SEO Optimization Checklist
15 Dec 2021SEO website traffic
You have read all about why SEO is important, analyzed your competition and decided which keywords to strategically focus on and optimize your website for? Perfect, this is where you want to read on for the next steps. First of all we need to understand Google’s ranking factors when deciding which results to show top of the list. According to Google we are looking at:
- The purpose of the page
- Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness from both, the website content and the respective content creator
- Content quality and amount
- Website info and info about the content creator
- Website reputation and content creator reputation
While it is good to know what Google cares about, this is obviously not a list we can put into action. For this reason I’m sharing a checklist that I personally work through to achieve good ranking results on my projects.
We’ll first have a look at the on-page SEO containing those factors that you can adjust in the code structure and content of your website. First and foremost, we want to make sure the website is accessible to Google in terms of robots meta, sitemap for complicated structure, submitting the site to Google. We also need fast loading times on both, desktop and mobile, which brings me to the next super important point: Always, always follow the mobile-first approach. Roughly 80% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. Consequently, you want to make your web design responsive and mobile-friendly.
Your domain’s authority further comes into account, which entails whether or not your domain seems credible, how long it has been around, how high the quality of your content is and more. Your content and headings need to be relevant to the respective keywords, meaning you want to avoid keyword stuffing. To this point it is also important to use the right content hierarchy (H1, H2, H3) and use key phrases in page titles and headings.
A meta description should always combine an enticing format to engage readers and also include keyword phrases. The latter goes also for image alt-tags, which basically just means to give descriptive photos an appropriate title. Finally, but crucial to your website performance is user experience. Whether people spend time on your site, click back right away and search again, bookmark your website, etc. Google reads all of those signals and a good user experience will always result in higher rankings.
This section is a little more compact and is mainly about inbound links to your website. There are three main sources: Firstly, backlinks to your sites - and especially the do-follow links from high-quality sites - have a big impact to your website performance. The other two factors are overall profiles linking to your website and social shares. This is a much shorter list, but each of the sources kind of result from a good on-page SEO. All the more reason to work through the separate points thoroughly and enjoy the taste of high-quality traffic on your website once it’s done.