The Always Up-to-Date SEO Checklist

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an evolving discipline. It’s rooted in both best practices and trending strategies. You need the latest information handy when you’re optimizing a website for search engines, so we update this SEO checklist regularly.

One checklist can’t uncover everything an individual business should do when it comes to SEO and its website. But it’s very helpful to use alongside your SEO tools to ensure you’re covering the basics of a tactical SEO roadmap.

I hope you’ll find it to be a helpful reminder of the many items to check during your SEO projects, with lots of links for more information.

Bruce Clay's SEO Checklist

I’ve divided the SEO checklist into sections, so jump around as needed:

Content Optimization

Many of us already knew by the time Google confirmed it: Content is one of the top three ranking signals (out of hundreds). If you do nothing else, your content strategy is an essential part of your online success.

1. Target Audience Research

This is a biggie: Know your target audience, the questions they have, and their pain points. Knowing what questions they ask and what types of queries they might ask Google helps inform your keyword research.

This, in turn, will help you create content that answers those questions and solves their pain points. (You’ll use keywords you select as a basis for this content — one main keyword topic per webpage — but more on that shortly.)

Understanding searcher intent is an important step in crafting content. Answering typical questions your target audience might have also helps your page be found for voice search queries.

2. Keyword Strategy and Research

Keyword research needs to be an ongoing process. It starts by identifying a focus phrase or two for the topic you want to write about (using your preferred tools — there are dozens of good ones out there).

When you have a keyword phrase in mind for a page or a section of your site, check it in Google search. View the top results, the “People also ask” questions, and the rest of the search engine results page. This SERP provides your best clues to what is actually the searcher intent for this query. Make sure your content fulfills what searchers want when looking for this keyword, or look for a more appropriate keyword phrase.

I could write volumes about this topic; just know that keyword research is part of any solid SEO checklist. Our SEO Guide will get you started and includes a free version of the SEOToolSet Keyword Suggestion Tool.

3. Word Count

The amount of content you need on a webpage varies by topic, keyword, competition and the intent of the query (read about the three types of search queries in the table below).


1. Transactional
These queries happen when a user intends to buy something now. Searching for the exact brand and model of a product, for instance, suggest the intention to buy.

2. Informational
These are research-oriented queries. People often do research in advance of a future transaction. For example, a search for “best electric toothbrushes” indicates that the searcher will probably purchase one in the near future.

3. Navigational
Navigational queries help a searcher get somewhere, whether online or in the physical world. Searching for the name of a restaurant, for example, will get the user to that restaurant’s website, phone number, or physical address.

How many words is enough? There’s no black and white rule. To determine an approximate minimum page length, look at the top-ranked URLs for a keyword you’re targeting. How long are those pages?

A tool like our SEOToolSet® Multi Page Analyzer comes in handy for this kind of competitive analysis. For WordPress users, our patent-pending SEO plugin handles this analysis in real time, for each of your keywords. It produces target word counts and displays them right in WordPress.

Averaging the top competitors gives you a ballpark for what a search engine considers the normal word count for that topic. It’s safe to say that informational webpages almost always warrant more text, at least 450 words.

Quality content is key. Google’s Panda update, which is now part of the core algorithm, detects low-quality content and demotes its rankings. So avoid thin content. Focus on robust coverage of your website topics to prove your subject matter expertise.

4. Call to Action (CTA)

For each of your pages, ask yourself what the user would need/want to do from here. Then make it easy to do!

Your key pages should make it clear what primary action a visitor can take next.

  • On a product page, the CTA to “add to cart” or “start a free trial” should be prominent.
  • On a service page, the CTA might be “call” or “get a quote.” Make the CTA clear and easy to select.
  • On the homepage, help the visitor to take the next step in your conversion funnel.

The actual language of a CTA should be active (usually an imperative verb). The placement and design of the CTA should draw the visitor’s attention. But test variations to see what works best for you.

A page doesn’t have to be transactional in nature to warrant a call to action. If an informational page is a top-performing traffic driver, such as a blog post that answers a common question or an FAQ page, the call to action might encourage the visitor to “find out more” or enter the conversion funnel.

5. Content Freshness

Make sure to periodically review your content (webpages and blog posts) to make sure that the information is up to date.

For example, we refresh this very checklist regularly. SEO best practices have to evolve as search engine guidelines and technology do. If your industry also moves quickly, your content needs to keep up.

From Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines (PDF):

“… unmaintained/abandoned ‘old’ websites or unmaintained and inaccurate/misleading content is a reason for a low E-A-T [expertise, authority and trustworthiness] rating.”

Tip: If parts of your website could use a refresh, see our guide to refreshing your site content for a step-by-step.

6. Static Content on Homepage

Your homepage acts as a central hub to pass authority to top pages on your site through internal links. It’s probably also where people land most often when they search for your brand or main products/services.

It’s important to have static text that talks about your brand and top theme(s) on the homepage.

If you have a homepage with content that constantly changes, such as nothing but headlines, it can dilute the theme of your site. This results in poor rankings for key terms. So try to maintain sections of consistent text on the homepage.

7. Duplicate Content

Do a search to see if your content exists elsewhere on the web. You may want to check out and use it regularly. If your site appears to have copied content from another source, that’s a low-quality signal to search engines and may cause your site to rank lower. Similarly, if other sites have copied your content, it could be a problem from an SEO standpoint.

If you have duplicate content within your site, such as three URLs with the same content, a search engine will filter out the dupes. Only one will display in results for relevant queries — and the page that Google chooses might not be the page that you want to rank.

On-Page Optimization

Review each important page, from the homepage to a high-priority product page, with an eye to the following issues.

8. Title Tag

In general, title tags should be about 9 words (within the range of 6 to 12). You want to make sure that each page’s title tag is unique and describes the most important information about the page. Use the top keyword before the cutoff in the SERP, which for Google is currently 600 pixels, or roughly 60–70 characters including spaces. (Tip: You can use a title preview tool to estimate how much will show.)

Remember, the title tag often becomes the title that searchers see in search results. Both the title and description text can influence click-throughs to your site. So craft compelling tags. You don’t want to waste your prime real estate in the SERP with boring copy.

9. Description Tag

The meta description tag should also include the most important information and keywords near the beginning. If the search engine chooses to display your description text, it will include approximately 24 words or 160 characters with spaces.

Keep in mind that Google reserves the right to replace your meta description text with a search snippet generated from Google, which is usually pulled from the page’s body content. A search snippet appears instead of the meta description whenever Google deems the snippet of text more relevant for a given search.

10. Keywords Tag

The meta keywords tag is not a ranking consideration for Google. We still advocate putting the page’s main keywords in this tag.

The keywords tag is valid HTML code that gets indexed with the page. We’ve tested this repeatedly and found that, in cases where a specific query string does not exist elsewhere on the web and RankBrain cannot interpret it, Google will search its index and find the page containing that string in its meta keywords tag. It’s also a good location for misspellings of your key terms.

11. Heading Tags

Headings allow a reader to see the main sections and points of a page. They give visual cues for how body content is organized. They also signal to search engines and readers what topics are covered on a page.

As a technical point, make sure the first heading tag within the body of a page is an <h1>. The following heading tags can be <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, etc., and should be used like a page’s table of contents.

Navigation elements and other global text should be styled with CSS and not heading tags (watch our Ask Us Anything video for more about this).

12. Image Optimization

Images greatly enhance your pages. Content needs visual elements to break up the text and keep a reader interested.

Images also provide additional ranking opportunities through image searches and blended web search results.

Images can slow down a page’s loading time. To reduce file size and to increase speed as much as possible, resize the files to their display size rather than uploading the original file and making the browser shrink it. Also, include width and height attributes in image tags.

File names should describe the image and include a keyword. You can also optimize the caption and the text surrounding an image to reinforce what the image is about.

For more about optimizing images for SEO, review our post How to Improve Google Image Search Ranking.

13. Alt Attributes

Make sure to include an alt attribute with each image. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says that a website should always describe the image on a page for the vision impaired.

Accessibility is important to Google, and having alt attributes is a primary indicator that your site is accessible.

As an SEO checklist item, ensure that your images have accurate alt text that, if appropriate, includes a keyword for the page. Alt attributes are also required of validated HTML code (per W3C standards).

14. Video Optimization

Videos are powerful engagement objects that add multimedia interest to keep visitors on your page longer. Highly consumable content, videos give you additional SEO benefits and social sharing opportunities.

Optimize your videos to be found in search. Video content provides ranking opportunities both in regular searches and in video-only search engines where they’re uploaded, especially YouTube.

Like images, embedded videos can slow down the load of a page. There’s a slew of optimization best practices for YouTube, Vimeo and other video hosting sites. Read our guide on 10 video SEO tips to improve SERP rank.

15. Structured Data Markup

Structured data clarifies for the search engine what content on your page is about. Specifically, it helps the search engines understand what type of information you’re presenting.

For example, you could use structured data markup to indicate an upcoming event your business is hosting, specifying its date, time, location, and other details. If Google is clear about what’s what on your site, then additional bits of information have the potential to show up in your search results.

Google search result showing event data
Example Google search result showing structured data for events

Google’s guidelines outline the three supported formats:

  • JSON-LD (recommended)
  • Microdata
  • RDFa

Google requires your markup to include all of the required properties for an object to be eligible for enhancements in your SERP listing. To make sure you’ve done it right, check your page or code snippet using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. For more on how to implement structured data on your site, check out How to Use Schema Markup to Improve Your Website Visibility in Search.

16. More Structured Data

Besides the schema markup we just mentioned, there are other ways you can structure data to make it more digestible for search engines.

  • HTML tables
  • Bulleted lists
  • Ordered lists
  • Table of contents at the top
  • Headings that contain a key term or question, followed by the answer in body text
  • TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read”) summary near the top of your article

All of these structural formats can help people read your content more easily. They also encourage Google to use your content in featured snippets. Google gives more information about structured data in the search results here.

17. Social Meta Tags

Social markup, or social meta tags, refers to the code used to enhance content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. Content in these tags dictates what image and text will show up when someone posts a link to your content on a social network.

By specifying social markup in your HTML, you can ensure you look your best on social media. Facebook Open Graph tags, Twitter Card markup and Pinterest Rich Pins are the major social markup tags. Click through if you want more details on each platform’s options:

18. URL Optimization

Use dashes rather than underscores in page URLs. Underscores are alpha characters and do not separate words. Dashes (or rather, hyphens) are word separators, but should not appear too many times or it could look spammy. For more on this topic, check out this post by Google’s Matt Cutts (an oldie but a goodie).

You also want URLs to be descriptive and contain keywords, without being spammy. And shorter URLs are preferable to long URLs.

19. Fully Qualified Links

If you make your internal links fully qualified, there’s no question by search engine spiders, browsers, etc., as to where the file is located and what it’s about. If your link looks something like “../../pagename” (a relative link), then it may cause crawl issues for some search engines.

Rather than relative URLs, use fully qualified links (beginning with http:// or https://). Note that your sitemap should always have fully qualified URLs.

20. Make JavaScript and CSS External

You want to be sure the most important code is the first thing the search engine bots crawl. Work to remove unnecessary lines of code above the body text by externalizing JavaScript and CSS code that gets in the way of keyword-rich content.

Externalizing these files also can speed up your page load time, which plays a role in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Local Optimization

Businesses with a local brick-and-mortar presence or local service areas have a special set of SEO factors to pay attention to. Here are a couple important steps.

21. Claim Google My Business Listing

A Google My Business listing is free and is a critical first step for local brick-and-mortars and businesses with service areas. A Google My Business listing can enable your site to show up in Google Maps, the local pack of Google Search results, and Knowledge Graph panels for your business.

Knowledge Graph box for Bruce Clay, Inc.
A Knowledge Graph panel shows information from your Google My Business listing.

There’s a lot more involved in local SEO, but claiming your listing in Google My Business and in Bing Places gets you started.

22. Local Schema Markup

Local businesses can benefit from on-page schema markup related to their business. (You can browse the available codes at Especially important for all businesses is the NAP + W code, which designates the business’s name, address, phone number and website.

Check out my list of other local search ranking factors.

Mobile Optimization

We’re truly living in a mobile-first world. Businesses need to ensure that their websites cater to the mobile browsing experience. This is made more important with the rollout of Google’s mobile-first index. Now, Google prioritizes the mobile version of your content when it comes to indexing and ranking.

As an SEO checklist to-do, make sure you’re using a mobile-first strategy. I’ve listed a few specifics below.

23. Mobile Usability

Search engines are invested in providing users a great mobile experience. See how your site is performing on mobile devices with the Mobile Usability Report, located within Google Search Console.

Google's Mobile Usability Report

This report lets you know if your touch elements are too close, if your content is sized to the viewport, your Flash usage, font size and more.

You can also use the URL Inspection Tool within Google Search Console to understand the way Google sees a specific page rendered on different mobile devices.

Lastly, you can run important URLs through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test for developers. Similarly, Bing offers a Mobile Friendliness Test Tool.

Page load speed is also a ranking factor, especially for mobile. Skip to Site Speed & Performance in this SEO checklist for the tools to check page speed.

24. Mobile and Voice-Related Keywords

When was the last time you tried a voice search for your keywords? Try to find your business and competitors as your customer would with a voice search. Consider:

  • Are you coming up for relevant voice search terms like “[keyword] near me”?
  • Are you accounting for searches formed as questions or full sentences? (These are more and more common with the advance of voice queries.)

Check out our articles on voice search optimization and mobile SEO for guidance.

25. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages, known as AMP for short, is an open source project that enables webpages to load instantly for mobile users.

Since its inception, AMP has added more features to support a variety of websites including e-commerce, publishers and advertisers. Because of the visibility of Google’s AMP carousel, AMP pages may get more visibility in the mobile search results.

Check out our high-level overview of AMP to investigate whether AMP might benefit your site or our quick-start guide to learn how to implement AMP right now.

To continue learning about mobile optimization tactics, read the Mobile SEO lesson in our SEO Guide and our All-In-One Mobile SEO & Design Checklist for more information.

Sitewide Optimization

Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines (here’s a PDF of the most recent version) introduced the terminology E-A-T to the SEO community. A shorthand way of referring to expertise, authority and trustworthiness as the top indicators of page quality, E-A-T is now a pillar of search engine optimization.

A website as a whole should signal expertise, authority and trust while conveying subject relevance and optimizing for search engine accessibility. While your basic content strategy is a big piece of this (see the Content Optimization section, above), the following items help support E-A-T.

26. Contact Information

An explicit E-A-T signal is to have a site’s contact information, such as a phone number and address, clearly visible on the site. The search engines expect that a trustworthy site will provide this for users.

27. Testimonials

Another E-A-T signal, testimonials located on your site support your authority as a business and your value to your customer base. Testimonials are great for signaling your value to your human visitors, too!

Make sure your testimonials and reviews can be indexed, too. That means display them in text (not just images) that’s easy for search robots to digest.

28. Privacy Statement

Having a privacy statement on your site is considered a trust signal for the search engines. A privacy statement lets site visitors know what you’re doing with any data you collect about them.

In addition to bolstering your trust with Google and Bing, offering a privacy statement is a best practice. Privacy laws such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (aka GDPR) require many sites to clarify their privacy policies, have visitors opt in to allow data collection, and more. If you have not yet researched GDPR, which went into effect in spring 2018, you should.

29. Text Navigation

Verify that there is text navigation within your site. You want text links, which are more SEO-friendly than, say, using images for menu items. Make sure you have text navigation at least on the bottom of the page if there aren’t any crawlable navigation links in the top menu. This is a search engine accessibility issue.

30. Sitemaps

Your site should have an HTML sitemap (see Google’s sitemap info). Every page should link to that sitemap, probably in the footer.

You should also have an XML sitemap that you submit to search engines. If you already have sitemaps, check and update them regularly to make sure they contain the pages that are currently active on your site.

You can learn how to create a sitemap for users and search engines to easily access all areas of your site in our SEO Tutorial.

31. Robots.txt File

The robots.txt file tells the search engine spiders what not to index. It’s important that this file exists, even if it’s empty. Also make sure the file doesn’t accidentally exclude important files, directories, or the entire site. (This has been known to happen!)

32. Linking Strategy

This section warrants way more than just a few sentences, but it should be noted as part of the SEO checklist. Your internal linking structure typically stems from your siloing strategy, which is vitally important to establishing relevance for SEO.

In addition, your inbound/outbound links should be part of an organic, natural strategy in compliance with search engine guidelines. As part of site maintenance, monitor your link profile regularly.

33. Server Configuration

Regularly check your server looking for 404 errors, improper 301 redirects and other errors.

34. Static URLs

Complex, dynamic URLs can be a problem. If your site has any of the following, consider converting your URLS to static URLs:

  • More than two query string parameters
  • Dynamic pages that aren’t getting indexed
  • A lot of duplicate content getting indexed

You can also use mod_rewrite or ISAPI_rewrite as appropriate to simplify URLs. Rewritten URLs will appear to be static URLs. This tends to be a lot of work, but is a surefire way to address this issue. You can also use the canonical tag to tell search engines which page is intended to be indexed as the canonical version.

35. No Spam Tactics

Make sure that your SEO strategy follows Google Webmaster Guidelines and Bing Webmaster Guidelines. If ever in doubt about any of your tactics, you can also refer to what Google recommends for SEO (PDF).

Webmaster Tools

What’s an SEO without their tools to surface data that leads to analysis? Just remember, there’s a difference between data and wisdom. SEO tools can help you discover what’s going on with your site, but plotting an action plan requires an understanding of SEO.

Bruce Clay’s SEO services can help you strategize effectively. If you want expert assistance for your search marketing, ask us for a free quote!

36. Web Analytics

No question — analytics data is important for SEO. Ensure your analytics are properly set up and monitor them regularly to find out if the keywords generating traffic are in your keyword list, and if your site is optimized for them. A ranking monitor (such as the one in our SEOToolSet) is also useful to track SEO changes across search engines.

Our SEO Tutorial unpacks the role of analytics in the step How to Monitor Your SEO Progress.

37. Webmaster Tools Accounts

Webmaster tools accounts for Google and Bing give site owners insight into how search engines view their sites. These free tools collect data and provide essential reports on issues like what search queries bring traffic to your site, crawl errors you need to fix, and penalty notifications.

38. Manual Penalty Review

If a manual penalty has been levied against you, Google will report it to you within Google Search Console. Check the Manual Actions Report and the Search Console message center. Read more about dealing with manual penalty actions.

You can also find out if you’ve suffered a penalty from Bing. Review the Index Summary chart with the dashboard of Bing Webmaster Tools. If the number of pages for a given site is set at zero, you have been hit with a penalty.

39. Algorithm Updates

If your site is running Google Analytics, use the Panguin Tool to check your traffic levels against known algorithmic updates. If you see big drops or rises in search referrer traffic that coincide with known algorithm updates, or you receive a manual action notice from Google, you may be affected by a penalty. Read more about penalty assessment and recovery.

Google is changing its algorithm all the time. RankBrain and machine learning — powered by artificial intelligence technology — are changing the search results. While optimization for AI is not as straightforward as checking for traffic drops, familiarize yourself with the real impact of RankBrain and my recent post on preparing for the near future of SEO.

40. Site Speed and Performance

Check PageSpeed Insights in Google Search Console or use tools like to analyze and improve a website’s performance on desktop and mobile devices.

Google PageSpeed Insights tool
For more on improving page speed, read our Page Speed Issues Overview for SEO.

Want more SEO tips? Our online SEO Guide teaches you search engine optimization step by step, and it’s free!

Bookmark this page for future reference. And if you found it helpful, please consider sharing it!

Comments (141)
Filed under: SEO — Tags: Tags: ,

141 Replies to “The Always Up-to-Date SEO Checklist”

kaasim says:

Great post of SEO content. I have bookmarked your site and will be using your checklist on my future SEO projects. Thank you for sharing.

Ivan Reed says:

This is great information on SEO for experts or beginners to get started. Thanks for putting together!

Niharika says:

Such a valuable post. You have covered all the essential and recommend checklist items for the SEO perspective. It really helps.


I totally agree with that proper keyword research are the foundation of any business. Many say content is the king however they fail to realize that content with proper keyword research would not attract right audience. This blog post clarifies many doubts. And thanks for sharing your knowledge.


I totally agree with this all point you mention in SEO checklist, It really plays important role at the time of SEO


I totally agre with these blogpost and I totally agree with all, especially that the title needs to grab the attention of the searcher and that the description is your sales pitch as to why the page should be clicked on. Include the benefit that the visitor will get from clicking on the page and a call to action if space allows.


Valuable discussion for me. I have understood the concept of local SEO that you must target your local audience/niche for ranking purpose on Google. In terms of hosting providing business online, you have a mass audience in the world that you have targeted or people are getting services from all over the world. What would be your point of view in this case?

Mohit says:

Really helpful SEO checklist. But I think SEO will be tougher in the future.


Thanks this SEO checklist is really helpful for me. My website audit score is proving after implementing your checklist points on my websites

Felix says:

Extensive and useful seo checklist… Great work man


You got to respect so extensive and exhaustive work on the SEO topic.

RedSpider says:

I’ve read a lot of SEO guide and really spent a great amount of money, learning SEO basics. But this guide, really outrank them all. Keep sharing quality info.


We did an on-page and off-page seo side-by-side and that’s how we got the result. It’s easy to fix the site and the titles and keywords, but it’s harder to make a good off-page SEO without links. Tnx.


Thank you for sharing SEO checklist I was struggling in SEO. Glad to find your this checklist I am sure going to give it a try! Hope it will work for me.


Thank you for this valuable information! Quality SEO is always a meeting point between content and technique.


amazing checklist. totally agree with your points and thanks for helping us with these type of amazing articles.


SEO-checklist is very helpful for me. I am using it step-by-step and get my expected results. Thanks for sharing such a needful post.


I liked the length and breadth this blog has covered for the much-awaited SEO-Checklist from BruceClay. It helped a lot in Mobile Optimization of my website.

Paula Allen says:

Jack, mobile optimization is an important aspect of SEO. Glad we could help!

Daizy says:

On-page optimization is like a base and link building will be effective if the base is strong. I think you should have a strong base to do effective SEO of your website.

Paula Allen says:

Daizy: Well put! I couldn’t agree more that without quality content at the destination, there’s no point in taking the journey via a link.

nice tips, i will use this SEO checklist.


What a fantastic SEO checklist, Bruce. SEO is essential to get top in SERP. You have covers.every important point of SEO. This is exactly what I was looking for.


Hi Author,

Such an great post regarding SEO checklist. Thanks for such an post. Please mention something about canonical tag in next post. By the way i am an seo expert and it is such an great post for the beginners and expert as well.


Great points structure is so important. Nice checklist, very informative this is a great page to share

Pavan says:

Perfect SEO checklist!

John says:

Thanks for sharing the detailed post. Really, most of the web developers don’t cater these things while developing websites and thus they have to make changes in future which are recommended by marketing experts. Keep sharing.


Great checklist there, I also like to make use of related keywords to mix things up and prepare more natural-looking content. Short tail, long tail and LSIs all three.


I just want to say this is a worth checklist that helps every Seo to build their SEO strategies.

sadia says:

This seo check list is updated, and that is why I comment here, thanks

Paula Allen says:

Sadia: Yes, thanks for noticing that we keep this updated. That’s why bookmarking the page is probably a better idea than keeping a hard copy. Change is a constant in SEO!

RedSpider says:

All of these SEO points are still valid for 2019. In short, stick with On-page methods, it will keep your web page rank for more time.

pratyush says:

This one article covers every important point of SEO and provides the perfect checklist



Thanks this SEO checklist is really helpful for me. My website audit score is proving after implementing your checklist points on my websites


Wow, Bruce what a well-written post on the always up to date SEO checklist. I am glad that I got so many things to learn about SEO from this post. But I am having one question can you please elaborate the structured data markup more briefly as i am very new to SEO. Also, I would like to learn more things about it. Thank You for sharing such an informative and interesting blog. Keep the frequency so that I can learn more new things.

Paula Allen says:

Thanks for letting us know how the checklist helps you. We all were new to SEO at some point! For more info on structured data, you can read our schema markup guide at and Google’s Help article at

Surat says:

Great SEO info! Well written, fully agree with the points you have mentioned.

Jodie says:

Almost every website can get maximum output by following these points. Thanks, Paula Allen for sharing such a great checklist.


Video optimization is considerably a new thing in SEO but it can give additional benefits to your readers. Some user don’t like to read the whole content. Video blogs can provide additional assistance and thus the user engagement increases.

Paula Allen says:

We agree, Globex, which is why video optimization made the list at #14. As you pointed out, they create user engagement and can also rank in searches, especially if you’ve uploaded them to a video site like YouTube as well.

This is a really useful list of regular checks that should be done, thanks for sharing.

Sara says:

Why not post an article about the working off page SEO as in these days it is a headache to do quality off page SEO.

Paula Allen says:

Sara, if by off-page SEO you mean link building, then your wish may be fulfilled here:

Pavan says:

Yes, always go for on-page SEO! Thanks

Open24 says:

Wow, perfect checklist. Thank you.


Are backlinks still important in 2019 for seo.

Paula Allen says:

Asif: They contribute to a site’s authority and trustworthiness, which Google considers as part of its E-A-T quality factors. But backlinks must appear natural and come from relevant sites. We have a number of articles on our site with ideas for earning these types of links in a search engine-friendly way.

Solid checklist Bruce! Something most beginners can reference back to when starting out. Most of SEO is pretty basic but people tend to over-complicate things in the beginning and end up over optimizing a site.


This article covers every impressive and important point of SEO and provides the perfect Knowledge detail information . I will definitely implement this list for SEO in future keep more update thanks


Two of my website got ranked just with on-page seo. If you do the content optimization and perform proper research, you can easily outperform your competition. Now i don’t recommend Off-page techniques. These are good if you want short term results, but for long term, i’ll always recommend On-Page tactics.

Payal says:

Valuable and informative tips related to the SEO checklist. Well, I am also dealing with the SEO on regular basis. This is really an amazing list for me. Hope to use your list details :) Thanks


This is really a solid list of impactful SEO activities. If a beginner applies a few per section, I honestly don’t think they would be going too far wrong…


A lot of SEO folks neglect structured data as a very integral SEO strategy. In the future, a lot of SEO is not going to be about links and long-winding content alone. It would be a culmination of the Trust and Authority Google has transferred to your domain. SEO is now more about online user behaviour. Google simulates this at best by crawling your structured data to understand the purpose of your website and see if your website actually adds value to an actual human.


What a great SEO checklist, Bruce!

I’ve bookmarked this webpage & I thank you very much :)


After reading your blog, I have decided that I will definitely follow your instructions regarding how to keep up dating SEO Checklist.


Awesome list – almost warrants a day spent using this guide as a reference and working though each step bit by bit. No, actually, this DOES warrant a day of checking and updating !!

Paula Allen says:

Kim, that sounds productive! Thanks for reading & commenting. :)

Nice points to check each step before start marketing for your website.


As SEO keeps updating almost every day, the learning process never stops. You can get doomed even when you follow all the checklist. These tips and checklists are superb though for any website.


A really thorough piece on SEO. I believe you mentioned everything! Content freshness is often the key, along with backlinks. These two form the core, and other things sprout up around them.


This is really perfect and up to the date points of SEO checklist. We should always follow SEO checklist during the starting of any SEO Campaign to avoid mistakes.


Your checklist is very informative. All the points you mention are important but in my thinking Keyword strategy is the most important in all of them.

usawoman says:

I’ve read other blogs that have the same topic as yours and I think you forgot to include the responsiveness of a website, though your list is almost complete. But still, your post is very informative and I learned something from it. Glad that you shared this.


Thanks Bruce, great SEO checklist. We enjoy reading your blogs.


This is a really useful list of regular checks that should be done, thanks for sharing.

Mercy says:

Thank you Very much for SEO Checklist One of the Best post I’ve come across with. Unique Contents are critical for better SEO, and It is also very beneficial for potential websites to rank naturally. Thank you for explaining the whole process in a detailed manner. Learned new tips and also much obliged for this article.


Thank you Paula for the answer to the subject!


Perfect Checklist for my website. I focus on unique content but I do not see results. How Much Does Linking matter for SEO now? Thanks

Paula Allen says:

Sam: There are lots of factors contributing to ranking. Links are one important signal of valuable content, but they must be natural. Don’t be tempted by link scheme offers. We have many articles on our website with ideas for earning links. Two to start with: and Thanks for commenting!

Always a handy GUIDE to check things out :-)

Venkatweetz says:

Perfect Checklist for on-page. During the URL optimization, should I keep my URL in 100 characters? is that mandatory rule follow?

Paula Allen says:

Venkatweetz: There’s no “rule” or maximum length of a URL. But keeping URLs a reasonable length might affect: 1) how tidy your page results look in Google desktop search and Bing searches on desktop and mobile; 2) user experience; 3) your own convenience maintaining your site.

Sometimes the newer google update makes it very difficult for ranking factors. One of my website de-ranked during the recent google update. But i’m still trying to improve my content and provide better user experience. What are your recommendation on Comments? Does they help build your website authority ?

Paula Allen says:

Abdul: Focusing on improved content and UX is the best long-term approach. Bravo! As for comments, you have to weigh the pros and cons for your unique site. Relevant user-generated comments (such as these on our blog) can add depth to a site and increase its authority, especially if there’s two-way engagement. But you have to monitor and weed out the low-quality comments. You also need to make sure the extra content isn’t slowing down your page load speed too much. Hope that helps!

Hey! I’m Riddhi Shah and I have read your post about ‘the ultimate blog SEO checklist’ and found it really interesting. Building any website or blog takes research, hard work, and dedication. SEO plays a vital role to make a website stand out among the competition. Making an ultimate blog SEO checklist doesn’t mean to implement all ranking factors at once, but it means to implement all of the factors meant to help you gain traction in any niche, regardless of your skills. All the SEO checklist you have made up are amazing and informative. I have had a really good time reading this interesting post and would definitely like to read more such blog posts from your end in the future.


Amazing Checklist.
It covers all the fundamental elements needed to rank well.
I sure will be keeping these in mind when creating and reviewing content.


That is a really great post. I get many successful tips for optimization of my website.

But I have still confusion about page speed. Did page speed still a factor in search ranking on google?

Paula Allen says:

Faizan: Yes, page load speed is one of the ranking factors in Google’s algorithm for both mobile and desktop search results.

ChrisM says:

I am clueless how I can move against a competitor’s yellow page ad. I have been leaving do follow back links for the last six months.

Owner CEL Financial Services
IRS Registered Tax Preparer
Registered bonded California CTEC Tax Preparer

RACHNA says:

Wow! tremendous Blog for those who want to make their carrier in SEO. This one article covers every important point of SEO

405Ads says:

Thanks Bruce, great SEO checklist. We enjoy reading your blogs.


Thanks for providing the above information it was really helpful for us. I got to know that content optemisation helps in improving the ranking .

Jason says:

I’m not a pro on this …

That’s a lot of work … sob sob ….


Wow, is this ever a comprehensive and exhaustive SEO checklist. I’m still on the fence about having duplicate content. Obviously, stealing other people’s content is unethical and running location pages through a Find and Replace function to rank for specific local terms probably will catch up to you; however, from what I’ve read and watched, some Googlers and their support docs have expressed otherwise.

John says:

Great checklist for SEO. I definitely loved IT!!

Ram Meena says:

Wow, the best list ever. Followed most of the points from cecklist. Thank you Bruce Clay


Thanks for updating the checklist in 2019. From my point of view better than backlinko site’s blog.


Thank you for the tips. Unfortunately, my site fell short after Google’s last update.


Perfect & complete list. I can’t remember a point which is not included in this list. In contrary, I learn something new

Praveen S says:

Insightful post. I appreciate your guidance on SEO. Keep posting so we remain updated. Thanks


Content is very important in SEO and SEO and provides the perfect checklist. Thanks for sharing this


Thanks for sharing this knowledgeable checklist with us.

Arooba says:

You put a great effort to build a proper understanding of SEO checklist. It helps me to improve my website ranking and add something new in my knowledge.


Good updates, it’s a useful list.

priyanka says:

This is a great checklist!
Keep up the great work!


looking good – thanks Bruce :-)


This is very comprehensive and no doubt super useful for reference anytime. Thank you so much!
Just a suggestion – It would be great if you can actually provide a condensed checklist format that fits in a single sheet like A4 that we can print it out and have it handy.

Paula Allen says:

Sujatha: That’s a great suggestion! Since this list does have to be updated frequently, for now we suggest you bookmark the URL so that you can always access the most up-to-date version of the SEO Checklist.

Excellent article. Thanks so much for sharing this checklist. This is very useful.


This is worth checklist that every SEO enthusiast look into this and this might will help in their strategist

Rick Mark says:

You covered almost all SEO Checklist.. But i’m little confused that this is new article or old??? Because many of your comments date showing of year 2012

Paula Allen says:

Rick: It’s new! We’ve updated this article many times since the first version to keep it up to date. I haven’t wanted to remove the comments, though, because they add so many readers’ perspectives to the conversation. Sorry for the confusion.

Zamir says:

Yes, after the recent Mobile first update, website speed plays a huge role in your ranking. If you are unable to optimize your website for mobile, I recommend using AMP.



Great piece of SEO content. I have bookmarked your site and will be using your checklist on my future SEO projects. Thank you Bruce.

10seos says:

Excellent article. Thanks so much for sharing this checklist. This is very useful.


We regularly miss out on a number of these checkpoints. Thanks for sharing and enabling us do the right job with our seo tasks.


SEO is most good technical way to promote your website in any search engine. Here you have shared excellent article and information about SEO checklist. This techniques should helpful for us to get rank first. Thanks for sharing.


Nice post, many of important points you discuss in this post about the whole process of SEO.


Hey Bruce, I am glad you shared this SEO checklist with us. It is great help for me. I always forget some or other thing while checking for SEO. To have this checklist handy will be great help so that I don’t miss any important point. I mainly forget image optimization. Now with this checklist, I believe I will work perfectly.


Thanks for sharing the top SEO checklist, I can definitely use in my website.

stlouis says:

Thanks for sharing this informative post! i must say that A large number of online forums still allow do-follow links. We’ve detailed some of the key tactics involved in integrating SEO into your inbound marketing strategy from the start.


Thanks for helpful article!


Incredible post. Now I’ve got to read this huge article carefully and You have better explain about SEO checklist. Thanks for this contribution.


Yup. Mobile is the new leader and it will continue to take ground. We can’t ignore the realities of mobile.

Appreciate this article, it’s a good one!

Sem says:

Thanks Bruce,

I cant agree more, specially point 24. Mobile and Voice-Related Keywords, I found it’s being ignored by many SEO expert


Content and keywords are bloodlines of any SEO strategy. I personally believe that now links game has gotten weaken now and currently putting quality content and keeping social signals very strong so that your content gets viral and it starts building natural links.


This is a great checklist! While you’re right in saying that none of these could ever really be comprehensive, I think it’s an important reminder for anyone when they review their strategies at any time.

I think I’d like to add that social media monitoring has become an increasingly important part of the checklist since you started writing it six years ago.

Now more than ever, brands shouldn’t just be reactive to social media mentions, or simply see it as a means of reputation management…but should structure their content strategy around addressing people’s pain points, which they air organically on social media. Social media can also uncover long-term trends and shifts in audience preferences – you just need to start gathering the data to form the insights.

Rhys McKay, Content Specialist –


First i must thank for this great article

well, mostly people focus on backlink building instead internal linking they forget about bounce rate and pageview


Great list, thanks for sharing !

Fresh content and natural backlink profile are very powerful signals in my opinion. Also, site load speed is get more importance.

Yudi says:

This is the most detailed list I have come through on On-Page SEO.
Thanks for the article.

Ontrix says:

This is exactly what I was looking for . Thanks.
I liked that you put optimization for mobile at the very beginning. I will definitely subscribe to your blog.


This is incredible! It is so true that on page SEO is essential to get top in SERP and pleasure to see such an in-depth report on it! When optimizing your website to grow traffic, it helps to have an SEO checklist or plan to follow to get the most out of your experience and effort.

Fascinating stuff, I only stumble across you in the last couple of days. Keeping up the great content. I admire your way to describe the post, but one of the quick questions is what you would like to say about the keyword density and content length required in a post? Is keyword density also essential for SEO nowadays?

Anyways, thanks again for this article. Bookmarked.

John says:

This is a really useful list of regular checks that should be done, thanks for sharing.

Paula Allen says:

Nelson: Ours, of course! :) Seriously though, that’s a very broad question, and the answer depends on what type of data you’re trying to analyze. If it’s ranking data, keyword data, competitor ranking data, or on-page analysis you’re after, then I do recommend our SEOToolSet:

Paula Allen says:

Mark: Page load speed is a ranking factor in Google’s mobile search results. Google wants to satisfy searchers with the best user experience possible, especially on mobile devices. If a result takes too long to load, it’s a bad UX.


Thanks for sharing this! Okay, example if google penalize me… how long it will take?

Paula Allen says:

Kalifa – There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long a penalty will affect a site’s rankings. It completely depends on the type of penalty, whether algorithmic or manual, as well as whether the website has made any improvements since the last time the search engine crawled it. We have more information on avoiding Google penalties here:

Nelson Dy says:

Content is very important in SEO. Specially these days, google can identify your content. Not only the content but also On page has been effective in SEO google is also focused on on-page.


Thanks for the updated list I always wondered about word count and what Google was looking for exactly. This offers a lot better clarity.

Abiya says:

SEO is really wonderful optimization in On page & Off page consider with the two relation works on online marketing and internet marketing of two applications. The Internet marketing has the mobile application for analyzing that more keywords of checklist.


I’ve read other blogs that have the same topic as yours and I think you forgot to include the responsiveness of a website, though your list is almost complete. But still, your post is very informative and I learned something from it. Glad that you shared this.

Paula Allen says:

Christine – Thanks for the feedback! We agree that mobile optimization is of primary importance these days — it’s #1 on our checklist! However, a responsive site is not the only acceptable method to achieve mobile-friendliness. A separate mobile site can rank equally well if it’s done right, and dynamic serving is a third, lesser-used option. We’ve written about all three of these options in our Mobile SEO tutorial here:

Sheron says:

This one article covers every important point of SEO and provides the perfect checklist. I will definitely use this list for SEO in future.

Keep up the great work!


Valuable and informative tips related to the SEO checklist. Well, I am also dealing with the SEO on regular basis. This is really an amazing list for me. Hope to use your list details :) Thanks

Vijay says:

As said building cannot stay if pillar are not strong in the same way a website with on page will never come up top on SERP for targeting keywords. Without on page its way difficult and if you notice from last few google is focusing on page and on content by telling us the keyword density and LSI..


Totally agree with the points mentioned in the post. Tile, page content, keywords research plays a vital role in On-page optimization.

Ankit says:

On page has been effective since beginning and its clear understanding why google is focusing on page as it for the end user. By having proper on page methods end user can get better and quick results and this will result increase of user.

If user user will increases then advertisers will automatically increase so as written in article focus on your website architecture


Aussie, if you press print at the bottom of the page it will give you an option to save as a pdf :)


I totally agree with all, especially that the title needs to grab the attention of the searcher and that the description is your sales pitch as to why the page should be clicked on. Include the benefit that the visitor will get from clicking on the page and a call to action if space allows.



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