SEO Checklist 2018 – Pre-Launch, On-Page and Off-Page SEO Checklists | SEO To Do Lists for 2018

Here is a most Up-to-Date comprehensive 2018 SEO Checklist 2018 for Pre-Launch, On-Page and Off-Page SEO.

SEO Process

Your SEO activities have to go through an extensive processes categorized in 3 phases – Pre-Launch, On-Page and Off-Page.

Pre Launch SEO Checklist 2018


SEO Friendly Domain Name
Competitor Survey and Research
Competitor’s Social Media Activities
Check your Competitor’s Backlinks
Consolidating the Website Structure
Content
Choosing the right Publishing Tool

 

On Page SEO Checklist 2018


SSL(HTTPS) and Preferred Domain
SEO Content
Page Title
Meta Keywords
Meta Description
Social Media Meta Tags
Make your website Structured Data Ready
User Interface and User Experience
Navigation
Internal Linking and SEO Siloing
Heading Tags and Text Formatting
In-Page Linking
Keyword Density
Social Media Ready
Structured Website
Outbound links
Comments
Images
Privacy Policy
Disclaimer
SEO-friendly URLs
Page Load Test
Responsive Design
Sitemaps
Robots.txt

 

Off-Page SEO Checklist 2018


Check Broken Links
Social Media
Check Plagiarism
Image Submission/Photo sharing sites
Video Submission
Press Releases
Forums
Reviews
Q/A Sites
Crowd-Sourced Dictionaries
Audiobooks
Check who is linking to you
Article Submission a.k.a Content Marketing
Google Analytics
Google Webmaster
Google Business

 

Pre Launch SEO Checklist 2018

Pre-Launch SEO 2018

Pre-Launch SEO 2018 – For a successful “launch” of your website online, you need to do a thorough planning before you launch your website. SEO activities begin at the conception level.

 

SEO Friendly Domain Name


The first item in the “Pre Launch SEO Checklist 2018” is choosing the domain name. Choose a domain name that has your business keywords in it. All SEO is keyword-focused, you will get more returns more easily, on your SEO efforts if you have keyword(s) embedded in the domain name.

Pre-Launch SEO Checklist 2018 Domain Name

It is always advisable to have your main keyword in the domain-name. Choose a SEO friendly domain name.

 

Competitor Survey and Research


The reason why we have included this item in the Pre-Launch SEO Checklist 2018is because, an analysis of your competitor’s website which is already ranking higher in google, will give you powerful SEO insights that will make your off-page SEO task easier. Look at what your competitors have done. Do an audit of your competitor websites. Scrutinize their content, content-length, check who are linking to them, their social media campaigns, keywords they are targeting, what CMS they use etc. Make use online services like SpyFu, SEMrush, MOZ etc to get an overview of your competitor’s SEO plan.

  • Do a through research of who your competitor’s are.
  • Get a fair idea of what their websites are like.
  • Check how well do they rank in SERPs.
  • Scrutinize what titles, meta tags, description and keywords they are using.
  • Check Competitor website’s URL structure.
  • Examine how the keywords are placed in Title, Meta Tags and in the content.
  • Check what is the word-count per page.
  • Understand how are keywords distributed across the content.
  • Check what is their keyword density.
  • Examine their website’s Linking Structure, breadcrumb navigation, footer navigation etc.
  • Know the number of pages in the site.
  • Check how the keywords are mapped to the pages.
  • Check the keywords in the anchor tags.
  • Get a fair idea of the total word-count of the website.
  • Examine how many images per page are being used, what are their alt and title tags. Check the caption of the images.
  • Check his sitemap and robots.txt
  • f he has a blog on his site, what is the theme of the blog, how regularly is he publishing on the blog.
Pre-Launch SEO Checklist 2018 Competitor Survey

Analyze what your Competitor’ are doing to promote their sites, if they are ranking well in the Search Engine results pages then you need to replicate most of their SEO techniques.

 

Competitor’s Social Media Activities


The purpose why we have included this point in the 2018 Off-Page SEO Checklist 2018is because it will give you a fair idea of what Social Media promotional activities can be done. Invariably you will be replicating the same for your website’s off-page SEO.

  • See what activities your competitor is doing on the Social Media front.
  • Go through his Facebook posts, tweets, Google+, LinkedIN, Pinterest pages
  • Check how many followers/fans he has.
  • Check how he is using the keywords in handle name and IDs.
  • Investigate how many posts and tweets he has published.
  • Check how regularly he is publishing social media posts.
  • Understand what is the topic of his posts.
  • Examine what #hashtags he is using.
  • Look how is he linking back to the website/blog.
  • Study the different categories and collections he has created.
  • Try to get a fair idea of how people are commenting on his posts.
  • Scrutinize his Social Media Profiles.
  • Check how he is using the Social Bookmarking sites like reddit, tumblr etc.
  • Social Media offers multiple platforms for the same purpose, so try to understand how he is varying the content across multiple Social Media sites.

 

Check your Competitor’s Backlinks


Backlinks are the biggest off-page SEO factor. Check who is linking to your Competitor’s website which you have to beat eventually. Get a fair idea of number of backlinks. This will also help you to identify the websites from where your own website can get backlinks.

 

Consolidating the Website Structure


Define the hierarchy of pages. Prepare a Tree-structure even before starting designing the pages. You should have clear understanding of how the website should be structured. categories, sub-categories, product and service pages (at the end of the tree structure).

Pre-Launch SEO Checklist 2018 Website Structure

Website Structure is an important SEO factor – Define a clear hierarchy of pages in a website. Always have hierarchical based website structure. Make sure your URLs also reflect the same hierarchy.

 

Content


Come up with unique content ideas at the very early stage of conceptualization of your SEO strategy, that is why we have included Content Ideas in the Pre Launch SEO Checklist 2018. Put maximum efforts in devising and finding content ideas. Be creative, research about the topics online, find new ways and ideas of writing content for your pages. It looks harder in the beginning but once you get a hang of it, Content creation becomes easy. Here is a link to the page that explores various content ideas for product descriptions, this is useful for online shopping/ eCommerce websites.

Pre-Launch SEO Checklist 2018 Content

Content, by far is the most important SEO factors that decides your ranking. Create informative, unique, valuable content for your web pages/website. Promote this content across Social Media aggressively.

 

Choosing the right Publishing Tool/Content Management System


Choose the right Publishing tool for your website, depending upon the nature of your website or blog. WordPress (provided you get all the relevant plugins) is the best publishing tool. It can meet all the requirements of Designing, SEO, UX/UI etc. If yours is not a very big website than you can go for static HTML design. If you are planning to create a more interactive site like a FORUM then you have to use more specialized Content Management Systems like phpBB, myBB.

Pre-Launch SEO Checklist 2018 WordPress CMS

WordPress is the most preferred Publishing and Content Management System. No wonder why it is so, being open source it comes for free, robust, it is highly customizable, easy to use, communicates with search engines and is scalable. WordPress promotes SEO.

 

On Page SEO Checklist 2018


After you have completed with the Pre Launch SEO Checklist 2018 and now you are all set to create your website pages. Check if your website is complying with these parameters.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018

On-Page is the most extensive of the 3 SEO checklists.

 

SSL(HTTPS) and Preferred Domain


Make your website is secured with SSL. It is now official that Google now promotes sites with HTTP over sites with HTTPS. Modify your .htaccess file to set your “preferred domain” to “https://www.example.com”. That is to redirect all non-www and non-http links to https://www.example.com, this way you will minimize the chances of creating duplicate URLs with the same content.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 HTTPS

HTTPS has become a default standard and you stand to loose the SEO advantages if your site lacks it.

 

SEO Content


Avoid Plagiarism. Create unique, fresh and informative content by researching various content ideas. Make sure you content is unique, use online services like Copyscape, Plagiarisma, Plagium (there are plenty of them, a simple search for “Copyscape alternatives” will list a dozen of them.) to determine the uniqueness of your content. First write your content in a natural way, then blend the keywords accordingly in the content. Make sure your keywords are more “dense” at the start of the content.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 SEO Content

After you have identified and written the content mentioned in the Pre-Launch stage now is the time to make it SEO-ready. Determine the word-count of the content, present the content in various forms like long-form, question and answers, review etc.

 

Page Title


Be BOLD while writing the page titles. Use keyword-rich catchy titles. Know the limit of the Title Tag (60 characters). Use the core keyword in the beginning. Use vertical bar as separator (|) to differentiate between sentences. Use UPPERCASE to stress on the keyword.

 

Meta Keywords


Put relevant keywords with all variations in the Meta keywords. If you are using WordPress CMS be aware that WordPress CMS does NOT come with an “in-built” feature to add Meta Keywords and Meta Description in WordPress posts and pages. You have to integrate a plugin to add the Meta Tag/Description functionality. There are plenty of these tried and tested available that will address this issue.

 

Meta Description


Often people ignore this part. Make use of the Meta Description by putting a relevant keyword-rich content that summarizes the subject of the page. Research and get ideas from what your competitors (those ranking in the first 3 google listings) have done.

 

Social Media Meta Tags


Integrate Social Media Meta tags like Cards Markup of Twitter, Open Graph of Facebook, Snippets of Google+, Rich Pins of Pinterest etc, in your posts and pages.

 

Make your website Structured Data Ready


Incorporate Google’s Structured Data Markup Schema in your pages and posts design. With Structured Data Markup Schema you can make the google search engine results page give more insight and information about your page like ratings, number of reviews, product price, author, etc. This is a very important on-page SEO factor which increases the click-through rate.

 

User Interface and User Experience


Sometimes back User Interface and User Experience never was a factor in the algorithm deciding the ranking of a website in google SERPs, now it is. Google demotes websites with POOR UI and UX. So make sure your website is a decent UI and UX if not the best.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 UI UX

Make your website easy to browse, read and navigate. Too many ads, graphics, slow load time, css/javascripts can create a bad experience for the users (and Google Bot).

 

Navigation


This is an important On-Page SEO parameter and is particularly important for websites with large number of pages. Use “Breadcrumb Navigation” so that you user knows where he is on the website. Make sure your users can more from one page to another with minimal “clicks”. Prominently display the SEARCH feature so it is easier to find whatever they are searching. Prominently display the HTML sitemap, Alphabetical Index to facilitate navigation.

 

Internal Linking and SEO Siloing


Link relevant pages with keywords in the anchor text. Don’t over-do it though. Use SEO-Siloing method to improve the relevance of the pages to keywords. Make the “SEO Juice” flow to the right pages for the right keywords through “SEO Siloing”.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 Siloing

Links with relevant keyword-rich anchor text help search engines like google to associate the keyword with the page. Also place keywords and synonyms in the close vicinity of the link.

 

Heading Tags and Text Formatting


Don’t just put plain content on the pages. Make the content also express the temper. Use lot of text formatting wherever applicable. This is particularly helpful in reviews and descriptive content. Define hierarchy of the page and accordingly use the HEADING TAGS with descending order. Don’t over use them.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 Heading Tags

Use Heading Tags (H1, H2…H6) in a descending order or in Nested hierarchy.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 Text Formatting
On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 Text Formatting

Apply textual formatting to your keywords in the content. Most commonly used formatting is underline and bold.

 

In-Page Linking


If you are having a lot more content and the visitor has to scroll down a lot then, provide In-Page links to relevant topics within the page. Use keywords in the anchor tag. Use small navigation buttons (“Go To Top”) on the page.

On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 Internal Links

Long-form content should have internal linking.

 

Keyword Density


The next parameter in the On-Page SEO Checklist 2018 is the “Keyword Density”. Though there is no well established norms for Keyword Density and many online marketers even question the importance of Keyword Density, as a beginner you HAVE to consider it. Off-course there is something to it. As a thumb-rule analyze the content of your competitors and determine the keyword density and try to maintain the same on your pages too.

 

Social Media Ready


Embed Social Media buttons on your pages to share your content. Also display RELEVANT content from Social Media on your pages.

 

Structured Website


Use hierarchical structure on your website. Classify your site structure into Categories – Sub-categories – Pages/Posts etc. Try to use the same structure in the URLs too. Google likes websites that have clearly defined structure.

 

Outbound links


Link to other resources on the web. Be gracious enough to link to other relevant content on the web. Google appreciates linking to quality sites with relevant valuable content.

 

Comments


Don’t be shy, make people express their views on your pages. These opinions also help build unique informative content for your website.

 

Images


Make good use of images. Most marketers often ignore images. No doubt textual content plays the most important role, but image’s do matter. Put relevant and descriptive images with alt tags and filenames. Give a brief information about the image. Make sure your images arent slowing down your page.

 

Privacy Policy


Though not a part of SEO, it is good to have a Privacy Policy. Be transparent with your users on what data you collect and how you use that data. Having comprehensive Privacy Policy on your website improves the credibility of your site.

 

Disclaimer


Again though not a part of SEO but it is highly recommended to have a Disclaimer on your website, irrespective to the content of the pages. Disclaimer is important because despite your efforts not all the information on your website could be entirely correct. Or you may not want the website to be associated with the comments posted by your visitors.

 

SEO-friendly URLs


Use good keyword rich structured URLs. There is a misconception that the URLs have to be short, this is not true. Just make sure they are not mindlessly long. Use structured URLs that are “in-sync” with the website tree structure. Like https://www.example.com/category/pagename or https://www.example.com/category/sub-category/pagename. Try to reflect the hierarchy of your website pages in the URL structure too.

 

Page Load Test


When you have finished creating the pages, test them with Lighthouse PWA Tool. Check the load test across multiple devices and address the issues reported, if any.

 

Responsive Design


Use a responsive theme for your website so that it. If you are using WordPress then use AMP plugin to convert existing pages into AMP (Responsive) . It is noticed that Google “promotes” AMP pages.

 

Sitemaps


Use XML and HTML Sitemaps. Get the sitemap validated with the appropriate tools. Make sure that you are blocking only the pages that need not appear in the search results.

 

Robots.txt


Have a well defined robots.txt file. And get it checked with the robots.txt checker tools.

 

Off-Page SEO Checklist 2018

Off-Page SEO Checklist 2018

Off-Page SEO is the most recurring of the three activities.

 

Check Broken Links


Broken links are bad for SEO. Before you invite Google to crawl your website. Use link checker tools to check if there are any broken links.

 

Social Media


To improve your off-page SEO, make extensive use of Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIN to promote your website’s content.

 

Check Plagiarism


The reason to include “PLAGIARISM” check in the Off-page SEO Checklist 2018is because, it is always advisable to examine the UNIQUENESS of the content that you are going to publish. There are several good online services that will check the content for plagiarism. If found to be duplicate, re-write re-phrase the content so that it passes the test.

 

Image Submission/Photo sharing sites


There are several IMAGE-only social bookmarking and image sharing website. Build your presence on these sites, make use off all the features available and implant your keywords in the posts. Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, TinyPIC, Imgur are some of the examples of Image Sharing sites that would boost your off-page SEO

 

Video Submission


Videos are good for SEO. Video listings are common in SERPs and hence we have given Video Submission a place in our off-page SEO checklist. When you say Video the only name that comes to mind is YouTube. Create videos and upload them on YouTube. Build a good profile on YouTube, create keyword-rich content for About US and video descriptions.

 

Press Releases


Use them to broadcast company updates along with Social Media. Press-Releases. Most Press-Release services now charge for broadcasting press-releases, but it is worth giving a try. Many new Press-release services are launched every month, the new ones do have free press release services. You have to research but you will definitely find ones publishing free releases for a limited time.

 

Forums


Discuss about your products and services on Forum websites. Post good informative and valuable content on Forums concerning your domain of expertise. Forum posts have signature where you can mention the website name, it serves as a back-link to your website.

 

Reviews


Have people/clients/customers write a review about website on other review sites. Ask them to mention the URL of your website.

 

Question and Answer Sites


Link building with Questions and Answers website. Like Forum website create a profile on crowd-sourced Q/A sites like Quora.com post answers to questions asked by others. In the profile mention your website name and link.

 

Crowd-Sourced Dictionaries


Link building with crowd-sourced dictionaries. You can write definitions of keywords used in your domain. You can include the name or link of your website in the profile

 

Audiobooks


Get back-links from profile pages on audio distribution sites. Convert your valuable textual content into audiobooks and upload it to audio distribution services like SoundCloud. Here too you can create your profile with relevant content and website details.

 

Check who is linking to you


Keep a close watch on which sites are linking to you. Links for sites with low quality and content have adverse effect on the SEO. Periodically check the backlinks to your website and disavow links coming from bad domains.

 

Article Submission a.k.a Content Marketing


Write high-quality, informative content relevant to your pages and submit it to various article sites.

 

Google Analytics


Set up Google Analytics Account to measure the performance of your website.

 

Google Webmaster


Setup a Google Webmaster account to get keyword “insights”, html improvements, structured data, amp testing tools, data markup, test amp pages, who links to you, disavow links, sitemap submission, set geographic targeting, know indexing status, internal links, spam and malware actions, know crawling errors, robots.txt tester etc.

 

Google Business


Create a Google Business Account with all the relevant information. Google business listings appear in niche local search. Google Business is a great way to generate leads and is the prime platform for local SEO.

 

At WDsoft we have a an expert team of content writers, SEO specialists and business analysts who work together to create the most optimum SEO strategy for your website. Get in touch for a free website audit.

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