Do you find this topic familiar? It's not without reason.
Each year there are new SEO trends that website owners should be aware. Sometimes, it may be an innovative approach to a traditional SEO tactic. Other times, it could be something that will give your website an edge over your competitors.
While there are many new SEO trends and innovations, the old-fashioned SEO methods can still be very effective in improving your website rank. Isn't this what every website owner desires?
To assist you, I have compiled the Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2022. This is a tool that website owners can use to optimize their traffic.
Let's start by looking at some of the emerging SEO trends.
What's happening in SEO 2022?
Voice search, voice SEO, mobile SEO and long-form content are all still strong. They were present in 2021, they have been a consistent for a long while, and they will likely remain a key part of your online marketing efforts for many years to come.
Now that I have covered the basics of SEO, what is new? Hubspot recommends tightened page headers to provide additional context. They also suggest Google's People Also Ask snippet feature and emotive headlines. Most of us have clicked on headlines because they resonated with us. We can all relate to those headlines. You'll understand what I mean.
"You Will Not Believe What This CEO Did To Save His Business" or "How One Simple Change Can Transform your Life"
There are many more exciting trends we will be seeing more of. You've probably heard of AI and its application in content creation. You will soon if you haven’t. The following are other continuing trends in 2022:
- The Core Web Vitals are a visual representation of how your web pages perform.
- Software to optimize your content for the search engines.
- Structured data, like schema markup/rich snippets.
- GPT-3 is a language generator.
- Keyword clustering is the process of grouping keywords that are similar together.
Your 2022 Search Engine Optimization Checklist
As I mentioned in the introduction, no matter what new trends or advances are made, the main staples of SEO will remain the same for 2022. Even though you are familiar with the basics of SEO, it can be difficult to create a strategy. However, it doesn't have be.
An SEO checklist has been created to help you optimize your website. Follow the steps and you will see how your rankings grow.
Let's start with the basics.
1. Install Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools
Google Search Console is a great tool to help you monitor and improve your website's traffic and performance. It also helps to fix any errors.
Additional benefits include:
- Monitor which keywords drive traffic
- Analytics search for clicks and impressions
- Google indexes pages.
- Knowing your website's visibility
Sound good? You might want to create an account by:
- Register for a Google Account
- Add your domain name/URL prefix to Google Search Console page
- Verify your account
- Once your verification is complete, click the "overview" option to view reports.
Google is still the most popular search engine, but that doesn't mean you should not sign up for Bing and other competitors.
Bing Webmaster tools can identify and correct any errors that prevent your website from showing up higher in search results. It's also a great resource to optimize your website for Bing. You can identify duplicate content and check loading speeds.
These steps will help you get started with Bing Webmaster Tools
- Sign in or open an account. Sign up for a new Microsoft Account using your Microsoft, Google or Facebook account details.
- You can add your site/s to the website by either importing from Google Search Console, or manually adding them.
- Verify your account using a DNS auto verification or XML. You can also add a CNAME to DNS.
- After verifying your account by Bing, a green checkmark and a message indicating that Bing has added your website to Webmaster Tools will appear. If you see a red cross, it means that there is an error and you need to fix it before you try again.
- You can also upload a sitemap and create a search optimization strategy, but these steps should be optional.
This comprehensive resource list will help you to create an SEO strategy.
2. Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an excellent tool to track website traffic. To track the progress of your website, it is important to set up Google Analytics prior to publishing content.
It is extremely popular and used by major companies like Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb.
These are the steps you need to get started using Google Analytics
- Register for a Google Analytics account. Simply click on "Get started today" or sign in to an existing account.
- Install Google Analytics. It can be used on your website, mobile app, or both. This can be done by clicking on 'admin" in the account column, and then selecting 'create an account'.
- Create an account and set up data sharing options.
- To add domains to Analytics, click 'next.
- Google offers a variety of optional activities that include adding users to Analytics or linking your Google Ads account.
3. If you're using WordPress, install an SEO plugin
WordPress users can optimize their websites by adding a plugin to their SEO checklist.
Many great SEO plugins are available for WordPress such as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. These plugins allow you to optimize your website for search engines and provide checklists that will help you ensure your site is visible.
You can also use these SEO plugins:
- The SEO Framework. There are both free and paid options.
- SEO Press. Choose from either premium or freemium packages.
- Rank Math has a wide range of features.
- Nitropack. Both paid and free plans are available.
No matter which keyword plugin you use, make sure it is:
- It is easy to use. It should be simple to install and configure, and intuitive to use.
- You can track all keywords, not just some.
- For security and efficiency, it is important to update frequently. You should aim for a plugin that updates at least once a week.
4. Create and submit your sitemap
Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to index your pages, and can be used to identify changes that have been made since the last crawl of your site. Sitemaps can also improve visibility and navigation, as well as improve poor linking.
You can create a sitemap in many ways, but the most popular is an XML file. After you have created your sitemap, submit it via Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools. They will crawl it and add it to their databases.
Sitemaps are not necessary for every site. Google says sitemaps are most effective if they:
- You've got a large site
- Your site has a large archive of pages that are not linked or isolated.
- A new website has been created with very few external links
- Your website contains rich media such as video and photos.
Once you have done all that, it is time to create a Robots.txt File.
5. Make a robots.txt file
Do not forget to include a robots.txt when you create or edit a website. This file informs search engine robots which parts of your website are allowed to be crawled and indexed.
Include robots.txt in your SEO checklist for the following benefits:
- You can help improve the speed of your website's loading by stopping unimportant pages from being loaded.
- Search engines can't index duplicate content on your website.
- Search engines are prohibited from indexing low-quality or spammy pages
- Your SEO efforts should be focused on the most important pages on your website
These are some things to keep in mind when creating robots.txt files:
- What pages do you want search engines crawling and indexing on your website?
- What pages are you trying to stop crawlers from accessing?
- What parameters should you set to crawl certain pages or sections of your site?
- How often should robots.txt files be updated?
Your Robots.txt. will be ready when it's done. It might look something similar to Nike's.
6. You must ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website
It is essential that search engines can index and crawl your website if you have one. You want potential customers to find your website online. These are some things you should add to your SEO checklist in order to make sure search engines find you online.
- Make sure your website is accessible to search engines. To index your site, search engines will need to have access to every page on your website. This can be checked using the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console.
- Keyword-rich titles, descriptions and headings are important for your pages. This will improve the ranking of your site in search results.
- Search engines will rank your page based on the links you have provided.
Google recently changed its scoring system. Now Googlebot can crawl and index only the first 15MB web content. It is imperative that you put your most important content first.
Google has made changes to its Product Structured Data Guidelines as part of the update. Read more about them.
7. Be Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
Are you mobile-friendly?
Research shows that nine out of ten people have at least one app for mobile shopping. Apps are being used for the following reasons: The superior user experience.
Negative user experiences can make it difficult for visitors to return. It's worth it to include this in your SEO checklist.
How can you do it? It's much easier than you might think. You can:
- Responsive design allows your website to adapt to different screen sizes.
- By compressing and resizing images, you can optimize them for mobile. Imagify offers a monthly free plan that allows you to upload up to 200 images.
- Check your site on different browsers/devices. Here's a list of tools that can be used to do this.
- Google Search Console allows you to check the performance of your website and receive tips on how to improve it.
Here's a Zappos example:
You will be impressed by the clear images and intuitive search function.
8. Look out for large image files
It is a straightforward equation: The larger the image files, the slower they will load.
ImageOptim and Google PageSpeed Insights can be used to check for large image files. The PageSpeed tool provides tips and tricks to speed up loading times.
ImageOptim compresses images with no loss of quality. It can be used with Mac, Linux and Windows.
These tools analyze your images and tell you how big they are. They also show you how to optimize them for greater performance.
9. You should look for 404 errors
Broken links or 404 errors can negatively impact your website's search engine optimization.
They not only create poor user experiences, but can also negatively impact your website's rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). It is important to regularly inspect and repair broken links in order to avoid this.
Use tools like Screaming Frog and Google Search Console to check for broken pages or links. These tools can help you spot broken links and locate pages that Google has not yet indexed.
There are a few things you can do if you find a broken link.
1) Modify the link to point to the correct page
2) Create a redirect URL to the broken link so it is redirected elsewhere on your site.
3) Remove the link completely from your site.
10. Search for duplicate content and keyword cannibalization
Search engines could penalize you if you use the same keyword phrase more than once.
Search engines might not be able to determine which page is ranking higher if there are multiple pages that target the exact same keyword phrase. What does this mean? This is known as keyword cannibalization and could lead to lower search engine rankings for all pages. This is not what you want after you have worked so hard to build your website.
This can be avoided by using an SEO checklist that lists your keywords. It will help you to make sure that your pages aren't optimized for the same keyword phrases.
- Varietate your keyword usage across your website. You don't have to use them only in your headings and titles; you should also include them throughout your text.
- Each page should have its own title tag and meta description.
- You should not use the same keywords on multiple websites that have similar content.
- Google Search Console can be used to find duplicate content or cannibalization issues.
11 – Research Your Competitors' Keyword Profils
Ranking first for a keyword or set keywords does not automatically mean traffic and conversions will follow.
You can optimize your website for your target audience by researching the keyword profiles of your competitors and understanding what terms and phrases they are targeting.
This research will give you a clear idea of your competition and the key terms and phrases that matter to you. Using this information you can target the same keywords and phrases on your website to increase your visibility and rank over time.
What is the result? These can be amazing, helping you rank higher, save more money, and maximize your ROI.
But how can you find these keywords?
Ubersuggest is a great tool to find competitor keywords. It's simple to use. Simply enter the URL and select your country. Then click "search" to find out:
- Common keywords
- Keyword gaps
- Traffic changes over time.
12 – See Which Search Intent Your Primary Audience Uses in Google
SEOs should consider search intent as one of their top considerations. But what does it mean to search intent? And why should it be included on your SEO checklist.
First, search intent is an important ranking factor. Many top SEOs base their content strategies on this concept.
Understanding the needs of the searcher will enable you to create content that addresses their needs and gives them the information they need.
Ask the customer to help you find their search intent.
- What are your prospects typing into Google, or any other search engine? This is where Google's "People Also Ask" feature can be a great start.
- What are the questions that searchers are trying to answer? This is where 'People Also ask' comes in handy.
- Keyword research can be used to identify popular phrases and keywords that are related to your topic.
- Take a look at SERPs to see which results are displayed (Keywords appear bold).
13: Select Focus and Secondary Keywords for Optimizing
It is best to use your primary keywords alongside focus and second words. Keywords that are related to your primary keywords are called secondary keywords. They can be used in content to help increase your website's rankings and reach a wider audience.
Focusing on the most impactful keywords is a good way to choose your focus and secondary keywords. These are some tips to help with that.
- Use keywords that are relevant to your audience and business.
- Target keywords that are relevant to your target customers. However, ensure they are also popular enough to be found in search engines.
- To get the best out of your SEO efforts, mix short-tail and longer-tail keywords.
- Find out what your competitors are doing and then look for gaps that you can fill.
- After you have chosen your target keywords, ensure they appear on your website in title tags, meta descriptions and header tags.
14 – Learn How to Rank for Your Chosen Keywords
This should be on every SEO checklist. Your keywords won't do any good if they don't rank for them. How do you rank for these keywords? These are some tips to help you get started.
- Understanding data points such as search volume (CPC), cost per click (SEO), and difficulty is key.
- Make a list of content ideas.
- Next, do keyword research. Ubersuggest, or any other keyword tool available, can be used.
- To find the most relevant keywords, analyze the data. Ubersuggest is your best friend.
- Optimize for meta descriptions and featured snippets
- Anchor text should contain keywords. Use your most important keywords strategically.
This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the various steps.
15 – Create useful, actionable content
Okay. You should already be creating content. It can't be just any content. It must be useful, engaging, and actionable. Why?
Engaging content is essential. You don't want your readers to abandon the page before they have reached the CTA or signed up for your lead magnet. You're wasting time if your content is boring and lacks inspiration. Looking for some inspiration? This infographic will show you how to create great content.
Your content must be informative. Your readers should feel like they have learned something.
Write actionable content. Your readers should be able to apply your ideas and see results after reading your article.
These are some ways to make your content more actionable.
- Include step-by-step and how-to instructions
- Ask questions and address people's pain points
- CTAs can be added to help readers understand what to do next
- Incorporate statistics, storytelling, images, and other information
- Make it personal. Tell your story to inspire others
One last tip: When creating content, keep Google's guidelines at heart.
16 – Make sure you have a descriptive URL
Descriptive URLs help with SEO and make it easier to find your site for customers. Search engines will be able to easily understand the content of your URLs by using descriptive URLs. It also allows search engines to deliver the most relevant content to the right people.
A more descriptive URL can increase click-through rates as users will be more inclined to click on a link that accurately represents the page content.
You can use tools such as Ubersuggest or Google AdWords Keyword Planner to help you craft more descriptive URLs. Then:
- Use clear and concise language to accurately reflect the content of the page.
- Avoid using unnecessary symbols or words like % or &.
- Each URL should be unique and not repeat another page.
- Make URLs as brief as possible, but don't compromise readability.
17: Add title tags, meta descriptions, and image tags
An SEO checklist should include adding meta descriptions and title tags to your pages. These tags can provide search engines with information about your pages and help them rank higher.
Title tags are an important factor search engines consider when ranking a website's page.
Meta descriptions are another option. These are familiar to all. These are the brief blurbs under your title on search engine result pages (SERPs). They're your chance to convince people to click through your site.
These are their looks:
Finally, image tags can be added to your images to increase your SEO. Search engines can use image tags to tell them what your picture is about. This helps you rank higher in search results.
18 – Use Schema to Target Rich Snippets
Schema markup is a way to increase your website's ranking. Schema markup code is code you add to your website that tells search engines what the content means. This allows Google to better understand what your content is and rank it accordingly.
Rich snippets can be used to provide additional information in your search results. You can find snippets in many formats, including movies, recipes, maps, and more.
img alt="A Google Rich Snippet showing Toronto's gas stations" class="wp-image-165359" height="369" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/SEO-Checklist-5.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/SEO-Checklist-5.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/SEO-Checklist-5-350×185.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
Rich snippets are a great way to stand out among the rest and to attract more people to your site through higher click-through rates (CTRs). This signal to search engines that your site has quality content, which can help you rank higher on SERPs.
19: Make a plan to report on ranking success
Your SEO checklist is complete. But are you missing something? Maybe you should track your ranking success.
You're doing great if you made it this far. But, unless you track your progress (rankings), there's no way to know for certain.
You should include the following information in a report you create:
- Your technical SEO efforts, and your overall technical health
You can add additional information, as shown below.
Backlinko offers a free checklist/report template that can be used to track your efforts.
20 – Start Planning a Link Building Strategy for Final Content
Your SEO strategy checklist is almost complete. There's one more thing.
You now want to create a link-building strategy to promote your content and further increase your SERPs.
How do you start? And why is link building so important? Let me talk you through this.
Link building is a great way to increase your SEO's visibility and convert more organic searches. One brand discovered that organic search sessions increased by 82.3 percent and revenues rose by 808.87%. Impressive, huh? It took six months of off-site optimization.
Here are some tips to get you started with link building today.
- As guest posts, create high-quality content.
- Create a resource directory for your website
- Your content should be well-written and useful.
- Reach out to the websites that may be interested in linking to your content by conducting research.
- In your articles, link to authoritative sites. Reach out to website owners/authors to let them know.
What are the three main areas of SEO?
On-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page are the three areas that you should be focusing on. This covers on-page optimization, keyword research and title tag, meta description headings, images and other elements of the page.
What are the most important ranking factors in SEO?
It depends on who you ask. However, many people agree that the most important ranking factors for websites are quality, links, content, and authority. You should also focus on speed/mobile-friendliness, search intent, and usability.
Google updates its guidelines frequently, so make sure you are up to date.
There is so much to cover.
Although it may seem daunting at first, these SEO tips will help you rank higher in search engine results pages. They also improve your online visibility. This SEO checklist covers the most important aspects of search optimization. However, it is essential to keep up to date with the latest SEO trends so your website remains high in search engine results pages.
Even though trends change, you can still benefit from the SEO basics like keyword research on competitors, optimizing for mobile and using paid tools such as Ubersuggest to analyze keywords.
This article should be used as a guide. SEO is not a one-off project. It's possible that your site will reap the benefits over time if you keep working at it.
What SEO strategies work best for you?
By: Neil Patel
Title: The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2022
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/seo-checklist/
Published Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2022 19:00:00 +0000