10 Essential Pre SEO checklists for Site Analysis

Posted by 30 November, 2008

This article features 10 essential checklists in the process of website analysis before you start with SEO. These steps will also help you in preparing the SEO strategy for the website or in the process of preparing proposal for the SEO works.

Age of the domain: The first process is to determine the age of the domain and document it. The domain age is a factor that Google search engine uses to determine the trust of a domain.
Resource: Domain Age Tool

Index Status: Checking the index status of a website will in help you better understand the website visibility in search engines. Make sure to check the website index status in Google, Yahoo and Live and document the number of pages indexed in each search engines.

Backlinks: Find the number of inbound links for the website in Google and Yahoo. Further I would suggest analyzing the backlinks to understand if it is through active or passive link building.

IP Neighbors: Check out the website neighbors using the reverse IP lookup and make sure that it doesn’t have any bad neighbors. If the website has a dedicated IP then this shouldn’t be an issue.
Resource: IP Neighbors

Blacklist IP: It is important to ensure that the IP of the website is not blacklisted in anti-spam databases. If so I would suggest contacting the host to find out the possible reason and requesting them for an alternate IP.
Resource: Blacklist Checker

Canonicalization: Canonicalization is the process of picking up the right URL for a website. Even though you get same webpage for the below URLs,

  • www.yourwebsite.com
  • Yourwebsite.com
  • www.yourwebsite.com/index.html
  • www.yourwebsite.com/home.php

Technically search engines treat it differently. In the site analysis process it is important that you check the alternate URLs for the website and ensure that your website has single persistent URL.

Alternate URLs: Webmasters/Site owners have a habit of booking multiple URLs/domain extensions for their website. If all these points to the main website then it would result in website duplication. Make sure you identify all the alternate versions and redirect them to the main website.

Search Engine cache: The cache version of a website will give more information on the website. Check the text only version of Google cache of the website homepage which will let you know critical information on the links from the homepage, content in the homepage which can be crawled. This will help on design, navigation and usability analysis.

Black hat: In this process make sure you analyze thoroughly to ensure that the website doesn’t implement any black hat techniques like cloaking, hidden text etc.

Traffic Estimation: A rough traffic estimation on the website that you are about to optimize will let you know information on the number of visitors that the website drives in before you start with your process. Further MSN audience intelligence tool will be handy.
Resource: Alexa, Traffic Estimator, Quantcast, MSN Audience Intelligence Tool

If you can add to this checklists please do comment on your suggestion.

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November 30, 2008

Great post! Did you create this?

If so .. GREAT JOB.. very interesting

Posted by Oliver
December 1, 2008

Good one! I would suggest adding few more points to the checklist. My option would be checking for content duplication and internal link structure throughout the website. Wats ur opinion on this?

Posted by Mercylivi
December 1, 2008

My intent is that this list can be used by people who are inexperienced in SEO but want to.

Posted by companies
December 1, 2008

I’m not sure what made you to ask but I’m sure you would get more such post

Content duplication is valid but internal link structure etc I would suggest during the usability, navigation review

Posted by Raghavan
October 10, 2009

I think backlink text should be added. Think is a very important ranking factor

Posted by Nick
May 6, 2010

I don't understand the comment about alternate URL's

"If all these points to the main website then it would result in website duplication. Make sure you identify all the alternate versions and redirect them to the main website."

Do you want them pointing at the main website or not?

Posted by steve
May 19, 2010

Alternate URL's are similar to booking a .net, .info domains when the main website is running in .com, not every webmaster redirect it properly. Most of the cases, the additional domains will be pointing to the existing website resulting in duplicate URLs.

Posted by raghavan8in
July 30, 2010

Yes one most important you thing you can check is past work on this site. Which impacts much while deciding work for current project. Well rest few minor aspect of domain can be check later on.

Posted by jennifer duncan
August 12, 2010

Very nice list to review the website before start the organic SEO. Thanks….!

Posted by Anant
November 23, 2010

One more thing I would like to add is to check the site for Duplicate Content. When I first started doing SEO I wondered why sites i worked on never really moved. It was only after some effort that I found some of my clients, especially those built by large scale web design companies all had a ton of duplicate content.

After all the web design company is paid to design the website right? They could care less about the content on the page. And thus in an effort to save time use the same content across all sites they build.

This is a major handicap so beware!

Posted by Thomas
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