The Best Website SEO Checklist for 2020

The Best Website SEO Checklist for 2020

There’s nothing sadder than an amazing website that languishes away in the dusty, forgotten corners of the internet. And it happens all too often. Because unfortunately, while great content is crucial for keeping visitors, it isn’t the most important thing you need to do to attract visitors.

If you want to attract visitors, what you need to do is sharpen your SEO.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the strategy you use to make your website attractive to search engines so that it ranks higher in search results. The higher your website ranks, the more people will visit your website.

Website SEO checklist

1. Use great website builder software

The first step in attracting visitors is to choose  website builder software that helps you create a clean, simple website design.

What to look for in website builder software

The best website builder software will have these features:

  • Mobile-optimized website templates
  • Responsive templates that look great on any screen
  • Free web hosting
  • Gorgeous, professional designs
  • Affordability

The right website builder software can boost your web traffic by helping you create a responsive website that looks amazing on any-sized screen! That way, you’ll make a great first impression on all your new visitors, no matter which device they’re using to visit your website.

2. Add website titles

Search engines index your site title, so use this as an opportunity to add keywords. For example, if your website is all about selling socks with elephants on them, go ahead and add “elephant socks” to your website title.

3. Add a website meta description

When visitors see your website in their search results, they’re more likely to click on it if they have an idea about what kind of content they’ll find on your website. An appealing description with up to 120 – 155 characters (including keywords!) should do the trick.

4. Add your location

If you add your website’s location, you stand a better chance of having a high search engine rank in your local area. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, display it on your website and show your visitors where they can find you on a map. If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location, but your target demographics lives in a specific area, add this location to your description.

5. Generate backlinks

Backlinks are external links that direct visitors towards your website. For example, if you have a fitness blog, and a beauty blogger links to your website’s post on Ten Ways to Power Through When You Feel the Burn, that’s a backlink.

Websites that have lots of high-quality backlinks will rank higher in search engines than those that don’t.

6. Use a custom domain

A custom domain with your own domain extension like “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, etc. looks a lot more professional than the extension you get when you sign up for free blogging platforms. It’s also better for your SEO. We offer a free domain when you sign up for our website builder, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of this easy SEO strategy.

7. Connect to social media

Create social media accounts for your brand and link to these from your website. Then create incentives for your readers to share your posts on social media.

8. Target primary keywords

Remember that search engines rank your website according to relevance. So, when you’re creating web content, try to use the words that people use when they’re looking for the kind of content you make. Include these keywords in as many places as possible: your titles, headings, subheadings, and throughout your website.

9. Find long-tail keyword variations

Long-tail keywords are more specific, targeted queries that give you a better chance of attracting loyal visitors. For example, “furniture” isn’t a long-tail keyword, but “heart-shaped leather sofa” is.

Because these keywords are more specific, they don’t do much to increase the volume of your web traffic, but they do help you attract visitors who are more likely to be into what your brand is offering. This is good news, because these visitors are also more likely to gush to their friends about your amazing website.

10. Find out what questions people are asking

When you search for anything in Google, the search engine will often fill in your query to make things go a bit faster. Sometimes, you’ll even see suggestions for other queries you could try.

This is a goldmine for website owners, because it tells you what people are searching for. So, go ahead and incorporate some of those queries into your content. It’s a ridiculously easy way to attract more visitors.

11. Use synonyms

Don’t get locked into using the same keywords over and over again. Dust off your thesaurus and find synonyms that people are likely to use when they’re looking for the kind of content you produce on your website. This gives you multiple ways of attracting visitors.

12. Customize your URLs

The principle behind this is that you want to give the search engine as much information as possible about the kind of content visitors will see on your website. Sometimes, URLs will include slugs that are a string of numbers instead of words. Stay on top of your URLs and change any that aren’t descriptive of the webpage.

13. Add social sharing images

If you want people to share your website content on their social media, you have to give them something that will enhance their own social media page. Be strategic about the images you use so that people will want to share them.

14. Create a custom 404 page

Make sure that your 404 page includes a search bar and at least one link to another area on your website. This will help make sure that visitors don’t end up leaving your website just because they’ve encountered a broken link.

15. Enable SSL

SSL certificates protect your visitors, and search engines will penalize you if you don’t have one. An SSL certificate is an easy way to bolster your search engine ranking.

16. Name your images strategically

Make sure your image captions and tags are descriptive (not just a string of numbers) and use keywords every chance you get.

17. Optimize your images for faster loading

Images are an important part of your website, but if you have too many or if your image files are too big, your website will crawl along at a snail’s pace. Use only enough images to enhance your content, and make sure that you use small image files that won’t slow down your load time.

18. Link to relevant external resources

Search engines look more favorably on websites that link to other sources. Look for opportunities to link to other sites that your visitors might find useful. (Just be careful not to link to your competitors!)

19. Keep paragraphs short

Most people have short attention spans. Keep your paragraphs concise.

20. Fix broken links

A website that’s a tangled mess of broken links won’t rank very high in search results. Stay on top of your site maintenance and be sure to fix broken links.

And that’s it! Now you have twenty tips for attracting more visitors.

You don’t have to follow all the tips at once. Start with the easiest ones and work your way through until your website is a traffic magnet!