SEO On-Page Optimization Checklist

I compiled this list of things to do before I actually publish a page for the spiders to crawl. Most of this stuff is meant for people running dynamic sites, so if you build sites by hand page by page, some of this won’t probably apply to you.  The goal of this checklist isn’t to rank high, it’s to get indexed correctly.  On-page optimization and other stuff I’ll cover later on.

  • Validate HTML - Avoid major HTML errors.
  • Word Count - Make sure the page is “thick enough.” Number of words should be 200 or more. Ideally, 200+ unique words. Minimize off-topic repeating words / phrases on a page since they dilute keyword density.
  • Unique Content - A page shouldn’t consist of text snippets that are duplicates of text on another page.
  • Run a page through a META tag analyzer. Read my META Tag Analyzer Check List for details.
  • If meta tags etc are generated dynamically, check for cases where bad title/descriptions are accidentally created.
  • Run Xenu Link Checker - Look for broken links. Xenu is not bulletproof, but it helps.
  • All links are absolute, except maybe links to external CSS/JS
  • View page in FF/NN/IE for any CCS compatibility problems.
  • Re-generate sitemap XML once you publish your new pages.
  • Validate sitemap then resubmit it to Google.
  • Safeguard against weird urls. Read my mod_rewrite checklist here. This .htaccess is what I usually use.
  • Make a backup of the old pages/.htaccess in case things go awry.
  • Use NOINDEX if a page is thin, so skimpy pages do not get indexed.
  • Finally, make sure surfers can’t access your .htaccess files!

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