Ultimate Website SEO Checklist 2020

Sep 18, 2020 | WORK LIFE

A complete SEO checklist has an important role in this advanced world. It can maximize the chances of success. On the other hand, Search engine optimization (SEO) is an advanced exercise.  If you require up-to-date information for website optimization, you can use this up-to-date SEO checklist for your website.

This amazing SEO checklist will be covering:

  1. Content Optimisation
  2. On-Page Optimisation
  3. Local Optimisation
  4. Mobile Optimisation
  5. Sitewide Optimisation
  6. Checking and Reporting By Google Tools

1- Content Optimisation

Content is king and according to Google, SEO content strategy is also known as one of the top three ranking signals out of 100. So if you are ranked at the top, you have a unique and optimised content strategy.

i- Target Audience Analysis

Everyone enters their queries on Google and those questions become the long tail and LSI keywords for any business. You can produce content by giving answers to those questions which your targeted audience may ask. So target audience research and analysis are very important for any digital business.

Target Audience Analysis

You can know more about your traffic by doing audience research. Your interaction with valuable and informative content will also increase your business opportunities and brand awareness. Topical relevance updates can also help you to be found for voice search queries.

ii- Keyword Research and Strategy

For any digital business, keyword research requires regular checking and modifications. There are many free and paid tools that are available in the market like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, AHREFs, Ubersuggest, etc. You can use any tool as per your needs. 

Keyword Research and Strategy

You can search for any key phrase of your website in Google. You can then see the top-ranking results, the questions section ‘People also ask’, and all other search engine results. As you know Google is very advanced today so SERP provides the best answers as per the requirement of the seeker. Always prepare your content properly for any specific keyword or any relevant key phrase to fulfill the needs of each searcher. Keyword research is a very essential part of a perfect SEO checklist.

iii- Word Count

How much content do you need for your webpage? The answer to this question varies between keyword, topic, competition and the objective of the query. You can read the three different types of search queries below here:

3 Main Types of Search Queries

Transactional Queries. If a user types any key phrase which depicts his or her intention to buy any specific product or brand so that query is known as transactional.

Informational Queries. When users want to gain knowledge about their desired queries so they search “what is”, “how-to”, “why is”. These are research-oriented queries that are showing that users want to get information about select topics.

Navigational Queries. If a user wants to search contact details such as website, phone number, or physical address of any dentist. It is known as the navigational query. In it, a user has the intention to find a specific website.

There is no specific rule to define the number of words for a web page but you can check the length of top-ranked web pages for your search query. Competitor’s analysis will give you an approximation to produce content which is suitable to get ranked on search engines. It’s a suggestion to always use at least 450 words on a single web page.

Do not use low or thin content because the quality content is a core element of Google’s Panda algorithm. Google can penalise you because of thin-content. So always provide unique, valued and descriptive content and focus on each point of this SEO checklist.

iv- Call to Action (CTA)

It is broadly used for advertising and selling as a marketing phrase. In websites, it applies to any promotional design to get a quicker response. Call to action is also very useful to generate an immediate sale.

Every website must have the relevant and valuable content and the owner of a website should also know the needs and wants of users to set a perfect CTA.

The type of CTA depends on the type of webpage:

  • ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Start a Free Trial’ is an example of Product page CTA
  • ‘Call’ or ‘Get a Quote’ is useful for a Service page CTA
  • You can help your users by giving them directional information or step-by-step guide on the homepage.

The CTA position and design must have eye-catching features and its text should be an active combination of words, but you should update  CTA from time to time.

For example ‘Read More’ or ‘Find out more’ are useful CTAs for a blog post which is providing the answer of a question or a FAQ page.

v- Content Freshness

You should frequently review your content (webpages, pictures, blog posts) to find out any broken links and make sure that the published information is up-to-date. You should also enhance your content because of the latest trends and updates of Google algorithms.

vi- Consistent Homepage

The home is a central point of a website which transfers the authority to its top web pages via interlinking. Most visitors land on a home page after finding the result of their products or services search query.

Gold Coast Web Developers should insert the static and consistent text in the headings that describe your brand or service. Continual changes in the prominent text, like headings, can change the ranking results. It can also disturb the users who are visiting your website because of previous instructions. So always maintain consistent text sections on the homepage.

vii- Duplicate Content

Content is king so always use high quality and 100% unique content. You should also check your website’s content through CopyScape.com regularly. If your website seems to have the duplicate content with another page, then it can reduce the search ranking because search engines consider it as a low-quality signal.

If someone has copied your content, you can warn them to remove it or contact the team of Google because you have the copyrights. You should optimise your content regularly because Google will show only one page as the result of relevant search queries and it might be possible that Google will not choose your desired page.

2- On-Page Optimisation

On-Page Optimisation

Metadata optimisation is another name for on-page SEO optimisation. Gold Coast SEO expert can fix the Meta tags by filling primary keywords, inserting a standard limit of characters, and removing the duplication in between headings and titles. So let’s talk about each tag in this SEO checklist:

i- Title Tag

Google generally shows the first 50 to 60 characters of a title tag. So we suggest you use title tags under 60 characters. In other words a single page should have 60 characters with a maximum of 600 pixels because different (small and large) characters have different pixel sizes. Always use your specific primary keyword in the relevant web page because it can increase the search appearance in SERP results.

ii- Description Tag

The meta description should also have the primary keyword, especially in the beginning and it should also have the most relevant and valuable information because it is like a summary of that web page. Google generally shows more than 160 characters which can highly impact on the click-through rate.

Google has reserved the rights to replace the Meta description text with the rich snippet code after grabbing from the body content of a relevant webpage. If Google finds that the results of schema markup code are more relevant than Meta-description, so Google shows that rich snippet code in searches which is a good thing. 

iii- Heading Tags

A heading tag is an HTML tag used to define the key points of the body text. Users can get an idea about the web page content after viewing this prominent tag. There are six types of headings (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6).

Heading Tags

Always use first headings as the H1 and insert your primary key phrase in it, but do not place the same value of title in the H1 tag otherwise you will face a duplication warning between title and heading tags. A web page must have only one H1 tag but you can use more than two other headings (H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6). These are very useful to interact with the search engines and users to highlight the purpose of the relevant page. Professional Gold Coast website developers use CSS for navigation and other global text elements.

vi- Image Optimisation 

Images are very useful to enhance the appearance of your web page. Images can increase the value of the content and page because of their eye-catching features.  A user can get an instant idea of a page after looking at the picture, so a clear, relevant and descriptive picture is very important for every page.

Images also give extra ranking benefits through image and blended web search results.

It’s important to note that images can reduce the page load time. You should resize images to their required display size to increase the speed of the web page and decrease the page size. You can also use Tinypng to optimize the size of the images. The relevant caption and Alt Tag value is also very important for image search appearance.

v- Alt Tag

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) every website should describe its images by inserting relevant alt values for the visually disabled individuals.

Google is very conscious about accessibility and providing equal rights to all users. The users can only hear ‘image’ alt text is missing. So having a value in the alt tag is a core indication that your site is accessible.

An Alt tag is a very important item of this on-page SEO checklist. So always insert a relevant and correct value in the alt text.

alt tag accessibility

vi- Video Optimisation

According to Wyzowl statistics, 63% of businesses have begun using video content marketing. 83% of them have found that video marketing is very important to increase the ROI of their business.

Videos are very strong multimedia representation which has the potential to engage the audience for a long time. If you have high quality and optimised video content, it can increase your traffic and search appearance.

Videos can also decrease the page load speed like images so you can follow these steps to manage the page speed.

  1. Host your video on YouTube
  2. Embed YouTube videos on your website
  3. Use the ‘old’ YouTube embed code option

vii- Structured Data Markup

Structured data is also known as the schema markup or rich snippet code. It is an extra combination of code written to put on your website. This rich code can help search engines to provide more accurate information as to their search queries. You can visit schema.org to find the schema markup code hierarchies for your desired queries. The different types of schema markup are: 

  • JSON-LD
  • Microdata
  • RDFa

Structured Data Markup

A business can use different structure data for their targeted web pages like AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject, Organization, Person, Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant, Product, Offer and much more.  

Schema Markup code is very important to define a website but there are other ways which can create an awesome structure for both search engines and users. Those include:  

  • HTML Tables
  • Bulleted and Ordered Lists
  • Table of contents at the top
  • Headings containing key phrases as the questions, followed by the information as the answer in the body text
  • Summarise  the article – (TL-DR) (“too long, didn’t read”)

All of these methods of structure data can enhance the beauty of your content, make it easy to read and lead to generate more traffic. These tags control the representation of images and text while sharing any link on your social accounts. 

Google’s Structured Data Tester

Google’s structured data can give more advantages to their relevant business. Expert developers insert schema markup code into websites to provide more information to Google. Anyone can find these rich snippets at Schema.org. You can find the already inserted markup code by using the Structured Data Testing Tool.

Google’s Structured Data Tester

viii- Social Meta Tags

Social Meta tags are also known as social markup. These tags pertain the code used to promote content on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. The instructions in these tags control the size of image and text when someone posts a link on your social channels. You can read more about these tags below here:

ix- URL Optimisation 

URL optimisation is also a very important factor to increase the search appearance. If a user can read a URL easily, it is called a user-friendly URL. It is also very important for search engines. You can use separators in between different word to make any specific combination of key phrases. We are including some URL optimisation points in our up-to-date SEO checklist:

  • URLs Must be 100% Readable
  • Use Hyphens, Not Underscores
  • Top Content in Top Folders
  • No Capital Letters
  • Block Bad URLs with Robots.txt
  • Add Mobile URLs to a Sitemap
  • Use Canonical URLs
  • Upload a Favicon
  • 301 Redirect Broken URLs
  • Include the Exact Target Keyword

URL Optimisation

x- Fully Qualified Links

Note: Always use fully qualified links that start with http:// or (https://www) Rather than relative URLs

xi- Make External JavaScript and CSS 

After web development, your website may have extra CSS and JavaScript code which can decrease the page load speed. When someone requests an HTML document via HTTP then all inline JavaScript and CSS information of that document has to be downloaded. This process can reduce the number of HTTP requests but at the same time, it increases the size of the document. 

So Gold Coast web designers set the JavaScript and CSS as the external resource to improve the cache which can be cached by the browser. This is how both the document size and HTTP requests are decreased. Meanwhile, you should remove unneeded lines of code from above the body and use the term externalising JavaScript and CSS code. 

This is how search engine bots crawl will read your most important code first. Externalising can also speed up your page load time, which can impact on Google’s ranking algorithm. Apply your URL here and check your JS and CSS results.

Make External JavaScript and CSS - SEO Checklist

3- Local Optimisation

Every business should use a solid local optimisation strategy and then target the global market. The local market may have fewer business opportunities but also have low competition, as compared to the global market which has maximum opportunities with high competition. This ultimate SEO checklist will guide you to enhance your local SEO.

i- Google My Business Listing

Google My Business is a free tool offered by Google. It helps a business owner to improve their local search appearance. If your small business website is professionally optimised, it has high authority backlinks and inserted Q/A so it can get a top position in Google Maps or Local Map Pack. Here’s how to create and optimise Google business account and how to use Google my business app. Bing Places can also help a lot to increase the local search appearance.

Local Optimisation

4- Mobile Optimisation

The number of mobile users has increased in the last two decades. Google has also announced the mobile-first index is the key for indexing and higher ranking. So now every website must have a  version for mobile specifications to offer good performance and speed to its users. Responsive website, high performance, speed optimisation, image optimisation and control on dynamic resources can give you a mobile-friendly website.

i- Mobile Usability

It is a process to find website integration issues in different devices, especially in smartphones. Google Search Console conducts a mobile usability test to generate a report. This mobile usability report shows us all usability problems which a website may face on mobile devices.

Mobile Usability

This report can show you different errors like:

  • Clickable elements too close together
  • Content wider than screen
  • Text too small to read
  • Viewport not set

You can fix these issues to improve the performance of your website.

performance of your website

This mobile-friendly website tester will also show us the progress and valid points of our website.

Mobile Usability Valid

Google webmaster has also offered a URL Inspection Tool which can show us how a page renders on different devices. It can show us the current status and also a very helpful tool to do the instant indexing of any specific web page.

You can run the website speed test by using the mobile-friendly website testers of Google and Bing.

You can visit another technical SEO checklist of Mobile-Friendly Ecommerce Website.

ii- Mobile and Voice-Related Keywords

What is voice search? Well, voice search which is also known as voice-enabled, permits a user to find a website or app by voice command. There are a lot of tools like Google Voice Search, Cortana, Siri and Amazon Echo which are available to help users to do a voice search and find out their best results. If you have not tried a voice search before, please open Google and press the Mic icon:

Voice-Related Keywords

Then you will see a window like this:

Voice Search

Then find your desired query like ‘Pizza’ and find out the top-ranking results in terms of Google Ads, Google Maps, Map Pack and organic results. You can check their details and choose the best fit.

You should also check our article about the voice search optimisation.

iii- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP Google is a product created to support the web pages to load quickly on mobile devices. AMP is an open-source HTML framework which is very helpful to develop fast web pages. You should use AMP to have great experiences on the web, whether you’re a publisher, e-commerce web design company, story writer, an advertiser or run email campaigns.

5- Sitewide Optimisation

Sitewide optimisations are considered as the best SEO strategies because these are the elements that improve SEO for every web page and post on a website. These site-wide points are helpful for large websites to increase the page load time which can improve the search appearance. 

In the terminology of search engine optimisation the sitewide describes the whole navigational and linking structure of an entire website. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) these are the signals of a quality web page. This ultimate SEO checklist will also show you all possible sitewide options.

i- Contact Information

A website comes across as trustworthy if it has mentioned its contact information clearly. For example, physical address and phone number.

ii- Testimonials

Testimonials are another EAT signal which shows the trust and feedback of customers of any business. Owners should insert a clear and nice looking testimonials format. They should use text but not only images so that search engines can index and new users can view them easily.

iii- Privacy Statement

The privacy policy statement is one of the most valuable information on any website. It describes the views of a company and processes the data collected from visitors. It accomplishes a legal requirement to save a customer or their privacy. According to privacy laws such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), many websites should clarify their privacy policies. You can also read the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) here.

vi- Text Navigation

Text navigation is a very important part of your website for interlinking. Text links are more SEO friendly than the links you put on an image. Always make sure that you have at least one navigation bar HTML or text on your web page. Click here to create a top navigation bar

v- Sitemaps

The HTML sitemap helps website visitors to navigate a website with ease. It is written as a bulleted text list. HTML sitemap is a page which summarizes all links and their linking structure. It is useful to spread the link juice to linked web pages.

On the other hand, we submit the XML sitemap to search engines so that they can scan our website according to the XML sitemap. We should check sitemaps regularly that they are showing all web page information or not.

You can use Yoast SEO Plugin to create your sitemap if your website is in WordPress otherwise you can use Sitemap Generators.

vi- Robots.txt File

Websites use Robots.txt file to insert rules for web crawlers that’s how search engine spiders can read their web pages. A website may have a lot of information which an owner does not want to share with the Googlebot so owners use robots.txt file to create a barrier in between website data and search engines. Yoast SEO plugin can create a robots.txt file for WordPress users. 

vii- Linking Strategy 

The inbound/outbound linking strategy is very important to transfer the link juice from high page authority page to low one. A good linking strategy is useful for organising, tracking, and optimising your links. A good silo structure can boost the sales which can improve the search engine rankings. 

viii- Server Configuration

We have also highlighted the broken links information in this ultimate SEO checklist. You should always check your server-side for 4xx and 5xx errors. You can also use Google Webmaster Tool to find out the soft and hard broken links, DNS and 301 other errors. Screaming frog and Semrush are also free and useful tools to find several types of errors.

ix- Static URLs

You should always create user-friendly and static URLs instead of complex and dynamic. Static URLs can easily be indexed by Google but you may face duplication errors because of complex and dynamic URLs. Always define canonical tags to overcome duplication errors. Use SEOptimier.com to find out the complex URLs and use SEMrush to find out the duplication errors. 

x- No Spam Tactics

Always update your website according to Google Panda & Penguin updates to avoid the penalties. Check Google Search Console regularly and observe the changes in your search appearance and ranking.

performance

Only use white hat SEO methods and avoid spam links. If somehow your website lost ranking or has gotten spam backlinks,  you can apply each point of this amazing SEO checklist or get professional SEO services Gold Coast.

6- Checking and Reporting By Google Tools

Google has offered many free tools which can help business owners and digital marketers. This ultimate SEO checklist is showing you free Google tools which can tell you about your website’s performance, traffic response, and much more. You can use these tools by yourself or hire a  professional digital marketer in Gold Coast for better results.

i- Google Analytics

This is a free tool which is very useful to check the local and/or global traffic. Basically analytical tools check the upcoming traffic of any website and noted their every single response on that website. There are other free and paid analytical tools are available in the market but Google Analytics is free of cost. Read how to setup Google Analytics on a website or watch this video.

  • You can check the real-time traffic:

GA real time traffic

You can also check your previous weekly or monthly traffic. You can also create a comparison between two different durations.

comparison between GA audience

Acquisition section shows the different sources of traffic. The types of acquisition traffic are:

    1. Organic Traffic
    2. Direct
    3. Referral
    4. Social
    5. Other

Traffic Sources

So Google Analytics is a very informative tool to help you observe traffic and its response to different promotional strategies.

ii- Webmaster Tools

 

Google and Bing are offering webmaster tools. Google webmaster tool is the part of Google Search Console (GSC). Users of GSC can check the indexing, visibility and optimisation status in it. We can also use these features of GSC:

    1. Performance Checking
    2. URL inspection 
    3. Coverage Checking
    4. Sitemap
    5. Mobile Usability 
    6. Links
    7. More

iii- Algorithm Updates

Always check your website in Google search console and Google Analytics and if you see a sudden rise or fall in your traffic or search appearance, you can consider an update in the algorithm. Google will notify in GSC if your site will be penalised but you should always check readings manually too. Use these instructions if you do not want to be penalised:

  1. Always update  your content
  2. Do not use duplicate content
  3. Do not buy backlinks
  4. Do not insert thin content into your webpages
  5. Always use user-friendly website
  6. Do not use low authority or spam links

Google changes its algorithm from time to time. Today technology is using Rankbrain algorithm which is a machine learning Artificial Intelligence. This is a very smart and advanced level system, which is very useful to get the voice search ranking and you should maintain your website according to its standards.

iv- Speed & Performance Checker

If you have read and applied all of the above-mentioned points of the ultimate SEO checklist, you should check the speed of your website by using ‘PageSpeed Insights’ and ‘Gtmetrix’ because as you know that the speed is a core ranking element. 

The results of Google Speed Tester will like these:

google speed test

google speed tester

And the results of Gtmetrix will look like these:

gtmetrix speed test

speed and performance tester

speed tester

So check the speed and performance of your website and fix the poor results to get a better ranking and search appearance. You can always contact professional Gold Coast website designers if you need to do any modifications in the design and images. 

We hope you love our work and use our ultimate SEO checklist for your websites. You can comment below to suggest your thoughts and also for appreciation. Thank you for reading this guide. Good Luck!