Presenting a guide to carrying out all the on-page checks that webmasters and SEOs need to carry out to ensure a website is optimised for search.
This checklist will bring together a lot of already published content from the site in one place, and there will be links to more detailed guides throughout.
It’s also worth reading our guides on How to test a website before launch and SEO essentials for optimising your site for further information.
Sign up to Google Search Console
Search Console is where you can monitor your site’s performance, identify issues and monitor backlinks. This is also where Google will communicate with you should anything go wrong.
Here are the key things you should set-up and regularly check in Search Console:
- Set your preferred domain: Whether your site shows up in search results with the www prefix or without it.
- HTML improvements: This is where Search Console will recommend any improvements to your meta descriptions and title tags, as well as informing you of any non-indexable content.
- Links to your site:here you can see the domains that link to your site and its content the most, as well as your most linked webpages.
- Manual actions:Google will inform you if it has administered a manual action to your site or specific webpage.
- International targeting:make sure you’re targeting your preferred audience based on language and country.
- Index status:this lets you know how many pages of your website are currently included in Google’s index. You can quickly see any worrying trends, as well as any pages that have been blocked by robots or removed.
- Crawl errors:this report shows all the errors that Google has found when crawling your site over the last 90 days.
- txt editor:this is where you can edit your robots.txt and check for errors. The bottom of the page reveals your errors and warnings.
Sign up to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free service that tracks and reports website traffic. Providing insight into the demographics of site visitors, the performance of a specific campaign, and how long people are staying on your site.
Make sure Google Analytics or the analytics package you’re using, is set up and ready to go from day one so you can measure and analyse traffic to your site.
Is your website and its content equally optimised for any given screen size or device? Bear in mind that Google has stated that responsive design is its preferred method of mobile optimisation. Look through our thorough mobile-friendly checklist to help fix any problems.
- Title tags should be 50-60 characters long, including spaces.
- Your most important keywords need to be first in your title tag, with your least important words coming last.
- If your company name is not part of the important keyword phrases, put it at the end of the title tag.
- Do not duplicate title tags, they must be written differently for every page.
- Don’t mass replicate your title tags it will negatively affect your search visibility.
- Title tags must accurately describe the content on the page.
- Do not ‘keyword stuff’ title tags.
- Make your headline (<h1> tag) different from the title tag.
- Make sure your most important keywords for the webpage show up in the meta description.
- Write legible, readable copy.
- A meta description should be no longer than 135 – 160 characters long. Any longer and search engines will chop the end off, so make sure any important keywords are nearer the front.
- Do not duplicate meta descriptions.