Why I don’t use SEO checklists

The most common question I get asked is: where are you from?

The next most common question: but no really, where are you from?

And the 3rd most common question: can you share your SEO checklists and workflows?

Not kidding. People are super interested in who I am, where I’m from and how I do my SEO.

Thing is, I don’t use checklists. And my workflows vary, a lot.

When you work in a field long enough, you just automatically know what to look for and where to start looking for it. And you don’t always follow a list or a strict workflow.

But let me humour you:

When I get a new website to audit (or when I’m casually browsing) I typically run speed tests, check out robots.txt files and whether sitemaps are present (both HTML and XML) and I often run crawls in Screaming Frog.

I bounce around the site, finding problems, looking at how they do things (if they’re doing SEO) and I’ll go as far as looking at their backlink profile (sometimes you seem some cool ish!). I don’t need a checklist to tell me what to look for!

This is the curiosity part of SEO that many folks in SEO lack.

I run Dubai SEO Club and have the club rules on the website and in the WhatsApp group’s description. Even though you have to apply to join the group, you can still read the description and therefore, the rules.

Yet 9/10 people who apply, never read the rules – because they ask me where the rules are.

These people aren’t resourceful and clearly aren’t very curious.

If you’re not pulling a website apart, analysing how it works and looking for glaring mistakes, are you even serious about SEO?

This may well be my hottest take on the industry but I’m not fussed.

There’s too many robots in SEO who only know how to follow checklists and the moment things deviate from that, they turn into deers in headlights.

Before I get flamed, I want to reiterate: if you’re junior in your career, then checklists are helpful. And even if you’re not, it can serve as a good reminder.

Just don’t attach yourself to checklists to the point where you cannot function without them.

The web was built by humans, for humans.

Google is the robot, not you.

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