Sounds familiar, right? There’s a good explanation for that.
Each year, fresh SEO strategies emerge that can give your website the edge over competitors. From rethinking traditional approaches to embracing something entirely new, being aware of these trends is essential for any website owner who wants success online.
As search engine algorithms evolve and cutting-edge SEO tactics become available, it’s crucial to remember that classic methods still figure heavily in achieving high rankings. After all, isn’t this what every website owners dream of?
To assist you in your SEO journey, I have compiled the definitive SEO checklist for 2023. This comprehensive resource is a must-have tool to ensure that website owners can optimize their traffic potential.
Before we begin, let’s explore some of the most recent SEO trends.
What are the SEO Trends in 2023?
Voice search, mobile optimization for SEO, detailed content pieces, local SEO approaches and understanding user intent are all still very important elements of a successful digital marketing strategy. Established in 2021, they have remained a reliable resource for your digital marketing needs and are likely to continue being an integral part of your online strategy well into the future.
Now that I’ve gone through the primary SEO strategies, what’s new? As Hubspot suggests, more specific page headers to offer additional context or take advantage of Google’s People Also Ask feature is a great way to start. Plus, don’t forget about those emotionally compelling headlines – who hasn’t clicked on an article because it resonated with them in some manner? That being said, you know exactly what I’m referring to here.
‘You Won’t Believe What This CEO Did To Save His Company’ or ‘How One Simple Change Can Transform Your Life’
Moving forward, we will see an increasing number of emerging trends. AI-generated content is the talk of the town and if it’s not on your radar yet, you’re sure to hear about it soon! Additionally, many more popular trends are coming our way in 2023 such as:
- Core Web Vitals measure the performance of your webpages.
- Optimize your content to increase its visibility in the SERPs with content optimization software.
- Utilizing structured data, like schema markup and rich snippets, is a powerful tool for improving visibility in search engine results.
- GPT-3 is an advanced language generator.
- Organizing associated keywords into unified clusters is known as keyword clustering.
2023 SEO Checklist
Despite the ever-changing trends and technological advancements, some of the fundamental pillars for SEO are still relevant in 2023. Even if you have an understanding of these established strategies, developing a well-defined plan can be challenging; but it doesn’t have to be.
To support you in your journey, I have compiled an SEO checklist that will help optimize your website and boost its rankings. By simply following the steps listed.
To start things off, let’s go back to the basics.
1. Get the Most Out of Your Website with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools Setup
If you’re searching for an effortless, cost-effective way to track your website’s performance and traffic, upgrade the visibility of your webpage in search engine results, and correct mistakes on it, then Google Search Console should be a priority in your SEO strategy.
- Keeping a close eye on which keywords are driving the most traffic.
- Exploring analytics to identify viewing impressions and clicks
- Utilizing Google to identify which webpages are being indexed.
- Maximizing Your Website’s Visibility
If you’re interested in setting up an account, here’s how to get started:
- Create your Google account
- Add your domain name or URL prefix to Google’s Search Console
- Verify your account
- To begin assessing reports, simply select the ‘overview’ option.
Even though Google is the most popular search engine, registering for other competitors like Bing can be advantageous. Don’t miss out on the valuable benefits that come with utilizing multiple search engines!
Unlock your website’s full potential by using Bing Webmaster Tools to identify and fix any errors compromising its visibility in search results. With this valuable tool, you can not only optimize it for Bing but also gain an advantage over competitors with duplicate content issues and slow loading speeds.
For those who are new to Bing Webmaster Tools, here is a simple guide to get you started:
- Create an account or sign in to Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tool.
- Simplify the process of having your website visibility by instantly importing them from Google Search Console or adding them manually.
- To verify your account, you can opt for a DNS auto-verification, XML or Meta Tag authentication. You could also add a CNAME record to your Domain Name System (DNS).
- Once Bing authenticates your account, a green checkmark will appear with an accompanying message verifying that Bing has added your website to Webmaster Tools. However, if there are any issues you must address first before attempting the process again, it will be displayed as a red cross instead.
- Last but not least, you have the choice to upload a site map and create an SEO plan; however, these steps are optional.
2. Get Google Analytics Running to Gain Valuable Insights
Utilizing Google Analytics is an essential step to keeping tabs on your website’s performance. Before you begin launching content, be sure to incorporate this powerful tool into your strategy so that you can track and measure the progress of your website effectively.
Google Analytics is an incredibly well-known platform, utilized by a variety of major organizations like Airbnb, Spotify, and Uber. To get commenced with Google Analytics today:
- To create an account with Google Analytics just click the ‘Get Started Today’ button. If you have an existing account, simply log in and start tracking your website analytics!
- To get started with Google Analytics, log in to your account and choose ‘Admin’ from the panel on the left. Once there, select ‘Create Account’ so that you can begin tracking data for your website or app (or both).
- Create an account name and customize your data sharing preferences.
- Click ‘next’ to begin integrating your domains into your Analytics account.
- Google also offers a selection of supplementary tasks that you can opt for, such as including extra users in your Analytics and connecting it with your Google Ads account.
3. Give your website a boost with an SEO Plugin if you’re using WordPress!
Maximize the visibility of your WordPress site by adding a plugin to your SEO checklist. It’s an easy way for WordPress users to optimize their sites!
If you’re looking to increase your website’s visibility and search engine rankings, WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack are excellent options. With their user-friendly interfaces and powerful features, these tools make it easy for anyone to optimize their website for search engines.
Other SEO plugins:
No matter what keyword plugin you choose, ensure that it comes with the following features:
- This plugin is designed to be easy to install, configure and use. It simplifies the user experience with its intuitive design.
- You can monitor all of your keywords, not just a selected few.
- Ensure optimal security and efficiency by consistently updating your plugin at least once a week.
4. Create and Publish Your Sitemap
Submitting a sitemap makes it simpler for search engine crawlers to track your webpage’s changes and index them properly. Not only does this boost visibility, but it also enhances navigation as well as defeats poor linking issues. Utilizing a sitemap benefits you in many ways by helping the search engine do its job more efficiently.
Generating a sitemap is an effortless way to index your website on Google and Bing. The most effective approach for this task involves creating an XML file, which you can then submit to both the Search Console and Webmaster Tools. In no time at all, these search engines will have crawled your site – adding it automatically to their respective indexes.
Although a sitemap isn’t always necessary, Google suggests that they are most efficient when:
- You have a large website
- Your website is filled with a vast selection of isolated content pages, which are not connected
- You just created a new website with very few external connections.
- Your website is enriched with visuals, such as videos and pictures.
You have taken the initial steps – now it’s time to create a Robots.txt file for your website.
5. Create or edit a robots.txt File
Don’t forget to include a robots.txt file while designing and editing your website as it’s essential! This document informs search engine bots which areas of your site they can explore, index, and crawl.
The advantages of including robots.txt in your SEO checklist:
- Make your website load faster by eliminating unnecessary pages from loading.
- You can maximize your site’s visibility by avoiding any duplication of content accessible to search engines.
- By preventing search engines from indexing pages with low-quality or spammy content, you can ensure that visitors find only the most relevant and accurate information.
- Prioritize your SEO efforts by targeting the essential pages of your website.
When creating your robots.txt file, consider these factors:
- What pages of your website should search engines crawl and index?
- What pages would you like to prevent search engine crawlers from accessing?
- What criteria would you like to establish for crawling particular webpages or sections of your website?
- How frequently must the robots.txt file be updated in order to remain optimized?
When completed, your Robots.txt file could potentially look similar to Nike’s.
6. Ensure That the Search Engines Can Easily Access and Index Your Site
If you have a website, it’s essential to make sure that search engines can detect and rate it. After all, wouldn’t you like potential customers to discover your business through the web? Here are some tips on your SEO list to guarantee that search engines find your site quickly and accurately.
- Ensure your website is accessible to web crawlers by using the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console. This will allow search engines to discover and properly index all pages on your site, making it easier for potential customers or clients to find you.
- Maximize your website pages’ visibility on search engines by including keyword-rich titles and descriptions.
- Enhance your visibility on search engines by including links to other related pages in your website. This will enable them to better comprehend the topic of each page, leading to higher rankings.
As you may be aware, Google has altered its scoring system recently; the new version requires that web content must not exceed 15MB. For this reason, it is essential to prioritize your most important material first – as these will be indexed by Googlebot and given greater relevance.
In addition to its update, Google also announced changes to its Product Structured Data Guidelines; it’s highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with these modifications.
7. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
Is your website mobile-friendly?
Current studies demonstrate that nine out of ten consumers possess at least one shopping application on their mobile devices. The primary factor driving this growth is the superior user experience provided by these apps.
Don’t let a single negative user experience be the reason your visitors never come back. Make sure to take preventative measures and include this on your SEO checklist today.
It’s simpler than you may think to accomplish this task. Here are the steps:
- Use responsive design to ensure your website is optimized for any device, accommodating all sizes of screens.
- Transform your images into mobile-friendly versions with Imagify’s free monthly plan – quick resizing and compressing up to 200 images for no additional cost!
- If you want to ensure that your website looks and functions correctly on various browsers and devices, utilize the tools available in this list. Doing so will provide peace of mind that all visitors have an optimal experience with your site.
- Utilizing Google Search Console, you can assess the performance of your website and obtain advice on how to optimize it.
Here’s an example from BuzzFeed:
Notice its distinctive visuals and a highly noticeable search feature that is simple to use.
8. Inspect Oversized Image Files
It’s plain and simple: the bigger your image files, the slower they will take to load.
For an instant check of image size, use ImageOptim or Google PageSpeed Insights. Not only will the latter help you assess loading times, but it also provides valuable advice for optimizing them.
ImageOptim is the perfect tool for compressing any images without sacrificing their quality; it’s also available on Mac, Linux, and Windows.
Using these tools, you will gain insight into the size of your images and how to best optimize them for optimal performance.
9. Check for 404 Errors
404 errors and broken links on your website can have a negative impact on SEO rankings.
Poor user experience not only leads to visitors leaving your website, but it can also damage your site’s performance on search engine results pages (SERPs). To prevent this, it’s essential that you frequently inspect and repair broken links on your website.
With a powerful tool like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console, checking for broken links and pages is easy. You can easily locate any dead-end linkages as well as discover which pages have yet to be indexed by Google.
When you discover a broken link, there are several alternatives available:
- Update the link so that it directs visitors to the accurate page.
- To ensure your website visitors never hit a broken link, set up a 301 redirect to guide them smoothly towards another page on your website.
- Delete the link from your website completely.
10. Check Duplicate Content and Keyword Cannibalization
Repeatedly utilizing the same keyword phrase in your content can result in a penalty being imposed on your website by search engines.
Furthermore, if your website has multiple pages that target the same keyword phrase, search engines may not be able to determine which page should rank higher. This is known as ‘keyword cannibalization’ and could lead to diminishing search engine rankings for all of your webpages – an outcome you certainly don’t want after investing a lot of effort in setting up your site.
To prevent this from happening, build an SEO checklist that explicitly states your keywords and double-check to make sure you’re not optimizing for the same phrases.
- For improved SEO rankings, it is essential to vary your keyword usage throughout the entirety of your website. Don’t just limit them to titles and headings – make sure they are present in body text too.
- Guarantee each page of your website has its own stand-out title tag and meta description for optimal SEO.
- If you manage multiple websites that share a similar content, be sure to avoid redundantly using the same keywords on all of them.
- Leverage Google Search Console to pinpoint duplicate content and avoid cannibalization of your webpages.
11. Investigate Your Competitors’ Keyword Strategies
Ranking first for a keyword or set of keywords does not guarantee that you will see an increase in traffic and conversions.
To make sure your website content is tailored to the needs of your audience, it’s essential that you analyze and understand the keyword profiles utilized by your competitors. Doing so will help you determine which terms and phrases they are targeting in their search engine optimization efforts.
With this research, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the competition you’re facing and the terms and phrases that are most relevant to your target customers. Utilizing this data, you can begin targeting the same terms and phrases on your webpage in order to maximize your rankings and visibility. With consistent effort, these improvements will become more apparent over time.
The outcome? You will be amazed by the results, as you will experience higher rankings, more savings and maximum returns on your investment.
But how can you discover the right keywords?
Ubersuggest is an excellent resource to begin your journey in finding competitor keywords. Utilizing the platform is simple; just enter the URL, select your country and click ‘search’ to gain access to:
- Common keywords
- Keyword gaps
- Traffic over time
12. Find What Your Target Audience is Searching For on Google
Are you wondering what ‘search intent’ is and why it should be on your SEO checklist? Search intent plays an essential role in any effective SEO strategy, so understanding its relevance is a must.
To begin, search intent is an essential ranking factor to consider when constructing a content strategy. Many leading SEOs refer to this idea for their approaches.
Once you comprehend the searcher’s desires, it empowers you to generate content that meets their expectations and furnishes them with what they’re hoping to find.
To identify the purpose of a customer’s search, try to step into their shoes and ask yourself:
- To begin to understand what your target prospects are asking when they use search engines, take advantage of Google’s invaluable “People Also Ask” feature. This provides a comprehensive outline for you to start working off and observing the queries people input into their searches.
- Are you wondering what questions searchers are trying to answer? Utilizing the ‘People Also Ask’ feature can be extremely helpful in finding those queries.
- Use keyword research to identify the most frequently searched terms and phrases associated with your topic.
- Ensure you check out SERPs and take note of the keywords that appear in bold – this will help you to understand which results have been prioritized.
13. Select Primary and Secondary Keywords to Optimize
To maximize the effectiveness of your primary keywords, pair them with relevant focus and secondary words. Leveraging secondary keywords in your content can help you reach an extended audience and amplify the chances of boosting your website rankings. By incorporating related words to your main terms, you expand beyond a sole focus on primary keywords.
To achieve the best results, it is essential to narrow down your focus and secondary keywords. Here are some tips:
- Select keywords that are closely related to your brand and customers.
- Be sure to create keywords that are suitable for your target customers, while guaranteeing they’re popular enough so people use them when searching.
- Maximize your SEO efforts by combining both short-tail and long-tail keywords.
- Thoroughly investigate what your competition is targeting and attempt to discover any gaps.
- Once you’ve carefully chosen your target keywords, make certain to place them everywhere across your webpage including in the title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and content. This ensures visibility for potential customers on search engines as well as improved SEO rankings.
14. Discover the Techniques Necessary to Secure a High Ranking for Your Desired Keywords
Every SEO strategy must include this fundamental step: you can select the most appropriate keywords, but if your website doesn’t show up in search engines when users type those words then they won’t benefit you. To improve visibility and rank higher for these terms, consider following the pointers below:
- Become familiar with essential data points, such as search volume, cost per click (CPC), SEO performance, and keyword difficulty.
- Write down a list of content ideas.
- To begin, utilize a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest or another recommended platform to discover valuable keywords.
- To identify the most beneficial keywords, analyze the data and utilize Ubersuggest.
- Maximize your website’s presence on search engines through featured snippets and meta descriptions.
- Incorporating keywords into anchor text and utilizing your primary keywords in a tactful way are essential components of any successful SEO strategy.
15. Make sure your content is relevant and actionable
No doubt, creating content is already part of your SEO strategy. Nevertheless, the quality of this material matters a great deal; it must be compelling, and practical and encourage action from readers. Why?
To keep readers engaged, the content must be captivating enough to ensure they don’t leave before taking up your lead magnet offer or reaching the CTA. If your content isn’t interesting and captivating, you’re wasting precious moments of your readers. Need a little inspiration? Check out this fantastic infographic that illustrates how to create remarkable content.
Most importantly, ensure that your content is beneficial. Your readers should be able to take away valuable knowledge from your article.
Create content that is actionable and achievable. Readers should be able to complete your article with a clear understanding of how they can implement the presented information and obtain desired outcomes.
If you want your content to be effective and drive action from readers, here are some tips for doing so:
- Guide readers through processes with simple, step-by-step instructions and helpful how-tos.
- Proactively seek out inquiries and address people’s struggles to help them find solutions.
- Drive your readers to take action by adding prominent call-to-actions, so they know the exact next step to take.
- Harness the power of statistics, captivating stories, and image to enhance your message.
- Connect with your readers directly by telling them your story and evoking feelings of inspiration.
Before preparing your content, be sure to consider Google’s guidelines.
16. Ensure Your URL Is Descriptive and Accurate
Using descriptive URLs not only improves your SEO, but also makes it simpler for customers to locate and navigate your website. Descriptive URLs make it easier for searchers to recognize what your content is about, while also enabling search engines the ability to provide accurate information and deliver it to relevant audiences.
Moreover, URLs with more elaborate descriptions tend to generate higher click-through rates as users are prone to choose the link that best aligns with the page content.
To create more meaningful and effective URLs, look no further than tools like Ubersuggest, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
- Make sure to express the page’s content with sharp and straightforward language that precisely conveys its meaning.
- Avoid using unnecessary words and symbols, such as & or %.
- Ensure that each URL is distinct and does not mirror another page on your site.
- Keep shorten URLs as much as possible.
17. Including Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Image Tags
An essential element of any SEO strategy is incorporating title tags, meta descriptions, and image tags into your pages. Not only do these labels provide insight about the page content for search engines; but they also have a direct correlation with improved web rankings.
Title tags are a key component of SEO and can have an enormous impact on your website’s ranking in search engine results.
Meta descriptions are those concise snippets that appear under your title in search engine results pages (SERPs). They provide you with an enticing opportunity to draw people into visiting your site.
One of the fastest and most straightforward ways to optimize your SEO is by including image tags on all photos. By using image tags, you can provide helpful information to search engines regarding what each picture represents.
18. Use of Schema Markup to Target Rich Snippets
Boost your website ranking and make it easier for search engines to comprehend the meaning of your content with schema markup. Schema code provides deeper insights into what you are communicating, allowing Google and other major search engines to determine how well it should be ranked according to its relevance.
Rich snippets enable you to include additional data in your search engine results. You can add these snippets in varied forms, such as movies, recipes and maps– providing users with a much more interactive searching experience!
Rich snippets can help set you apart from your competitors and give you an advantage in terms of increased click-through rates (CTRs). Not only does this boost the visibility of your website, but it also signals to search engines that you have content worth investing in. This ultimately increases your chances of achieving higher SERP rankings.
19. Have a Strategy in Place to Monitor and Measure Your Ranking Success
Have you meticulously worked through your SEO checklist, but overlooked one important detail – tracking the success of your ranking? Don’t let this slip by or it could be a grave mistake.
You’re on track for success, but the only way to guarantee that is by monitoring your progress (rankings). Without doing so, you won’t know what kind of gains you have made.
To ensure your report is comprehensive, make sure it includes:
- Technical SEO performance, as well as optimizing overall website health.
You can include additional information as demonstrated below:
To help you monitor your progress, Backlinko offers a free SEO checklist/report template that can be conveniently downloaded.
20. Create a Comprehensive Link-Building Plan for Completed Content
Congratulations! You nearly made it to the end of your SEO strategy checklist. There’s just one more thing you need to do now.
To further boost your search engine rankings, start creating a link-building strategy to enhance your content.
Struggling to figure out where to start? Wanting to understand why link-building is important? Allow me to explain it for you.
Not only can link building provide a boost to your SEO, but it also has the potential to improve organic search results and conversions. As an example, one company discovered that its revenue rose 808.87 percent while organic search sessions skyrocketed to 82.3 percent. Impressive, isn’t it? It only took six months of off-site SEO to accomplish these amazing results.
To begin link-building today, here are some helpful tips:
- Create high-quality content and post it on authoritative blogs as guest contributions to broaden your reach.
- Establish a resource directory on your website to provide helpful information and resources for visitors.
- Ensure that your content is engaging, helpful, and relevant to your target audience.
- Research which websites could potentially benefit from a link to your content, and then contact them directly.
- Increase the credibility of your articles by linking to reputable sites and alerting their authors/owners.
What are the three most fundamental elements of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
To optimize your SEO, you should prioritize three key areas: on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and technical SEO. From on-page optimization and link building to researching relevant keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, headings, images and more – every element of the page is essential for successful SEO.
What are the Most Important Ranking Elements for an Optimized SEO?
Opinions may vary, but for the majority of people, the most essential elements when it comes to ranking are links, content quality, website credibility, and authority. Additionally, you should prioritize speed/mobile-friendliness as well as usability in order to achieve optimal results. Don’t forget about search intent too.
However, Google regularly updates its guidelines and it is essential to stay up-to-date with these changes.
With a bit of knowledge and effort, ranking higher in search engine results pages can be achieved. These basic SEO tips will help boost your website visibility. To make sure your website remains at the top of search engine rankings, you must be aware of and utilize the most up-to-date SEO strategies. This checklist serves as an excellent starting point for essential optimization practices, but there are many more dynamic trends to consider in order to stay ahead of your competition.
Despite the ever-evolving SEO trends, competitor keyword research, optimizing for mobile, and minimizing image size will always remain on your list. Additionally, take advantage of free tools like Ubersuggest or invest in paid ones to further enhance your search engine optimization strategies long-term.
Let this article serve as your guide and keep in mind that SEO is a continual process, not a one-time project. Persevere with it, and you are sure to see the rewards of your hard work over time.