If you do content marketing, SEO is an important tool. Here are 18 great tips to maximize the SEO effectiveness of your site.
Follow this checklist, and while you should try to do as many as you can, keep in mind that it’s usually not possible to fix everything.
Install Google Analytics
You’ll be able to track things like how much traffic you’re getting from search engines, which pages are getting the most organic traffic, what’s the bounce rate, who your visitors are and where they are from, and many other important metrics.
Look for broken links, errors, and crawl problems
Broken links, missing titles, and crawl errors make it harder for search engines to find your content and drive traffic to it.
Use Xenu’s Link Sleuth, which is a free and helpful tool.
Perform keyword research
Understanding the terms that people use when they search, and the intent behind them is crucial to your SEO strategy.
Try to get your primary keyword into your page URL
Keywords in the URL give a significant boost in search engines. However, you should avoid stuffing your URL with keywords.
Use hyphens to differentiate words in hyperlinks
The structure of a URL matters. It’s important, to keep your URL as simple as it can be and use hyphens to optimize your URLs.
Add your keyword to your title tag
Including keywords in the title tag is still important, however, it is not enough to get you to rank high. An attractive and compelling title will help you get more people to visit your site than stuffing it with keywords. Limit the page title to 60-65 characters and ensure it begins with a relevant keyword.
Write appropriate ALT (image) tags. This is what search engines read. They can read content but can’t view the images.
Add your keyword to your meta description
The content of the meta description is not used by search engines as a ranking signal. However, writing a compelling meta description can help with CTR (click through rate).
Limit the meta description to around 155 characters.
Add your keyword to your H1 tag
Make sure to only use one H1 tag, and make sure it shows up in the document before H2, H3 etc.
Add crawlable text to your page
Make sure to have enough content (at least 100 words) on each URL. However, don’t put unnecessary text on your site. You can still rank with less content.
Make sure you don’t have duplicate content
Duplicate content can decrease the value of your content, and it won’t rank as high in searches.
Check your site’s speed
Search engines like sites that provide a good user experience and the speed of your site is a huge factor.
A score of around 85/100 is considered good for both mobile and desktop. Remember, if your site takes more than 2 to 4 seconds to load, your visitors will leave.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly
A lot of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and the number is increasing. Having a site that is responsive to different screen sizes and shapes delivers a great user experience across all devices, and makes the site more accessible to users anywhere, anytime.
Check Your Server
Check if your site is hosted on a spam server. If it is, it will ruin all your SEO-related hard work. Here is a great tool for checking.
Optimize your images for better SEO
Optimized images reduce bounce rate, improve your site’s performance, and generate more traffic from image-based search engines, like Google Image Search.
External links are links on other websites that send visitors to your website. The higher ranked the sending URL, the better for you. If a lot of links send visitors to your site from different relevant URLs, Google will decide that your content is helpful.
You can help search engines learn more about your website by linking to other pages on your own website within your content. Use strategic anchor text to link to other internal pages.
Link to other pages on your site
Include internal links with anchor text that is relevant to the page that you are linking to (including your keywords in the text).
Conclusion (SEO checklist)
Follow this SEO checklist to boost your site’s SEO.
But keep this in mind: SEO is about delivering useful content to the right users.
You want to do more than improve the technical aspect of your site. You also have to deliver great content that is up-to-date and unique.
The big marketing test: How well your marketing is working