3 min read

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is a broad field with a technical and creative part. This is a basic checklist that should be used to make sure you have done the bare minimum.

On-Page/Technical

The on-page and Technical side of SEO is the part that you can do right away and can be broken down into code and keywords. The basic checklist for On-Page and Technical SEO are:

  • check your robots.txt it should be clear if it looks like this:
    • User-agent: *
    • Disallow: /
  • this tells search engines to ignore your site so the first thing to is to remove the backslash (/)

  • make sure that you don’t have meat name=”robots” <content="noindex" /> [content value can be anything else] (/blog/robots) but <content="noindex" tell search engines not to index just like robot.txt

  • Make sure that there are no 404 pages with search console or Screaming Frog

  • Title tags should be structured (page title brand name)
  • URLs should use hyphens( - ) over underscore( _ ) for spaces

Markup and Speed

Page speed is one of the most important parts of a website because studies have shown that most users won’t wait more than 4 seconds. Markup also helps a site have a better social media precinct because of image cards on Facebook and Twitter, and you need schema markup for Google Snippets.

Markup and Structure Data

  • go through scheme.org, and make sure that you are using proper tags

    • Google seems to prefer JSON-LD , but has said they won’t prioritize one over the other

    • Look at APIs to see what you should use (IE. Pinterest need microdata if you have multiple objects on a page)

  • Make sure that there is an image on the <meta> tag.

    • This makes sure that all posts and tweets are fat finger friendly and will stand out in the fields
  • If available use tester to make sure that they are working properly

Optimizing for Speed

  • Make sure that you use appropriate image size to reduce load time. There is also srcset that allows for better responsive images.

  • Use GZip to compress files

    • This can be done in the .htaccess file
  • Minify your files(IE. CSS, JS, HTML)

  • Use a Content Delivery System like Cloudflare

    • Make sure if you use a platform like Wordpress you take the necessary steps to avoid any problems

Content/Off-Page

  • content should be above 300 words.

    • While there is no hard rule for this, but content with 1700 to 3000 words seems to do the best.

    • Post around 300 words also ranks well, but they are more time sensitive (IE. breaking news)

  • Make sure that you have outbound links. They act like citations.

  • Use content tools like Buzzsumo to see what content from a sit or on a subject is being shared and where.

Outreach

Google use links and social media are a measure of popularity and there are a number of things you can do the focus on your social media platform and the links you have going to your site.

  • Make sure if you are a chapter or branch of an organization that you have both outbound links (links going to them) and inbound links (links going for you).
  • Reach out to news site that has done articles for you and try to get backlinks from them