There are so many individual components that are crucial for the makings of a successful SEO campaign; it is often hard to know where to begin… especially if you are a novice.
An effective SEO strategy must incorporate on page and off page SEO, technical seo and in a 2018 state of affairs, social media inclusion can also have a big impact on best seo efforts.
SEM Consultants have compiled a fool proof checklist guaranteed to make your SEO campaign skyrocket ahead of your competitors.
- Set Up Google Search Console
The first step on our SEO audit checklist is to set up Search Console.
Formerly Webmaster Tools, Search Console is a free Google tool that allows you to monitor the performance of your website and receive data showing the organic performance of your website in Google’s search engine.
You should check Google Search Console regularly as Google will use this medium to highlight issues with your website that can seriously hinder your sites performance if they go unnoticed.
Search Console monitors a variety of on page SEO and off page SEO factors, some of which are:
- MANUAL ACTIONS
- HTML IMPROVEMENTS
- CRAWL ERRORS
- ROBOTS .TXT EDITOR
- LINKS TO YOUR SITE
- DUPLICATE META DESCRIPTIONS AND DUPLICATE META TITLES
- Install Google Analytics
Second on our hit list for a stellar SEO strategy is to install Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is another free Google instrument, possibly the most widely used and most reliable of all the analytics websites and it allows you to monitor various insights such as how much traffic finds your website organically, bounce rate, average time on site, revenue, average order value, goal completions amongst many other metrics.
- Don’t forget to be Mobile Friendly!
With the majority of website traffic now coming from mobile devices, your SEO campaign and general website success will seriously suffer if you neglect the responsiveness of your website for mobile devices.
Having a mobile-friendly or responsive website is to ensure your website is fully functional and aesthetically clear and visible, even on the smallest of devices.
- Optimise Page Speed
Page Speed is one of the most crucial aspects for a providing a positive user experience and for keeping a respectable traffic flow on your website, but there is also a correlation between page speeds and ranking that shouldn’t be ignored. Plus, Google did state that page speed was considered as one of their ranking factors so optimising your site speed and page speed should definitely be a top consideration for SEO optimisation.
- Examine Redirects
Accurate redirects are almost “make or break” for a successful and flourishing SEO website. The standard redirect with regards to proper off page SEO techniques is a ‘301 redirect.’
301 redirects are a way of telling Google that a permanent redirect has happened and thus all of the SEO power and value from one page is transferred to the new page.
If a permanent 301 redirect should be in place but a 302 redirect has been mistakenly set up, you could be seriously losing out in SEO terms. A 302 is a temporary redirect and therefore when a 302 is implemented, the power from the old page is not passed to the new one. It is vital that you check and double check that all of the appropriate redirects are in place for effect SEO campaigns.
- Descriptive URLs
When Google crawls your website, each URL should be an indicator as to what the page is about and allow the bots to understand what content is on the page. URLs are a big ranking factor for Google so you should try to include the main keyword of the corresponding page and its content to allow the website to be crawled effectively.
Don’t go overboard and begin keyword stuffing, though. Shorter URLs religiously rank better than longer URLs, the recommended URL length is actually only 3 to 5 words! Short and snappy is the game…
- Keyword Research
If anybody tries to tell you keyword research isn’t important for best on page SEO, tell them they are wrong and direct them to this SEO audit checklist!
Google’s requirements for on page and off page SEO has changed more times over the years than you have had hot dinners, but the one thing that remains is the need for quality, keyword rich (but not spammy) content.
Firstly, you need to understand what terms people are using when they search for your product or services, then you need to carefully select the most effective primary, secondary and related keywords.
As well as including a range of keyword variants into your body text, you should try to incorporate your primary and secondary keywords into your page headings and image names.
- Persuasive Title Tags and Meta Descriptions using Keywords
People underestimate how productive it is to include a keyword in your meta descriptions and title tags. Although it is not directly a ranking factor, it could seriously help or hinder your CTR as this is the content that will show on your Google snippet when you appear at the top of Googles search engine results page! (…thanks to this handy SEO checklist)
- Internal Linking Using SEO Text
Another of the on page SEO factors that is often overlooked is the presence of internal linking.
When done correctly, internal links are an important on page SEO technique needed for a successful SEO campaign. You must ensure all links are naturally place and relevant to the page that it is linked from and you should also use related anchor text, preferably a keyword related to the page in question.
- Check for Duplicate Content
With page content at the height of importance, you don’t want any bad SEO practices on your website that will affect the authority and purpose of your otherwise well-written, keyword-rich content… a presence of duplicate content on your website will do just that.
Duplicate content often goes unnoticed because it doesn’t always come from the main body text of a page or even from the same website. Duplicate content can be the same service or product descriptions, page titles or headings, manufacturer content that has been directly imported from the manufacturer’s website; it can be a whole host of problems. Therefore, the most effective way to detect this is using Google Search Console.
- Create and Submit an XML Sitemap to Search Console
An off page SEO technique not to be ignored is to create an XML sitemap and submit it to search console. An XML sitemap allows a search engine to comprehend your websites structure and understand all of the pages on your website that you want to be indexed by a search engine.
It’s safe to say this is pretty critical for a prosperous search engine ranking position!
- Create and Submit a Robots .txt File to Search Console
A robots .txt file goes hand in hand with an XML sitemap, so don’t forget about this!
A robots .txt file determines what activities a search engine crawler is permitted to carry out on your website and this can be altered for different types of crawlers as you see fit. You can set different rules and protocols for varying search engine bots.
So, here we have it. This is the main bulk of the on page and a few off page SEO techniques that are critical if you want to run a successful SEO campaign!
Whilst this SEO audit checklist will go a long way to helping you get to the top, SEM Consultants still have many tricks up our sleeve to really give your SEO campaign the boost it needs to knock your competitors out of your way.
If you want more information on our SEO, PPC, Web Design or Social Media services and packages, complete the contact form below and one of our digital marketing specialists will be in touch!