Website Testing Checklist for SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 04, 2015

Launching a new website is usually a simple process if well-planned and organized. However, failing to consider all search engine ranking factors and creating an SEO-friendly site can result in low rankings on the major browsers. Therefore, prior to publishing a website, professionals must validate that they have followed the most updated best practices and not made critical mistakes. To do so, it is important to follow a website testing checklist, which contains the most essential checks, prior to publishing an online site.

Keyword Optimization Checklist

Developing a well-written and keyword optimized site is critical to SEO best practices. Therefore, prior to launching the site, make sure you are able to provide a positive answer to each of the questions listed below:

  1. Are the most important keywords listed in the beginning of the document?
  2. Will my pages compete with each other on SERP’s?
  3. Are my pages optimized for the same keywords?
  4. Did I extensively research all keywords?
  5. Did I use popular relevant terms to my industry?
  6. Did I utilize targeted keywords?
  7. Can I compete with the selected terms?
  8. Did I craft high-quality, original content that will be helpful for uses and rank highly in search engines?
  9. Did I spell check all content?
  10. Am I using unique titles and descriptions?

It is important to note that by utilizing the various SEO tools on the market, you can speed up your checks and improve productivity. For instance, utilize a keyword analyzer to confirm your webpages are targeted and optimized for specific keywords. Also, SERP analyzers can assist with the evaluation of your competition to determine if you can compete for specific terms.

Website Development Checks

Techniques used to create a website during the development phase and verified during testing are critical and affect SEO. Therefore, ask yourself the following questions to ensure all best practices have been performed correctly:

  1. Can my site be easily crawled on search engines?
  2. Did I provide text links for every page on my site?
  3. Am I properly using meta-robots tags?
  4. Are there any incorrect HTTP redirections?
  5. What is the loading time of my site?
  6. Is there any way in which I can reduce the loading time?
  7. Is my website properly coded?
  8. Can my website be used in multiple browsers?
  9. Is there any broken HTML that could affect the analysis of the page?
  10. Has my site been developed with search engine-friendly technologies?

Several of the above checks (HTML validation, page analysis and meta-robots usage) can be improved with an SEO analysis tool. This resource will scan your website and provide feedback so you do not need to manually review every word.

Linking

Creating a solid link structure is just as critical to SEO as keyword optimization and proper development. The following is a list of the most critical checks related to linking:

  1. Are my targeted keywords integrated into URL’s?
  2. Am I using dashes instead of underscores in my URL’s?
  3. Is my link structure optimized?
  4. Am I using tree-like architecture whereby top level pages are the most important on my website?
  5. Have all broken links been eliminated?
  6. Am I using text links instead of image links when directing to an internal page?
  7. Have links that navigate to different version of the same page, resulting in duplicate content, been eliminated?
  8. Are my URL’s SEO friendly and static (not containing the “?” character)
  9. Are there any hidden paid links or spam links embedded in my site?

There are multiple link structure tools available online that can provide a detailed view of page ranking. They generate detailed statistics and visuals as well as all required data to evaluate your existing link architecture.

There are many aspects of SEO and if one critical characteristic is missed, it can result in a lower search engine ranking. Therefore, to ensure your site is following all best practices during testing, utilize the aforementioned checklist. Asking these questions will be critical to the visibility of the site when launched.