Checklist for Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important aspect of website design that is sometimes ignored. If people can’t discover it on Google, even the most beautiful and amazing location in the world won’t help them much.

Implementing SEO best practises not only increases your chances of ranking highly in search engines, but it also improves your website’s quality, design, accessibility, and performance, among other things. For those who aren’t familiar with the world (and even those who are), it can be intimidating, so this checklist lays down essential aspects to consider while conducting an audit.

I humbly recommend the Guide To The World of Search Engine Optimization for an overview of the SEO community, including publications, thought leaders, podcasts, documentation, forums, and other resources.

Continue reading if you’re ready to get your hands dirty.


  • Get Ready: A Healthy Mindset
  • Setting Realistic Goals
  • Defining The Environment
  • On-page
  • Off-page
  • Testing And Monitoring
  • Quick Wins

Get Ready: A Healthy Mindset

  1. Establishing A Shared SEO Culture
    When done correctly, SEO isn’t something you do once and then ignore for the rest of your life. It’s something that has to be properly looked for throughout time. One of the reasons audits may be so intimidating is that long-neglected SEO can quickly escalate into a major issue. SEO that is well-maintained performs admirably and is better able to react to the turbulence of algorithm changes. Communicate the importance of SEO without lecturing. Best practises generally result in a better website, increased organic traffic, and happy visitors. Win, win, and win some more.
  2. Quality, Not ‘Quality’
    When it comes to quality, there is sometimes more talk than action. There’s one simple SEO reality hidden underneath all the analytics, tools, and fast wins: it’s your responsibility to make the site the best it can be. Only then can you hope to outperform all of your competitors in terms of search queries. Quality content takes dedication, passion, and effort, from UX design to authoring. Prepare to face your site’s limitations and fight to overcome them – for your own sake as much as for the good of others. It’s far easier to optimise great content than it is to optimise terrible material.
  3. A Holistic Approach
    Strong SEO is the whole total of a website; it is not something that should be assigned to a single department (or individual). It can be tacked on to some extent, but it will never be as effective as when it is woven into the DNA of the site. Effective SEO implementation necessitates open communication among all members of the team, from SEO experts to authors and developers. Before you begin, keep in mind that everyone will most likely have a part to perform.
    • “Where Does SEO Belong In Your Web Design Process?”
  4. Join The Community
    Although guides like these attempt to cover as much as possible, there is no escaping the reality that SEO is always changing. It’s a massive industry with its own, thought leaders, podcasts, video series, and other resources. Take use of such resources and immerse yourself in the realm of SEO. Following a few credible Twitter accounts and listening to a few of podcasts every month will go you a long way.
    • A Guide To The World Of Search Engine Optimization

Setting Realistic Goals

  1. Prioritizing Metrics
    The number of measures available on the internet is practically infinite. In a literal sense. They’re not going to quit. Numbers are useful, but if you’re not cautious, they’ll be making the decisions instead of you. Allowing KPIs to wag the dog’s tail is a bad idea. Determine your priorities, how you’ll track your progress, and the limits of the data you have. The answers to these questions differ depending on the site.
    • Lighthouse for automated web page audits
    • Go Auditor
  2. Timeframes
    If you don’t have a time period for your goals, they become almost worthless. It doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all (after all, SEO never ends), but setting a deadline provides you an objective and a ready-made chance to review what you’re doing. Make a timetable and try to keep to it as much as possible. This also entails developing a strategy for tracking and analysing search results. Over the course of six months, putting aside a few minutes each week builds up nicely.
  3. Keyword Research
    This is a must-have for SEO that is focused. How can you target the keywords you want to rank for if you don’t know what they are? In your field, what are the most common search terms? What keywords do your rivals rank for? What keywords does your site already rank highly for, and why? You may use Google Search Console to examine where your pages rank (or don’t) for certain keywords.
    • Google Keyword Planner
    • Google Trends
    • Moz Keyword Explorer
    • Ahref Keyword Generator
    • Keyword Overview by SEMrush
  4. Size Up The Competition
    The internet is a massive resource. It’s likely that you’re not the only one attempting to rank for certain queries. Competition is strong, which is a good thing. Websites are compelled to develop as a result of this. Examine competitors’ websites and take note of what they do well, as well as what you do or might do better. Remember that search engines just aim to provide the best results for users’ searches. Being the best entails outperforming everyone else.
    • Ahref Site Explorer
    • Topics by SEO monitor
  5. Involve Colleagues In Setting Goals
    Because SEO is such a broad issue that impacts many areas of a website, it’s only natural to enlist the help of your coworkers when setting ambitious but attainable objectives. Everyone knows something you don’t, and you’d be amazed how much easier it is to apply SEO when everyone is on board.

Defining The Environment

  1. Mobile-First
    A lot of SEO is about how you structure your material, and you need to organise it properly for mobile devices above all else. Mobile devices are used by more individuals than desktop computers. In early 2020, Google became entirely mobile-first in recognition of this trend. This implies that crawlers will look at and index the mobile version of your website. Although beautiful desktop layouts are appealing, SEO, like the web, is increasingly a mobile-first environment.
    • Google Mobile-Friendly Test
    • Bulk Mobile Friendly Test by Experte
    • Resizer by Material Design (view websites on different devices side by side)
  2. Google’s Monopoly
    For better or worse, one firm — Google — presently has a monopoly on search. It continues to rule the roost, accounting for more than 90% of worldwide mobile searches and 70% of desktop searches. Of course, there are others — Bing, Waibu, DuckDuckGo, and others — but for the time being, SEO is centred on Google. Tick their boxes while keeping an eye on the larger landscape, which isn’t as static as it appears.


  1. Quality Content
    Yes, that’s correct. If a website’s content is poor, all the SEO in the world will only get you so far. There are certainly terrible websites that function well, but with each upgrade, more and more get weeded out. What is high-quality content? There are several publications on the subject, but here are a few things to look for: clarity, originality, correct sourcing, well-written, accessibility, and honesty. In general, search engines seek to link users with high-quality results.
    • What Is Great Content? by Search Engine Journal
    • Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines
  2. Meta Titles And Descriptions
    Eat your sprouts, make sure your i’s are crossed and your t’s are crossed, and utilise descriptive meta titles. A meta title and meta description should be included on every web page. The title should explain what the page is about to both people and web spiders. Crawlers don’t look at meta descriptions; they’re only for the benefit of browsers. Consider these brief descriptions for when that page appears in search results. Attract the reader’s attention.
  3. Image Alt Text
    A depressingly large proportion of websites fail to accomplish this correctly. It’s simple to do and really beneficial. The alt text for each picture on your website should describe what the image depicts. This aids crawlers in comprehending your visual material, as well as allowing screen readers to communicate what visually challenged web visitors are unable to see. Your chances of appearing in picture search results are also improved by using alt text.
  4. Internal Links
    Scientists found a few years ago that old Roman concrete becomes stronger with time. Internal links are a good illustration of this type of SEO occurrence. Linking to other, relevant portions of your site while building a new website is a good way to build a strong foundation. It becomes much stronger over time if you keep doing it. Internal links not only make it easier to navigate a website, but they also give important context for search engine crawlers. Each one improves a site’s SEO by a little amount.
  5. External Links
    Some SEOs are a little stingy with their ‘link juice,’ preferring not to send people away from their own site. While this is wonderful for stuffing people into funnels, it’s also a bit slimy. It’s not good for readers, and it’s not good for SEO. When you cite something, include a link to it. If you cite someone, include a link to the original source. Citing sources is standard writing practise, and it adds context to your own work. It aids search engines in determining the type of website you have and the type of business you run. Go through your content and make sure all of the necessary external links are included.
    • Link Building: The Citizen’s Field Guide
    • How To Help Your Clients Get More Backlinks Through Design
  6. Clear Structure Markup
    This is so simple and so, so important. Just like meta titles and descriptions show what a page is about, following best practice for HTML makes page structure clear and easy to understand. Use the right tags in the right places, make sure headings are arranged logically. A great way to do this is to strip away CSS and look at pages in pure HTML. If the structure isn’t obvious there then there’s work still to do. Google’s free Lighthouse assessment is good at spotting problems of this kind.
  7. Structured Data
    SEO and site design in general are becoming increasingly dependent on semantic markup. It makes the information on your website machine readable, making it easier to crawl, analyse, index, and return as smart search results. There are many of plugins that may assist you with this, or if you’re feeling brave, you can add the markup yourself. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others have all collaborated on the development of Schema, making it the language of choice for search engines. A excellent place to start is with our structured data guide.
    • Google Rich Result Tester
  8. Sitemaps
    A site map should be included on every website. It’s the ideal resource for web crawlers that want to know how sites are arranged and where to locate all of the material they’re looking for. What good is a metro system if it doesn’t have a map? Or a library with parts that aren’t clearly labelled? Take your time and do it well the first time, since it will save you a lot of time in the long run. The experience of browsing a poorly structured, unmapped website is generally unpleasant for both users and crawlers.
  9. Descriptive, Logical URL Structure
    This is a little one, but it’s one that should be standardised as soon as possible. Use URL structures that are simple and easy to remember. This refers to both the site’s structure and the content of individual pages. One is obvious to humans and algorithms alike, whereas the other is a mess of letters. Take the effort to develop post templates for various sorts of content, and then keep to them.
  10. Multimedia Content
    Search engines prefer pages with a lot of diversity, as long as they load quickly. A blog article containing relevant photos, audio snippets, and an embedded video is more likely to engage readers than one with only text. Never add these items simply to add them, but don’t be afraid to get creative with them. You can do just about anything on the internet.
  11. Assets Optimization
    For the love of God, Optimise any media assets you have on your site. Compressing picture files is the most obvious and frequently ignored example. That 2GB snapshot from your family trip might look great as the header image for your photography portfolio, but no one will wait for it to load. Super-high-resolution pictures are rarely required in today’s mobile-first environment. Reduce the size of your pictures. CSS deployment should be staggered. Your webpage should load quickly.
    • Responsive Image Breakpoint Generator by Cloudinary
    • Unused CSS Finder by JitBit


  1. HTTPs
    HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) enhances the security of user-website connections. Websites that do not have it are penalised by Google and other search engines. HTTPS is required. Most web hosting companies include it for free. If they don’t, either acquire it or switch providers.
    • HTTP/2 Test Tool by Geekflare
  2. Backlinks
    Backlinks are a key signal of trust, and they play a big role in SEO. When trustworthy, relevant sites connect to your site, it establishes your authority in your sector. It takes time and effort to do this correctly. Nobody will give you backlinks until you earn them. Earn instead of buying. Backlinks obtained by black hat methods (e.g., spamming comment sections, paying for them, etc.) will get you nowhere. If anything, search engines will notice and penalise the infringing website.
    • Backlink Gap by SEMrush

Testing And Monitoring

  1. Site Speed
    You won’t know how fast your site is until it’s online. Use tools like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix to test the speed of your website. Search engines prefer websites that are quick to load and detest those that are sluggish. People feel the same way. Keep an eye on this as time goes on. Because you’ve started unloading uncompressed pictures again, just because a site was fast six months ago doesn’t imply it’s still fast now. Tut, tut, tut.
    • PageSpeed Insights
    • Wattspeed
    • Bulk Mobile Friendly Test by Experte
    • TTFB (Time to First Byte) Test by Geekflare
    • WebPageTest
  2. Analytics
    In the long run, SEO is as much about tracking as it is about making improvements to the site. For tracking search statistics, there are a plethora of free applications accessible. Google has Search Console (which is GDPR-compliant) and Analytics (not always so GDPR friendly). The Bing panel is a Microsoft product. Then there’s Moz, SEMRush, and Screaming Frog, which are third-party companies. Don’t get caught up in the statistics, as stated at the outset of this checklist. Begin with the most basic tools and work your way up as your priorities become apparent.
  3. Reports
    It’s easier to keep track of your SEO success if you break it down into frequent reports. These are essential for remaining focused on your objectives… and accomplishing them, whether they are weekly, monthly, or quarterly. You may nip problems in the bud and make proactive modifications to your strategy if you keep track of your performance over time.
    • How to Create Relevant and Engaging SEO Reports by Moz

Quick Wins

Not everyone has the time or finances to do a comprehensive SEO assessment of their website. That’s perfectly OK, and it doesn’t mean you have to fall behind. The following suggestions are simple to apply, yield fast results, and allow you to track your search success over time.

  1. Basic Analytics
    If you’re new to SEO, having basic metrics up and running is one of the best ways to get started. We’re talking about Google Search Console and Google Analytics here. Both are free and simple to integrate into a website. Once these are up and going, you’ll have a far better understanding of your SEO position.
    • Google Search Console
    • Google Analytics
    • Bing Webmaster Tools
  2. Purge Low Quality Content
    Great content requires time and effort to create. It only takes a few seconds to delete garbage stuff. The total number of pages on your website is the total number of pages on your website. If a website contains a lot of ‘thin’ material, it will suffocate the wonderful things. Examine your current material to see if it meets the standard you intend to achieve. If the answer is no, you should probably remove it. This might offer your SEO a boost right away. Purging low-quality material might be like removing a ball and chain, depending on the site.
  3. Optimize Images
    Compressing your pictures properly is a wonderful method to speed up your website. If this isn’t something you’ve considered previously, you could be surprised at how large some of the files are. It’s time-consuming, but it’s necessary, and it’s a quick method to boost your site’s speed. While you’re doing it, make sure they all have alt text.

Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.