The Ultimate SEO Checklist

Checklists are awesome because they break down complex processes into understandable bite-sized chunks. Plus you get the added benefit of checking items off as you complete them, giving you that instant gratification boost. We recently came across this “Ultimate SEO Checklist,”  it covers the top 30 things you should consider when it comes to getting a site live and into the search index.  Feel free to check off items as you go along. Every check below = 1 point. You can rack up a maximum of 30 points, and the closer you are to 30… the BETTER!

Please note, not all of these factors may apply to your specific situation, if you have any questions give us a call. 

  1. Have you created a new Google Account and Email address for your site?
  2. Have you installed Google Analytics?
  3. Have you installed Google Webmaster Tools?
  4. Have you installed Bing Webmaster Tools?
  5. Are you using WordPress? Have you installed Google Analytics for WordPress and SEO for WordPress?
  6. Have you checked Google Webmaster Tools for 404 / 500 errors, duplicate content, missing titles and other technical errors that Google has found?
  7. Have you used SEO Browser to find even more technical errors (the most common error people make are 302 redirects that should be 301 redirects)?
  8. Have you used Xenu to find any broken links you might have?
  9. Have you used Google’s Keyword Research Tool? Be sure to consider searcher intent and difficulty, pick 1 keyword per page, and you’ll generally want to start with lower-volume keywords first.
  10. Have you looked at competitor link profiles? This way you can see what kind of anchor text they’re using, as well as how and where they’ve been getting their links. Input competitor domains at Link DiagnosisOpen Site ExplorerAhrefsMajestic SEO and LipperHey
  11. Have you incorporated your primary keyword (or something close) into your page URL?
  12. Are all of your title tags 70 characters or less? Title tags over 70 will be truncated in results.
  13. Are all of your meta description tags 156 characters or less? Meta description tags over 156 will be truncated in results.
  14. Have you used only one H1 tag? Is it before any (H2, H3, H4…) tags? Is your keyword in the tag?
  15. Do you have a healthy amount of search engine-accessible text on your site? My recommendation is at least 100 words, because you want to give search engines an opportunity to understand what the topic of your page is. You can still rank with less, and you don’t ever want to put unnecessary text on your site, but I recommend not creating a new page unless you have roughly 100 words worth of content.
  16. Did you use synonyms in your copy by using the “~keyword” advanced search operator? Remember: synonyms are great, and using natural language that’s influenced by keyword research (rather than just pure keywords) is highly encouraged!
  17. Do your images have descriptive ALT tags and filenames? Search engines “see” images by reading the ALT tag and looking at file names, among other factors. Try to be descriptive when you name your images. Don’t overdo it! Being spammy about this can trigger an over-optimization penalty.
  18. Are you linking to your internal pages in an SEO-friendly way? Are you describing the page your linking to in the anchor text, so that both users and search engines understand what it’s about? I recommend not using anchor text in your global nav because it can look like over-optimization. Stick to in-content links instead.
  19. Have you started off-page optimization and began building links? This is the hardest, most important aspect of SEO! Check out the ClickMinded Link Building Strategy Guide to get started.
  20. Have you made sure your site isn’t creating any duplicate content? Utilize 301 redirects, canonical tags or use Google Webmaster Tools to fix any dupicate content that might be indexing and penalizing your site.
  21. Are you using absolute URLs in your code? Some CMS platforms give you the option. Use absolute URLs instead of relative ones.
  22. Have you checked your site speed with Google Page Speed Tools?
  23. Have you created an XML sitemap and submitted it to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools? Use or the Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin.
  24. Have you created a Robots.txt file and submitted it in Google and Bing Webmaster Tools?
  25. Is your site mobile friendly? Have you checked it on multiple browsers with BrowserStack?
  26. Have you setup social media accounts on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+?
  27. Have you added Authorship Markup to your site? Use the Authorship Markup Walkthrough.
  28. Have you used the MetaFever’s SEO On-Page Optimization Report to double-check everything once you’re live?
  29. Have you reviewed all of the free SEO tools at your disposal before completing this audit? If you don’t understand some of the high-level concepts (don’t worry, it can be tough!)
  30. Have you claimed your business / website username on other major networks for reputation management reasons? Not only do you want to make sure no one else gets your account name, but you can often “own” all the results on the first page of a search for your brand if you’re a new website or company. Here is the URL structure of some of the major networks (I’ve avoided linking directly to sign up pages because they keep changing):

Once you have completed the checklist, tally your score out of 30 possible points

Total Points………………………………………………………………………..   __________

Checklist Key

30-25 points – Stellar SEO Superstar

24-20 points – Stairway to SEO stardom

19-15 points – Sorta Searchable

14- 0 – Slacking on SEO (Here’s a tip: contact the marketing team at Executionists to prepare a free website audit detailing ways you can improve the visibility of your website in “natural,” or un-paid searches.)

–Thanks clickminded for these great SEO tips!

Author: Daniella Azencot

by admin
Posted: February 18, 2013