The cheat sheet. To some, it’s a dirty word and tactic. To others, it’s a godsend. No matter what school of thought one prescribes to, it’s clear that a cheat sheet is designed to give someone a leg up on something. (Besides, we’re sure that when you were in school, you delighted in the rare occurrence of a teacher allowing a cheat sheet for a test!) All debates and school references aside, in the working world, particularly the modern and mutable dominion of domains we call internet marketing, any sort of (ethical) advantage is a welcome gift. The problem with seeking out such advantages, as with anything related to the internet, is knowing where to find and identifying reputable resources. If you are in the internet marketing field, and/or SEO, you are most likely aware of how search engines work, the frequent updates their developers implement to prevent spammy content from showing up in results, and how to read a URL, meta tags, and the pages themselves for red flags.
Well known sites with reputations as good SEO resources such as Moz.com are great places to look for tips and cheat sheets of all kinds. Some cheat sheets cover the bare-bones basics of SEO, while others go more in depth. Cheat sheets may come from different perspectives- from those of web developers to bloggers to SEO’s. Down below, you’ll see a very simple sample cheat sheet we’ve drafted. What would you include in your cheat sheet? This one is formatted as a questionnaire of sorts and only touches on some very basic SEO aspects.
- Are any pages not being indexed? (Do they have a noindex tag in the site’s coding)
- Is there an appropriately formatted title tag on each page? (Using a keyword and under 70 characters)
- Does each page have a meta tag using keywords, a call to action if applicable, and under 160 words?
- Does the page have more than one H1 tag?
- Do images have alt text/tags?
- Is the content an appropriate length (ie is the site full on lengthy product descriptions but thin content)?
- Is the content engaging, keyword rich, and appealing to both readers and search engines?
- Is the content spammy?
- Are redirects and status codes in place?
- Does the site have a sitemap submitted to Google?
Is the site user-friendly to navigate?