Home » SEO » Creating Your Basic SEO Checklist Part 1

Creating Your Basic SEO Checklist Part 1

SEO Checklist items: Keyword research, relevant linking, meta tagsCreating an SEO (search engine optimization) checklist is usually the last thing on people’s minds. But if you want to increase blog traffic, it’s the key to keeping your efforts on track

Creating my own little SEO checklist for my sites has become important since I decided to go full steam into blogging and social media. I realized I had to really come around on the “how tos”of getting more internet traffic if I wanted to do things right. After years of hating it then ignoring it, my love-hate relationship with SEO has come full circle.

Thanks to what I call the SEO (r)evolution, search engine optimization now seems more holistic, easier to grasp and not so biased towards the manipulators and tricksters. Getting more blog traffic is doable.

To start off on the right foot, having a basic SEO checklist is a must. Here are a few points to keep mind:

Do your keyword research

If you want your site to be visible, finding the right keywords should be at the top of your SEO checklist. Using the keyword tools like the one from Google is a great way to start. Here’s what you can do to start:

  • Start with a broad search of your chosen keyword/phrase
  • Using the advanced option to filter for low competition keywords with 1000 or more monthly searches.
  • Sort through the ideas and find a small list of about 5-10 related phrases with good traffic
  • Once you have that list, enter them in the keyword box and change your search from broad to Exact leaving the filters in place. This gives you an idea of how many people search for those exact phrases
  • From that list choose 5 words/phrases that you can use to create your content, click on each them to check which sites are ranking on Google with that exact phrase.

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You can choose one of those keywords as your main and keep the others for use in other content. Again, you can use the free Google Adwords or you can invest in Keyword Winner which is an external keyword tool that can help you get the most from your keyword research.

Pay attention to your meta tags

To make sure that your content is seen as relevant by search engines, here are the three tags you need to pay particular attention to:

  • Title Tag – The main keyword must be in your page title which needs to be less than 70 characters
  • Keyword Tag – While not that important these days as before, it shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Description Tag – Short, concise description of your page containing your keywords that’s between 125 and 156 characters.

To keep track of these tags, I use the Yoast SEO plugin not only because it’s free but because the SEO checklist is so easy to follow.

Keep an eye on those links

Having internal and external links helps to tie your site together and create an informal sitemap for users and search engines but the key here is to have relevant links. There are a lot of places where you can buy links guaranteed to help you boost your page rank and get you more traffic…DON’T DO IT! Linking to irrelevant sites just to get on page 1 of search results will get you suspended or worse on Google and it’s not worth it.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the SEO checklist process as we talk about keyword density and social media’s key role!


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15 Responses to Creating Your Basic SEO Checklist Part 1

  1. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely
    well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark
    it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.
    I will definitely comeback.
    Nutra Burn Review recently posted…Nutra Burn ReviewMy Profile

  2. I like your method with low competition keywords as it can take years to rank for the most popular ones.

  3. It is a great blog to provide the basic SEO information. meta tag and keywords is an important part of SEO

  4. I also love the Yoast SEO Plugin and use it on all of my blogs now after switching from the All in One SEO Pack in later half of 2012. Not only is the plugin fantastic at optimizing, but if you take the time to see the diagnosis of your draft it can help you become a better SEO writer and optimize your articles further.

    I don’t use the keywords tool as often as I should however, and this is on area I myself can work on more in 2013.

    • Hi Justin,
      Yoast-ers of the blogosphere unite! It really is so powerful and the fact that it’s free…you hardly ever get such a comprehensive tool without ‘the catch.’ As far as keywords tool, it’s helpful. There are some other tools which I will be investigating as part of my New Years Resolution but now that I’m learning a lot more about Keyword researching, it’s totally fascinating.
      Please stop by again and here’s to a great 2013!
      D. Dixon recently posted…8 Strategic Ways To Find The Right Guest Blogging OpportunityMy Profile

  5. To make sure that your content is seen as relevant by search engines, and also get attention to and provide good title and meta keyword

  6. it is great social media blog it provide to much help to create me to done a great seo and it will to much help thanks you

  7. I like your method with low competition keywords as it can take years to rank for the most popular ones. I also agree with Robert, I can tell where my visits (via keywords) come from on my back-end and sometimes beef up those efforts for them too.
    Lisa recently posted…Follow Friday Is Back and Newly RedesignedMy Profile

    • Hi Lisa,
      You and Robert are so right. We have a tendency to place all of our eggs in the Google basket without realizing that they are dealing with the masses. The traffic you have in your own site is tailored to you and I think that’s so valuable. A lot of my traffic comes from social media and bookmarking sites but the search engine keywords I’ve found have been surprising. Thanks and hope you have a GREAT New Year!
      D. Dixon recently posted…3 Fun Sites That Help You Increase Blog TrafficMy Profile

  8. Thanks for the checklist. One of the low-tech ways we keep track of keywords is to ask clients how they found us, what search engine they used and what they typed in. It takes all of ten seconds and is very effective.
    Robert Koenig recently posted…Musical Roads to Prevent Accidents?My Profile

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