March 1, 2017
Brands and marketers use SEO to make their websites more visible on search engines. Their goal through this strategy is to find a place at the top of the search engine results page and stay there. This isn’t easy because the market is highly competitive and mobile. Even if you achieve a high rank, you need to work hard to maintain it. That’s why it’s important to have an SEO strategy checklist on hand to assess the effect and performance of your SEO campaigns.
Why Do You Need an SEO Strategy Checklist?
SEO is a very complex marketing strategy that involves a number of small campaigns. Marketers optimize the websites they manage based on the search engine ranking factors and while it’s not possible to optimize for all of them, professionals do try to cover all points. Google considers over 200 factors when the search engine ranks a website and marketers try to cover most of them in their SEO campaigns.
It’s easy to forget that you need to keep track of all the changes and optimizations you make in order to maintain good performance. Rankings can change due to a number of factors. For example, if you have too many broken or low-quality backlinks, your website rankings will drop. You need to assess the health of all the backlinks to your website to ensure they’re of good quality. That’s why an SEO checklist PDF or printout is essential when you perform an audit of your website. The checklist will ensure you don’t lose track of any factors and your audit is very thorough.
The 10 Point SEO Strategy Checklist that Every Marketer Needs
- Load Times and Performance
This is one of the first things you should check because poor performance in this category can significantly increase bounce rates and have an impact on the website’s reputation. Today’s audience will only tolerate load times of 1 to 4 seconds. If the time extends beyond that on any platform, they’ll turn towards the competition. The initial load times and performance will have an impact on user experience and compel them to remain on the website.
- Mobile Optimization
Google declared last year that mobile search had overtaken desktop search. Desktop search is slowly fading into the background as most people use it only for work and heavy media consumption. For shopping, research, and other such activities, people are perfectly content to use their smart phones, which is why your website’s performance on smart phones must be on-point. You need to check if your website performs well on the mobile platform. It should load quickly and have enough white space to allow comfortable scrolling. It should also have clickable links and easy to access menus. All aspects of the website, include the contact form, should function well on the mobile platform.
- Local SEO
Small businesses use local SEO to compete against big, national or multinational operations. This is a highly competitive field because if your website link is included in the local-3 pack, you see a lot of visibility on search engines. Here are some points you should check when you assess your local SEO presence:
- Your location pin is placed accurately on the Map.
- Your company information like name, phone number, address, description, images, etc, is correct.
- Your business is claimed and verified.
- Google+ is connected and shows reviews and star ratings.
- Internal and External Link Health
Broken internal or external links will have a significant impact on your rankings so both of them should be evaluated carefully often. Internal links spread traffic throughout the website and help the search engine bots crawl through it. Broken links can hamper user experience and delay the bots, which is a strike against the website and will have an impact on the rankings.
Website users will get frustrated if they click on the links and are directed to a dead page. External links should also be intact and healthy. Marketers should make sure they source these links from reliable sites to ensure the website’s reputation isn’t compromised.
Keywords are some of the most important aspects of SEO. They help draw organic traffic from the search engines. Here are some things you should keep in mind when you conduct an SEO audit.
- Check how the keywords rank and how much traffic they can bring. Upgrade the keywords if needed.
- Make sure the keywords flow well with the content and don’t stand out or disrupt the reading.
- Limit the use of keywords and ensure there’s no keyword stuffing in your content.
- Make sure page titles, URLs, image tags, etc, have keywords in them.
- Performance of CTAs on Every Page
Marketers need to make conversions as easy as possible and placing a functional CTA button on every page is a good way to do that. The website visitors won’t have to look for the CTA button through the website and can easily place their orders or contact the brand whenever they need to. These CTA buttons should be optimized to be more compelling and visible. You can use the A/B testing method to assess the effectiveness of your CTA buttons and make sure they’re of the right design. Sometimes these buttons become less effective over time and need to be optimized.
- Check Site and Page Structure
The website and page structure should be clean, uncluttered, easy-to-navigate, and predictable. This enhances the user experience and helps the search engine bots crawl smoothly through the website. Here’s a small list of things you should check during the technical audit of your website:
- XML sitemap
- ALT tags
- Page Titles and Meta descriptions
- Check for Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can kill your website rankings quickly because the search engines will assume it’s deliberate and users won’t find the optimal information on your website. You can recycle content by rewriting or reframing it, but you shouldn’t have multiple pages of the same or similar content on the same website. You should comb through the posts and pages carefully to ensure they all have unique and interesting content. You should also check for www vs. non-www pages.
- Content Review
Regular content reviews and updates are important, especially if you want to build website authority and provide the most reliable information. You should check the content length, quality, and accuracy of the information. If someone in the comments section has corrected the information on the post, verify the correction with some research, and implement it on your content.
- Social Media
If you have social media tags and links on your website, check them as well. You need to make sure they function well and are up-to-date. You should also assess if all channels are active and you get steady engagement through them.
If you perform a thorough checklist auditing regularly, you will be able to maintain your rankings and stay ahead of the competition. You will also be able to make upgrades and alterations based on changes in the search engine algorithms. It’s important to perform an SEO audit on your website at minimun twice every year.
Posted In: Blog