On-Page SEO Checklist- Complete Guide 2021
On-Page SEO is surely the most important factor when it comes to ranking higher on search engines.
That is why, today, we are going to discuss the checklist of on page seo.
If you can implement half of the checklist, you will surely get a good result. However, you should try to implement all of those to get the best result.
What Is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your web page or content for the search engine to rank your page higher on search engine result pages. This is not the same as off-page SEO where you need to send signals to the search engine to prove your authenticity and relevancy.
It is something where you will work with your content inside. If you want to Learn SEO, this is the first and most important step. It includes optimizing content, URL, web pages, and others.
Why Is On-Page SEO Important?
Now the question comes why on page seo is important?
In 2021, on page is most important.
You will see many sites that rank higher on search result just because of on page SEO. Even Google officially said that relevancy is the most important ranking factor in its search pages.
But how can Google understand the relevancy of the page?
Well, Google is much smarter than ever. It can find the relevancy by the keywords presents on the page and how users see the page.
Also, it checks the bounce rate, dwell time, search intent, and others to find out the relevancy of the pages to rank it higher.
So overall, this is the most important thing for your website if you want organic traffic.
On Page SEO Checklist
Now let’s move into the on page SEO checklist. You have to ensure all of those before publishing any content on your website. You can either write it down to your sticky note or save this page or bookmark it on your browser to make sure you are following all the things before publishing.
Do Your Keyword Research
On page SEO starts with keyword research. If you fail to do proper keyword research, chances are very low that you will get success in other parts.
How can you do such proper keyword research?
Well, this is surely a technical part, but it is not that difficult at all.
You can use tools like ahref, mozbar, and Google Adwords to find out the right keywords for your niche. Besides, you can go answer the public to find out what people are looking for about your niche. There are lots of forums available, too, where you can find out different keywords as well.
If you are not interested in putting that much effort into finding the right type of keyword, you can simply research your competitors. You will surely find some amazing keywords from them.
But how can you understand whether the keyword is good enough or not?
There are three questions you should ask to find out the right keyword.
Ask yourself whether the keyword is relevant to your niche or not. A lot of people make this mistake and choose some keywords that are not even related to the niche. It will ruin the authority of your site, and that can badly impact the optimization of your site.
The second question you need to ask is the search volume. If there is not enough search volume for the keywords, it means that no one is willing to know about the topic.
Finally, you need to check the competition you have for the keyword. You may find some good keywords with relevancy and good search volume. However, maybe some high authoritative sites have already got ranked for those keywords.
Now, do you think you can beat them at all?
Of course, not.
So make sure there are no high authoritative sites ranked on your keywords. Also, it will be easier for you to rank higher with a long-tail keyword. So try to find long-tail keywords too.
Find Your Primary Keyword
After researching some good keywords, choose a primary keyword.
Why is it important?
You cannot focus on many keywords at all. It will not give you a good result.
Think about it. You are focusing 5 to 10 keywords. Now what search engines will understand your content? In which keyword, the search engines will give you a rank?
That is why you need to make sure you are focusing on only one keyword and creating your content based on it.
Find LSI Keyword
It means some related keywords. For example, suppose you choose your primary keyword “on page SEO checklist.” Now your secondary or related or LSI keywords will be “on-page SEO steps,” “SEO checklist for developers”, “on-page SEO tutorial”, “on-page SEO factors”, “on-page SEO techniques”, and others.
But why are these important?
Remember, we have discussed the definition of on-page optimization? It is providing the signal to the search engines about the authority and relevancy of the site.
These related keywords help search engines to get an idea about the topic of your content. Think about it. When you see those related keywords, you can easily understand what this content is all about. If you can make search engines understand better about your topic and relevancy, you will get a higher rank for sure.
How can you find out those related keywords?
Use Google search. Simply search on any topic you want, and you will see some related keywords under the search result pages. Also, if you just start typing your main keywords, Google will show you some suggestions. Those are some related keywords too.
After researching all your keywords and related keywords, it is time to create content.
You may have heard it many times that content is the king.
Actually, yes, content is the king.
If you can create better content, surely it will get a higher rank. But how can you write that type of content? Well, follow these methods.
In-depth: Your content should be in-depth. What I mean by in-depth is that it should have all the information a user can ask about your topic. If you can fully satisfy your user with your content, that is in-depth. For that, you can go to forums and blogs related to your topic and find out what people are looking for. By doing that, you will get a complete idea and write in-depth content.
Skyscraper Technique: Another great way to write better content is the skyscraper technique. In this method, you need to read and analyze the top 20 posts ranked on Google on your keyword. After analyzing that, make better content than those 20 with more information and better structure.
Original: Also, the content has to be original. Of course, there is nothing original you can write about right now. But you can write in a way that people find it unique and different from others with more information.
High quality: To ensure high-quality content, it has to be grammar and spelling error-free. Google now understands the error. So if the content has an error, it will less likely rank higher on Google.
Keyword density: When writing high-quality content, carefully place the keyword. Some people put too many keywords in one content. Google or other search engines will see it as spammy. So keep things natural. Don’t try to put any keyword unnatural. Nowadays, keyword placement does not matter much. You should use a maximum of 0.3% keyword in your content.
Search intent: Search Intent is another important factor for content. There are four types of search contents—informational, transactional, comparison, and navigational. In informational content, people look for information, such as how to optimize your content.
In transactional, people look for buying something such as the best fan for home. In comparison, people want comparisons such as on-page SEO vs. off-page SEO. For navigational, people look for specific information such as Brian Dean. So make sure you know what type of content you are writing and, based on that, write great content.
LSI and synonyms: Another great way to make search engines understand your content is LSI and synonyms. You must not use 0.3% keyword. But you can use related keywords and synonyms of your keywords naturally.
Content format: Finally, consider the content format. Research your competitors and create a format better than them that people will love to read.
The first step to optimize your content is the title. When people search for anything on search engines, they see the title at first on the result page. If the content does not have a good title that makes people click the content, you are not going to get any visitor at all.
You should write an attractive yet fully relevant title to increase CTR. You can use modifiers such as best”, “top” or others as researches showed that modifiers increase the CTR. Also, try to keep your keyword in the first place of the title. Keeping the keyword in the title is a must for you. If you use any date in the title, make sure it is up to date.
Besides, do not make the title too long. It will not be fully seen in the search result, and that can reduce the CTR. Try to keep it under 60 characters.
After clicking to the result, the user first sees the intro. If the intro fails to draw attention to the audience, the chances are high that he or she will not read your content carefully. So try to keep it short and attractive. In your intro, the reader should understand what he is going to get from your content, and it has to meet his search content.
Another thing you should do is to place the main keyword in the first 100 words. This is important to optimize your content properly.
An ideally optimized web page should have the main keywords in the title tags. Create tags and use your keyword in that tags. You can use several heading tags in your content. However, do not use your exact focus keyword in every heading tag. Using too many keywords in the heading tags will make your content over-optimized.
You should consider the content length as well. There is a myth that the longer the content is, the better. However, it is not fully true. If you stuff your content with lots of irrelevant information and make it longer, that will not provide any value to the reader. As a result, your rank will drop.
So what can you do?
Should you write content with a smaller length?
Research your competitor and see who ranks higher on the search pages. If content with long length rank higher, you should write longer content than your competitor with all relevant information. On the other hand, if most of the ranked pages are shorter, try writing shorter content.
No matter what you do to optimize your content, if people do not like to read your content, it is worthless. An optimized content should be readable. For that, write in a small paragraph. Do not make a paragraph more than 4 lines.
You see, how I write the content.
Even there is one line paragraph too. Why am I doing that?
Because it will help read it easily.
So make sure you use small paragraphs so that it increases the readability of the users. At the same time, use punctuation properly. Try to avoid any long sentence as it destroys readability. Moreover, write content in an active voice. Yes, you can write in a passive voice sometimes, but try to avoid it as much as possible. It improves the writing tone and makes the sentence clear.
Internal linking is useful too. It increases the authoritativeness of the site. When you interlink your content, search engines think that all your pages are related, and it gives a good signal to the search engines. So make sure you do link your content one to another for maximum relevancy.
While doing internal linking, it is important that your link opens in a new window. If the link opens in the same window your page is currently loaded in, it will increase the bounce rate. You surely do not want that at all.
Similar to internal linking, you should do external linking too. You may link some high-quality, relevant web pages to your content. It will provide a positive signal to the search engines.
When you link any relevant external site to your page, search engines think you do it for relevancy and helping the user to get more information about your topic. Similar to internal linking, this link should open in a new window too.
You can get a lot of visitors with your image.
Google image is a powerful source to get visitors. When you can rank your image on Google image search, you can get tons of visitors easily.
For that, you need to add some authentic, relevant, and unique, high-quality pictures in your content. Do not just download any image from Google and add it. Collect high-quality images and, if possible, create your own design.
It will help you create your own brand as well. Besides, optimize your image.
To optimize your image, rename the image with the keyword before uploading it to your page. Also, use the keyword as the Alt tag since Google will count it too. Make sure the size is perfect for your content and website.
Along with adding an image to your content, you must add a featured image. Without a good featured image, your content is not fully optimized at all. Try to add a featured image that completely represents the content. You can either collect it, buy it, or make it yourself with any software.
When uploading the featured image, make sure you rename it with the focused keyword. Also, use the focused keyword as the ALT tag. Keep the size relevant and accurate with your content and web page.
Use Short URL
Though URL is not a direct ranking signal anymore, it indirectly has an effect now. When you see a long URL in the search result, you tend not to click that link. Your link should be lean so that anyone can easily read it.
For that, you can simply use your focus keyword in your URL. For example, in this article, our main keyword is on-page SEO. In that case, our URL should be either mywebsite.com/on-page-SEO or mywebsite.com/on-page-SEO-checklist.
It is easy to read and looks good. As a result, people tend to click on that link, and when people click more on your title, you get better ranking.
Another thing you must do to optimize your content is using the tag. When publishing your content, make sure you add your focused keyword as the tag. You may also add some relevant tags too. However, it is fine to use one tag. It allows search engines to easily understand the topic of your content.
Write Optimized Meta Description
You will see almost everyone is suggesting you write Meta description.
Is that bad advice to follow?
You should write an appealing Meta description to attract your audience to click your content. Though not many people check the description before clicking the title, you should add it because some people check. Besides, most of the time, Google picks the description itself.
So do not bother much about it. However, don’t leave it blank. Since it takes only a few minutes to write a good description, you should write it.
Try Video Content
People are becoming lazier day by day. They do not like to read the entire content thoroughly.
You know, the more time your audience will remain on the page, the better signal it will send to search engines. As a result, you will get a higher rank.
Try some video content. It will keep your audience on your page for a long time. Make sure the video is fully relevant and unique. You can either make your own video or embed videos from YouTube or other video-sharing platforms as well.
But it has to be high quality so that people do not get bored watching it. Also, embed it from the right platform so that it plays smoothly.
Social Sharing Buttons
Social sharing plays a vital role in ranking your page. If you get a lot of social shares, the chances are high that the content will rank higher.
So you need to make it easy for your audience to share your content easily. For that, you should add a social sharing button aside or under the content so anyone can share it easily. If the content is good, you will surely get a lot of social shares, and that will boost ranking.
This is a common mistake a lot of people do.
They write different content on an almost similar topic. As a result, almost the same information gets covered in all those contents. Google considers it as cannibalization.
The best thing you can do is to cover all the relevant and necessary information in one content. It will make the content more depth and also help people get all the information they are looking for.
Is your page crawlable?
No matter how good your content is or how optimized your web page is. If your content is not crawlable, it does not mean anything at all.
Google needs to crawl a page in order to rank. If it cannot crawl your page, how will it rank your page?
You can see whether your page is crawlable or not in the robot.txt file. Also, check the “NoIndex” tags as well. These are the main culprit here. So check it and solve it if there is any problem.
Page Loading Speed
If you search for anything, click on any result, and it takes too much time to load, you surely don’t wait. You will click the go back button and come back to the result page. Then you will go for the second result. The same goes for your audience too.
That means your page should load faster. You can check page Speed on Google speed checker or any other page speed checker. Also, now Google insight plugin is available for WordPress, where you can see everything.
Most of the users use mobile to search and visit anything nowadays. In the last few years, the use of mobile has drastically increased, and the number will go on more. That is why your page has to be mobile friendly so that you can reach most of the audience.
Google recently declares it as one of the major ranking factors openly. So if your page is not mobile-friendly, it is not going to rank at all. Also, you need to make sure it is suitable for pc as well. For that, you should use a responsive theme and plugins.
It will help your page load smoothly on both pc and mobile so you can reach all your audience and get a higher rank.
If your page has already ranked on the first page, you should use featured Snippets. It will increase the CTR dramatically. You will see a significant change in the CTR when you add the featured snippets in the search result. So add it in those pages that have got rank in the search pages.
When doing internal linking or external linking, you have added some relevant links. Among them, some of the links might not work now. Those are called broken links. When people click on those links, they end up reaching a link where there is no content. It makes people frustrated and not come back to your website at all.
To ensure the on-page optimization, you have to find out those broken links. But finding those broken links is not that easy at all. It requires time and effort. There are some amazing plugins and extensions available that can help you find the broken links.
HTTPS is another important on page SEO factor Google has declared. So it is important to have HTTPS on your website. You will see that almost all the top websites are no using HTTPS now. If you are not using this right now, you are surely backdated.
It ensures the security of the user data. Also, when a user visits your site, he or she sees a warning sign in the browser if that site does not have HTTPS. As a result, that user wants to come back from that site. That is why it is a must-have thing for your website to ensure on page SEO.
Font Type and Size
User experience is really important. All the search engines care most about the user experience. That is why you should focus on your font type and size. It has to be large enough to be read easily and not that big to make it uncomfortable to be read. Also, the type should be standard. Otherwise, people will not like to read your content, and that can badly impact your ranking.
Markups or schema markups do not impact the ranking directly. However, it makes your page different from others in the search result. It shows ratings, featured images, and lots more. As a result, people click more on that link.
So if you want to increase the CTR, you should add schema markups to your page. It will improve the CTR, and when it increases, your rank increases too.
Nowadays, voice search is being used more and more. With the increasing use of smart devices such as Alexa, Google Home, and others, people are using this voice search more and more. It is possible that I near future, people will use voice search more than anything.
That is why you need to do voice Search SEO too. The best way to optimize your content for voice search is by using FAQ pages and FAQ schema. When you use this, search engines pick the query and answer it from the FAQ section. So add some relevant FAQ to your page.
EAT refers to Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Google now looks for these things in your website. This is mostly suitable for sensitive topics such as medical, insurance, law, and others. So if you have any site like these, you need to ensure your site represents expertise, authority, and trust.
What did I mean by expertise?
Well, your site should have all relevant content on a specific topic that indicates that your site as an expert in this field. Authority means your site has the proper authority to write about this content. For example, if your site is a medical site, you have the degree or certification to write about this topic or not. Simply, you are a doctor or not.
Similarly, for trust, you need to ensure people trust the information you provide, and also, the search engines find your information right and accurate. In this SEO industry, you cannot get a good rank with those sites without EAT. So, ensure all of those.
Another important thing most people ignore is the author. To increase engagement and trust, you should add a valid, authentic, and real author profile on the page. It will help your audience know about you and your expertise. When they know about you, they will trust you more than anyone having no profile for sure.
For that, make sure you have a visible author profile with detailed information. Also, it has to be authoritative. The author should be real, and he or she should have social profiles so people can know more about the author.
Call To Action
And finally, add a call to action.
When you add a call to action, it increases engagement. People generally do not like to be engaged. But when you push them to engage, they do it. So add any call to action.
Try to make your audience buy, visit, or comment. It will help your site rank higher indirectly.
You see, Google or other search engines are continuously trying to provide users better content. You have to adapt to that. If your content is easy and fun to read to the user, Google will surely rank your higher no matter what.
That is why I have come up with a complete checklist for on page SEO. Now match this On-Page SEO checklist with your site and comment below about the condition of your site. Do you see the gaps? Do you now understand why your site does not perform well after doing so many things?
From now, follow this checklist and make sure you have done all these things to rank higher. Of course, not all can be done properly for sure. But try to as many as you can to optimize your content properly and ensure a better user experience. Wish you the best of luck.