Steps to help you in preparing the SEO strategy for the website or in the process of preparing proposal for the SEO works
Age of the domain: The first process 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 trust of a domain.
Index Status: Checking the index status of a website will in help you better understand the website visibility in search engines. Make sure to check the website index status in Google, Yahoo and Live and document the number of pages indexed in each search engines.
Backlinks: Find the number of inbound links for the website in Google and Yahoo. Further I would suggest analyzing the backlinks to understand if it is through active or passive link building.
IP Neighbors: Check out the website neighbors using the reverse IP lookup and make sure that it doesn’t have any bad neighbors. If the website has a dedicated IP then this shouldn’t be an issue.
Blacklist IP: It is important to ensure that the IP of the website is not blacklisted in anti-spam databases. If so I would suggest contacting the host to find out the possible reason and requesting them for an alternate
Canonicalization: Canonicalization is the process of picking up the right URL for a website. Technically search engines treat it differently. In the site analysis process it is important that you check the alternate URLs for the website and ensure that your website has single persistent URL.
Alternate URLs: Webmasters/Site owners have a habit of booking multiple URLs/domain extensions for their website. If all these points to the main website then it would result in website duplication. Make sure you identify all the alternate versions and redirect them to the main website.
Search Engine cache: The cache version of a website will give more information on the website. Check the text only version of Google cache of the website homepage which will let you know critical information on the links from the homepage, content in the homepage which can be crawled. This will help on design, navigation and usability analysis.
Black hat: In this process make sure you analyze thoroughly to ensure that the website doesn’t implement any black hat techniques like cloaking, hidden text etc.
Traffic Estimation: A rough traffic estimation on the website that you are about to optimize will let you know information on the number of visitors that the website drives in before you start with your process. Further MSN audience intelligence tool will be handy.