SEO checklist: 15 Actionable SEO Tips for Your Website

 

Let’s be clear – without a strong SEO foundation and a steady stream of search engine traffic, it's hard to build a sustainable and profitable niche marketing business.

Google overwhelmingly dominates the global search market. So if you want consistent search engine traffic, you need to play by Google’s rules.

Some of the points in this checklist are one-time actions that’ll put your SEO strategy on track. While the others are things that you need to look at every time you’re publishing a new blog post.

To make it easier for you, we’ve divided it into the three main categories of SEO – technical, on-page and off-page.

Technical SEO – Optimizing Website Performance

This refers to all the activities you do in order to make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl and index your website. Here are some of the key technical SEO factors you need to keep in mind.

 

1) Reliable and Whitelisted Website Hosting Service

If your web hosting package includes frequent website downtimes, slow servers and poor security, the performance of your website will remain poor even if you apply the best optimization techniques. If your site is hosted on a spam/blacklisted server, even the highest quality of content and the best SEO strategy won’t take you anywhere. So before choosing a webserver, make sure it’s a clean and whitelisted service, using this tool.

2) Optimize Your Page Load Speed (TTFB)

Google takes page speeds very seriously and considers it an important factor while ranking websites. According to KissMetrics, a 1-second delay in your page response can reduce conversions by almost 7%. 

Here are a few other measures you can take to improve page speed:

  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDN’s cache your static website files and serve them from servers located nearest to your website visitors.
  • Optimize Image Sizes. As a normal practice, save your images in JPG and GIF formats, as they occupy the least space. There’s a useful WordPress plugin, Smush.it that automatically compresses all the images on your site. Make sure you have it installed.
  • Remove Unnecessary Plugins. Еoo many plugins can really drag your site speed down. So keep the important ones, and get rid of the rest.


3) Run Stress Tests on Your Site To Measure Performance

The whole point of optimizing your website for search engines is to rise up in rankings and attract more traffic to your site.

But what if your webservers can’t handle heavy traffic and slow down (or even crash) the moment a few dozen people visit your website?

You can use free tools like Load Impact or ZebraTester or Load Storm to send dozens of virtual visitors to your site in a short period of time and measure your server’s performance.

4) Use an SEO Friendly URL Structure

An SEO friendly URL includes some of the main keywords that describe the content of the page.

Wrong URL Structure: http://www.yoursite.com/postid=34

SEO Friendly URL: http://www.yoursite.com/onpage-seo-techniques

5) Silo Content As Much As Possible

Siloing your content simply means breaking it down into different categories according to their topics. Every category contains blog posts related to that topic.

For example, here content can be broken down into categories like social media, blogging, niche website reports, case studies etc.




6) Disavow Low-Quality and Spammy Links

You already know that the quality of your backlinks has a huge role in determining your search engine rankings.

Backlinks from relevant, reliable and high authority publications can shoot your rankings up.

On-Page SEO – Optimizing User Experience

Unlike popular belief, it’s not about stuffing your content with high traffic keywords. Instead, you need to focus on creating high-value content that offers your visitors exactly the kind of information they’re looking for.

 

7) Research the Right Keywords for Your Content

If your content is focused on the right keywords, you can quickly find your way to the top of Google’s search results. Your target audience is out there searching for solutions to different problems.

Your job is to correctly identify the keywords they’re searching and determine if you can practically rank for them.

Smart marketers focus primarily on Long-Tail and Body keywords.

If you don’t have any keywords in mind, you can simply enter your competitor’s URL in SEMRush to find the keywords they’re ranking for.

 

8) Make it To Google’s Featured Snippet by Structuring Your Content the Right Way

The featured snippet in Google Search (also called rich answers) is a traffic goldmine.

It’s boxed answer that appears on top of Google’s search results when your query is a question.

Any content that makes it to the featured box naturally attracts the majority of the traffic for that search query.

9) Create High-Quality Content To Boost On-Page SEO

So the best way to rank for a lot of keywords and strengthen your on-page SEO is to consistently create high quality content.

To be more specific, Google considers any content high quality if it is

  • Actionable

  • Focused on solutions

  • Optimized for relevant keywords

  • Easy to share and gets shared a lot

  • Written for humans not search engines


But from an SEO perspective, here are a few things you need to keep in mind while creating content:

- Avoid Thin Content – No more 500-800 word posts. Google likes longer and in-depth articles. Be as thorough as possible and create longer content in the range of 1500-2000 words (and beyond, if needed).

- Avoid Duplicate Content like Plague – Creating duplicate content is the easiest way to get your website penalized by Google. There’s no harm in doing research and citing authority resources, but don’t copy their stuff completely.

- Content Engagement – Google takes content engagement very seriously. In fact, it is one of the primary ranking factors. It measures content engagement by the average time a reader spends on a page. 

- Content Freshness – If you’re in a niche where new things are regularly happening (news, sports, fashion, events, frequent updates etc.), content freshness is an important ranking factor for you.

10) Create Deep Interlinking of Content on Your Blog

Deep interlinking of content makes it easier for Google spiders to crawl new content and go deep in your blog.

When creating new content, make sure you frequently link to other relevant pages on your website.

 

Off-Page SEO - Building High Authority Backlinks

11) Create Link-worthy and Share-worthy Content

The key to getting natural, relevant and high authority backlinks is to create content that people love sharing. Focus on the content types that are shared more frequently.

Notice how infographics are the most frequently shared content type.

12) Influencer Outreach

Building relationships with the influencers in your niche is the key to getting easy and high authority backlinks.

No wonder it is one of the fastest-growing methods for customer acquisition.

13) Guest Blogging

If you do it the right way, guest blogging is one o the best ways to get backlinks from authority websites in your niche. What is the right way? This post by Christopher is all about that.

14) Forum Discussions

Just like blog commenting, niche specific forums are some of the best places to build relationships in your industry and get cited on other authority blogs as an expert.

15) Blog Commenting

Believe it or not, blog commenting still works. But not the way you think.

You can’t build backlinks with blog commenting because most of the times they’re “no-follow” links with little SEO value.

But you can use them to build relationships and create long-term partnerships that can help you achieve bigger SEO goals like being featured in expert roundup posts, being cited as an expert and getting more natural backlinks to your site.

 

Hope this will help you optimize the website even better! This post is a checklist. Save it and go through it every time you’re publishing a new blog post (especially the on-page SEO part).