When building WordPress websites, I highly recommend using a SEO checklist to keep you on track with your search engine optimization techniques. It is important to keep track of what you are doing, especially when you have a new WordPress website, as it would be more sensitive to Google’s watchful eyes. Google loves to see new websites pop-up on the scene and rewards them for starting out in the right direction. Of course some people always overdo some aspect of SEO and can ruin their websites chances from the outset. This is why I have a SEO checklist so I can monitor and track what needs to be done for a new or old website.
1. Choosing your niche
- Are people interested in your topic? If you are into Mexican jumping fleas then you better see if others are interested in that also.
- When searching in Google for the keyword are other companies advertising? This is a good sign of money to be made.
- The topic you choose needs to have market potential, unless building websites is only a hobby for you.
- Your niche needs to be expandable with longtail keywords and LSI keywords that go on forever.
I have given a detailed example of how to choose a niche in my Free PDF report about how to build a WordPress Website. This has been revamped so grab it again as it is full of more information.
2. Creating a SEO Plan for Effective SEO
For example I would create lists for:
Related keywords are very important when it comes to search engine optimization. You can use these keywords for creating categories, blog posts, or even pages. Therefore if you are using the Google keyword planner tool, just say you search for the keyword “best student laptop” and you will see related words come up.
3. Think About Your User
Now that you have your plan the SEO checklist is starting to come together. You can perform all the SEO you like but if your users that visit your website are not happy then your website will not be a success. Even those search engine optimization is important it should not be the only thing that determines how your website turns out. A balance of SEO, great content, easy navigation, and a pleasant user experience, all contribute to a successful website.
4. Great Content
5. Navigation and Design
6. Onpage SEO
1. Grab your list with your main keyword and your related keywords on it.
2. Create a catchy title that includes your target keyword.
3. Create subheadings throughout your article that contain your target keyword and your related keywords. It is good to have a variety as you have a chance to rank for more words.
4. The headings should be scattered through the article and you need at least one H2, and H3 heading.
5. Your target keyword should be included in the first sentence of the article and should be bolded. (not necessary if you have used it in a H2 or H3))
6. Your target keyword should also be included in the last sentence and should be underlined or made Italic. ( I don’t bother with this one any longer)
7. You should include an image with an ALT tag that includes your target keyword. When people hover the mouse over your picture they will see your target keyword. The search engines will also list this image using those words so name it correctly.
8. You need to mention your target keyword throughout your article. It should have a keyword density of at least 1%. Therefore if you have a 500 word article you would need to mention your keyword five times or more to get 1%. This is not set in stone but I find it better to target a keyword so Google and the humans know what your post is about. You want to make it clear. What if you had no obvious keyword in your content? Think about that one.
9. You should link to several pages internally that are related to your keyword. This means linking to the pages in on your website. These links can be followed as opposed to nofollow.
10. If you link to external pages you should make it a nofollow link unless you feel confident that the link is worthy for giving some link juice away.
7. Internal Linking
8. Error Free Website
Avoid having errors on your website even if it is a new website as these errors can snowball into something that cannot be repaired. Some examples of errors that can affect your SEO efforts include:
- Duplicate title and description tags.
- Duplicate pages.
- Broken links.
- Errors on your site map.
- crawling errors.
- 404 errors.
This is just a sample of errors that can occur on a new website and hamper your search engine optimization efforts. Having your SEO checklist will make you aware of the errors and be ready to repair asap. I personally have had all of the errors mentioned above over the years and I only wish someone had told me that these factors can have a drastic affect on your search engine rankings.
9. Backlinking – SEO Checklist
Creating back links for your new website is where you really need your SEO checklist to keep you in line. This is one of the parts of search engine optimization that can make or break your new website. People often go a bit over board or try to take the easy way out when it comes to backlinking.
For each new website I start a guest posting promotion and build a few links from other websites I have that are related to the niche. Sometimes I might list the website in some top directories but do not go for bulk directory submissions or bulk social bookmarking. I do not believe in slamming a new website with tonnes of automated links as I do not want to risk all my hard work.
Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz.org mentions some good and bad linking methods for new websites in the video below.
Lucky last on my SEO checklist is…
10. Create a SEO Maintenance Checklist
I know this sounds a bit crazy and you are probably groaning because I am mentioning another list, but this is important. A SEO maintenance list will stop you from falling behind in your SEO efforts. This might include:
- Checking for broken links or any errors
- Checking your rankings
- Keeping an eye on your competitors
- Checking stats in Google Anlaytics
- Evaluating results of your last SEO campaign
- Investigate rankings that are dropping
- Internal linking upkeep
- A list of jobs to keep up your rankings..
New and experienced webmasters have errors occurring with their websites because they are not keeping a close eye on what is going on. Having a SEO maintenance checklist can keep your website on the straight and narrow.
Hey I never said that creating WordPress website was easy!