The Always Up-to-Date SEO Checklist

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an evolving discipline that’s rooted in both best practices and trending strategies. So we have to keep updating this SEO checklist — and occasionally rewrite it entirely, as I’ve done today.

One checklist can’t uncover everything an individual business should do when it comes to SEO and its website. But it’s very helpful to use alongside your SEO tools to ensure you’re covering the basics of a tactical SEO roadmap.

I hope you’ll find it to be a helpful reminder of the many items to check during your SEO projects.

Bruce Clay's SEO Checklist

I’ve divided the SEO checklist into sections, so jump around as needed:

Content Optimization

Many of us already knew by the time Google confirmed it: Content is one of the top three ranking signals (out of hundreds). If you do nothing else, your content strategy is an essential part of your online success.

1. Target Audience Research
This is a biggie: Know your target audience, the questions they have, and their pain points. Knowing what questions they ask and what types of queries they might ask Google helps inform your keyword research.

This, in turn, will help you create content that answers those questions and solves their pain points. (You’ll use keywords you select as a basis for this content — one main keyword topic per webpage — but more on that shortly.)

Understanding searcher intent is an important step in crafting content. Answering typical questions your target audience might have also helps your page be found for voice search queries.

2. Keyword Strategy and Research
Keyword research needs to be an ongoing process. It starts by identifying a focus phrase or two for the topic you want to write about (using your preferred tools — there are dozens of good ones out there).

When you have a keyword phrase in mind for a page or a section of your site, check it in Google search. View the top results, the “People also ask” questions, and the rest of the search engine results page. This SERP provides your best clues to what is actually the searcher intent for this query. Make sure your content fulfills what searchers want when looking for this keyword, or look for a more appropriate keyword phrase.

I could write volumes about this topic; just know that keyword research is part of any solid SEO checklist. Our SEO Tutorial will get you started and includes a free version of the SEOToolSet Keyword Suggestion Tool.

3. Word Count
The amount of content you need on a webpage varies by topic, keyword, competition and the intent of the query (read about the three types of search queries to the right).

How many words is enough? There’s no black and white rule. To determine an approximate minimum page length, look at the top-ranked URLs for a keyword you’re targeting. How long are those pages? (Note: A tool like our SEOToolSet Multi Page Analyzer comes in handy for this kind of analysis.)

Averaging the top competitors gives you a ballpark for what a search engine probably considers the normal word count for that topic. It’s safe to say that informational webpages almost always warrant more text, at least 450 words.

Quality content is key. Google’s Panda algorithm detects low-quality content and demotes its rankings. So avoid thin content and focus on robust coverage of your website topics that proves your subject matter expertise.

3 Main Types of Search Queries

1. Transactional

These queries happen when a user intends to buy something now. Searching for the exact brand and model of a product, for instance, suggest the intention to buy.

2. Informational

These are research-oriented queries. Sometimes research is done in advance of a future transaction. For example, a search for “best electric toothbrushes” indicates that the searcher will probably purchase one in the near future.

3. Navigational

Navigational queries help a searcher get somewhere, whether online or in the physical world. Searching for the name of a restaurant, for example, will get the user to that restaurant’s website, phone number, or physical address.

4. Call to Action (CTA)
For each of your pages, ask yourself what the user would need/want to do from here. Then make it easy to do!

Your key pages should make it clear what primary action a visitor can take next. On a product page, the CTA to “add to cart” or “start a free trial” should be prominent. On a service page, the CTA might be “call” or “get a quote.” Make the CTA clear and easy to select. On the homepage, help the visitor to take the next step in your conversion funnel.

The actual language of a CTA should be active (usually an imperative verb). The placement and design of the CTA should draw the visitor’s attention. But test variations to see what works best for you.

A page doesn’t have to be transactional in nature to warrant a call to action. If an informational page is a top-performing traffic driver, such as a blog post that answers a common question or an FAQ page, the call to action might encourage the visitor to “find out more” or enter the conversion funnel.

5. Content Freshness
Make sure to periodically review your content (webpages and blog posts) to make sure that the information is up to date.

For example, this very checklist is regularly refreshed. SEO best practices have to evolve as search engine guidelines and technology do. If your industry also moves quickly, your content needs to keep up.

From Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines (PDF):

“… unmaintained/abandoned ‘old’ websites or unmaintained and inaccurate/misleading content is a reason for a low E-A-T [expertise, authority and trustworthiness] rating.”

What’s on your site that needs a refresh? Update it!

6. Static Content on Homepage
Your homepage acts as a central hub to pass authority to top pages on your site through internal links. It’s probably also where people land most often when they search for your brand or main products/services.

It’s important to have static text that talks about your brand and top theme(s) on the homepage.
If you have a homepage with content that constantly changes, such as nothing but headlines, it can dilute the theme of your site. This results in poor rankings for key terms. So try to maintain sections of consistent text on the homepage.

7. Duplicate Content
Do a search to see if your content exists elsewhere on the web. You may want to check out and use it regularly. If your site appears to have copied content from another source, that’s a low-quality signal to search engines and may cause your site to rank lower. Similarly, if other sites have copied your content, it could be a problem from an SEO standpoint.

If you have duplicate content within your site, such as three URLs with the same content, a search engine will filter out the dupes. Only one will display in results for relevant queries — and the page that Google chooses might not be the page that you want to rank.

On-Page Optimization

Review each important page, from the homepage to a high-priority product page, with an eye to the following issues.

8. Title Tag
In general, title tags should be about 9 words (+/– 3). You want to make sure that each page’s title tag is unique and describes the most important information about your page. Include the top keyword so that it appears before the cutoff in the SERP, which for Google is approximately 70 characters including spaces.

Remember, the title tag often becomes the title that searchers see in search results. Both the title and description text can influence click-throughs to your site. So craft compelling tags. You don’t want to waste your prime real estate in the SERP with boring copy.

9. Description Tag
The meta description tag should also include the most important information and keywords near the beginning. If the search engine chooses to display your description text, it will include approximately 24 words or 160 characters with spaces.

Keep in mind that Google reserves the right to replace your meta description text with a search snippet generated from Google, which is usually pulled from the page’s body content. A search snippet appears instead of the meta description whenever Google deems the snippet of text more relevant for a given search.

10. Keywords Tag
The meta keywords tag is not a ranking consideration for Google, but we still advocate putting the page’s main keywords in this tag. It’s also a good location for misspellings of your key terms.

The keywords tag is valid HTML code that gets indexed with the page. We’ve tested this repeatedly and found that, in cases where a specific query string does not exist elsewhere on the web, Google will search its index and find the page containing that string in its meta keywords tag.

11. Heading Tags
Headings allow a reader to see the main sections and points of a page. They give visual cues for how body content is organized. They also signal to search engines and readers what topics are covered on a page.

As a technical point, make sure the first heading tag within the body of a page is an <h1>. The following heading tags can be <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, etc., and should be used like a page’s table of contents.

Navigation elements and other global text should be styled with CSS and not heading tags (watch our Ask Us Anything video for more about this).

12. Image Optimization
Images greatly enhance your pages. Content needs visual elements to break up the text and keep a reader interested.

Images also provide additional ranking opportunities through image searches and blended web search results.

Images can slow down a page’s loading time. To reduce file size and to increase speed as much as possible, resize the files to their display size rather than uploading the original file and making the browser shrink it. Also, include width and height attributes in image tags.

File names should describe the image and include a keyword. You can also optimize the caption and the text surrounding an image to reinforce what the image is about.

13. Alt Attributes
Make sure to include an alt attribute with each image. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says that a website should always describe the image on a page for the vision impaired.

Accessibility is important to Google, and having alt attributes is a primary indicator that your site is accessible.

As an SEO checklist item, ensure that your images have accurate alt text that, if appropriate, includes a keyword for the page. Alt attributes are also required of validated HTML code (per W3C standards).

14. Video Optimization
Videos are powerful engagement objects that add multimedia interest to keep visitors on your page longer. Highly consumable content, videos give you additional SEO benefits and social sharing opportunities.

Optimize your videos to be found in search. Video content provides ranking opportunities both in regular searches and in video-only search engines where they’re uploaded, especially YouTube.

Like images, embedded videos can slow down the load of a page. There’s a slew of optimization best practices for YouTube, Vimeo and other video hosting sites. Read our guide on 10 video SEO tips to improve SERP rank.

15. Structured Data Markup
Structured data clarifies for the search engine what content on your page is about. Specifically, it helps the search engines understand what type of information you’re presenting.

For example, you could use structured data markup to indicate an upcoming event your business is hosting, specifying its date, time, location, and other details. If Google is clear about what’s what on your site, then additional bits of information have the potential to show up in your search results.

Google search result showing event data
Example Google search result showing structured data for events

Google’s guidelines outline the three supported formats:

  • JSON-LD (recommended)
  • Microdata
  • RDFa

Google requires your markup to include all of the required properties for an object to be eligible for enhancements in your SERP listing. To make sure you’ve done it right, check your page or code snippet using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. For more on how to implement structured data on your site, check out How to Use Schema Markup to Improve Your Website Visibility in Search.

16. More Structured Data
Besides the schema markup we just mentioned, there are other ways you can structure data to make it more digestible for search engines.

  • HTML tables
  • Bulleted lists
  • Ordered lists
  • Table of contents at the top
  • Headings that contain a key term or question, followed by the answer in body text
  • TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read”) summary near the top of your article

All of these structural formats can help people read your content more easily. They also encourage Google to use your content in featured snippets. Google gives more information about structured data in the search results here.

17. Social Meta Tags
Social markup, or social meta tags, refers to the code used to enhance content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. Content in these tags dictates what image and text will show up when someone posts a link to your content on a social network.

By specifying social markup in your HTML, you can ensure you look your best on social media. Facebook Open Graph tags, Twitter Card markup and Pinterest Rich Pins are the major social markup tags. Click through if you want more details on each platform’s options:

18. URL Optimization
Use dashes rather than underscores in page URLs. Underscores are alpha characters and do not separate words. Dashes (or rather, hyphens) are word separators, but should not appear too many times or it could look spammy. For more on this topic, check out this post by Google’s Matt Cutts (an oldie but a goodie).

You also want URLs to be descriptive and contain keywords, without being spammy. And shorter URLs are preferable to long URLs.

19. Fully Qualified Links
If you make your internal links fully qualified, there’s no question by search engine spiders, browsers, etc., as to where the file is located and what it’s about. If your link looks something like “../../pagename” (a relative link), then it may cause crawl issues for some search engines.

Rather than relative URLs, use fully qualified links (beginning with http:// or https://). Note that your sitemap should always have fully qualified URLs.O00MGHPXG6

20. Make JavaScript and CSS External
You want to be sure the most important code is the first thing the search engine bots crawl. Work to remove unnecessary lines of code above the body text by externalizing JavaScript and CSS code that gets in the way of keyword-rich content.

Externalizing these files also can speed up your page load time, which plays a role in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Local Optimization

Businesses with a local brick-and-mortar presence or local service areas have a special set of SEO factors to pay attention to. Here are a couple important steps.

21. Claim Google My Business Listing
A Google My Business listing is free and is a critical first step for local brick-and-mortars and businesses with service areas. A Google My Business listing can enable your site to show up in Google Maps, the local pack of Google Search results, and Knowledge Graph panels for your business.

Knowledge Graph box for Bruce Clay, Inc.
A Knowledge Graph panel shows information from your Google My Business listing.

There’s a lot more involved in local SEO, but claiming your listing in Google My Business and in Bing Places gets you started.

22. Local Schema Markup
Local businesses can benefit from on-page schema markup related to their business. (You can browse the available codes at Especially important for all businesses is the NAP + W code, which designates the business’s name, address, phone number and website.

Check out my list of other local search ranking factors.

Mobile Optimization

We’re truly living in a mobile-first world. Businesses need to ensure that their websites cater to the mobile browsing experience. This is made more important with the rollout of Google’s mobile-first index. Now, Google prioritizes the mobile version of your content when it comes to indexing and ranking.

As an SEO checklist to-do, make sure you’re using a mobile-first strategy. I’ve listed a few specifics below.

23. Mobile Usability
Search engines are invested in providing users a great mobile experience. See how your site is performing on mobile devices with the Mobile Usability Report, located within Google Search Console.

Google's Mobile Usability Report

This report lets you know if your touch elements are too close, if your content is sized to the viewport, your Flash usage, font size and more.

You can also use Fetch as Google within the Crawl section of Google Search Console (old version) to render your site the way Google sees it on different mobile devices.

Fetch as Google report

Lastly, you can run important URLs through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test for developers. Similarly, Bing offers a Mobile Friendliness Test Tool.

Page load speed is also a ranking factor, especially for mobile. Skip to Site Speed & Performance in this SEO checklist for the tools to check page speed.

24. Mobile and Voice-Related Keywords
When was the last time you tried a voice search for your keywords? Try to find your business and competitors as your customer would with a voice search. Consider:

  • Are you coming up for relevant voice search terms like “[keyword] near me”?
  • Are you accounting for searches formed as questions or full sentences? (These are more and more common with the advance of voice queries.)

Check out our articles on voice search optimization and mobile SEO for guidance.

25. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Accelerated Mobile Pages, known as AMP for short, is an open source project that enables webpages to load instantly for mobile users.

Since its inception, AMP has added more features to support a variety of websites including e-commerce, publishers and advertisers. Because of the visibility of Google’s AMP carousel, AMP pages may get more visibility in the mobile search results.

Check out our high-level overview of AMP to investigate whether AMP might benefit your site.

Sitewide Optimization

Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines (here’s a PDF of the most recent version) introduced the terminology E-A-T to the SEO community. A shorthand way of referring to expertise, authority and trustworthiness as the top indicators of page quality, E-A-T is now a pillar of search engine optimization.

A website as a whole should signal expertise, authority and trust while conveying subject relevance and optimizing for search engine accessibility. While your basic content strategy is a big piece of this (see the Content Optimization section, above), the following items help support E-A-T.

26. Contact Information
An explicit E-A-T signal, a site’s contact information, such as a phone number and address, should be clearly visible on the site. The search engines expect that a trustworthy site will provide this.

27. Testimonials
Another E-A-T signal, testimonials located on your site support your authority as a business and your value to your customer base. Testimonials are great for signaling your value to your human visitors, too!

28. Privacy Statement
Having a privacy statement on your site is considered a trust signal for the search engines. A privacy statement lets site visitors know what you’re doing with any data you collect about them.

In addition to bolstering your trust with Google and Bing, offering a privacy statement is a best practice. Privacy laws such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (aka GDPR) require many sites to clarify their privacy policies, have visitors opt in to allow data collection, and more. If you have not yet researched GDPR, which went into effect in spring 2018, you should.

29. Text Navigation
Verify that there is text navigation within your site. You want text links, which are more SEO-friendly than, say, using images for menu items. Make sure you have text navigation at least on the bottom of the page if there aren’t any crawlable navigation links in the top menu. This is a search engine accessibility issue.

30. Sitemaps
Your site should have an HTML sitemap (see Google’s sitemap info). Every page should link to that sitemap, probably in the footer.

You should also have an XML sitemap that you submit to search engines. If you already have sitemaps, check and update them regularly to make sure they contain the pages that are currently active on your site.

You can learn how to create a sitemap for users and search engines to easily access all areas of your site in our SEO Tutorial.

31. Robots.txt File
The robots.txt file tells the search engine spiders what not to index. It’s important that this file exists, even if it’s empty. Also make sure the file doesn’t accidentally exclude important files, directories, or the entire site. (This has been known to happen!)

32. Linking Strategy
This section warrants way more than just a few sentences, but it should be noted as part of the SEO checklist. Your internal linking structure typically stems from your siloing strategy, which is vitally important to establishing relevance for SEO.

In addition, your inbound/outbound links should be part of an organic, natural strategy in compliance with search engine guidelines. As part of site maintenance, monitor your link profile regularly.

33. Server Configuration
Regularly check your server looking for 404 errors, improper 301 redirects and other errors. You can use the Check Server Page Tool to monitor your web server for errors (free tool, no sign-in required).

34. Static URLs
Complex, dynamic URLs can be a problem. If your site has any of the following, consider converting your URLS to static URLs:

  • More than two query string parameters
  • Dynamic pages that aren’t getting indexed
  • A lot of duplicate content getting indexed

You can also use mod_rewrite or ISAPI_rewrite as appropriate to simplify URLs. Rewritten URLs will appear to be static URLs. This tends to be a lot of work, but is a surefire way to address this issue. You can also use the canonical tag to tell search engines which page is intended to be indexed as the canonical version.

35. No Spam Tactics
Make sure your SEO strategy is following Google Webmaster Guidelines and Bing Webmaster Guidelines. If ever in doubt about any of your tactics, you can also refer to what Google recommends for SEO.

Webmaster Tools

What’s an SEO without their tools to surface data that leads to analysis? Just remember, there’s a difference between data and wisdom. SEO tools can help you discover what’s going on with your site, but plotting an action plan requires an understanding of SEO.

Bruce Clay’s SEO team can help you strategize effectively. If you want expert assistance, ask us for a free quote!

36. Web Analytics
No question — analytics data is important for SEO. Ensure your analytics are properly set up and monitor them regularly to find out if the keywords generating traffic are in your keyword list, and if your site is optimized for them. A ranking monitor (such as the one in our SEOToolSet) is also useful to track SEO changes across search engines.

Our SEO Tutorial unpacks the role of analytics in the step How to Monitor Your SEO Progress.

37. Webmaster Tools Accounts
Webmaster tools accounts for Google and Bing give site owners insight into how search engines view their sites. These free tools collect data and provide essential reports on issues like what search queries bring traffic to your site, crawl errors you need to fix, and penalty notifications.

38. Manual Penalty Review
If a manual penalty has been levied against you, Google will report it to you within Google Search Console. Check the Manual Actions Report and the Search Console message center. Read more about dealing with manual penalty actions.

You can also find out if you’ve suffered a penalty from Bing. Review the Index Summary chart with the dashboard of Bing Webmaster Tools. If the number of pages for a given site is set at zero, you have been hit with a penalty.

39. Algorithm Updates
If your site is running Google Analytics, use the Panguin Tool to check your traffic levels against known algorithmic updates. If you see any drops or rises in search referrer traffic at a time that coincide with Penguin, Panda and other known algorithm updates, you may be affected by a penalty. Read more about penalty assessment and recovery.

Google is changing its algorithm all the time. Recently, RankBrain and machine learning — powered by artificial intelligence technology — is changing the search results. While optimization for AI is not as straightforward as checking for traffic drops, familiarize yourself with the real impact of RankBrain and my recent post on preparing for the near future of SEO.

40. Site Speed and Performance
Check PageSpeed Insights in Google Search Console or use tools like to analyze and improve a website’s performance on desktop and mobile devices.

Google PageSpeed Insights tool
For more on improving page speed, read our Page Speed Issues Overview for SEO.

Want more SEO tips? Our online SEO Tutorial teaches you search engine optimization step-by-step, and it’s free!

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay, Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn and other social networks from Bruce's author page.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (102)
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102 Replies to “The Always Up-to-Date SEO Checklist”

This is worth checklist that every SEO enthusiast look into this and this might will help in their strategist

You covered almost all SEO Checklist.. But i’m little confused that this is new article or old??? Because many of your comments date showing of year 2012

Paula Allen

Rick: It’s new! We’ve updated this article many times since the first version to keep it up to date. I haven’t wanted to remove the comments, though, because they add so many readers’ perspectives to the conversation. Sorry for the confusion.

Yes, after the recent Mobile first update, website speed plays a huge role in your ranking. If you are unable to optimize your website for mobile, I recommend using AMP.


Great piece of SEO content. I have bookmarked your site and will be using your checklist on my future SEO projects. Thank you Bruce.

Excellent article. Thanks so much for sharing this checklist. This is very useful.

We regularly miss out on a number of these checkpoints. Thanks for sharing and enabling us do the right job with our seo tasks.

SEO is most good technical way to promote your website in any search engine. Here you have shared excellent article and information about SEO checklist. This techniques should helpful for us to get rank first. Thanks for sharing.

Nice post, many of important points you discuss in this post about the whole process of SEO.

Hey Bruce, I am glad you shared this SEO checklist with us. It is great help for me. I always forget some or other thing while checking for SEO. To have this checklist handy will be great help so that I don’t miss any important point. I mainly forget image optimization. Now with this checklist, I believe I will work perfectly.

Thanks for sharing the top SEO checklist, I can definitely use in my website.

Thanks for sharing this informative post! i must say that A large number of online forums still allow do-follow links. We’ve detailed some of the key tactics involved in integrating SEO into your inbound marketing strategy from the start.

Thanks for helpful article!

Incredible post. Now I’ve got to read this huge article carefully and You have better explain about SEO checklist. Thanks for this contribution.

Yup. Mobile is the new leader and it will continue to take ground. We can’t ignore the realities of mobile.

Appreciate this article, it’s a good one!

Thanks Bruce,

I cant agree more, specially point 24. Mobile and Voice-Related Keywords, I found it’s being ignored by many SEO expert

Content and keywords are bloodlines of any SEO strategy. I personally believe that now links game has gotten weaken now and currently putting quality content and keeping social signals very strong so that your content gets viral and it starts building natural links.

This is a great checklist! While you’re right in saying that none of these could ever really be comprehensive, I think it’s an important reminder for anyone when they review their strategies at any time.

I think I’d like to add that social media monitoring has become an increasingly important part of the checklist since you started writing it six years ago.

Now more than ever, brands shouldn’t just be reactive to social media mentions, or simply see it as a means of reputation management…but should structure their content strategy around addressing people’s pain points, which they air organically on social media. Social media can also uncover long-term trends and shifts in audience preferences – you just need to start gathering the data to form the insights.

Rhys McKay, Content Specialist –

First i must thank for this great article

well, mostly people focus on backlink building instead internal linking they forget about bounce rate and pageview

Great list, thanks for sharing !

Fresh content and natural backlink profile are very powerful signals in my opinion. Also, site load speed is get more importance.

This is the most detailed list I have come through on On-Page SEO.
Thanks for the article.

This is exactly what I was looking for . Thanks.
I liked that you put optimization for mobile at the very beginning. I will definitely subscribe to your blog.

This is incredible! It is so true that on page SEO is essential to get top in SERP and pleasure to see such an in-depth report on it! When optimizing your website to grow traffic, it helps to have an SEO checklist or plan to follow to get the most out of your experience and effort.

Fascinating stuff, I only stumble across you in the last couple of days. Keeping up the great content. I admire your way to describe the post, but one of the quick questions is what you would like to say about the keyword density and content length required in a post? Is keyword density also essential for SEO nowadays?

Anyways, thanks again for this article. Bookmarked.

This is a really useful list of regular checks that should be done, thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing this! Okay, example if google penalize me… how long it will take?

Paula Allen

Kalifa – There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long a penalty will affect a site’s rankings. It completely depends on the type of penalty, whether algorithmic or manual, as well as whether the website has made any improvements since the last time the search engine crawled it. We have more information on avoiding Google penalties here:

Thanks for the great checklist

Great post! Thanks for sharing and reminding everyone about mobilgeddon.

Thank you for sharing! How come page load speed is a ranking factor?

Paula Allen

Mark: Page load speed is a ranking factor in Google’s mobile search results. Google wants to satisfy searchers with the best user experience possible, especially on mobile devices. If a result takes too long to load, it’s a bad UX.

First of all I want to know which is the best tool in SEO for data analysis?

Paula Allen

Nelson: Ours, of course! :) Seriously though, that’s a very broad question, and the answer depends on what type of data you’re trying to analyze. If it’s ranking data, keyword data, competitor ranking data, or on-page analysis you’re after, then I do recommend our SEOToolSet:

Content is very important in SEO. Specially these days, google can identify your content. Not only the content but also On page has been effective in SEO google is also focused on on-page.

Thanks for the updated list I always wondered about word count and what Google was looking for exactly. This offers a lot better clarity.

SEO is really wonderful optimization in On page & Off page consider with the two relation works on online marketing and internet marketing of two applications. The Internet marketing has the mobile application for analyzing that more keywords of checklist.

I’ve read other blogs that have the same topic as yours and I think you forgot to include the responsiveness of a website, though your list is almost complete. But still, your post is very informative and I learned something from it. Glad that you shared this.

Paula Allen

Christine – Thanks for the feedback! We agree that mobile optimization is of primary importance these days — it’s #1 on our checklist! However, a responsive site is not the only acceptable method to achieve mobile-friendliness. A separate mobile site can rank equally well if it’s done right, and dynamic serving is a third, lesser-used option. We’ve written about all three of these options in our Mobile SEO tutorial here:

That is the first web page I have ‘favourited’ in months. An awesome piece of content, thank you very much for sharing.

This one article covers every important point of SEO and provides the perfect checklist. I will definitely use this list for SEO in future.

Keep up the great work!

Adam Volk

Amazing! Thanks for the great checklist!

Valuable and informative tips related to the SEO checklist. Well, I am also dealing with the SEO on regular basis. This is really an amazing list for me. Hope to use your list details :) Thanks

As said building cannot stay if pillar are not strong in the same way a website with on page will never come up top on SERP for targeting keywords. Without on page its way difficult and if you notice from last few google is focusing on page and on content by telling us the keyword density and LSI..

Totally agree with the points mentioned in the post. Tile, page content, keywords research plays a vital role in On-page optimization.

On page has been effective since beginning and its clear understanding why google is focusing on page as it for the end user. By having proper on page methods end user can get better and quick results and this will result increase of user.

If user user will increases then advertisers will automatically increase so as written in article focus on your website architecture

I totally agree with all, especially that the title needs to grab the attention of the searcher and that the description is your sales pitch as to why the page should be clicked on. Include the benefit that the visitor will get from clicking on the page and a call to action if space allows.

Well if you notice that on page has been effective and this post clearly explains what we need to do.. remember you also focus on search console error and definitely keyword density.. As we know content is king of seo

Perfect checklist for SEO. This one page covers everything about SEO. Please could we have a PDF checklist of this. Thank You

Aussie, if you press print at the bottom of the page it will give you an option to save as a pdf :)

These are great tips! We will definitely use this SEO checklist to help our clients rank.

excellent checklist , i found very valuable information what i am searching for SEO.

the purpose of web optimization is not just for arising web ranking, but also create more convenience for customers, thanks so much for your practical tips!

this checklist would help to make the web design to suit the seo

Thanks for best seo checklist, i m new in seo it’s help me a lot.

Thank you, this helps tremendously!

We are launching a new website and in the process of performing the on-page SEO at the moment. My question is in regards to Title tags on links and images…

Are they important to include? OR Are they useful but not required? OR Don’t even bother.

I’ve searched all over the net and cannot find a definitive answer.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Virginia Nussey

Great question, Darlene. I have wondered this myself, so I wandered over to Bruce’s desk to find out. Here’s a definitive answer straight from Bruce.

The one place where it is useful to include a title tag is on a link. In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) describes use of the title tag on links as a way to increase a user’s accessibility. So if you want to be a good web citizen, use the title tag on your links.

The title tag is not needed for images. You could theoretically include a title tag on any HTML element (including a paragraph tag!) but it’s not useful to the user, and thus, it’s not valued by search engines. That’s a good rule of thumb: if it can be seen by a user, then the search engine cares about it.

Thanks for update the check list, we always need to make sure we are doing correct way for SEO.

Great article! Really glad came upon this!


Sweet! High five Christopher!

Really wonderful article . Thank for sharing

This is a great checklist! I mean, the checklist by itself would provide useful but the fact that every point has a detailed explanation and link to valuable content is what makes it great :)

This just goes to show you how much work needs to be done just to keep everything up to date.

Virginia Nussey

It’s all about the #valueadd Peter ;) Thanks for your glowing feedback! Our next plan is to make a printable/download version of the checklist to keep by your desk. Stay tuned!

Thanks for sharing the checklist, we are also using same checklist.

Virginia Nussey

Yes! Glad to hear you find it useful, Vivek!

Thanks a lot for sharing information mobile usability and the most important thing i got knowledge about keywords search by voice , yes its most important thing we should follow while doing seo . Once againg thanks a lot for sharing this information .

Virginia Nussey

Ben, the part about searching for your business with a voice search is an addition in this latest update! It’s one of Bruce’s top mobile SEO tips! Happy to share.

Fundamentals are crucial – Great list – thanks :-)

Virginia Nussey

Always appreciate your feedback, Andy!

Would like to share our checklist:

1. Title Tags
2. Description Tags
3. Image Alt Text
4. Logo Mark Up
5. H1 Tags (only 1 per page)
6. H2 Tags
7. URL Optimzation (length and Path)
8. Image Name Optimization(alt + name)
9. Broken Links
10. Landing Pages
11. Site Architecture And Navigation
12. Videos
13. Social Media Integration
14. Local Search (Google Places and Maps)
15. Robots.txt
16. canonical issues
17. XML Sitemap
18: Responsiveness
19. Facebook Open Graph (Blog)
20. Twitter Cards (Blog)
21. Customized 404
22. Schemas
23. Site Speed
24. Webmaster Tools
25. Google Analytics
26. Duplicate Pages
27. Redirects
28. Indexing And Crawling
29. Content Keywords Co-relation In Search Console
30. Search Queries In Search Console
31. Domain Authority
32. Blog
33. Google My Business Account
34. Accelerated Mobile Pages (recently Added)

Virginia Nussey

Yes! Fantastic list, Bahrati! Thanks for sharing yours!

All the thing written here is compulsory if you want to improve you ranking or visibility in a search Engine.

I wish some of my clients would read this page to show them that I am not full of crap. Very well put together and I will definitely will be using this to show some of my clients. Thanks

Great SEO checklist indeed. Solving canonical issues and other need of 301 or 302 redirection could have been included in the checklist.

Virginia Nussey

Great point, Chandan. Redirects could definitely have a place in this checklist. Adding this to the queue for a revision! Thank you for the feedback.

On Page SEO mostly comes down to understanding how write for people, so following the standards in terms of organization and communication that newspaper publications, academic papers, and books utilize will definitely impact results. Great post!

Thanks for the information! It is very useful to SEO beginners to rank their page on google.

Is it a bad idea (or will it hurt) your SEO if you list out your services? Example for a roofer
– roof replacement
– re reoofing
– roofing tear offs

Paula Allen

Mallory: That’s a good question that every business website has to answer. If your website visitors will benefit from seeing the services you offer, which I assume they would if they’re vetting your business, then you should find a way to show them. The bigger question is HOW you should organize that information and present website content lining up with each of your services.

Your content needs to be siloed into logical categories. For instance, if you are a general contractor that does roofing, plumbing, and others, then consider having a main silo landing page all about roofing, which could list all your different roofing-related services and link down to subpages about them. You’d also want other silos for the other categories of services. However, if you are a roofing contractor solely, then you’ll want to think about how people search and organize your site accordingly. If you believe visitors search by type of roofing service (as opposed to some other criterion such as location, materials, or other), then you might list your different types of roofing services in your navigation and maybe on your home page.

We have several pages on this site that explain the practice of siloing in depth. See as a start.

Now I understand how to rank blog on Google page

Keywords Tag is the most important

Thanks for sharing this valuable and informative post about SEO Checker. As an SEO beginner, it helps a lot!

For the 29 (website speed) here is the best tool to check the site speed:

Thanks a lot, Jessica
a very helpful seo checklist to making “Plan of Action” for any websites.

To the point, informative and really valuable piece of content on SEO. The only thing I missed is structured data. Other than that this article is so much complete that it can be a reference resource for any newbies in this industry.

A lot more comprehensive than my SEO checklist. Nice one. 101 good pointers that can be applied to help SEO.

This is a great post to me . Now I understand how to rank blog on Google page . Happy Blogging .

I want to know that , will google penalty always affect our rankings or it will helps my ranking ?

Nice update BCI team! This is the gift that keeps on giving. ;)

Virginia Nussey

Thanks, Jessica. It really is! So thank you!

To the point, informative and really valuable piece of content on SEO. The only thing I missed is structured data. Other than that this article is so much complete that it can be a reference resource for any newbies in this industry.
Thanks for sharing, Jessica.

Soumya Roy

excellent checklist , i found very valuable information what i am searching for SEO.

Like the updated version for 2015, thanks Jessica


Very thourough checklist. Great information Jessica, thank you so much. Is not having ANY images considered harmful to SEO? For some reason I was under the impression that Google tends to rewards sites with media such as video and images.

You’re right, having engaging content on your web pages outside of just text is great for user experience — which is what Google is most concerned with. This isn’t a complete SEO checklist — we could write entire books about that (and actually, we have!), so adding sections on videos and images certainly would be beneficial to this list. Visuals are a great addition to any Web page. Thanks for your comment, Ryan!

Great overview of SEO. You make an important point regarding numbers 2 and 3. The title needs to grab the attention of the searcher and the description is your sales pitch as to why the page should be clicked on. Include the benefit that the visitor will get from clicking on the page and a call to action if space allows.

Thanks for this seo checklist Jessica, it clears up my mind on how to use the meta tags properly to improve my search engine ranking..

HI Jessica, thanks for sharing the list, will include to my company SEO List.

You’re welcome, Kent. Have a great week.

Jared Yaple


I’ve been trying to organize a checklist for SEO that will speed up the process of auditing sites for clients.

This list is excellent!

Thank you,


Oh good — glad it’s helping. Thanks for taking the time to tell us, Jared!

Great piece Jessica. Valuable tips in there. Fellow Aztec here. Go Aztecs!

Hey, fellow Aztec! I *just* found out a couple months ago they closed down the bar on campus (guess it was old news); I spent many sunny afternoons studying outside on the patio with a cold beer. Glad you enjoyed the post, Adam. Take care!

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