SilverDisc's Ultimate On-Page SEO Checklist
7th May 2021
On-page SEO is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. It involves the improvement and optimisation of website pages to grow online traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing. Here we list the key things you should be doing to bring potential customers to your site via organic search.
What is On-Page SEO?
Let’s begin by clarifying what on-page SEO actually is.
On-page SEO refers to anything you do on a webpage to improve the SEO of that page. There are three pillars to SEO - architecture, content and links. For the most part, on-page SEO focuses on content, but site architecture and a good link building strategy also tap into your on-page content.
This differs from off-page SEO, which covers how your results look on search engine results pages, through elements such as meta descriptions, featured snippets and quick answers – everything that influences how users interact with your search results.
To find out more, take a look at our recent article “What Is On-Page SEO?” where we cover some of the basics of on-page SEO, including:
• Page titles
• Header tags
• Image alt text
What Types of On-Page SEO are There?
If you are spending time and effort working on your website’s on-page SEO, the key areas to consider are:
• Page titles, H1s and Meta Descriptions
For more in-depth detail surrounding the different ways you can improve your on-page SEO, and to utilise SilverDisc SEO Spider to get a bespoke view of your website’s SEO, take a look here.
On-Page SEO Checklist
With the ultimate aim of improving your search traffic and boosting your rankings, we have compiled a list of some key areas to pay attention to.
1. Keyword Research
If you always start with doing some keyword research for a particular page, you will know that the content you are creating is shaped around what people are actually searching for. Your chosen keyword should be:
- Regularly searched for, but not to a huge extent; volume should be large enough to drive traffic to your site, but not too large that your content will just get lost in a sea of other content by sites with much higher domain authority than yours. The main thing to consider is to align your content with user intent.
- Relevant - your keyword needs to accurately describe your content and be used throughout.
2. Utilise Your Primary Keyword
Once you have your keyword, you need to write a title for your page that includes it and is appealing to both people and search engines.
The purpose of the given web page (your main keyword) should be present in all of the following areas:
- Title tag
- H1 tag
- Content of page – but no keyword stuffing!
- Image alt text
Find out more in this article: “How Important Are H1 Tags For SEO?”
3. Write Original, High-quality Content
Of course, every page will serve a different purpose, so the amount and type of content needed will vary. However, it’s best practice to aim for at least 500 words in a blog post, for example, as a more detailed post will be deemed more valuable and will have a better probability of ranking.
Always have readability in mind - break up your content with subheadings, images, quotes or bullet points. You want the reader to be hooked to your page.
With that in mind, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t copy content from other sites. It’s absolutely fine to draw inspiration, but you don’t want duplicate content on a page you want to rank for, as search engines may penalise you and not send traffic your way. Aim to write high-quality content that is valuable, useful, well-written, and formatted in a way that is easy to scan and absorb for readers.
It’s also worth doing an SEO audit of your content, by looking back and refreshing older content to make it more relevant – this may just work wonders for your SEO.
4. Internal And External Linking
Internal links in your text, with relevant anchor text including keywords, will not only provide a way for readers to learn more, but also helps search engine crawlers to understand the content on your pages.
You should also try to include outbound links to other reputable, high-quality sites for the same reason.
Find out more in this article: “An Introduction To SEO Links”
5. Include A High-Quality Image
It’s important not to forget image optimisation. Everyone knows that a picture makes things look nicer, but it also provides an opportunity for you to include your keyword in the alt tag to help with SEO and usability.
A useful piece of advice also worth mentioning is to check the size of your image and make sure it’s not so large that it will slow down site loading times – for this reason, you may want to compress the file and resize it before you upload it.
Learn more about why high-quality images are important: “An Introduction to Image Recognition Technology for eCommerce”
6. Ensure Your URL is SEO Friendly
You should include your main keyword in the URL, but avoid special characters and don’t make it too long; interestingly, this study by Backlinko showed that shorter URLs tend to rank higher.
However, you should not change the URL of your older posts. If you do, it will cause a broken link and lead to a page not found error unless you set up a redirect. This will definitely hinder your SEO efforts.
7. Optimise Your Meta Title and Meta Description
Add a meta title that is clear and concise, includes the primary keyword and entices the user to click through to your page. Your meta description should support your meta title - think of it as a short summary of the page that includes a call-to-action that encourages readers to click.
The reason for doing this is to help search engines understand the content of the page and to make your listing look appealing in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Learn more: “Everything You Need To Know About Metadata For SEO”
8. Add Structured Data Markup
Structured markup, or schema markup, explains certain elements of your website to search engines and in some cases, displays additional information about your site on SERPs. Adding this extra coding will make you page’s SERP result look better, and increase your visibility as it will help search engines to recognise specific categories within your content. In this way, structured markup can increase click-through rates (bring more traffic to your website).
9.Consider Tags, Filters and Categories
This is more specific to blog posts, but organising your on-page content can further help search engines to understand the themes of your content as well as provide added usability for someone using your site.
10. Always Keep Mobile-Friendliness In Mind
Traditional websites that are not optimised for mobile devices often have long loading times and unfriendly interfaces.
At SilverDisc, a key focus for all our web builds is speed. Ensuring your site is optimised for mobile responsiveness, user experience and page speed in mind is essential. This is because you want anyone who visits your site to have a proper user experience, no matter what device they are on.
Further, if your site is slow and unresponsive, then your potential customer may also choose to move along to a competitor’s site.
What are Some Useful On-Page SEO Tools?
The following five tools should prove useful to you when researching, writing, and optimising your website using the checklist above:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google's PageSpeed Insights tool
- Google's mobile-friendly testing tool
- Google Search Central
Ready To Starting Optimising Your Website?
Whether your website is for eCommerce or lead generation, it’s important to get your on-page SEO content right, as every small change can make a world of difference and help towards meeting your SEO goals.
If you would like help with improving your website’s SEO, we're here to help - contact SilverDisc today.