If you’ve already built your website, you’ll need to do an SEO audit. If you’re posting new content in the form of pages or posts, you’ll want to use this SEO checklist to ensure your website is good to go for 2018 SEO. Here’s what you need to be successful:
Make sure your mobile site is excellent
Over half of all online traffic comes from mobile devices. That means it’s more important that you focus on mobile-first design and responsiveness than laptop or desktop views. Optimize your content for mobile use to improve the overall SEO rank of your page.
Ensure Google Analytics is properly installed on all pages
This is an oldie but still a goodie. Ensuring that Google Analytics is up and running on all of your content helps you tailor future content and make tweaks to any existing content, should an SEO hiccup arise.
Check the keyword density
While it’s best to define a keyword and use it organically, once you’ve written the article and feel strongly about its focus keyword, take a look through your work to make sure the keyword is in the right place. Your keyword should be in the title, permalink, opening paragraph, and peppered throughout your post. If you’re using a WordPress CMS, then plugins like Yoast can help you evaluate your keyword density.
Use images and media
No one wants to visit a page that’s just text. And Google’s RankBrain feels the same way, too. Keep your page interesting by having relevant images, GIFs, videos or other media that enhances the content in your article. Just make sure you keep it appropriate for your audience.
Keep things speedy
Your page load speed is of critical importance, especially on mobile devices. People will “”bounce”” or leave your website quickly if it does not load fast enough. Check your page speed from your CMS dashboard and if possible have some real, live humans test it out, too.
Check the length
The absolute minimum blog post word count is 300. However, pages that rank the highest often have nearly 10x the minimum word count. If you feel that you and your team cannot produce long-form content, then you’re doing yourself and/or your client an SEO disservice. Hire a copywriter or an expert in the industry to write a high quality, well-researched post that is long and informative. You’ll benefit from higher SEO ranking.
Scope out the competition
Does your keyword mean what you think it does? Before you push “”publish”” make sure that you do a quick search for the competition. Whether you defined your keyword organically or did research to determine the topic, you’ll want to make sure that the pages ranking for your content are similar in theme. If you choose to write about hot dog toppings and later discover that has nothing to do with your food blog, you’ll be disappointed you didn’t do your homework first.
Review your sitemap
If you’ve built your site long ago, you might think your sitemap is a thing of the past. Think again. Your sitemap says a lot about your website’s organization and how people navigate your content. If your sitemap is dysfunctional, chances are your UX is dysfunctional and in turn search engines will have difficulty defining your site’s purpose.
Make 2018 the year your SEO changes for the better. Focus on your users, their experience, and what you can give them to make their value of your brand or business increase. Your SEO strategy should focus on long-term goals in 2018.