If you want your website to rank highly in search results, then you need to invest in on-page SEO. In this post, we’re exploring what on-page SEO is and providing a checklist you can follow to optimize your site pages.
Before we dive into the checklist, let’s determine exactly what on-page SEO is.
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the act and practice of optimizing your site pages with the goal of improving your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Unlike technical and off-page SEO, your on-page SEO efforts are readily visible to those who visit your site and engage with your content.
Why is on-page SEO important?
Well, considering “68% of online experiences begin with a search engine” and only “0.63% of Google searchers click on results from the second page” it behooves you to do all that you can to show up higher in the SERPs. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the checklist so you can begin implementing these tactics on your site.
Your On-page SEO Checklist
When implementing an on-page SEO strategy, look to this checklist for guidance.
- Target keywords.
- When creating a piece of content, whether it be a product landing page or blog post, focus on one primary target keyword. There are many free keyword tools available, and you can find one that suits your needs with a quick internet search. Additionally, you’ll want to identify 2-4 other keywords to include in your content. These could be one-word keywords or “long-tail” keywords comprised of a short phrase or few words.
- To identify the proper keywords, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they looking for? What might they type into search to find it? Use the language your audience uses.
- Define intent.
- Defining intent goes together with identifying your keywords. How do you define intent? Conduct an online search using the keywords you identified and look for context. Are the results all “how-to” articles? Or are they commercial or transactional? Understanding the context in which your keywords are being used helps you create relevant content that stands a better chance of ranking high in SERPs.
- Create effective titles.
- Be thoughtful in creating a title for your piece of content. The title is important to SEO and must:
- Include your keyword.
- Relate to the intent.
- Be a max of 60 characters so it doesn’t appear truncated in search results.
- Mind your structure.
- In addition to the title, your piece needs to include thoughtful H tags. H tags introduce content to the audience and should be used in a hierarchy — H1, H2, H3, etc. These tags help readers and search engine crawlers understand the flow of the information on your page and how to interpret your content.
- Attend to your Meta Descriptions.
- The Meta Description is the “blurb” that shows up underneath a search result title on the SERPs, as seen in the screenshot below.
- It must be unique and describe a specific page, including your targeted keyword(s).
- Don’t neglect the URL slug.
- Your URL should be descriptive and help a reader understand what they’ll find on the page. It should include your target keyword and have hyphens between words for distinction.
- Implement a link strategy.
- Approach a linking strategy by thinking of “content clusters.” What other pages exist on your site or blog that make sense to link in this piece of content you’re working on? Are there supplementary blog posts or landing pages that you’d want to include for your reader’s benefit?
- Add visuals with alt text.
- Include images in your piece of content, whether it’s a blog post or transactional landing page. And make sure you’re including alt text that describes exactly what your image shows. Include keywords in the description and include as much relevant detail as you can.
- Make it mobile-responsive.
- This item is a mix of on-page and technical SEO.
- You can use a tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to determine if your page is designed for a good mobile experience. If it isn’t, you’ll be able to click “Why it’s not usable” from that link and get more details into what you’ll need to improve.
- Iterate and refine.
- You won’t always create a winning piece of content the first time around. Keep an eye on page performance with a tool like Google Analytics and iterate, iterate, iterate until you have a refined piece of content that performs well.
SEO and Register.com
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