Onpage SEO: The Complete Checklist
Every digital business needs an online presence in the form of a website, webpage, a profile/page on social media platforms, a digital store on some e-commerce website, etc. A business may have some or all of these platforms working simultaneously. But most of them will have a website that requires SEO i.e. on-page and Off-page optimization. Since SEO starts with on-page, there has to be a reason for it.
In technical terms, onpage SEO techniques are improvements made on the website to optimize it for receiving relevant traffic from the search engine. For on-page SEO, optimization is done for both the source code and the content of the website. But it also touches on other aspects of a website. This means that on-page SEO is utilized for engaging the best practices for web design and development as well as the HTML and content that a visitor would or could find useful. There are some standard and legal practices for a good website to follow and on-page SEO gives pointers to fix things where ever required within the website. The goal here is to improve the impact and efficiency of the website including its navigation for the visitors and the search engine to intrigue, direct, and retain a visitor long enough that they buy whatever products or services the website is selling.
A Complete On-Page SEO Checklist
Here is a comprehensive onpage SEO checklist to perfectly optimize your website to rank high in SERPs and even retain that position for an extended period:
The content throughout the website should be up-to-date and plagiarism-free. With the passage of time, the content of the website becomes outdated and website visitors cannot get the best experience and Google also does not rank websites that have outdated content on them. This impresses upon the importance of keeping the content updated on the website. Simply updating the old content offers amazing results. It not only improves ranking but also brings more traffic and links to the website and helps in effective content marketing. But it would be a judgment call whether you want to update parts of content that are now outdated or upload fresh content altogether. All the content should be plagiarism-free and relevant to the website niches. It should have a clear sales pitch and the selected keywords.
H1 is the main page heading and must be used at least once on every page. Duplication of the H1 tag is considered an error. So the best practice is to add the H1 tag only once in content along with a major keyword. Every content page should have H1, H2, and H3 heading tags.
For on-page SEO, finding and fixing all the missing and duplicate title tags is the first step. It helps to improve the page rank and informs the search engine about the contents of the page. The tag should be unique and written within 60 character limit otherwise it will not fully appear in SERPs. Every page should have a name such as ‘Contact Us’, ‘Our Services’ accompanied by the domain name set within the advised character limit.
A Meta description is a short description of what the page is about written within 160 characters including one or two keywords. Meta descriptions do not directly affect the ranking, however, they appear in SERPs under the title tag and encourage the users to click and visit your website. If the Meta description is missing, Google displays some random piece of content from the website in the SERPs which is not ideal to encourage clicks from users.
Alt Text for Images
Image optimization also has great importance in on-page SEO. To name the images properly factors like descriptive file naming conventions, size, and quality mentions should be considered. These details are intended to describe the content of the images. It would be ideal if all images throughout the website need to have a name or the Alt Text to describe what the images show.
Keyword cannibalization is also a problematic situation where the content does not achieve its intended purpose. This happens when there are way too many similar keywords spread throughout the content. The cannibalization of keywords reduces the ability of the search engine to find out which pages to display. For this reason, the website rank suffers greatly
Content Pruning and Removing Internal Duplication
On-page SEO is showing great results with the pruning of website content. Content pruning refers to removing any useless block of content that does not contribute to the ranking of the website. It is always better to have less quantity of high-quality content on your website. The SEO benefits of content pruning and removing duplication are highly underrated. If any piece of content is not adding value to your website then you must discard or replace it. There should be no internal duplication of any content section. This means that no two pages of the same website can have the same chunk of content in it.
Remove Orphaned Pages
Google flags certain pages from the sitemap that are not being linked to and from at least one webpage as ‘orphaned pages’. It would improve your website performance if you fix these pages proper linking.
Internal and External Links
Not many people focus on improving the internal links of a website. By fixing this on-page error you will notice considerable improvements right away. A couple of internal links would make a big difference. SEO experts develop strategies for finding the most beneficial pages to link especially to authority pages and execute them in the most effective ways. Internal linking to relevant pages is good for performance as well as for navigation. External links pointing to a different domain should be kept to a minimum. Too many of these can decrease a website’s performance.
Follow these important onpage SEO factors to the letter and gain ranking improvements in the SERPs. If you need assistance with any of these steps, seek the assistance of an expert SEO company.