SeoChecklist

Basic SEO Checklist for Developers Part 1

There are so many important basic factors which we need to keep in mind at the time of developing a site, i.e. Design, Speed, Site Content, SEO, etc. No one will come and visit our site frequently if we fail to fulfill the proper level of the above-mentioned topics. Today we are going to learn some basic SEO things which developer should maintain at the time of developing the site. When we are going to promote our site considers, we need to care about each and every litter things which will make the major impact for your site ranking. Below is the list of SEO Checklist Points.

SEO Checklist :

1. Meta
2. URL Structure & Canonicals
3. Navigation
4. Sitemaps
5. Structured Data
6. Image Optimization
7. Mobile Optimization
8. Social Network & integration
9. Open Graph
10. Twitter Card
11. Site Speed
12. Miscellaneous
13. Seo Checklist

Note : I have divided the article in two parts. Part one will cover 1-7 topics. Part two covered remaining points.

For a quick review of the SEO Checklist check out the below video.

1. Meta Tag :

Meta tags are the snippets which will represent the content of the page. The <meta> tags are existing in HTML <head> tag. While setting <meta> tag keeps the below things in your mind.

– Description bests under 155 characters.
– Each description should be unique.
– Please ensure the description is not same and should not be generated automatically, might be a different scenario if the site is really big. Well written descriptions increase CTC i.e. click-through rates (not a developer’s duty however it helps the site owner.)

Purpose of Meta Robots :

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s code. Yes, they do, but not all of them and not all of the time.

The main purpose of using metadata is to ensure our page/site is getting crawled/indexed with desired data as per our needs.

What should you prefer <title> or <meta name='title'>?

The <meta name='title'> tag is just metadata content, and different crawlers may use or not use that information as per their needs. In the case of Google, if at all, ever uses this tag for its indexation purposes.

Google will look at the W3C elements and consider them for indexing more than the <meta name='title'> tag. To put it all together, the <meta name='title'> is a waste of code.

Many people in several forums suggest that why not have both the tags with the same title. If you want something to show up on search engines, or to show up in the SERP, I would add <title> tag and remove <meta name='title'> altogether, to reduce the clutter and any chance of conflicting messages.

2. URL Structure & Canonicals :

Frequented canonical URLs were used to represent the landing page of the site. I.e Most of the people considers the below URLs as the same URLs.

  • http://www.readmyviews.com
  • http://www.readmyviews.com/index.php
  • http://www.readmyviews.com/index.jsp

The truth is that these are all different URLs. From a web crawler point of view, this will create a small issue for Google. Canonicalization is the procedure of picking the best URL (to present to the web indexes) when there are various choices available. Commonly a web search tool, for example, Google will endeavor to pick the best URL that they feel is the power for that page. However, sometimes they may, in fact, select the wrong one.Now let’s suggest that you have product pages that depending on how the user navigated to the pager returns a different URL same page, however, different URL, now we have a duplicate content issue.

WWW and NON-WWW Versions of the site:

The website should be hosted only on one version of the domain. Either its WWW or NON-WWW version. The one should be used and the other should be 301 redirected. Otherwise, it will be taken as different URL by search engines. This will make a serious impact on the page rank for the same page. i.e

  • www.readmyviews.com/seo-checklist-part-1
  • readmyviews.com/seo-checklist-part-1

Both are the same URL as per our perspective but google consider it as two different URL. Which  will make the huge impact on Page Rank. To avoid this kind of things we need to use either WWW or NON-WWW version of the site.

How will this make an impact on page rank ?

Suppose  we have 3000 visits for “/seo-checklist-part-1” page.

WWW URL : 1200

NON-WWW URL : 1800

Google will not consider 3000-page visits for “/seo-checklist-part-1” page because it will consider two different URL instead of one.  So the visits for the same page are divided in two different URLs which will make the serious impact on page rank.

3. Navigation :

Navigation is one of the major factors for the site. Whenever visitors visit your site, you need to provide best user-friendly navigation which will force a user to stay longer on your site and click more links of your site. Most of the websites have their main navigation on top of the page which will attract visitors. Navigations provide the basic idea of the site to visitors means it will help visitors to understand for which purpose the site is standing for.

Note : For search engine prospective you need to make sure that every page of your site must link to top level pages.

Quick Tips For SEO :

  • Proper Navigation.
  • Breadcrumbs to be used: Flip Kart e.g. Home  >  Footwear  >  Men’s Footwear  >  Formal Shoes.
  • No page on the site should be further than three clicks away from any other page.
  • Pagination with rel="next" and rel="prev" to be used.

4. Sitemaps :

Sitemap mostly discovers all the navigation links of the site. It will tell the search engine to which URLs it has to crawl. We can create the sitemap in various formats like ( XML , RSS , Html) file. We can add multiple types of content in this file like videos, images, news etc.

XML Sitemap  Example :

<url>
<loc>http://www. readmyviews.com/sitemap</loc>
<lastmod>2013-10-10</lastmod>
<changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
<priority>1</priority>
</url>

RSS Sitemap  Example :

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0">
  <channel>
    <title>Read My Views</title>
    <link>http://www.readmyviews.com</link>
    <generator>Notepad++</generator>
    <lastBuildDate>Tue, 23 June 2016 22:28:20 GMT</lastBuildDate>
    <item>
      <title>Basic Seo Guide Checklist Part 1</title>
      <link>http://www.readmyviews.com/basic-seo-guide-checklist-developers-part-1</link>
    </item>
    <item>
      <title>PHP Errors</title>
      <link>http://www.readmyviews.com/php-error-types</link>
    </item>
  </channel>
</rss>

HTML Sitemap Example :

The HTML code for the Site Map page should use the unordered list tags, as shown in the following sample code:

<ul>
 <li>Home</li>
 <li>About</li>
 <li>Career</li>
 <li>Contact Us</li>
 <li>Site Map</li>
</ul>

Quick Tips For Seo :

  • Have URLs and last modification time in XML sitemap
  • One single sitemap should not have more than 50000 URLs or 10mb Size: whichever is reached earlier (Uncompressed). If there are more URLs you can create multiple sitemaps of such URLs .
  • In sitemap only provide those URLs which can be indexed (i.e can be fetched by google), avoid duplicate pages (only canonical URLs to be added).
  • XML sitemap uses <lastmod>
  • RSS uses <pubDate>
  • Atom uses <updated>
  • HTML Sitemaps are generally created for Users. They’re still considered to hold some value from Google’s point of view. HTML Sitemaps easily provides access to all pages of the website to a normal user, without which it might not be an easy task.

5. Structured Data (Schema Markup) :

Schema markup plays a crucial role in search results. Schema markup is code snippets that you add to your website to help the search engines return more informative results for visitors. Depending upon the site and needs, we should definitely have a look into it. You can know more on schema markup here – https://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-started-using-schema/ .

Validation Tool: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool . To understand the Schema Markup I have attached two images.

SEO Checklist-chema-markup-example1SEO Checklist-chema-markup-example2

In above two images, we can see that whenever we search for any specific site it will display all the rich content for that specific site.  The user will get the site links directly from the search result.

6. Image Optimization  :

The best way to represent any information is to approach it with graphics with more under stable way. However, if you will add more images to the page than the size of the web page will increase and it will take some more time while rendering the page. If the visitor’s internet speed is slow then our website page will take a time to render and we lose our visitors. To avoid this we need to optimize the images that will decrease the web page size and render our site fast.

Note : The optimization process will reduce the size of the image not the quality of the image.

Quick Tips For SEO :

  • File Name: Use proper name such as readmyviews-logo.jpg instead of logo123.jpg
  • Alt Attribute: Search engines recognize images with the help of Alt tag so ensure you’re adding the name of the image. Preferably it should be keywords of the client.
  • Image Size: If images only need to be a certain size (e.g. 800px in width) then be sure to upload them at that size instead of their original size (e.g. 2,400px, but it’d resize to 800px anyway).
  • You can optimize the image before using it on the website. Tool to use https://tinypng.com/

7. Mobile Optimization :

We can say that every year the ratio of the mobile users is going to be increased. The main reason behind this is, Now we don’t need a laptop or PC to access all the online services. We can access same services using mobile also. Mobile Optimization is the process of ensuring that the site visitors will have good experience of the site in the mobile device also. Mobile optimization includes site design , site page speed, site data structure.

Quick Tips For SEO :

  • Design for the fat fingers.
  • Page Speed: Minify code, Leverage browser caching, minimum redirects and minimal requests.
  • Don’t use pop-ups either.
  • Don’t block CSS, JavaScript, or Images(Optimized properly).
  • Don’t use Flash.
  • Check Website on Different Screen : http://responsivetest.net/
  • Canonical Tags to be used if we’re serving two pages with same content. i.e. One for desktop and another for Mobile users.
  • Mobile Viewport to be used.

For remaining SEO Checklist topics you need to Click here…

43 thoughts on “Basic SEO Checklist for Developers Part 1

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    Thanks again for such a nice compilation.

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