SEO Maintenance Checklist

SEO Checklist

Maintaining an effective SEO maintenance checklist requires careful planning and consistent effort. Without a structured approach, valuable time and resources can be wasted, yielding little return on investment.  

SEO is an ongoing process, never truly “done,” and incomplete activities are not uncommon.  

To address this challenge and ensure a focused and impactful SEO strategy, it’s beneficial to break down SEO maintenance tasks into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual milestones.  

This helps maintain efficiency and alignment with broader goals and strategies. 

Daily Checklist

Daily Audit - Fixing Errors

1. Educate Yourself: Remaining informed about the latest trends in the industry is a crucial element of SEO, and it should be integrated into every maintenance or ongoing management strategy.  

This involves staying on top of essential alerts and updates directly communicated by search engines and staying informed about current SEO best practices and any breaking news in the field. 

2. Know Your Current Metrics: It’s crucial for brands and companies heavily reliant on lead generation for their sales team to monitor key SEO performance metrics in real time. 

Understanding how your website is faring in search using top-level metrics is vital for identifying potential issues. These warning signs may include a specific or overall drop in positioning, a decline in organic traffic, or a decrease in sales or lead volume. 

Plus, regularly monitoring actual performance allows you to compare against benchmarks and baselines, ensuring a thorough understanding of cause and effect about your metrics.  

This proactive approach helps you intervene before issues linger for too long. 

Weekly Checklist

Site-Audit

1. Make Progress on Tactics: For a successful SEO plan or campaign, it’s crucial to establish clear goals, a strategic approach, and specific tactics.  

Without a well-defined plan or process, you risk investing time in chasing after SEO elements that may have minimal impact and low priority. 

Your daily routine should encompass specific tasks, milestones, and attainable actions that contribute to the overall objectives.  

Tactics may involve implementing new strategies gradually or following a rinse-and-repeat methodology for certain action items. 

Regardless, it’s essential to have a detailed list of technical, on-page, and off-page actions outlined for the entire year, broken down into monthly segments, and further categorized into daily tactics and progress to ensure you stay on course. 

Monthly Checklist

Position Tracking

1. Report on Performance: In addition to regularly tracking KPIs daily or weekly, it’s beneficial to take a broader approach by using monthly cycles for comprehensive performance reporting. 

Monthly checkpoints provide dedicated time to analyze a larger set of data, enabling the identification of trends. When reporting monthly performance, it’s essential to include year-over-year comparisons for the completed month and any available year-to-date statistics. 

Ensure consistency by finding meaningful intervals for measurement. Examining extended periods facilitates the identification of trends that might be challenging to discern in smaller sample sizes. 

2. Recap Completed and Continuing Action Items: It’s beneficial to take a broader approach by using monthly cycles for comprehensive performance reporting. 

Monthly checkpoints provide dedicated time to analyze a larger set of data, enabling the identification of trends. When reporting monthly performance, it’s essential to include year-over-year comparisons for the completed month and any available year-to-date statistics. 

 3. Plan Next Month’s Action Items and Evaluate the Plan: Using monthly intervals is a great way to ensure accountability in completing tasks. Even with a well-planned yearly schedule, SEO dynamics can change, and initial expectations may not always match performance outcomes. 

Adopting a monthly planning approach allows for flexibility in adjusting, whether it involves doubling down on a specific tactic or recalibrating the overall strategy.  

This agility in monthly evaluations prevents overthinking and hasty reactions while avoiding the risk of letting too much time pass without adapting to evolving trends and goals. 

Maintaining a balanced mix of planned tactics and actions and the flexibility to pivot when necessary is often the most effective strategy to stay current and proactive. 

Quarterly Checklist

On-Page SEO Audit

1. Technical Issues Auditing: Once you’ve addressed technical issues during the initial stages of your SEO efforts and are actively keeping an eye out for any potential problems in your daily and weekly monitoring, it becomes crucial to adopt a broader perspective through a quarterly audit. 

This audit should encompass a thorough examination of reported problems in both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.  

Additionally, it involves comparing your site’s performance against benchmarks and standards for factors like site speed, mobile usability, validation of structured data, and other aspects that may not receive regular attention. 

2. On-Page Issues Auditing: Even with regular monitoring, website issues can arise due to factors like code updates, database changes, plugin or extension updates, and content publishing.  

These can lead to problems such as duplicate tags, duplicated content, or missing on-page elements.  

Conducting a quarterly audit to identify on-page issues is crucial, and various free and subscription-based third-party tools can be employed for this purpose.  

Some tools even provide alerts, seamlessly integrating with daily operations to notify changes like a wiped-out meta description. 

And, when auditing on-page issues, pay close attention to the following elements: 

  • Search Intent Nailed: Make sure that your content aligns with the search intent of the target keywords
  • Unique Element Added: Add unique elements to your content that set it apart from competitors. 
  • Word Count Met: Confirm that your content meets the optimal word count for the topic. 
  • Search Term In H1: Verify that the primary search term is included in the H1 tag. 
  • Search Term 1st Paragraph: Check if the primary search term or keyword is present in the opening paragraph. 
  • Evergreen URL Slug: Ensure that the URL slug is evergreen and reflects the content’s long-term relevance. 
  • Content A+ Graded: Evaluate the overall quality of the content, making sure it meets high standards. 
  • Critical Data Frontloaded: Frontload critical data to captivate users’ attention early in the content. 
  • Key Takeaway Section: Include a section summarizing key takeaways for readers. 
  • Internal Links: Check for relevant internal links to improve site navigation. 
  • External Links: Verify the relevance and credibility of external links. 
  • Images and Graphics: Ensure the presence of images or graphics to enhance user engagement. 
  • Images Renamed: Confirm that images have descriptive and SEO-friendly filenames. 
  • Featured Image Added: Check if a featured image is included for visual appeal. 
  • Video Embedded: Confirm that relevant videos are embedded to enrich the content. 
  • Bulleted and Numbered Lists: Use lists to present information in a structured and readable format. 
  • Helpful Table Added: Consider incorporating tables for clearer data presentation. 
  • Lead Magnet Included: If applicable, include a lead magnet to encourage user engagement. 
  • Search Term in Conclusion: Ensure the primary search term is reiterated in the conclusion. 
  • Call To Action (CTA): Check for clear and compelling calls to action throughout the content. 
  • Grammarly Check: Run a Grammarly check to eliminate any grammatical errors. 
  • Featured Snippets: Optimize content for featured snippets to enhance visibility. 
  • Meta Tags: Review and update meta tags for accuracy and relevance. 
  • Submitted To GSC: Confirm that the updated content has been submitted to Google Search Console. 

3. Link Profile Auditing: The SEO strategy probably involves some sort of link building (Internal Linking & External Linking).  

This could be achieved by attracting links with interesting content or through a more targeted approach involving research and outreach. It’s a crucial aspect of ongoing tactics or should at least be considered if it isn’t already. 

This involves assessing the quality, quantity, and diversity of links, the relevance of linked content, and making comparisons to competitors and benchmarks. Period-over-period evaluations are crucial to ensuring that the plan is achieving its intended goals in terms of backlinks. 

4. Local Listings Audit: Once you’ve put your local listings management on maintenance mode, you may not find the need for frequent major changes in NAP (name, address, phone) data or encounter inconsistencies in listing data regularly. However, that doesn’t mean you can “set it and forget it.” 

It’s strongly recommended to conduct an audit using third-party tools like Semrush or Ahrefs at least quarterly to ensure the accuracy and consistency of your data.  

This audit can uncover issues that may require individual attention and offer insights into performance. 

Yearly Checklist

1. Measure Performance: When working on SEO plans, whether within the context of annual agreements or not, it’s beneficial to analyze a full year of data. T  

SEO is a gradual process aimed at securing the most competitive position on search engines. Taking the time to examine performance data over 12 months, comparing it to previous benchmarks, and acknowledging successes is a worthwhile investment. 

2. Planning Strategy and Tactics: Apart from examining annual performance data, it would help if you mapped out your goals, strategy, and tactics for the upcoming year.  

While the plan may evolve shortly into the year, having a structured plan and establishing targets is crucial for tracking progress. 

Lack of a plan, insights from past experiences, and a practical assessment of resources allocated for the upcoming year can lead to a disparity between expectations and actual outcomes.  

Addressing this issue early rather than realizing it months into the journey is advisable. 

Conclusion

When you’re working on SEO maintenance checklist, whether it’s within the context of annual agreements or not, it’s beneficial to analyze a full year of data.  

This approach helps guide your strategy and allows for the identification of measurable ROI, even if you’re not on an annual evaluation cycle. 

SEO is a gradual process aimed at securing the most competitive position on search engines. Taking the time to examine performance data over a 12-month period, comparing it to previous benchmarks, and acknowledging successes is a worthwhile investment. 

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