Through years of experience, advising clients on their sites and running their SEO campaigns we know how to technically optimise websites to benefit SEO, whether you’re launching a new site, or you’re just wanting to make improvements to an existing site.
We’ve pulled all of our knowledge together to create this 30 Point Technical SEO Checklist.
You can also download a handy checklist version of this blog to help you to keep track of actions and improve your SEO:
Plus, if you want a bespoke SEO analysis which reviews every area of your site and how well it has been optimised for SEO, or you want to check out where you stand against your competition, you can use our free SEO audit tool!
30 Point Technical SEO Checklist
1. All website pages have capacity for 300-500 words
Notes: Every landing page (including homepage) should have capacity for 300 – 500 words text content which is incorporated into the body so as to not be detrimental to important CTA’s.
CMS contains the ability to:
2. Update title tags per page
3. Update meta description per page
4. Add/manage H1 tagged headings on the page
5. Support H1 and H2 tags in the body text and make allowances for these in the css
6. Add tags to the head section (canonical, noindex, google & bing verification)
7. I have a branded 404 page
8. The following pages are blocked from search results:
- Search results pages
- Sort and order filter parameters
9. My products have a single URL
Notes: One product which is linked to from several different categories should have just a single URL.
10. Any product variations are held on one page within a drop down/option list
Notes: If a product comes in red, blue and white have the user choose the option that they want from a dropdown on a single product page rather than having 3 pages, one for each colour – This removes duplication where variant descriptions would effectively be the same on each page.
Items that should be implemented as standard (footer/header):
11. HTML Sitemap
14. Cookies policy
15. Returns policy (if applicable)
16. Company name, address, Reg number and VAT number (if applicable)
17. Email address and telephone number clearly visible in the header (text)
18. If you want to track conversions with funnels in analytics, ensure each page in the process has a unique URL associated with it and for the analytics code to be added to every page in the process.
Note: This includes thank you pages for the submission of a one page lead capture form
Ideally, optimise images for use online prior to being uploaded to the server
19. Relevant alt tags are in place
20. Relevant title tags are in place
21. Images have a relevant file naming structure
Notes: For example use red-gloss-tiles.jpg as opposed to an auto-generated name such as hd784rh55.jpg.
Key SEO Considerations:
22. Ensure 301 Redirects are in place
Notes: If you are launching a new site, map the existing site and set up appropriate 301 redirects for go live
23. If launching a new site or migrating any content, plan out content migration to include title tags and meta descriptions (unless these are being rewritten to be improved)
Notes: Consider the migration of the body text content from every page – be careful of removing content from the new pages (especially homepage). Allow time in the first couple of months after a site launch to mop up additional 301 redirects that appear in WMT
24. Ensure XML sitemap is generated and placed on www.eaxampledomain.com/sitemap.xml
Notes: XML sitemap should contain URLs for all pages that you want to be indexed (should exclude URLs blocked by robots.txt or that are non-canonicals)
25. robots.txt file should be present at www.exampledomain.com/robots.txt and should be used to block low value pages and URLs from being crawled.
26. Ensure you have set up webmaster tools and Google analytics
Notes: if you are launching a new site, transfer the code for your existing WMT account along with your Google Analytics code to retain history.
27. For e-commerce sites with a fast turnover of products on offer ideally you should have a process for 301 redirects to be put in place for a product page which is removed from the site.
28. There should be one version of the pages live, either at http:// or at https://
Notes: Both versions of the pages should not be live (should resolve with a 301 redirect) to avoid duplicate content issues.
29. Only one version of the website is live.
Notes: The site should only live on a single version of the domain: http://www.exampledomain.com/ or http://exampledomain.com
Both versions of the pages should not be live (should resolve with a 301 redirect) to avoid duplicate content issues.
30. The homepage should live on a single URL, preferably http://www.exampledomain.com/
Notes: All other versions should resolve to this. All internal links in the site to the homepage should point directly to this version of the page.