SEO Checklist – How to Raise Your SEO Score and Results

The following SEO checklist is a "plain English" version of what our team uses to optimize a website and raise the SEO score of the site. We have helped about a thousand companies nationwide achieve great search rankings. Our typical client earns between 50 or 60 to more than 1000 first page rankings on the search engines. Our clients range from small local companies to regional and even national business. You can raise your SEO score and earn great search engine placement by following these steps and fixing the things in your website that are hindering your online success.

We wish you good luck with your website and if you get stuck on any of these steps we can help. We offer SEO with in-depth reporting, search engine optimization services, website development, our team of professional writers can create content for you, and we can fix any of the problems that you uncover on the checklist that you may be having a hard time fixing yourself. So, if you get stuck just call us and tell us how we can help.

  1. Audit your current site to find out what improvements are needed and what is already good to go - Use our SEO audit checklist
  2. Audit the best ranking 3 competitors to find out why they're doing well online - Use our audit checklist
  3. Lay out the navigation for your site for good user exp and good robot exp - Make sure that it makes sense - all subcategories are related to the parent category - Example: If you are an ac company - your category (nav button) might be ac company - your subcategories (the buttons below the category button might be - emergency repairs - new air conditioners, etc.)
  4. Research keywords - Use a good keyword research tool like Word Tracker or simply look at what the best ranked sites in your industry rank for
  5. Make a list of at least 10 pages that you will write for your site - Each page should be about a specific KW
  6. Set up for mobile search - Make sure that your site is set up to appear correctly on smartphones - Google indexes the mobile index before the desktop index so this is really important - check Google Mobile here
  7. Navigation flows well - Be sure your navigation makes sense and all of your services are grouped correctly.
  8. Site development - Make sure your website is not stopping the search engines from ranking you - check here (make sure your scores are in the mid 90's or better). And, check GTMetrix too. (make sure your scores are at least B)
  9. Meta titles - Keep your Meta Titles - to the point and don’t overuse the KW in the title - One or two times is enough
  10. Meta description - Use your KW in the description and keep the description between 60 and 300 characters
  11. Titles and tags on every page - Make sure you have Meta titles and descriptions on every page - even the ones you think aren't important.
  12. Put a picture on every page - Put pictures on every page so you can tag them - 1 picture is ok on smaller pages and use a few on larger pages
  13. Alt tags - Use kw's and related terms in your alt tags - These are tags that describe the picture for people using site readers -
  14. Exact KW in content at least 1x on each page -
  15. No index removed from robots txt file - Make sure the search engines can actually see your site - to check - type.(your URL).com - if you get a message that says something like there is a problem with your robots txt file
  16. Any page that legitimately should be no index is no index -
  17. 301 redirects done correctly -301 redirects are used when a URL is changed. It tells the search engines to ignore the old URL and go to the new one. 301s are permanent - do not use 302s as they are temporary
  18. Only 1 title tag - Use only 1 title tag for your page --- This is an H1 tag - use your KW in the title
  19. Use of KW in Htags - Use Htags or header tags every 300 or so words and use your KW's and related words in the titles
  20. Canonical URL in place - Canonical links avoids issues with duplicate content by telling the search engines that this page is the preferred version of this page
  21. Content size correct - Make sure that all of your content pages have at leas 350 words in the text. Less doesn't work well
  22. Pages add value - All of your pages should be valuable and unique. Don't write multiple pages about the exact same KW
  23. Prioritize content above fold - Get your most valuable content above the fold
  24. KW is in page title - This is often not possible on the home page but do it on all others
  25. KW is in URL - Put the KW for each page in the URL but keep the URL to 75 or less characters
  26. No numerical URLs - URLs that contain numbers in them are spam flags -
  27. No Geo URLs - Geo URLs - adding a city name for instance is a GEO URL are now spam flags
  28. Check for Spammy URLs - URLs that don't match the content or are using the KW too many times are spammy
  29. Use proper internal links - Your pages should be linked to other pages in your site. This way the search engine robots can easily find them all
  30. Use proper outbound linking -Add some links to authoritative sites on the subject you're writing about. Make sure you set them to open in a new tab so your visitors are not leaving your site and not coming back
  31. No external links in navigation - Never put links to other sites in your navigation - this is a big spam flag
  32. Contact info matches Google standards - Your contact info should be the same in every directory you set up - so use the Google standard and you will have more luck keeping most of your directories consistent (they don’t all listen but most do)
  33. Check for HTML errors - Use - W3c Validator HTML errors can kill rankings - 3 or 4 errors probably won't kill your rankings and a few warnings won't hurt - it's really hard to get your site totally error free if it's a bigger site
  34. JavaScript parsed - This is a little technical and if you don't know how to do this - Google it for advice
  35. Images optimized - Large images slow load speed and hurt rankings
  36. Leverage browser caching - This is a little technical and if you don't know how to do this - Google it for advice
  37. No Landing page redirects
  38. Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content - This is a little technical and if you don't know how to do this - Google it for advice
  39. Enable Compression - This is a little technical and if you don't know how to do this - Google it for advice
  40. Minify CSS - This is a little technical and if you don't know how to do this - Google it for advice
  41. Minify HTML - This is a little technical and if you don't know how to do this - Google it for advice
  42. Minify JavaScript - This is a little technical and if you don't know how to do this - Google it for advice
  43. Check page speed - Use Google pagespeed insights - make sure your scores are at least in the mid 90's on both mobile and desktop because slow sites don't rank well
  44. Schema is in place - Use schema code on your address, phone number etc - here's where you can find the code
  45. Make sure there is no duplicate content - Here's a way to check
  46. Check for 404 errors - These are pages that are not found in the index - this means that someone didn't use the 301 redirects we talked about earlier- you can find these in Google Search Console
  47. Check for 503 errors -These are server errors - the server is temporarily unavailable - they are usually temporary but if these come up when you attempt to access your site you may need to call your hosting company
  48. Check for redirect errors - Have you redirected all of your old URLs to the right places like other relevant pages
  49. Social Icons set up - Add your social media accounts to your site
  50. Blog set up - Set up a blog and add content regularly - no one knows your business and industry as well as you do so don't hire writers for this
  51. Analytics - Set up Google Analytics and add the code to your site
  52. Search console - Set up Google Search Console and add the code to your site
  53. Cross browser check - check each type of browser to be sure that your site shows up correctly on all of them
  54. Directory set up - Set up business directories that are applicable to your business
  55. Site map verified and submitted - The site map is automatic with many CMS (website building programs) like WordPress - check it to be sure that all of you’re pages are there and then check search console to be sure all pages are visible to Google
  56. Check quality of existing backlinks and disavow spam - Check search console for inbound links to your site. Look at each link to be sure that it's relevant to your business - if is not disavow it by following the directions in search console