SEO Checklist for Beginners

Is your website struggling for rankings? Or You want to know how to make your website technically sound? Go through this article to get a comprehensive idea.

Here are a few technical checkpoints to consider:

Do not use “#” in URLs

If your website has special characters i.e. “#” in its Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), remove it because Googlebots do not support URLs with “#”.

Tips:

  • Read and understand rules – http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3986.txt
  • Always use safe characters – Alphanumerics [0-9 a-z A-Z], special characters $-_.+!*'(),, and reserved characters used for their reserved purposes (e.g., question mark used to denote a query string)

  • Reserved characters – ; / ? : @ = & (does not include blank space)

  • Never use unsafe characters – Includes the blank/empty space and ” < > # % { } | \ ^ ~ [ ] `

Use multiple sitemaps

“Sitemaps are an easy way to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling.”

Create sitemaps according to your website, and specify it in robots.txt file.

According to sitemaps.org, if you want to list more than 50,000 URLs, you must create multiple Sitemap files.

Tips:

  • Specify your sitemap(s) in Google Webmaster Tools.

  • Your Sitemap files must use UTF-8 encoding.

  • It is important to place your Sitemap at the root directory of your HTML server.

  • It is essential for all URLs listed in the Sitemap to be resided on the same host as the Sitemap.

  • Sitemaps should be no larger than 50MB (52,428,800 bytes) and can contain a maximum of 50,000 URLs.

  • Include the protocol (http) in your URLs.

  • Always use gzip to compress your Sitemaps. For further details, check – https://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.html.

Do not use AJAX-Crawling scheme

Some websites still use AJAX-Crawling scheme, which has become obsolete. According to Searchengineland, Google has discontinued its support for its AJAX crawling scheme. However, this does not mean Google is not going to crawl websites built in AJAX.

Tips:

  • Create sites using the principles of progressive enhancement.

  • Always use the industry’s best practices to develop a website.

Monitor your backlinks

Backlinks play an important role in the ranking of your website, so, monitor backlinks.

You can use:

  • Majestic – This tool is a powerful link intelligence tool that provides everything from backlink histories, referring domains, anchor texts, to keyword search volume. This tool helps you to improve link building and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
  • Ahrefs – Use it to gather comprehensive insights into link building, SEO and content marketing strategies. It offers details about domain ratings, number of backlinks and referring domains, etc.
  • MoonSearch – This is a free backlink monitoring tool that provides a critical link analysis report. It helps to track information about Alexa rank, PageRank, etc.
  • SEO Spyglass – Use it to check your backlinks and find your competitors’ inbound links.

Use

  • White hat techniques to build backlinks.

  • High quality directories (Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.)

Bonus tips:

  • Migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS.

  • Use Google AMP.

  • Use disavow technique to stay away from malicious backlinks.

So, follow the above mentioned SEO techniques to improve your site’s rankings.