A 9-Step Checklist For On-Page SEO
You’re in good company if seeing your web pages rise in the search results and attract more visitors makes you happy.
As a component of your entire SEO strategy, on-page SEO can assist you in achieving these outcomes. Here, we’ll define on-page SEO and provide you with a checklist outlining 9 measures you can do to enhance yours.
On-page SEO: What is it?
The technique of optimizing your web pages for searchers and search engines is known as on-page SEO. Better user experiences for website visitors and improved rankings are the objectives.
How does it work?
Your pages are optimized with the help of resources. This can involve, among other things, better alt text, title tag improvements, faster page loads, and picture optimization. The secret is to strategically optimize while focusing on the major ranking factors. You’ll be rewarded with greater visibility on search engine results pages the better your on-page SEO is (SERPs).
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to page SEO elements that are used to improve a page’s ranking in the SERPs and are found outside of your websites, such as backlinks from link building and social media marketing.
HubSpot calculates that Google processes over 63,000 search queries every second, although Google doesn’t provide detailed statistics on daily searches.
For on-page SEO, an image of a man holding a magnifying glass up to the number 63,000 in a search bar is used.
Let’s begin the on-page SEO checklist right away.
Here we Have an On-page SEO checklist with 9 steps
1. Keyword study
Finding long-tail keywords and search engine keywords are both parts of keyword research. Consider that you run the online store, Warby Parker, for designer sunglasses. You should conduct keyword research on relevant terms and create web pages that are optimized for them.
For instance, “Women’s eyeglasses”—which appears in both the title tag and the website’s topic—is probably a keyword for this page. We anticipate finding other women’s eyeglasses-related keywords on this page.
Women’s Warby Parker eyeglasses as an example of on-page SEO When you have a web page optimized for that primary keyword, you want to include related keywords. You should also make sure to provide information in line with the search intent, which could be that the user wants to buy, get information, or find a website. Much of the content on this website will be geared toward people who are looking to transact.
You can use Similarweb Competitive Analysis to find keywords for your web pages’ optimization. You can enter your brand name and the names of your top four competitors in the keyword tool to check which keywords each of you is currently ranking for.
The top 12 keywords for warbyparker.com and its rivals globally during the previous six months are shown here.
Keywords from the Similarweb Competitive Analysis for Warby Parker and its rivals as an illustration of on-page SEO
With Keyword Gap in the Keyword Research Tool, you can delve a little bit deeper and get a wonderful Venn diagram of the terms driving traffic to both your website and that of your competitors.
Check out the suggested prospects after that, as well as any SERP features you are missing but could still use.
When conducting your keyword research, keep in mind the following general, effective on-page SEO requirements:
One main goal phrase that’s relevant to your website’s content and your audience’s search terms
Placement of targeted keywords in the body text, the first and last paragraphs, the H1 (title tag), and the meta description
3 to 5 relevant keywords, each used only once in the material, but take care. Effective keyword research and placement across all of your company’s web pages are essential for on-page SEO.
Is there such a thing as too much keyword research? Kind of. Let’s examine the keywords you ought to stay away from.
keywords to stay away from
Savvier than ever, search engines can spot any keyword strategies that compromise the reading experience.
Concerning keyword placement, you cannot be slack. Ensure that both your old and new content incorporates your keywords naturally. Avoid using a lot of keywords because Google’s algorithm may interpret this as keyword stuffing and penalize you with poor ranks. Additionally, it gives visitors to your website a poor user experience.
Keyword cannibalization is another frequent blunder. When many web pages on your website appear for the same keywords, this happens. The outcome? You end up competing with yourself. Try to switch it up by making your keywords specific to each blog post or web page.
Meta tags help search engine crawlers (a type of bot) understand your web pages.
Meta tags are in your website’s HTML. You must set up your meta tags correctly and optimize them to get the best results.
Some examples of meta tags include the <title> and <description> tags within your page’s code – or your page title and meta description. These usually appear on Google’s search results page to tell searchers what your page is all about, in addition to telling search engines:
Google result for women’s glasses as an example of on-page SEO
The title for the first result is “Women’s eyeglasses & Designer Glasses | LensCrafters”
And the meta description explains the content on the Google search page. For example, “Browse glasses for women online or stop into LensCrafters for help finding the perfect pair of women’s glasses.”
Here are some best practices to keep in mind for meta descriptions:
Limit the character count to around 155 characters or less, otherwise, your description may be cut off.
Include the page’s focus keyword early on in the title.
Make it informative and actionable. You want it to be enticing enough for readers to click through to your page.
3. H1 tag
Your H1, Heading 1, is usually the page title. The H1 needs to describe the content on the webpage clearly and include the primary keyword. This is the title on the actual webpage itself, as opposed to the SERP. However, lately, Google has been using H1 tags on their search results pages.
While your H1 should tell readers what the page is all about and make them want to keep reading. The other headings all support the main H1 tag in a clear hierarchy.
For example, in this post, the H1 is: “On-Page SEO: An In-Depth Checklist Every Brand Needs.” All the other headers support this main topic. Effective on-page SEO always includes supporting headings — H2s and sometimes H3s and H4s, which brings us to the next section.
Whether it’s on their computers or their phones, most internet users today skim content. Headings and subheadings help you break up your content into digestible sections, so your audience and search engines can instantly understand the overall logic and structure of your page.
Here’s a quick breakdown and example:
The H1 tag covers the main topic of the page
H2 tags cover the main points of the page, supporting the H1
H3s give you more information about H2s
H4s give you more information about H3s
It’s important to note that not every page has H3s and H4s. Here’s our very meta example:
H1: On-Page SEO: An In-Depth On-Page SEO Checklist
H2: What is on-page SEO?
H2: 9 Step on-page SEO checklist
H3: 1. Keyword research H4: Keyword practices to avoid
H3: 2. Meta tags H3: 3. H1 tag H3: 4. Header tag hierarchy H3: 5. High-quality content H3: 6. Internal links H3: 7. Image optimization H3: 8. Featured snippets H3: 9. Schema markup
H2: Final thoughts
Ensure each subsection only contains 300 words or less, and avoid lengthy sentences and paragraphs within each content block.
5. High-quality content
Despite the importance of search engine optimization, your reader is your top priority in writing your content. You want to inform, engage, and impress them with your copy.
Here’s what high-quality content needs to be:
High-quality content is accessible, researched, concise, valuable, and polished graphics for on-page SEO
Accessible: Make the writing easy to understand, ideally at a grade 8 level reading score.
Researched: Use credible sources to back up your claims and information.
Clear and concise: Don’t use fluff to satisfy word count requirements or keyword additions.
Valuable: Provide useful information to help answer your readers’ questions.
Polished: Proofread your work to catch any grammar errors, ensure a consistent tone, and catch any factual mistakes from your research.
Keep on-page SEO principles in mind as you draft, but never at the expense of digestible, engaging, high-quality content.
There are plenty of useful tools out there if you need help crafting quality content, too. For instance, Hemingway Editor and Grammarly are both popular apps that highlight errors and provide useful suggestions for improving your writing. If you’re looking for SEO suggestions, Clearscope can be especially helpful.
If a potential customer or reader is already reading your content, why not lead them to more useful information? Your content might refer to relevant information that’s hosted on other parts of your website.
Add internal links where relevant to help your audience supplement their knowledge! An important on-page SEO best practice is to use a keyword as anchor text for an internal link.
A word of caution – don’t haphazardly plugin internal links where they’re not relevant. Search engines and readers are smarter than that, and you’ll quickly lose your page rankings and readers if you lead them to irrelevant content.
The women’s eyeglasses page on Warby Parker’s website links to a page for each model of women’s eyeglasses they offer. There are also internal links to a “frames quiz” to help you find the best eyeglasses. All of these internal links are helpful and very clickable for someone browsing eyeglasses to buy.
7. Image optimization
Every SEO manager knows that a piece of content should have relevant images. Free photo libraries like Unsplash and Pexels make image sourcing easier than ever. But that’s not enough, image optimization is crucial.
Image alt text helps search engines understand your image’s relevance to your content. In your image alt text, make sure to include specific details of what is in the image for people using a screen reader as well as your primary keyword to enhance your on-page SEO.
Alt text example for On-page SEO of different types of chat bubbles 8. Featured snippets
Featured snippets give you information to answer your search query directly at the top of the search engine results page. This can be a definition, list, table, or even video. Here’s an example:
Google search result for What are glasses used for Followed by a featured snippet as an example for on-page SEO.
That little highlight is called a featured snippet, and it only appears in the top search result of your question. You can optimize your page and promote the SEO keywords for featured snippets.
You can check how you’re doing on the Keywords page on Similarweb under Competitive Analysis and find which keywords rank for featured snippets under the SERP features column.
The keyword “prescription sunglasses,” for example, isn’t associated with the featured snippet SERP feature.
Similarweb Keywords and SERP Features for warbyparker.com and competitors as an example of on-page SEO
On the other hand, in the below example the keyword “why are graphics cards so expensive” can be optimized for a featured snippet.
Similarweb Keywords and SERP Features for warbyparker.com and competitors as an example of on-page SEO
9. Schema markup
Schema markup helps you further categorize your content. It’s yet another tool that helps search engines understand and rank your content. A form of structured data (SD), schema markup adds categories to information on your web page.
A common example is recipe web pages. If you search for a recipe on Google, the schema markup provides you with cooking times and calories for the recipe before you even click the result.
Structured data like schema markup can help you increase traffic to your website.
On-page SEO is one of the most effective methods of content marketing. Keep this on-page SEO checklist on hand for a step-by-step page optimization guide as you optimize live web pages and create new high-quality content for your websites or clients.