Want to increase traffic for your blog or website? There are more than 200 factors based on On-Page and Off-Page search engine optimization (SEO) that Google considers when it ranks a page on its massive search engine index. While some factors are obvious and you might be aware of them already, some others can be tricky and tough to implement.
Optimizing your blog or site the right way is essential to get more traffic. Follow this ultimate SEO checklist, which comprises of 25 things you need to do before your next post goes out. It will not only help you rank higher but result in increasing traffic to your site as well.
Infographic Source: QUICKSPROUT
1) Keyword Research
Google Keyword planning tool is very important to understand the popularity of the phrase you are writing about. Proper keyword research is essential before you start writing or researching about the content of the post.
2) Catchy Headline
The main keyword of your topic must be in the headline. Also the headline has to be crisp, clear and attractive. Most visitors read the headline only and decide whether or not they should read the post. Also the heading should be similar to the phrases people search on Google.
3) Headings with Keywords
The important headings in your post must contain the keyword phrase. This heading is valuable when search engine rank your page. The font size of headings is higher and is valuable if it contains the keyword and Google consider this valuable for readers.
4) Keyword Stuffing will not help
Keyword stuffing is synonymous with junk writing. Here many people fail to rank and get visitors because they write for the Google bots and not for intelligent human beings. Never stuff keywords in your posts and write for humans not bots.
5) First 100 words (Above the Fold )
Like books or newspapers, blogs are also judged by the few lines at the top. The first 100 words are an important metric taken into account by Google when ranking a post. So, write keywords and phrases related to your topic in the top first paragraph.
Like humans, even Google can relate to the matter you write in your blog. If your main keyword and related keywords are not similar, you are likely to be considered spam or manipulative in the eyes of the search engine algorithm.
7) Cross Linking
Linking helps the readers a lot. They can access more related information with the links you embed in your posts. You can also boost the rankings of your previous posts by linking them to new related posts.
8) Old Blog Posts
If you are writing about a topic after a long time, you might want to visit the old post and add the link of the new post there. But only add it if it fits in sensibly. Spamming old posts with new links, where it does not add value will do no good.
9) Anchor Text
Anchor text is linked text within your posts. Here you can link related posts and this anchor text must be in the flow of your post that the reader is reading. Do not stuff keyword here for the sake of it. This tactic will reduce your ranking. Like Google preaches – ‘Don’t be Evil’.
10) Related Blogs
Linking to related and relevant sources within your posts is an important pointer for SEO. Google looks at the related links and analyses the keywords you should be ranked for.
If you add another blog post’s link to your post, notify the editor/webmaster of that blog about it. Send an email and this way you can easily get your posts shared on the web. You have added other blogger’s link and this way you will be getting a few new backlinks if they add yours in the future.
12) Duplicate Content
If you have taken content from any other source to make more sense of your post, it is important to link to it. This helps you stay original and avoids the duplicate content Google Panda penalty, which penalizes websites with duplicate content.
13) Thin Content
Google ranks you on the basis of quality and not quantity. Do not write a post for SEO reasons alone. Make sure you have something to say about and can write a quality post on it. Otherwise thin content will get you penalized.
14) Length of Post
Based on ranking on Google’s first page, the posts were of at least 2,000 words.
15) Short Website Link – Uniform source locator (URL)
Shorten your URL for the search engine to understand it better and make sure you add the keyword in it. For example: http://www.myvoucherdeals.com/stores/Nike-promo-codes.asp NOT http://www.myvoucherdeals.com/?:sddsdds-1123108201-adadadw?:xcdffd==-0xxNike-promo-codes.asp
16) SEO Friendly URL
Improve your search engine rankings by writing posts with keywords in their URLs and/or Titles.
17) Meta Tags
Optimize your on-page meta tags like title, description, h1, h2, etc.. to ensure they properly inform Google crawler about your topics and subtopics.
18) File Name of Images
Add keywords to all the filenames of images on your website. This makes ranking in Google image search easier.
19) Alt Tags for Images
Alt tags again help improve rankings of your images and they can be found much easily. Add proper alt tags and to improve your website traffic from search. Be sure to monitor this using Google webmasters tools for SEO.
20) Image Sitemaps
Google recommends adding important info about images on sitemaps. This will be crawled by Google search and can help improve your image search rankings significantly.
21) File Size of Images
Compress images and optimize them.
22) Allow Social Media Sharing
For unique images and infographics, it is wise to add the ability to social media sharing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit) in your posts. People love to share and with this code you are sure to get lot of backlinks.
23) Uniqueness of Images
Original images rank you better. Do not copy images from anywhere; pay someone to provide you with high quality and unique images.
24) Optimize Media
Optimize your media including images and other large media content so that your site loads faster. Also check your speed on Google PageSpeed to know if you have properly optimized your media or not.
Users & search engines love fast websites. If your blog takes too much time to load users are more likely to bounce off it. If you have many external scripts on your page they will increase your website loading time and could impact your rankings.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.