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19 April 2012

SEO Checklist that anyone can Use to Optimize their Website

Getting Started Checklist for any Website:
[source: onlinehelp.microsoft.com]


Here’s list of things you should be thinking about when starting to build or optimize your website. It’s not an exhaustive list, but each item will take you time to research, plan and execute. If you manage to cover them all, you’re doing very well.

SEO Checklist
Ready to get started driving more traffic to you site? We've brought together key information to help you get up and running quickly. For each of the five main areas we touch on (Crawlability, Site Structure for SEO, On-Page SEO, Content & Links) ask yourself if you have performed the task. Some of these will be easily handled, while others may require more planning and work to implement. If you hit a wall and simply cannot accomplish something on the list, don’t panic. Move on to something else.

Crawlability:
  • Create XML sitemaps and upload them to the root of my site
  • Ensure navigational structure can be accessed by search crawlers
  • Ensure content is not buried inside rich media (Adobe Flash Player, JavaScript, Ajax)
  • Ensure a clean down-level experience to expose content when rich media is used
  • Ensure a clean, keyword rich URL structure is in place
  • Create a robots.txt file and place at the root of my domain
  • Site Structure for SEO
  • Ensure content is laid out in a logical hierarchy
  • Ensure content is well linked to with internal links
  • Ensure a clean, keyword rich URL structure is in place
  • Ensure URLs contain no extraneous parameters where possible (sessions, tracking, etc.)
  • Create both HTML & XML sitemaps for humans and search crawlers respectively
  • Ensure JavaScript/Adobe Flash Player/rich media does not hide links from crawlers
On-Page SEO:
  • Inside the <head> code
  • Titles should be unique, relevant, and approximately 60 characters long
  • Descriptions should be unique, relevant, grammatically correct, and 160 or fewer characters
  • Must have only one title and description per page on my site
  • Inside the <body> code
  • Should have only one <H1> tag - content held in tag should be keyword rich
  • <ALT> tags should be available for all content-related images. They should contain content that explains the image and uses targeted keywords
  • Ensure the keyword targeted by your page appears within the actual content of the page
  • Use targeted keywords in anchor text when pointing links to other internal pages
Content:
  • Ensure content is built based on keyword research to match content to what users are searching for
  • Ensure a dedicated down-level experience exists to enhance discoverability of content held in rich media
  • Ensure as much written content as possible is kept out of rich media and images
  • Produce deep, content rich pages; be an authority for users by producing excellent content
  • Set a schedule and produce new content frequently
  • Be sure content is unique – don't reuse content from other sources
  • Use 301 redirects to transfer value to new pages when content is moved or retired
  • Use the <rel canonical> tag to help engines understand which duplicated pages should be indexed and have value attributed to them
  • Use 404 error pages to help cleanse old pages from search engine indexes
Links:
  • Plan for incoming & outgoing links – plan how to encourage users to link to content
  • Create a plan to manage internal links ensuring the engines see deeper content
  • Create a social media plan to promote content via social spaces
  • Be sure to manage anchor text to help define content inside the site
  • Avoid buying links in an attempt to influence search rankings
To audit or optimize your site to confirm that your website follows all above steps, please contact to IWebSquare.co.uk

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