SEO Check List

I wanted to create a SEO check list for every website that I work on, that way I could go back and reference it after finishing up a site. These methods are proven and if you follow this SEO checklist as well, then you will have increased traffic on your site too. If you want proof of it working, you can check out my other post Search Engine Optimization Techniques where I explain more in detail about all these points. This check list is just a quick guide to help remind you of whats left to finish on the website to optimize it for Search engine ranking. Here we go:

  1. First, you need to validate all of your webpages on your site (meaning your  html code needs to not have any errors or warnings in it). This is the most important step because if the bot can’t index your page then how is it going to know how to categorize it. You can do that here: w3c Markup Validation Service
  2. Select the keywords that pertain to your particular post or page. Its important to select your keywords using a Keyword Tool, like Google Adwords Keyword Tool, so you know how many people are searching the specific terms you are choosing and which ones have the least competition.
  3. Insert your keywords into these parts of the webpage:
      1. Title – Very important, the title appears in the search engine results page as the link, Google uses the title tag for determining page relevance and ranks the page higher if the saearch phrase is found in the title.
      2. URL – Your keywords should be used in the url that specific page,  either in the directory or file name. Its good to use hyphens instead of a space in naming convention.
      3. headings – Every page should have a heading <h1> tag, and the keywords should be used in this and the h1 tag should be used only once.
      4. Text – In the text on your page, its very important to use the keywords in the first part of your webpage content. Also, if there is a small amount of text on the page it could cause the page to be ranked poorly too.
      5. keywords Meta Tag – Every webpage should have the keywords used in “Keywords Meta Tag”.  You add this line of code in between the <head> tags:<meta name=”keywords” content=”Your specific keywords” >
      6. Description Meta Tag – You add them like this:<meta name=”description” content=”A description sentence about your page or post pertaining to your keywords” >
      • Links – Use keywords in your links instead of using “click here” or phrases like that.
      • Images – all <img> tags should use the alt attribute using the keywords
      • Include a robots.txt file in the site root of your website. Even if the robots.txt file is blank upload one to your server because it will prevent your site from producing error messages every time a search engine spider visits your site.
      • Include a sitemap.xml file in the site root of your website. There is a website that will automate or help you create/ edit  a sitemap.xml file, it called xml-sitemaps.com.

      This is just  a really quick seo check list that will dramatically help with your websites overall SEO, but if you don’t think your site is being indexed by google still, you can go to google.com/addurl and add your site url and google will start to index your site.

      Cya

      Add .html to WordPress Pages

      Have you ever needed to add .html to WordPress pages? I know I did, and I found a cool plugin created by IntroSites that does this for any WordPress created page. Its a simple idea but very useful especially for the project I am currently working on. I wanted to write a quick post about it and kudos to them for making it.

      Cya

      CU3ER – A Free Flash 3d Image Slider

      imcu3er

      I just heard about a free flash 3d image slider creator called CU3ER. It looks amazing, its free to use in your own and commercial projects, its customizable by XML, and you can tailor any of the transitions and several other things to make it your own. I am in the process of creating my first template to sell on ThemeForest, another Envato Marketplace website, and I am definitely going to use it. Art director and designer Stefan Kovac came up with it and much thanks goes out to him for such an awesome utility.

      Cya

      Search Engine Optimization Techniques

      Since the beginning of working on web development and design, I have been enthralled into SEO (Seach Engine Optimization) and its importance in helping me market myself and the websites that I maintain and create. I wanted to quickly talk about some of the techniques that I use when creating and developing a new site. I have proof that these techniques work as well as a resource that will back up my arguments. A couple of months ago I finished the redesign of the company website at which I work, DataPath, Inc. Before I applied the redesign, I tracked the words “Data Path” and found out what the page ranking was for the three major search engines, which are Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search (now Bing). The ranking was not that high and it was usually on the second page or near the bottom of the first. After applying the redesign and waiting a couple of months for the bots to read the new content and structure, the ranking had jumped up to be the within the top 5 searches on all three search engines, and came to be third on Google.

      First, I make sure all the pages of the website are validated. Which means all the html, css, and javascript code is correct and in valid markup, and you do this so that bots that search engines send out to read your site can easily extract and classify what’s relevant on your page. If your web pages can’t be read by the search engine bots then how will the search engines know your relevance.  To validate your site, you go to The W3C Markup Validation Service and input your website’s urls in the search field, hit “Check”, and then fix the errors and warnings on that web page.

      Secondly, I make sure that all the link tags in your website aren’t “‘Click here’ to read more.” Links hold a lot of weight when bots read your site. The text of the link is what is important, so I make sure that it is relevant to what you are wanting to see. For example, look at the links on this post.

      Thirdly, I make sure that the title tags are different on every page and rellevant to what is on each page. Also, make sure to add the description meta tag within the head tag, which is what is displayed under the title on the search engines results page.

      Also, I create a sitemap.xml file and robots.txt file on the website. These give the bots a easier way to see the structure of your site, including the robots.txt file which blocks the bots from crawling certain parts of your site that you don’t want indexed.

      There are some cheap and easy ways to get your sites’ page ranking to increase but they do not last and it can cause search engines to penalize your site. So be  weary of easy quick fixes such as adding duplicate content.  Also, other things that might hurt your page ranking are broken links and images, and not putting alt and title attributes with your image and alt tags. But usually the W3C Validator page will let you know about these problems. You can check for broken links and image links by going to The W3C Link Checker. And make sure your css  is validated too, by going to The W3C CSS Validation Service.

      Some other techniques I use to help SEO is to have logical or friendly url names for your pages. If you have a bunch of products with a page for each one, have those pages under the folder products, it’s as simple as that and remember that any page on your website shouldn’t be more than three clicks from the root page. Also, if your site is large enough, its good to use breadcrumb navigation for user friendliness.

      Finally, when I finish the website I implement Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools into it. Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website’s traffic and marketing effectiveness, which basically means that it is a very comprehensive stat tool for the traffic on your website. Google Webmaster Tools shows you how Google crawls and indexes your website to help diagnose any problems.

      These are just some of the things I do to increase SEO and it really seems to help. All these points are backed by an article titled 20 SEO Tips That Ever Web Developer Should Know. Sometime later I will talk about user friendliness and the importance of it.

      Cya

      Adobe Kuler AIR Application

      Adobe Kuler is a web-hosted application for exploring, creating and sharing color themes. You can experiment quickly with color variations and browse and use thousands of themes from the Kuler community.  I just want to say I really love this site and I use it all the time.  If I have a new client, I create a color theme, save it, and then I can show the client the theme from anywhere in the world as long as I have internet access.

      Something else really sweet that I just found out is that they have created an AIR application that runs locally on your computer.  Also, it allows you to import themes directly into Adobe Creative Suite 3 (Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop).  Pretty sweet, huh?

      Cya