If you have a website and you are updating things on a regular basis like you should be, then this checklist is for you. Trust me, I know there could be more added to this checklist but if the list gets too big then it wont get done. So do these things and you will be on the right track.
First of all, why does this checklist exist? I found that as I added web pages, edited web pages, deleted web pages, or restructured a website, I always missed something that was crucial to my optimization efforts. Here are the top 5 items that you must check every time you change something on any website.
Many times we will forget to internally link to the new pages that we have created, and if we do end up linking to them we do it incorrectly. You need to make sure first off that your website has a Search Friendly Information Environment Design and that you are constantly checking all your internal linking structure.
You must remember to update your sitemaps with any change you have made. This means your html sitemap for your users and also your .xml or .txt sitemaps for the search engines.
Some of you are thinking, Hey I have automated sitemap generation software installed so everything is fine. WRONG. You, at the very least, must double check and make sure that everything updated correctly.
If you have changed filenames, or added anything to your site you must ensure that you dont link to old URLs on your site. Any broken link or link that goes to the wrong place can have an adverse effect on your optimization efforts and also can really drive your visitors insane. There are plenty of free and paid options out there to help you find broken links. Here are just a few:
If you use any type of feed for your site then you need to check that the feed has been updated with your changes. A lot of ecommerce websites use feeds for shopping submissions sites like Google Base, Shopping.com, and Shopzilla. If you have added a product to your site then you need to make sure that your feed has been updated and you might even need to resubmit it to the various areas for updates.
You would be surprised at how many of us forget to add analytics to pages other than our home page or main pages. If we want to be successful online, then we cant forget how important it is to test and track on a daily basis. How can we do this if we dont have analytics on every single page that affects our bottom line? Simply dont forget to place your analytics code on your new or updated pages.
The list is short and easy to follow and will save you time, effort, and money in the long run. Some other quick and important items you should think when changing anything on your website are correct targeted content, meta tags, and split testing. You have worked so hard to get the rankings you deserve so why take shortcuts now. Start today with the Optimization Checklist and Checking It Twice!
Online Marketing consultant, Garrett Pierson, is the creator of Your SEO Mentor, also the Operations Manager at Trust Guard. His knowledge of Search Engine Optimization and Marketing background has helped online businesses around the world for years.