Web optimisation checklist

A checklist you need to consider to optimise your content for the web.

The following checklist should be referred to when creating, maintaining and updating content. They are designed to help you optimise your content to be findable, usable and accessible.

AreaWhat you need to check
Title Tag Create a unique title for each webpage.
Keep your title under 70 characters.
HTML Headers (H1, H2, H3…) Heading tags should be nested.
Use words or phrases that someone might search for.
The heading tag gives users an overview of the content that is on the page.
By reading the different headings, users can scan a page and read only the sections they are interested in.
Image Each image should have an alt text that explains the contents of the image (can include keywords).
Avoid using random words and numbers.
Description Write no more than 155 characters for your description, include of keywords.
Make sure each of your pages has a unique description.
Unique Content Ensure each page of your site has at least 300 words of unique content on it that can’t be found elsewhere on your site (or anywhere else on the Web).
Create evidence-based keyword-rich content.
Produce fresh content regularly. You can do this in terms of news items and the use of historical dates.
Broken Links Log a call with the Web Team and we will run a broken link checker on your site.
Ideally this should be done every 6 months but if your content has not changed much this can be longer.
Internal Links Are you describing the page you’re linking to in the anchor text, so that both users and search engines understand what it’s about?
Do not use the same anchor text all the time.
Avoid using ‘click here’ or ‘more information’. This does not describe what you are linking to.
External Links Don’t use generic terms or names for links
Avoid using ‘click here’ or ‘more information’
Try to get reputable websites to link to you
Do not link out to low quality, low value or spam sites
URL Structure Does your URL make sense to you?
Use hyphens to separate words in the URL if it is a long URL. This improves readability.
Usability Is your site easy to use, navigate and understand?
Put yourself in the user's shoes. Would they be able to understand your site and content? 
Consider removing pages with no obvious purpose or extremely low visitor numbers.
As a minimum provide transcripts for video and audio files.
Use bulleted lists where possible as this helps organising information, and makes it more scanable/readable.
When you use tables - clearly identify the purpose of the rows and columns. This is so screen readers can differentiate between the data.
Avoid using colour to convey content meaning or distinguising visual elements.
Accessible PDFs

Before converting the original file (MS Word) into a pdf, organise and format this (structured headings, table of contents, use lists).

In Adobe Acrobat set the document language, check the tab order and display the document title.

Read a detailed explanation about how to create accessible PDFs on http://www.gov.uk.

A more detailed explanation of the checklist points is available. Need further assistance? Email the webteam who will be able to advise.


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