Using this SEO checklist allowed us to achieve 640,000 monthly blog searches.
Anything, including eCommerce stores, local businesses, and affiliate sites.
- Basic SEO checklist
- Technical SEO checklist
- Keyword research checklist
- Content checklist
- On-page SEO checklist
- Link building checklist
How to use this SEO checklist
SEO isn’t explained in most checklists. Instead, they list random tasks and imply SEO is done.
Our checklist is tagged:
Structure prevents you from completing this checklist today. When publishing a new page, do one-time, periodic, then ongoing tasks.
SEO basics checklist
SEO basics. These won’t boost rankings, but Google values them.
1. Set up Google Search Console
Google Search Console tracks your site’s SEO.
2. Setup Bing Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console’s equivalent is Bing Webmaster Tools.
3. Set up Ahrefs Webmaster Tools
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools improves SEO and organic search traffic.
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics shows how many people visit, where they’re from, and how they use your site.
5. Install an SEO plugin
WordPress plugins optimise sitemaps and meta tags.
Structured SEO Rank Math
Shopify doesn’t require an SEO plugin.
6. Create and submit a sitemap
Sitemaps help search engines index your site’s content.
/sitemap.xml s/sitemap index.xml s/sitemap
Search engines use Robots.txt to navigate your site.
A robots.txt file is essential if you want to block search engines from crawling your site. Cart pages may not be indexed for ecommerce stores.
Check yourdomain.com/robots.txt. Text files work.
Websites rank lower due to SEO issues. Best practises in technology.
1. Plan your website structure (new sites only)
Your website must be user- and search-friendly. Make your site logical.
2. Make your website crawlable
Check Google Search Console’s Coverage report for robots.txt warnings or exclusions.
Remove the robots.txt rule to have Google index blocked pages.
3. Index your site
Indexing differs from crawling. Web crawlers can’t index pages. A ‘noindex’ robots meta tag or x-robots-tag prevents indexing.
Noindexed URLs are covered.
Ahrefs’ Indexability report includes this.
Remove ‘noindex’ from indexed pages.
4. Use https
HTTPS influences rankings.
HTTPS should be used.
HTTPS protects visitors’ data despite rankings. Contact forms require this. Must-have if you need passwords or payment info.
5. Locked search bar Ensure your website is on one domain.
Your website shouldn’t be multi-accessible. This causes crawling, indexing, and security issues.
Four URLs to check with httpstatus.io:
Three should link to the fourth, hopefully.
301 redirect if not.
Ensure your accessible HTTPS version is secure. www.yourdomain.com
6. Ensure site speed
Obviously. Loading search results is annoying. Speed affects bounce rate.
GTMetrix and PageSpeed Insights measure website speed.
These tools check one page. Ahrefs’ Site Audit crawls all pages. Slow pages.
7. Mobile-friendly website
Mobile-friendly websites are crucial.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test evaluates sites.
8. Install a photo compressor
Image compression reduces page size. Google ranks pages by speed.
These are WordPress plugins. ShortPixel’s awesome. $100/month for image compression.
Use ShortPixel’s web app on other platforms.
9.Fix broken pages
Broken links affect website ‘authority’ and user experience.
Ahrefs finds broken links.
Site Audit spiders websites.
Internal 404 error reports
10. Eliminate duplicate content
Online duplicates are exact or nearly exact. Faceted navigation hurts ecommerce SEO. Duplicate content issues result.
Ahrefs finds duplicate content for free.
Site Audit spiders websites.
Keyword research is SEO’s top priority. How can you optimise your content without keywords?
Start with this checklist.
1. Find a primary keyword to target
Each web page needs one keyword. You should do keyword research to find keywords to target, but you should also publish with the best keyword.
Most people use it to search.
Consider protein powders. Using:
best protein supplements
A simple solution exists. Check Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer’s Parent Topic. Common search method.
2. Search intent
Intent drives search. Non-compliant pages won’t rank.
Examine Google’s top keyword results’ formats.
Based on URLs and titles, the top “marketing skills” results are blog posts. Listicle-heavy.
This keyword wouldn’t rank on a course page.
3. Evaluate Google ranking chances
Knowing the keyword’s difficulty helps you prioritise the opportunity.
Consider Keywords Explorer’s Difficulty score.
Not reliable. Find:
Top 10 brands
Top sites’ topicality
4. Research people’s questions
“SEO keywords” is searched. What other questions do people have besides wanting a definition? What else?
“People Also Ask” gives hints.
Use Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool to get ideas. This shows page keywords.
Then look for subtopic keywords. “Keyword examples” and “SEO keyword usage”
The right keyword is important, but bad content won’t help. Tips to improve your content.
1. Help the reader
Search intent tells you what a reader wants, so you can solve their problem.
Consider the visitor’s problem when writing.
“Working smarter” Searchers want a listicle-style blog post. “”Productivity tips” searchers want actionable advice.
Take more than breaks.
2. Write a great introduction
If you can’t convince readers in a few seconds, they’ll hit the back button.
Your best defence is a compelling intro.
Three things good intros do:
Trust-building User-problem solution
Visitors won’t read past the intro. They won’t convert, link, or share.
How to start a paper.
3. Create hierarchy using headings
H1 and H2 create hierarchy and logic. This makes reading easier.
There are five sections.
Each subheading has checkboxes.
Imagine not having subheadings.
H1 tags. SEO Tips 2021
4. Add images
Uninteresting text walls. It’s bouncy.
Images help readers understand text.
Graphs, charts, and screenshots illustrate our points.
5. Use short paragraphs
50% of Americans can’t read 8th grade.
Complexity alienates half the population. Concise.
Also, be clear.
Hemingway can help. It grades and suggests improvements.
6. Add a TOC
It links to page sections.
Our posts include:
Tables of contents are best for long, difficult-to-navigate content. Our readers understand 2,000-word posts.
Table of contents helps get sitelinks.
On-page SEO checklist
On-page SEO optimises content. Visible and source code optimizations.
1. Shorten your URL
Searchers benefit from short, descriptive URLs.
Two pages on weight loss.
Dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight Not in the first URL.
Create short, descriptive URLs by using your keyword as the slug. This format is typical for blogs.
SERPs truncate long URLs.
2. Create a catchy title tag
Google’s search results include page title tags.
Keywords belong in title tags.
Don’t stress over nonsensical things. Write clickable copy.
Titles usually work.
3. Create an engaging meta description
Google occasionally shows meta descriptions.
Best meta description tips.
Search intent counts
Keywords (where it makes sense) (where it makes sense)
4. Provide resources
Visitors can navigate with internal links.
Mueller says linking helps users. Links help users learn more, check your sources, and understand your content’s answers.
5. Optimize photos
Follow the checklist to install an image compression plugin. Image optimizations page-by-page:
Image-description Screenshot-2021-06-01 should be IMG 875939.png. Black-puppy.png or eiffel-tower.jpg
alt-text Alt text replaces broken images. Screen-reader users benefit. Continued.
6. Add rich snippet schema markup
Schema markup improves SEO. It affects SERP rankings.
This page has the schema:”pizza dough recipe”
Schema markup boosts website traffic and CTR.
Easy implementation. Google Markup Helper or Schema generator.
Google reads your page’s links. Search engines and visitors benefit.
We’ve discussed internal and external content links. Add internal links when publishing new content.
Find internal links:
Ahrefs is free.
Site Audit spiders websites.
Set the “Target page” filter.
Link to relevant pages.
Link building checklist
SEO needs links, especially for competitive keywords. This section discusses link-building.
SIDENOTE. Some of these strategies build backlinks to your entire site, while others target specific pages.
1. Copy rivals’ links
If a page links to your competitors but not you, pursue it.
Chrome: “your brand”-(competitor 1 AND 2)
This searches 7 billion pages for competitors, not you.
Then build links.
79 marketing tools may work for ConvertKit.
2.Reclaim lost links
The Ahrefs Lost Links report shows hundreds of lost links in the last week.
Diverse reasons. Permanent. They’re sometimes recoverable.
Regaining Lost Backlinks
3. Follow unlinked references
Sometimes brands aren’t linked. Not linked.
They mention Ahrefs but don’t link to us.
Not linking brand mentions would be cool.
Yes. Simply request “clickable text” They’ll change because they know your brand.
Find unlinked brand mentions.
Everything is explained.
Guest blogging involves writing for another website.
Ryan Stewart writes for Ahrefs:
Most websites link guest author bios.
Find guest blogging opportunities by searching relevant sites. Why? Because they may want a similar post.
Ahrefs’s Content Explorer (e.g., “keyword research”)
“Search” “In title” “Sites”
Here are the top 100 topic-related websites.
5. Pitch resources
Topic-related resource pages are linked.
Digital marketing resource:
6. Find links to bad content
If you have the best content on a topic, others should be worse.
Linkers are link prospects.
This post defines long-tail keywords incorrectly (it’s not about length):
Site Explorer shows over 1,000 links.
We could contact them, explain the issue, and suggest they link to our long-tail keywords post.
Find similar backlinked posts.
Searching (e.g., long tail keywords)
Filter domain-heavy pages by title (linking websites)
Then convince people to link to your page.
7. Promote your content
Can’t link to unknown content. People should see your content.
Their differences are:
They like your content.
Links from them
Advice on contacting the right people.
One SEO checklist can’t cover everything because SEO is ongoing. You’ll rank higher if you complete the above items. You’ll win. But…
Learn more about this checklist in our free SEO course.