This checklist covers the 5 key technical components of optimising your site for SEO. Although the technical side of SEO can be challenging for some, this article simplifies the process and outlines some tools and resources that can help get your site up to scratch. This is a crucial component of SEO and a key step that cannot be neglected.

Track your sites performance

It’s important to track your site to ensure it is producing results. There are many tools that can assist with this, both paid and free. Google Analytics is a free tracking tool which is great for tracking site metrics and providing insights into your visitors. In order to use the tool, you just need to sign up to Google Analytics with your Google account, then install the tracking code on your site. With WordPress there are many plugins that can assist with this process, two of my favourites are Google Analyticator and Monster Insights by Yoast.

When tracking your keywords and link building some popular tools include Ahrefs , OpensiteExplorerMajesticSEO, and Semrush. These tools have free components where you can view limited reports however if you need more detail you will need to purchase a paid subscription.

Verify & link the Google Search Console

The Google Search Console is another important tracking tool. It can identify backlink issues with your site and other errors. If you also link this to Google Analytics, it will provide additional data on keyword searches that have been used to find your site. To find out how to verify your site visit the Google help centre.

Optimise your pages

On-page search engine optimisation helps your pages rank for certain key words. When optimising your pages, you want to make sure your key word appears in your URL, title and a few times on the page. Its also very important not to over optimise as this will result in penalties.

Ensure each page has a unique meta description and title that are crafted to entice people to visit the page. Google & other search engines may override your description if it is deemed irrelevant to the page contents, so keep it in context. For more detailed information on meta descriptions visit Moz.com.

WordPress also have a number of plugins that can assist with SEO to help you get a healthy on-page SEO score. One of the most popular plugins is Yoast SEO.

Improve site speed and performance

Site speed and performance directly impacts your ranking as google considers it when determining site quality. There are a number of tools that can provide insights into how your site performs and what needs to be fixed. Two popular tools are the Google Site Speed test tool & Pingdom.

With WordPress sites there are a number of plugins you can use to test plugins, cache pages, clean up databases, and optimise images. Some popular caching tools include W3 Total Cache &  WP Super Cache. If you are interested in seeing which plugins slow down your site you can use P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). In terms of keeping your database fast and efficient try the WP Optimise plugin.

Another important element in speeding up your site is image optimisation. Two popular plugins that do this are EWWW Image Optimizer and Smush Image Compression.

Before optimising your site and utilising any of the plugins above its always a good idea to backup your site. Updraft Plus and Back WP UP are great WordPress site backup plugins.

Be mobile ready

Sites that are not mobile ready are disadvantaged in terms of their ranking due to Googles search algorithm which uses the mobile ready components as one of the factors to determine site quality. This may result in a 30-40% decline in traffic for non-mobile ready sites. In order to test your site to see how it performs on mobile devices visit the Google Mobile Ready site test page.