SEO is an ever changing animal. This checklist was compiled based on what the current perceived best practices are as of 1/28/2016

Downloadable PDF Version

On-Page

  1. Short SEO Friendly URLs ("-" for spaces, reads easy, keyword rich)
  2. Start Title with Keyword - your title is the most important on-page SEO factor. The closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title the more weight it has.
  3. Add Multimedia - Images, videos, and diagrams can reduce bounce rate and increase time on site.
  4. Use Outbound Links - Outbound links to related pages is a relevancy signal that helps Google figure out your page's topic. Usually 2-4 outbound links per 1000 words. Keep in mind sites you link to reflect on you.
  5. Keywords in First 100 Words - Your keyword should appear in first 100-150 words of article.
  6. Wrap Title in H1 Tag - Your page title should be in an H1 tag.
  7. Page Load Speed - It shouldn't take more than 4 seconds to load your page. There are several tools to check site speed. Here's one: GTMetrix
  8. Add modifiers to Your Title - Adding modifiers like "2015", "Best", "Guide", "How To", etc. help long tail ranking.
  9. Use Social Sharing Tools - While it doesn't play a direct role in your rank. It does help get more eyes on your content.
  10. Longer Content is Better - Content is king. Aim for at least 2000 words when targeting keywords.
  11. Sprinkle in Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords - LSI keywords are synonyms Google uses to determine page relevancy. You can find these by searching for a keyword, then scroll to bottom of SERP and see "Searches related to" area.
  12. Internal Linking - When appropriate, add keyword rich internal links to other content on your site.
  13. Image Optimization - Make sure the file name includes your keyword and also include keyword in Alt text.

Off-Page

  1. Off-Page SEO Checklist - several topics discussed in length.
  2. Keyword Research - This ties into on-page, but here is a good resource keyword research
  3. Link Building - many of these were mentioned in my SEO tools list
    • Find Bloggers - get reviews on your stuff
    • Find potential outreach blog opportunities by searching for relevant topics on Alltop
    • Find proven infographic topics on Visual.ly by searching for a relevant topic, and sorting by number of views.