In this blog, we will see a basic on-page SEO checklist that you can use to optimise your website to give a significant boost.
Search engine optimisation is a long-term strategy to rank your website on the top results of Google. It is a set of activities with varying levels of complexities.
Google has over 200+ ranking signals and we SEOs have to anticipate which signals to prioritise for better results.
While most SEOs focus of building backlinks to rank a website, the activity is pretty futile if there are technical loopholes in the site. Also, keeping technical issues aside, some don’t even focus on basic on-page SEO that plays a significant role in sending relevant signals to Google and build topical authority.
Back in the old days, SEO was limited to only keywords stuffing and building backlinks. But now, Google has become smarter day by day. Additionally, the majority of on-page SEO advice seems to be surrounded to focus on the placement of keywords on your page titles, meta description, and content.
In this blog, we will share some realistic parameters that you can check on your website for building a good on-page SEO that will help you to improve organic rankings after a long time.
Also Read: 15 Best Free Keyword Research Tools For SEO
Basic On-page SEO Checklist
Before diving deeper into our on-page SEO checklist, let’s first see the definition.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO or on-page search engine optimisation refers to the activities which are being performed to optimise website structure and content to improve the rankings and traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimised.
1. Great Content
When optimising your webpages, you always need to have in mind the following:
- A website should have original and relevant content.
- Images should be optimised as if the image size will be more, then the webpage may take longer time to load, which will lead to slow website speed.
- Add text to assist your non- text content. For example, if you are posting any image on your website, then try to add a text description that would help in recognising what the image is all about.
- Make sure the content provides value to your website and readers.
- The content should be unbiased and well – researched.
2. Optimise Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
For good SEO, it is very crucial to optimise the page title and meta description.
Let’s firstly know what a page title and meta description are.
Page title or title tag refers to the title tags, which are being published in the search engine results pages (SERPs). A useful title tag of a web page should be a concise description of the page and should have the ability to correctly define your business which will motivate users to visit your website.
Meta description (called meta description tag) refers to the description which is being displayed in the SERPs under the meta tile and describes and summarises the content of that particular webpage so that users can get attracted to visit your website.
Importance of page title in On-page SEO
Page title SEO and adding unique meta titles to the web pages of a website is relevant for two reasons.
- If a title tag is optimised for a target keyword, it is more likely to attract search engines and improve a page’s popularity on SERPs.
- It allows search engines to understand the article and rank the page.
Now let’s have a look at the improvement of meta titles. Your checklist should include the following title optimisation tasks:
- The title tag should not exceed more than 60 characters
- Create a unique page title page for each page on your website
- Using the target keyword close to the start of the title
- Write out the best headlines to create attention
- Communicate some values or benefits to the readers
- If you have the right brand name, then use it after your headline phrase
Importance of meta description in on-page SEO
It’s essential to focus on the meta description of any page because a compelling meta description has the power to increase the click-through rate of your organic search results.
Moreover, the meta description is the second thing that is being noticed after meta title so more of the people who see your page in the search results will click through and land on your site and will result in high traffic.
Now let’s go through some points which you should consider before optimising meta description.
- Keep it up to 155 characters
- Make it unique and communicate the most important message
- Use your focus keyword
- Make sure you provide value to the readers.
- Include a call-to-action such as “Learn more here”
- Make sure it matches the content of the page
- Ensure every page has a unique meta description on your site
3. Header Tags
Header tags are HTML tags used to differentiate the headings(h1) and sub-headings(h2-h6)of a particular page from the rest of the content.
These tags are not having a direct impact on your site rankings but play a more significant role for your users and your SEO. They can indirectly impact your rankings by providing your content an structure and helps in improving user experience.
Some key points to keep in mind while mentioning the headings are:
- Make the headings enjoyable so that it can be useful for users to read an article
- Make use of headings hierarchy, i.e. the first heading tag is the <h1>and then the <h2> and then so on till <h6> according to requirements
- You can use related keywords of your content in sub-headings
4. Image Optimisation
Image optimisation is reducing the size of the images as much as possible as it helps in improving page load speed. Better user experience and boosts the website’s SEO ranking. Furthermore, in the upcoming time, it will play a significant role.
Apart from that, well-written image file names and ALT tags are helpful for Googlebot to understand the images and rank it higher in Google Images.
Let’s go through the checklist to optimise the images efficiently :
- Compress your images
- Use unique images
- Use descriptive alt tags
- Ensure that your text complements the images
- Optimise your image file names
- Include captions
- Add image structured data
Pro tip: For better image SEO, create a business Pinterest profile, and start pinning your images with relevant boards there.
5. URL optimisation
Optimisation of your URLs is a crucial part of the on-page SEO checklist. It has two parts. The first part is the URL optimisation, and the second is the URL structure.
Good URLs should be less than 255 characters and use hyphens to ‘-‘sseparate the different parts.
Just like the page title, an SEO friendly URL is short, descriptive, and includes your target keyword.
6. Good User Experience (UX)
User Experience (UX) is an essential part of your SEO tasks. You should not only work according to the guidelines of search engines but also need to focus on your visitors. The more optimised and attracting your website will look, the more traffic and returning visits you will attain. So you should invest your time here also.
7. Internal Links
Internal links are those links that connect one page of a domain to another page of that same domain. It helps Google in indexing and understanding all the pages of your site.
Internal links are essential for three reasons:
- Helps in establishing an information hierarchy on your website
- Provide navigation to the users on your website
- Improves your Google rank as it gives an idea about the content structure on your website
8. Keyword Cannibalisation
Keyword cannibalisation is a practice that can damage your SEO performance. Also, it happens when several pages on your website compete for the same keyword or phase in Google.
Tips to fix keyword cannibalisation:
- Restructure your website
- Create New Landing Pages
- Consolidate your Content
- Find New Keywords
- Use 301 Redirects
9. Pagespeed Analysis
Page speed refers to the amount of time that it takes to load a particular webpage. Moreover, it is also relevant to user experience as well as it is one of the signals used by Google’s algorithm to rank pages. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time spent by the users.
If you want to do your website speed analysis, you can refer to this free tool of Google named as Page Speed Insights. It provides the speed analysis for both mobile and desktop view of your website.
10. Structured Data
Structured data also called schema markup, is a standardised format to mark up the information about the web page. It serves to search engines like Google, Bing, and others to better understand what the web page is about.
Structured data can lead to :
- High CTR
- Boost in Rankings
- More conversions
- Enhanced website authority
With this, we sum up our list of basic on-page SEO checklist that you can use to grade the quality of your website content. Work on these elements to improve the overall user experience of your website visitors to see positive results in the long term.
Stay tuned for more article like these where we will share how you can work on different aspects of SEO to rank on the first page.