SEO cheat sheet

Semantics

Semantics are important because search engines use them to determine content relevance

  • <title>

    • The <title> tag is shown in search results as the clickable link

    •  

    • Homepage title formula

    • <title>Site/Company Name · Small keyword rich, catchy phrase · City, Country</title>
      
    • Inside title formula

    • <title>Page Title · Site/Company Name</title>
      
    • Must be unique on every single page

    • Also important for accessibility

  • <meta description>

    • Used as the text under the link—or maybe the first <p> tag

    • <meta name="description" content="A short sentence describing the purpose and content of this individual page.">
      
    • Must be unique on every single page

    • Max 140 characters

  • Important aspects

    • <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. & hierarchy

    • • First line of the first <p>

    • <a> (internal & outbound)

    • <img alt="">

    • <strong>, <em>

    • • Page responsiveness

    • • Page speed

    • • HTTPS

    • • Regular updates

    • • Good, human-oriented content

    • • Domain & URLs

Social tags

  • Relationships

    • Use on <a> tags with the rel attribute

    • rel="me" — When a link is about you

    • rel="spouse" — When a link is about your partner

    • rel="friend" — When a link is about your friend

    • rel="external" — When a link points to another website

    • rel="enclosure" — When a link points to a download

    • rel="license" — When a link points to the license file

    • rel="nofollow" — When search engines should ignore the link for rankings

    • See more social relationships

  • Social media metadata

    • Open Graph

    • Used by Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

    • Add into <head> on every page

    • <meta property="og:type" content="website">
      <meta property="og:locale" content="en_CA">
      <meta property="og:title" content="Title of this page, same as title tag">
      <meta property="og:url" content="http://fullurl.com/to-this/page/">
      <meta property="og:image" content="http://fullurl.com/to-this/image.jpg">
      <meta property="og:site_name" content="Name of your website">
      <meta property="og:description" content="Description of this page, same as meta description">
      
    • Twitter Cards

    • Add into <head> on every page

    • <meta name="twitter:card" content="summary">
      <meta name="twitter:site" content="@yourtwitterhandle">
      <meta name="twitter:title" content="Title of this page, same as title tag">
      <meta name="twitter:url" content="http://fullurl.com/to-this/page/">
      <meta name="twitter:description" content="Description of this page, same as meta description">
      <meta name="twitter:image" content="http://fullurl.com/to-this/image.jpg">
      
    • Open Graph Protocol

    • Twitter Card Documentation

  • Geotagging & location data

    • Add into <head> on every page

    • <meta name="ICBM" content="45.416667,-75.7">
      <meta name="geo.position" content="45.416667;-75.7">
      <meta name="geo.region" content="ca-on">
      <meta name="geo.placename" content="Ottawa">
      
    • ICBM address

    • Geotagging

Metadata

There are many different Schema.org formats: use Microdata to embed with HTML & JSON-LD for separate details

  • Microdata Person

    • Embedded into the HTML code

    • <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
        <h1 itemprop="name">Sir John A. Macdonald</h1>
        <span itemprop="jobTitle">Prime Minister of Canada</span>
        <p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
          <span itemprop="streetAddress">24 Sussex Dr.</span>
          <br>
          <span itemprop="addressLocality">Ottawa</span>,
          <span itemprop="addressRegion">ON</span>,
          <span itemprop="addressCountry">Canada</span>
          <br>
          <span itemprop="postalCode">K1A 0A3</span>
        </p>
        <dl>
          <dt>E-mail:</dt>
          <dd><a href="mailto:primeminister@canada.ca" itemprop="email">primeminister@canada.ca</a></dd>
          <dt>Tel:</dt>
          <dd><a href="tel:+16139416900" itemprop="telephone">613-941-6900</a></dd>
          <dt>Website:</dt>
          <dd><a href="http://canada.ca/" itemprop="url">http://canada.ca/</a></dd>
        </dl>
      </div>
      
  • JSON-LD Person

    • Separate from the HTML code, at the bottom in a <script> tag

    • <script type="application/jd+json">
        {
          "@context": "https://schema.org",
          "@type": "Person",
          "name": "Sir John A. Macdonald",
          "jobTitle": "Prime Minister of Canada",
          "address": {
            "@type": "PostalAddress",
            "streetAddress": "24 Sussex Dr.",
            "addressLocality": "Ottawa",
            "addressRegion": "ON",
            "addressCountry": "CA",
            "postalCode": "K1A 0A3"
          },
          "email": "primeminister@canada.ca",
          "tel": "+16139416900",
          "website": "http://canada.ca/"
          "sameAs": [
            "https://www.facebook.com/sir_john_a_macdonald",
            "https://www.youtube.com/channel/sir_john_a_macdonald"
            "https://www.instagram.com/sir_john_a_macdonald/",
            "https://twitter.com/sir_john_a_macdonald",
          ]
        }
      </script>
      
  • JSON-LD CreativeWork

    • Separate from the HTML code, at the bottom in a <script> tag

    • <script type="application/ld+json">
        {
          "@context": "https://schema.org",
          "@type": "CreativeWork",
          "name": "Branding for Dino ’R’ Us",
          "author": {
            "@type": "Person",
            "name": "Thomas J Bradley"
          },
          "image": "https://thomasjbradley.ca/images/dinos-r-us-logo.jpg",
          "url": "https://thomasjbradley.ca/dino-r-us/",
          "dateCreated": "2017-11-23",
          "description": "A massive rebrand for the Dinos ’R’ Us company.",
          "keywords": "dinosaurs, graphic, design, brand, logo"
        }
      </script>
      

Extra files

  • robots.txt

    • Always include in the root of the domain.

    • # www.robotstxt.org
      
      Sitemap: http://thomasjbradley.ca/sitemap.xml
      
      User-Agent: *
      Disallow:
      
  • humans.txt

    • Use the humans.txt to put your info & credit other people who’s work you’ve used.

    • # humanstxt.org
      
      # TEAM
      
      Designer & Developer: Thomas J Bradley <hey@thomasjbradley.ca>
      Site: http://thomasjbradley.ca
      GitHub: https://github.com/thomasjbradley
      Twitter: @thomasjbradley
      Location: Ottawa, Canada
      
      ---
      
      # THANKS
      
      - “Dinosaur“ by Mrs. Ste Gosaourus
        Used under CC-BY-NC-SA
        https://thenounproject.com/
      
  • sitemap.xml

    • Always include in the root of the domain.

    • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
      
        <url>
           <loc>http://thomasjbradley.ca/</loc>
           <lastmod>2058-11-23</lastmod>
           <changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
           <priority>0.8</priority>
        </url>
      
      </urlset>
      
    • Don’t forget to add an entry for every single page.

    • Consider using an automated generation tool.