On-Page SEO Checklists Every Team Should Keep Handy

What Is On-Page SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing pages to get better rankings on search results. On-page SEO refers specifically to the type of elements worked on. You can find these elements on the webpage directly. Content, metadata, URLs are all on-page elements.
On the other hand, off-page SEO means the factors that you cannot find on the page. Examples of these are links and other external signals.
For ranking your website, on-page and off-page are equally essential to get where you need to go. While both are required, they differ in scope and techniques.
In the SEO process, the first thing that gets done is usually on-page SEO. This also involves considerable research regarding keyword and content choices. You also need to figure out what kind of audience you are going to reach. And it would be best if you tailored the content strategy accordingly.
Something to note is that on-page SEO has gotten more complicated. Earlier, you could work a bit on the heading tags, add a few keywords, and that was it. But today, competition has increased several-fold. This means that you need to get a lot of things right for the best results.
Another major test of on-page elements is relevance. You need to make sure your elements align with the niche. Optimizing your webpage content for the wrong keywords can have disastrous results.
Not just content, but there are other aspects of your website you need to optimize. Several factors affect on-page ranking factors. We’ve compiled a list of them you can check out.

1. Checking URLs For Length

The URL length is an important ranking factor when it comes to on-page SEO. It also makes reading much easier for the user.
The key here is not to have excessively wordy URLs. For example, if a page is about men’s electric shavers, the URL should be like This gives search engine spiders and users a clear idea of the page.
The less confusing your URL structure is, the better it is for your website ranking.
Ideally, there should only be one instance of your target keyword used. You should never cram multiple keywords into a URL.

2. Improving Title Tags And Description

Tags have become a hugely relevant part of the on-page SEO process. The title and description tags need to be appealing and compelling enough for users to click.
You need to make sure that it is creative and relevant to user searches. Here’s a good idea to get the best-ranked titles in your niche - search them yourself. You can get a lot of ideas online for your relevant searches.
You can use that as a baseline and put together something much better. Another thing you don’t have to worry about is exact matching keywords.
Research has shown that you don’t have to match keywords accurately to rank higher.

3. Finding The Right Long-tail Keywords

Choosing the right keyword is of paramount importance for the SEO process. This is the foundation of a good SEO campaign.
There are several tools you can use to highlight the right keywords. Google Keyword Planner is free and accurate as well. The key is to choose keywords that impact your marketing process significantly.
You should carry this out with several factors in your mind, including the price. It would be best if you chose long-tails because they have a much better chance of getting you relevant traffic. The more specific a search is, the more intent the buyer is usually.

4. Researching Keyword Competition

Another thing you have to note during on-page optimization is keyword competition. Choosing the right keywords is critical for a business. But you need to factor in how competitive it is as well. The higher the competition is, the more difficult ranking for it will be.
As a general rule of thumb, the broader it is, the more competitive it becomes. You’ll find that these terms have big brands and strong content online.
The best way to higher ranks is less competitive keywords. Initially, these can give you more results for your marketing dollar.

5. Optimizing Metadata

When it comes to modern SEO services, we sometimes ignore metadata. This is a problem because it still has the clout to improve SEO performance.
Search spiders use metadata to categorize your website. These have been around since the beginning of the first SEO audit. And they are still relevant today. Metadata covers everything within tags like content type, title, description, and viewport, to mention a few.
These can give you a tremendous advantage when used right. It is also essential to ignore metatags that are obsolete, like abstract, copyright, rating, revisit after, and more.

6. Reducing Bounce Rate

Something that plagues a lot of websites and brands is the bounce rate. When a person navigates away from your website without interacting with it, it’s called a bounce. Bounce rates vary across niches and websites.
The key here is to minimize it and increase dwell time. You can usually do this with engaging and eye-catching content. Another key to reducing bounce is to make sure that you stay relevant to your audience.
People have remarkably low patience these days. An average website only has about 10 seconds to impress them before they’re gone.

7. Adding LSI Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing is a process by which search engines determine the relevancy of a website. It compares various phrases and keywords, establishing the differences in the relationship between them. Earlier, search engine algorithms had a limited scope.
If you were searching for used cars, the search wouldn’t highlight websites with the keyword automobiles. Using these keywords can improve your traffic and can make older content visible.
This is especially useful for brands who have expert articles written which could not rank well earlier. But it is important to note that you should use LSI keywords to supplement your keywords. You should not replace your keywords with them.

8. Using One H1 Tag And Adding Keywords

A common rule of thumb that has stood the test of time for this long is that there is only one H1 tag per page. Even though John Mueller of Google fame says you can use as many as you want, people still stick to one.
In a study by Ahrefs, 85% of the high-ranking pages didn’t have keywords in their H1s. This is a huge missed opportunity. Having relevant terms in your titles lets your readers know they’re at the right place.
Another factor to consider is other people linking to your page. You get a lot more relevant backlinks by using keywords in your H1.

9. Adding Alt Text To Images

Another lapse of most SEO campaigns is that they do not always optimize an image’s alt text. Alt-text is a critical part of the ranking process. This is because search engine spiders do not “view” images as we do.
They only get information about them through alt text. This means the wrong alt text can have disastrous effects on various aspects of your website.
The more descriptive it is, the better chances it has of becoming relevant. Some plugins can help you get this done quickly. But it’s always a good idea to inspect the alt text before the website goes live.

Relevant : Image Optimization Tips

10. Creating An HTML Table Of Contents

Talking about organizing a website, a clickable table of contents is a great way to help people navigate. And this also works well for search engine crawlers. Another important aspect of this is that it can display jump-to-links on searches.
Here, a direct link to the relevant section on your website is displayed. This is going to improve your website traffic and SEO strength. And in the long-term, your website has a chance of ranking higher for that specific query. Remember that you need to use HTML and make it clickable to have the intended effect. Having TOCs also helps people create long-form content without compromising on usability.

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11. Optimizing Schema Markup For Rich Snippets

A bit on the technical side, schema markup is a code section included in your website.
This can help your website return more information about your website to search engines. It can give you better performance on search results. And this is perhaps the best way to be featured on rich snippets on search results. Schema markup is featuring additional data about your services for users.
For example, if you are a hotel, you can use schema markup to display vacancies or festivals. This can help your audience take a better call when logging on to your website.

12. Auditing Your Content

Content audits are one of the most tedious parts of an SEO campaign but are vital for performance.
Over the years, the content has been changing in scope and quality. As a business, you need to make sure that your website has the best quality content in the niche. Make sure that your content aligns with your goals.
Analyze your content for incorrect data. And if you need to modify the content, draw up an action plan which you can use to get it done. Also, check for gaps in your content strategy. This can be highlighted and resolved as well.

13. Improving Click-through Rate

They define click-through rate as the number of times people click on an ad from your brand. CTR is a critical metric for website ranking, and it affects it directly. It figures in the top five metrics Google considers as part of their ranking signal.
The simple way to improve CTR is to improve the quality of your ads and content.
The critical part is to ensure that you’ve got the basics right. Use visual elements to draw attention and work on the design aspects. It is also important to localize content - it attracts a lot of eyes.

14. Checking Internal And External Links

Internal and external links are avenues where a lot of traffic and link juice are generated. As a website, you need to ensure that you’ve got your link profile updated.
Cross-check the type of content and the link to determine if they’re still relevant. If you’re changing your website’s content, look at the links within them if they’re still correct.
Sometimes the website you linked to might have changed their article’s content. Or several other things that might happen. When you check links, you ensure that there’s no discrepancy as long as consistency is concerned.

15. Creating High-quality Content

If there’s one aspect of SEO that has grown more than anything else, it has to be the content strategy. Over the years, the content has become a considerable part of the SEO process.
From spun walls of text to highly unique articles, it has come a long way. Today, brands are focusing on delivering content that engages and relates to their audience. This has resulted in content revamps, which are aimed at a more fulfilling experience for the readers. Merely stuffing keywords into content won’t work anymore.

16. Writing An Engaging Intro

With plummeting attention spans of the average reader, the focus is on creating enticing content. The intro of any article holds the key to people staying for the rest of it. The important thing is to make sure the hook is strong.
The hook of an article is the part that grabs the attention of the readers. Ideally, the hook needs to be interesting and out of the box. It can also be something that readers face daily. It helps to get some research done when you’re writing an article.
Adding in viral topics at the start can also help.

17. Aggregating Content From Reliable Sources

One method to come up with a solid piece of content for your website is aggregation. Here, the aim is to get as much information as possible from other articles in the same niche.
After which, you research trending topics to add more data. And then you create the article. Because you’ve worked on getting as much information as possible, the article will stand out in searches. And if you’ve done well, people will link to it, and it even has a chance of going viral.
The content aggregation has enabled brands to put out content that has better quality than existing articles. It is also a reliable method of consistently adding content.

18. Ensuring No Grammatical Or Factual Errors

While it wasn’t a problem years ago, today, correctness is a vital ranking factor. As a content creator, you need to make sure that your content does not have grammatical errors. Most of you reading this must know of the EAT update from Google.
The focus was on getting rid of inferior quality content from websites. This meant that websites with many errors, both in terms of language and facts, were penalized.
Even if it weren’t for Google’s update, people would find mistakes undesirable. If you want to grow your audience, check your pages for errors and correct them ASAP.

19. Optimizing Website Design

Good design is part of every brand’s language and outlook. Most of the top businesses have well-designed websites that are pleasing to the eye.
Studies show that good design has a positive impact on people’s perceptions. You can refer to other websites in your niche for ideas.
As a general trend, you’ll find that minimalism is common these days. This with bright colors, websites have proven to be very impactful. Also, certain niches have specific colors which they use to appeal to their customers. It is important to understand your key audience before you start on the design.

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20. Fixing Keyword Cannibalization From Content

We’ve already touched on keywords and their importance to the SEO process. But if you haven’t paid enough attention to your SEO process, sometimes cannibalization can occur.
This happens when the same keywords are targeted on different pages.
This can lead to pages and keywords competing with themselves for rankings.
This is not optimal for a business because you need to have one page to deal with a single focus keyword.
It also means that you might have covered the same topic more than once on your website. This points to a lack of proper research before you start on a topic.

21. Finding And Fixing 404 Pages

A 404 error occurs when a user cannot find a page to navigate to.
Many people think 404s are nothing much to worry about. But contrary to popular belief, 404 pages affect your brand’s credibility. And when this happens, your search rankings also suffer.
The problems don’t end there. If you had a live link that is throwing up 404s for some reason, Google might even deindex it on searches. Also, the links pointing to these 404s will fail to pass link juice.
Google classifies them as broken links, which are even more of a headache for a website owner.

22. Identifying Broken Links

Broken links are perhaps one of the trickiest pitfalls of modern SEO. They are difficult to spot without a complete audit of your website. But can be damaging to your rankings and SEO metrics.
Visitors to your website usually click away from your website when they come across a broken link. The worst part is that the bigger your website, the more chances there are broken links.
There are tools available that can identify broken links quicker than manual audits. If you find that traffic is waning or other SEO metrics are dropping, it might be a broken link problem.

23. Checking If Page Is Using Structured Data

Structured data is a method of standardizing the data format to be read easier by search engines. This is a more consistent form of representing data and is beneficial for both crawlers and people.
If you have the right structured data set, there are fewer traffic bounce and other anomalies. You have several tools that can help you check this, including in the Google Search Console.
The most commonly used structured data formats are JSON-LD, RDFa, and Microdata. It can include a lot of information about any type of business.

24. Monitoring Outbound Links

Another metric that people find hard to keep track of is outbound links. These are links from your website to another website.
This is important for SEO performance because Google considers outbound links for ranking. And not just about ranking, users can get a lot more information from the article through an external source. It also allows you to prove that what’s on your website is authentic information.
There are top brands who even link to their competitor websites. While this is not advisable, if your competitor has an article worth linking that’s informative and brand-neutral, go for it.

25. Ensuring Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

A lot of websites are moving to become mobile-friendly, and this is great for business. One reason is that more than 50% of all web traffic is from mobile devices. This surge in mobile penetration is because of better internet speeds and high-end devices.
People are shifting their focus to quick queries and purchases to their mobile devices. So, it makes sense to ensure that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Since there are various screen sizes, a dynamic website would be the best fit for your audience.

26. Getting HTTPS Certificate

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS is that the latter uses encryption and is safer. The debate with using HTTPS for better SEO has been going on for a long time now. People just don’t believe that HTTPS is a ranking factor. But Google has dropped several hints through social media and its speakers that it is.
People find it hard to believe this because, earlier, very few websites opted for HTTPS. And because of this, Google classified it as a weak signal. But times have now changed.

Related : Importance of SSL/HTTPS for an Ecommerce Website & Its effects on SEO

Today when you use Chrome, it displays a warning when you browse HTTP websites. This is Google letting you know HTTPS is vital.

27. Disabling Unused Plugins

A good idea to clean up your on-page SEO profile is to check and disable plugins you don’t use. Having too many plugins can have a detrimental effect on your website.
If you have outdated plugins, it can even alter certain data points affecting your SEO strength. A good practice is to maintain a list of all your plugins on a document.
You could then audit this when required. It also gives you a quick overview of what you’ve installed. It’s especially useful if you have hundreds of plugins installed for your website.

28. Updating Articles With New Content

We’ve already touched on content aggregation. The next stage of content improvement is updating an article. The advantage here is that you don’t need to create new content from scratch. Just by including new critical information, you can offer your audience value. This is especially useful with blog content, more specifically, resource pages.
Resource pages tackle a specific topic in detail. Because the SEO landscape is volatile, these are bound to change over time. This is where you can bring updates to the topic and improve the accuracy of the information.

29. Creating Shareable Content

As a business, you need to take care of your branding. That is why most businesses share content centered around them. And while that is important, it is also vital to ensure the shareability of content. And to make content shareable, it should be objective and tackle current issues in the niche.
Content that is helpful for your audience will get a lot of shares. The key is to do your research about common pain points and offer solutions that work. You could also look at infographics as a shareable asset.
Visuals get shared a lot more than text. You have to remember that infographics require a different set of skills to create.

30. Optimizing Content Readability

Content readability is a new metric in the SEO landscape. Simply put, it is a measure of how easy it is to read the content.
This has many measurements, like the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease test. It can help determine if what you write can easily be understood.
This is also being implemented on search engine crawlers. It can segregate content based on their reading ease for users.
This is why you need to create content without too much complexity. If the copy seems difficult to read, it might just not be able to rank well too.

31. Adding Social Share Buttons

This is a simple task, and yet some websites don’t have them. Social share buttons are common now. And they come built into your website ecosystem.
They are powerful tools when you need content to be shared. They link directly to their social media, and they can share content with one click. Social media has a huge number of followers.
Close to 4 billion people today are on at least one social media platform. So, adding social media buttons maximizes your chances of getting more traffic.
Just the presence of share buttons is found to increase those chances.

32. Submitting New URLs To Google

An important step for on-page optimization is to instruct Google to crawl your website. This is especially useful if you’ve just made a few changes to your website.
It might take a few days or weeks, depending on various factors. But you can track your progress through the URL inspection tool.
Make sure that you plan this out because there are limits and quotas for submitting URLs for crawling.
All you need to do to submit your website is to log on to Google Search Console. From there, you can click to request a crawl. You might also have to upload your website’s XML sitemap if you want them to do your whole website.
Are you looking for an SEO expert to implement these on-page changes into your website? You can get in touch with our experts now!

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.