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Meta Tag / Head Area Checklist

Title Required
Meta Descri­ption Required
Rel Canonical Tag Recomm­ended
Meta Content Type Required
Meta Keywords Optional - Not used by Google
Meta Robots Optional
Meta Googlebot Optional
Meta Google Optional
Meta Google Site Verifi­cation Optional
Rel Next/Prev Optional
Rel DNS Prefetch Optional
Rel Shortlink Optional
Facebook Open Graph Tags Recomm­ended
Twitter Card Tags Optional
Rel Alternate (RSS Feed) Optional
Rel Shortcut Icon/Icon (Favicon) Recomm­ended
Meta Refresh Not recomm­ended


Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, H4...) Recomm­ended
Paragraph tags Optional
Page Anchors Optional
Links Required
Navigation Required
Unique Content Required
Address Info Recomm­ended
Rich snippets (micro­data, microf­ormats, RDFa) Recomm­ended
Strong Optional
Em Optional
Breadc­rumbs Recomm­ended
Cookie Policy Page Recomm­ended
Contact Page Recomm­ended
Privacy Page Recomm­ended
Google + Authorship Recomm­ended
Social Media Buttons Recomm­ended


Check for duplic­ate­/sc­raped content
Do not mix languages on a page
Check for spelling and grammar
Avoid hidden content
Do not over-use keywor­ds/­phrases
Do not over-use bold tags
Nofollow all untrus­ted/UGC links

Image Optimisation

Alt Required
Search engine friendly file name Recomm­ended
Title Recomm­ended
Compress Images ( etc) Recomm­ended
Convert Images to WebP Optional (Google Chrome & Opera only)
Store on cookieless sub-do­mains Recomm­ended
Store on cloud hosting / CDN Recomm­ended


Search engine friendly URL Recomm­ended
No Session ID in URL Required
Homepage URL is root ( '/' ) Required
URLs match Canonical Tags Required
URLs match FB OG Site Tag Required
All lowercase letters Recomm­ended
Consistent closing slash Required
No spaces Required
No non-pe­rmitted characters Required
No duplicate URLs for same page Required


XML Sitemap Recomm­ended
Static Sitemap Recomm­ended
Compressed Sitemap Recomm­ended
Video Sitemap Optional
Google News Sitemap Optional
RSS Feed Recomm­ended
Sitemap Index File Optional
Sitemap reference in Robots.txt Recomm­ended


Robots.txt Recomm­ended
Robots.txt sitemap link Optional
Robots.txt disallow rules Optional - be careful
Robots.txt allow rules Optional
Check in Webmaster Tools Recomm­ended

Broken Links / Redirects

Check for broken links/­error pages (4xx,5xx) Required
Check for redirects (3xx) Required
All website pages sending 200 success code Required
Homepage should not redirect Required
Homepage should send 200 success code Required


Title Recomm­ended
Rel Nofollow Optional - Use with care
Rel Alternate Hreflang x For Multi Language Sites
Rel Next/P­revious Optional
Rel Tag Optional
Rel Author / Me Optional
Rel Bookmark Optional

404 Error Page

Check 404 page exists Required
Check 404 page returns 404 status code Required
Custom 404 error page Optional
Add useful links, sitemap or search box to 404 page Optional

HTML Validation

W3C Markup Validation Service

3rd Party Software: Flash/Silverlight/Java/PDF etc

3rd Party Software Navigation Menu Avoid
3rd Party Software Intro page Avoid
3rd Party Software Text Content Avoid
Entire Site Using Third Party Software Avoid
Small Features Allowed
Videos Allowed
Audio elements Allowed
Animations Allowed
Tools Allowed

Over Optimisation

Is the site user friendly?
Could a user class the page as spammy?
Do not over-use keywor­ds/­phrases in text, headings or meta data
Do not create more internal links than necesssary
Too many keyword rich links
Poor conten­t/too many repeated phrases
Too many ads (eg Adsense) above the fold
Too many ads, such that content is hard to access

Google Webmaster Tools

Fetch as Googlebot Required
Submit .xml Sitemap Required
Submit Compressed Sitemap Recomm­ended
Submit RSS Feed Recomm­ended
Set Geographic target Recomm­ended
Set Preferred domain Recomm­ended
HTML Improv­ements Optional
Rich Snippets Testing Tool Optional

Bing Webmaster Tools

Fetch as Bingbot Recomm­ended
Submit Sitemap Recomm­ended
Submit RSS Feed Optional
Submit URLs Optional

Website Speed Tools (Online)

Google PageSpeed Insights
Neustar Instant Speed Test
Pingdom Tools Full Page Test
Yahoo! YSlow

Auditing Tools

Screaming Frog

Google Webmaster Guidelines

Read, understand and follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines
Do not place a link exchange section on your website
Avoid automa­tically generated / scraped content
Avoid cloaking
Avoid 'sneaky redirects'
Avoid hidden text or links
Avoid doorway pages
Do not abuse rich snippets


Facebook Debugger Tool
Google Structured Data Testing Tool

Keyword Research

Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Google Suggest
Bing Keyword Tool


All in One SEO
WordPress SEO by Yoast
W3 Total Cache


Cheat Sheet created by Colin McDermott from Banc Media.
Banc Media: http:/­/ww­w.b­anc­med­
Colin McDermott: http:/­/cm.or­
Big Thanks to Dave @ Added Bytes.

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Carmen Cardoza Carmen Cardoza, 16:29 5 Apr 13

Thank you. This is a great check list!

colinbancmedia colinbancmedia, 00:00 10 Jun 13

Thanks Cardoza! You are welcome. Let me know how you use it.

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