This is the ultimate SEO checklist for 2023. If you are looking for a comprehensive checklist to optimize your website for Google in 2023, then you have just found the right place.
The field of SEO is constantly evolving, and we can expect significant changes in 2023 as a result of algorithm updates implemented last year. The importance of mobile-friendly and local SEO has become more evident than ever in 2020-2021, and these aspects continue to hold significant value. Furthermore, in 2021-2022, voice search has emerged as a prominent feature in search engine result pages (SERPs). Over the past two years, Google has introduced various modifications, some of which have benefited businesses, while others have caused frustration among many companies and have led to distorted rankings in favor of larger corporations, neglecting the interests of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
SEO guide 2023
How to Set Up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
To set up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, start by creating an account on Google and Bing, respectively. Once your account is created, the next step is to verify your ownership of the website. In Google Search Console, this can be done by adding a DNS record to your domain, uploading an HTML file, or using Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager. For Bing Webmaster Tools, you have the option to use a meta tag, an HTML file, or an XML file for authentication.
After successfully verifying your ownership, proceed to add your website URL to the respective service. Then, you can organize your site, submit a sitemap, and effectively manage your website’s presence in search results.
Additionally, it’s important not to overlook Bing. Over the past four years of practicing SEO, an increasing number of SEO professionals and business owners have reported that their primary source of Internet traffic has come from Bing in the past 4-8 weeks. Interestingly, they have found the quality of traffic from Google to be of low relevance and quality.
For more insight on this topic, you can read the article and comments on the February 14th Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update at seroundtable.com. This raises the question of whether this trend will continue or whether Google will solve the problems it is currently facing. We hope Google resolves these issues as soon as possible for the benefit of businesses around the world.
How to set up Google Analytics
To begin setting up Google Analytics, follow these steps:
- Visit analytics.google.com and click on the “Start for free” button.
- Sign in with your existing Google account or create a new one if you don’t have an account already.
- After signing in, you will be prompted to provide some essential details about your website, including its URL, industry category, and time zone.
- Once you have entered the necessary information, Google will generate a tracking code for your website.
- Copy the tracking code provided by Google.
- Paste the tracking code into the HTML of your website, specifically before the closing head tag, or insert it into the template of your content management system (CMS).
- Finally, click on the “Create” button to complete the setup process and begin tracking your website’s data using Google Analytics.
How to set up Google Search console and Submit a Sitemap
To set up Google Search Console and submit a sitemap, follow these steps:
- Create a Google Search Console account if you don’t have one already.
- Add your website to the Search Console and go through the verification process to prove your ownership.
- Once your website is verified, navigate to the Search Console dashboard for your website.
- Locate the “Sitemaps” section in the left-hand menu and click on it.
- Click the “Add a new sitemap” button.
- Enter the URL of your sitemap in the provided field (e.g., “https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml“).
- Click the “Submit” button to submit your sitemap to Google.
- Google will now start crawling and indexing your website using the submitted sitemap.
By submitting your sitemap through Google Search Console, you help Google discover and index your website’s pages more efficiently, which can improve your website’s visibility in search results.
How to set up GMB-Google My Business (Great SEO Booster)
To set up Google My Business (GMB), you can follow these steps:
- Visit google.com/business and click on the “Start Now” button.
- Follow the instructions to create a Google account or sign in with your existing Google account.
- Provide the required information about your business, such as the name, address, phone number, category, and website.
- Review and confirm the details you have entered, ensuring their accuracy.
- Choose a verification method to confirm that you are the rightful owner of the business. Google offers various verification options, including phone call, postcard, or email verification.
- If you choose the phone call option, make sure you have access to the provided phone number to receive the verification code.
- If you opt for the postcard option, Google will send a postcard to the business address you provided. It typically contains a verification code that you’ll need to enter in your GMB account once it arrives.
- If you select the email verification method, Google will send an email to the email address associated with your business, containing further instructions for verification.
- Follow the verification instructions provided by Google based on the chosen method.
- Once your business is successfully verified, you will have full access to your Google My Business account. From there, you can manage your business information, add photos, respond to reviews, and utilize other features offered by GMB.
By setting up Google My Business, you can enhance your online presence and make it easier for customers to find and engage with your business on Google Search and Maps.
How to Install an SEO Plugin for WordPress
Installing an SEO plugin for WordPress is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Log into your WordPress dashboard.
- In the left sidebar, click on the “Plugins” tab.
- Select “Add New” from the submenu that appears.
- In the search bar, enter the name of the SEO plugin you want to install, such as “Rank Math SEO,” “All in One SEO,” “Yoast SEO,” or “SEOPress.”
- Once you find the desired plugin, click on the “Install Now” button next to it.
- After the installation is complete, click on the “Activate” button to activate the plugin.
- Once the plugin is activated, you can access its settings and configuration options.
- Configure the SEO plugin according to the specific needs of your website. This may involve entering your website’s meta tags, optimizing titles and descriptions, setting up XML sitemaps, and more. Refer to the plugin’s documentation or settings for guidance on how to best configure it.
Remember to regularly update your chosen SEO plugin and stay informed about best practices to ensure your website is optimized for search engines and provides the best user experience.
How to Create a robots.txt File (Important for SEO work)
Creating a robots.txt file is indeed a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Open a text editor, such as Notepad or any other plain text editor.
- Create a new file and save it as “robots.txt”.
- In the robots.txt file, you can add directives to instruct search engine robots on which parts of your website should not be indexed.
- To block search engine robots from indexing specific pages or directories, use the “User-agent” directive followed by the “Disallow” directive. For example, if you want to prevent indexing of a page named “page-name”, add the following line:
User-agent: * Disallow: /page-name
This will instruct all search engine robots (denoted by “*” wildcard) not to crawl and index the “/page-name” URL.
- You can add multiple “Disallow” directives to block multiple pages or directories.
- If you want to include a reference to your sitemap, use the “Sitemap” directive. For example:
This line informs search engine robots about the location of your sitemap file, which helps them crawl your website more effectively.
- Once you have added the desired directives to the robots.txt file, save it.
After creating the robots.txt file, upload it to the root directory of your website. Search engine robots will automatically look for this file when crawling your website and follow the instructions specified within it. Keep in mind that the robots.txt file is publicly accessible, so be cautious when adding directives to avoid unintended consequences.
How to Check for 404 Errors
To check for 404 errors on your website, there are several methods you can employ:
- Website Crawler: You can use a website crawler tool like Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, or Xenu Link Sleuth to crawl your website and identify any links that result in a 404 error. These tools provide comprehensive reports on broken links, including their URLs, status codes, and referring pages.
- Broken Link Checker: There are online tools specifically designed to check for broken links on websites. Tools like Dead Link Checker, Broken Link Check, or Dr. Link Check allow you to enter your website URL and scan for broken links. These tools will provide a list of URLs that return 404 errors.
- Server Logs: Server logs can be a valuable resource to identify 404 errors. Analyzing your server logs can help you identify which URLs are returning a 404 status code. Look for entries with a status code of 404 in the logs to identify problematic URLs.
- Google Search Console: If you have your website registered in Google Search Console, you can use the “Coverage” report to identify any URLs that are returning 404 errors. In the “Excluded” section of the report, you can find a list of URLs that are not indexed due to errors, including 404 errors.
By regularly checking for 404 errors and fixing them, you can improve user experience, maintain a well-functioning website, and prevent negative impacts on SEO.
How to Check for Oversized Image Files (Important SEO Factor)
To check for oversized image files, you can follow these steps:
- Use an image processing program: Open the image file in an image processing program like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or any other image editing software.
- Measure the size in pixels: Check the image’s dimensions in pixels. The width and height of the image can usually be found in the image editor’s properties or image information section. Compare the dimensions to the maximum allowed size specified by the website or application where you intend to upload the image. If the image exceeds the maximum size, it may need resizing.
- Use a file size calculator: If you want to determine the file size of the image in kilobytes (KB) or megabytes (MB), you can use online file size calculators. These calculators allow you to input the image’s dimensions, color depth, and compression level to estimate the resulting file size. Compare the estimated file size to any size limitations set by the platform or website.
- Resize or compress the image: If the image is larger than the maximum allowed size, you will need to resize or compress it. Resize the image by adjusting its dimensions in the image processing program while maintaining the aspect ratio. Alternatively, compress the image by reducing its quality or saving it in a more efficient file format (e.g., JPEG instead of PNG) to reduce the file size. There are also online image compression tools available that can help you optimize the file size without significantly sacrificing image quality.
- Save the optimized image: Once you have resized or compressed the image, save it with a new filename to preserve the original file. Ensure that the optimized image meets the size requirements specified by the platform or website.
By checking and optimizing the size of your image files, you can improve website performance, reduce loading times, and ensure compatibility with size limitations imposed by different platforms or applications.
Check for Duplicate Content and Keyword Cannibalization
To check for duplicate content and keyword cannibalization on your website, you can follow these steps:
- Conduct a Content Audit: Start by auditing your website’s content to identify any instances of duplicate content or keyword cannibalization. This involves reviewing all the pages on your website and comparing their content to look for similarities or overlap.
- Use SEO Tools: Utilize SEO tools like Screaming Frog, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to crawl your website and identify duplicate content. These tools can provide reports on duplicate meta tags, title tags, and content across different pages.
- Analyze Internal Site Search: If your website has an internal search feature, analyze the search queries to identify any patterns of keyword cannibalization. Look for instances where multiple pages are competing for the same keywords.
- Review Website Structure: Check the structure and organization of your website to ensure that each page has a unique focus and target keywords. Make sure that similar content is consolidated under one page and that there is a clear hierarchy in your website’s structure.
- Perform Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the most relevant and unique keywords for each page of your website. Ensure that each page targets specific keywords without overlapping with other pages.
- Create Unique and Valuable Content: Develop high-quality, unique content for each page that is optimized for its target keywords. Avoid duplicating content from other pages or external sources.
- Implement Proper Canonicalization: Utilize canonical tags to indicate the preferred version of a page when there are multiple versions with similar content. This helps search engines understand which page to index and display in search results.
- Monitor and Update: Regularly monitor your website for any new instances of duplicate content or keyword cannibalization. Update and optimize your content as needed to maintain uniqueness and relevance.
By regularly checking for duplicate content and keyword cannibalization, you can ensure that your website provides a valuable and coherent user experience while maximizing its visibility and rankings in search engine results.
Make your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Image Tags stand out
To make your title tags, meta descriptions, and image tags stand out, you should use keywords that accurately describe the content on your various web pages and make sure that they are relevant to your Are appropriate for the target audience. Additionally, be sure to use unique and descriptive titles and descriptions for each web page, as well as optimize your images with relevant keywords, including image alt text.
Make sure to track how your website ranks
To track your website’s ranking, there are various tools available:
- Google Search Console and Google Analytics: These tools allow you to monitor keyword rankings and track your website’s performance in search engine results. Google Search Console provides insight into the keywords your website is ranking for, while Google Analytics offers data on organic visits and impressions.
- Keyword tools like SEMrush: SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool that provides keyword tracking features. It allows you to monitor keyword rankings, analyze organic traffic, and track keyword performance over time.
- Other SEO Tools: Ahrefs, Majestic, and Screaming Frog are additional SEO tools that offer various features to help you monitor keyword rankings and improve your website’s SEO performance.
Using these tools, you can keep track of your website’s ranking, monitor organic traffic, and identify opportunities to improve your SEO strategy. It is recommended to explore different tools and choose the ones that suit your specific needs and requirements.
Conclusion of SEO Guide
In fact, SEO is a vast and ever-evolving field. However, it’s important not to let the size of the subject overwhelm you. By following the steps and tips mentioned in this guide, you can improve your website’s ranking in various search engines.
Staying up-to-date with the latest trends in SEO is crucial, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may face competition from larger corporations. By focusing on real SEO trends and avoiding short-lived trends, you can ensure that your website remains competitive in the race for search engine visibility.
Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, and continued effort in implementing effective strategies will yield positive results over time. So, stay informed, adapt to changes, and keep improving your website to get better rankings and attract more organic traffic.