The Ultimate List To Beat The Best SEO Ranking Softwares
The 40 Point Checklist
There are many services and even more softwares that claim they can get your site to outrank all competitors and make your site number 1 on search engines.
Although some of these may seem to be true and provide valuable tools, information and guides, the truth is they always miss out a few things.
These so called best SEO ranking softwares, may even harm your site.
Performing certain tasks that once seemed to be good to rank on search engines but are now frowned upon.
So it’s always wise to know the right from wrong and to best avoid these mistakes, it’s always better to do things yourself.
This is why I created a massive resourceful list with the most important and easiest things to keep in mind when trying to rank on search engines, especially Google.
All the things included in this list can be done by yourself regardless of how experienced you are and how long you’ve been in the internet marketing game.
This will be especially useful for those who don’t want to invest a lot of money on services that can be done yourself.
Without further ado let’s jump into it:
#1 – Google Analytics:
One of the first things you should do, once you’ve created and established your site, is to sync it with Google Analytics.
Not only will it improve your SEO with Google for obvious reasons, it will also tell you a lot of information.
You can use this information to see where your site is performing strongly as well as where it needs improvements.
#2 – Google Search Console:
Similar to Google Analytics, Google search console has many resourceful insights to your site. For instance you may check all the errors, index statuses and more with it.
It is also one of the first things you should link your site too once you’ve created it.
#3 – All In One SEO/SEO By Yoast:
If you’re using WordPress, definitely install one of the two (or any other similar) plugin, to further enhance your SEO performance.
Personally I’m using all in one SEO but SEO by Yoast may be a bit more user friendly for beginners. It helps you in a number of ways.
Some of which includes helping you with the use of keywords and how to insert the correct amount of words in your meta description for instance.
#4 – Keyword Planner:
Every page, every article and actually every content you produce on your website should have some sort of keyword planning.
Finding the right keywords requires you to use the right keyword planner. There are tons of different amazing tools you can use. Free ones as well as paid ones are great.
Of course I have my personal favorite too, but occasionally I also use the free tool provided by Google.
#5 – Keyword In Page URL:
Once you have singled out your main keyword or focus keyword, it’s important to include that in your page URL.
Although this is a simple task to do, it’s often overlooked so keep it in mind.
#6 – Keyword Formatting (Bold, Italic, etc.):
Throughout your articles, posts and pages that should have your keywords spread out, you want to format these occasionally.
Try using bolds, italics and underlining them naturally. This will not only make it easier to read for your audience, it will also improve your SEO.
#5 – See What Competitors Are Doing:
Another very overlooked task, especially by beginners. What best way to produce content to rank for than checking what already ranks?
Using tools such as Ahrefs will let you see what your competitors are doing and how you could beat them by identifying which posts are shared the most for instance.
You can also see where their backlinks are coming from and seeing if you could manage to gather one from the same source.
I also personally like to keep a list of blogs of high authority people in my niche to look what content they produce to learn form them as well as to get inspired.
#6 – Short Title:
Make sure not to have a massive title. Anything over 60 characters will not only be too long, but it will also get cut off by the snippet you can see on search engine results.
Therefore it is advised to keep it at around 9 words tops. See below example:
#7 – Meta Description Tag:
Similar to keeping your text nice and short for the title, you want to have 155 or less characters for your meta description.
If you have more it will also get cut off which doesn’t look great in the snippet.
#8 – H1 Tag only once, H2 and H3:
Using a header is key, as well as using several sub-headers. This means you want to use 1 main title with an H1 tag (once and at the top) followed by several smaller ones.
When using smaller ones try to vary from H2, H3 and even H4 if possible.
Also make sure to include your keyword in the main H1 title.
#9 – Number Of Words:
When creating content, you want to include enough words per page. Although there are some people that manage to rank very high with fewer words, the more the better.
As you can see from the below image from the SerpIQ study performed, the longer the content, the better it generally tends to rank.
#10 – Keyword Synonyms:
When writing your text, you want to use your list of keywords of course. But in order to make it seem more natural, you want to use synonyms for those keywords.
You’ll rank for other words and your text looks more authentic, genuine and natural.
#11 – Use Images:
Definitely make use of images to support your text and content. Not only will it break up long texts, it will also give more value to your site.
It will make sharing your content easier for visually supported social medias and you may rank for your focus keyword better once again, but more on that in the next point.
#12 – Alt tags and File Names:
When using images, make sure to give them their keywords in their alt tags and file names.
This is how search engines pick up these images and let you rank for them, thus improving the overall SEO of your site.
#13 – Use Videos If Possible:
As well as using images to improve SEO, you can use videos too. This will benefit your site for numerous reasons.
One major factor is that it is a lot easier to keep them on your site for longer, thus decreasing the bounce rate.
It’s also easier and faster to watch a video that is a few minutes long and get informed rather than going through a 2,000+ word text.
#14 – Link Internally:
You want your site to come across as informative as possible and a good site usually has several good articles and posts to help people.
By linking internally to relevant articles, you’re showing search engines that you have a ton of good information.
Obviously make sure to link only when relevant and don’t go crazy with your interlinking.
#15 – Link Externally:
Just as important as the interlink is the external link. Make sure to link to high authority websites when you have valuable information that can be related to it.
Again don’t overdo it as you want the main source to be your site.
#16 – Create Social Media Accounts:
Definitely create (if you haven’t done so already) social media profiles and accounts. The most vital ones are Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest in my opinion.
Instagram and LinkedIn are also great ones. All of these let you include a website URL’s and socially share your content which is the next point…
#17 – Share Content On Social Accounts:
The best way to make your site rank and be looked at positively by search engines, is when it goes viral.
What better way to expose it to millions of people through social media? Make sure to share it wisely though.
Use the right format for images within the right platform.
Include the right amount of text for the relevant social account and post in the right groups for others for best results.
#18 – Speed Check:
The fast your website loads, the better it will be ranked and the more users will visit it. If it takes too long people are more likely to give up before it even finished loading.
It’s always on my ‘to do’ list but it never gets done. Tools like the Google speed checker let you identify which problem areas could be improved.
#19 – Mobile Friendly:
Optimizing your website means you need to optimize it for both platforms, the pc/laptop visitors and the smartphone/tablet visitors.
Nowadays everyone surfs on their phone an incredible amount of time.
If your website isn’t supported for these platforms your missing out massively and your rank will definitely get affected by it too!
#20 – Network With Influencers:
This point kind of falls into several sub categories. For instance networking in my opinion includes commenting on their blogs, letting them comment on yours.
Include links to their site and vice versa and learning from them and implementing it on your site would be another form of networking.
Give them a shoutout when you share content socially and show when you’ve included them in your posts.
#21 – Site Size:
The bigger your site the better. The more content is on your site the more you’ll be able to rank for and the more resources you can provide.
So obviously search engines prefer bigger sites for that reason. However, it is still important to have long, quality posts instead of just a bunch of empty sites!
#22 – Site Age:
Not much you can do about this point but just keep it in mind that your website is like a valuable website. The older it gets the more value it will have.
Just like a good red wine or classic car, you want to take good care of the site and let it age.
#23 – Site Accessibility:
Your site may have a lot of valuable resources and a ton of great content, but if no one finds it it’s pointless.
When I first started off, I didn’t have a ‘home’ button because I thought it was obvious to click on the logo to get redirected.
When someone mentioned to me that he couldn’t find his way back to the homepage, I instantly changed it and included the button.
Another thing I included was the search bar and categories tab. That way there’s a lot of accessibility for everyone on my site!
#24 – Incoming Links From Similar Sites:
A bit harder to achieve but again this is easily done by networking appropriately and producing quality content.
Feel free to have a look at my link building post for a more detailed guide.
The more incoming links from quality sites you get, the better. This will boost your SEO rank through the roof.
#25 – Age Of Inbound Links:
Another time related point where it is slightly out of your hands, but the older the incoming link is that’s linking to a particular part of your website, the better.
Time is usually related to quality. The younger the link, the less valuable it gets to be perceived.
#26 – .Edu And .Gov Links:
The only links that may be more valuable that links coming from authority sites, created by people that are in the same niche as you, are probably .edu and .gov links.
If you manage to get backlinks from educational or governmental related websites, then you must be providing great information. So definitely try to get some of these.
For the next part of the list I wanted to go into the negative or downranking SEO points you may be doing.
If you’re not doing these that’s great but it’s still good to know what may influence your site negatively.
A lot of these points will be better explained by the list SEMrush provided near the end of the year 2015.
However I included some additional points to fill out some of the points they may have missed:
#27 – Link Building:
Although link building is the heart and soul of increasing your rank and traffic, you have to watch out as well.
For instance, you shouldn’t purchase 1,500 backlinks from a service, because not only will these probably be terrible links, they will also look incredibly unnatural.
Unless you somehow manage to get 1,500 backlinks regularly.
#28 – Anchor Text:
Exact match anchor texts is a big no, no for your SEO! It doesn’t even matter whether or not you’re doing this intentional.
Google will perceive this as trying to over-optimize your content, so it can get you penalized.
#29 – Link Profile:
Depending on how many links a website has it can get a certain ranking. What you want to avoid however is having bad backlinks as we established.
It’s best to get your link profile to be clean and only have quality links. You can use the webmaster tool to clean up your profile.
#30 – Unfriendly Mobile Site:
We’ve established in a previous point that you want to make your site as mobile friendly as possible to improve your SEO.
But here’s the catch, if you have a very badly optimized site (for mobile gadgets) it can actually harm your rank.
If for instance you provide too many links in a short space or have a really small font that makes it hard to read on smartphones it’s definitely not friendly.
#31 – Low User Engagement:
I always try to get people to share and comment on my blog because of this exact reason.
If people visit your site and think your content isn’t good enough, there’s little to no chance of anything you produce ever being shared around.
Therefore it’s vital to stimulate and encourage the audience to be engaging. Make them look around your site, explore, share and comment on it.
Try including share buttons to make it easier for them to share such as the above image shows.
#32 – Poor User Experience:
Again a previously mentioned point was having a low bounce rate. But one of the major ranking factors to decrease your rank can be a bad bounce rate!
Make sure to have a look at your analytics frequently and see what posts seem to convert best on your site. Create similar content to keep the audience longer.
#33 – Content Creation:
Apparently this is another major ranking factor of the year 2016! Creating a post once or twice a month apparently doesn’t cut it anymore.
Create continuous content if you want to be ranking in future! Obviously keep in mind that this needs to be quality content as well.
Try to write at least one post a week and you should be ok.
#34 – Quality Content:
As highlighted above, you want to provide quality. Simply writing a quick sentence every day won’t do your site any good.
It will actually damage it! Instead go back to point #9 and remember that size does matter (at least in this case).
#35 – Interstitial Ads:
Lot of ad popups for app downloads with tiny exit buttons is seen as a a very negative and actually downranking factor.
According to some sources, this may actualy get your site punished. Try to exclude these popups from your site!
#36 – Reconsideration Request Misuse:
If you’ll get penalized by violating the webmaster tools guidelines, you are able to send a reconsideration request to get it revoked.
But there are many misuses of this guideline. Make sure to have a look at the guidelines they provide in order not to misuse this request.
Basically, try not to get penalized and revoked constantly and you’ll be fine.
#37 – Duplicate Content:
Almost an obvious point but still major influence. Don’t get too lazy to copy paste content.
It may seem very tempting but you have to be creative and create your own content. Use existing stuff to inspire you but add your own touch to it.
Do a bit of research and make it better.
#38 – Single Pixel Linking:
Single pixel linking, is when you add a “.” for instance and link that to a different page.
It’s obvious to Googles spiders, that you’re just trying to create links to pages, without actually getting users to click on them.
#39 – 100+ Outgoing Links:
Depending on the length of your text, you may have more outbound links. However you don’t want to overdo it either.
If you have that many links going to other pages, you’re just telling Google your site isn’t as great as it could be.
#40 – Keyword Stuffing:
We’ve covered keywords numerous times now and by now you should know that using a various amount of keywords is good as well as their synonyms.
What you don’t want to do however is filling your post with a keyword at every sentence.
If your target keyword is contained in the title, url and maybe within the first 100 words of your text, it’s already good enough.
If you fill it in too much the text will be hard to read.
As you can see these are numerous points for your personal skills to beat the best SEO software out there.
But once you think you can speed up the process and outsmart Google, you’ll probably win in the short run but eventually Google will catch up.
Every year they become smarter and bring out better upgrades to demote sites from their ranking.
Therefore it’s always advised to just simply build your site naturally.
I hope you can make use of this list and feel free to refer to it whenever necessary!
Thanks for reading,