SEO Best Practices Checklist

SEO Best Practices Checklist

March 21, 2023CategoriesTags

SEO Best Practices Checklist

Goal

This article aims to define a list of best practices when creating landing pages for SEO and organic search engine rank. Most of these best practices also apply to creating blog articles.

SEO Best Practices

Follow this checklist of best practices for SEO when creating websites, landing pages, and blogs.

SEO checklist

1. *Human readable url with the most target keywords

  1. Ie: https://klbsolutionsllc.com/our-digital-marketing-services/website-creation/  in this example the page name is the vertical market and the targeted keywords are the folder in which the page lives. 
  2. Ie: <base domain>/<primary keyword phrase>/<vertical market>

2. Mention the exact keyword phrase 3-4 times in headings and sub-headings

  1. ie: website design in Southern Indiana
  2. Keyword phrase ideas should be based on keyword research and competitor research

3. Mention targeted keywords 3-16 times in sub-headings, and supporting paragraphs

  1. They don’t have to be grouped as an exact phrase match.
  2. Ie: website, design, southern Indiana, SEO, SEP, Search Engine, Speed Optimized, ect..
  3. These should read and flow organically (don’t stuff keywords just to use them).  The key is about %1-2 percent. So about 1-2 keywords for every 100 words of copy.

4. Keyword rich main page title: <meta title …>

  1. 60 characters or less
  2. Reinforce the primary keyword phrase used in H1
  3. Add page description <meta>
    1. 155- 160 characters
    2. Be descript based on the page contents
    3. Reinforce the primary keyword phrase used in H1
    4. Try to mix in targeted keywords that read organically

5. Keyword rich image names

  1. Describe the image content
  2. Use keywords that are relevant to the landing page
  3. Use “-” in replacement as a space

6. Use keywords in image alt tags

  1. Describe the image content
  2. Use keywords that are relevant to the landing page
  3. Try to keep it at 70 - 140 characters

7. Use keywords in link title tags

  1. Shoot for just under 60 characters
  2. Make sure we use targeted keywords 
  3. Ensure that we keep the title useful to blind screen reader software by describing what the link provides.

8. Use keywords in script names

  1. This can be done by naming the scripts with keywords
  2. Or by adding all of the scripts to a folder with the most targeted keyword phrase
  3. Use “-” in replacement as a space

9. Use h1 one time only

  1. Use the primary keyword phrase
  2. Support the primary phrase with subiheadings
  3. Add the keyword to the first sentence of support paragraphs

10. H2 at least once

  1. Should be used for main sub-headings
  2. Enrich with keywords.
  3. Don’t be spammy. These should read naturally.

11. H3 - h6 tags should be used for all nested sub-headings

  1. Use these for nested sub-headings
  2. Sub-headings help to support the main heading and keyword.

12. Support all H tags (headings tags) with keywords in the first sentence of the paragraph

  1. Try to use the same keyword or keyword phrase in the first sentence of the paragraph.

User interface / usability features

1. Two calls to action in the hero section

  1. this help people who are not ready to “get a demo” the ability to interact with a clear call to action and explore more features. By doing this, they are not a bounce or exit metric.
  2. Book a demo
  3. Explore features

2. Hero  / sub-hero Explainer Graphic or GIF

  1. This is more about keeping the right audience which, by putting content first, can help to keep the right audience members.
  2. Adding a composite graphic, or moving GIF that shows the most valuable reports that are provided in the software can help to showcase what solutions we can provide to our clients.

3. Add case studies of past clients

  1. Showcase problem solutions
    1. grow revenue
    2. Grow members
    3. retain members
    4. Simplify the complex
    5. Save clients time

4. Add Reviews section

Add social proof to your website to provide authority and trust. These can be in the form of:

  1. Logo lists
  2. Client reviews

5. Add blogs section to the bottom of the landing page

Gives people more to explore. This can lead to less exit/bounce rates. Also increases time on page and pages per session. These are all great metrics for your website and help search engines to rank your site.

Show blogs by relevant category or tag

This will help to keep the page contents fresh between updates and keep google coming back for more.

6. Highlight that you provide support and are here for your clients.

Clients want to know that they are supported. Make your clients the hero of the story by showcasing your support. Be the solution that they deserve.

*A word of caution with changing URLs

Changing urls should be done with caution.  The address to which Google is sending traffic will be affected. This can negatively impact your SEO if not done correctly. 

We want to ensure that we do not create duplicate content or a 404 not found error. So, the answer is to utilize htaccess 31 redirect. 

By pointing the old page URL to the new page, we tell the search engines where the new content can be found.  

Typically if all goes well, the negative SEO impact on the affected pages is minimized to 2-8 weeks.

To minimize the impact of url changes, follow this checklist.

  1. use htaccess 301 redirects to point all old pages to their new corresponding page.
  2. Add canonical to all affected pages to point to the new url to avoid duplicate content: <link rel="canonical" href="https://klbsolutionsllc.com/our-digital-marketing-services/website-creation/" />
  3. create and submit the new sitemap to Google Search Console

Ideally, the order of operation would be:

  1. Create new urls for pages and ensure they are working along with the old urls.
  2. Create canonical meta tags on all pages to ensure no duplicate content.
  3. Add htaccess redirects from all old to all new page URLs
  4. Change links across the website to replace all old urls to new urls. Including blogs.
    1. This may be able to be done dynamically using database replace statements if the links are embedded in the content of the page.
  5. Submit new sitemap to Google Search Console

Follow This SEO Checklist

There are no guarantees in life. Especially not in SEO. But have faith, keep writing, and apply these tactics to your pages for the best results.

Create your page, provide it to Google Search Console, and check back in a few days to see what results you are getting.

I hope this help. If you would like a consultation or to have my team apply these best practices to your website, fill out our contact for to get a free quote.

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