When it comes to adding new content to our websites, many often wonder what it is they need to do to optimise the post correctly. That’s why I’ve created this SEO Optimisation Checklist.
These 12 steps should give you the foundations for setting up a blog post correctly. From there, you can refine and improve the posts as needed over time.
SEO Optimisation Tips
- Headers – H1, H2, H3 etc. should include target search terms and be used in hierarchical order. The blog title is often the H1, so H2s and H3s should follow this in a sensible manner and include variations on the target keyword where it makes sense.
- Image optimisation – Keep the images on the page a sensible size and weight. Images should be relevant to the content on the page and have a descriptive file name and relevant alt text. Both search engines and screen readers use alt text, so it is crucial that it is illustrative of the content in the image.
- Site speed – Optimise pages with Core Web Vitals in mind (LCP, CLS etc.), try to ensure that nothing moves on the page as it loads (such as ads) and keep JS and CSS files lightweight. Any videos should also be used efficiently to avoid adding unnecessary weight to the page.
- Internal linking – Add links to pages from the home or the preceding page in the hierarchy where it makes sense. Avoid orphaned pages, include necessary links in the footer, and use breadcrumbs to show the hierarchy. Link to relevant articles and landing pages to add context to your writing.
- Anchor text – Ensure all anchor text used in internal and external links and calls to action are descriptive. Do not use instances of “click here”. The anchor text in links can be variations of the target keyword and should be helpful to the target audience.
- Page titles and meta descriptions – Include relevant keywords in titles and descriptions and ensure they are unique for every page. Try to include a CTA in meta descriptions and make them compelling. Try to make the best use of the available space in SERPs.
- URL structure – Aim to keep all URLs short and human-readable and include the target keyword in the URL. Non-sensical URLs are much less likely to perform well in search results.
- Content – Include contextually relevant copy on the page that targets the necessary keywords. Use the main keyword in the opening paragraph. Add as much value for the reader as possible.
- External links – Linking to other websites is a great way to provide value to users. Links help users to find out more and better understand the content. Search engines also use these links to understand the context, and it adds validity to the content. Add external links where relevant, and open links in a new tab to help keep people on your website for longer.
- Schema markup – Use structured data to provide additional information to search engines. Consider FAQ schema, product schema, breadcrumb schema, how-to schema etc.
- Indexability – Pages should be indexable by default with meta robots, not blocked by robots.txt, be included in the XML sitemap and have a self-referencing canonical. These settings can be changed at a later date as needed.
- Google Search Console – Ensure the XML sitemap is submitted to GSC and request indexing of URLs as required. You can also monitor the organic performance of content within Google Search Console.
I hope you found this SEO Optimisation checklist useful; let me know what you think.