Today, I will give you a comprehensive on-page SEO checklist.
This covers everything you need to know about on-page SEO optimization.
Great on-page SEO isn’t just about the actual content you’re writing.
You must also consider the title, URL, internal links, images, readability, and more.
Many newbie SEOs don’t realize how important it is to cover ALL the bases.
A complete on-page SEO checklist will guide you and give you the best chance of ranking!
Here’s the complete list:
Article Title / H1
Don’t underestimate the power of a great title.
Your article title sends one of the biggest signals to Google about what your article is about.
It’s also one of your best tools to hook readers, so your title needs to match user intent.
Your title should contain your main keyword.
You can also integrate secondary keywords.
Main keyword: how to draw a rose
Secondary keyword: drawing roses for beginners
Article Title: How to Draw a Rose: A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Flowers
With this title, it’s clear that the article is about “how to draw a rose”.
The long tail “A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Flowers” also makes it more attractive to beginners. And targets the secondary keyword “drawing roses for beginners”.
Optimize your article title as much as possible for the best results!
Meta Title / Title Tag
Not to be confused with the article title, the meta title is what appears on the SERP.
You want your meta title to include your main keyword and entice readers to click through.
Stay under 60 characters, or your meta title will appear incomplete on the SERP and have ellipses.
Even worse, Google might REWRITE the title itself.
PRO TIP:To avoid title rewrites, make your article title = meta title.
The URL is one of the clearest signals to Google about what your article is talking about.
It would be best to keep it SHORT, SIMPLE, and STRAIGHTFORWARD.
Usually, you only want your main keyword to be in the URL slug.
Avoid adding any unnecessary words, numbers, etc. The URL is NOT like your article title!
Main keyword: how to draw a rose
Heading organization isn’t just for better readability and navigation for your readers.
Using the correct hierarchy of heading tags will also make it easier for Google to scan your article.
This will help increase the chances of your article ranking and matching the search intent!
Here’s what a proper header hierarchy looks like:
Keyword: how to draw a rose
– H1/Title – How to Draw a Rose: A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Flowers
– H2 – How to Draw a Rose in 3 Simple Steps
– H3 – Step 1
– H3 – Step 2
– H3 – Step 3
– H2 – Sketching vs. Painting: Which Is Better for Drawing Flowers?
– H3 – Sketching
– H4 – Characteristic #1
– H3 – Painting
– H4 – Characteristic #1
– H2 – FAQs
– H3 – FAQ #1
– H3 – FAQ #2
– H3 – FAQ #3
– H2 – Conclusion
Table of Contents
Easy navigation is great for readability.
Including a table of contents is a great way to show your reader the different sections of your article.
It’s not a DIRECT ranking factor but can provide indirect SEO benefits.
Adding a Key Takeaways section is a GREAT way to summarize your content.
You want to write these “key takeaways” in an NLP-friendly format.
They give, both, Google and readers the exact answers they’re looking for!
Internal links are hyperlinks that send users to different pages on the SAME website.
Internal links are a vital part of SEO for the following reasons:
– They help your users navigate your website
– They help Google understand your website’s structure
– They help pass on authority
A good internal linking strategy is key to gaining topical authority!
Outbound links are hyperlinks that send users to OTHER websites.
They’re used to back up claims, studies, or other factual information in your content.
These links can help:
– Strengthen topical signals
– Add more value and trust
– Add more depth and expertise
There’s no “rule” for how long or short your content should be, as it will depend on the specific topic/keyword.
However, your content should substantially cover the main topic and provide all the details the reader is looking for.
You don’t want it to be too LONG and have unnecessary sections and details.
But you also don’t want it to be too SHORT and not provide enough value for your readers.
You shouldn’t just optimize content for SEO. You must also ensure it’s easy to read and presentable to your readers.
Proper grammar, tone, style, spacing, and structure are things you need to consider.
Tools like Grammarly and HemingwayApp provide Readability Scores that can help with this.
Tables, Charts, Lists, and Graphs
To improve readability, consider adding tables, charts, bullet lists, and graphs.
These can add so much more value to your content!
Of course, you should only add these if the topic calls for it.
You can check if your competitors are using them to help you decide if you should use them too for your own article.
About 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices.
You need to ensure that your article is as good and readable on mobile as it is on laptops and desktops.
Before publishing, split chunky paragraphs, resize large images, and adjust tables and charts!
Images & Videos
Images and videos are great ways to add value to your content, especially for keywords that call for it (e.g., how to draw a rose).
But you also need to remember to optimize your images.
Large images can significantly slow down your site speed.
Reduce image file sizes as much as possible before you publish your article!
You should also use ALT tags and descriptive image file names for all images. This increases the chances of your images appearing in Google image search results.
Schema markup helps Google understand what your content is about.
It’s basically a blueprint for Google about your article.
There are also types of schema you can consider implementing, such as Author Schema. So do your research! You can even ask ChatGPT.
I hope you learned something new from this checklist!
If you keep this checklist in mind, you should be in a great position to rank for your keywords.
Now that you have a comprehensive on-page SEO checklist, you can move on to off-page optimization.
Next week, I will teach you how to build what we call “foundational” backlinks.