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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2009

Posted by @ 9:34 pm

As a new year arrives and we all make our resolutions and plans for 2009, here’s the “Ultimate SEO Checklist” to kick start your organic search marketing.

I try to provide a new SEO checklist about this time every year, as it’s when most of us start thinking about the year ahead. While last year’s checklist was a quick fire action plan, this year it’s far more extensive.

Our plan is to elaborate on each of these 50 checklist items throughout 2009 with more detail, and easy to follow action plans. There’s also a list of some “SEO Mistakes” to avoid which will help you stay in the good books with the search engines.

The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2009
This is a list of the various SEO elements to consider, evaluate and action when building and maintaining your top Search Engine rankings.

1. Keyword analysis (still accurate? Where’s the tail?)
2. Site structure – new directions and re-modeling the old
3. Review all page titles
4. Overhaul meta descriptions (for click-through not SEO)
5. The copy equation – SEO vs Marketing
6. H tags and text formatting
7. Site speed – Load time optimization
8. Alt and title tags – don’t miss an opportunity
9. Internal links – where is the juice being sent
10. Internal link text – boost the link juice
11. Control the flow using “Nofollow”
12. Sitemaps page – more than just links
13. Create and/or update XML sitemaps
14. Check all Redirects are in place and working
15. Review flash – ensure its necessary and SEO friendly
16. Is your Robots.txt correct and up to date?
17. Clean URLs
18. SEO friendly 404 pages
19. Check graphic/image vs text usage
20. Best practice URL structure
21. Keep the code clean and compliant
22. Simplify with CSS
23. Check for broken links regularly
24. Update all content on pages
25. Manage and control outbound linking
26. Check canocalization on URLs
27. Social bookmarking options on all pages
28. Start a blog (or commit to updating your current one regularly)
29. Semantics and SEO
30. Page/file sizes
31. Page theming
32. Navigation
33. Managing dynamic content
34. Check webmaster centers regularly
35. Write articles/content for other sites
36. Engage in online conversations
37. Claim your geo rankings with local business profiles
38. Create more SEO friendly videos (uploaded to the top video sites)
39. Add SEO friendly images to popular photo sites (with tags, categories)
40. Ensure links in top SEO directories (DMOZ, Yahoo! etc)
41. Seek authority links (.edu .gov etc)
42. Regular submission to new quality directories
43. Comment on relevant [blog] conversations more often
44. Ongoing natural link building plan
45. Encouraging favourable site behaviour
46. Claim my business/website/personal profiles in social communities
47. Lifestream your content (linking back of course)
48. Leverage vertical specific SEO opportunities to boost relevance
49. Google Searchwikify your website
50. Power up your press releases

The SEO Mistakes to Avoid For 2009
Avoid these common mistakes and bad practices to ensure you maintain top rankings.

1. Frames
2. Cloaking
3. Hidden text
4. Keyword stuff
5. Doorway pages
6. Auto content generation
7. Javascript with caution
8. Exchanging irrelevant links
9. Link farms
10. Duplicate content
11. Incorrect redirects
12. Over linking

If there’s any ideas, tactics or theories you’d like us to include or discuss, add them via the comments below and we’ll tackle them in 2009.

Happy ranking to you all!

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (9 - comments)

This is a great list, everything in one place. Especially like number 29. Semantic search is what we’re all about!

By Igor Goldkind - December 30, 2008

Tks a lot for the “Big List”.
I already see many aspects to be corrected on my little blog.
Again, TKS!

By Eudison de Paula Leal - January 9, 2009

Thanks this list is extremely helpful!

By Tosha - January 10, 2009

What does “Where’s the tail” mean in number 1?

By MJ Golf - January 20, 2009

verry helpfull
de online comunnity voor lesbiennes en biseksuele vrouwen

By shedating - January 21, 2009

I think the duplicate content tip is probably the most important for 2009. And if you can migrate your web site to a blogging platform like WordPress, that will also help with SEO.

By Blog Shot - January 22, 2009

@MJ_Golf “where’s the tail?” refers to ensuring you’re SEO efforts harness the value of long tail keywords, rather than just focusing on the highly competitive short obvious ones.

By Blog Administrator - January 22, 2009

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By Online Car Insurance >> - November 23, 2009

Usefull website! tnx

By Rozenet - June 25, 2010

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