Check all your site’s meta data and ensure that it conforms to SEO best practices incuding length (60 characters for title, 150 characters for description), keyword optimised (for density, and proximity) and most importantly ensure that meta include an appropriate call to action.
Ensure that your site is contains keyword rich internal links (think wikipedia). The links should support your site’s keyword targeting strategy (ie internal links should point to urls with strategic keywords (eg. blue widget instead of click here).
Is your content optimised for your keywords? Ensure it is by testing it with content optimisation tools such as code to content ratio, and other with this great keyword density tool found at ranks.nl.
Images & Video Content
Optimising your site’s images and video content is critical in 2009. Google and other search engines such as Yahoo and MSN are displaying more and more non-text based content in their search results (the concept is call Universal or blended search) and there ffore it is very important to ensure that your site’s images and videos (if you have any) are optimised according to SEO best practices including alt tags, file names, snippets and size.
Have you created a Google Webmaster toolsaccount for your site? Google has created the webmaster tools interface to help site owners identify issues with their site and fix them in line with SEO best practices. Creatng a webmaster tools account is very simple. Ensure that you also verify your site and upload an xml sitemap.
Most importantly, in 2009, create a link building strategy and implement it! Your strategy should be based around the competitive landscape of your niche market. Analyse the links of your main competitors (the ones ranking for your target keywords) and ensure that your strategy includes a practical solution to acquire similar/better links. Link building is very time consuming, tedious and results are not immediate but don’t let that discourage you. If you acquire the right links (from authoritative relevant sites with the optimised anchor text) you will be rewarded!
Do you have an analytics account? Without one you’re flying blind. If you don’t have a budget for a commercial Analytics program such as Omniture, Google Analytics is a great free one. Ensure you get the most out of Analytics by tagging up your site for KPI goals.
The above is a top level SEO checklist. There is much more to SEO but if you start with the above, at least you’ve covered the basics. If you’re interested in Google’s view on SEO, read this SEO best practice guide from Google.
Good luck and have a very prosperous New Year!