This SEO checklist outlines the most important things you should do when
starting a new website or performing an SEO Audit.
It covers technical SEO, Keyword Research, On-Page SEO, Link Building and More.
Follow these 26 SEO best practices to increase long-term targeted traffic to your
Technical SEO Checklist
- Install Google Analytics. Essential to measure key SEO metrics like website
traffic, conversions and revenue. Use Ahrefs to measure keyword ranking and
- Using WordPress? Download the Yoast SEO Plugin. It will make your life 10x
easier. Use it to complete many of the Technical and On-Page SEO best
practices in one place.
- Verify Your Site in Google Search Console. This free tool allows you to check
how the search engines view your site with reports about indexing status,
search queries, crawl errors and penalties. To learn more, read this helpful
- Improve Website Performance & Speed. Analyze your site withGoogle
PageSpeed Insights. Aim to score 80+. Speed things up with WordPress
Plugins: Better Delete Revision, WP Smush and W3 Total Cache .
- Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Your site should deliver a great user
experience across all devices. Extra important now that Google’s algorithm
favours mobile friendly sites.
Keyword Research Process
SEO Checklist for New
Websites & SEO Audits
- Develop a Buyer Persona: Getting into your customers shoes is the first step
to keyword research. Remember, customers are not searching for your site.
They are searching for valuable information to solve their problems. Having a
buyer persona is a crucial first step to to figuring out what yourbest
customers are typing into Google.
- Keyword Strategy. Aim to target less competitive “body and long tail
keywords” that competitors have overlooked. Create content around a
portfolio of keywords rather then one single term.
- Brainstorm for Keyword Ideas. Make a copy of thisKeyword Research
Template. Hack Wikipedia for Topic Ideas and Synonyms. Generate 1000’s of
long tail keywords ideas using 3 automated tools: Google Autocomplete,
Ubersuggest & Keyword Shitter . Discover untapped keywords and topics
- Narrow Down Your Keyword List: Use search volume data from Keyword
Everywhere Extension or Google Keyword Plannerto cut down the list. Be
sure to consider commercial intent using Cost-per-click (CPC) figures as a
- Choose Target Keywords: Once you have a list of possible keywords &
phrases, start by reviewing the first page of Google for each keyword. Look to
see if there are well established sites with high quality content. Then, use
data from the MOZ SEO Toolbar to see the authority and number of links
competitors have. Eliminate overly competitive keywords and focus on
keywords you actually have a chance to rank for. Your chosen keywords will
be the centerpieces of your content.
On-Page SEO Checklist
- Pick One Keyword Per Page. You’ll generally want to start with lower-volume
- Write Title Tags Search Engines Love. Every page of your website should
have unique title tag, preferably starting with a relevant keyword. Include
modifiers like “best”, “2016” etc. to stand out and to pick up long tail
searches. Keep title tags 55 characters or less or they’ll appear truncated in
- Follow Best Practices for URL’s. Use short and sweet URLs that include your
target keyword. e.g. www.yourdomain.com/target-keyword. Avoid numbered
urls like www.yourdomain.com/p=123. Always-use-hyphens-in-urls.
- Skyrocket Clickthrough Rate with Meta Descriptions. Highlight the benefit of
your post or product compared to competitors who already appear in the
search results. Keep meta descriptions 160 characters or less or they’ll appear
truncated in search results.
- Optimize for the Google Image Search Results. Create with Canva. Include
target keyword in the filename and add keyword-rich alt text to images when
- Reduce Bounce Rates. Make the topic clear by including your target keyword
in the first 100 words of your article.
- Give Your SEO a Boost with Heading Tags: Include your keyword once in an
H2 or H3 subheading.
- Include Outbound Links. At least 2 outbound links to authority sites (popular
blogs, news sites and .edu and .gov resources) in every piece of content that
- Add Internal links. 2-3 internal links to older articles when you publish a new
- Publish Longer Content. At least 300 words. 1500 words for competitive
- Use Prominent Social Sharing Buttons. Make sure your social sharing buttons
are front and centre on blog posts and articles. Use DiggDigg WordPress
- Double-check everything. Once you’re live with an SEO Audit Tool.
- Link Building Strategy. Not all backlinks are created equal. Your goal should
be to earn quality “do follow” back links from high ranking pages in your
niche. Earn these naturally by creating (and promoting!) content worth linking
- Analyze Your Competitor’s Backlinks, Rankings & Traffic. This is the easiest
way to get started with link building. Look at each of Top 10 search results for
your target keyword, views link for each page using the MOZ SEO Toolbar.
Focus on their “Inbound Links” from “Only External” sources to see who has
linked to them. You can also use Ahrefs, Majestic SEO & SimilarWeb to
uncover competitors marketing strategies you can replicate.
- Maximise Links for Your SEO Campaigns. Find authoritative links in the tools
above and reach out to those sources to pitch your latest blog post or
product. Expect 5% response rate from these cold emails. You can also
search for existing non-linked content using Mention or Buzzsumo. Contact
the owner or author of the piece and ask them to kindly link back to you if
- Create Content That Generates Links & Social Shares on Autopilot
- Model Successful Content. Use Buzzsumo to find proven content ideas &
- Put Together Best of Lists. e.g. 10 Best Infographics for Internet Marketers
- Crowdsource Content. e.g. 7 Experts On Why Building Your Email is So
- Publish Survey Results. e.g. SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs &
- Create Infographics. e.g. Noob Guide to Online Marketing. Tools:
Piktochart, Infogram, Canva.
Bonus Tip: Leverage the high domain authority of other websites like to quickly
get to the top of the search results: Guest Posting, YouTube, Slideshare, Udemy,
Quora & more. Publish your content on these sites and drive traffic back to your
I hope you found this SEO checklist helpful 🙂
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