Search Engine Optimization Checklist for 2014

2014 SEO ChecklistSearch Engine Optimization is all about attracting non-paid search traffic to a website based on probable keywords related to a SEO Checklist 2014business brand that would be used by potential customer, leads or website visitors in order to locate your website. Therefore it is highly relevant that your website is easily understood by both people and machines (search engine bots & crawlers).

With this post we look at some of the essentials that need to be adhered when we talk of optimizing a website for the right keywords associated with the business brand:

Create Google Account, email address & do the same for Bing/Yahoo network

Install Google Analytics. Refer to the following Set up guidelines for Analytics

Install Google Webmaster Tools

Install Bing Webmaster Tools

Use, Install Google Analytics for & SEO for (e.g. Yoast Plugin). Another blogging platform that could also be considered is

Check Google Webmaster for 404 errors / 500 errors, duplicate content, missing title & technical errors

Check for broken links & resolve canonical issues like 302 & 301 redirects using W3 Link Checker or Online Broken Link Checker

Verify site code with W3 Validation & ensure the validation score is 100% perfect

Ensure that your website implements Google+ Authorship Mark-up and for the same refer to the following video on Google Webmaster Help on Authorship by Matt Cutts & Othar Hansson. You can also refer to this Definitive Guide to Google Authorship Markup

Create Robots.txt file & submit in Google & Bing Webmaster Tools. Robots.txt is a text file created to instruct robots (search engine bots) on how to crawl and index pages on a website.

Deploy mobile/smart device compatibility as well as cross browser compatibility test for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE all versions using tools like,,

Use Google Keyword Planner which was earlier known as Keyword Research Tool. Ideally pick 1-keyword per page for optimization & generally start with low-volume keywords first

Diagnose competitor site links to identify link building scope using Link DiagnosisOpen Site ExplorerAhrefsMajestic SEO and LipperHey

Incorporate primary keyword (or something close) into the page URL, also known as URL Optimization.

Optimize On-pages SEO elements with Title tags using 65 characters or less; Description tags using 155 characters or less; 4-5 keywords preferably in conversational string (e.g. where to find ….. keyword, how to use ….. keywords)

Ensure that your site code for Java Scripts & CSS are being called from an external file & not embedded directly to your sites source code.

Use H1 tags all up to H4 & H5 across the pages with at least 100 – 400 words in content including a healthy amount of search engine accessible text. Avoid creating a page that has less than 100 words of content

Use of synonyms & natural language (Conversational Search Strings) that’s influenced by keyword research is encouraged as per latest Google Hummingbird updates

Add ALT tags & Title tags for the images on your site with appropriate filenames for high relevancy listings on Google Image Search. ALT, Title tags & image file names are among some of the factors that Search Engines uses to “see” & review images

Link your internal pages in an SEO-friendly way so that both users & search engines understands what the links are about. Refer to the following post for more details in Internal Link Building

Focus on Off-Page SEO & initiate link building exercises to boost your websites reach across relevant platforms. Refer to the Beginner’s Guide to Link Building from for a more detailed understanding

Conduct an SEO Site Audit using crawling tools like Raven SEO Tools that comes with a 30 Days Free Trial or SEO Spider Tool from Refer to the following post on SEO Site Audit & Back Link Follow Ups for a detailed perspective.

Check out your website speed with Google Page Speed Tools, YSlow or GT Metrix

Create an XML Sitemap of your website using XML Site Maps or Google XML Sitemaps Plug-in and submit them to both Google & Yahoo/Bing Network via Google Webmaster & Bing Webmaster Tools

Claim your business / website name on some of the major networks for online reputation management. Completing this process across the mentioned domains ensures that your listing is listed & available across the first page of a search, more so if you are a new website or company:

Set up social media accounts/profile for your website/brand on social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Refer to the following post that defines Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2014

Ensure that you are using appropriate structured mark-up for your website coding. Refer to for more.


By: Pallab Kakoti

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