5 minute SEO checklist

68 december 18 by baseklas


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Very often when people meet some search engine optimization specialist they are eager to ask questions like "Look at my site! Do you think it's ready for search engines?? Do you think it has good SEO???"

People need answers to such questions because, if they are unsure about their site and a specialist confirms and tells them "Yes your website is great and has perfect optimization, go ahead and launch it!", website owners will have more confidence and peace of mind.

For all webmasters and website owners - here's a quick and easy 5 minutes checklist for some basic search engine optimization, you can make all by yourself for a brand new website that has just launched.

Stabilize domain address.

First choose whether you want to promote your website with or without www. Most experts in optimizing websites for search engines prefer to set your domain with www, because almost all Internet users, when linking to your website in 99% of cases will do it by adding www before your domain. People generally like the www prefix.

Look for all variations and extensions of the URL in the pages of your website and unify them all. For example, the URL of your home page may look quite different in several ways:

http://www.domain.com/index.php
http://domain.com/index.php
http://www.domain.com/index.htm
http://domain.com/index.htm
http://www.domain.com/default.html
http://www.domain.com/default.php
http://domain.com/default.php

Unify them! Internet users and search engines must see only one option:

http://www.domain.com

Check for broken links and pages that have their URLs changed. Use 301 redirects to send users to the new destination URL. Do not allow your website to have dead links. This irritates Internet users and search engine bots.

Use unique titles and META data.

Search in Google for site:your-favorite-website. For example:

site:baseklas.com

Now look at the results and compare the indexed pages and their titles and descriptions. You need to make sure  that nothing is repeated anywhere. Google Webmaster Tools will also help in this. If you have pages with the same titles and META descriptions you have a problem. Find a way to fix it.

SEF (Search Engine Friendly)

If you manage a dynamic web site that have a lot of content, make sure that your content management system is search engines friendly. Are the URLs friendly enough? Can you manage your META descriptions, keywords and titles or they are automatically generated or even worse - not generated at all. Can you use header tags, ALT attributes and others?

Did you add your website to Google Webmasters Central?

Adding your website to Google Webmasters Central and its proper setup allows Google to crawl your website easier through a XML sitemap. Another handy plus is that at Google Webmasters Central you can receive system messages in which Google informs you if your website has errors or any bad parts. I hate to mention it, but if your website gets punished by Google, this will be the place you'll learn the sad news.

Check for duplicate text content.

If you sell products or publish content that has your full authorship you probably won't have a problem with duplicate content and Google will not be angry. If you use content on your website that was used on another 1000 other web sites, you have a big problem. Our recommendation is to always strive to have minimum amount of duplicate content!

Final Words

Many readers of this post may find these tips and tricks annoying and painfully simple, but believe me or not, every day we come across web sites that have overlooked some or even all of these "small" steps. Do not forget these little SEO checks no matter how major your SEO specialities are, because sometimes, leaving a 5 minutes work for later, may cost a lot of money, resources and time.

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