Are you looking to improve your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results? Do you want to make sure your content is optimized for SEO? If so, then our on-page SEO checklist is just what you need!
It’s been more than 7 years since I’ve been doing SEO. During this time period, I made so many mistakes but kept learning, and day by day I became a professional. From my all-good experience and experiment, I have made this complete On-Page SEO checklist to make it easier for learners. So, rush below and make your content properly optimized.
On-page SEO is one of the most important aspects of SEO, and it is the foundation of any successful SEO campaign. To make your SEO campaign successful, you have to follow an up-to-date on-page SEO checklist because aspects of SEO change over time.
In this article, I have come up with an updated On-Page SEO checklist that has given me a lot of campaign success in recent times. If you follow this guideline in the proper ways, you will definitely be able to create an effective SEO strategy to get the desired results. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to find out!
The Checklist Started
1. High CTR SEO Title
In order to make sure that your content stands out from the competition, you have to make sure you have a high CTR SEO title in your content. You might be thinking about how to create a high-CTR SEO title.
The best way to do this is to put your keywords in the SEO title, keep the title relevant to the search query, and must contain actionable words.
It’s a bit tricky because you have to create an attractive title with a maximum of 60 characters. For example: For the keyword “moneybag”, an SEO title should be like, “Top 10 Moneybag That You Can Buy In 2023”.
To implement SEO title tags in WordPress websites, you can go to “edit snippet” and change it. And for a Raw Code Website, you might have to create HTML code to add/edit snippets. In that case, tools like Meta Tags can assist you in creating snippet code for your website.
2. Keyword In Article Title
In addition to the SEO title, it is also important to have a primary keyword in the article title. But that does not mean keeping just the primary keyword in the article title; you can add some words to make the title sentence make sense about the whole article.
However, in modern SEO practices, you can’t forcefully add any necessary words or phrases to any sentence. So, if you failed to implement your primary keyword in the article title naturally, then you can use some other words with the same meaning or intent.
So, try to add your exact keyword in your article title. But to make the article title more natural, you can modify the keyword.
3. Add Featured Image
Adding a feature photo with the correct settings is extremely important, as this has some significant benefits. Obviously, there is an on-page SEO benefit, but beyond that, it makes a post look standard, which increases clicks from search engines.
So you must create it or find a relevant photo on the internet, edit it to make it more appealing, and then upload it to the website to make it a feature photo. While uploading a feature photo, you must set the photo’s alt tag with a keyword and fill in the appropriate bar setting.
But before uploading a photo on a website, there is some work of image optimization, which you will find in the next section.
5. Image Optimization
It’s been a good practice to use light, fast loading, and quality images in suitable places, as it makes content easier to understand and also helps in ranking content in SERP. Not only that, a poorly optimized image can reduce engagement as the reader feels bad when it takes time to load a page’s image.
So, your image on a webpage should have the correct bar setting, be of good quality, and be small in size. Here, the first thing you have to do is create an image or collect one from copyright-free sources (such as Pexels) and then rename it with relevant words related to your content.
After that, you have to reduce the size of the image. To do this, you can compress the image using suitable tools. As not every tool gives quality output at lower sizes, you can use TinyPNG to reduce the image size properly. You can also change image files from JPG/PNG to WEBP format using tools like CloudConvert to make images lighter.
4. Image ALT tag
Adding a proper ALT tag is important, as search engines get image information from its tag. So, if you add relevant images to your post with a proper ALT tag (using a keyword or LSI that is related to images), then the search engines will understand that you have been using relevant images on your webpage. And that will give a positive impression of your content to search engines, which may increase your chances of ranking higher.
Before uploading the photo, keep these 4 things in mind:
- Rename the media properly. Try to keep the targeted keyword if possible
- Resize the image properly with article
- Fill Up the image Title and Meta with the right context
- Add keyword friendly ALT text
6. SEO Meta Description
The SEO Meta Description is the first thing that appears in the SERP after the title. So, definitely, it should be attractive to catch people’s attention and get them to click on your content.
Despite having added snippets, search engines such as Google now choose snippets on their own. However, if your meta information is appropriate to the searcher’s queries, then it will appear in the SERP, but it’s unusual nowadays because resourceful content contains a lot of information and ranks for so many keywords. And that’s why Google picks meta information from the content itself to match with searchers’ queries.
It may happen, as Google is working strictly to give people the most relevant and key information.
Despite that, you must add an SEO-friendly meta description. To make your meta description SEO optimized, you have to use the primary or related keyword in the meta description, make it easy to read and use actionable words that can bring more clicks.
You might be thinking, “Why should I add a meta description if Google chooses meta information from the content on its own to make it appear?” Well, meta tags give the primary information to search engines, and that matters!
So, do not forget to add a high-CTR meta description within 160 characters.
7. Keyword Density
A well-optimized article must have keywords in the introduction, the middle of the content, and at the bottom. It demonstrates that you have written an article that contains relevant information from beginning to end.
Though it is good to have a good keyword density, using too many is not so good for content. A good rule of thumb is to use the exact keyword no more than three times per thousand words of content.
In addition, you must implement keywords naturally throughout the content. If you fail to implement keywords naturally, then the crawler will guess that your content is mainly focused on SEO, when it should be focused on information.
8. Keyword In Introduction
Having primary keywords in the first 100 words is a good practice. Doing so, content becomes more engaging as it assures users that they are on the right page.
Not only that, but keywords in the introduction and the bottom indicate to the crawler that the content is on point, and that helps a lot in terms of ranking.
So, you must ensure there is a keyword in the introduction. And if it is not possible to use the exact keyword naturally, you can use a modified version of the keyword.
9. Keyword in H1
There should be only one H1 tag at the beginning and it should be the content title. Here, your H1 tag should represent the whole content in one sentence, and must contain the main keyword!
For example, your content’s focus keyword is “budget laptop,” and for that, you can add an H1 tag as “5 Best Budget Laptops You Can Buy.”
10. Keywords in H2, H3
Content must have an appropriate heading structure to make it easy to understand for humans and crawlers alike. And to make the heading structure more relevant to the keyword that you want to rank for, you have to use keywords in it. But as using keywords too many times is not a good thing in SEO, it is better to use the LSI version of the keyword or secondary keyword in the H2 to H6 tag along with the main keyword.
11. Use the main keyword in the footer of the article
Using the main keyword one time at the bottom is necessary because it is an indication that your content was all about the keyword from start to finish.
If you do not use the main keyword in the footer, then the crawler may think the content ended up with a different intent. For that, you must use the main keyword at the bottom.
12. Use LSI & Secondary Keywords
There are tons of benefits to using LSI and secondary keywords. First of all, you can’t use the main keyword too many times, and here, LSI and secondary keywords help a lot to keep content to the point.
Secondly, when content contains a lot of a keyword relevant to the main keyword, search engines pick a lot of keywords from the content to rank for. As a result, the content ranks for different keywords and brings a lot of organic traffic.
13. Post URL
Search engines like Google give more and more priority to the user experience. And using meaningful words in URLs can give the user-focused information about the content before clicking on it.
So, while adding permalink for a content, it is better to use the main keyword. For example, for a keyword like “best leather moneybag”, the contents URL should be like “www.example.com/best-leather-moneybag”.
By doing so, people who click on your post can read the URL while it loads, which increases their impression of the blog even before reading. Where a messy URL instills fear into people’s minds as if they’ve clicked on a spam link
14. Internal Linking
To provide good value to the reader and increase website read time, adding internal linking is important. It not only gives value to readers, but Google gives priority to websites that contain a good internal linking structure.
However, you have to follow some basic rules while internal linking. These are: (1) Always use internal links with do-follow link attributes, (2) Add internal links through the post where necessary and provide value to the reader, (3) Don’t use excessive exact-match keywords for internal linking, (4) If the content has a mother or pillar content/category or page, make sure to add an internal link to that post/page.
By following this internal linking strategy, your content will be more valuable to people and it will increase the chances of your content ranking higher.
15. External Linking
It’s good to add some external links to the post where necessary. Like internal links, it increases content’s value to readers by providing the most related content link.
However, there are some benefits to ranking higher for using external links. As using a link gives a better user experience, search engines give priority to content with an external link over content with no external links.
When adding an external link, it’s important to use relevant anchor text, set the “nofollow” attribute, and set “open in new tab.” But if the site is an authority site (like Wikipedia, Healthline.org), you can set a do-follow link attribute for them.
16. Use Short Paragraphs & avoid extra spacing
Content with short paragraphs looks good and seems easy to read. On the other hand content with long paragraph takes a lot of time to understand the point inside. It is because there is no rest option in a long paragraph and for that people keep reading the whole paragraph and failed to understand the facts properly.
So, definitely, it takes a lot of time to understand a long paragraph compared to a short one. And that’s the reason, content with long paragraphs is prone to have a higher bounce rate than easy-to-read content.
In addition to this, you have to avoid extra spacing in the content. Using short paragraphs and avoiding unnecessary spacing makes content more appealing to readers, and readers’ positive interactions increase the content’s value to search engines.
17. Video Content
Sometimes adding video content helps a lot to make the article easy to understand. Not only that, but it helps the author too when describing a complicated topic that is hard to explain in words. For that, using videos on content is a good On-Page SEO practice.
It doesn’t matter how well you apply SEO strategy, your content won’t shine if it is duplicated. So, the total post should be uniquely written. But how to ensure your blog post is totally unique?
For that, you must check your content before posting it on the website. Here, you can use tools like Copyscape to check for plagiarism, and if found, you can simply modify it before publishing.
19. Set Canonical URL
A canonical URL is more important than you think. A website can have multiple URLs for the same pages. Here, canonical URL guide crawlers to avoid duplicate content by specifying the correct version of a page to be indexed.
Common CMS like “Shopify, and WordPress” have default canonical URL settings that you don’t need to worry about. But it is better to recheck the canonical tag before publishing the content or immediately after publishing the content.
In case you are using an old CMS or, raw code website which has a lot of pages with the same content, then you must set a canonical URL to prevent search engine crawlers from indexing the wrong pages.
For example, if you have multiple versions of a webpage like “www.example.com, www.example.com/index.html, www.example.com/index.php” then you have to choose one URL from them and make it canonical. Then, you have to add rel=”canonical” tag in the HTML code for that URL, which will tell search engines that it is the original version of the content and other URLs are just a copy of this URL.
Well, if you are doing On-page SEO for a fresh blog, you may not need to work on redirection, but for re-optimization, you may need it if you want to change the blog URL.
For those who don’t know what redirection is: Redirection is the process of forwarding one URL to another. It usually becomes important when someone changes their website’s old URL.
But what happens if someone forgets to set redirection? If you do not redirect your URL and your potential visitors click on the old URLs from internal or external sources, they will get a 404 error page, which is not good for the user experience. So, to prevent this, you have to add a redirection to your old URLs, which will forward your visitors to the new URLs.
However, you have to make sure that the redirection type is 301, which means this is a permanent redirection. The “302 redirections” is another type of redirection that you have to avoid because it is a temporary redirection and it may cause problems with ranking on SERP.
21. Mobile-Friendly Check
People nowadays use their mobile phones more than their desktop/laptop to search for something on the internet. For that reason, search engines now give more priority to web content that is mobile-friendly. Not only that, a lazy load website on a mobile phone can reduce engagement. Which is not a good thing!
That’s why you must make sure your published content page is mobile-friendly. Here, you can check your web page’s responsiveness using the Mobile-Friendly Test tool. So that you can edit your content to make it mobile-friendly if you find any errors.
22. Speed Check
It is necessary to make sure that your published content loads faster. It is because a slow webpage suffers to perform well in SERP. But there is some content that ranks higher despite having a slow loading speed. It is unusual and happens because there are so many factors that affect ranking. So, do not depend on luck, and make sure your content loading speed is fast.
But, how to make your webpage speed fast? If a website’s technical SEO health is okay then you have to just avoid large images and heavy codes in content to ensure better loading speed.
So, you must ensure that the content you are optimizing or has just been published has a good loading speed. In that case, PageSpeed Insights works very great. Here, if your find your page load speed is slow then you can make it optimized.
23. Add FAQ
By answering questions that readers may look for content becomes more useful and brings a strong engagement. In addition, FAQs also make content more unique and informative to the crawler’s eyes. Isn’t that a good thing?
However, if you have covered the whole article and all necessary information is stuffed well inside the content, you may not need to add FAQs.
24. Submit for Index
Submitting your content for indexing is extremely important, as it helps search engines recognize and crawl your content. There are some tools, like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, that you can use to submit your content to search engines. Not only that, but these tools will also help you to troubleshoot any problems related to your content crawling and indexing.
However, it is recommended to request indexing for only 2-3 pages per project per day. If you request too many pages to index per day, then it may take a lot of time to index your content.
So, after creating your content, make sure you have submitted it to search engines. It will help search engines to recognize your content and index it faster.
25. Call to action
It is critical to include actionable words in strategic locations. You can add CTAs in different places, like the title and meta description. And for business purposes, you can add actionable words inside the content with proper anchor text.
There are different purposes for adding CTA in different places. By adding “call to action” words, your title may look more attractive to searchers, which can bring you more clicks on web pages. Similar things happen when you add action words to the meta description.
You also have to apply CTA in the content as well. CTAs within the content make your content more business-oriented, which can bring leads to your business.
So, make sure you have added a call to action at an appropriate place.
26. Schema Markup
Schema markup is a code language that can help search engines show your content in SERP with more rich snippets or featured snippets. Though this is not actually an On-Page SEO task, if possible, it is better to add it while doing on-page.
There are many types of schema markup available, and you can use them according to your content. Here, you can use schema markup for content type, image, video, review, rating, event, product, service, and many more.
So, if you would like to add schema to your content on your raw code website, then you have to create schema code and then test it to see if you have done it right or not.
I think you know what can happen if anyone submits mistakenly the wrong codes. For that, it is better to make sure all codes are accurate before implementing them on the website. Here, you can check your schema codes using the Schema Markup Testing Tool to ensure your code is accurate to implement.
However, if you are using WordPress, then you can use a plugin like “Schema Pro” to add schema markup.
27. Table of Contents
A table of contents is a great way to organize your content. This helps readers go through the content easily and quickly.
However, adding a table of contents is not just for making the content easy to read, it also helps search engines understand the structure of the content and makes it easier for them to crawl.
For that, you have to create a complete and organized table of contents with the relevant headings and subheadings. You can use any plugin to create a table of content or use HTML or CSS to design one.
Is On-Page SEO Checklist Enough for Ranking Higher?
It’s important to note that on-page SEO alone isn’t enough to guarantee higher rankings. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and they take into account a range of factors when determining how to rank websites. As such, it’s important to understand the importance of off-page SEO as well as on-page SEO.
Off-page SEO involves activities such as link-building, social media marketing, and content marketing. These activities can help to boost a website’s authority and visibility and can make a significant difference in its rankings. It’s important to understand that these activities are just as important as on-page SEO, and should be given just as much attention. For that, you must follow an Off-Page SEO checklist to keep your content ahead of your competitors.
In addition to off-page SEO, it’s important to understand the importance of the technical aspects of a website. This includes optimizing the website’s code, structure, content, and server to make sure it is optimized for both search engine crawlers and users.
Technical SEO also involves optimizing the website’s internal linking structure, as well as setting up and optimizing a sitemap.
To summarize, on-page SEO is an important part of achieving higher search engine rankings, but it’s not enough on its own. It’s important to understand the importance of off-page SEO as well as user experience if you want to achieve results. With the right combination of on-page and off-page SEO and a user-friendly website, you can achieve higher search engine rankings.
On-page SEO plays a major role in achieving higher rankings and getting more organic traffic. Following the above on-page SEO checklist can help you make sure that your website is optimized for search engines and is able to rank higher in search engine results pages.
However, it’s important to remember that on-page SEO is only one part of SEO, and you need to combine it with off-page SEO and technical SEO if you want to get the best possible results.
We hope this comprehensive on-page SEO checklist will help you make sure your website is properly optimized for SEO. If you have any questions or need assistance with SEO, feel free to contact us. Good luck!