Here at FireDrum we release a lot of websites. As Project Manager it often falls on my plate to ensure that each of these websites go out the door with all Search Engine Optimization items in place and up-to-date with current best practices. I typically find myself running through the same process to lay a solid foundation for on-site SEO with each new website that we launch.
With 2015 right around the corner, there’s no better time to readdress your on-site SEO so you can continue to build that Page Authority and work your way to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) by this time next year!
If you can check off every item on this list – great! If not, don’t worry. Not every list item applies to every site. Even if you can’t check them all off right now, each item is bound to give you a boost in the SERP. So do what you can right now and focus on the remaining items as you find time.
FireDrum’s Ultimate 2015 SEO Audit Checklist
- Set up Google Analytics and install the tracking code on your site
- Set up Google Webmaster Tools and verify your account
- Set up Bing Webmaster Tools as well
- Confirm that http://www.yourdomain.com and http://yourdomain.com redirect to a single URL. Otherwise Google see’s these as two separate pages and will “split the votes” for your site.
- Make proper use of the H1 tag and include your primary keywords. Be sure to place it above your H2 and H3 tags.
- Create a Sitemap.xml and submit it to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools
- Create Robots.txt and submit it to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools
- Use Google Webmaster Tools and perform a ‘Crawl Test’ for all 404 errors and duplicate content.
- Also take note of any missing Titles, Meta Descriptions, Alt Tags, etc.
- Use Google Page Speed Tools to check your site load times. Search Engines like a fast loading site.
- Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool and identify keyword opportunities. Choose one to two per page and rewrite the page content geared towards these keywords.
- Look at your link structure. Everything after your domain name.
- Are you using keywords in your URL specific to the contents of the page?
- Do your images use Alt tags? Google can’t “see” images so they rely on Alt tags to determine what the image contains. This lends credibility if it matches your page contents.
- Is your site mobile optimized? Have a mobile version boosts accessibility and trust with Google.
- Using WordPress? I recommend “Yoast Google Analytics” for advanced reporting in your Google Analytics account.
- Another WordPress quality of life plugin, use “All-In-One SEO” to handle several on-site optimizations.
- Ensure that all of your page Title tags are under 65 characters. Anything more will be truncated on SERP’s.
- Likewise, Meta Descriptions should be 155 characters or less.
- Claim your business and/or website username on all major networks for reputation management purposes.