SEO is a constantly evolving process. There are regular changes to what Google and other search engines consider good practices which are rewarded. As a result, there needs to be a process in place that:
1) checks for the latest SEO best practices AND
2) implements as many of those as possible.
For 2016, here is a list of best practices to follow:
Install Google analytics
Add your website to Search Console – This is important because you can get notices from Google about site issues and indexing issues.
Check site speed and optimize – Visitors will abandon any site that takes longer than two to four seconds to load. Use caching or faster hosting to improve load times.
Use an SEO plugin for your CMS – In order to make the best use of on-page SEO, you will need a good SEO plugin.
Ensure site is responsive – Google gives ranking benefits to sites that are responsive and mobile friendly.
Check for and remove broken links – Broken links can cause indexing issues and should be removed as quickly as possible. Use a tool like Xenu link sleuth to scan your website.
Validate HTML and CSS
Use a XML Sitemap
Use structured data where possible – If you have elements like recipes or guides, then use structured data to improve click through rates.
Check website load
Use SSL – Installing a certificate will also give you a definite rank boost. Especially if competing sites remain HTTP.
Claim your business
Apply on-page SEO