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Important note: There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” checklist concept for SEO! What is present here is a generic list without any form of customization.
Serious SEO training and future lasting top ranking results comes from knowing when and how to use the 100 or so possible tweaks of which a few are mentioned here.
THINGS TO STUDY:
- Find out how Google sees your site (with tips to make sure that your site is secure, fast, accessible to all, and works on all devices).
- See: Bing Webmaster Guidelines
- Learn how to enable search result features | Microdata — Microformats: RDFa | Schema.org | Add structured data.
- Great tips are offered in the truly well made Primer App.
- Keep updated on Twitter with: @JohnMu | @searchliaison | @rustybrick and @googlewmc.
- See Search Engine Optimization starter guide by Google.
- See: Do you need an SEO?
- See: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide
KNOW HOW TO DO:
- Learn how to rank in local data centers (in different languages).
- Do good cross-linking to deep pages on your site.
- Take at least 30 minutes to add new content to your home page (every single day).
- Use all the functions of the Google Search Console!
- See Yoast.com for a great article about XML sitemaps. Make your sitemap available to bots by adding it to your robots.txt file (how to do this).
- No matter what people in the SEO world tell you I suggest to use the keyword meta tag. The trick here is to limit the content to two or three concepts (never more).
- Serve images in next-gen formats (such as WebP).
- Run a link checker tool such as drlinkcheck.com from time to check for no longer valid links.
- Use similar words in the URL and your H1-H5 tags.
- Match the anchor tags with header tags.
- Speed up your page loading time by replacing Youtube videos with thumbnails!
- Set Alerts: Monitor your keywords and/or theme.
- Check browser compatibility.
MORE ADVANCED LEVEL:
- Set up tracking tools to analyze your search performance and user behavior. See: Search Console tools. You should use these stats (in part) to improve the content on pages that have rapid average visit times.
- Add the last update to your site in the header: <meta name=”revised” content=”Tuesday, November 24th, 2020, 09:15 am”/>.
- Adapt your image ALT attribute and image TITLE to ADA / Americans with Disabilities Act rules.
- Use the “Color Contrast Analyser for WCAG 2.1 compliance” (See article: Text elements must have sufficient color contrast against the background). Note: A large number of accessibility tweaks will boost your ranking online.
- Use the first rate “Lighthouse” chrome plugin or directly in any browser.
- Use tools from Powermapper (very helpful for cross-browser issues).
- Validate markup.
- Take a few hours every few weeks to think about how you rank — off Google — on smaller search engines. [Good ranking, per example, on DuckDuckGo can give you lots of traffic].
- Note: AMP is NOT a ranking factor (in of itself). In other words your mobile access to your content can be your desktop (resized) site as long as it runs fast.
- Watch for changes in search patterns and start monitoring data obtained by Google Trends. Example: Here is search interest over time for “search engine optimization training” vs “SEO training” — from 2004 till the present with results set to worldwide, all categories, and all operating systems. And see: “Search tips for Trends“.
- Geo-target international content.
- Add to your header: <link rel=”contents” title=”Sitemap” href=”YOUR-URL-HERE”/>
- Check your file errors, redirects, and permalinks.
- Ensure a connection between the words in the URL and the META description tag and META title tag.
- Examine which pages (if any) are appearing as sitelinks.
- Re-check your title tags. See: Create good titles and snippets.
- Provide a publication date.
- Reduce server response times: TTFB (time to first byte).
- See: How to Reduce TTFB to Improve WordPress Page Load Times and Network Analysis.
- Check the DNS Speed Comparison, tools.pingdom.com/, webpagetest.org/, and gtmetrix.com.