The Full SEO Checklist for 2021: Outrank Your Competitors

by Nikita Shevchenko

Did you ever struggle to find a full SEO checklist that can help you kick start your Website Promotion?

Well, this is it.

It took me tons of time to create the list you are about to see, it is super-actionable and easy to follow.

Want to see your website gets Google’s love?

Check out the steps!

Note: I am running my blog on WordPress, so all the steps below work just fine with this platform.

Stage #1: SEO Basics

Step 1: Do some WordPress SEO

1Set up the Website Title

All websites need good titles, ideally, you should include your target keyword in it.

  • On the left side menu find Settings > General Settings
  • On the Site Title box, type your site title
wordpress settings site title full seo checklist

2Set the Tagline

Your tagline is a sentence that summarizes what your website is about.

Make it brief and catchy. Include your target keyword or its variation.

wordpress settings tagline full seo checklist

*The complete tagline is “The place where bodybuilders and fitness athletes gather to reach their goals!”

3Set up Your URL

This step is VERY important for SEO.

You have two options here: or

They are both fine.

Choose the address you prefer and stick to it.

I personally prefer:

setting up the website url structure full seo checklist

Note: This is the step I suggest you follow only when you just start your website.

4Set up Permalinks

Permalinks determine how your website URLs appear when you publish the content. You should do this step before you even publish something.

– Go to Settings -> Permalinks

I prefer using /%postname%/

You may also consider using /%category%//%postname%/

Note: This step should be done when you are setting up a brand-new website. Otherwise, you will have to deal with 301 redirects in order to get rid of broken links.

5Create Post Categories

They help you group your posts so it enhances User Experience(UX) and Google’s appreciation

6Install RankMath SEO plugin

Though there are some other nice ultimate SEO plugins in the game, I recommend you using RankMath.

It’s ultra helpful and easy to use.

Trust me, this plugin will help you optimize your website like none others.

This guide will be helpful.

Step 2: Set up Google Search Console

This free tool is a must-have in the webmaster’s arsenal.

google webmasters search console full seo checklist

It is designed to help you check your website’s performance in Google search. There are numerous useful features like:

  • Fixing website errors
  • Submitting the website’s sitemap
  • Checking keyword traffic
  • And many more.

Step 3: Set up Google Analytics

This vital tool helps you get information about website visitors.

google analytics full seo checklist
  • How they come to your site
  • What they do on it

Do you want to know the amount of traffic your website gets?

Or maybe bounce rate with dwell time?

Google Analytics is exactly what you need!

If you want to go even further, I suggest you connect your Google Analytics with Google Search Console.

This single step will provide you with useful SEO information in your Google Analytics.

The Complete WordPress SEO Optimization Guide will help you make sure you don’t miss anything.

Step #4: Do Website CRO

It will help make your website more engaging and increase your business revenue.

These 40 actionable steps may help.

Stage #2: Keyword Research

Extensive keyword research is a step that cannot be omitted when doing SEO.

There are lots of ways and techniques that can help you do it the right way. Let me tell you my personal TOP 3.

Method 1: Forums, Q&As

These are the places I LOVE to visit when looking for awesome keywords.

People are looking for answers to very specific questions.

Why not take some good keywords out of those questions?

finding a keyword on quora forum full seo checklist

Pros: Exact keywords people are looking for

Cons: May be a little bit time-consuming

Method 2: Use “Google Suggest”

Anytime you are struggling to find some decent long-tail keywords, just go straight to Google search.

Type your target keyword:

typing the keyword in the google search full seo checklist

Don’t press enter, wait for Google to show you some suggestions:

Google Suggest keywords full seo checklist

Google shows you EXACTLY what people search for.

Choose any you like.

Method 3: Hack Udemy

Udemy and other learning platforms are gold mines for keyword searchers.

First, find your niche:

udemy category full seo checklist

Then, pick up one of the best selling courses

the course in the udemy full seo checklist

The thing you should look for is the course curriculum.

Instructors who created it paid extra attention to the words they used.

You may find lots of nice keyword variations out there.

keywords udemy course curriculum full seo checklist

Want to know more cool methods?

Check it out: Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide

Stage #3: Technical SEO

Don’t skip this stage as it may help your site rank better or ruin it.

Step 1: Deal with the Website’s Speed

Slow site = Forgotten Site

Make sure you do all the necessary steps to optimize your site for speed.

Here are some quick tips for you to follow:

  1. Choose the Speed-Optimized WordPress theme
  2. Don’t upload images that weight a lot
  3. Use a nice caching plugin like W3 Total Cache
  4. Connect your site to CDN

Pro Tip: If you want to make your website really fast, choose a reputable WordPress Hosting provide

Step 2: Check Mobile-Friendliness

Nowadays if your site is not shown properly on mobile devices, you are gonna have big problems with your rankings.

Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out if your website’s doing fine.

Good news is that almost all of the modern WP themes are responsive and mobile-optimized.

mobile friendliness is one of the most important elements of full seo checklist

Optimizing your website for mobile is also very important because of Google Voice Search.

Step 3: Start Using HTTPS

It’s one of the ranking signals that also add some security to your web property.

Honestly, you’d better do it right from the beginning of your website life.

If it happens that you don’t, check out this nice guide that will help you transfer your site.

Step 4: Get Rid of Broken Links

Broken links are parasites that hurt your site. You should fix them ASAP.

The fastest way to do it is to have your website checked.

Try BrokenLinkCheck.

Step 5: Scan for Crawl Errors

If Google can’t crawl your page, it won’t rank the page.

Go to Google Search Console, Index -> Coverage

index coverage google search console report full seo checklist

Make sure there are no errors, and if there are, deal with them.

Stage #4: Content

Content is one of the few things that make your site really stand out.

Be serious about producing the finest pieces of content in your niche and marketing them.

Step 1: Produce in-depth, well-researched content.

A definitive article easily outperforms the 500-word notes.

They attract more visitors and links.

They are also paramount for a high Google E-A-T score.

Step 2: Create the content that people and search engines love

There certain types of content that gets more share and likes than others.

Here they are:

  • Ultimate Guides
  • List Posts
  • Research and original data
  • Product Review
  • How to
  • Interview
  • Video

Step 3: Enhance Readability

1Use the appealing font

Google fonts is a good place to start.

2Divide the Content Into Easy-to-Read Chunks
It will increase dwell time and reduce the bounce rate.

3Use Subheadings

They are great for UX

You may even consider created special banners for them (like I do on this blog).

4Add Some Visual Assets

No multimedia = No attention

You can make your content much more attractive if you add some of them:

  • Images
  • Screenshots
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Charts and Graphs

For further information, you may check: SEO Copywriting Techniques

As you have composed an article, you may even bring it to a whole new level.

On-Page SEO is one of the best things you can do for your site.

Stage #5: On-Page SEO

Step 1: Put keywords in the right places

It would be a waste of time if you find the great long-tail keywords and never use them on your page.

Here are the places you should put them in:

  • Title
  • Title Description
  • URL
  • Introduction
  • <H1> and <H2> Tags
  • Image Description

Step 2: Optimize Images

Names and alt tags of images help search engines understand what they are all about and increase the comprehension of the whole article.

The better they are optimized the higher you may rank.

Pay attention to:

  • Image Name
  • Description
  • Alt Text
  • Image Size and Format

If you want to maximize the potential of your images, The Beginner’s Image SEO Guide is at your service.

Step 3: Use Internal and External Links

Internal links will help visitors and Google spiders scan your website.

They increase the dwell time on the site and improves UX.

Include 3-4 internal links in your article.

inner link in the article full seo checklist

External links boost your article authority in the eyes of Big G.

Include about 2-5 do-follow links to reliable resources.

On-Page SEO Guide will show you everything you need to know about inner website optimization.

Step 4: Mobile SEO

Follow the tips from this Mobile SEO Guide to make sure your website is 100% mobile-ready.

Stage #6: Link Building

Link building is a HUGE deal in SEO. You don’t have links you don’t have rankings, period.

It might be a time-consuming way, so lots of marketers use some back-hat SEO methods to get quick and easy links.

Those methods will bring you nothing but frustration.

Here are my favorite ways to get nice high-quality links:

1Article Promotion

This is the very first step I suggest you do after you hit the button “publish”.

Step #1 Share the Post in You Social Media Pages

share post on facebook full seo checklist

Step #2 Outreach influencers in your niche

When doing the research before composing an article, you may come across to some popular bloggers in your niche.

They usually produce great stuff.

Why not mention their works in your posts?

It will help you get noticed by them and even get some powerful links.

Step #3 Answer forum questions

I am not talking about garbage forums. I am talking about Quora and industry-leading forums.

– Visit the forum and type in the target keyword

quora picking the right questions full seo checklist

– Pick up an interesting question with a reasonable amount of views and answer it

quora answer by nikitashevchenko full seo checklist

2Guest Posting
That is a great old-school technique that still works great today. It also helps you get more traffic and build brand recognition.

– Find a list of high-quality websites using these search strings:

  • Keyword “guest post”
  • Keyword “write for us”
  • Keyword submit your content”

– Check the requirements for the contributors, and find out what posts they are looking for.

– Compose a great piece of content with a few links to your site in it and send it.

Note: Some websites do not allow you to promote your site within the article, but you may put some links in the author’s bio.

3Broken link building

This method may help you acquire backlinks from some really powerful websites. The reason why this technique works so great is that you are getting the backlinks by providing value first.

The principle is simple:

– Look for the pages that have lots of outbound links on them(e.g. resource pages)

– Check the links on the page (If you use Google Chrome you may use “LinkMiner” extension)

blog page broken links full seo checklist

– If you find a problem, contact the site owners and let them know about the problem.

Mention that you have a nice replacement for them(your article that perfectly fit as a replacement)

Here is a script you may find useful:

Subject: Something wrong with the link.

Hi [Name], I came across your website today.

It’s fantastic!

I found lots of great content on it.

But, I also found a link that doesn’t work fine.

Here it is: [URL of broken links].

Actually I recently published a great article on the same topic and might be a great replacement to the broken link.

Here is the link to my article: [Article URL].

Thank you for your time, hope it’s gonna help.

[Your name]

Full SEO Checklist would not be complete without some additional strategies you can implement for better website rankings and performance.

Below are the bonus techniques that will help your blog succeed effortlessly.

Bonus Technique #1: Build an Email list

Believe it or not, email marketing beats any other type of advertising easily!

If you are serious about your website you HAVE TO build an extensive email list immediately.

It will give you a group of people who trust you and will to check out your site’s updates or new offers.

Some of the best techniques to build an email list are:

1Giving a freebie in exchange for the email address.

freebie in the post full seo checklist

2Subscription box in the sidebar

optin box in the widget area full seo checklist


Again, you are offering a freebie or some other deals in order to grab visitor’s attention and email.

abandonment pop up offer full seo checklist

Do you want to start building the email list right now?

I suggest you trying ThriveLeads.

This all-in-one powerful list building plugin will get you subscribers in no time!

They also have an extensive library of resources for beginners and pros who want to have thousands of blog subscribers.

Bonus Technique #2: Improve User Experience(UX)

Do you want the visitors to hit the “back” button or stay longer on your website?

I bet you choose the second option.

Improving UX will help you succeed. Here are some finest tips for you to bring your website UX to another level:

Step 1: Choose an awesome WordPress theme

It all starts with the design. Professional appearance attracts people and makes your website legit.

Fortunately, modern premium themes have all the features you need to quench visitor’s appetites. You can select the right theme by filtering the categories.

Note: Use themes from reputable online shops like GeneratePress.

Check out their products.

generatepress themes full seo checklist

Step 2: Check the usability

Devil is in details. Use desktop, laptop, tablets, and phones to check your website response.

Also, try it on all major browsers. Make sure that all the forms visitors may fill in are working fine.

Step 3: A/B Testing

You should always be in seek of perfect. Trying new calls to action, social sharing ways and subscription tunnels are MUST.

You never know exactly with your target audience unless you experiment.

A/B testing is one of the best ways to find answers.

website a and b testing full seo checklist

Bonus Technique #3: Optimize for google e-A-T

Google E-A-T plays a huge role in SEO nowadays. It stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

If your website has no trust, search engines will not take you seriously, popular bloggers will not link to you and people will not use your services.

How can you elevate your trust?

– Check your domain authority in Moz

check domain authority in moz pro full seo checklist

– Follow actionable steps below:

1. Link Out to Reliable Niche-Related Sites

About 2-5 outbound links on the page will do.

2. Add “Essential Pages” to your site

Pages like:

  • About
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Affiliate Disclosure (if you earn on affiliates)

are MUST HAVE. Google loves them, so should you.

3. Trusted Domain Info

  • Register your domain for 3+ years
  • Don’t make your whois private (it rises suspensions)
  • Use a reputable hosting provider like Siteground

4. Be Active on Your Social Media Pages

5. Build Links to Your Site

Quality links remain one of the strongest trust signals for search engines.

6. Write Quality Content

Content is King! It is what separates quality blogs from mediocrity.

Work on the quality first and be consistent.

And that’s it!

If you implement even half of the strategies from this full SEO checklist, you will be way ahead of 90% competitors.

Let me ask you a couple of questions:

  • Which strategies do you find the most useful?
  • What would you add to this SEO checklist?
  • Write in the comment section below.

What to do next?

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