When we first got started with SEO, we had no idea what we were doing. Like most people, we began to search for things like how to get organic traffic and higher Google rankings and how to SEO our site.
We read and received much good advice, but our traffic didn’t budge.
After years, we realized and followed a repeatable, step-by-step SEO process.
In this post, we’re going to show you our complete SEO checklist for 2020.
1️⃣ Set Up Necessary SEO Tools and Plugins
Your first thing is to make sure that you have 3 important SEO tools set up and ready to go.
The first tool that every site needs to have is the Google Search Console.
This tool makes it super easy to track your site’s performance in Google. Plus, it can help you find technical SEO problems that are holding you back.
But most important of all, the Google Search Console shows you the exact keywords that you rank for, and where you rank for them.
This data comes straight from Google so you know it’s legit.
The next tool you have to set up is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is the best way to see how people find and use your website. It may come from your advertising campaign or organic traffic.
However, that’s just scratching the surface. With Google Analytics, you can do all sorts of cool stuff like finding pages on your site that bring you traffic, identifying the exact websites that send you traffic, your site’s bounce rate, paid views, time on site and lots more.
If your site runs on WordPress, you need to install Yoast SEO Plugin.
Yoast is by far the most popular SEO plugin on the planet. You find it easy to make your WordPress site SEO friendly right outta the box.
2️⃣ Find Keywords That Customers Search For
It’s no secret that keyword research is greatly important.
The question is “How do you find keywords that your customers search for?”
There are 3 simple techniques.
Finding Longtail Keywords with Google Suggest
To use this technique, type the keyword into Google, but don’t press enter or the search button.
Instead, take a look at the keywords that Google shows you.
Google only suggests keywords that people are actually searching for. Therefore, when you see a Google Search Suggestion, you know that lots of people are searching for that term.
Using Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is Google’s official keyword research tool.
This tool is technically designed for Google ads, but it’s still useful for SEO keyword research.
To use it, you simply enter a seed keyword and check out the suggestions that the tool spits out.
Spy On Online Communities
All you need to do is head over to the community and find questions that crop up again and again.
For example, we noticed that a big chunk of threads on the Paleo subreddit is all about Paleo and Keto desserts.
If you run a site in Paleo niche, terms like best Paleo and Keto desserts would be great keywords to target.
Obviously, these keywords could help you bring a lot of organic traffic because of the high search volume.
3️⃣ Keyword-Optimize Your Content
You’ve installed all of the important SEO tools and you’ve found a handful of keywords. Now it’s time to actually optimize your site.
Use Your Keyword In The First 100 Words of Your Page
You probably already know that you want to use your keyword a handful of times on your page.
However, Google puts more weight on terms that show up at the top of your page at least once in the beginning of your content (ideally in the first 50-100 words)
Use Keywords In The Beginning Of Your Title Tag
Similar to your page’s content, Google puts a little bit of extra weight on terms that show up early in your title tag.
The title tag is the most important place to include your keywords.
Use Short URLs That Include Your Target Keyword
A recent SEO industry study found a correlation between short URLs and higher Google rankings. Hence, you had better keep your URLs short and sweet.
Short URL is one of the main reason which leads a page ranks higher position in Google and gain more organic traffic.
Use Your Keyword In A H1, H2 or H3 tag
In fact, H-tags aren’t really important, but every little bit helps, especially if you’re trying to target competitive keywords.
These tags emphasize to Google that your page is focused on the keyword and topic.
4️⃣Find and Fix Technical SEO Issues and Errors
The truth is that technical SEO problems can tank your rankings and organic traffic. Therefore, if your site has technical SEO errors, you’ll have to find and fix them immediately.
Make sure your site mobile-friendly
As you knew that Google runs on a mobile-first index, which means if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it won’t rank.
Fortunately, you can easily see your site’s mobile-friendliness with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
Just pop in a page from your site and Google will tell you whether or not your page is mobile-friendly.
ID Crawl Errors
A crawl error just means that Google is having trouble indexing all the content on your site.
So if they can’t index your page, it doesn’t rank.
To fix this issue, you can easily find crawl errors in the Google Search Console using the Coverage Report
Improve Site’s Page Speed
Your site’s loading speed is a confirmed ranking factor. The faster your site loads, the better ranking you have.
Both tools give you a benchmark for how quickly your site loads. They also hook you up with recommendations to help you speed things up.
5️⃣ Create Content Designed to Rank in Google
If you want to rank in Google, you need to publish great content.
Greate content is content that actually ranks in Google and we’ll show you exactly how to create the type of content that ranks on the first page of Google.
Create Awesome Content with Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper technique is a three-step formula for creating amazing content.
- First, you had better find a piece of content in your industry that’s popular.
- Next, you create something even better
- Finally, promote that content.
Break Your Content Down Into Chunks
No one likes reading giant walls of text. That’s why you need to break things down into chunks, because it makes content super easy to read and skim.
When users find your content easy to read, your bounce rate, a key Google ranking factor, will have good performance.
Cover Everything There is to Know About Your Topic
Content that covers an entire topic in-depth ranks above content that only cover part of a topic.
Plus, making your content in-depth, you also want to use lots of multimedia on your page like images, polls, visual content, videos, charts, and infographics.
Double Down On Content Formats That Are Working Best Right Now
We recently worked with BuzzSumo to analyze almost one billion blog posts.
There was some good news and bad news.
The bad news is that most content is completely ignored. In fact, we realized that 94% of all published content gets zero external links.
However, the good news is that there are certain content formats that attract more backlinks than others.
We found that why-posts, what-posts and infographics get significantly more backlinks than other content formats.
6️⃣ Build Links To Your Website
Are backlinks still important for SEO? YES
In fact, a recent study by Stone Temple Consulting found that backlinks are still one of Google’s most important ranking factors.
If you’re serious about ranking in Google, you need backlinks.
You can refer How to Get Powerful Backlinks in 2020 | Link Building Strategy to have a full link building strategy.
We hope you would have something in your mind on how to get more organic traffic in 2020.
Which strategy are you going to try first? Let us know by leaving a comment below or if you have great SEO tips, you can share with us.