Website SEO Checklist & Free SEO Spreadsheet Download

By: Mae Demdam

Website SEO Checklist

It’s always important to check your work prior to launching a website with implemented SEO strategy. Once the site goes live it’s accessible to your audience and you want to ensure that you’ve gotten most, if not all of the kinks fixed and your ducks in a row prior to launch. There are dozens of useful cheat sheets on the web, our favorites can be found at Moz and

On Page SEO Strategy and Implementation

We wanted to simplify these checklists even further and compile a quick one-sheet that covers the basics. We’re going to assume you’ve used the appropriate tools for Keyword Research, those which measure local search volume and provide a competitive analysis. We’re also going to assume you’ve done the proper link and traffic data analysis to see how people are finding you, which aids in narrowing down your top keywords. Once you’ve selected your keywords and phrases you’ll want to ensure that you’ve completed the following:

SEO HTML Elements

  • Title Tags – Approximately 70 characters and unique.
  • Meta Description Tags – Keywords should be as close to the beginning of the 160 character description as possible, use marketing copy, and close with a call to action.
  • Image Tags – Images should be Title Tagged with a keyword and brand dense description.

SEO Friendly Hyperlinks

  • Text Link or Anchor Text – Limit links, don’t stuff your content with links and make sure that keywords are related to the links where users will be directed.
  • target=”_blank” – Opens a new window for the user, these pages are usually additional pages on the site
  • rel=”nofollow” – Typically used when an anchor text links to an external site or page.
  • Image Link – Be sure to use Keywords in image links and link to related pages.

SEO Friendly URLs should

  • Include Keywords
  • Be Clear, Concise and Correct
  • Create directories when necessary

SEO Content

  • Content should be well written and free of grammatical errors.
  • User Header Tags H1, H2 and H3s to break up content and clearly display what each paragraph is about.
  • Use relevant anchor text and links within content.
  • Calculate at least a 3% keyword density.
  • Word Count should be approximately 500 words for proper density, depending on design.
  • Content should engage, inform and/or entertain.
  • Content should have a clear closing with a call to action or conversions.

Link Building for SEO

  • Easily create links with social media profiles; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, etc.
  • Submit content and site to Search Engines; Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Submit content and site to Directories.

Every page on your website should be subjected to this checklist and recorded so that you can assess keyword consistency. A helpful way to record all this information is the use of an SEO spreadsheet. We use this for all of our SEO projects, download our SEO Strategy Template to help you organize your SEO efforts.

We recommend starting with the SEO spreadsheet and recording all titles, urls, H1, image titles, etc. before actually adding any SEO to your website. It is much easier to make wholesale changes to a spreadsheet than to all the individual pages on a website.


Do you have a comprehensive SEO Content Strategy?

By: Mae Demdam

SEO Strategy

Comprehensive SEO content strategy is vital in getting indexed on the first page of SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) and isn’t an easy task. Let’s face it, technology has made us somewhat lazy and we, as consumers crave instant gratification with the least amount of work. Thankfully Google, Yahoo, Bing and other top search engines, have created algorithmic models to assist in filtering through the sludge of information on the internet to give us exactly or pretty darn close to what we’re looking for. But even with this access to information we’re likely only searching through the first couple pages of results before we pick something that’s being served to us. It’s even more likely that we will select one of the top 5 results on the first page. In our role as businesses or information providers we need to work with these algorithms in order to be one of the relevant choices users find on the first page of results, hence keyword research and the most important keyword of all OPTIMIZATION.

The Importance of Hiring SEO Professionals

Although business owners may want to write their own content because they are familiar with their business, model, products and services, more often than not key aspects of proper optimization like, character count and calls to action are missing from the copy. It’s advantageous for businesses to hire SEO professionals to not only optimize web content, but also create a content strategy and write the copy. Professional SEOs understand how search engine robots crawl a site, they know the best practices for optimized web content writing, and they are familiar with marketing jargon to generate conversions.

Optimized Copywriting

There are so many aspects to keep in mind when it comes to content writing and optimization, you can’t just attack a site with a list of keywords, although a common misunderstanding. This technique is called “keyword stuffing” and it’s not a best practice for optimization because just as the algorithmic models provide results for users, it also protects them from SPAM and undesirable results. And in their efforts to control the quality of their results, updates like Panda and Penguin were launched. These updates created guidelines for websites to follow and put into practice and penalized those that took a “black hat” approach to marketing. Unfortunately a novice may not be familiar with these updates nor have a plan of action to recover from a penalty.

Hiring a team of professionals that can provide a multitude of SEO Services can ensure that your business is following the best practices of optimization. They work closely with you to understand your business and consumers which allows them to create a comprehensive marketing and SEO content strategy to improve conversions.

Keyword Research and SEO Content Writing

As we mentioned in our “eCommerce Optimized Web Content” blog you need to know your business and understand your audience. You need to think like a consumer and focus on what you would search when looking for a product or information on the web and what you want served within your results.

Taking that into consideration, let’s pretend you’re a Cupcakery, selling baked goods online (only cupcakes to make things easy). You should compile a list of your flavors, ingredients, cupcake names and things that you think represent you as a business and give you a unique edge, like being gluten-free, think outside of the box!

Now you should have an extensive list of around 100 or something keywords that are relevant to your business, remember relevancy is very important being too broad may result in visitors leaving your site. People know what they are looking for. If you start optimizing for keywords like cookies and you don’t sell cookies, your visitors are going to leave your website and likely not return. It’s not about quantity of visitors, it’s about quality of visitors, those visitors who are searching for your products and are ready to purchase.


I want to order cupcakes for a baby shower; I’d probably get bombarded with results by typing in just “cupcakes” which won’t really get me anywhere. I’d probably get more specific with “a dozen cupcakes for baby boy shower” which helps filter out type of cupcakes, colors, and amount, now I’ll get more refined search results. I could get even more refined by targeting geographically specific locations like city, county and zip code, especially since I’m likely looking for a local business, i.e. “a dozen chocolate cupcakes for a baby boy shower in Santa Monica”.

These long-tailed keyword phrases are the types of terminology you want to optimize for. Although shorter keywords provide more search volume in tools like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool, it would be preferred to target keyword phrases that are going to bring you visitors with the intent to buy versus browse.

After taking into consideration search volume and a variety of metrics; competition, demographic search, analytical data, and traffic derived from search terms, the keywords and phrases that are selected are ready for grouping based on theme. These groups of keywords and phrases are used to create content that represents your brand, is informative to your consumers and simultaneously optimizes your site for search which will lead to more customers! See our aforementioned blog for details on Q: How Do You Convert Visitors Into Customers? A: eCommerce Optimized Website Content.

SEO Content Strategy & Development

As you can see there are quite a few factors to SEO Strategy and Web Content Development. These strategies are only beneficial to a business if done the right way. Web content serves to inform and entertain audiences. Web and SEO industry experts follow the mantra “Content is King” and it’s proven true especially with recent updates to Google’s Search Algorithms. Content is an important aspect of a website and when written by professional SEO copywriters website content can increase website traffic, awareness and improve site conversions.

Professional SEO copywriting incorporates a number of strategies to ensure that your copy will result in the most relevant of user searches. Search engines such as Google and Bing send out “spiders” to crawl web pages and evaluate the elements of each page. Based on the quality and relevancy of the content, the “spiders” use this analytical data to determine whether they should index and rank the webpage in SERPs. Because writing for search engines is drastically different than writing for marketing copy or business documents, we strongly recommend hiring professional SEO copywriters that can maximize the effectiveness of your website’s content and aim to achieve the goals of ranking and converting.