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I started my journey on SEO around 5 years ago. Upon beginning, I’d never come across a one-stop repository that provided me with all the relevant information related to the term “SEO”. I found it extremely difficult to learn things on my own as the term, in general, was comparatively new to the market. I’d always wanted to get to know the basic principles or at least a checklist regarding the same but to no avail.

Having experienced a considerable amount of hardships and struggles while gaining a few years of experience along the way, it made sense to make one myself. With that in mind, I’ve come up with some profound parameters or SEO Checklist, based on my views that will prove to be useful to any other SEO seeker. While not a complete guide to SEO, it will certainly help you understand SEO much easier and thus help you to plan out tasks more efficiently.

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Research

It’s always best to start off with the initial research. It’s the area where the SEO game starts and ends for me. It seems to be a left out part for many and I personally believe it to be the most important aspect. There’s a saying that If you’re considering jumping into the river, it’s better to get an idea of just how deep it is. It’s evident that you’ll have a rough idea of what is required from you and what needs to be executed.

Market Research:

When you begin working on specific websites, try hard to learn as much possible about the particular industry it belongs to. It’s best to get as much information as possible that can be considered handy while planning your SEO plan and strategies. You should already have a brief idea and timeline in mind. Also, ask yourself how many keywords will need to be targeted to get maximum traffic and what link building strategy will work best for your website.

Competitor Research:

You’ve probably heard this a bunch of times. List down the number of direct competitors and how aggressive they are in their strategies. Check their overall traffic or sessions, the number of keywords they’ve targeted and the number of backlinks that they have in their arsenal. Compile these elements and come up with the generic and common set of keywords.

Keyword Research:

If you’re considering looking into competitors keywords and steal their backlinks, I’d recommend using SEMrush. It works the best, period. Make a complete note of your analysis. Look for these keywords in KWFinder or keyword planner and make tonnes of suggestions for each keyword.

Data Gathering:

Be sure to compile the data into an organised list as it will come handy here. You should be able to answer some of the mentioned questions below first.

  • What’s the current status of your website as compared to your competitors?
  • How optimised is the website?
  • Have I checked the quality and quantity?
  • Have you activated Google Analytics to get more detailed information on the website that you are working on? You’ll need to bot all these before moving towards On-page SEO techniques.
  • Have you checked webmaster tools for Search Appearance, Crawl Errors, penalties, Sitemap and Robots.txt files, HTML improvement and Broken Links?

Do ensure that you try to fix these issues right before going on for anything on-page.

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On-Page SEO

For me, this is the most important element of any successful SEO campaign.  Good on-page SEO can rank your website very high on Google’s search engines without having to submit a single URL.

For any website, Start with the following:

  • Sitemap
  • Robots.txt
  • Add Navigation
  • Google Analytics
  • Webmaster Console
  • Canonical Error

Fix the issues found in webmaster first.

META TAGS:

Title: Your primary keyword should have a VVIP slot here. Try to use long-tail keywords.

Put the relevant keyword in the H1 tag as well.

Review Meta Tags

Fix all your pages’ meta titles with the relevant keywords, fix all pages’ missing descriptions, and fix all images’ missing Alt Text. 

Content:

Never be afraid to change the content of the website if not found relevant for optimisation purpose. Just avoid any duplicate content. Google loves content. Have a minimum count of 1500 words for pages you want to rank well in the search engines. If you need help, You can always get in touch with Social Panga.

Don’t forget about linking internal and quality outbound links.

Note: Outbound link is suggested to be from a do follow link website. If not getting results, try updating your content. Also, analyse bounce rate. 

Performance Metrics:

  • Multi-Browser friendliness
  • Check mobile website or responsive design
  • Loading speeds
  • Check with google page speed insights for further fixes.

URL optimisation:

This is one of the most important aspects, generally neglected by most of the experts.  It has a huge impact on your rankings and helps for brand recall as well.

  • If possible, incorporate primary keywords in the URL.
  • Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores(_) between two words.
  • 301 redirects for rewritten URLs

Note: Try to optimise as much as possible to succeed in SEO

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page techniques clearly win the race in the long run. This is also referred as link building strategy for SEO campaigns. It is where you want to spend the bulk of your time besides planning and creating your content.

Find Unlinked URL:

This is one of the easiest ways to build links. If you are working on an already established brand, try to dig into all the unlinked mentions.

Steal Competitors Links:

Look out for all of your competitor’s backlinks. Try submitting your links over there first. It is an again one of the easiest ways of getting trusted backlinks. Just go out and explore.

Social Profiles:

Create all the major social medium platforms into getting a social signal. If right now you don’t have much content to share, use it for brand building purposes.

Adding social sharing buttons helps to get new users and links.

Pinterest:

This is a revolution to attract as much traffic and footsteps to your website. It is a no-follow but certainly brings huge traffic which can be used to increase your targeted keywords rankings. Now you can message people directly to share connections and contents.

Guests Postings:

They are more important than you give them credit for. You just need to find the right niche segment, build the right connections and maybe create your own group to submit great content without overusing anchor text.

Submit to Other Platforms:

Don’t forget Slide Share, Scoop.it and Flipboard which gives you a good backlink. Stumble Upon and Reddit can be a great resource as well. If clicked right, you can get major segments of traffic to your websites. I would suggest you to first read their guidelines carefully before posting any posts or submitting links.

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