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Onsite SEO Cheat Sheet by colinbancmedia

For web designers, developers and SEOs that want to check if a website is search engine friendly.

Meta Tag / Head Area Checklist

Meta Descri­ptionRequired
Rel Canonical TagRecomm­ended
Meta Content TypeRequired
Meta KeywordsOptional - Not used by Google
Meta RobotsOptional
Meta GooglebotOptional
Meta GoogleOptional
Meta Google Site Verifi­cationOptional
Rel Next/PrevOptional
Rel DNS PrefetchOptional
Rel ShortlinkOptional
Facebook Open Graph TagsRecomm­ended
Twitter Card TagsOptional
Rel Alternate (RSS Feed)Optional
Rel Shortcut Icon/Icon (Favicon)Recomm­ended
Meta RefreshNot recomm­ended


Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, H4...)Recomm­ended
Paragraph tagsOptional
Page AnchorsOptional
Unique ContentRequired
Address InfoRecomm­ended
Rich snippets (micro­data, microf­ormats, RDFa)Recomm­ended
Cookie Policy PageRecomm­ended
Contact PageRecomm­ended
Privacy PageRecomm­ended
Google + AuthorshipRecomm­ended
Social Media ButtonsRecomm­ended


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

Search engine friendly file nameRecomm­ended
Compress Images ( etc)Recomm­ended
Convert Images to WebPOptional (Google Chrome & Opera only)
Store on cookieless sub-do­mainsRecomm­ended
Store on cloud hosting / CDNRecomm­ended


Search engine friendly URLRecomm­ended
No Session ID in URLRequired
Homepage URL is root ( '/' )Required
URLs match Canonical TagsRequired
URLs match FB OG Site TagRequired
All lowercase lettersRecomm­ended
Consistent closing slashRequired
No spacesRequired
No non-pe­rmitted charactersRequired
No duplicate URLs for same pageRequired


XML SitemapRecomm­ended
Static SitemapRecomm­ended
Compressed SitemapRecomm­ended
Video SitemapOptional
Google News SitemapOptional
RSS FeedRecomm­ended
Sitemap Index FileOptional
Sitemap reference in Robots.txtRecomm­ended


Robots.txt sitemap linkOptional
Robots.txt disallow rulesOptional - be careful
Robots.txt allow rulesOptional
Check in Webmaster ToolsRecomm­ended

Broken Links / Redirects

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


Rel NofollowOptional - Use with care
Rel Alternate Hreflang xFor Multi Language Sites
Rel Next/P­reviousOptional
Rel TagOptional
Rel Author / MeOptional
Rel BookmarkOptional

404 Error Page

Check 404 page existsRequired
Check 404 page returns 404 status codeRequired
Custom 404 error pageOptional
Add useful links, sitemap or search box to 404 pageOptional

HTML Validation

W3C Markup Validation Service

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

3rd Party Software Navigation MenuAvoid
3rd Party Software Intro pageAvoid
3rd Party Software Text ContentAvoid
Entire Site Using Third Party SoftwareAvoid
Small FeaturesAllowed
Audio elementsAllowed

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 GooglebotRequired
Submit .xml SitemapRequired
Submit Compressed SitemapRecomm­ended
Submit RSS FeedRecomm­ended
Set Geographic targetRecomm­ended
Set Preferred domainRecomm­ended
HTML Improv­ementsOptional
Rich Snippets Testing ToolOptional

Bing Webmaster Tools

Fetch as BingbotRecomm­ended
Submit SitemapRecomm­ended
Submit RSS FeedOptional
Submit URLsOptional

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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Favourited by 6 Members:

Lasantha DeeJRoth Chilly_Bang wiganlanebooks matthew-campbell asafge


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.

Gaurav Sadawarte Gaurav Sadawarte, 15:46 19 Jun 14

found it extremely helpful, but I have a question that why do you perferr CDN network, i guess you i doesn't allow cache copies of pages which can be helpful when it comes to mobile optimization...

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