12-ON-PAGE SEO CHECKLIST 2022
Slipping down the internet’s deep rabbit hole of information is a typical daily experience everyone is familiar with. However, the journey from one link to another is difficult to track, and accurately identifying where it began is a perplexing task. This non-linear journey usually starts with a search query on a search engine to find the answer that one is looking for.
To provide the searcher with the most accurate and relevant results, search engines scour, assess, evaluate, and determine a large volume of content to know which has the highest probability of answering a human’s query. They do this by crawling and indexing.
Crawling is often defined as the complicated process of combing through existing, new, and updated content on the internet. Search engines send bots referred to as crawlers or spiders to do this. These bots discover numerous web pages and follow the links to learn new URLs. They find the latest and most recent content they can index through this.
In today’s digital era, increasing a website’s traffic and visibility is pivotal to a business’s success. This could prove daunting when we consider the overwhelming volume of content uploaded onto the internet every minute. Improving the traffic directed to one's website provides the website with more opportunities to convert prospects into customers and, in turn, boost its revenue. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a host of popular digital marketing practices that help websites rank higher on a search engine’s results page, thus substantially increasing their chances of discovery.
SEO marketing is made up of many components and utilizing all these components effectively is necessary to gain the upper hand against the competition. Curious to learn how to master these techniques and tricks? Read on for a speedy on-page SEO checklist!
- What is on-page SEO?
Before we go into the technicalities, let us dive into the basics. As the name might indicate, ‘on-page SEO’ is the practice of using SEO techniques at a page level. This involves optimizing your use of SEO practices on your site’s pages to rank higher in search engine results. One significant advantage of mastering the components of on-page SEO is that unlike relying on backlinks (essentially incoming hyperlinks from another webpage) and technical SEO techniques at the server level, on-page SEO is an aspect that is in the website creator and or the content creator’s control.
- Why is on-page SEO important?
As mentioned above, on-page SEO is crucial to any business’s SEO strategy. These factors are what search engine bots utilize to calculate what content should appear at the top of the search results page when users place keywords in the search bar. From a consumer’s perspective, on-page optimization factors are essential to ensuring that the search engine’s users find the most reliable answers to their search queries.
- On-page SEO Elements
On-page SEO involves numerous website elements, including text, images, and even the overall user experience of a site. Basic SEO elements such as the keywords (including those in meta tags, title tags, headings, body, and even images) help assess if the content is relevant to the user’s queries and needs to be accurately made. With that said, let us dive into a concise and basic on-page optimization checklist of items to make sure that you optimize your techniques to increase web traffic. These points will simplify the technicalities and tell you how to do on-page SEO.
12 Point On-Page SEO Checklist to Optimize Your Website
- Keyword Research
Keywords are words or phrases people put into search boxes in search engines. They put these keywords in to find meaningful results and solutions to their queries. To optimize the content on a webpage, keyword research involves finding the most accurate words and phrases to represent your website’s purpose. This research is based on searching behavior, and knowledge of the most likely keywords people tend to type in search boxes. In essence, using specific keywords on your page allow a search engine to rank your content higher, thus allowing it to become visible for these terms. Although all competent search engines use more than one hundred ranking signals, with keyword optimization being just one, choosing the right keywords is important in generating visibility.
The simplest way to categorize the many keywords that could be appropriate would involve putting them in the following boxes – Primary, Secondary, and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords. Primary keywords are broad terms with a high search volume. Generally, the selected primary keywords should be directed to a broader audience and must be integrated into the text, title, description, anchor descriptions, and headers. Secondary keywords as the phrase might indicate support the primary keywords and add extra information. These keywords and phrases are synonymous or semantically related to your primary keyword.
- Focus on the URL Slug
Although using a core keyword in your site’s URL is no longer as imperative as it once was on the internet, making your website’s URL meaningful will enhance your content and make it more SEO friendly. One method of carrying this action item out would be to ensure that your permalinks on WordPress contain your post name.
Abbreviating your URL to make it shorter, snappier, and more focused on your target keyword would also be advised. An SEO-friendly URL is helpful, so ensure that the permalinks’ language stays constant. Simply put, do not change the permalinks lest you add unwarranted redirects to your article.
- Use concise page titles and H1 Tags.
The title of a piece is perhaps the most significant on-page SEO factor. The tags attributed to this title (or ‘title tags’) are one of the first aspects that web crawlers notice before determining your page intent. Therefore, the nature of your title must contain your primary keyword, be concise, and still encapsulate the purpose of the webpage’s content. We must not forget the role of heading tags.
There are six commonly used HTML heading tags ranging from H1 to H6. These range from most important to least important, with the size of the text decreasing in size with the importance. For example, aptly chosen and formatted H1 tags can influence how well your content ranks in search engines and the response you receive from searchers.
- Have a compelling meta description
The description of a webpage that appears on a search results page is neither a common nor a direct ranking aspect. However, studies indicate that a well-phrased and reliable meta description could influence the click-through.
- Structure your content hierarchy with relevant header tags
The form and structure of your content must be broken into sections and sub-sections. The heading tags mentioned in point 3 are to be sorted into main headings, subheadings, and so on. Ensuring that your text is structured using keyword-focused subheadings should suffice to begin with.
- Make sure your images are well-optimized
Consumers pay attention to visual content and engage with web pages that aren’t solely text-reliant. By adding visual content, more people will pay attention. To optimize an image, you must ensure that it is compressed, that the image file name includes the primary or secondary keywords, and uses keyword-focused alt text.
- Optimize the page with mobile responsiveness
Mobile traffic is constantly increasing, and if your website is not optimized for viewing and usage over a mobile phone, this could be a gap in your strategy. With the cost, if technology is constantly dipping, the accessibility to mobile phones has improved. A phone is thus more versatile and provides more scope for visibility. Mobile optimization requires content to load quickly on a small screen and measures to ensure the web host can manage the traffic. A small screen would need less clutter to maintain a potential customer’s attention.
- Link to other pages from within your article
Weblinks to trusted external sources allow your content to be deemed more dependable. A few standard techniques of external links to bolster expertise and authority involve the insertion of statistics from industry studies, influencer quotes, educational resources, etc. Remember that unless your content gets linked, links, and links, it will not get ranked on a search engine’s results page.
- Provide a good User Experience (UX)
Although the jury is still out on whether the UX of a page determines or even remotely contributes to the page’s ranking on the search engine’s results page, it certainly aids the readability of your content. In addition, it is helpful to make your content easier to engage with. A good user experience and design would improve engagement, the site’s traffic, and, eventually – rankings.
- Add Structured Data
Structured data is essential for SEO; Structured data is the markup that guides search engines and allows them to understand how to interpret and display the content. Simply put, it makes it easier for a search engine to follow what your pages and your website are about. Although it is said that structured data is not a ranking factor, correct use of structured markup could convince a search engine to grant your snippets the status of ‘enhanced.’ These enhanced search results contain more information than standard snippets and statistically attract a higher click-through.
- Provide External Links, Outbound Links
Outbound links are external links often used within pieces of content to enhance comprehension. These links point from your website to another website, add context and link a reader to another source that will add valuable information to the topic.
- Place internal links in your content.
An internal link, as the name might indicate, is a link that takes the clicker from one page on your website to another page on your website. These links help search engines find, assess, index, and understand your site's pages. Strategic use of these internal links can send page authority (also known as PageRank) to important pages. By giving the search engine more comprehensive links to follow, along with a descriptive anchor text, you have the power to indicate which pages of your site are important, as well as what they are about. From a site visitor’s perspective, these links would allow them to navigate your website more clearly.
SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website users want, you can implement that knowledge by tailoring it across your web pages and monetizing it. These search engine and SEO trends are constantly evolving to give the world’s consumers the best experience. Reports point out that these engines now look for indicators of quality content, mentions of known concepts, related terms, and synonyms, among numerous other factors.
All of these will tell the search engine about the author’s authority and quality of research. If you are attempting to tailor your content to be SEO-friendly, ensure that you are well versed with industry terminology and know about diverse ways to explain those niche-specific terms. Use synonyms to make your writing rich in references and visual explanations. To sum up, more click-throughs are assured when your research is deep. A user’s belief in content integrity coupled with more backlinks may increase social media shares, generating and driving long-lasting traffic to your website.
And there you have it! You are now armed with the handy knowledge of optimizing your content to boost its visibility. Ensure that you regularly refine your techniques and command over SEO on-site factors with the essential on-page SEO checklist above and watch your website’s rankings, traffic, and conversions steadily rise.
Written by Aaron Rain