As you know, there are more than 200 SEO factors that Google takes into account to establish rankings in the SERPs. That is the huge “checklist” of its algorithm. Most of these factors correspond to what we call on page SEO.
Eventually, the whole routine of actions you must perform to optimize a website will come out by itself. But for many webmasters, keeping all these variables in mind is a hassle.
And to help keep everything under control when it comes to optimizing a page and its contents, an SEO checklist is a great tool . In fact, before starting an SEO audit, we always start by applying the steps in our checklist.
Do you want to have a
at hand to review your sequence of actions on the page or content you are about to publish? Well, here it is!
Índice de contenidos
- 1 SEO checklist with the most relevant on page factors
- 1.1 #1. Is the site accessible to search engines?
- 1.2 #2. Have you established a canonical domain?
- 1.3 #3. Are URLs SEO oriented?
- 1.4 #4. Are the meta title and meta description tags optimized?
- 1.5 Title
- 1.6 Meta description
- 1.7 #5. Do the Meta tags and image attributes include keywords?
- 1.8 #6. Are there external links in the content?
- 1.9 #7. Are there internal links to other content?
- 1.10 #8. Do you have a sitemap?
- 1.11 #9. Does your website load fast?
- 1.12 #10. Are you doing something to receive links…?
- 1.13 #11. Do you have enough content?
- 1.14 #12. Are you on social networks?
- 2 Do you miss any other factor that you consider important in an SEO checklist?
SEO checklist with the most relevant on page factors
You will probably be familiar with most of the items I am about to introduce you to.
I want to pose it as a series of questions that you will have to answer YES/NO to when you go to review the SEO status of your site, or your pages or posts.
But having them all listed will help you to avoid those “forgetfulness” that we end up paying dearly for. Well, here we go.
#1. Is the site accessible to search engines?
Yes, I know. This is very amateurish. But often the checkbox to prevent search engines from crawling the site in WordPress is checked, and the error goes unnoticed by the website owner.
Just in case, if it is a new blog or website, or if you notice that the site is not receiving visitors, you should check this functionality. You can find it at:
Ajustes > Lectura > Visibilidad para los buscadores
There you will find a checkbox with the text “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”.
But there are other reasons why the Google bot may be blocked:
- DNS server problems.
- Firewall configuration.
- Maintenance plugin enabled.
A first assessment of the situation can be obtained from Google Search Console using the Crawl Error Report.
#2. Have you established a canonical domain?
This is not an SEO action that you should do on each of the pages you want to rank, but only once, on the domain you want to dominate.
If you have not done so, it is likely that your website can be accessed from different addresses. For example:
The problem with this is that Google does not like repeated results, and if someone performs a search related to your site and it appears in duplicate or triplicate in the search engine, it may negatively affect your organic ranking.
Configuración > Dominio preferido
Problems with duplicate content occur not only with the domain, but also with other pages, as we will see later.
#3. Are URLs SEO oriented?
Here is another important factor in an SEO checklist. Optimizing URLs is important for several reasons. Firstly, because doing so will make it easier for bots to crawl and index them.
Secondly, because they appear in whole or in part in the snippet of Google and other search engine results pages.
How to optimize a URL? By following these tips:
Do not enter all the search terms for which you would be interested in appearing in Google. Only the main keyword of the content you want to rank for should appear.
If you look at the URL of this post you will see that it looks like this:
Avoid strange symbols
Characters, parameters or symbols hinder the crawling of your domain pages. They also make it difficult for human users to read.
The problem is that it is often the CMSs themselves that produce these unfriendly elements. Don’t forget to edit them and delete any strange characters you find. Accents and “ñ” are not usually welcome either, avoid them!
Keep URLs as short as possible
In fact, if they take up too much space, Google will cut them in the snippet. You will also facilitate indexing if you control the extension.
Don’t worry, I’ll explain what they are! Stopwords are linguistic particles such as articles or prepositions, which provide little relevant information from an SEO point of view.
If you can remove them without rendering the URL meaningless, do it! If the main keyword of this post is “seo checklist”, as you can see, I have deleted the preposition “de”.
They are called “meta” because they are hidden in the code, not shown in the content. Specifically, they appear between the HTML tags <head></head>.
However, they are very visible to search engines. In fact, the function of meta tags is to communicate with search engines, and in addition, tags such as meta description are visible to users on search results pages.
There are several types of meta tags. For example, the tag that prevents the crawling of your site as we have seen in point #1, is also a meta, whose syntax is as follows:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow" />
But the meta tags we are interested in here are the following:
Although not technically a meta tag, it is often lumped together. Its function is to indicate the title for search engines (it is the blue text of each of the search results that appear in the SERPs). It must contain the main keyword for which the text is to be positioned.
The optimum length is between 50-60 characters. In that text interval Google can cut the title, which will appear incomplete and with ellipses.
To avoid this, it is advisable that you do not exceed 55-57 characters, and that you try a snippet simulator such as SEO Mofo before hitting “Publish”.
The simulator will show you how the headline will appear in Google.
You have probably read that this meta tag has not influenced search engines for a long time, but this is not entirely true.
It is really hard to believe the fact that Google does not take into account the meta description content, since it is a summary of all the content.
In addition, the meta description tag is also readable in the search results where the page you want to position appears, and for that reason it is a perfect claim to get the user to click on it.
A good meta description can increase the CTR (click through rate) of the page, and that positively influences the SEO of the web, you can also use emojis ✅ to make your website stand out in search results.
The length allowed by Google for the text entered in the meta description has varied greatly in recent years. Maximum characters have ranged from 230-320 characters, then back down to 155 characters.
My advice? If you don’t want to be constantly rewriting your meta descriptions, don’t exceed 155 characters. With that length you have enough to include the main keyword and some semantic variant.
Besides, the good thing, if it’s short... you know 🙂
It is necessary to change the chip. Images don’t just accompany content, they are content!
And for Google to be able to semantically “understand” the content in images, it is necessary to optimize the meta tags.
But there are also other image-related factors to keep in mind. See you!
- Image weight: sometimes we upload large images, although the size we need is actually smaller. Wrong! Even if the CMS allows us to adjust the size of the image to the page or post, it still weighs the same and can slow down your website. Raise it to the size you need, no more, no less. The formats that offer the best quality at the lowest weight are JPEG and PNG.
- File name: before uploading the file, try to give it a name that includes the main keyword, or a semantic variant, and separate each term with hyphens. If the name is descriptive of the content, so much the better!
- Alt attribute: the text typed with this attribute will appear when the user places the mouse over the image. It is advisable to include keywords relevant to the content of the page, although it is better to integrate them in a descriptive and meaningful phrase or expression. In the WordPress image editing options you can optimize the alt attribute in the “Alternative text” tab.
There are other factors, such as the attribute
attribute, which can be used to enter a long description with supporting text, although it is rarely used.
Google likes references to external resources. It is part of the philosophy of
Another important point to take into account in an SEO checklist. Internal links are also important for search engine optimization.
Thanks to them, you make it easier for Google to crawl the pages of your site, and you indicate which resources are important on your website. It is also considered a user experience (UX) factor.
You can play a lot with internal links to distribute linkjuice by focusing your SEO efforts on the pages you really care about ranking.
It is always advisable to place 2-3 internal links in content such as posts and main pages of your website, as long as they are relevant to the surrounding content.
#8. Do you have a sitemap?
To facilitate the indexing of the pages you want to rank, an XML sitemap document is the best option.
All the pages that you want to be indexed and appear in search engines must be included in the document, which you can upload and test from Search Console.
The sitemap can even be made by hand with Notepad on your PC. But it is recommended that you use a tool to automate its creation.
Some plugins such as Google XML Sitemap can be of great help. If you use WordPress SEO Yoast, there you also have a very simple option to automatically create your sitemap, choosing the contents you want to be indexed and excluding those that are not.
You can also upload it directly to the root directory of your site easily, with an ftp client like Filezilla, although with search console it is even easier.
#9. Does your website load fast?
We already warned in a post with the SEO trends that the loading speed was going to be a determining factor.
And the truth is, it already was in 2017, and in 2016…. But as more and more users switch to mobile search, the relevance of loading speed also increases for Google.
Make sure your site loads as fast as possible. To do this do not upload heavy images, adjust the size (as I said above), use themes as light as possible and use caching plugins like WP Super Cache or 3W Total Cache.
If your website allows it, you can use an AMP design , especially indicated to accelerate page loading on mobile devices.
The downside is that the limitations at the design level are very important, so you will have to evaluate what compensates you more.
The three basic pillars of SEO are:
- Quality content.
- User experience.
So, if you’ve heard that link building doesn’t work anymore, don’t listen!
The external links or backlinks that your site receives make you improve in the search rankings, because Google counts them as votes.
Some things you can do to get external links are:
- Create amazing content that generates backlinks naturally.
- Guest blogging.
- Placing press releases in some digital media.
- Ask for links.
- Buy links? (be careful, because you may be penalized).
- Create private blog networks, link pyramids…
If you want more info, we have a good repertoire of posts about link building and a link building service in which you can find, from techniques allowed by Google such as linkbaiting, to blackhat tricks for the more risky ones.
It’s up to you to decide whether to go to the dark side of SEO or not 😉
#11. Do you have enough content?
Indeed, the volume of content is a relevant factor! With texts over 1000 words you have a better chance of positioning a page.
But be careful! That doesn’t mean that with less text you can’t rank. It just means that, all things being equal and in general, a page with more text volume will rank better.
Always try, even in the case of ecommerce product pages or similar, where you can’t put much content, to never go below 300 words.
Also compensate with images, which are also content, and when they are well optimized, they always help.
Posts are a good opportunity to put 1500 words, 2000 or even more.
Whether or not social networks directly influence positioning is still a debated topic in SEO.
But there is no doubt that social signals have an influence, albeit indirectly.
In addition, they are a source of user traffic that can become recurring visitors to your site.
Do you miss any other factor that you consider important in an SEO checklist?
I’m sure you do! I already have some in mind that we could also mention.
But in life you have to make decisions, and I think with these 12 factors you already have a decent SEO checklist to start ranking your site.
What you can do is help me to complete the post 🙂
What factors do you consider fundamental in an SEO checklist that I have not mentioned in this post?
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