SEO Your Site in 60 Minutes ~ Search Marketing and Internet Marketing Blog Online

SEO Your Site in 60 Minutes

I found myself using Matt McGee’s post How to SEO Your Site in Less Than 60 Minutes as a quick reference from time to time for my SEO efforts - basically a checklist of sorts to ensure I had covered all my bases. It was a great write-up that was very useful to many people judging from the comments and social buzz it recieved. I took the liberty of adding a few additional notes of my own, however, if there is anything I missed or overlooked please add it in the comments below.


SEO Checklist
A: Homepage
B: Site
C: External

SEO Checklist

A1: Homepage -
1. Check for redirects and canonicalization issues
2. Choose or
3. Redirect|main).(html|htm|php|cfm|asp) to

Apache redirects and editing .htaccess files: to
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^ [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$$1 [r=301,nc] to
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[^/]*/index\.html [NC]
RewriteRule . / [R=301,L] to
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[^/]*/index\.php [NC]
RewriteRule . / [R=301,L]

A2: Homepage – Navigation

1. Check for image, drop downs, javascript, image maps vs text navigation. Text is the best option.

A3: Homepage – Content

1. How much text is present? The more the better.
2. Check for keyword density in homepage content
3. Check for use of H2 tags and bold fonts (light/appropriate use is good on keywords)
4. There should be a sitemap present
5. Do a select all (ctrl + A) to find potentially hidden text
6. Check to see how search engines will view your site with SEO Browser. Make sure everything is crawlable.

B1: Site – Meta Tags
1. Check Title tags. Are they using keywords and are formatted correctly?

Brand authority formatting:
Brand Name or Domain | Keyword, Keyword & Keyword

Non brand authority formatting
Keyword, Keyword & Keyword | Brand Name or Domain

2. Check Descriptions for keywords and composition. Make sure the description gets to the point and speaks to the purpose/content on its respective page in the first couple sentences.

3. Make sure the keyword tag contains around 5 – 10 keywords. No more or less is really necessary.

4. Make sure there are no duplicate meta tags anywhere, site wide.

B2: Site – URL Formatting
1. Check url formatting. Dynamic URLs are bad. URLs that are too long will be truncated in Google SERPs.
2. URLs should contain keywords separated by hyphens.
3. Hyphens are more preferable than underscores
4. Keywords in URLs should match the content contained within the page they are leading to.

B3: Analytics
1. Make sure you have some sort of analytics installed. It doesn’t have to be Google analytics but do remember that every page within the site should contain the analytic tracking code.

B4: Site – Links

1. Links should contain keywords
2. Links should contain titles utilizing keywords
3. Anchor text, link keywords, link title, and page being linked to should be relevant to one another.
4. Site linking structure should be cyclical. There should be no dangling pages.
5. Use Xenu Link Sleuth to check for broken links

B5: Site – nofollows (advanced)
1. nofollow TOS, Privacy Policy, or other pages that don’t contribute to your site’s ranking.
2. If you know how to link funnel correctly this should be done. I haven’t written anything on this yet but you can consult Slightly Shady SEO or Andy Beard

B6: Site – Robots.txt

1. Check for robots.txt file. Does one exist?
2. See what’s being blocked and what’s not.
3. Make sure it’s written correctly (consult Sebastian’s Pamphlets for best advice)

B7: Site – Duplicate Content

1. Make sure there is no duplicate content within your site
2. Make sure there is no duplicate content on other domains. You can use CopyScape to check for dupe content.

B8: Site – PDF files
1. Does this site contain PDF files? If so these can be optimized with new titles, keywords, and comments. Use Adobe Acrobat Professional to edit PDFs.

B9: Site – Images
1. Images can have ALT tags. Make sure to utilize these appropriately with keywords. When implemented, your site may gain traffic from image search engines like Google Image Search.

C1: External – Indexation

1. Perform a search on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Compare what’s being indexed and what isn’t.
*Install FireFox Extension Search Status by Craig Raw
You’ll be able to easily perform this operative plus many other functions with the Search Status plugin.

C2: External – Backlinks

1. Perform a backlink count with the Search Status plugin.
2. You may also want to install Joost de Valk’s backlink checker plugin for FireFox to check the anchor text of your Backlinks within Yahoo Site Explorer or Google’s Webmaster tools.

So that’s about all I can think of for the time being. If I forgot anything please submit your additions to this checklist in the comments below.


San Diego Search Engine Optimization said...

Great post. This is a good reminder list of things not to forget when doing the basics of SEO.

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