SEO site requirements checklist, or, what you need from your developers/CMS

After constantly saying, “I need _____ for SEO” to our developers, they asked me to put together a checklist of items they need to keep in mind when creating our sites.

This is by no means exhaustive, and none of the items are explained, but if you need a short and simple way to remember what your site needs to be search engine friendly, here it is:

Images

__Give images descriptive, keyword-rich file names.
__Host your images in a subdomain.
__Make sure the there is room on the image page for keyword-rich, relevant text.
__Include images in the site’s XML Sitemap.
(http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2009/01/image-and-video-search-optimization.htm)

Copy

__Make sure there is room on the page for at least 250 words of body copy, preferably the design would allow for more, possibly with tabs.

HTML

__Remove any extraneous, inline CSS.
__Use heading tags properly.
__Only one H1 per page.
__Each heading tag should be unique to that page.

Page Speed

__Ensure pages load more quickly than the site’s SERP competitors.

Duplicate content

__Decide whether the site will be www or http://
__301 redirect one to the other.
__If pagination causes duplicate content, either fix the pages or institute the canonical tag.
__Ensure there is only one URL per page.

Internal linking

_Ensure there are no more than 100 links per page.

Videos

(http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2009/01/image-and-video-search-optimization.htm)
__Build space for at least 250 words of unique body copy on the video page.
__Build space for a video transcript on the page.
__Build space for a caption on the page.
__Build videos with closed captioning abilities.
__Give videos descriptive, keyword-rich file names.
__Institute video sitemaps.

Javascript

__Ensure all pages can be accessed with JavaScript turned off.

Read more: The Really Big SEO Checklist, hold the B.S. | Internet Marketing Strategy: Conversation Marketing http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2010/04/seo-checklist-really-big.htm#ixzz0mDgBG2RS

URLs

__Ensure are URLs are short and keyword rich with few parameters.

Redirects

__Ensure sites have no 302 redirects.

Ranking Importance
If you have questions about how much each issue matters to Google, this article (http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors#ranking-factors) is a great resource. Use it to help you prioritize your action items.

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  • http://zengeranalytics.com dianes

    Thanks! I am trying to prepare for a new product release and was looking for practical ideas around “setting up” that would make the product more visible as we market. This is a useful checklist.

    • cathyreisenwitz

      Glad you liked it! I’m doing the same thing right now actually, just getting into e-commerce on the freelance side. Pretty excited. Good luck to you. If you have any specific questions, let me know.