SEO Checklist

  1. Create a Gmail account.
  2. Install Google Analytics.
  3. Install Google Webmaster Tools.
  4. Install Bing Webmaster Tools.
  5. Check Google Webmaster Tools for errors.
  6. Isolate & fix any broken links.
  7. Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool to perform keyword research.
  8. Find out who is linking to your competitors. Your goal isn’t to replicate but to appreciate the quality of your competition & the sorts of inbound links they have managed to attain.
  9. Use your keyword in your url where possible.
  10. Keep title tags under 65 characters including spaces. Anything longer is obscured in search results.
  11. Keep meta descriptions to under 155 characters including spaces. Again anything longer will be obscured in search results.
  12. Use one and only one H1 tag per page. Try to include your main keyword in the H1 tag. More than one H1 tag is bad – no H1 tag at all is probably worse still.
  13. Have at least 350 words of text content per page. And aim for a lot more in many cases. Text is the medium in which you can most effectively communicate with Google & as such you should exploit this opportunity to its fullest to describe what it is you and your website are all about.
  14. Use alt tags with your images to refine the description for the Googlebot. Alt tags allow you to use text to define what it is that images are portraying.
  15. Link to your internal pages from the body text. Focus on content you are especially proud of.. this improves both user experience & shows Googlebot which internal pages are of specific worth & importance.
  16. Do not publish duplicate content from other websites. This will not be rewarded with rankings & traffic by Google & can lead to negative consequences for your entire website’s organic prominence.
  17. Make sure your website speed is brisk – if pages are not loading in under 1.3s then look to minify elements, compress images & find a better hosting service. As a rule of thumb a homepage of under 350kB is desirable.
  18. Create an XML sitemap. This will help the Googlebot navigate your website’s pages & posts more efficiently.
  19. Create a Robots.txt file.
  20. Check that Google consider your website mobile friendly. This is of increasing importance as more and more Google searches are performed on mobile devices over time.

This should be considered merely a start. I’d consider these the 20 indispensable things that require your attention when implementing an SEO strategy for any website.