
right New Orleans SEO expert who is knowledgeable and experienced in various SEO techniques and best practices to get the best result.
Allowing an expert to handle your website’s search engine optimization will give you the freedom to focus on other aspects of your business.
SEO is a never-ending process. Your website can never be too optimized, or too responsive, and there’s always some new changes and updates that must be kept up within the SEO industry. While the above checklist is not exhaustive, it provides a good starting point for getting your site more out there.