The ultimate SEO checklist for your website in 2020

You can see the significant positive impact that a well thought out SEO (search engine optimization) strategy can have on your website in 2020. But what are the most important aspects to focus on? We’ve written this ultimate SEO checklist to guide you in creating an optimized website from the second it’s live on the web to every single piece of content you write for it.

Basic SEO Checklist: Here is what your website needs to be noticed

Basic SEO checklist: Here is what your website needs to be noticed

We start here with the basics to set up your website and make it ready for use in the SEO department. These search engine optimization features are necessary to understand before you can get into the more technical aspects of SEO:

1. page setup and plugins

By planning the SEO of your website before it goes live, you can be prepared for future success. First, set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics for your website. With these necessary tracking tools you can see where your visitors come from and what they do on your website.

Next you add a plugin called Last SEOwhich is basically a one-stop store for SEO basics of content. With Yoast you can set a focus keyword for your content and track how well you create content around that keyword. It also shows you how readable and scanable your content is, which is a crucial component of effective SEO.

Also set up your other plugins before you go live, but try not to get too involved with them. Too many plugins can slow down your site, which will affect your ability to rank high on search queries. Stick to the necessities like sharing buttons and a Google Analytics dashboard that displays important SEO metrics directly in your WordPress dashboard.

2. keywords

Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not just about keywords. But the right keyword strategy is necessary to improve your SEO game. Fortunately, Google offers a lot of free help to get you started. The Google Keyword Planner is an indispensable tool that uses Google’s own search data to find out what keywords to use based on competition, search volume and other factors.

And don’t forget to use Google itself. Enter a simple keyword that is relevant to your site, such as “mortgage loans”, and you’ll get a list of long-tail keywords that other people will search for

3. content

Your website content is what people find when they search for information on Google and other search engines. Therefore, it is important to optimize every single piece of content for these search engines. Your requirements for optimized content:

A focus keyword: Your focus keyword is what you will plan your piece around. You should only use this keyword for a portion of the content that is strategically placed throughout the piece, such as in the introduction, conclusion, a headline and within paragraphs.

A catchy headline and meta-like description: Headlines and meta-descriptions need to grab the attention of search engine users, so they need to be concise and appealing and tell people what your content will be about. Use numbers, statistics and meaningful words to get people to click.

Readability: Make your text easy to read with short sentences, simple words and pauses with headings, bullets and short paragraphs. The easier your content is for people to read, the longer they will stay there to read it (which of course is what search engines want to see!).

Authority: Your content should be the best on the web. If it’s a “go-to piece”, people will automatically pass it on and want to link to it, which will bring you up in the search rankings. The skyscraper technique is the perfect way to plan your evergreen content and write something even better than what’s out there.

4th Off-Page SEO

Basic SEO checklist: Here is what your website needs to be noticed

Off-page SEO is everything you do outside the boundaries of your website to get more traffic. Off-page SEO includes actions such as writing a guest article

4. off-page SEO

Basic SEO checklist: Here is what your website needs to be noticed

Off-page SEO is everything you do outside the boundaries of your website to get more traffic. Off-page SEO includes actions such as writing a guest post, promoting a site in social media, and leaving blog comments on other government websites. If you have other places on the web that link to your site, it shows search engines that it’s important for others to do the same.

After you’ve focused on on-page SEO, you can start building your off-page SEO strategy. Guest posting is one of the best ways to position you and your website as authoritative sources in your niche, while still maintaining a link back to your website within the content of your guest posting or author’s biography on that website. You can also use free platforms like Medium and LinkedIn to publish content that links to your website.

You can also send outbound emails to government websites in your niche to kindly request a link to your relevant content. Remember, sites don’t want you to send them content suggestions for competing content. Instead, your article should be a supplement to their content.

Armed with this basic SEO checklist, you should see an increase in traffic as you get more compelling content on your site. You can also refer to our guide to increasing traffic to your site for more SEO and other traffic tips.

When you’re ready to get started with your SEO strategy, install our Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress plugin. It’s easy to install, completely free to use, and saves you a lot of time by giving you valuable insights into how your audience is interacting with your content directly from your WordPress dashboard – so you don’t have to waste valuable time switching between tools and browser windows.

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