Search Engine Optimization - SEO Checklist
There are no magic formulas for increasing your ranking on popular search engines. In other words one can't trick search engines. However, people who use a checklist like the one below are more likely to be ranked better on search engines since all the items on these list are search engine friendly techniques. So print this page and make sure you apply all to your website. This lis tis just a basic list for SEO. It is by no means complete. And items on this list have not been prioritized according to their importance.
0) The choice of the URL is important. If you would like to promote search engine optimization in canada try to buy a url that is indicative to this such as www.searchengineoptimizationcanada.ca . And make sure the domain name is registered for a long period of time (At least longer than 1 year)
1) Make sure all pages have a unique title. Title should be located in the header section of the HTML code and should be in between title tags. i.e. <title>Search Engine Optimization</title>
2) Use clean URL's. If you have a website that is driven by a database or with some type of code avoid having a URL such as www.itmontreal.com/index.php?q=7 . You are better of using apache's clean URL feature and creating a URL such as www.itmontreal.com/seo . This is not only great for search engines it is also easier to remember for humans.
3) Make sure your website has meta tags . Meta tags Description and Keywords for the page are still important. The description you enter in your meta tags will go right below the page when someone searches for your website. Keywords describe the content of your page and the order of the keywords is definetly important. Make sure not to use irrelevant keywords. So in a page that talk about search engine optimization it is not a good idea to put bananas as the keyword. Don't exceed 500 characters. Meta tags also go into the header section of your html.
Here are some examples of the usage of description and keywords metatags:
<meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="Search Engine Optimization Checklist">
<meta name="KEYWORDS" content="seo, search engine optimization, seo checklist ">
4) Make sure your website code is free of errors . This will help search engines to crawl ino yoursite easier. This is important for spiders to come back to scan your website at a later date. Use a service such as http://validator.w3.org/ to validate your HTML + CSS Markup . And correct any issues.
5) Track your visitors to see where they are coming from and how they find your website (using which keywords) Using Google Analytics, Urchin or other web statistics programs you can easily do this.
6) Create a XML sitemap of your website and submit it manually to search engines (i.e. you can submit your xml sitemap to Google via Google Web Master Tools) . In order for search engines to be easily find pages on your website.The following site could help you create a free xml sitemap of your site : http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ if you have a relatively small website.
7) Submit your website to local directories and other authoritative directories. i.e. One could submit their site to Local Google Business Center. The more authority the directory has the better it is for you. So submit your website to Google Directory (a.k.a. open directory) and Yahoo Directory
8) Make sure there are no broken links on your site http://validator.w3.org/checklink will help you find broken links.
9) Make sure all your images have alt tags
10) Text that is linked such as search engine optimization and text that is in heading tags i.e. <h1>SEO</h1> is considered to be more valuable than the rest of the text on your site.
11) Search engines check for something called keyword density on each page. If your page has the word SEO many times on that page chances are that page is a valuable resource for SEO and keyword density of that word is considered to be high.
12) Recently , Google included the load time of a website into it's search engine ranking calculation formula. Although , Google doesn't penalize a website by a lot because of it's load time one should always try to improve web page load speeds via the use of efficent techniques. If you have hard time finding these techniques we suggest that you use plugins such as "Page Speed" and "YSlow"
13 ) Use social networking sites such as digg, linkedin , twitter , facebook to promote your website.
14) Create a blog at the same domain of your website. And write to it on a regular basis.
15) Keep the information on your website up to date. Include date as to when the page was written. Add as many informative content on your site as possible. Remember : search engines spider your site for content!
16) Make sure your website has RSS feeds.
17) Make sure the non-www version of your website point to the www version of your site. if someone types itmontreal.com user should automaticall be directed to www.itmontreal.com
18) Don't participate in link exchange programs.
19) Create a a html sitemap and place it on all pages of your website.
20) Use breadcrumbs. This helps users to remember how they arrived at a specific page and gives search engines an indication that the page in question is not a bugus page.
21) If you build a new website make sure the old links that have already been indexed by google are redirected approprietly.
22) Give out something free . (It could be free advice - Just like this page)
23) Don't be shy to link to authoritative websites in your industry (Also referred as placing external links on your website)
24) Create links from social media sites such as stumbled upon, digg , etc. to your website