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4-Step SEO Checklist to Rank High on Google

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Increasing your website’s search rankings using SEO best practices is instrumental in achieving business success in today’s search-heavy consumer world. Many shoppers start their shopping journey by performing a Google search. As a business, you want your website to appear on top of Google when your target audience is searching for products or services you offer so that your target market can become aware of your brand and purchase from you.

If you want to boost your website’s search rankings, use this 4-step SEO checklist.

1. Start with keyword research

While Google’s search algorithm has gotten significantly more intelligent over the years, Google still uses keywords in webpages’ titles and content to rank pages on Google search results. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency and you want to rank for the search term Google Analytics 4 consulting, Google Ads Toronto, or Toronto SEO, you want to create a landing page for each of these services and include their respective relevant keywords in the page title and body content. For example, the Toronto SEO service page should have the keyword phrase “Toronto SEO” in the page title and body content.

To perform comprehensive keyword research, you can use Google Ads Keyword Planner which generates popular keywords that online shoppers use to search for products or services.

2. Add short-tail and long-tail keywords on your website

Short-tail keywords are generally defined as keyword phrases that are shorter than three keywords. Example: best boys toys. Long-tail keywords are defined as keyword phrases that are longer than three keywords. Example: blue running shoes for men Nike. You can rank for both types of search terms by creating pages that contain short-tail keywords to attract shoppers who don’t have a specific brand or product in mind to your website. For example, you can create a page that says Best Gift Ideas to appear in Google search results to those who are simply looking for gift ideas and searching for gift ideas online. You can create a page that has long-tail keywords such as “Handmade Christmas Gift Cards Made By Canadian Artists” to appear on Google search results to shoppers who are specifically looking for handmade Christmas gift cards that are designed by Canadian artists. Creating both types of pages helps you get the best of both worlds and maximize your online visibility and organic traffic!

3. Add schema markup

Schema markup, found at, is a form of microdata. Once added to a webpage, schema markup creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results.

Top search engines – including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex – first started collaborating to create, back in 2011.

Schema markup is especially important in the age of Hummingbird and RankBrain. How a search engine interprets the context of a query will determine the quality of a search result.

Schema can provide context to an otherwise ambiguous webpage.

For example, if you’re a used book store in Vancouver, you can add schema markup to your website to include business information such as your business’ physical address, social media profiles, phone number, and industry. Adding such information helps your business improve its search rankings for local or relevant search terms.

4. Earn external backlinks

A backlink refers to a link from website A to another website. For example if website A links to website B, the link is considered a backlink for website B.

The more quality backlinks a website earns, the more credible a website appears to Google. The more credible a website appears to Google, the more likely a website will rank higher on Google search results. To earn backlinks, you can engage in PR outreach, guest blogging, or other media approaches.

About the author


Ray Wang

Ray Wang is the owner of RW Digital, a Vancouver digital marketing agency. Ray specializes in data analytics, digital advertising, SEO, WordPress website development for consumer brands and hospitality, real estate, self storage, and social-impact industries and startups.