On-Page SEO Checklist - Optimize your Website 2021

On-Page SEO Checklist - Optimize your Website 2022

What is an On-Page SEO Checklist?


On-page SEO Checklist includes optimizing the structure and content of a website for search engines. This includes optimizing text, Title tags, internal links, and Meta descriptions on site pages.

Along with link building and technical SEO activities (which we will discuss in the following guides), on-page SEO is essential if you want your site to rank well in search results.

In this On-Page SEO Checklist, you will learn:

  • How to optimize the texts on your pages
  • How to write Title tags and Meta descriptions to help you rank better
  • How the user experience affects your ranking and what you can do about it


Note: If you still don't know which keywords your target audience is searching for to reach you, read How to Do SEO Keyword Research. For on-page optimization, it's essential to know which keywords you want to use to optimize your site.

Why do you need On-Page SEO Checklist?


Content is the most important factor in your SEO strategy. SEO results will fail if your content is of poor quality and does not provide users with value.

Search engines are increasingly preferring extensive content that completely covers the topic that solves the problem for users. The average length of text on pages that rank on the first page of Google is constantly increasing and usually ranges between 1500-2000 words per page unless it is a less popular topic or a less competitive industry.

No matter what industry you are in, a blog is needed on the page to achieve significant SEO results. It is necessary to write texts on the blog that cover the topic well, for which there is enough interest, which you can determine with the help of keyword research.

Here's what you need to pay attention to when it comes to On-Page SEO Checklist:

Before we move on to the On-Page SEO Checklist, first a few things that should not be done.

How not to do on-page SEO


Google gets smarter over time.


It used to be enough to put a large number of keywords on the site pages that you wanted to rank for, buy a bunch of cheap links from sites of dubious quality, and your site would rank on the first page of search engines for those keywords.


Today, something like that is impossible. Google's algorithm now penalizes sites that practice such and similar undesirable activities that are not a good measure of the quality of the site and its content.


It may sound rather rigorous, but the reason behind it is simple.


Google wants to provide users with relevant content, which will give them answers to their questions and solve the problem they have.


Of course, Google is not doing this out of altruistic intent but to keep users making pretty good money through Google advertising.


Also, it is essential for SEO that the content you publish on the site is original. In this way, you also avoid potential legal problems. Even if you use someone's content on your site, it may be interesting to your users, but Google will not rank that page well in terms of results.


Everything we will talk about below must be observed through the user experience for your on-page SEO to give results. Avoid excessive insertion of internal links and keywords. Such an approach will not bring you SEO benefits.


Okay, now that you know that questionable SEO practices are bad for optimization, let’s move on to the On-Page Checklist and see how to optimize your content.

 

Use of keywords in the text


I just said that you don't use keywords excessively in the content text, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use them at all. Every page and text on the site should be optimized around a keyword or phrase.


This does not mean that it is the only term for which the page will be ranked, nor should you use it too often - it is enough to use a keyword for every 200-300 words of text.


Also, it is essential to mention the keyword once in the first 100-150 words because Google attaches more importance to the text at the top of the page.


For example, if you rank for a keyword: Top 8 Dog Breeds


Your first 100-150 words should start, for example:


We decided to explore the topic of the lifespan of dogs and to explain in more detail which are the Top 8 Dog Breeds that should stay with us the longest.

 

Analyze My Writing is a tool you can use to determine how often you have used a particular term in your content. Select the Common Words and Phrases option and click Analyze Text. This tool has several other options that are very useful if you are writing content, such as readability analysis and the use of passives in the text.

If you are starting to optimize your site, focus on including "long-tail" keywords in your text. These are phrases that don’t have a lot of searches per month, but that’s why you don’t have much competition in ranking for them either. This increases your chances of being on the first page of results for those dates.

 

Heading tags Checklist


Heading tags are pieces of code that help search engines understand the content on a site. H1 is the main title of the page. H2 is the subtitle, H3 is the subtitle within H2, etc.

This title structure makes it easier for search engines to index because, based on the organization of the content, they can understand what the page is about.

The title of the page will usually be the text in the H1 tag, but this is not always the case. You can check if a page has an H1 tag by right-clicking anywhere on the page and selecting “View Page Source”. 


Heading tags Checklist

A new window will open with the HTML code of the page where you can look for an H1 tag that might look like this:


<h1 class=”entry-title”>Title</h1>


Each page you optimize should have one H1 tag that contains the keyword you are targeting. Depending on the length of the text, it is advisable to add more H2 tags, one or two of which could include your keyword.


<h2 style = ”text-align: center;“> Subheading 1 </h2>


<h2 style = ”text-align: center;“> Subheading 2 </h2>


If you optimize your site in Blogger or WordPress, the page title will automatically be H1. H2, H3, etc. titles, can be easily adjusted via the Blogger panel. Just highlight the text and select the Heading tag you want.

 

Blogger Heading tags checklist


Internal links Checklist

Internal links are links that lead from one page of a site to another page of that same site and are among the most important factors when it comes to on-page SEO.


It is essential to distinguish between navigational and contextual internal links.


Navigational internal links Are links in the main menu, footer, etc.


Contextual internal links - Are links found in the content of the page. Contextual links are what interest us here because search engines give them more importance while navigating links give much less importance.


Although internal links do not directly provide SEO benefits, they help Google find and index multiple pages of the site, which helps in the long run in ranking.


The best way to take advantage of internal links is to post links to sites that are already ranked well to the pages of the site that you want to improve your ranking.


The anchor text (the part of the text to which you link) must contain the keyword for which you want to rank the page to which the link goes.


For example, at the beginning of this On-Page SEO Checklist, I added a link to the anchor text “Keyword Research for SEO” which leads to a guide of the same name.

 

Like keywords, internal links should be used sparingly and only where it makes sense to users.  

 

Title tag Checklist

 

The title tag is part of the HTML code whose purpose is to signal to search engines the title of the page of the website on which it is located.


On-Page SEO Checklist Title tag Checklist

This tag may or may not be the title that is displayed on the page. This means that you can customize the Title tag for search engines and users on Google, while you can customize the title of the page for users of the site.


The title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO Checklist factors. Title tag helps search engines understand what is on that page. When a site appears in search results, the Title tag will be the first thing users see, and their first impression of the site and brand will depend on whether it is optimized.


Also, when sharing your page on other sites, the Title tag will be displayed as a title.

So how do you optimize a Title tag?  

  • Add a keyword. The title tag should contain the keyword for which you want the page to rank. It's even better if you can add it at the beginning of the Title tag, and the title makes sense. 
  • Optimize the length. The title tag should ideally be between 45 and 55 characters long. Otherwise, search engines will "cut off" the title with "..." If you can't shorten the title text, it's okay to exceed the character limit a bit. This won't affect SEO much directly, but keep in mind that it will probably reduce your clickthrough rate (CTR).
  • Mention your brand. If you still have some space left in the title tag, a great way to fill it out is to mention the brand at the end. It is best practice to separate the brand name with a "|" (my recommendation) or "-". This will make your Title tags look clearer.

If your site is not created in Blogger or WordPress, you can define the Title tag in HTML inside the <head> tag of the page you are optimizing and it looks like this:

<head> <title> Enter the title tag of the page here </title> </head>

Meta description Checklist

Like Title tags, Meta description is an HTML element that describes the content of a page. This is the description of the page you see on the search results: 

Meta tag On-Page SEO Checklist

Each page of your website should have a unique Meta description. It describes the content on the page and summarizes what users can find out there.

Adding a keyword to this description will not directly affect your search engine rankings. However, it can increase the organic clickthrough rate, which is one of the factors in Google's user experience when ranking. Google also bolsters the words in the Meta description that match the term entered in the search.

Each page of your website should have a unique Meta description. It describes the content on the page and summarizes what users can find out there.

Adding a keyword to this description will not directly affect your search engine rankings. However, it can increase the organic clickthrough rate, which is one of the factors in Google's user experience when ranking. Google also bolsters the words in the Meta description that match the term entered in the search.

The length of this description should be about 150 characters maximum. 

If the site is not created in Blogger or Wordpress, the HTML implementation looks like this:

<head> <meta name = ”description” content = ”Enter the text of the meta description here.” /> </head>

URL address Checklist

 

URLs are the addresses of individual content on the Internet. Search engines display URLs on search results, so naming and formatting URLs can affect how many clicks you receive from your search. Users use URLs to decide which websites to click on, and search engines use them to rate and rank pages.


Optimizing a page URL is pretty simple. URL:


  • It should contain a keyword
  • It shouldn't be too long - both for the browser and for the user experience

 

If your page address contains more than one word, separate them with a middle line (-). Some web browsers may not understand your URL properly if you try to separate words with underscores (_) or if you combine them all.


It is also important that the URL structure of the site makes sense.


For example, which of these two URLs is clearer to you?


seobloggertips.com/2021/12/what-is-seo-and-why-do-you-need-it


or


seobloggertips.com/2021/12/seo?=need-42158


URL optimization alone will not improve your ranking as much as the other techniques listed in this guide. However, combined with them and a better user experience can significantly improve position on search results.


Image optimization for On-Page SEO Checklist


For the images on your site to be well optimized for search engines and users, you must write a name and alt text (alternative text) for each image that describes well what is in the picture.


You can add keywords within the name and alternate text of images, but only if they make sense about the content of the picture.


The alternative text tells search engines what your images are about, which helps them better understand the context of the entire page and rank your picture in image search results. This text also helps visually impaired users understand what is in the image while using screen readers.


In Blogger, you can change the image name and alternate text by simply clicking on the image.

 

You can also enter the title and alternate text of the image through HTML:


<img title = ”Enter image name here” alt = ”Enter alternative image text here” />

 

External links Checklist


External links are links that lead from your site to another site. Although it may sound strange, linking to other relevant and quality sites can be good for SEO.

There are a few things to keep in mind for external linking to bring on-page SEO benefits.

Link exclusively to quality sites that are useful to your audience and have links to your content. Avoid suspicious sites that post spam content and links.

Don't overdo it with external linking. Include a link somewhere that makes sense and provides users with a source of useful information.

Set external links to open in a new tab. Time spent on the site is one of the SEO factors, and you do not want users to leave the site in the middle of reading your content.


User experience Checklist


User experience is an important SEO factor that is gaining in importance with each new update of the Google algorithm.

Many things affect the user experience, color, site structure, text size, and position of certain elements on the page. These are topics that we will discuss in more detail another time. Here we will focus only on the SEO factors that most affect the ranking.


Organic CTR clickthrough rate


Organic clickthrough rate is the ratio of users who click on your link in the search results to the total number of users who only saw the link but did not click.


If a large number of users click on your link in the results and visit the page, it is a signal to search engines that the site is relevant to that search term.


The main factors that will affect the clickthrough rate are:


  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Position on the results page


Earlier in the text, we looked at what it takes for your Title tags and Meta descriptions to be well optimized, both for search engines and organic clickthrough rates.


Your current position in the results significantly affects your clickthrough rate. Users are more likely to click on results that rank better unless they are satisfied with those results and must continue to search for the information they need.


If the rate of organic clicks on a result is consistently higher than the rate of clicks on results that rank better, search engines will eventually push the link with a higher clickthrough rate to a better position.


You can find the organic clickthrough rate on the Google Search Console platform in the "Performance" section.


Google Search Console Performance

Here you can see the average organic CTR for all pages, and by clicking on individual pages you can find out the organic CTR for that particular page.


Average Time On Page - Google Analytics


Search engines calculate the time users spend on the site, especially if those users came through organic search


You need to immediately interest users and keep their attention to spend as much time as possible on the site. If you don't have a lot of information on the site or if the content is poorly organized, users will quickly lose interest and leave.


Use short paragraphs and lots of pictures in the content - this will make it easier for people to absorb information and reduce reading fatigue. Also, use a legible font and a font size of at least 14-15.


If you have video content about what you offer on the site, add a video to pages where it makes sense. This will increase the average time on the site because people will keep watching the video.


In Google Analytics, you can see how much time users spend on pages in Behavior> Overview> Average time on page.


Google Analytics behavior

The ideal average time users spend on your site would be over 3 minutes so try to strive for that.

 

Bounce Rate


The one-page visit rate is the percentage of visitors who leave a website without taking any action, such as clicking on a link to another page, filling out a contact form, or making a purchase. The goal is to have the lowest possible bounce rate.

That tells search engines whether people are happy with your site.

Of course, if users visit only one page and leave the site, it does not necessarily mean that they are not satisfied with the content. They may have found what they were interested in and didn't have to go any further, but you should try to get them to do something.

If it's a blog, you can add links to related texts to the right of the content or in the text. Users interested in more similar information are likely to click on one of these links instead of going back to search results and looking for another site.

You can also add an exit popup to collect user email addresses, which is activated when someone tries to leave the site. If done correctly, this does not have to be intrusive or spoil the user's impression.

You can view the bounce rate in Google Analytics in the section Behavior> Overview>
Bounce Rate.

Google Analytics bounce rate

Try to lower this percentage below 40% 


Page Speed


The loading speed of the site does not directly affect SEO. But it has an impact on other factors of user experience that we have listed so far.

Users today don't have much patience for sites that take a long time to load. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, it will simply go back to the results and click on another site.

I recommend two tools to check the speed of the site:


In my experience, Pingdom is the most accurate when it comes to specific load times. The main limitation is that you have a limited number of regions where you can test your speed. Nevertheless, these regions will usually be enough for you to get a rough idea of the speed, as well as a few suggestions on how you can speed up the site.

Pingdom Speed Test - On-Page SEO Checklist

Google Speeds Insights won’t give you such an accurate picture of your upload speed, but you’ll get a general speed rating and lots of suggestions to speed up your site.

Google PageSpeed Insights Desktop - On-Page SEO Checklist

 

More importantly, this tool also gives you data on download speeds on mobile devices. As most users will visit the site via mobile phone, you must also optimize the download speed of the mobile version.

Google PageSpeed Insights Mobile - On-Page SEO Checklist

Try reducing the website load speed to less than 3 seconds on all devices. Anything beyond that can lead to user frustration and abandonment of the site.


Conclusion


On-page SEO involves more than just inserting a few keywords into the text. You need to provide users with quality content that offers them the information they are looking for while at the same time being tailored to search engine algorithms.

Jasmin K.

SEO Blogger Tips The main goal of this site is to provide quality tutorials, tips, courses, tools, and other resources that allow anyone to work online and master digital marketing.

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