WordCamp US 2019 – Technical SEO Checklist: How to Optimize a WordPress Site for Search Engine Crawlers – Pam Aungst

Why SEO is Important

For search engines

Why Technical SEO is Super Important

Search Engines: Crawl / Index / Rank

If technical SEO isn’t working search engines can’t crawl/index/rank. Visitors wont’ find your site.

The Ultimate SEO Checklist

Basic/Traditional Items

  • Domain & CMS
    • Run by a well designed platform
  • Meta Robots
  • Robots.txt
    • Exclude Irrelevant Content – Yoast SEO
    • Implement Cross-Check’s Search Engine Visibility Monitoring
  • XML Sitemap
    • Dynamic XML Sitemap from Yoast SEO
    • Submit XML index to Google Search Console and check for errors
      • Search Console monitors for crawling errors
    • Should be dynamically generated and updated
  • Design
    • Do not use “one page” designs, they don’t work well for SEO
  • Breadcrumbs
    • Schema markup can be added for search crawlers to follow breadcrumbs (Yoast SEO can do this)
  • Social
    • Make it very easy for visitors to find and follow you presence on social media sites
    • Make it very easy for visitors to share your content on social medai
  • Dates
    • Blog articles should have dates on the byline
    • Add a last modified date, don’t change the original date. (WP Last Modified Info Plugin)
    • Author Date for resources
  • SEO Friendly URLS
    • Set Permalinks properly
  • Title Tags
    • Should contain carefully chosen/search keywords
    • Don’t include site title & company name appended
      • Remove Site Title from Yoast Search Appearance settings
  • Images
    • Alt Text
  • Meta Descriptions
    • Meta description doesn’t affect page rank but is return in search engine previews
    • Encourages people to click through the result
  • Broken Links
    • They are not a ranking factor
    • It affects SEO from the standpoint of there being a “dead end” for users
    • Monitor for broken links and setup 301 redirects
    • External links are a huge value to your site that you don’t want to lose
    • Have a custom 404 Not Found Page that is visitor, and SEO, friendly
  • Security
    • Search engines will block search results that are found to have security issues
    • Force the use of SSL


  • Mobile Responsive
    • One site that responds to user and search engine mobile navigation
    • Google will rank your site on mobile first
  • Mobile – AMP
    • AMP is not simply mobile first responsive, it’s actually a stripped down version of the site
    • Supports fast loading on mobile
    • Easy for blog content / hard for heavily designed pages (AMP for WP – Advance Mobile Pages Plugin)
    • AMP sites don’t carry over Google Analytics tracking, it needs it’s own tracking setup
    • Check that your AMP pages are valid, use Google’s AMP testing tool
  • Duplicate Content
    • Media attachment redirects should be a yes
  • Authority
    • Author names on content (blogs/resources)
    • Authors should have short bios presented on pages
    • Authors should have a full bio page

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