Tech Stuff

A collection of hacks and discoveries.

Ultimate SEO Checklist

Here is a quick checklist of SEO tasks to complete for any website that you want to optimize:

1. Pick a few keywords or key phrases to optimize for. You will need to do your research to see which words and phrases are already saturated. For example, one of the key phrases I’m optimizing for Decent Global is fashion jewelry.

2. Optimize TITLE tags for all pages. Aim for a max of 70 characters in the title.

3. ALT descriptions to all images, relevant ones. Do NOT keyword stuff your ALT tags.

4. Add META descriptions and META keywords to all pages. Keep descriptions under 150 characters and use less than 10 META keywords.

5. Use <H1>, <H2>, and <H3> header tags appropriately to draw attention to important text on a page. You can also bold important text.

6. Optimize URL structure (also called URL rewriting). No ugly dynamic strings should be in your URL’s.

7. Make sure your content has the proper keyword density. I believe the proper density is 2% to 6%. Use the SEO for FireFox add-on to check this.

8. If possible, move to a domain that has a keyword you need in its domain name (i.e. Register that domain for more than one year. Search engines may trust your domain more if you do.

9. Create quality backlinks. No spamming and no link buying. The best places to leave backlinks are pages with medium to high PR that have content that is relevant to the keywords you are optimizing for. Your anchor text (the stuff that goes between your <a> tag) should NOT be your site name. It should be a keyword or phrase that you are optimizing for.

10. Enter your site into website registries (like DMOZ or Yahoo). Search engines will trust your site more if it is listed in a quality website registry (one with human reviewers that don’t accept spammy sites).

Some extras:

  • Use Google Webmaster to check how Google is indexing your website. Fix any errors you see.
  • Use a robots.txt file to block search engines from indexing content that you don’t want indexed.
  • Use nofollow on links (inbound or outbound) that you do not want to pass link juice to.
  • Search “” on Google to view your indexed pages and check to see that the titles and descriptions are all correct.
  • Get your site’s HTML and CSS validated by using the Site Validate tool by W3. Try to follow established web standards as often as possible.
  • Use the Website Grader tool to check your SEO progress and compare that to your competitors progress.

And that’s it. Remember, this checklist is not all-inclusive but it is a good start for anyone trying to tackle SEO.

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August 12th, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | 34 Comments


  1. Really cool post, especially coming from someone at Harvard. Does Harvard teach SEO in any respect or is this just a coincidence?

    I found this post while playing with some “search engine operators”, functions that you can use in the search box to refine and filter results. A list of these functions were posted as a Bruce Clay newsletter back in October of 2004, but most (maybe all) of them still work.

    You can check it out here:

    Comment by SEO | August 25, 2009

  2. Thanks Jason.

    As far as I know, Harvard does not teach SEO. I’ve picked up some SEO skills just by browsing the internet.

    Great SE operators resource btw.

    Comment by Ahmed | August 26, 2009

  3. Oh, why does Harvard not teach SEO? Are they against it or something?

    But actually, SEO can be learned outside school. I learned it after I had graduated from College two years ago.

    Comment by Seo FL | September 5, 2009

  4. Sorry, I must have overlooked this comment…

    There is no SEO course at Harvard per se, but SEO make up a small component of a computer course.

    It’s possible that computer science majors who take website design courses are taught SEO. I’m a comp sci minor, so I’ll let you know if I run into SEO in any of my courses.

    Comment by Ahmed | September 19, 2009

  5. Thank you for the quick and accurate information. I am making a video about SEO that lots of people will see and will go to this page to see your SEO list. Please keep it up.

    Comment by SEO Teacher | March 9, 2010

  6. This page – Ultimate SEO Checklist was featured in a video at that teaches backlink strategies.

    Comment by Aloe Stockton | July 15, 2010

  7. That is a pretty good list that covers what you need to get a site up and going….

    I would like to share something about #9…. The how and why Google views anchor text the way it does. It’s the Google proposal from Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page.

    Here it is

    Comment by Cheap SEO Packages | July 23, 2010

  8. Thanks for submitting some items about seo in freelancer site from where we learn how to earn money in the home based,
    1 Stop Elite Solutions

    Comment by seo | October 7, 2010

  9. When is the next post comming on this topic? Regards John

    Comment by amsterdam retail | November 12, 2010

  10. Good list… recommend keeping an eye on your content to code ratio, server setup (how many other sites hosted on your IP besides yours), using italics instead of bold text in copy for main keyword(s) as it now holds more weight than bold text.

    Comment by First Place Positioning | November 24, 2010

  11. Short and in the head post.
    10 points summarized almost everything I learned as a SEO
    Thanks for sharing . keep it up

    Comment by seo | April 21, 2011

  12. Great article…..

    It dymystifies SEO on-page and off-page….two really good wordpress developers Scott Blanchard and looks like they read this article first to come out with their SEO product.

    Comment by ceramic kitchen canisters | April 26, 2011

  13. I found your article informative basically first 8 seo tips that you mentioned here is all about in-page seo.
    The article will give us good understanding of how we can optimize our pages in order to get better results with search engines. and 2 off-page seo tips for link building.
    Thanks saman

    Comment by seo helper | May 12, 2011

  14. i very glad read this articles, because i do project about that.and i hope can find any solution in my web project with free

    Comment by Daniels | June 4, 2011

  15. Cool. This is great for those who are posting on niche sites.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by New Condo | June 23, 2011

  16. I agree with the commenter about clickbump. This is the best template for wordpress I have ever seen and used. Another point to make is that the Google Panda update has changed the game a little. It should be emphasized that original content is needed on each and every page of your site.

    Comment by fitflops | July 8, 2011

  17. Good advice about SEO, I hope to hear more about it in the future 🙂

    Comment by Lform a Web Design Company | July 20, 2011

  18. great! thx for ur great share!

    Comment by How To Be Vegetarian | September 17, 2011

  19. they filmed it on a vhs cam and the flipmode dudes just put effects in and filmed their shit on a vx so nobody jacked anyone. completely independent concepts buddy.

    Comment by Miesha Stent | October 3, 2011

  20. Great coverage of the basic SEO parameters here. I think it needs to be updated to include some social signals as well.

    Comment by Pavlos | October 9, 2011

  21. Found this information a great help and will put it to use immediately.
    Webmaster of DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica

    Comment by DeLonghi ESAM3300 Ma | October 17, 2011

  22. I never knew about this before. Thanks such a beautiful post.

    Comment by LahoreSeo | October 28, 2011

  23. wow, what a great Post!
    SEO plays a crucial role in online business websites as well as other interactive sites.
    Thank U for sharing Cool Stuff!
    Let me share “How Get My Website On Google”

    Comment by how get my website on google | November 13, 2011

  24. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with “move to a domain that has a keyword you need in its domain name.” Assuming you register a brand new domain, you are loosing one element Google appears to take into consideration – domain age.

    Comment by Jim Zamichieli | November 15, 2011

  25. all of those steps are vital to improving your organic results. I am new to optimizing and I am using your list above as my checklist. I will make the changes that you recommended and hopefully see some increase in sales…

    Comment by Plastic Bins | November 15, 2011

  26. Really great article!

    Comment by Posicionamiento web Cadiz | November 23, 2011

  27. very useful SEO tips but not for me )) may be for beginners

    Comment by seo guru | December 15, 2011

  28. Amazing information gratitude for posting about it. Basically in all content of this web site there is always something to educate yourself on.

    Comment by Krakow | January 2, 2012

  29. This is my first time I visit here. I found so many interesting stuffs in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

    Comment by colloidal gold | March 10, 2012

  30. It’s always cool to go back and read old posts like this especially after Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. This list even points out 3 years ago “no link buying”.

    Comment by internet marketing phoenix | June 3, 2012

  31. This is a good article. Thanks for posting.

    Comment by CommIT | June 23, 2012

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    Comment by Gino Cuffee | July 5, 2012

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    Comment by Donte Schoenhals | July 23, 2012

  34. I simply planned to say thanks for all of your excellent advice.

    Comment by Ta Ensing | July 31, 2012

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