Complete SEO Checklist for 2024

A key SEO statistic to know for 2024 is that only 1% of users make it to the second results page. 

In contrast, the first page of Google can capture up to 92% of all clicks. Simply put, we all consider the top results as the most relevant for our needs which is why we don’t continue to scroll on.

Therefore, it’s never been more important to have an SEO strategy that factors in your target audience through relevant, helpful and of course, SEO-friendly content. 

So what can you do to create a winning SEO strategy in 2024 and beyond? Here’s what you need to know from the SEO experts here at Distribute Digital

Patience & Persistence Are Key

Since it takes time to see results even from the best SEO strategies, SEO is sometimes viewed as outdated or not as important as other aspects of digital marketing. In reality, SEO is something that now more than ever, is important to pay attention to and get right. 

We know that SEO can be a long game where you won’t see the fruits of your labour immediately. However, we also know that we can make some quick wins too. 

There are a number of techniques that can help grow your domain authority and overall relevance in your niche. This includes link building, which although can be tedious at times, is still considered one of the best tools available.

Is your current SEO strategy attracting relevant traffic to your website to drive conversions? 

If not, your SEO checklist could be missing a few pointers that could be costing you valuable web traffic and ultimately sales. 

Making regular investments into the quality and relevance of content is a winning strategy for 2024 and beyond. That’s because search engines prefer updated content that offers users a helpful experience. 
We’ve covered some essential steps that as SEO experts, we recommend following in 2024 and beyond. 

Basic setup

Set up your GA4 Account

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is essential for tracking and analysing user behaviour on your website. Setting up a GA4 account provides valuable insights into your audience, their interactions and the performance of your website.

Set up Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that allows you to monitor and optimise your site’s presence in Google Search results. It provides data on indexing issues, search queries and more.

Submit a Sitemap to Search Engines:

Submitting a sitemap to search engines ensures that all pages on your website are crawled and indexed effectively, improving your site’s overall visibility.

Keyword research

Identification of Core and Related Keywords:

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify primary and related keywords relevant to your content. Having an on page SEO checklist is essential for creating targeted and valuable content for your audience. Beyond the primary keyword, long tail keywords can also provide related words and phrases to include. 

Analysing Search Intent:

Understanding user intent is crucial. The four most common types of search intent include informational, commercial, navigational and transactional. Tailor your content to match the search intent behind specific keywords, ensuring your pages align with what users are looking for. Not factoring in search intent can lead to low page dwell times as well as high bounce rates. 

Technical SEO

Website Must be Crawlable:

Ensure that search engine bots can easily crawl your website. Check for and fix any issues that may hinder the crawling process, such as broken links or blocked resources. By performing an SEO audit, a technical SEO checklist can be generated. A great place to start is assessing the crawlability of your website. 

Website Must be Indexable:

Confirm that search engines can index your pages. Utilise the meta robots tag to control indexing and ensure important content is not blocked.

Fix Broken Links or 404 Errors:

Regularly check for broken links and 404 errors. Redirect or fix them to maintain a smooth user experience and prevent negative impacts on SEO.

Implement Responsive Web Design:

With the increasing use of mobile devices, responsive web design is crucial. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly to provide a seamless experience across various devices. 

Website is Secure (HTTPS):

Security is a search engine ranking factor. Switch to HTTPS to secure data transmission and gain trust from both users and search engines.

Check Site Speed:

Page speed is vital for user experience and search rankings. Optimise images, use browser caching and minimise redirects to improve your site’s speed. Check your site speed regularly, including following any updates to your website which may impact how fast pages are to load. 

Evaluate Your Page Experience:

Google’s Core Web Vitals, such as loading performance and interactivity, significantly impact rankings. Evaluate and enhance your website’s overall page experience.

Internal Linking:

Create a strategic internal linking structure to connect relevant pages on your website. This helps search engines understand the hierarchy and relationships between your content.

Of course, internal links aren’t much help if they don’t work! That’s why fixing broken links (404 errors) should also be a priority. 

Content creation

Answer Search Intent:

Craft content that directly answers the questions or needs reflected in user search queries. Specifically, match the tone and solutions provided in line with the search intent of the keywords used. 

Use Headings to Break Up Text:

Proper use of headings enhances readability and helps search engines understand the structure of your content.

Add a Table of Contents:

For longer pieces, provide a table of contents to improve navigation and user experience.

Use Shorter Paragraphs and Sentences:

Break down content into shorter paragraphs and sentences to enhance readability, especially on mobile devices. Readability is also hugely important for ensuring an excellent page experience.

Add Internal Links:

Strategically link to relevant internal pages to guide users and distribute link equity throughout your site. To ensure nothing is neglected, it can be useful to visualise what and where you are linking on your site. Have a work-in-progress spreadsheet or a spider diagram. This could also help identify a gap in content.  

Target Helpful Content/E-E-A-T:

Focus on content that demonstrates experience, expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). This builds credibility with both users and search engines.

Use Videos, Photos, Infographics:

Diversify your content with multimedia elements to engage users and enhance the overall quality of your pages.

On-page optimisation

Create Short URLs:

Keep URLs concise and descriptive, incorporating target keywords where possible.

Title Tags Optimisation:

Craft compelling and keyword-rich title tags that accurately represent the content of each page.

Effective Meta Descriptions:

Write compelling meta descriptions that encourage clicks and accurately summarise the page’s content.

Check On-Page Keyword Usage:

Ensure that your target keywords are naturally integrated into your content, including headings, body text and meta tags.

Add Alt Tags to Images:

Optimise images with descriptive alt tags for accessibility and improved image search visibility.

Add Schema Markup:

Implement schema markup to provide additional context to search engines, enhancing the display of rich snippets in search results.

Local SEO

Set Up a Google Business Profile:

Claim and optimise your Google Business Profile to improve local search visibility and provide accurate business information.

Claim Your Listing on Yelp:

Claiming your business on review platforms like Yelp enhances local credibility and visibility.

Join Business Directories:

List your business on relevant local directories to improve local SEO and increase online visibility within your community.

Social Media

Identify Social Platforms Your Audience is Active On:

Understand your target audience and focus on the social media platforms where they are most active.

Start Generating Content Ideas:

Develop a content calendar with engaging and shareable content relevant to your audience and industry.

Research Your Competitors:

Analyse your competitors’ social media strategies to identify opportunities and refine your own approach.

Link building

Link building can involve a mixture of organic links and carefully selected paid links. When unique and high authority domains link to your website, this can help your content to rank. Unlike on-page SEO, link building is not so easy to control. Instead, you need to focus on creating content that people naturally want to share. In addition, undertaking outreach to build those strategic partnerships for paid or mutually beneficial linking opportunities. 

Key Takeaways

An SEO checklist capable of beating the competition needs to cover all bases, which can best be summarised as on-page, off-page and technical SEO techniques. While there’s a lot to consider in creating and implementing an SEO checklist, the rewards are well worth the effort with over 8.5 billion Google searches happening per day. Therefore, the potential for any business that masters its SEO efforts is truly limitless. 

Distribute Digital – SEO Agency Services UK 

Creating, refining and implementing an SEO checklist requires time and expertise. Crucially, the methodology needs to be unique to your business, along with the target audience you are looking to attract. 

Luckily, the SEO experts here at Distribute Digital are here to help!

Based in Birmingham, we work with businesses from across the UK across a variety of different industries. 

Let us know how we can help your business succeed by filling out our contact form. Or by giving us a call on 0121 318 6796. 

We know that SEO can be a long game where you won’t see the fruits of your labour immediately, but we also know that we can make some quick wins too. Because of the necessity to play the long game, SEO is sometimes viewed as outdated or not as important as other aspects of digital marketing; but it is something that now more than ever, is important to pay attention to and get right. 

So what can you do to create a winning SEO strategy in 2023? Well, there are a number of tools you can use. Link building, although tedious at times, is still considered one of the best tools available. Consider external AND internal link building. 

When done properly, internal links span across your site but sometimes there will be pages that are favoured over others. In order to ensure nothing is neglected, it can be useful to visualise what and where you are linking on your site. Have a work-in-progress spreadsheet or a spider diagram. This could also help identify a gap in content. 

As the saying goes “the only constant is change” and this is true of Google and their algorithms. With external link building, along with the linking domain’s relevance and overall SEO strength, content relevance is also important.

Google’s helpful content update aims to reward content where visitors feel they have had a satisfying experience and we can totally relate this to the type of content we want to link to or indeed, the type of content we want to link back to our site. This should be taken into consideration when also looking at the authority of a linking site.  

Carrying on with the theme of helpful content, while positioning matters it isn’t enough to just rank number one on Google SERP but you need to also have a good CTR. What is considered good depends on your industry, but the motivation should be there to provide helpful, compelling information for your consumers and not fill your meta title and description with keywords.

Consider analysing PPC performance, what generates higher click through rates and can you emulate this in SEO with your headlines and meta tags? Streamline the information contained within your meta tags and provide a clear, strong CTA. It’s worth considering whether this opens a door to new content for your site or if you already have content, can it be optimised?

If you are running an eCommerce site, are you maximising your products’ structured data? And do you use your Merchant listings report on Search Console? If the answer isn’t a resounding yes, make it a focus going into 2023. If you don’t know where to start, have a conversation with us at Distribute Digital.

Another way to improve your site’s SEO performance is to make sure all your images have their alt tags. While this has the fantastic benefit of making your site’s content accessible for all internet users, search engines may interpret an alt tag to identify the purpose of an image. This can be a great way to increase your page relevance. It’s a task that once done, will be easy to keep on top of if you remember to add the alt tags each time you upload an image. 

Additionally, look at search intent and have a bit of focus there. This includes keyword research with different intent types. Identify long tail keywords that are appropriate to your niche, and if you haven’t already, consider optimising for voice search when doing so. Users type differently to how they generally speak and you could be hitting a gold mine of keywords that have a good search volume but aren’t too competitive to rank for. 
There are hundreds of factors that impact your search engine rankings, CTRs and on-site conversion rates. The team here at Distribute Digital have a fountain of knowledge, and if you’d like to utilise that knowledge to make your site perform the best it can get in touch to see how we can help.

Keisha - SEO Account Manager

Keisha is a driven SEO Account Manager with a person-centred approach and a degree in Business Psychology from the University of Worcester. Keisha has extensive client service experience and excellent organisational skills.

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