Search engine optimization does not happen by accident. In order to take your content to the next level you need a well laid out plan that takes into account the various aspects of SEO so you do not cheat yourself from maximizing as many traffic avenues as possible. The best way to to be sure you have everything in order is to create and follow an SEO checklist.
1. Isolate the keywords in your content and then make sure that you have everything correctly formatted. This means you want to check that photos have the IMG tag, your meta tags are correct, H1/H2 are present on each page, etc.
2. All the proper formatting in the world will not save poorly written content. Make sure that the content appearing on your site has proper spelling, punctuation and reads clearly. Make sure that your content reaches the proper keyword density targets you have set, but does not cross over the line to keyword spamming.
3. Once you have good content ready to post and everything is correctly formatted, focus on your links. Make sure that links are relevant to the content you are posting. Do not forget to check that any non-essential links have a no-follow property (<ahref=>) to protect your page rank. Also take a moment to be sure that your page is not overloaded with links. Keep in mind that your site should represent an even distribution of links on each page.
4. Make sure that your entry is properly indexed on your site map. To maximize the benefits of SEO and create a user friendly site, a properly indexed and maintained site map cannot be ignored.
5. Build your links. Link building is essential if you really want to create a site that is going to have strong SEO. If you are not familiar with link building, there are several entries concerning not only what link building is but why it is vital to reaching your SEO objectives.
While this list is a rather basic overview of what you need to pay attention, it is a good starting point and serves as a strong reference to help make sure that you stay on track. Depending on your needs, this list can be adapted to incorporate aspects that have not been focused on here, but overall this is the general process that will be followed in most cases.
Once you’ve followed the SEO checklist, you’ll have a solid foundation on which to base future SEO efforts. As you grow your website, clear navigation, an updated sitemap, and a constant interlinking of key pages will help you increase your site’s value and rise in the rankings.