SEO Services

37 Checklist for SEO to Optimize Website Ranking Top 10

Are you an SEOer who always meets the following challenges to rank the top keywords? The common SEO’s challenges include: Constant Algorithm Updates, Technical SEO, Balancing User Experience and SEO, Content Creation and Optimization, Measuring ROI, Lack of Control Over Search Engines, Limited Resources and Budget and Evolving Search Landscape.

Don’t worry!

This is the most comprehensive checklist for SEO that you can apply for ranking keyword better. It covers all the essential elements of SEO optimization. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed when reading this article!

A checklist for SEO is a valuable list to ensure that a website is well optimized for SEO purposes. This involves checking both on-page and off-page factors to ensure that the website performs optimally in search results. The SEO checklist also needs to be regularly updated to adapt to search engine algorithm changes, ensuring that the website is effectively indexed and ranked. An important aspect of the SEO checklist is content because high-quality and relevant content is a crucial factor in attracting visitors and improving search rankings.

The best part is…

Everything on this list is currently working very well.

So, if you want to improve your Google rankings in top 10, achieve more effective SEO in 2023-2024, this checklist is for you.

Let’s get started…

Complete SEO checklist for 2023
Contents hide

How to Use This Checklist for SEO

I used this exact checklist to increase my organic traffic by 161.96% in 30 days:

It also helped me rank for highly competitive keywords like “Onpage SEO” and keyword research.

In fact…

You don’t necessarily have to do everything in this article.

Just do your best.

The more you practice and apply these tips, the more traffic you’ll receive.

Basic SEO Checklist

First, let’s familiarize yourself with the basics of SEO. Here, you’ll learn about the tools and plugins you need to rank well on search engines.

1. Set up Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an incredibly powerful free SEO tool.

Google Search Console Tool

It’s designed to help you track your website’s presence in Google search results.

That’s why Google Search Console comes equipped with useful features such as:

  • Viewing the keywords that bring you the most traffic.
  • Indexing sitemaps.
  • Fixing website errors.
  • Receiving messages from the Google search team.
  • Much more.

In summary, setting up Google Search Console is the first important step if you’re serious about SEO.

2. Install Bing Webmaster Tools

Note: If you’re targeting international sites, install it; if you still need to, you can skip this step.

Next, install Bing Webmaster Tools.

Is Bing as popular as Google? The reality is not, but it accounts for over a third of all searches performed. So, it’s worth optimizing for.

Furthermore, Bing Webmaster Tools offers some convenient features, including integrated keyword research tools.

Install Bing Webmaster Tools

3. Set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the best way to see how people find and use your site.

Google Analytics Tool

It offers various supportive features, including:

  • Viewing how much traffic you receive from different sources like Google, Facebook, etc.
  • Identifying the most traffic-driving content pages on your website.
  • Tracking whether your traffic is increasing and by how much.
  • Identifying the pages and search engines that send you traffic.
  • Calculating average bounce rate, page views, and time spent on the site.

Pro Tip: Link Google Analytics with Google Search Console. Doing so lets you see valuable SEO information within your Google Analytics account.

Link Google Analytics with Google Search Console

4. Install Yoast SEO (For WordPress Users Only)

Yoast is the most famous SEO plugin on the planet.

Yoast makes optimizing your WordPress site for search engines incredibly easy.

It also helps you with technical SEO aspects like robots.txt and sitemaps. I highly recommend using this tool.

Keyword Research Checklist

Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. Conducting keyword research immediately is crucial. And in this checklist for SEO, I’ll show you how you can quickly find the keywords that your customers are searching for.

1. Explore Long-Tail Keywords with “Google Suggest”

This is one of the best ways to discover long-tail keywords.

Here’s how it works:

First, type a keyword into the Google search bar.

But don’t press enter or click the “Google Search” button. Instead, look at the suggestions that Google provides.

(These suggestions are known as “Google Suggest” keywords)

Since these keywords come directly from Google, you KNOW that people are searching for them.

That means they are excellent keywords to optimize your site for.

Explore Long-Tail Keywords with “Google Suggest”

Pro Tip: Try using This tool lists all the Google Suggest keywords, making evaluation easier.

Reference: Long-Tail Keywords: The Secret to Getting Thousands of Search Traffic

2. Find Primary Keywords in Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is Google’s official keyword research tool.

It’s primarily designed for Google Adwords but still INCREDIBLY useful for SEO keyword research.

All the data comes directly from Google, so you can be confident it’s accurate.

Google Keyword Planner Tool

3. Identify Low-Competition Keywords with KWFinder

KWFinder is a free keyword research tool.

What makes KWFinder special is that it provides you with extensive data for each keyword.

When you enter a keyword into KWFinder, you’ll receive information such as:

  • Search volume (average number of searches over a specific period)
  • Keyword density
  • CPC (Cost Per Click)
  • keyword trends
  • Estimated traffic

Using this information, you can choose low-competition keywords that are still easy to rank.

Identify Low-Competition Keywords with KWFinder

4. Find “Question Keywords” with Answer the Public

Question Keywords are PERFECT for blog posts or articles.

(Example: How to make a cake?)

But how do you find them?

The answer is Answer The Public.

This free tool reveals the questions people are searching for online.

By doing so, you can answer those questions with your content.

Answer the Public tool

Onpage SEO Checklist

Now it’s time to optimize your content using proven onpage SEO techniques.

1. Include Keywords in the URL

Your URL helps Google understand what your page is about. Having a URL with multiple keywords can improve the CTR from organic traffic.

That’s why you need to include keywords in the URL.

Keywords in the URL

For example, the target keyword for this page is “checklist for SEO”

So, I created the URL for this page as:

Simple, right?

2. Use Short URLs

Make your URLs as short as possible.


A recent analysis of 1 million Google search results showed that shorter URLs rank better on Google.

This means your SEO-targeted URL should only contain the SEO keyword.

SEO-targeted URL should only contain the SEO keyword

3. Place Your Keyword at the Beginning of the Title Tag

It’s obvious that you should use your keyword in the title tag.

But not many people know that placing the keyword at the beginning is crucial.

Specifically, you should place the keyword at the beginning of the title tag.

For example, the main keyword for this post is “Internal Link.”

4. Add Long-Tail Keywords to the Title Tag

Include additional words and phrases in your title tag. The best approach is to add words before or after the main keyword.

By doing this, your page will rank for a variety of long-tail keywords.

For example: 10 best free keyword research tools for 2023.

For this article, I optimized it for the main keyword “keyword research tool,” added “free” afterward, and included the long-tail keyword “best free keyword research tools.”

5. Use Your Keyword in the First 150 Words

Google pays more attention to your page’s first 100-150 words.

So make sure to use your keyword at least once there.

For example, in the Internal Link post, you can see that I used the phrase “Internal Link” right at the beginning.

6. Use Your Keyword in H1, H2, or H3 Tags

Remember to include your keyword in H1, H2, or H3 tags.

For example:

You can see that I included the phrase “checklist for SEO” in the first subheading on this page.

Well, that subheading is wrapped in an H2 tag. Including “checklist for SEO” in the H2 tag can help me rank higher for that keyword.

However, note that this tip won’t greatly impact Google’s ranking.

But when it comes to search engine optimization, every effort helps.

7. Image Optimization

The images you use say a lot about your content.

Unfortunately, Google is not very good at reading images.

So, to help Google understand your images, you need to optimize the alt tags of your images.

(Optimized images also help improve your ranking top 10 in image search results.)

Image Optimization

Optimizing image alt tags is done as follows:

First, when you save an image, use a descriptive and concise file name that represents the image.

For example, if you took a picture of a gift box with your iPhone, you would want to name the image something like: gift-box.png

Next, when you add that image to your page, attach it with an alt tag that describes it.

I like to use multiple alt texts (alternative text) so that Google can understand my images.

That’s all you need to do.

8. Use Synonyms and LSI Keywords

In the past, “keyword stuffing” was necessary for your page.

That’s no longer the case.

These days, Google is very smart.

Instead of using a keyword 1000 times, use synonyms and LSI keywords.

For example, if you want to rank for the phrase “how to start a blog”, you would want to mention that exact keyword a few times on your page and some synonyms like:

  • Setting up a blog
  • Starting a blog
  • Creating a blog

You get the idea, right?

Next, add LSI Keywords.

LSI Keywords are phrases related to your main keyword.

You can find numerous such phrases by using the Google Search Box.

Note: is only applicable for English keywords.

9. Use External Links

Make sure to link to 5 to 8 reputable websites within your article.

For example, in the article “What is Ahrefs? The most effective guide to using Ahrefs for SEO”

I linked to reputable websites like Wikipedia and

These links show Google that my content is trustworthy and has good references.

10. Use Internal Links

This one is extremely simple:

Whenever you publish a piece of content, link to 2 to 5 other pages on your site.

Pro Tip: Use anchor text with multiple keywords in your internal links.

For example, pay attention to how I used the anchor text “Onpage SEO” in this internal link:

This will notify search engines that the linked page is about “Onpage SEO.”

Technical SEO Checklist

Technical SEO factors can make or break your ranking. Fortunately, fixing technical SEO errors is not too difficult, especially if you follow the steps in this checklist.

1. Identify Crawl Errors

Crawl Errors” mean that Google encountered issues while viewing a page on your site.

It can’t be ranked for anything if they can’t view your page.

You can easily find Crawl Errors in the “Coverage” report of Google Search Console:

If you notice that Google is having difficulty evaluating one of your important web pages (e.g., if the robot.txt file is blocking search engine spiders), you must fix it as soon as possible.

Identify Crawl Errors

2. Understand How Google Sees Your Page

Sometimes users can see everything on your page…

…but Google can’t.

Once again:

If Google can’t fully access your page, it won’t rank.

That’s why I recommend using the “Inspect URL” feature of Google Search Console.

Simply input a page from your site at the top section of GSC.

You will see your page as Google sees it:

Very useful.

Using the “Inspect URL” feature of Google Search Console

3. Ensure Mobile-Friendliness of Your Site

Google recently introduced Mobile-First Index.

That means:

If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, it won’t rank well.

Luckily, you can easily check the mobile-friendliness of your page with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

Try it with a page from your site and see if it receives a “yes” answer.

Pretty great, isn’t it?

4. Fix Broken Links

Broken links can actually harm your SEO.

So, make sure you find and fix those broken links.

The easiest way to do that? Use

It’s a free tool that will scan your site for broken links.

Fix Broken Links

5. Protect Your Page with HTTPS

HTTPS is a confirmed Google ranking signal.

So if you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to switch your site to HTTPS.

(Or if you’re starting a new site, set it up with HTTPS from the beginning)

Here’s a guide to help you migrate your site to HTTPS without harming your SEO.

Protect Your Page with HTTPS

6. Check Page Load Speed

Does your page load incredibly fast?

If not, your page won’t rank either.

That’s why you need to access PageSpeed Insights.

This free tool will show you the page load speed on desktop and mobile:

It also provides suggestions to improve the speed.

Check Page Load Speed

Content Checklist

There’s no denying the importance of excellent content if you want to rank on Google. That’s why content plays a BIG part in today’s SEO strategy. In this section, I’ll show you the exact steps to create content that will rank in 2020 (and beyond).

1. Create Outstanding Content with the “Skyscraper Technique”

The Skyscraper Technique is a powerful formula for creating amazing content.

In fact, I’ve used this technique to double my traffic on search engines:

Here’s the 3-step process:

  1. First, identify a popular piece of content in your niche.
  2. Next, create something even better.
  3. Finally, promote that content.
  4. Break Up Text into Small Paragraphs to Maximize Readability

No one likes reading long, drawn-out paragraphs.

That’s why I ALWAYS break up content into readable paragraphs like this.

These kinds of paragraphs help keep my bounce rate low – a key factor for ranking top 10 on Google Search Engine.

2. Break Up Text into Small Paragraphs to Maximize Readability

No one likes reading long, drawn-out paragraphs.

That’s why I ALWAYS break up content into readable paragraphs like this.

These kinds of paragraphs help keep my bounce rate low – a key factor for ranking top 10 on Google.

3. Explore the Depth of Your Page’s Topics

When we analyzed over 1 million search results on Google, there was one notable finding:

The top-ranking content on Google tends to delve deep into an entire topic.

Explore the Depth of Your Page’s Topics

4. Use Schema Markup

Schema markup helps search engines better understand your content.

In fact, Google has recently acknowledged that Schema can benefit your ranking.


Implementing Schema can be challenging.

That’s why I recommend using the Google Structured Data Testing tool.

It makes using Schema much easier than attempting to do it manually.

Use Schema Markup

5. Focus on Content Formulas That Are Currently Performing Well

A team at BuzzSumo recently reviewed 100 million articles.

So, what did they find?

First, the bad news:

“The majority of content receives no backlinks.”


Next, some good news:

They discovered that certain content formulas perform better than others.

Specifically, “strong performers are reputable pages known for evidence-based, sourced content.”

What does “evidence-based, sourced content” mean?

  • Content is written by experts.
  • Original research (such as surveys or field studies).
  • Content that doesn’t contain “spun” information.
  • Case studies and real-world examples.
  • Evergreen content that remains valuable even after years.

6. Utilize Multimedia

Market research (such as the one below) has shown that using images helps you rank on Google:

Utilize Multimedia

For example, you’ll notice that posts containing MANY images.

I do this for two main reasons:

First, it adds depth to create better content.

Second, images and other multimedia formats help boost the content’s ranking.

So, I recommend using the following types of multimedia in your content:

  • Images.
  • Charts.
  • Infographics.
  • Visual content.
  • Videos.
  • Interactive quizzes.

Now it’s time to dive into a crucial part of SEO: LINK BUILDING.

Link Building Checklist

When it comes to SEO, link building is the KEY. In fact, Google has confirmed that backlinks are one of the top 3 ranking signals. Unfortunately, building links is not easy (that’s why other checklists for SEO skip this step). But if you want to rank on Google, link building is essential. In this section, I will show you how to do it.

1. Build Strong Backlinks with Guest Posts

Guest posting is an excellent link-building strategy.


There’s a right way and a wrong way to approach guest posting:

The right way: Guest post on reputable websites in your industry.

The wrong way: Guest post on any website with a “write for us” section.

In reality, I only publish guest posts on sites that will generate targeted traffic.

2. Build Backlinks from Your Competitors

Why reinvent the wheel when you can replicate your competitor’s link sources?

To do this, you’ll need a link analysis tool.

Personally, I use Ahrefs.

But if you don’t have a budget, you can use a free tool like Link Explorer (from Moz).

The process will be the same regardless of the tool you choose:

  1. Grab the URL of your competitor.
  2. Plug it into the tool.
  3. Finally, acquire as many links as you want.

For example, here’s a link report from Ahrefs for my page:

Some links may be difficult to replicate and require purchasing.

For example, links from news sites and guest posts.

But many links are relatively easy to replicate.

(For example, links from forums and social backlinks)

Build Backlinks from Your Competitors

3. Mention Influencers in Your Posts

This process couldn’t be simpler:

First, mention influential bloggers within your content.

Then let them know you mentioned them.

(Seriously, it’s as simple as that.)

Bonus #1: Advanced SEO Tips and Tactics

Now that you have the basics down, it’s time for me to teach you some advanced skills.

1. Optimize Your Page with Click-Through Rate

There’s no doubt about it:

The more people click on your result, the higher you will rank.

CTR is a user experience signal that Google is increasingly focusing on.

Optimize Your Page with Click-Through Rate

2. Limit Downtime of Your Website

If your site is down, users will be frustrated.

And it turns out Google is frustrated too.

In fact, they have stated that unannounced downtime “may negatively impact the site’s reputation.”

Fortunately, you can easily monitor your site’s downtime with tools like Pingdom.

Pingdom checks your site hundreds of times a day.

If it goes down, you’ll receive a notification to address the issue immediately.

3. Remove Low-Quality Content Pages

Google has indicated that a massive site with many pages can harm SEO.

Quoting Google’s Gary Illyes:

“Narrow it down as much as possible. Don’t create low-quality and valueless pages. It’s not valuable because one thing is that we don’t necessarily have to index those pages. We think it’s a waste of resources. Another thing is you win, you get more quality traffic. Why would you burn resources on it if you’re not getting quality traffic?”

This is why I ensure that every page on my site performs well.

How can it achieve that?

Focus 100% on quality.

Although the quality over quantity approach works well, many sites struggle with heavy content-loaded pages.

Those pages are:

  • WordPress categories and attachment pages.
  • Outdated blog posts.
  • Duplicate content.
  • Low-quality blog posts.
  • E-commerce product pages with zero sales.
  • Archive pages.
  • Pre-generated content.
  • Old service pages.

And as you just read, Google has pointed out that these pages will harm your SEO efforts, so I advise you to delete them.

4. Improve Your Page Speed

Page speed is another important ranking factor for Google.

Google wants to see people spending a long time on your page.

If people quickly exit your page and visit another search result, it tells Google:

“People hate this page.”

But if people find what they need on your page, they will stick with it, and Google will recognize that.

So, how do you keep people on your page longer?

5. Update and Repurpose Outdated Content

Do you have old dusty articles on your website?

If so, take a look at this:

I updated and republished this article from my website:

I improved the structure, added fresh content, inserted new images, and more.

(Basically, I made that post better.)

Then, I republished it as if it were a new article.

And a few simple changes increased the traffic to that post from search engines by 260%: Fantastic!


You see, that’s the checklist for SEO I find quite comprehensive. You just need to check the website you’re SEO-ing and make adjustments based on the factors above, and your website will rank at the top.

Isn’t that amazing?

I have applied it to my website, and the results have been very good. Don’t hesitate to edit your old website because those changes aim to optimize it for better results and escape Google’s sandbox.

The checklists for SEO above are effective for website audits and provide basic knowledge for those starting new SEO campaign.

Dr James

Dr James is a skilled and knowledgeable professional in the areas of SEO marketing, digital marketing, and eCommerce. He passionates to share his knowledge and expertise through his writing, hoping to inspire others to create their own online businesses and reach their full potential.

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