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I often get asked to review a web site and give quick feedback on the site’s SEO. The issue: Is the site doing well, or in desperate need of SEO help? To answer those questions, I’ve developed a speedy system to go through a site and take a quick SEO snapshot. I’m going to give that system away here. On a smaller site, this should take about 20 minutes. Even on the biggest sites, it’s never taken me more than an hour.
Comments36 Comments  

Comments

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from BrianRubin 2474 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Not a bad checklist. I’d use this for friends sites or maybe contracting work, but that’s it. ;)

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from TimDineen 2473 Days ago #
Votes: -2

This list provides a good starting point, but a bad headline

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from fromtherooftops 2473 Days ago #
Votes: -2

SEO is considerably known as more than these ’technicalities’.

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from Lyndon 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I think the headline is fine, Tim if you’re going to be critical give reasons why and perhaps you could avail us of what would be a good headline.

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from pratt 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think it is a great start to give a client/potential client an idea of how you can best help their site. If also gives you a quick way to take a thorough look at what you are getting yourself into so you can determine how much you can really help that person.

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from TimDineen 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 1

The reason, Lyndon, that I don’t like the headline is because it suggests that it is possible to do SEO in 60 minutes. Everyone here knows 60 minutes doesn’t provide enough time to perform actual SEO work. The article itself clarifies that, so I am only criticizing the headline. I’m a fan of Matt’s writings, including this post, but the headline is unfortunate as it’s misleading and doesn’t describe the article properly. ’How to do a quick SEO review’ would be more appropriate.

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from MattC 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with Tim... and yet, its a great headline because it is eye-catching.

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from mjesales 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 0

great list - good idea to work from.

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from rustybrick 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yea, this is a great list. Bookmarked...

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from MattMcGee 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Thanks to those of you who bothered to read the full article including my explanation and disclaimer, not just the list itself. :-) SEO is obviously a lot more than "these technicalities", but I made it clear in what circumstances I use that list. Needless to say, clients get much more attention, time, etc. And yes, the headline is intentionally eye-catching and meant to make you say "You can’t SEO a site in 60 minutes." So, I’ll take that as a small victory. :-) >>’How to do a quick SEO review’ would be more appropriate. Tim, I dare say you and probably 80% of the people who saw such a headline wouldn’t have bothered to read the article. Thx Tamar for submitting this!

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from tamar 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 1

That headline was just plain good copywriting. I think it specifically grabs the attention because it evokes the curiosity and somewhat provokes the kind of response you’d expect from Tim. So yes, small victory there, Matt. :) And you’re welcome. :)

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from TimDineen 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Matt, you’re probably right - the headline served its purpose. But I am already in the habit of reading whatever you write anyway so it didn’t affect me one way or the other. Just a little criticism to keep the headline-writers of the world from going too far. The first time I read this, the headline/link appeared directly below Lee Odden’s post about quick SEO being short-sighted. Quite a contradiction in headlines. The content, of both articles, is top quality and nothing I’d disagree with at all.

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from MattMcGee 2473 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Oooh, Tim - that would’ve made a great screenshot and funny blog post. :-)

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from TimDineen 2472 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hey Matt, as of this moment, the planets have re-aligned so the two posts I mentioned are together again via the Sphinn homepage. Just in case this is no longer the case, I saved a screenshot or two and posted them: http://www.exposureonline.com/

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from vulcandata 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 0

My skepticism about the title is what ’forced’ me to read the article, but in my case, that type of review would take me 180 minutes(short attention span issues)

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from ogletree 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I use the seoquake add on for firefox to get a lot of the information the article talks about. One thing he did not mention is checking to see if site is properly split into sections. Keep internal links inside their section. This is called siloing. This list is really just a cheat sheet for a professional SEO. Somebody who is not experienced would not know what to do with several of the points without further explanation. SEO is not just a checklist. There are many factors that are dynamic. There is no such thing as a perfect URL. There are pros and cons for each method. You have to understand those to make that decision. When it comes to URL’s you have to watch out for anything that will return the same content from 2 url’s. This can be session ID’s are just a poorly designed back end. The article covered redirection but only mentioned it in relation to the front page. Watch out for 302 found redirects. Also it is very important to add noindex, nofollow to pages with hardly any content or search pages. Some sites will have different ways to list content like by name or date. This is redundant. Make sure the 404 page is disallowed in the robots.txt. Some of SEO is easy but there is a lot to look at specially on a large ecommerce site.

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from sharingmatters 2469 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Good comments, ogletree. Writing general articles regarding SEO is very difficult - you can miss a lot of important points by just scratching the surface, making this too general not useful for both beginners and pros. But the good side of this controversial headline is that people talk about this post and we can discuss the issue. Maybe it is not very professional, it is still eye-catching. And also, sometimes you might be paid for just an hour of SEO consultancy. Then you don’t have 180 minutes, vulcandata. What then?

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from MattMcGee 2463 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great comments - Tim, sorry for missing your link. I made my own screenshot and used it. ogletree -- I don’t argue any of your points, but again, this is not a checklist I use on a client site. The article very clearly states that. This is when a co-worker has a call coming up with a prospect and needs a very quick overview of a site’s SEO status/performance. For that purpose, it serves my needs quite well. YMMV. :)

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from skinner 2437 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great post, great discussion. :)

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from Halfdeck 2436 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The title’s clever, but I personally prefer a title that delivers than a title that tricks me into reading an article. Good thing the article is bookmarking material :) But still the article doesn’t deliver what it promises, which means next time I’ll be less eager to click through.

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from MattMcGee 2436 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"the article doesn’t deliver what it promises" Really? How so? It tells you how to SEO your site in less than an hour, unless you’re really slow. :-)

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from Kalena 2426 Days ago #
Votes: 1

No mention of code bloat or Title tags but pretty much everything else I would do for a site analysis is covered. Great stuff!

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from MattMcGee 2426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yikes. You’re right, Kalena. Page Titles are missing. That goes at the top of the list, needless to say. (I would include code bloat under the "look at source" items, though I would suggest spiders are getting better all the time at dealing with it.)

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from planetc1 2397 Days ago #
Votes: 0

For the longest time I thought that Tamar authored this post and I just noticed today it was created by MattMcGee. Sorry Matt, time for me to stop looking at avatars and start looking at where the content actually is. :p

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from MattMcGee 2396 Days ago #
Votes: 0

No worries, Michael. I do the same thing. :-)

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from moneymasher 2346 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Bookmarked.....great checklist.

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from crazycat 2293 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I usually visit and posted replies on forums especially in the site review category. I’m also using some oin your list. And I could review a site in just a couple of minutes.

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from stevee1 2236 Days ago #
Votes: 0

very useful list, some things may seem obvious but they’re not always!

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from traduzione 2227 Days ago #
Votes: 0

great list, thanks a lot

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from richstanwitz 2176 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with ogletree...there are absolutely more factors to consider. SEO is part science and part art, in my opinion. However, it is nice to have a check list....it would make a nice beginning to an open wiki page.

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from jconnors888 2123 Days ago #
Votes: 0

If I had a dollar for every ’expert’ peice of advice I had, and another dollar for every other peice of ’expert’ advice which contradicts the first I would retire.As ogletree said " This list is really just a cheat sheet for a professional SEO. Somebody who is not experienced would not know what to do with several of the points without further explanation. SEO is not just a checklist. There are many factors that are dynamic. There is no such thing as a perfect URL. There are pros and cons for each method. You have to understand those to make that decision. " This is very true.While the broad general SEO needs of websites are generally the same... there can never be a hard and fast rule about what is Right and Wrong (within a white hat SEO environment). It is constantly changing and optimizing your site with different SEO methods based on ongoing developments is necessary if you want to stay in the race - let alone win.I am not an inventor, like lots of other people I scavange whats available, what other people do. I learn from their success and failure. Thats the way the web works, for now!

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from sanoba 1990 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It’s a great list. Bookmarked !!!

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from yetanotherben 1983 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I love the optimism in the title, love it!  It’s when clients see this kind of title that I wince though!

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from jennifercowling 1781 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks heaps for the check list it’s much appreciated

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from mimaso 1778 Days ago #
Votes: 0

very interesting.. bro

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from hthomson 1775 Days ago #
Votes: 0

nice check list. May be you can include checking broken links.

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