SEO environment keep changing, so the internet marketers are closely watching the changes, in order to come up with the best strategies that can yield best results in 2020. Not all SEO companies have been able to get the best results for their clients in 2019, and they would dearly want to make the necessary changes this year. Below is a brief SEO checklist that can help you stay on top in 2020.
Basic SEO Set Up
The first step is to handle the SEO basics the right way. Below are some essential plugins and tools that you will need to install for better performance on the search engines result page.
• Google Analytics – It helps you to monitor how the traffic finds and uses your site. You can keep track of how much traffic is coming from Google, page views, time spent on site, average bounce rate, etc.
• Google Search Console – It is loaded with helpful features like target keywords, sitemap submission, site errors fixing, etc. This tool helps to monitor site performance on Google search.
• Bing Webmaster Tools – Bing is rated among the top 5 search engine, so you must consider optimizing your sites for this search engine. Webmaster Tools can help you in many ways.
• SEO Plugin – Make use of the best SEO plugins, so that you can do many of the complex tasks easily and conveniently.
• SEO Auditing Tools – A comprehensive website audit will help to fond issues that can be hindering your site’s potential from performing on top search engines.
On-Page SEO Optimization
On-Page SEO techniques help search engine crawlers to understand your page content. Tweaking the given elements below will increase your chance of ranking high on Google.
• Title Tags – It is an HTML tag, which exists on every webpage’s head section. It hints on the subject matter of the respective webpage.
• Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions are displayed in SERPs under the page title. Optimization of Meta description helps to improve click-through rate and result quality.
• Keyword phrases and Header tags – H1 to H6 are HTML elements that are used to detect the headings & sub-headings within the content. You must not overlook the importance of H1 semantic tag, but make sure that you don’t overdo it, as it will only hamper your SEO efforts. The H1 must have close relevance to the contents, especially to the keyword phrases that you use.
• Use relevant anchor phrases for Internal page linking – It is always a good practice to have internal links for pages within your own website, but make sure you use the proper keyword phrases for linking them.
• Image ALT tags and File Naming – Images always speak a lot but search engines are not designed to read images. For them to understand the published image, you need to provide optimized file names and image ALT tags.
• Meta keywords Usage – Search engines use Meta keywords to index, to retrieve information, and for ranking. Meta keyword has to be relevant, and must not seem like spamming or stuffing practice to search engines.
• LSI Keywords – Use a keyword density of a maximum of 1.5% along with the use of Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI keywords. Place keyword phrases properly without hindering the content’s natural flow. Rather than using the same keywords repeatedly for hundreds of times, use LSI keywords and synonyms.
• Structured Data Markup – Structured Data Markup is the best way to optimize the way how your website gets displayed by search engines. You can add compelling snippets after the H1 to improve effectiveness of page displays.
Off-page optimization is all the collective contents that you publish on various online sources outside your website. Not only does it help in increasing traffic and sales, It also useful for gaining more influence for your brand in the long run. The off-page SEO techniques that you can add are –
• Create Shareable Content – In addition to publishing contents on your website, you will also need to create contents that can be published on other high authority websites and blogs. Such contents offer an excellent opportunity to create quality backlinks. It will help in drawing targeted traffic to your business websites. These contents should be sharable, so people can add them on their social accounts, or share them.
• Blog Marketing – You can create you are own blog to provide useful information and updates to your potential and existing customers. Additionally, you can also share your contents on other high ranking blogs to get backlinks.
• Social Bookmarking – Social bookmarking allows people to save and share your links and page bookmarks online, from any devices. You can use this offsite SEO technique to gain more exposure to your contents.
• Directory Submission – Top business and article directories are high online traffic resources. By using your contents on directories and classifieds, you can expect to improve the organic search engine rankings of your web pages.
• Forum Posting – Online discussion forums also provide an excellent opportunity to engage with targeted audiences. You will also be allowed to use your website link in the forum signatures. They will get automatically displayed on each and every post or comment your write.
• Social Media Branding & Marketing – Your SEO efforts are incomplete if your business does not have a good presence on social media website. You will need well planned SMM strategies to maximize the engagements with your target audience. Social media engagement and management can help your businesses grow faster when compared to newspaper advertisements.
• Video Marketing – Not everyone like reading text. You can reach out to that segment of people by using interesting videos. If your videos go viral, then you can expect to get a sudden burst of high traffic to your websites, thereby increasing your revenues.
• Press Releases – Press releases are also an excellent way to get quality backlinks. You can publish contents on PR sites to gain high exposure for your brand.
• Link Baiting – It is an excellent method to link contents from other content publishers on your blogs. More numbers of relevant incoming links will help in enhancing the search results of your pages.
• Social Media Engagement and Management –
Off-page optimization includes techniques that can help to create high-domain authority backlinks. It helps to enhance web page ranking on search engines.
• Create a sitemap – Sitemap tells the search crawlers about the crucial pages on your website. It is the blueprint of your website, which includes sitemaps of different types – Normal XML, Video, News, and Image sitemap.
• Create and add a robots.txt file to your site – Robot.txt file instructs crawlers on where to look for the information. If there is no directive or robots.txt file created, the bots will simply cross all across the site.
• Audit your web pages for missing page errors and broken links – These instances can severely damage your SEO. You will need to use the identifying tools to find and fix them quickly.
• 404 Errors – If you remove some of the pages, but still have links to those pages on other pages, or websites, the users will get the 404 error page, when they click those links. This error can also show up if any of the bookmarked pages point to the removed URLs. These situations lead to bad user experiences, which is not appealing to the search engines either. Frequently check your website for 404s and fix them with redirects.
• Redirection – Rather than having users land on 404s, it is wise to redirect them to relevant and useful web pages. 301 are permanent redirections that help to transfer the old URLs SEO juice and ranking to the new one. For temporary repairs of your website make use of 302 redirects. This ensures that the existing SEO rankings do not go for a waste.
• Do keywords research – Use tools to identify long-tail keywords. You can even research some of the popular online communities like Reddit, Quora, and other such forums, to find some of the untapped keywords.
• Optimize your site for speed and mobile – Users wait for 3 seconds for a page to load or else they flee to your competitors, so mobile page optimization is necessary. Check server response time, avoid unnecessary redirects, monitor round-trip times, place Java at the bottom of the page and CSS on top to make the site more mobile-friendly.
• CDN – Content Delivery Network when set up correctly will help to speed website as well as your images, and the contents will get indexed faster.
• Optimize Images – Optimized images will help to rank better in image search. Make sure that a relevant filename is used to save the image. The filename [descriptive alt tag] has to briefly describe the image, so that search engines know what the image is, because they are unable to read images completely.
• SSL – Secure Socket Layer is an encryption protocol that does not allow hackers to snoop your website. SSL certificate helps to enhance search engine results and user experience.
• Web Security Monitoring – Website security monitoring tools will help to avoid security breaches including DDoS, hacking attacks, and password thefts. They even assist in detecting and averting malware.
• Update WordPress Software and Plugins – WordPress is consistently updating its software and plugins suite. You need to keep your software and plugins updated because skipping can invite problems that could have been avoided. Moreover, you can miss on valued features or functionalities that got newly added.
• Perform a Malware Scan – Malware can damage your system’s performance and functionalities. Your website turns vulnerable to hacking, security misconfiguration, SQL injection, and broken authentication. Therefore scan your site regularly for data protection, virus identification, and site security.
Reputation Management SEO
Negative or poor search results impact your business in several ways –
• Reviews – Reviews on search engines matter in search engine optimization. Online customer reviews reveal authority and trustworthiness to the search engine robots. Google trusts customers than your brand. Besides, online review management makes a huge difference in this tough competitive era. It enhances your visibility on search results. Include reviews in your 2020 SEO strategy.
• Testimonials – Good testimonials are great, but bad reviews can also be good. It makes you feel sad and desire to delete it, but you will also look genuine. One’s personal dislike is another person’s like! SEO-friendly testimonials help to appear more authoritative to the right users, and thus rank high on results.
• Sponsor Content – Sponsored contents help to reach the targeted audience, but it requires ongoing monitoring. Make sure to follow the sponsored content guidelines to avoid getting penalized by Google.
Global SEO is important, but don’t underestimate local SEO. It has its unique pros. There are more than 50% of consumers that use their mobile phones for local search. If you have ignored local SEO, then you really are missing a great opportunity.
• Google My Business – A free tool to promote your business website on Google search & maps. Even if you have a website, adding a Google Business Profile helps to add more visibility.
• Bing Places For Business – Local businesses can take advantage of the enhanced visibility by listing on Bing Places for Business. Local customers can be attracted by seeing detailed information of your business.
• Yelp – Yelp is also another platform that helps local businesses to set an account and upload messages and photos to engage the local customers.
• Yellow Pages – It is a great online directory to look for local services. YP is still authoritative and is a worthy boulevard for your business.
• JustDial – JustDial enjoys noteworthy local expertise, and has a strong sales force spread widely.
Link Building SEO
• Email Outreach – Email outreach is also termed as relationship building with bloggers and fellow websites in your niche. Start with cold email campaigns introduce yourself or your awesome blog post or demonstrate your worth or make a pitch.
• Social Media Outreach – Create viral content for your social profiles. Respond to whatever occurs in real-time on social media. Be creative in your content to improve your outreach campaign process, and enhance business visibility, increase leads, attract organic traffic and add to your revenue.
• Natural Acquisition – Natural acquisition of backlinks is possible with content that offers value and ranks well. You also need to monitor your backlinks to identify which kind of content earns organic links. So, create some killer content!
SEO Content Creation
• Blog Posts – Write blog post that catch the eye, because you have just 3 seconds to grab the audience’s attention. Therefore here are some tips – Know your audience, write compelling headlines, use bullet points & subheadings, add images, optimize for SEO, and add clear CTA.
• Articles – You need good content and techniques to write great articles. Follow some writing rules – keep opening short and crispy [engaging], keep paragraphs short with readable text, write to the point, give readers something useful, explain with examples, or tell a story.
• Videos – Video is the most consumed content today, so make sure to use this form for your SEO. Consumers interact great with visual content, so never miss on this efficient marketing tool.
• Infographics – Infographics helps to present deep data in a visually appealing and understandable manner. They get shared a lot on social media. It is an efficient SEO tool, because more incoming links can be earned, which enhances search ranking.
Social Media Branding / Networks differ from each other in their own way. Instagram is powerful for a few brands, but not for others that may have millions of followers on Facebook. So, how to choose your social media time investment becomes crucial. The best move will be to have a presence on major platforms given below.
• Facebook – Business posts are suppressed but engagement can be bolstered by joining groups, or by sharing live video, or through FaceBook Messenger Chatbot.
• Twitter – On Twitter, you can be helpful and informative. Jump into a thread to provide valuable perspective, and even share content.
• Instagram – A platform to reveal shoppable visuals creatively. It is a great platform to target demographic age group below 35.
• LinkedIn – It is a massive network of professionals. You can find decision-makers and influencers on LinkedIn.
• YouTube – YouTube SEO includes enhancing your channel, playlists, meta data, description, and the videos themselves. You can optimize your videos for search both inside and outside of YouTube to gain traffic.
• Pinterest – Pinterest is predominated by women audience, which can be used for content related to food, décor, fashion, fitness, wedding and DIY related niches.
The SEO checklist is a direct and straightforward process. It includes step by step optimization process for on-page, off-page, technical, security, reputation management, link building, content creation, social media, and local SEO.
Don’t be too concerned if a few pf them get missed out. It is hard to complete everything included in the checklist in one day. However, it is more than sufficient to outrank your competitors. The above tips and tricks will surely help you increase your organic traffic significantly in 2020.