Here is our Complete SEO Checklist for 2021
With the ever-changing world of SEO, it’s essential to have current knowledge of how to drive more customers to your site. This checklist will get you started on revising and optimizing your site to achieve your 2021 business goals.
Take Advantage of SEO Tools
The first step is ensuring you’re using all the SEO tools at your disposal. Though you may be using some of these already, it’s essential to always know what’s available. All of these are great options for helping you manage your business:
Search Console is designed to help you track your site’s performance in Google search.
That’s why it’s packed with useful features, like:
- See which keywords bring you the most traffic
- Submit a sitemap
- Fix website errors
- Receive messages from the Google search team
- Lots more
- Bing Webmaster Tools
Is Bing as popular as Google? No. But up to a third of all searches are done on Bing. So it’s worth optimizing for.
Plus, Bing Webmaster Tools has some nifty features, like a built-in keyword research tool.
Google Analytics is the BEST way to see how people find (and use) your site.
Its many helpful features include:
- See how much traffic you get from Google
- Find the pages on your site that bring you the most traffic
- See if your traffic is increasing (and by how much)
- Identify other sites and search engines that send you traffic
- Your average bounce rate, page views, and time on site
- Pro Tip: Connect Google Analytics with the Google Search Console. When you do, you’ll see helpful SEO information from inside of your Google Analytics account.
- Yoast SEO (for WordPress users)
Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin on the planet. And for good reason. Yoast makes it super easy to optimize your WordPress site for search engines.
Keyword Research Tools
Knowing which keywords to implement is the foundation of successful SEO. Quickly find your industry’s top keywords with the following tools:
1. Discover Long Tail Keywords With “Google Suggest”. This is one of the best ways to uncover long tail keywords. But don’t press enter…or the “Google Search” button. Instead, check out the keywords that Google shows you. Because these keywords come straight from Google, you KNOW that people are searching for them. Which means that they’re great keywords to optimize your site around.
2. Find Solid Keywords In The Google Keyword Planner. The Google Keyword Planner is Google’s official keyword research tool.
It’s technically designed for Google Adwords. That said, it’s still VERY useful for SEO keyword research. After all, the data comes straight from Google. So you know that it’s super accurate.
3. Tap Into Online Communities. Reddit, Quora, forums and other online communities are excellent places to find keywords.
4. Find “Question Keywords” With ATP. Question Keywords are PERFECT for blog posts and articles. (For example: “How do you make cold brew coffee?”). And you can easily find them with Answer The Public. This free tool shows you questions that people search for online.
There are a few simple yet effective ways you can optimize each of your site’s pages:
- URL – Shorter URLs tend to rank better than longer ones, and it’s essential to include your keyword in your URL.
- Keywords – Where you place your keyword on your page is important. Always put your keyword at the front of your title, within the first 150 words on your page, and in as many H1, H2, and H3 headers as possible. It’s also important not to repeat the same keyword too much and to implement some synonyms instead.
- Images – Having images on your page that fit the content will also help with SEO, especially when you optimize the image filenames and alt text.
- Links – Using both internal and external links on each of your pages is a great way to boost SEO. When using external links, be sure that they’re going to trusted sites.
- Embed Title Tag Modifiers – Title Tag Modifiers are words and phrases to add to your title tag.
Technical SEO can really break your rankings if not implemented. Essentially, you want every part of your site to be working in order to rank well. This means checking for crawl errors, fixing broken links, and ensuring your site loads and runs quickly. It also helps for your site to be mobile-friendly and secured with HTTPS.
1. Identify Crawl Errors. A “Crawl Error” means that Google has trouble viewing a page on your site. And if they can’t view your page, it’s not gonna rank for anything. You can easily find Crawl Errors in the Google Search Console’s “Coverage” report.
2. Find Out How Google Views Your Page. Sometimes users can see everything on your page…but Google can’t. Again:
If Google can’t fully access your page, it won’t rank.That’s why I recommend using the Google Search Console’s “Inspect URL” feature.
Just enter a page from your site at the top of the GSC.
3. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly. Google recently launched a new “Mobile-First Index“. Which means:
If your site isn’t mobile optimized, it’s not going to rank very well. Fortunately, you can easily see your site’s mobile friendliness with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just pop in a page from your site… and get a clear “yes or no” answer.
4. Fix Broken Links. Broken links can REALLY hurt your SEO. So you definitely want to find broken links… and fix them.
5. Secure Your Site With HTTPS. HTTPS is a confirmed Google ranking signal.
6. Check Your Site’s Loading Speed. Does your site load insanely fast? If not, your site isn’t going to rank as well. That’s why you want to head over to PageSpeed Insights. This free tool lets you know how quickly your site loads for desktop and mobile users.
Creating optimized content doesn’t mean inserting your keywords as much as possible. Instead, it’s essential to focus on creating high-quality content. Going in-depth on topics while implementing reliable sources is a great way to achieve that. Maximizing the readability of your content will also lower your bounce rate, improving SEO and conversions at the same time. Finally, using visual media in a meaningful way is guaranteed to increase your rankings.
1. Create Amazing Content Using “The Skyscraper Technique”. The Skyscraper Technique is a powerful formula for publishing amazing content.
Here’s the 3-step process:
- First, identify a piece of popular content in your industry
- Next, create something even better
- Finally, promote that content
2. Chunk Your Content to Maximize Readability.
3. Cover Your Page’s Topic In-Depth.
4. Use Schema Markup. Schema markup helps search engines understand your content better. That said, implementing Schema can be tricky. That’s why I recommend Google’s Structured Data Testing tool.
Off-Site SEO – Optimizations outside of the website
What is Off-Site SEO?
Off-site SEO refers to activities that are performed outside of your website. The benefits of off-site SEO include increased rankings in SERPS (Search Engine Results Page), which can result in increased website traffic; increased page rank; more exposure which gets more site visits, social mentions, and links.
1. Link building
Link building is the most effective and popular method of off-page SEO. Social media bookmarking is also a great strategy for link building.
2. Blog Writing
Guest blogging is a great way to gain backlinks to your website, provided that you don’t overdo it, and you’re not just doing it for the backlinks.
3. Social Media
A great way to link-build. Social media mentions are beginning to gain ground as ranking factors. Proper configuration of social media profiles can also boost SEO. Social bookmarking can be done using websites such as reddit.com, stumbleupon.com, scoop.it, and Delicious.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an effective way to drive SEO results. Focus on inbound links, content promotion, on-site engagement, drive to RSS, reputation building and brand recognition, and social media engagement.
5. Live Videos: Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live
Live streaming is extremely popular for businesses to directly connect with followers. Better brand exposure and richer content, and creating urgency are all benefits of using live streaming in your marketing arsenal. There are multiple platforms that can be used, both Facebook and YouTube are continually innovating and improving their live streaming features and capabilities.
6. YouTube Ads
YouTube has more than 1 billion unique users every month. YouTube ads is in the form of Pay Per Click advertising through Google AdWords for Video. You’ll be able to precisely target your ideal customers.
7. LinkedIn Ads
Regardless of what industry that you’re in, your business audience is most likely on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn ads, you’re able to increase your visibility, and improve the know, like, and trust factor.
8. Facebook Ads
Facebook has a strong commitment to continued innovation, such as chatbot messengers. It is the top social media advertising platform. High conversions on mobile, call-to-action button options, data capture, are all advantages of creating targeted Facebook Ads.