How-to 15 min read

How to keep improvements log file on the website

The improvements log file is a technical document where SEO specialist registers the changes on the website. First, he registers the errors he finds, and then writes a report to rectify them. It helps to schedule the work accordingly and monitor how the changes affect the project.

Principles of the making improvements log file

  • Standardization. The improvements log file is a report. The SEO specialist shows his readiness and coherence by making a standardized report. We advise you to organize the structure first, and then, if necessary, modify and amend it.

  • Flexibility. The point is to show the work progress or ways to improve the result so that the website is capable to sell its products. The improvements log file helps to build an individual approach to the project and show the specialist what improved the results of promotion and what didn't. Therefore, based on this you can adjust the promotion strategy.

  • Specificity and conciseness. Each problem should be described briefly, and be informative as much as possible: date, problem, solution. Don't specify unnecessary information, but only what is really important. It is better not to include two errors into one sentence, but rather describe them separately, even if they seem to be similar.

  • On-time performance. You should timely update information about the changes and the results of the task. If this system works for a website, the SEO specialist and programmer will be able to communicate quickly and efficiently.

The document is also helpful for providing monthly reports to the client. Usually the improvements log file is sent to the client once a month.

If more often, the specialist's work pay rate increases because he has to prepare a document every day. If less often, you risk losing communication with the client. Moreover, the report for the client is written in a simple way, because most of the terms won't be understood by the user.

SEO specialist must be consistent and sketchy. It is always best to follow this kind of structure: it will be easier for the client to find the necessary information next time.

Log file content of the website

The improvements log file contains the following:

  • what was done;
  • how the website performance was improved;
  • what else needs to be done;
  • what they tried to do but failed;
  • additional recommendations and conclusion.

The first revision is carried out after the technical audit. Let's dive into more details about what changes on the website may take place.

Internal site optimization

Ideally, there should be one team working on the website involving Internet marketers, web designers, developers and SEO specialists. The latter will be able to develop a structure taking into account the semantic core because requests determine the logical part of the website. If the website is already done, the SEO specialist studies the structure and makes or recommends making changes in accordance with the semantics.

What can SEO specialist suggest you to do:

  • make a regional version of the website in a subfolder, if you need to attract users from a particular region;
  • add new pages for specific requests, if, according to the analysis, they will help in the promotion;
  • pages that must be present on the website: about, contacts, news; work on semantics and change the website tree.

It is very important to display each step and separate them by months in the improvements log file. For example, we make a link in Google Spreadsheets, track traffic data for the month,% changes and shortcuts for tasks that have been loaded.

Steps need to be split by type: bugs/improvements/new pages. Or changes related to the visual parts: interlinking blocks, filters; and non-visual: closed indexing. Therefore, you can see visually the change that leads to the decrease of conversion.

Semantic core and website structure

At this stage, the SEO specialist searches and removes search engine spam from the website. Nowadays programmers create people-oriented pages and content. Spam really helped to get to the top position ten years ago but not any longer. If you continue using it, you risk facing search engine sanctions.

Types of search engine spam:
Unnatural keywords or pure listing of all requests in the title, description and keywords meta tags.
Keywords replacement - excessive use of identical words in the text.
Abusing bold type (strong).
Using hidden text that is visible only to search engines, but not to users.
Cloaking is a method similar to hidden text. In this case, the search engines see one information, and the users see different information.
Doorways are re-optimized pages that redirect users to another website.
The Internet resource may drop in the search engine rankings because of spam. The other extreme is partial or complete loss of indexing the spam pages.

Detected spam is removed and is registered in the log file.

Web URLs of promoted pages

Search robots are more likely to respond to URLs that are easy to structure. The main thing you should remember when registering them is that they must be readable and understandable for users.

If URLs are changed, we set a redirect from old to new URL, and you should pay special attention to this.

You can also split the website into type pages. For example categories/cards, etc. And then makes notes of what happened to each of them. If there was any type of pages that were deleted, you should add this to the log file so that the next specialist doesn't repeat the error.

Tags and meta tags

Tags and meta tags are written or verified by a SEO specialist. He uses the most high-frequency query in the title in the direct entry, along with words that correspond to it (tag length should be 60 characters). The query should be easy to read:

  • wrong query: buy, car, St. Petersburg;
  • correct query: buy a car in St. Petersburg.

Recommendations for registering tags and meta tags can change, so you need to follow the SEO news to stay tuned.

The improvements log file as a product of communication helps to coordinate all changes with the developers or the customer. Otherwise, you will have unexpected errors on the website when the SEO specialist, for example, changed the URLs links to the SEO-friendly URLs that were responsible for downloading information for the Telegram bot.

Technical website optimization

SEO-specialist can do internal optimization by himself, so it is important to use an improvements log file. If for some reason you can't make changes, it analyzes and sends recommendations to the programmer, and then monitors his work.

At this stage, it includes several operations.

Check robots.txt file

This file controls the access of search engines to the website and indicates which pages to go to. Usually, the following pages are distinguished: the administrative part, service user information, and multi-level registration forms.

What should you check in the file:

  • Directives for search engines. There are permissive - "Allow" and prohibiting - "Disallow" directives. The "User Agent" string is important, indicating the person for whom the rules were specified.

Today SEO-specialists follow Google's requirements. If the "User Agent" is not indicated, the access of the search machines is considered to be unlimited. See Google instructions on how to create a robots.txt file.

Avoid common errors of the robots.txt file:
Incorrect location. The search engine will be searching for it in the root directory, where it is usually located. It will not go further, even if it's not there, and this will affect the position of the website.
Incorrect spelling. According to the robot's rules, the keywords must be written in lowercase letters. Some experts forget this and also forget to add an "s" at the end. This also affects the website performance.
If the website includes subdomains, this file is specified for each separately.
Cyrillic characters are not allowed here. If you need to write a domain in cyrillic, SEO-specialists use a special Punycode coding.
Recommendations for filling out robots.txt may change. Study the requirements of search engines regularly on the help page so you don't miss anything. Any changes to the file must be displayed in the improvements log file.

Sitemap Analysis

The specialist should check the following:

  • Sitemap.xml - for search robots;
  • Sitemap.html - for users.

If everything is okay with the files, the first will be able to quickly find the necessary information, while the second will have fast indexing.

The specialist includes any errors he found into the log file that need to be fixed in the future.

Internal Link Analysis

Internal links are needed for interlinking and navigation. Upon checking the links, the SEO specialist needs to make sure that they redirect users correctly, and don't give a 404 error.

For this, the SEO specialist:

  • searches for pages without textual internal links and if he finds, he does interlinking. It is harder to get the pages to the top position without them: they will not be indexed for a long time or they will constantly decline in ranking;

  • checks the number of links on each page;

  • analyzes anchor links. They must be unique and contain the keyword. It's not advised to use the keyword in the direct entry.

The analysis of internal links is carried out automatically through special services to speed up the work, for example Google Search Console. The analysis data is registered in the improvements log file.

Проверка страниц с ошибками 404

The website may have links to non-existing pages. To make users loyal to the website, you need to optimize the navigation and help users find what they are looking for. It is also important to advise visitors to use the search or sitemap, provide navigation for main categories.
Error 404 page example
If the requested page does not exist, you should see a 404 error page and not a 200 OK response. Such errors are recorded in the improvements log file and then fixed.

Analysis of page loading speed

Use Google service called PageSpeed Insights to check loading speed. It shows speed indicators for both computers and mobile devices. The tool allows to register data into the improvements log file on the download speed and methods that were used to optimize the loading. For instance, in the case of caching images.

Check cross-browser website

At this stage, it is important to ensure that the website loads correctly in all browsers, or at least in the most popular ones: Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. If there is an error somewhere or the forms slide to the right/left, this problem needs to be fixed.

Analysis of the order forms

In order to check this, you can fill out the order form yourself and check if you get a notification. If something does not work, you should find out the error and fix it, otherwise the website will lose leads. In case there is no order form or feedback, they are being customized.

Searching duplicate pages on the website

Duplicate pages or duplicate content are two or more pages with identical information. And even if the text order is changed (the text blocks are reversed), search engine takes it for a duplicate.

Duplicates may be generated by the website or plug-ins. It's hard to control this process, but if you don't remove them in time, your website's ranking will decline.

Also, the SEO specialist should:
Check tag cloud.
Analyze website navigation.
Make sure there are no popunder/clickunder ads.
Make sure the navigation of internal pages works properly.
Check whether the website has statistics services like Google Analytics.
Check the contacts layout in the schema.org standard.
Make sure the contacts are specified correctly (working phone number and company address) and the map is customized by Google Maps or other services.
Below mentioned factors is a must to do, but, as a rule, even more changes are required to promote a website. Most revision facts are lost over time, especially when a specialist works on several projects. Therefore, the improvements log file is a must-have for SEO-specialist.


The improvements log file is an important document for the multi-sided communication of specialists from different departments and for website work planning. We advise you to create a log file with a pre-organized structure with logical blocks and conclusions.

You can use Google Spreadsheets, Evernote or Trello to keep logs. There you can create boards and share access to them.

The parameters should be ordered by changes made and planning. All changes that the SEO-specialist plans to register by himself must be first agreed with programmers. This will avoid errors and quickly bring the website to the top position.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
Checklist at Serpstat" title = "How to keep improvements log file on the website 16261788308003" />
Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
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