There are of course a bunch of basic SEO elements that you should check your site for occasionally like the W3C validation, redirect errors, sitemap generation errors etc. These crop up unknowingly and are identified only when a problem occurs. Example – If you are using the All in One SEO plugin, in the settings there is an option to specify the xml file template. Now, if you had uploaded the SEO plugin to a directory after renaming it, then chances are that the template fails to load and your sitemap will be broken. Where as if you upload the plugin directory without renaming it, then there won’t be errors. This happened to me sometime back with another site of mine.
So, basic errors like this one goes unnoticed and often requires checks. A few things that you mus check regularly are,
1 – The sitemap of course
Check for updates, frequency set, unwanted URLS etc, Rebuild the sitemap if updates have not been made, check the sitemap accessing from the Google webmasters, if template is broken, check the folder name on FTP and suggest the right URL.
2 – Broken links
Check for broken links on Webmasters, if you find them, download the entire table and correct them by either suggesting a 301 redirect or pulling them down from the site.
3 – Titles
You know that titles are crucial, so checke them for duplications and wrong code. Sometimes, there could occur a clash between the theme code and plugins that even double entries occur in some cases. You might want to do a bit of code tweaking to correct it.
4 – Meta headers
Of course, meta headers like description and keywords are not an y longer going to help you in deciding your SERPs ranks, but the meta description tag is very important as it decides the “clickability” on the SERPs. Assuming that your site appears on teh SERPs in the first or second age, if people have to click it, the meta description or the snippet should be interesting and compelling. So make sure you don’t end up using the same meta description for all posts, instead make it exclusive for each article.
5 – Typos in URLs
Well, I can’t surely tell if they are errors or not because some bloggers say that they have good traffic coming from typos. But for the guys who wants to have things in place, make sure you check out your site listings on the SERPs with the “site:” search and find out typos on URLs. If there are typos, make sure you give a redirect on the old URL to the new one, before the new one is updated on Google index.
6 – Dual H1 headers etc
Sometimes due to your theme options, there could occur two or more H1 tags on a single page which is not good. It is always advice able to use the standard format of H1, H2, H3…H4 according to decreasing priority of text. H1′s generally occur only once on a page, but duplication of the rest are fine.
7 – Robots.txt exclusions
Sometimes even though we might carefully use the robots file to exclude files and folders, due to continuous usage there might be files and articles we wrongly placed. Like placing an article into a category that was once banned by the robots file. It is advised to check the robots.txt file once a while for indexing issues.
8 – Inline style v/s Stylesheet clash
We all have issues with stylesheets (at least I do) and sometimes we all use inline styling to get things fixed. Excessive use of inline styling can lead to a bloated code and this might result in bigger file size and cross browser incompatibilities. It is advised not to use inline styling a lot, and if there are particular codes that you’ve been using, try to incorporate into the stylesheet.
9 – Redirect Issues
This is not very common but happens with guys who have done a lot of moving around from hosts and deal with Apache mod redirects. Although 301 redirects are fine, usage of generalized code for redirect can cause unwanted redirect issues on articles that came later. Like a 301 redirect issued to all URLs in one category, that redirects all articles that came past the redirect.
You can either do these checks manually or use the numerous site validation and SEO check tools available online. I use this tool, for basic checks and of course the Google Webmasters console occasionally.