If you are still determining whether your on-page SEO is heading in the right direction or have missed out on any crucial step, an on-page SEO checklist is more than a help. It is a list of comprehensive on-page optimization instructions that can help correct your optimization mistakes and take you closer to enjoying digital success.
With constant changes in search engine algorithms, it’s essential for businesses and marketers to stay ahead of the game. Our definitive on-page SEO checklist will help you optimize your website, ensuring it ranks higher in search results and attracts more organic traffic.
Who am I?
Hi, I am Ajay Deep. In my 11 years of working as an SEO Consultant, I have kept an eye on Google’s ranking updates and have devised strategies that work. Take the instance of my recent on-page SEO checklist that helped one of my clients adhere to the SEO rules and get remarkable ROI.
Now that you know what my SEO checklist can bring to the table, let me quickly guide you through my on-page checklist.
Let’s get started.
How does this On-Page SEO Checklist help you
My in-depth on-page SEO checklist will show you exactly what to do to optimize your web pages for search engines. It will help you:
- Turn your web pages into a conversion machine
- Optimize the core elements of a web page
- Rank higher on search results
- Get fetched for feature snippets
- Build Authority through E-E-A-T optimized content
Mastering the Basics for On-Page SEO Checklist
Before diving into specific optimization techniques, it’s crucial to have a solid foundation in the basics of on-page SEO. A well-rounded strategy begins with setting up essential tools, understanding the fundamentals of optimization, and installing the right SEO plugins for your website platform.
These tools and plugins will help you track your website’s performance and monitor your rankings.
So, let me first help you set you these tools so that complying with this checklist seems effortless and effective.
Setting Up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are indispensable in monitoring and maintaining your site’s performance in search results. These tools provide invaluable insights, such as performance tracking, indexing status, and sitemap submission.
Setting up these tools is crucial for mastering on-page SEO as they enable you to identify areas for improvement and track the success of your optimization efforts.
- Go to the Google Search Console website and click the “Start Now” button.
- Log in using your Gmail account.
- Click the “Add a property” button and enter the URL.
- Choose a verification method and follow the instructions to verify your website ownership.
You have set up the Google Search Console, and now, you are good to go! Keep following this on-page SEO checklist for some advanced tips.
In addition to this, you can import your sites and their corresponding sitemaps from Google Search Console to Bing Webmaster Tools. To do so, sign in to your Bing Webmaster Tools account, click on “Import” in the left-hand menu, sign in with your Google Search Console account, and follow the instructions.
Installing an SEO Plugin for Your Website Platform
SEO plugins play a vital role in simplifying the process of on-page optimization for your website, regardless of the platform you use, such as WordPress or Shopify.
These plugins assist with tasks like meta tag optimization, sitemap generation, and even technical SEO.
By installing and regularly updating an SEO plugin, you ensure that your website stays compliant with the latest SEO trends and operates optimally.
So, ensure that you have installed and enabled the following plugins:
- Yoast SEO
- All-in-one SEO
- SEO internal links
- Site Kit
- LiteSpeed Cache
However, I personally rely on very few plugins and give my 100% in evaluating every minute detail on my own. A good reason to keep your plugins limited is that the number of plugins somehow affects your website’s speed and which may account for a bad experience. Hence, choose your plugins wisely.
The Ultimate On-page SEO Checklist
Page Title Checklist
Here’s a checklist to ensure your page titles are optimized for success:
Compelling and engaging: Page titles should grab the searcher’s attention and compel them to click through.
Short, sweet, and descriptive: According to Google, page titles should provide a “quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query”
Unique: You should have “distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site”
Not too long: Google has a maximum width of 60 characters for page titles. Page titles that exceed this will not be displayed in full. You should “avoid unnecessarily long or verbose titles”.
Optimized for your primary keyword: Although it’s not essential for page titles to include an exact-match for your target keywords, it’s good practice to do so. Just make sure that the title tag makes sense, is written in plain English with the end-user in mind as opposed to search engines, and doesn’t include keyword stuffing.
Avoid page titles like this that are over-optimized: (None On-Page SEO checklist will give you examples). Follow along.
Cheap Holidays and Cheap Trips to New York | Book Cheap Flights Today
Instead, aim for page titles like this:
Book Cheap Holidays & Flights to New York Today | Tripster
On-Page SEO Checklist – Meta Descriptions
Crafting compelling meta descriptions that include your target keywords can significantly influence a user’s decision to click on your site in search results. Ensure to create descriptive and persuasive meta description with a call to action.
Clarity and Engaging: Write engaging meta descriptions that encourage clicks from search results. Create 156-160 characters long meta description with your target keyword.
Keep them Unique: Each page should have its own meta description that accurately previews what the user will find on the page. Make sure your meta descriptions are appealing and can inspire a user to click on your page.
Perfect meta description example:
“Uncover the secrets of perfect chocolate chip cookies with our expert baking guide. Learn tips for achieving soft, gooey centers and crisp edges. Elevate your baking game!“
Poor meta description example:
“Baking Tips – Chocolate Chip Cookies – Baking Techniques – Perfect Cookies“
Crafting High-Quality Content
Creating high-quality content is at the core of any successful on-page SEO strategy. To craft content that resonates with your audience and ranks well in search results, it’s essential to understand search intent, conduct advanced keyword research, and focus on providing an exceptional user experience.
Understanding Search Intent
Search intent refers to the reason behind a user’s query, and it’s crucial to align your content with the needs of your target audience. Understand the purpose of writing content (sales, brand awareness, etc.); stick to the purpose and tone to ensure users are served the right content as per their needs.
This not only improves user satisfaction, but also helps you rank higher in search engine results.
Check whether the tone of your content sounds more like a sales pitch or an informative guide. For that, you should:
- Write down the purpose of your content (sales, brand awareness, etc.)
- Read that content a couple of times from a visitors’ perspective and evaluate what the content sounds like.
- Decide your course of action.
Original, and valuable content
An important step in the on-page SEO checklist is to check the freshness of your content. Make sure your content is fresh, well-researched, divided into paragraphs, and has the maximum value for the readers. If you find any duplicity in your content, remove it and create engaging and rich content. Update the content with more insights and unique solutions.
Using Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research is the cornerstone of SEO, and there are various tools available to help you find relevant keywords for your content, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Semrush. These tools provide data on keyword search volume, competition, and potential long-tail variations, allowing you to make informed decisions and optimize your content for better rankings.
By using these tools, you can identify the best keywords to target and create content that is effective.
Keyword density: Check the number of words used in your webpage and confirm if you have kept the keyword density between 1-2%. (use the 10 times for every 1000 words). Check whether your keywords are distributed sensibly and do not compromise the reading flow.
Keyword variance: Add some additional words or phrases to your original keywords and change the order of words in keywords a few times throughout the page.
Use LSI keywords and related terms to provide context
Add the LSI keywords for searches or keywords with a scope of additional information. Think of LSI keywords as the sidekicks to your main target keyword
So, let’s say you’re writing about “delicious homemade pizza.” Your main keyword is obviously “homemade pizza,” but LSI keywords could be things like “crispy crust recipes,” “pizza toppings ideas,” or “authentic Italian flavors.” See what we’re doing here? We’re not just throwing these words in randomly; we’re adding context and relevance.
Checklist for Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
Headers give your web page an organized structure and allow you to place keywords smartly. Make sure you follow a consistent and well-organized page structure (the flow and headings should be natural and logical).
Use proper heading tags to structure content
Use only 1 H1 tag for your page title (with the keyword), divide all your subtopics in H2 tags, and if further division is there, add H3 or H4 tags.
Include relevant keywords in headings to improve scannability
Check if you have added other related keywords in your headings. Adding your primary keyword phrase headings is recommended as users tend to skim through the content to find what they’re looking for. It also helps build topical relevance in Google’s eyes.
On-Page SEO Checklist for Internal Linking
Internal linking give search engines a roadmap to understand your website’s structure. Here’s your go-to checklist for mastering internal linking for on-page SEO:
- Accurate linking: Check if each of your internal links points to the right page and doesn’t disturb the natural flow of a reader.
- Navigation: Take a look at the navigation of your website and assess how easy it is to use.
- Simplification of the anchor text: Keep the anchor text more precise to the purpose; delete if the anchor text is generic, like “click here.”
Checking for Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Design
Here’s a quick rundown on how to ensure your website looks and functions great across all devices:
Ensure your website is optimised for mobile devices
Check if your website loads consistently throughout the screen. Text should adapt to different screen sizes without requiring users to zoom in. Make sure that images scale proportionally to fit different screens.
Test responsiveness across different screen sizes
Interact with the website on different types of phones and check if all buttons work fine. Buttons, links, and interactive elements should have enough spacing to prevent accidental clicks.
This is one of the most crucial step in our on-page SEO checklist. Check if your navigation menus are easy to use on mobile. Consider using collapsible menus or icons for better usability.
Page Load Speed on Mobile
Check if your website loads quickly on mobile connections. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool can give you insights into how Google sees your site on mobile devices.
Avoid Flash and Pop-ups
Flash is an outdated technology and it doesn’t work on mobile devices. Consider using HTML5 alternatives. Pop-ups can be intrusive on small screens and negatively impact user experience.
Check Page Loading Speed
We are living in the fast-paced world of internet. A slow-loading website can quickly turn visitors away. Keep track of the time it takes to load your webpage and make sure it complies with the following:
Check with a Speed Testing Tool
Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom are reliable tools to check page speed. The speed testing tool will show you a breakdown of elements contributing to slow loading along with recommendations to rectify them. Address any issues the tool highlights.
Test Multiple Pages
Don’t limit testing to just your homepage. Test a variety of pages to get a comprehensive view. Different pages might have varying loading speeds due to content and elements.
Analyze Page Elements
Also check that every image of the correct format and heavy file size is there on your website. Also, clean and optimise your code to make it more efficient and faster. Check if you have added header caching to your website’s files.
URL Structure and Optimization
Optimizing your URL structure is an essential aspect of on-page SEO for web pages. Keep your URLs short, descriptive, and include your primary keyword to enhance both user experience and search engine understanding.
Google suggests that including your primary keyword in the URL may provide a slight ranking advantage, so it’s worth considering when crafting your on-page optimization strategy.
Checking for User Experience Elements
User experience it’s a critical factor that can make or break your website’s success. Here’s a user-centric checklist to ensure your on-page SEO strategy aligns perfectly with user expectations:
Make sure your website is easy to navigate
Cross-check if the elements of your navigation bar are in the correct order and follow an easy-to-understand. Revise your hierarchy if needed.
Provide a clear call-to-action (CTA) on essential pages
Look for the CTA buttons throughout your pages; also, check if they are at most 2-3 in number.
Check if your content is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
Monitor Engagement Metrics
Tracking bounce rates, time on page, scroll depth and click-through rates etc, gives you a direct understanding how users interact with your website.
Check out On-Page SEO Services by Authority Ventures.
Optimizing Elements via On-Page SEO Checklist
Optimizing on-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and subheaders is crucial for improving your site’s visibility and ranking in search results. By paying close attention to these elements, including the page title, you not only make it easier for search engines to understand your content, but also enhance user engagement and click-through rates.
These adjustments can help you get more organic traffic and improve your website’s overall performance.
SSL certificate for secure browsing
Check if the top of your webpage has HTTPS instead of HTTP. Moreover, test and verify if each page works on HTTPS. SSL certificates have an expiration date. Regularly renew to maintain security.
Regular Content Updates
By regularly adding new insights, ideas, and solutions, you show your commitment to staying current and authoritative in your field. Plus, fresh content often attracts more visitors, encourages repeat visits, and can lead to higher search rankings. So, keep that content calendar active and watch your online presence thrive.
Content Clustering and Pillar Pages
Group related content into clusters and create pillar pages to establish authority on specific topics: Create an easy-to-follow content hierarchy and make changes accordingly. At first, it is necessary to check whether all your pages on your site are arranged logically as per a cluster and then follow up on how one-page links to another and make a flow diagram for your convenience.
Voice Search Optimization
We are transitioning into a world where speaking is the new typing. From on-page SEO point of view, the goal is to ensure that your page responds best to voice search queries. Optimise content for voice search queries with conversational or NLP keywords and answers to common questions. Ensure the tone of your article is natural and relevant to search intent.
I usually read aloud the content a couple of times. You may also let someone read your content, try listening and check how natural that sound.
E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
E-E-A-T, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is the guiding compass by Google for the creation of reliable and impactful content. E-E-A-T is especially relevant for websites in the health, finance, and advice sectors (YMYL- Your Money Your Life), but its principles apply broadly.
Applying E-E-A-T to Your Content
Now this step is generally never covered in an on-page SEO checklist. But, when it comes to ranking higher, it is essential to apply E-E-A-T to your content. In order to do that, you must check the following:
- Content Quality: Ensure your content is well-researched, accurate, and reflects your expertise in the topic.
- Author Profiles: Highlight author qualifications, expertise, and experience on your website.
- Cite Reputable Sources: Back up your claims with references from authoritative and trusted sources.
- Regular Updates: Keep your content current and accurate, especially for topics that evolve over time.
Strengthening Internal and External Linking
Internal and external linking are crucial components of a comprehensive on-page SEO strategy, as they improve site navigation, user experience, and search engine understanding of your content. By building a robust structure of internal links and utilizing external links wisely, you can enhance your site’s performance and achieve higher search rankings.
Creating a well-structured internal linking structure is essential for SEO success and hence is an important part of our on-page SEO checklist. It helps search engines.
Monitoring and Adjusting Your On-Page SEO Strategy
A successful on-page SEO strategy requires ongoing monitoring and adjustment. By regularly reviewing data from Google Analytics and Search Console, you can identify areas for improvement and track the success of your on-page SEO efforts.
Staying up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices is also essential to ensure your strategy remains effective and competitive in the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization.
Analyzing Google Analytics and Search Console Data
Google Analytics and Search Console are invaluable tools for monitoring the success of your on-page SEO strategy. Regularly reviewing data from these tools can help you identify areas for improvement, such as slow-loading pages, broken links, or pages with low organic traffic.
By addressing these issues promptly, you can enhance your on-page search engine optimization and improve your website’s overall performance. To make this process easier, consider using an on page SEO checklist.
Making sure your website is optimized for search engines is essential for success. Taking the time to review your web page ensures that it meets the necessary criteria for search engine optimization.
Staying Up-to-Date with SEO Trends
Staying informed about the latest SEO trends and best practices is crucial for maintaining an effective and up-to-date on-page SEO strategy. With the latest google algorithm update, it is anticipated that the following factors will take priority in SEO:
- User experience
- Website speed
- Ease of navigation
To stay ahead of the curve, consider reading SEO blogs, attending webinars, and engaging in online forums to learn and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of SEO.
Moreover, advanced on-page search engine optimization practices related to NLP, such as E-A-T, will become more critical. Therefore, writers now face the challenge of diving deep into articles to create content that best suits users. Hence, along with this on-page SEO checklist, keep checking for the scope of changes in your content.
In conclusion, a successful on-page SEO strategy requires mastering the basics, crafting high-quality content, optimizing on-page elements, enhancing technical SEO factors, and strengthening internal and external linking.
By monitoring and adjusting your strategy using data from Google Analytics and Search Console, as well as staying informed about the latest SEO trends, you can ensure your website remains competitive and continues to attract organic traffic.
Before you get some more traffic through your off-page SEO strategies, you must ensure that your on-page is on the mark. In addition, a similar and in-depth off-page SEO checklist has been formulated to guarantee your off-page SEO success.
As I mentioned, I believe in producing results; let me know your progress after following my checklist.
Have any questions for me?
Let me know in the comment section!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use keyword analysis tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Surfer SEO to research and identify your industry's commonly used NLP keywords. Then, review your page content to ensure that these keywords are naturally incorporated in a meaningful and relevant manner. But remember, gain knowledge about the NLP keywords and do not deliberately try to add NLP keywords.