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The Complete SEO Checklist

This comprehensive SEO checklist will help you rank high on Google.

This article will cover:

  1. SEO basics tools

  2. Keyword research

  3. On-page SEO checklist

  4. Off-page SEO checklist

SEO basics tools.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimisation”, meaning the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business on:

  • Google

  • Bing

  • Other search engines

The more visible your site and pages are in search results, the more likely the new users are to click on your site.

How SEO works

Search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index.

Next, algorithms analyse pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given search term.

What’s important to Google?

SEO basic checklist.

There are a few quick items to implement before building your on-page and off-page SEO strategy.

Step 1: Set up the Google Search Console

Google Search Console is designed to help you track your site’s performance in Google search. It gives free features including:

  • Keywords that generate the most traffic

  • Submission of sitemap

  • Fix website errors including incomplete links

  • See your page experience score

Step 2: Install Bing Webmaster Tools

Whilst Bing doesn’t have as many views as Google, it still has approximately 1 billion visitors per month globally, typically, for an older demographic.

Step 3: Set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great way to track your website's performance from popular pages to bounce rates and session duration, the features are endless. Some of the inclusions are:

  • Campaign measurement: traffic

  • Track your goals: website conversations and user activity

  • Audience reports: know your users

  • Identify other sites and search engines that send you traffic

  • Your average bounce rate, page views, and time on site

  • See increase or decrease in site visits

We recommend connecting your Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Step 4: Install Yoast SEO (WordPress Users Only)

Yoast is a plugin used for WordPress sites making it easier to optimise your site for search engines. It is also great with technical SEO, such as robots.txt and site maps.

Step 5: Generate and submit the site map

Step 6: Create a Robots.txt file

Step 7: Make sure your site is indexed

Keyword research checklist.

Keyword Research forms the foundation for SEO, allowing your site to stay relevant and high on search rankings. A keyword is a word or phrase that searchers enter into a search engine, for example:

  • Mortgage Brokers near me

  • Local cafes near me

  • Property investment in Sydney

Step 1: Discover Long Tail Keywords with “Google Suggest”

A great way to uncover long tail keywords is to type a keyword into Google, however, don’t press enter on the Google Search button, instead, view what Google presents as options below your search term.

We also recommend using the to make the process easier to scale.

Step 2: Use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool

The Google Keyword Planner is Google’s official keyword research tool which can help to create lists for relevant keywords and search terms for your campaign.

Step 3: Identify Low Competition Keywords With KWFinder

It is always great to use additional tools so you are not solely reliant on Google. KWFinder is a free keyword research tool which can make the keyword research process easier. It allows for hyper-targeting for location and language. The benefits of this tool include:

  • Search volume

  • Trends

  • CPC

  • PPC

Step 4: Try AnswerThePublic

Another great free tool to build out your keyword research list is Answer The Public. This tool provides comprehensive and accurate lists for what searchers are looking up.

On-page SEO checklist.

On-page SEO is the process of optimising a websites content for search engines and users. Common methods to do this include: optimising title tags, content, internal links and URLs.

Follow these steps for your On-Page SEO

Basic Checklist
  1. Include your keyword in your URL

  2. Use short URLs

  3. Front-load your keyword in your title tag

  4. Embed title tag modifiers

  5. Use your keyword once in the first 150 words

  6. Use your keyword in H1, H2 or H3 tags

  7. Optimise images by naming your images

  8. Use synonyms and LSI keywords

  9. Use external links from trusted sites - aim for every page to have three links

  10. Use internal links from other pages on your website - aim for every page to have three links

Technical SEO Checklist
  1. Identify any crawl errors which can be done in Google Search Console under “Coverage”

  2. Research how Google views your page

  3. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

  4. Fix broken links

  5. Secure your site with HTTPS

  6. Check your site’s loading speed using PageSpeed Insights

Content Checklist
  1. Identify trending content in your industry

  2. Breakdown content using numbering and bullet points

  3. Cover your page’s topic in-depth

  4. Focus on content formats that are working right now for example:

    1. Q & A style blogs

    2. Case studies

    3. Evergreen content

    4. Surveys

    5. Industry studies

  5. Use multimedia:

    1. Charts

    2. Infographics

    3. Images

    4. Video

    5. Interactive polls and quizzes

Off-page SEO checklist.

Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your own website to directly impact your search rankings on Google and Bing.

Follow these steps for your Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO Checklist
  1. Evaluate your banklink profile using a range of free tools:

    1. Google Search Console

    2. Moz Link Explorer

    3. Ahrefs Backlink Checker

    4. Screaming Frog

  2. Check your competitors’ backlink profiles

  3. Improve your link building by using quality links

  4. Harness the power of social media by:

    1. Being responsive to engagement and mentions

    2. Monitor online reputation

  5. Add an RSS feed subscription box

  6. Have guests feature on your websites blog

  7. Be present on your Google MyBusiness page by. Learn to optimise your Google MyBusiness listing with the comprehensive guide

  8. Tap into PR strategies such as featuring on podcasts, guest blog posts

Naomi Johnston

Founder & Creative Director | NJ CONSULTING



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