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Quick SEO Checklist

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007...6:29 am

Quick SEO Checklist


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SEO isn’t the mysterious and magical art some people make it out to be. It is rather straight forward and mostly involves just using some common sense.

Some of the following points are more important than others and I’ll be addressing each of them in separate posts.

  1. The title of a post should always go before the name of your site.
  2. Always use permalinks. Wordpress has this functionality built-in so make sure you use it.
  3. Your theme should be using heading tags (h1 , h2, h3) for post headings. It doesn’t hurt to double check.
  4. Keywords in title, body, and anchor text.
  5. Link to reputable sites.
  6. Don’t go overboard with outbound links.
  7. Add relevant keywords and descriptions to metatags.
  8. Clean up dead links.
  9. Link to other posts on your site as often as possible.
  10. Use alt and title attributes when inserting an image.
  11. Limit duplicate content.
  12. Make sure your pages can be validated. Search engines like clean, well coded, and easy to navigate sites.
  13. Generate a sitemap for search engines.
  14. Use robots.txt to prevent search engine crawlers from indexing certain areas of your site - like your admin directory.

31 Comments

  • This is a great list. I have been struggling with this issue regularly and just posted a question in the wordpress support forum today.

    I just checked and it seems that my site is lacking in items 1, 3, and 4.

    So I have this in my header:

    Is this right?

    Also, my site is using h2 for the post titles. Isnt your h3?

    What about inbound links? Everyone keeps telling me thats number one.

  • My header disappeared here it is again:
    head>
    bloginfo(’name’); wp_title(); ?>

  • I should clarify about the heading tags. H1 through to H3 are all good. H1 however is given more weight than the others. I think I’ll edit that to read better.

    Inbound links/backlinks are very important for your search engine ranking. If you want to have a read about them I have an article on backlinks here.

  • Ari I went and had a look at your site. You’re right, you should move your post title to the front.

    My current theme has been coded to do this but the one I am moving to doesn’t so I’ve been using a plugin called SEO title tag to avoid hardcoding it. It’s alot easier and more flexible than editing the theme.

  • What about the header? this is what I see when I look at my page source:
    title>ROMMO.net » Scandalous and/or Misleading Ads are No Longer Welcome Here

    Are you saying that the post title should be displayed before the blog title?

  • You should also have a post listing free SEO friendly wordpress themes. I think having the right theme would help avoid some of these issues.

  • Yeh post title should be before the blog title.

    I’ve been meaning to write a post with a list of SEO themes. It is of course on the todo list, which just keeps on growing. :)

  • NIce list dan , i am going to implement robots file soon .

  • I’m afraid to sound like an idiot but that last one made little sense to me - if you could elaborate a little more I’ll love ya forever *grin* or at least until you’ve explained and I realise it’s quite simple and i’ve just made you bore everyone else in the vicinity with such basic banality..

  • Vics - I’m not sure how much you know about the robots.txt file. Search engines check it before crawling a site so you can limit what they look at and index. The most useful thing you can use it for is in limiting duplicate content.

    For example if a search engine indexes your feeds directory you will get duplicate content indexed from the feed and the individual post. Not something you want it doing. I’m going to write more detailed posts about each of these points but if you want to play around with the robots.txt file in the meantime shoot me off an email.

  • Thanks for the nice list. I haven’t done some of them for my sites. Good reminder to upload my todo list.

  • Good list! I just migrated to Wordpress a couple of weeks ago so I’m working on a lot of this as I go along. I just added the robots.txt yesterday and I know I have some optimization to do around images as well.

  • [...] few weeks ago I put together a quick SEO checklist and I’ve been meaning to expand on some of those [...]

  • Its really a good and helpful post for bloggers to promote their blog.

  • Hello,

    Very good article, I will come to visit your site again.

    Regards,
    http://www.the-coolest-seo.com/

  • [...] area where they’ve dropped the ball is search engine optimization. Something as simple as permalinks hasn’t been implemented and their post titles aren’t [...]

  • I like this list. One comment though, I noticed a lot of blogs dont follow the first rule. Even the most popular blogs out there.

  • Yeh popular blogs can get away with breaking rules. :)
    Though they could probably squeeze a little more performance out of their blogs if they followed them a little closer.

  • Good post. Bookmarked for reference. Validation is an important thing to consider.

  • Very good information. Thank you and keep up the good work.

  • You seem to be fairly knowledgeable about a wide variety of things, so I thought maybe you might be able to answer a question of mine. (I’ve been researching, but can’t find the answer yet.)

    If I restrict pages (directories) from the robots with robots.txt, do I also remove them from my sitemap, or do I leave them in that?

    I sure would appreciate any help on this.

    Thanks.

  • Susan my understanding is if you block a page in the robots.txt file it will prevent it from being indexed regardless off the contents of the sitemap.

    Hope that helps.
    Dan.

  • [...] is a lot of depth to search engine optimization but the basics are simple to understand and [...]

  • All this things are very helpful to improve the ranking. For most of them are good wordpress plugins available, such like the seo title tag plugin.

  • Very good information! Thanks very helpful.

  • [...] Optimizing my Site I wrote this a while ago, but here are some basics. __________________ Diego - SEO Consultant London (My Blog | Fight Me) jQuery: Star Rating - [...]

  • All 14 points are so nice. This is more than enough for a genuine website.

  • With the search engines ever changing algorithms it is important to remember that what works today may not be effective tomorrow

    This is a Great list you have published, not far fetched and very up to date.

    Thanks for sharing

  • Oh brother. Common sense, yes.

    Now take just common sense and try to rank top 10 with the keyword phrase “debt consolidation” and see how far you get.

    SEO IS most certainly VooDoo plus the more you learn, the less you know.

  • “SEO IS most certainly VooDoo plus the more you learn, the less you know.”

    Not really.

    Sure - there are the mysteries here and there. But mostly, you can figure things out. And this makes sense. It’s really just a giant computer program at Google, right? Just one massive computer program with the biggest data set imaginable.

    When you put SEO in those terms, it’s a little more managable.

  • Everyone can do seo, but not everyone can achieve results like professionals can.

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