It’s no secret that SEO is becoming increasingly complex and time-consuming. As Google continues to evolve its algorithm, and new technologies enter the marketplace, the landscape of SEO is constantly changing.
To help you stay ahead of the curve, we’ve put together an ultimate SEO checklist for 2022 and beyond. This comprehensive list covers everything from technical SEO to content marketing to link building, and more.
Set up Google search console:
Google Search Console is a free platform that allows you to monitor your website’s performance in Google search results. You can use it to track your website’s organic traffic, understand what keywords your site is ranking for, and troubleshoot any errors that may be preventing your site from ranking.
To set up Google Search Console, simply go to google.com/webmasters and sign in with your Google account. Once you’ve verified ownership of your website, you’ll be able to start using all of the Search Console’s features.
Verify with Bing webmaster:
Bing also has its own webmaster platform that’s similar to Google Search Console. By verifying your website with Bing, you can track your site’s performance in Bing search results and get insights into the keywords that people are using to find your site.
To verify your website with Bing, go to bing.com/toolbox/webmaster and sign in with your Microsoft account. Once you’ve verified ownership of your website, you’ll be able to start using all of the webmaster tools’ features.
Google Tag Manager is a free tool that helps you manage and deploy marketing tags (snippets of code or tracking pixels) on your website. By using tag manager, you can avoid having to edit your website’s code every time you want to make a change to your tracking setup.
If you’re not familiar with code, then tag manager is a great way to make sure that your website’s tracking is set up correctly without having to ask a developer for help.
To get started with Google Tag Manager, go to tagmanager.google.com and sign in with your Google account. Once you’ve created a container, you can add and manage your tags from the web interface.
Google Analytics is a free website tracking tool that provides valuable insights about your website’s traffic and visitors. By understanding how people are using your site, you can make better decisions about where to focus your marketing efforts.
To get started with Google Analytics, sign up for a free account at google.com/analytics. Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll need to add the Tracking ID to your website.
SEO tools and Plugins:
There are a number of free and paid SEO tools that can help you improve your website’s ranking in search engines. Some popular tools include:
Check for Google penalties:
If you think your website may have been penalized by Google, you can check the Google Search Console for messages from Google about any penalties that have been applied to your site.
Keyword research checklist
Researching relevant topics helps you determine the best keywords to use in your content. It also allows you to understand your audience better and produce content that appeals to them. When researching topics, consider using keyword research tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and Moz Keyword Explorer.
These tools will help you determine which keywords are most popular and how they are being used. Additionally, consider using Google search results to get an idea of what topics are being searched for the most. By understanding what topics are being searched for, you can produce content that is more likely to be seen by your target audience.
Know your competitors:
In order to rank higher in search engine results, you need to understand what your competition is doing. Use a tool like SEMrush to research your competitors’ backlinks, keyword usage, and more. This will give you an idea of the strategies they are using to improve their ranking. Additionally, consider using Google AdWords Competitive Analysis tool to see how your competitors are bidding on keywords.
Identify primary keywords:
Identifying primary keywords is an important step as it will help you focus your content around topics that are most relevant to your business.
To identify primary keywords, start by thinking about the products or services you offer. What terms would someone use to search for these products or services? Once you have a list of potential keywords, use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to research the monthly search volume for each keyword.
Discover long-tail keywords:
Long-tail keywords are inherently longer, with more specific phrases that are less commonly searched. While they may have lower search volumes than primary keywords, they can be a valuable addition to your SEO strategy as they are often easier to rank for and can help you accurately target a more specific audience.
To discover long-tail keywords, start by brainstorming a list of potential terms related to the products or services you offer. Then, use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to find longer, less common phrases that are relevant to your business.
Determine search intent by tapping into online communities:
When it comes to SEO, understanding user intent is key. After all, if you want your content to rank, it needs to be the right kind of content that meets the needs of searchers.
One way to get a better understanding of user intent is to join relevant online communities related to your industry or niche. For example, if you’re in the eCommerce space, you could join forums like Shopify’s ecommerce discussion board or subreddits like /r/ecommerce.
By taking the time to understand user intent, you’ll be better equipped to create content that meets the needs of your target audience and ranks well in search engines.
Map keyword to buyer’s journey
The key to mapping keywords to the buyer’s journey is to understand what type of content searchers are looking for at each stage of the journey. For example, someone who is in the awareness stage is likely looking for general information about their problem or topic, whereas someone in the consideration stage is looking for more specific information that will help them narrow down their options.
Once you understand what type of content searchers are looking for at each stage, you can create content that meets their needs and ranks well in search engines.
Identify low-competition keywords:
To get started, you’ll need to identify some low-competition keywords that you can target. You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to find keywords with high search volume and low competition.
The key here is to find keywords that you can realistically rank for without too much effort. You should also make sure that your target keyword is included in your page title, meta description, H1 heading, and throughout the body of your article.
Use Google Trends and Zero in on question keywords:
Google Trends is a great way to see how popular a given keyword is. You can use it to find out whether interest in a particular keyword is increasing or decreasing, and you can even compare the popularity of different keywords side-by-side.
This is valuable information because it can help you determine which keywords are worth targeting and which ones you should avoid. You can then zero in on the keywords that are most likely to help you achieve your desired results.
Sitemaps are files that help Google and other search engines crawl and index your website. XML sitemaps are specifically designed for this purpose, and they are typically generated by SEO plugins like Yoast SEO.
If you don’t have an XML sitemap, it’s a good idea to create one and submit it to Google Search Console. This will help Google find and index all of the pages on your website, which is crucial for getting your website ranked in search results.
The robots.txt file is a text file that tells search engines which pages on your website they should and shouldn’t crawl. This is important because you don’t want search engines to crawl pages that are either irrelevant or duplicate content.
If you want to make sure that your website is being crawled and indexed correctly, you should create a robots.txt file and submit it to Google Search Console. Doing so will help ensure that all of the pages on your website are being found and indexed by search engines.
Make sure you’re using the right domain name for your website. Choose a specific domain that is optimally short, really easy to remember, and specifically relevant to your business.
If you have an existing website, you should also consider buying a second domain name that is more branded. This can help you get more traffic from people who are searching for your brand specifically.
Canonicalization is the specific process of choosing the best suited URL from among multiple choices. It is important to do this because search engines index only one version of a website.
If you have multiple versions of your website (for example, www.example.com and example.com), you need to specify which one you want to use.
You can do this by adding a rel=”canonical” tag to the HTML code of your pages.
Check and optimize website’s speed (pagespeed insights):
It is important to have a fast website because people are impatient and will leave if your site takes too long to load. Google also penalizes slow sites in their search rankings.
To fix speed issues, you will need to optimize your images, minify your HTML and CSS, and reduce your server response time.
A 404 page is an error page that is displayed when a user tries to access a page that doesn’t exist. It is important to have a custom 404 page that is informative and helpful to users, as it can help reduce the number of people leaving your site.
Crawl errors are problems that prevent Google from being able to access and crawl your website. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including broken links, incorrect redirects, and pages that are blocked by robots.txt.
To fix crawl errors, you will need to identify the cause of the error and then correct it. You can use Google Search Console to find and fix crawl errors.
Check for broken links:
Broken links are one of the most common causes of crawl errors. To find and fix broken links, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog or Xenu’s Link Sleuth.
Duplicate content is another common cause of crawl errors. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including pages with similar content, incorrect redirects, and pages that are blocked by robots.txt.
To fix duplicate content errors, you will need to identify the cause of the error and then correct it. One way to find and fix duplicate content is to use Google Search Console.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor for Google, so it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to test your website.
To fix mobile-friendliness errors, you will need to make sure your website is responsive and that all the pages on your website can be accessed from a mobile device.
Do a check for an SSL certificate:
SSL is a specific security protocol that thoroughly encrypts data between your website and visitors’ browsers. Google has said that HTTPS is a ranking factor, so it’s important to have an SSL certificate installed on your website. You can use a free SSL service like Cloudflare to get started.
On-page SEO Checklist
Include keywords in URL and complete keyword to page mapping
It is vital to include keywords in the URL because it not only helps with the on-page SEO but also makes it easier for people to remember your website. The next step is to map out which keyword goes to which page by filling in the meta descriptions, headings, titles, and body. This will help Google understand your website better and rank it accordingly.
Competitor gap analysis
One way to make sure you are ahead of the game is by doing a competitor gap analysis. This will help you figure out what your competitors are doing and how you can improve upon it. You can also use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and SEMrush to do this.
Use shorter URLs:
Google has stated that shorter URLs tend torank better than longer ones. This is because they are easier to read and comprehend. Furthermore, shorter URLs are also more likely to be shared on social media.
Use keyword-rich titles:
Your title should include your target keyword, but it should also be catchy and clickable. A good way to do this is by using power words such as “ultimate,” “best,” and “guide.”
Use meta tags:
Meta tags are HTML elements that help describe your website to search engines. They are used to provide information about your website, such as its title, description, and keywords.
Embed title tag modifiers:
Title tag modifiers are words or phrases that you can add to your title tag to help improve your click-through rates. Some examples of title tag modifiers include “how to,” “best of,” and “top 10.”
Your content should be well-written and relevant to your target audience. It should also include your target keyword, but it shouldn’t be stuffed with keywords.
Use synonyms and LSI keywords:
LSI keywords are specific words and phrases that are closely related to your target keyword. Using them can help you rank for your target keyword, as well as for other related keywords.
Use internal and external links:
Linking to other relevant websites can help improve your SEO. And linking to your own website’s internal pages can also help boost your rankings.
Add text to accompany non-text content:
If you have any images or videos on your website, be sure to include accompanying text. This will ensure that your specific content is properly indexed by search engines.
Use social media channels to promote your content:
Social media can be an excellent method to promote your content and help it reach a larger audience. Be sure to post links to your website’s content on social media sites, and encourage others to share it as well.
Optimize content for EAT:
When creating content, be sure to keep EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) in mind. Your content should be well-researched and written by experts in your field in order to be seen as trustworthy and authoritative.
Use Schema markup:
Schema markup is a code that you can add to your website to help the search engines understand your content better. This can be anything from adding your address and phone number to your website to more complex things like product reviews and event information.
Off-page SEO Checklist
Research link building:
Before embarking on a link building campaign, it’s important to do your research and identify the most effective ways to build links. There are a multitude of ways to quickly build links, and some are more effective than others..
Link reclamation is the process of claiming back links that you are entitled to. This can be done by contacting the site owner and asking them to add your link, or by adding the link yourself.
Create backlinks for ghost posting:
One way to create backlinks is to ghost post on other blogs. This means writing a blog post and having it published on another site. In exchange for the blog post, you will usually be allowed to include a link back to your own site.
Reverse competitors backlinks:
You can also reverse engineer your competitor’s backlinks. This means finding out who is linking to your competitor and then asking them to link to you as well.
This can be done by using a tool like BuzzSumo, which allows you to see who is linking to a particular piece of content. Once you have a list of potential linkers, you can reach out to them and ask them to link to your site as well.
Contextual backlinks with link roundups:
A link roundup is a blog post that rounds up the best content from around the web on a particular topic. For example, if you’re a web design company, you might have a weekly link roundup of the best web design articles.
If you can get your article featured in one of these roundup posts, you’ll get a high-quality backlink to your site.
Use influencers in blog posts:
An influencer is someone with a large following on social media or in their niche. You can use influencers to promote your content, which will help you get more backlinks.
To find influencers, you can use Google or social media search. For example, if you’re in the tech industry, you can search for “tech bloggers” on Twitter.
Once you’ve found some potential influencers, reach out to them and ask if they’re interested in promoting your content.
Social media and promotions:
Social media is a great way to get more backlinks. When you share your content on social media, make sure to include a link back to your website.
You can also promote your content on forums and other websites. For example, if you have an article about SEO, you can post it on a forum about SEO and include a link back to your website.
If you want to get more backlinks, you need to create great content.
Review Keyword’s search intent:
When creating content, you should always start with keyword research. This will help you understand what people are searching for and how you can create content that meets their needs.
The first step is to identify relevant keywords that you want to rank for. Once you have a list of keywords, you can use a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to get search volume data and other metrics.
Review top-ranking content for patterns:
Once you have a list of target keywords, take a look at the content that is currently ranking in the top positions. This will give you an idea of the type of content that is most successful in your niche.
Some things to look for include:
- The length of the content
- The structure of the content
- The format of the content
- The specific tone and style of the given content
Publish long and in-depth content that is chunked together:
One of the best things you can do for your SEO is to publish long-form, in-depth content that is chunked together. This type of content is not only great for your readers, but it also helps you rank higher in the search engines.
Another great way to improve your SEO is to use multimedia in your content. This can include things like images, infographics, videos, and more.
Mobile SEO Checklist
Run Google mobile-friendly test:
The first step in optimizing your website for mobile devices is to run the Google mobile-friendly test. This will help you identify any areas of your site that need to be improved for mobile users.
Check on different resolutions:
After you’ve made your site mobile-friendly, it’s important to test how it looks on different screen sizes. This can be done by using the Google Developer Tools.
Use different tools to check responsiveness:
There are a number of different tools you can use to check the responsiveness of your website. Some of these include:
Check popup usage:
Popups can be extremely annoying for mobile users. If you are using popups on your site, make sure they are triggered by user interaction and not automatically when the page loads.
You can also try using a modal window instead of a popup. This way, users won’t be able to close the window until they interact with it.
Check for visibility of all CTAs:
All of your CTAs should be visible on mobile devices. This includes your main CTA, as well as any secondary CTAs.
Make sure your CTA buttons are large enough to be tapped on a small screen. You can also try using a different color for your CTAs to make them stand out more.
Advanced SEO Checklist and tips:
- Use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to get insights on how to improve your site’s speed.
- Optimize your images and make sure they are of good quality.
- Use AMP pages for your website and blog posts.
This is your ultimate SEO checklist for 2022 and beyond. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and rank higher in SERPs, then make sure to use all the tips and tricks mentioned above. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye on Google’s algorithm updates so that you can make the necessary changes to your SEO strategy. Stay tuned for more such helpful articles!
At Pixel Street, we are an SEO agency that offers result-driven SEO services that can help you achieve your desired results. Contact us today to learn more!