The Complete SEO Checklist For 2024

SEO will not get easier in 2024, but it will surely evolve. So, if you want to evolve with the cutting-edge SEO trends, you need our SEO checklist.  

1. Essential Setup Checklist

In SEO, tools are your best friends. Some tools are a must for success, while others are optional but can come in handy.

Google Search Console

The Google Search Console is the first tool that you need to install. With this tool installed, you can- 

  • Track how your website performs on Google Search, including analysis of specific keywords, devices, and countries. You can monitor clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTR).
  • Assess page loading speed, visual stability, and interactivity. 
  • Submit sitemaps for efficient indexing, inspect individual URLs for indexing status, and ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
  • Identify and fix indexing errors, monitor for security issues like hacking or malware, and check for any manual actions by Google against your site.
  • Monitor structured data in rich results, analyze backlink profiles, and receive important notifications from Google.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools are similar to Google Search Console, but it collects data from Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. This tool lets you-

  • Monitor clicks, impressions, CTR, and rankings for keywords, pages, and devices. 
  • Analyze your backlink profile and conduct keyword research to find relevant keywords with estimated search volumes.
  • Perform site scans to identify and resolve SEO issues like broken links and slow loading times. 
  • Control the crawling rate of Bingbot to balance indexing with server load, inspect and request re-indexing for individual URLs, and test your robots.txt file.
  • Submit XML sitemaps for better page discovery. 
  • Temporarily block specific pages from Bing search results, and receive personalized alerts about crawl issues and security problems. 
  • Also offers a URL submission plugin for WordPress sites and provides extensive documentation and support.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the best tool to find out how your audience interacts with your site. That’s why, this tool offers you:

  • Event-Based Measurement: Track user actions as events, offering a detailed view of the user journey across platforms.
  • Cross-Platform Tracking: Combines website and app data for a comprehensive understanding of customer behavior.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Predicts individual user revenue and engagement potential, aiding in marketing and personalization.
  • Privacy Focus: Adapts to a cookieless future using machine learning, with enhanced data controls for compliance with privacy regulations.
  • Advanced Analytics and Insights: Employs AI for trend identification and predictive analytics, with customizable dashboards and reports.
  • Integrations and Accessibility: Features direct integrations with marketing platforms and BigQuery, plus an open API for third-party tools.
  • Additional Features: Includes improved debugging tools, enhanced audience builder, and refined attribution modeling.

For an even better experience, you can connect Google Analytics with Google Search Console.


RankMath is arguably the best WordPress SEO plugin that helps you write SEO-friendly content. So, if you are using WordPress as your CMS, RankMath could be the plugin that solves your on-page SEO needs. 

Except for creating SEO-friendly content, you can use it for:

  • Generating automated sitemaps for your site.
  • Fix broken links.
  • Edit your Robots.txt file and more.

Also, you can integrate RankMath with Google Analytics for better site monitoring. 

2. Basic SEO Checklist

These SEO tasks are very basic and improve your site’s indexability, crawlability, and user experience. 

Plan a Site Structure

Having a well-structured site helps both the user and the crawlers navigate through your site. This is a very simple yet important task because search engines cannot index pages it doesn’t know about. 

Not planning a site structure can make you end up having orphaned pages. 

To create a site structure, you can map out the pages you want to create and connect them through a menu.

Create and Submit Sitemap

With organized and interlinked web pages in mind, you need to create and submit a sitemap. This sitemap is the skeleton of your website that will guide crawlers to all the important pages. 

With plugins like RankMath, you can automatically create your sitemap and then submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tool.

You can find your site’s sitemap in URLs like this, /sitemap.xml, /sitemap_index.xml, /sitemap. For example, here’s our sitemap:

Create a Robots.txt File

If you have some pages on your website that you don’t want the search engine bots to crawl, then you need a robots.txt file. With this file, you can select specific pages and tell the crawlers to avoid them. 

But why would you want crawlers to not crawl your web pages?

That’s because crawlers have crawl budgets, which means they are allocated a specific time to crawl each website. If your website has a lot of pages, you can skip some of them and direct the crawlers to the more important pages.

This is how it works:

Add /robots.txt after your domain name and if you have a robots.txt file, this will appear.

As you can see, we have instructed the crawler to not visit the /wp-admin/ page. 

If nothing appears or leads to a 404 page, that means you do not have a robots.txt file and need to create one. 

To create a robots.txt file, follow these steps:

  • Open a plain text editor like Notepad (Windows), TextEdit (Mac), or any equivalent.
  • Save the file as “robots.txt” (without any extensions) in UTF-8 encoding.
  • Start with the User-agent: line to specify which search engines the rules apply to. Use * for all search engines.
  • Write Disallow: followed by the path of the directory or file you want to block. Similarly, use “Allow:” to specifically allow crawling of a blocked path and “Sitemap:” to indicate the location of your sitemap file.
  • Place the robots.txt file in the root directory of your website (usually where your index.html file is).
  • Use tools like Google Search Console’s “robots.txt Tester” to check if your rules are working as intended.

Add Structured Data

Structured data or schema markup is a type of code that helps search engines understand your webpage better. 

These codes usually look like this-

Structured data is also used by Google Search to enable special features, like rich snippets. For example, a recipe page with accurate structured data can appear like this:

For CMS users like WordPress, there are plugins like RankMath that will allow you to add schema markups to your site without modifying code.     

Use 301 Redirects

Your website may have multiple URLs that lead to the same page. For example,

Both of these URLs lead to the same page. However, your audience should not be able to access your site from multiple URLs. Having multiple URLs for a single page can confuse search engines, which will lead to security and indexing issues.

You can redirect all the duplicate pages to your preferred URL by editing your .htaccess file. But if you are using WordPress, some plugins will do that for you.

3. Keyword Research Checklist

Keyword research is one of the fundamentals of SEO. Here’s what you need to do to make the most out of it.

Define Your Target Audience

In this era of SEO and marketing, getting traffic doesn’t matter. Rather getting the right kind of traffic does. That’s why, before you even start digging for keywords, you should know your audience. 

The first step in finding your target audience is to know what problems your product or service solves and who might benefit from it.  Based on this information, create buyer personas, which should include:

  • Demographics, 
  • Psychographics, 
  • Pain points and goals,
  • Online behavior, and media consumption.

Also, if you already have a customer base, find out what topics interest them, and which kind of content they interact with. 

Once you have all those, you can identify topics or seed keywords that will help you find the right keywords to make content around. 

Analyze Competitors

Now that you have an idea of who your audience is and what they want, look up your competitors and find out what type of content they are creating. Analyze what type of keywords work best for them and where you are falling behind.

You can use tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, etc. to find the keyword gap. 

Once you find such topics and keywords, you have a base to build on. Build a content strategy around those keywords and you can steal some traffic back. 

Identify Target Keywords

Once you have the topics and keywords that your competitors are ranking for, it’s time to dig deep. 

Find the keywords that you can convert to sales or leads, the related long-tail keywords that have low volume and difficulty, and question keywords that you can create informative content with.

For example, if you are in the home decor business,

Money keywords will look like:

  • Living room furniture 
  • Best modern kitchen accessories
  • Outdoor patio furniture sale under $100
  • Luxury bedding sets in New York
  • Discount home decor online

Long-tail keywords will look like:

  • Mid-century modern coffee table with hidden storage for small apartments
  • Cozy Scandinavian-style living room ideas for couples
  • Dog-friendly living room rugs that are easy to clean
  • Gallery wall inspiration for modern living rooms
  • DIY floating shelves for displaying plants and books

Question keywords will look like:

  • How to decorate a small living room on a budget?
  • What are the best colors for a kitchen remodel?
  • Where can I find unique outdoor furniture?
  • Is sustainable home decor worth the cost?
  • How to choose the right curtains for my windows?

To find these kinds of keywords you can use the following keyword research tools-

  • Google Keyword Planner,
  • KWFinder,
  • Answer The Public, and more.

Map Your Keywords

With all the keywords being found, you need to map out your keywords based on the topics they cover. 

For example, if your website is about cats, here’s how you can map keywords-

Mapping your keywords has many advantages, such as:

  • You can build topical authority,
  • You can avoid keyword cannibalization,
  • Creates better internal linking opportunities,
  • Helps find high-value untapped keywords, etc.

4. On Page Checklist

After a thorough keyword research, it’s time we bring our attention to content creation.

Create Helpful Content

Creating helpful content is the first rule of content creation in 2024.

Google’s new helpful content guideline asks webmasters to create content that gives value to their audience. With that in mind, you should-

  • Understand your audience’s search intent.
  • Research information from reliable sources to ensure your content is accurate and credible. 
  • Try to blend in your perspectives, experiences, and viewpoints.
  • Find out what your competitors are doing and strive to do better.
  • Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to structure your content well
  • Use plain language and avoid jargon; break down complex concepts into digestible chunks.
  • Use active voice, strong verbs, and storytelling techniques to keep your audience hooked.
  • Give credit where credit is due and provide links to credible sources for further information.
  • Carefully review your content for errors in grammar, spelling, and clarity. 

Use and Optimize Meta Tags

Meta tags, especially titles and meta descriptions provide information about your content to search engines and users.

Search engines use the title tag to assess the relevance of your content with the keyword. Similarly, the meta description tells search engines the essence of your content. 

Together, they influence the impression and CTR of your web page. So, a well-optimized title and description can lead to higher search rankings, increased traffic, and better user engagement. 

Here are some Do’s and Don’t’s for optimizing your title and meta description:


  • Include the primary keyword.
  • Keep them within the character limit. (60 for the title and 160 for meta descriptions).
  • Accurately represent the page content. 
  • Use compelling language to convince users to click through.
  • Use CTA’s, especially in meta descriptions.
  • Make sure each page should have a unique title and meta description.
  • Make sure both are easy to read and free of jargon.


  • Keyword stuffing.
  • Clickbait or inaccurate descriptions.
  • Generic or vague descriptions and titles.
  • Overuse special characters or emojis. 

Optimize Content With LSI Keywords

Now, creating good content only takes you so far.

Other aspects in play need to be focused on besides creating good content, for example, using LSI keywords. 

LSI means Latent Semantic Index, which is semantically related to the main keyword.  

For example, if you are writing a blog post about, “best modern kitchen accessories”, the LSI keywords would be “contemporary kitchen gadgets”, “trendy kitchen tools”, “innovative kitchen equipment”, “top-rated kitchen appliances”, etc.

There are free tools like Google Keyword Planner, LSI Graph, etc. that you can use to find LSI keywords.

Once you have these keywords, you need to place them throughout your content. Having these related phrases and terms in your content will send a positive signal about your expertise on the topic to the search engine. As a result, your ranking potential will be maximized. 

Optimize URL Slug

A URL slug is the text that comes after the domain name and path in a web address.

For example, in this URL “” “/best-widgets-ever-amazing-deals-guaranteed” is the URL slug.

But this URL slug is far from optimized.

To have the proper URL slug, you need to make sure that: 

  • It is short, ideally within 5 words.
  • It has hyphens to separate words.
  • It has lowercase letters. 
  • It includes the primary keyword, for example, “/best-widgets”
  • It doesn’t have promotional or unnecessary words, like, “/amazing-deals-guaranteed”,
  • It doesn’t have special characters.   

So, the ideal example of a URL slug would be (for the keyword best modern kitchen accessories), /best-modern-kitchen-accessories. 

Use Internal Links

Internal links are links in a website that point to another page. That means, when you link your website’s relevant pages or content together it’s called internal linking.

For example, if you have content on “best home decor items under $50” and “how to decorate your home”, you can link them with each other. That’s because these contents are related and the reader who is looking for home decor items may also be interested in ideas about how to decorate their homes. 

So, the reader gets what they’re looking for without even searching, and in return, you get more clicks, traffic, and higher dwell time. Also, this sends a positive message to the search engines which increases your topical authority. 

However, internal linking is not as straightforward as it sounds. 

While linking, you need to carefully choose your anchor text, which is the text of the hyperlink. The anchor text should be 3-7 words long and not exactly match the target keyword.

For example, instead of using the exact keyword  “how to decorate your home” as the anchor text, you can use similar phrases like “decorating your home” or “decorate your home” for linking.

Use and Optimize Value-Adding Visuals

As an SEO expert, you only have mere seconds to capture your audiences’ attention. That’s why you need either “eye candies” that catch the readers’ attention or valuable infographics that the reader can scan.

For references, let’s look at the example of Backlinko. Their blog contents are full of infographics that add more context to the text. Like this:

Instead of writing hundreds of words to explain, one image shows the reader what they want to know. 

In this case, using videos can get you even better results for appropriate keywords. For “How to” guides, videos are the best way to add more value and credibility to the content. 

Now, using images is not enough unless you optimize them.  

For optimizing images, you need to give them a proper title and use alt text, so that the search engines know what this image is about.

Search engines cannot see images and they determine the content of the image from the title and the alt text. Instead of using a random title and alt text, you can describe the image to help the bots.

As an example, the title of this image could be “vegetable salad” and the alt text could be “a bowl full of mixed vegetable salad.” This way, crawlers will know what this image is about and your chances of ranking for the title or alt text will be higher.   

Update Content Regularly

No matter how much value your content provides to your readers, over time the information is bound to get backdated. That’s why to stay relevant in the competition, you must update your old content every six months. 

On top of that, search engines prioritize fresh content and take frequent activity positively.

Plus, your goal is to provide valuable content to your audience. If the information is not up-to-date, it will not be useful to your readers.

5. Off-page SEO Checklist

Content creation is only the beginning of SEO; there is still much to be done.

Analyze Your and Your Competitors’ Backlink Profile

Just like analyzing content and keyword gaps, you should also compare and evaluate backlink profiles between your and your competitors. 

Monitoring your backlink profile will help you find your weaknesses in your current SEO strategy. On the flip side, analyzing your competitors’ profiles can reveal new opportunities for link-building and strategies that are working for others in your industry.

Imagine you run a tech blog; by analyzing your competitor’s backlinks, you may find that they have links from popular tech forums while you don’t. This insight can guide you to target similar forums for backlinks. 

Build Relationships With Niche Experts

Building relationships with your niche experts will go a long way. 

What we mean is connecting with influencers, thought leaders, and experts within your industry. You can do this through direct outreach, social media, or attending industry conferences.

Building relationships with industry experts can help you secure natural, high-quality backlinks. These experts are seen as authoritative sources, and a link from them will boost your website’s credibility and search rankings.

Use Guest Blogging

Guest blogging means writing articles for other websites in your industry. In return, you get a backlink to your site.

Through guest blogging, you get four benefits:

  1. Getting exposure in your industry.
  2. Earning organic backlinks.
  3. Building relationships with peers, and
  4. Increasing brand awareness.

To write as a guest blogger, the best way is to find out authoritative websites in your niche and directly reach out to them. 

Post on Social Media

Other than your website, you should also post content on different social media platforms to increase your visibility and website traffic.

In this day and age, more than 90% of bloggers promote their content through social media. Since it is working for 90% of bloggers, it should also work for you.

But, instead of focusing on one or two platforms, you should focus on as many as you can. Also, try and curate different types of content for different platforms.

Utilize Community Engagement

Other than traditional social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you should also engage in different forums like Quora and Reddit. These popular forums can serve as valuable resources for discovering fresh content topics, promoting your content, and acquiring backlinks.   

Here’s how to use them effectively:

  • Get to know the community by asking questions and digging into existing threads. This can lead to new content ideas for your site.
  • Share relevant content from your website to answer community members’ questions. This not only establishes your authority but also drives traffic to your site.
  • By contributing to the community’s knowledge base, you’ll be more likely to have people share your content with their networks.
  • Most online communities forbid open promotion. If you build your presence and show you’re a valuable member, you’ll get a more receptive audience and better results.

6. Technical SEO Checklist

Even with proper backlinks and great content, you may not get the results you want. This may happen if your website health is in shambles and that’s where technical SEO comes in.  

Improve Site Speed

Site speed is crucial for offering a good user experience and retaining visitors. A slow website can result in higher bounce rates and negatively impact SEO rankings. Contrarily, fast-loading sites are more likely to convert visitors into customers.

A slight difference in page speed can contribute to a lot. For example, back in 2006, Amazon found that every 100ms in added page load time cost them 1% of their revenue. 

Now, in 2024, if that were to happen, the loss would probably be way more than 1%.

So, to improve your site speed, you can:

  • Compress, resize, and lazy load images to reduce their file sizes while maintaining quality.
  • Get a good hosting service that provides CDNs.
  • Use a caching plugin 
  • Use Gzip or Brotli compression to reduce the size of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files sent to the browser, and more.

Improve Site Security

A more secure website is more trustworthy to search engines, as simple as that. That’s why you need to work on your website security if you haven’t already.

For starters, you can get an SSL certificate. Google prioritizes sites that have a “https” connection instead of a “http” connection. You should also use security plugins and back up your website. 

Remember, an insecure website may get punished by Google. 

Optimize Mobile Responsiveness

Because of Google’s mobile-first indexing policy and the prevalence of smartphones, you need a mobile-friendly website to maximize organic traffic.

Mobile devices account for nearly 60% of all internet usage, so if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you might lose a substantial number of potential customers.

Because of the vast number of mobile users, Google has adopted a mobile-first indexing approach. Google evaluates your website’s relevance and ranking primarily using the mobile version of the content. No matter where the user searches, this policy applies universally.

There are a lot of ways you can make your site mobile-friendly, like implementing a responsive web design, optimizing navigation for mobile users, and more. 

Fix Orphan Pages and Broken Links

Orphan pages are pages on a website that aren’t linked to any other page on the same site. This makes them hard for search engines and users to find, which can negatively impact SEO and user experience.

Broken links no longer lead to their intended destination. They can be internal links (within the same website) or external links (leading to other websites). Broken links harm user experience and can negatively impact a website’s credibility and search engine ranking.

That’s why you need to find the orphaned pages and broken links and replace them with correct links.

Complete This SEO Checklist for Optimal Growth 

Our SEO checklist covers almost all the basic aspects of SEO. By executing this with the best practices, you can get the growth in traffic and conversions you are looking for.

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