Below are the points to be considered before starting any SEO project, These steps will also help you in preparing the SEO strategy for the web site and in the process of preparing a proposal for the SEO work.

Age of the Domain: The first step 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 trustworthiness of a domain.

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

Backlinks: Find the number of inbound links for the web site in Google and Yahoo!. Furthermore, I would suggest analyzing the backlinks to understand if they are through active or passive link-building.

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

Blacklist IP: It is important to ensure that the IP of the web site is not blacklisted in anti-spam databases. If it is, I would suggest contacting the host to find out the possible reason and to request an alternate IP.

Canonicalization: Canonicalization is the process of picking the right URL for a web site, even though you get the same web page 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 web site and ensure that your web site has a single, consistent URL.

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

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

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

Traffic Estimation: A rough traffic estimation on the web site that you are about to optimize will let you know information on the number of visitors that the web site drives in before you start with the process. In addition, the MSN Audience Intelligence Tool will be handy.