Well, how boring and tiresome it is to read hundreds of articles related to SEO, and on-page SEO optimization when you are looking to improve your SEO strategies. Isn’t it? We know all of that because we have been there too!
You need not worry further because we are here with a complete On-Page SEO checklist that will make learning and applying it practically much easier for you.
What is on-page SEO?
To put it in easy words, on-page SEO is the process that involves optimizing your website, including all the back-end and front-end components to bring in more traffic and increase your reach and rank in search engines.
On-page SEO helps in improving the user interface and user experience of your website along with improving ranking.
On-page as the name reads, are the changes and tweaks made on-page, which will be visible to you or the visitors.
For eg: this is the On-Page SEO result generated from SEOptimer for our website
Each and every element of the on-page is all up to you. So, you need to properly understand the importance of every element in order to do it the right way.
Importance of On-page SEO
Prevailing in organic search today requires enhancing a combination of elements that search engines consider significant, specifically for On-page SEO optimization.
Throughout the long term, we have seen expanded interest and importance of off-page methods.
Some examples will be external link establishment and other specialized components.
Even then off-page SEO won’t be really beneficial in the event that you fail to focus on the fundamentals of on-page SEO.
Tech-savvy SEO analysts know that on-page optimization is something that needs constant attention.
What’s more, in light of the fact that the search intent is consistently developing, it’s critical to ensure your On-page SEO information is modern and updated according to the latest rules.
Google, with its plenty of intricate calculations, is presently much better at:
Understanding what clients are really searching for when they type an inquiry.
Conveying search results that meet client expectations (informational, transactional, navigational).
Adjusting to this advancement is fundamental, and you can do it by guaranteeing that your site and its content are both valid.
Relevancy matters when it comes to your clients and their search intent.
The On-page SEO components should not always be focused on search engines and ranking.
User experience and their validation are important when it comes to Google indexing your site.
That means that HTML tags, organized information, and other On-page SEO elements need to be improved, edited, and changed according to the latest rules and standards.
Assuming that you put exertion into on-page methodologies, you will see an increase in visitors to your site and also visibility in your search presence or ranking.
Below are the elements of on-page SEO that you need to know about.
The elements of On-page SEO are:
- Title tags
- Meta description
- Excellent on-page content
- Structured markup
- Proper page URLs
- Site speed
- Image Alt-text
- HTML code
- User experience (UX)
1. Title Tags
Titles tell both your audience, guests, and search engines what they can find on particular pages.
To guarantee your site pages rank for the right search intent, make certain to remember the main keywords for each page.
Try to incorporate your keywords as normally as possible and avoid keyword stuffing.
Here are a few points to work with while developing a page title:
- Hold it under 70 characters (per Google’s update) any longer, your title will be cut off in search results and will not be visible. You can check this using the Yoast SEO Tool.
For eg: here is our recent Newsletter post, and you can see the title is all good and it indicates a “green” color bar, otherwise it would turn “red”.
This not only presents a spammy reading but search engines nowadays are very smart and they are designed specifically a way to monitor such things and penalize content that appears tacky, spammy with heavy or over-use of keywords.
- Try to make it relevant to the page. This is an important point as you might have seen that sometimes when you search for a particular thing and you visit a page, only to find out that it is completely irrelevant to what you searched for. So, to avoid this, you are required to make your title as relevant as possible to the page. This can be done by checking the SERP and understanding the “search intent” properly.
For eg: if you search for “best SEO tools” you will find out that all the search results are “commercial” by search intent. Let us show you this with the help of SEMRUSH
- Try not to utilize all caps as it looks bulky. Prefer a uniform font to make it appear more professional and better.
- Try to incorporate more of your brand or brand name in your title.
You can make it like:
“Complete On-Page SEO Checklist for 2022 – SEOVERSE”.
Headers refer to the HTML component h1, h2, h3, etc.
These tags assist with sorting out your content for the readers and audience.
It also assists search engines to identify and distinguish which piece of your substance is generally significant and relevant.
Try to incorporate significant keywords in your headers, however, pick unexpected ones in comparison to what’s in your page title.
Try to put the most significant keywords in your h1 and h2.
3. Meta description
Meta descriptions are the descriptions that are visible before you click on a page to read more.
It is visible in the search results, under the title when you search for a particular thing.
Meta descriptions do not come under the official factors of ranking but it is very much responsible for when your audience decides to click on your page or not.
So, this is the reason behind its importance when you are doing On-page SEO.
Try keeping your meta-description length under 160 characters as it is the standard value.
Although you might find that Google allows you to use up to 220 characters, you might also keep in mind that mobile devices will allow visibility to 120 characters and the rest will be cut off.
So, just be very careful with what you are writing in your meta description.
You need to be clear and concise. You can incorporate your entire keyword or even phrases of your keywords.
NOTE: Try to avoid using alphanumeric characters such as +, & or #
4. Excellent On-page content
Well, you must be familiar with the saying “Content is King”, and well that is right.
You are going to grasp the attention of your website visitors with the help of other elements of On-page SEO but you are going to retain their attention and make them spend a lot of time reading and browsing your On-page content.
A lot of things go into the creation of perfectly SEO-optimized content. This is also where your audience’s search intent comes into question.
The job of Google is to impart to people the content they are looking for. Google needs to fulfill the searcher’s intent through your content. This is where the optimization, relevancy, and value of your content come in.
Optimized content is a perfect balance between authoritative text supported by the right blend of keywords.
Your content should be easily readable (to check your readability score you can use Hemingway)
and understood by people while also being completely plagiarism free.
Plagiarism is a huge thing when it comes to content, so you might want to steer clear of it as it can land you with a manual penalty.
5. Structured markup
It refers to the different elements of your website or your content that involves marking it up to make Google find it easily while also understanding your content.
Content features like snippets and knowledge panels that you see on Google are all because of structured markup.
It is also the reason behind how a piece of particular page information is so well visible or shown when someone on social media shares your content.
To add structured data to your page, you can read more about it on schema.org.
Or if you want to generate the JASON-LD code directly visit MERKLE.
Just select the type of schema you want to generate.
For eg: We choose “FAQ Schema”
And we are ready with the JASON-LD code.
It is considered to be technical SEO but we have included it here in On-page SEO elements to help you create a better experience for your users and audience.
6. Proper Page URLs
The page URLs of your websites are important and you need to keep them coherent.
Your website visitors and search engines should find it easy to grasp your page URL at a glance.
Try to incorporate only one to two keywords in the URL and get rid of additional or unnecessary words.
Using HTTPS is preferable now as Google uses it as a ranking factor positively.
7. Site Speed
Search engines nowadays determine how relevant and fast your page loads when it comes to ranking factors.
Site speed or page speed will have a huge impact on ROI and conversions too.
You can check your site speed with the help of Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool
It will give you a complete analysis of your Page speed score and the various opportunities to improve your page speed score for a super-fast loading site.
So, it is important to keep in mind that Google does not want to rank websites or pages which are slow-loading.
Hence, you need to optimize your page speed and give the best user experience.
8. Image Alt-text
Image Alt-text is like optimizing your images from an SEO perspective.
It helps in sending a message to search engines, telling them what your images mean.
Google is now delivering information based on images as much as text-based.
Try to make your image as descriptive as possible and avoid using too many keywords.
Use your keywords sparingly and make your text relevant to the bigger picture or the message that you are trying to convey.
Try to keep your text below 125 characters as it is the accepted standard value.
9. User experience
User experience is the most important ranking factor which helps search engines find your relevancy faster.
Giving a great user experience also means decreasing your bounce rate and increasing your ROI.
Here is the graphical report of our website’s bounce rate for the month of March.
By improving the UX, we were able to get an improvement in the Bounce rate by 22.54%
All the above elements of On-page SEO when combined and worked on together to set up in the right way are guaranteed to create room for a great user experience.
If everything goes well and smoothly, there will be an increase in user engagement.
Thus, prompting Google and other search engines of your site and content relevancy and compatibility.
How to increase User Engagement?
On your page, you can add value to your content and boost your engagement rate by:
- Utilizing clear titles that show the subject of each segment of your substance to further develop relevancy.
- Make bullet points and lists to guarantee that the material is more straightforward to filter.
- Integrating pictures and video into your content.
- Making important suggestions to take action (CTAs) that urge clients to snap and access related content.
- Having a spotless and fresh format that does not divert clients from your substance.
- Ensuring the page speed is quick by following load time best practices.
- To battle this, ensure you’re tending to the primary inquiry or point without skipping a beat.
- Page speed and site speed play a very important role in retaining the attention of your clients.
Now that we have understood what the elements of On-page SEO are, let us dive into the complete On-page SEO checklist.
Complete on-page SEO checklist:
1. Try crawling your website
Crawling your website will help you get an insight into your website visitor’s point of view.
You can also get to have a look at all the pages of your websites that search engines have indexed so far.
For crawling your site you can use the Screaming Frog SEO tool. It will provide you with the perfect and advanced SEO audit report of your site so that you can inspect the weak points of your site in terms of SEO.
You should focus on your web address, page title, and the meta description of the page when you are crawling and getting insight.
2. Perform an SEO audit and try to define the architectural value of your site
Now that you have got an insight into your website’s working condition, you need to pay attention to where your existing pages are seen at the moment.
Carrying out an SEO audit will help you plan your implementation that will give you beneficial results.
It will also help you in identifying all the foundational issues your site might be having at the moment.
This is most important as foundational issues highly affect or have a huge impact on the organic search and ranking factor of your site.
3. Start with updating your meta descriptions, page titles, and URLs
Try to review and make all the necessary changes in your meta descriptions, page titles, and URLs.
For page titles, try keeping the character under 30-60. If you use more than that, it will be cut off and not visible.
So, check for a page title that has more than 60 characters and optimize it accordingly.
Again you can do it with the help of Screaming Frog. Just go to Page Title > Title Length and remove ones showing more than 60+ characters.
For meta descriptions, the recommended or standard length is 160 characters.
Likewise, check for discrepancies with your meta descriptions and optimize them properly.
Writing a catchy and good meta description is essential as it is one of the most important ranking factors.
Try to be creative and incorporate catchy words and phrases to catch the attention of your audience with your meta descriptions.
4. Keep your keywords in your URL and your content throughout
The work of incorporating your keywords in your URL is a small task but it has a huge impact.
Try to use 1-2 keywords in your URL. Use it sparingly with just 1-2 keywords and not more than that as using more than that will have a negative impact on your site as keyword stuffing.
Just like this make sure you use the right number of keywords according to your content and do not go overboard with it.
When it comes to keyword placement, balance is the key. Not too much and not too less should be in your mind when you are writing your content.
5. Make a habit of tracking keywords as per your topic and for each of the pages on your site
This is one important checklist you have to be very mindful about.
Tracking keywords will come under the balancing and placement of keywords as per your content.
You can use a Keyword research tool like SEMrush and keep an eye on your Top ranking keywords.
For eg: We are looking at the Top 10 keywords for Neil Patel
Just go to semrush.com > Top Organic Keywords > Position: Top 10
and you will get a good list of all the keywords that this site is ranking for.
Or you can use Google Search Console to check up your keywords.
Just go to GSC > Performance > Queries
Prior to writing your whole content, you can perform thorough research on your topic.
Take your time, research your topic and also perform your keyword research.
The search volume and keyword density all play a very important role in choosing a keyword.
Try to think of your keywords as the topic designated for each page. This will make it easier for you to understand and choose which keywords are relevant for each page. It will in turn help you focus on one keyword per page, which will make it easy for you to rank for that particular keyword.
Some exceptions are to be made on the homepage and product/service description page as it is going to explain to your clients what your website is about and the services you offer.
For this, you will need more than just one keyword. You will need to focus on more than 3-4 for this.
6. Avoid stuffing keywords
There is a huge reason why you should incorporate your keywords as naturally as possible because keyword stuffing has a very negative impact on your site ranking.
Search engines like Google will penalize your site or content if it appears tacky and spammy due to keyword stuffing.
Many people who have just begun with On-page SEO make the mistake often of keyword stuffing.
They tend to use as much as keywords possible, although it appears to be just pasted there without any relevancy or context.
Once a visitor finds your site to be spammy, Google does not go ahead with indexing your site in site rankings.
Instead, as we mentioned earlier, it will penalize you for keyword stuffing.
7. Try establishing a value proposition
A value proposition is often overlooked and it is important to provide your audience with meaningful and relevant content other than just thinking about ranking factors.
Each and every page on your website should have a purpose and relevant content that will speak to your audience.
8. Try to define your target audience first of all and then plan for a further implementation strategy
Defining your target audience is the key to ranking your site and improvising your site according to it.
You need to be sure, to whom you want to reach out through your website and services.
You need to plan your content and its constituents according to that.
Just keep in mind that you are speaking to your audience that are humans, through your site and that your site is just not for bots and search engines.
Furthermore, you can plan and implement all the edits, regarding the title, and meta descriptions as discussed above.
9. Try adding more visual content and optimizing it accordingly
As we have established by now, your ranking factor also depends on the images you use and the alt-text you write for it.
Content does not always mean text and explanation; it can be in the form of visual representation which you will accomplish through your images.
Optimize your images likewise and also remember the relevancy of the alt-text that you will be writing.
10. Add external and internal links
Incorporating internal and external links throughout your website is important.
Try to make sure that you do not stuff your anchor text with keywords. In this scenario too, you need to use your keywords sparingly.
External linking makes Google trust your site to be credible and relevant. It is as important as internal linking.
11. Finally, optimize for conversions
This is the part where you think about your ROI, increasing the number of leads, customers, and subscribers.
Keep in mind that when On-page SEO is done correctly, each and every page of your website becomes eligible for monetization or conversion.
For this, you need to include Call-to-Action on every page, at least one each.
For eg: through our website, we try to inform everyone who visits our website with FREE courses and certifications using the effective CTA buttons.
Although you may find that many websites have multiple CTAs on many pages.
Once you are done identifying all your foundational issues and planning your implementation and editing work, it is time for you to put it to work.
Remember all the points while making your changes and keep in mind that it is not something that you are done with working once.
On-page SEO techniques keep on changing and it is something you need to work on continuously.