SEO Checklist

March 7, 2009 in Search Engine Tricks | Comments (0)

SEO Checklist

This SEO checklist will help you with your search engine marketing. You should know enough about SEO to know what to look for in whomever you outsource.

Use this SEO Checklist of things to review on your own site, and things you can specifically ask a contractor to do:

* Research Your keywords (google keyword tool at least)
* Use unique titles that have a 3 to 4 word keyphrase in it.
* Links to pages in your site using key phrases as text
* focus on a niche, be the expert on one thing
* Target only 1 keyphrase per page
* Use headers with key phrases
* First paragraph should have key phrase
* occasionally strong or em the key phrases
* Use alt tags with key phrases embedded in them
* use  similar word values to and around your key phrase links
* remove as much css and js to external files as possible
* limit the use of flash, especially for navigation
* Put content as high up on the order of code as possible
* Put code for menus, js etc at the bottom
* Do not link to other sites unless they are truly of value
* Do not link to other sites from your home page
* use a separate “link list” page for all outbound links
* track your outbound links, and only give a link if you get paid
* Use a XML sitemap and submit it to yahoo, msn, google
* Update your content at least weekly, more if possible
* Do not move pages once you create them
* changing content is good, if the url doesn’t change
* use key phrases in category, domain name and file names
* On all pages, break out of frames
* Do not use frames on any page
* do not use iframes on any page
* make sure meta keywords actually exist in your page text
* use a good exciting and enticing meta description
* use a phrase in h1, h2, and h3 tags if appropriate
* don’t over use your keyphrase (1 per 2 paragraphs is fine)
* Validate Your pages using HTML validators
* Do not link to bad sites or bad neighborhoods
* Do not simply swap links for a swap, get 1 way incoming links
* keep your page structure nested to only 1 or 2 levels, not 3+
* limit links to 100 per page
* if you get a link, don’t change it or drop it
* do not refresh content on every page load, google spiders you twice
* validate all outgoing and internal links
* don’t use a URL with 4 or more hyphens
* renew domain name for more than 1 year, longer is better
* stem your keywords throughout your text: run, ran, running
* do not use sessions for SEO
* do not use dynamic pages (site.com?a=b&c=d&e=f)
* make sure you aren’t blocking yourself with bad robots.txt
* don’t junk up your page with useless meta tags (author, date, etc)
* Try not to use too many tables, light clean css code is better
* use semrush.com to get ideas from your competition’s sites
* only link in/out form related sites (sports=golf, mp3!=golf)
* use text as much as possible, flash and images do not help SEO
* do not use javascript or flash navigation, if you do use xml sitemaps too

Duplicate content gotchas
Pick one and consistently link to it.  Redirect with 301 Redirection if you have the following:

* a.com/
* a.com
* a.com/index.html
* www.a.com
* www.a.com/index.html
* www.a.com/index.html?foo
* Bad: sessions or shopping carts that provide duplicate content,
* Bad: duplicate content through multiple categories in wordpress.
* Bad: site.com?id=23 and site.com/page23.html only use one
* Do not put tons of articles up all at once unless your site is old
* Do not buy an existing domain expecting to keep their traffic
* pretty URLs (site.com/keyword.html) help with keyword links offsite

Those are the majority of the “on site” factors that you can control.  Of course there are more – but this is better than most websites you will encounter.

Off site factors:

* Get links gradually from related sites, high PR is better
* use your phrase in the link (domains, categories, files help with this)
* do not cross link sites, instead link all of your funnels to one site

This is a cheat sheet summary that I am going to pass out at a marketing seminar in dallas, along with my business card for SEO optimization.   I tried to limit it to simple things people could look at on their own.

Let me know if you want help implementing or checking any of these.