In today’s fast paced life, technological advancement has taken millennials so ahead that it is quite hard for digital marketers to position them perfectly on their buyer journey.
Despite all this, there is one thing that you can say for sure. And that is, your target audience will ultimately come to Google looking for answers to the queries that they are facing challenges with.
Having started its journey from being a simple question-answer platform, searches have now become one of the most integral parts that help determining the position of a buyer in their journey, no matter the stage they are in the conversion funnel.
Moreover, this is what helping businesses grow in today’s date. Yes, according to market stats, ranking high on the search engine results pages has become a pivotal point in increasing sales and generating more ROI, year after year.
But, having years of experience in dealing with SEO, we have developed a clear idea of the fact that ranking high on the SERPs is not that easy after all. But our on-page SEO checklist can really help you achieve the peaks of success.
So, let’s find out what you are missing out on.
What is On-Page SEO?
The practice of optimizing your own content and website in order to achieve a higher rank in the search engine result pages and drive more traffic to your website or desired page is known as on-page SEO.
As the name suggests, on-page SEO is the act of optimizing several elements from your website such as text, images, and bettering the overall experience that a person would come across visiting your website.
It does sound familiar, doesn’t it?
Well, if it doesn’t then you can start from the scratch with learning the basics of SEO before you start with this checklist.
Why is On-Page SEO Important?
On-page SEO s one of the most pivotal parts that you should consider if you wish to see your website in the high ranks of the SERPs of relevant searches.
With on-page SEO we tweak those factors of a website that search engine crawlers go through in order to find out where your website should rank in the SERPs when someone is looking for something that is relevant to your business.
No wonder why taking good care of it is so crucial in developing a successful SEO strategy.
In How Search Works, Google says, “The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query.”
With relevant keywords in place in the metadata, boy content, headings, alt tags, images and the other important areas of your website your website would definitely rank high up when a relevant search is triggered.
Now if you are wondering why Google considers it then let us tell you, Google utilizes these optimizations to make sure that searchers get their hands on the most relevant and valuable content that can help them the best in solving the queries that they are seeking answers to.
How to Use This SEO Checklist
The checklist that you will find below contains several areas of SEO that you need to keep your eyes on and take care of accordingly. Be it keyword research, on-page SEO or technical SEO, here you will find points concerned with each of them.
Now, we are not saying that you have not got them all covered. If you have done it already, that’s great. Go through the blog and find out if you have missed any.
And, if you have not yet started with this, then give it a read. Go through the blog and find out the areas where you can improve. You might not find all of the points relevant to your business, and that’s perfectly fine. But most of them, if performed well enough, will definitely skyrocket your ranks in the SERPs.
So, hold tight.
On-page SEO Checklist
Go through them all, we have tried our best to get it all covered.
1. Set Up Google Search Console
Google Search Console is one of the most important tools when it is about performing on-page SEO.
It is vital tool that provides you with valuable insights and data regarding your website’s performance which can be pretty effective in bettering your website’s ranks and driving more traffic if monitored, analyzed and brought into action properly.
If you are wondering why that is so important, then you can refer to any beginner’s guide to on-page search engine optimization that’s available in the high ranks of Google.
And it’s not just in Google, people also perform searches on Bing. With the similar tools available for Bing, you can take good care of that data too.
With these effective tools, you can easily check how your website traffic is generated. In simpler words, these tools provide you with an insight regarding the keywords that your website ranks high for. You can also find out crawl errors, submit sitemaps and whatnot.
2. Use Concise Page Titles & H1 Tags
The title of your pages also plays a vital role in ranking them high enough in the search engine results. It is one of the most important things that SEO crawlers look into to find out if your webpage is good enough and has the intent that a searcher is looking for in their search query that they have posted on Google.
So, in order to stand ahead of your competitors, create unique titles which SEO crawlers can easily decipher. Make sure that your page title has enough information to help understanding what it contains. Try to make it descriptive and concise.
But make sure that title tags get included in the primary keyword present in your page.
Also, wrap your page title in the H1 tag. This will help search engines understand which part of your website content is the title.
3. Create a Compelling Meta Description
While performing a search on Google, you must have noticed there are small pieces of text under the title that describe what the page contains?
Yes, that’s meta description.
This small snippet helps your page stand out in the search engine result pages as it is meant to give the searcher an idea about what information the page contains.
While crafting meta descriptions for your page, make sure that they are a bit descriptive and have 928-pixel width limit. This width limit is meant to give you an idea about how much content will be visible, effectively, in the SERPs.
Also, do mention the primary keyword in the beginning part of your meta description. Accompany it with a strong CTA which will make searchers to click on your content in order to learn more about the same.
4. Set Up Google Analytics
You need appropriate data in order to take the right decisions for your website.
And nothing can help you better in doing the same than Google Analytics.
It is a free tool offered by Google that helps you by presenting you valuable insights and data regarding your website traffic. From Google Analytics you can get to know who are visiting your website, their quantity, and how they are interacting and engaging with your website.
If you do not have used this tool already, you can simply give it a start and it would take you mere minutes to figure out what it has to offer you. For setting it up for getting reports regarding your website you can just visit YouTube and watch a relevant video for the same.
Trust us, Google Analytics and Google Search console when utilized together properly, can really do wonders.
5. Use Proper Subheadings and Header Tags
In order to give your website visitors a better experience, subheadings can help you like no other. Include them in your content to help your website visitors get a better understanding of what your website page has to offer.
It also gives you a scope to add some more keywords in the content which will in return help you appear more in the relevant searches.
Subheadings make your content easier to scan for people who have visited your website but do not have much time to go through the entire content.
So, divide your content logically into chunks that can help your readers understand the entire context of your article without having to read it entirely.
For the search engine crawlers, just tag the subheadings with H2, H3, H4, etc. in your HTML code. That will do the job for you.
6. Generate and Submit a Sitemap
Sitemap is meant to help search engine crawlers understand which pages are meant to be crawled. It also informs about the canonical versions of each page.
So, in order to generate a sitemap for your website, all you have to do is create a list of URLs from your website which contain its main content. Submit them to Google and those URLs will be indexed.
Google says, “A sitemap tells the crawler which files you think are important in your site, and also provides valuable information about these files: for example, for pages, when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and any alternate language versions of a page.”
You can create a sitemap for your website in a good lot of formats as Google accepts them all, however, XML is the mostly used one.
And, if you have already submitted your sitemap then you’ll be able to find it here at https://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml.
7. Check Search Console for Manual Actions
This is something that you really need to take very seriously.
Manual actions are capable of affecting your website in a bad way when imposed on it.
When someone or something attempts to violate, breach or manipulate the Webmaster Guidelines set by Google, they are typically known as manual actions.
These include user-generated spam, hidden text, unnatural links, issues with structured data, etc.
There are websites that do not get affected by manual actions, however you never know when you might fall a victim. So, it is always referred to keep a tab on them.
To keep an eye on manual actions, check the manual actions tab that you will find in Google Search Console. There you will receive notifications regarding manual actions.
But, while taking over a website, it is one of the most recommended things to check.
8. Be Cautious of Keyword Placements
Keyword placement is an imperative part of your on-page SEO and taking it lightly can really result in something that you would never want your website to face, i.e., poor ranks.
As we have mentioned earlier, place your primary keywords in the page title, URL as well as in the meta description of your page. Speaking of the body content, keep in mind to place keywords in the subheadings along with the first 100 words of your body content.
When you have placed keywords on these crucial areas, it will help Google’s search engine crawlers to figure out what your page is all about.
While crafting blogs or articles, try to place your intended keywords 2-3 times in every 100 words.
However, keep in mind to place them seamlessly so that they do not look forcibly placed otherwise that would hamper the quality of your content.
Also, avoid stuffing keywords in order to get a higher rank. This will end up hampering your page’s ranks in the SERPs and even worse.
9. Provide A Good User Experience (UX)
A good user experience can do wonders to your website when it is about ranking high in the search engine results. To achieve the same, you need to,
- Create highly readable content.
- Make sure that all the links present in your website are working fine.
- Better your website’s loading speed; and
- Make sure that your website has a responsive design that fits in well in screens of all sizes.
A good lot of your website consists of smartphone users. Make sure that your UX has such fonts, and colors that fit in well on a mobile screen. You can check your page’s responsiveness through Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.
Do not add buttons that are way too large or too tiny.
Keep in mind, the higher the difficulty level of navigating through a website, the higher will be the bounce rate.
10. Make Sure That Google Can Actually Index Your Website
People often have the misconception that all websites get indexed by Google. However, this is not true.
Websites are often de-indexed by Google when a no index code is left accidentally unnoticed by developers while they are transferring a website from the staging phase to live.
You can use website auditing tools to find out if there are any such tags present in your website too. It will help you understand whether your website is crawled and indexed.
All you need to do is starting a crawl on your website using such a tool. If you find it getting blocked, then search engines are also unable to crawl or index your website.
So, it is better to double check website pages that are vital and should be crawled in order to achieve a high rank in the search engine result pages.
11. Improve Your Site Speed
As we have mentioned in the UX point, the loading speed of a website plays a key role in ranking it high enough in the SERPs.
Yes, slow websites are a downgrade your website’s overall experience.
Also, Google is about to bring an update that is concerned with page speed which will increase the importance of website loading speed manifolds. It will be considered as a prime factor when it is about achieving a high rank.
So, why don’t you stay cautious beforehand?
So, it is better to make sure that your website loads quickly enough as the expectations of website users are endless. They won’t be waiting for your website to load. If they find it taking too long, they will soon go back and visit your competitor website that loads fast enough. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?
Also, while checking your website through an audit tool, you will find slow loading websites getting flagged.
Utilize Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for more.
12. Make Sure You Are Using HTTPS
HTTPS is not a new addition as a ranking factor. It has been there since 2014.
So, standing 2021, no excuse can fit in well when you have missed using the HTTPS encryption for your website. If you still have HTTP hovering on your website, it is high time that you migrate it to HTTPS.
And, checking whether your website is secure isn’t rocket science. You can do that just by checking the URL bar of your browser when you are on your website. If the padlock is visible, you are safe, if not, get it done ASAP.
Wrapping It Up!
Adhering to this on-page SEO checklist will help you stay ahead of your competition in the following year too. Having an optimized website can help you with
- Having a cost-effective marketing strategy to garner more return on investment (ROI).
- Optimizing your website to reach more target audiences from relevant searches.
- Getting more website visits by qualified traffic increasing your credibility.
So, why not give it a try?