The Visual, Step-by-Step Guide (& Free Checklist!)

on page seo feature

If you’ve ever thought-about a web page rating on the high of Google to be “lucky,” assume once more. For any such fortunate duck, majestically perched on the high of the SERP, you may relaxation assured there’s a number of legwork occurring beneath the floor to make this doable.

Said legwork is named search engine optimisation, however when you get the dangle of it, it turns into like second nature. So on this information, I’m going to show the complicated strategy of on-page search engine optimisation right into a step-by-step, visible information to make this doable for you.

Ready to start out rating larger and get more site visitors to your web site?

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Table of contents


on-page seo checklist template

Click to enlarge | Make a copy of this Google Sheet template

What is on-page search engine optimisation?

Just because the identify sounds, on-page search engine optimisation refers back to the optimizations you make to a selected web page in your web site to get it to rank larger on the SERP for queries associated to the key phrase it’s focusing on. Some of these optimizations are seen on the web page itself whereas others are behind the scenes. This, in fact, interprets to more related site visitors to that web page, and the more pages optimized in your web site, the stronger your search engine optimisation muscle mass turn out to be.

On-page vs off-page search engine optimisation

To perceive the distinction between on-page and off-page search engine optimisation, it’s greatest to return to the SEO basics. There are three core varieties of search engine optimisation:

  • On-page search engine optimisation refers to efforts made on to the web page you’re making an attempt to optimize, similar to bettering its content material or including key phrases.
  • Off-page search engine optimisation refers to efforts made on different pages of your web site, or with different websites, to assist your web page to rank, similar to with backlinking, listings, social promotion, visitor posting, PR, and more.
  • Technical search engine optimisation refers to efforts involving the positioning’s supply code, sitemap, pace, safety, structured information, and more phrases that don’t start with S.

on-page vs off-page vs technical seo

While the overlapping circles look good, they’re introduced that approach as a result of these efforts are all interconnected. For instance, you’re not going to get backlinks (off-page) in case your web page content material isn’t high quality (on-page), and compressing pictures (on-page) helps with web page pace (technical).

On-page search engine optimisation guidelines

In the remainder of this publish, you’re going to discover ways to do on-page search engine optimisation like by no means earlier than. But like I stated, it’s a hefty hustle, so right here’s the fowl’s eye view of your on-page search engine optimisation guidelines:

  1. Keyword analysis
  2. Content high quality
  3. Keyword placement
  4. Images
  5. Title
  6. Headings
  7. Meta description
  8. Links
  9. URL
  10. Technical optimizations
  11. Content freshness

1. Keyword analysis

First and foremost, do your key phrase analysis. You can’t do any of the steps on this publish if you happen to don’t know what key phrase you’re focusing on. We present you how to do keyword research here, however listed here are a number of ideas:

  • Your weblog posts are the place you’ll do most of your key phrase focusing on and on-page search engine optimisation.
  • Use keyword research tools to seek out key phrases with first rate quantity and low competitors.
  • Target one key phrase or key phrase theme per web page. For instance, this publish targets the key phrase “on-page SEO” in addition to “on page seo checklist” and “what is on page seo” as a result of if I wrote separate posts on every key phrase, they’d compete towards each other within the SERP.

on-page seo - keywords

  • Google your key phrases. If you do all the steps beneath however the content material of your web page doesn’t match the intent of the key phrase you’re focusing on, you’re not going to rank!

2. Content high quality

Google defines thin content as inauthentic and offering little worth—like auto-generated copy, skinny affiliate pages, scraped content material, and doorway pages.

But simply because your web page doesn’t match the above standards doesn’t imply your content material isn’t skinny. The necessary phrase above is “value.” If you need your web page to rank for the keyword it’s targeting, it must be:

  • Trustworthy: info is correct and delivers on the promise of the headline.
  • Useful: gives the knowledge a consumer is searching for once they search that key phrase.
  • Actionable: all “what”s must be accompanied by “how”s, even when which means a hyperlink to a separate useful resource.
  • Readable: info is organized, scannable by way of headers, reads like a human wrote it, and textual content is damaged up by pictures, bullets, call-out quotes, and different visible components.
  • Adequate size: if the web page you’re optimizing is a weblog publish, goal for no less than 1,500 phrases. Hubspot recommends 2,100-2,400 phrases based mostly on the common size of its high 50 weblog posts, but additionally mentions {that a} third of these high posts had been lower than 1,500 phrases.
  • Free of fluff: i.e., it doesn’t use many phrases to say little. See beneath:
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on-page seo - fluff content

121 phrases of empty-calorie robotic fluff with no dietary worth
44 phrases of protein-packed peanut butter

3. Keyword placement

Now if you happen to’re writing high quality content material like a human, the key phrase and associated LSI keywords will happen naturally within the physique of the textual content. But there are some locations the place you could deliberately place your goal key phrase. These embody:

  1. Page title: This is the title of the web page because it seems on the web page.
  2. Title tag: This is the title of the web page because it seems on the SERP.
  3. First 100 phrases of the web page: Make positive that is integrated naturally.
  4. Headings: ideally in no less than two H2s on the web page.
  5. Meta description: This is the abstract of your web page that seems on the SERP.
  6. Image alt textual content: The textual content various of a picture.
  7. Image file identify: Don’t simply save a picture as “Screenshot-1” or “chart.”

keyword placement checklist for on-page seo

Click to enlarge

If you had been confused by the above checklist, don’t fear—the remainder of this information will dive deeper into every one.

4. Images

Images on their very own are an on-page optimization since they maintain readers engaged with a web page, and time on web page factors into ranking. But there’s more to photographs on a web page than meets the attention. Here is your picture optimization guidelines:

  • Optimize for pace: Resize your pictures so their width doesn’t exceed the utmost width of the web page (your web site will resize them routinely, however this nonetheless requires requests to the server), and compress them to cut back file dimension with out sacrificing high quality (I take advantage of as a result of it’s quick, free, and has a cute panda on it.) If you may have a very massive web site with numerous pictures, you could wish to look right into a content delivery network (CDN).
  • Add alt textual content: This is the textual content various of a picture. This is the way you inform Google (and the way display readers can inform the visually impaired) what your picture is about, and may include the key phrase you’re focusing on.
  • Convey worth: Use pictures as an example the ideas in your web page, similar to with graphs, screenshots, and even your personal illustrations (how to use Canva here!) not empty graphics.
  • Don’t substitute textual content with pictures: Alt textual content is simply meant to be a number of phrases, so once you’re utilizing a picture to convey info related to the key phrase you’re focusing on, guarantee that info can also be written out within the physique textual content of the web page.
  • Optimize filename: The identify of the picture file you add to your web page ought to include the key phrase you’re focusing on. Be positive additionally to switch areas within the filename with dashes or underscores. Otherwise, they’ll get changed with “%20” or another jibberish that doesn’t look reliable and might affect your image’s ranking in image results.

on-page seo - image optimization

Here’s what alt textual content, file identify, file dimension, and dimensions seem like in WordPress.

In the picture on the high of this publish, I optimized for the key phrase “on-page vs off-page SEO.” My alt textual content reads “comparison of on-page vs off-page vs technical SEO,” my file identify is “technical-vs-on-page-vs-off-page-seo.png, and I’ve each compressed and resized the picture.

5. Title

There are two completely different titles for any given net web page on an internet site:

Your title tag and H1 tag don’t must be completely different, nevertheless it’s good to know you may have this selection. Regardless, a strong headline is a should for on-page search engine optimisation because it impacts whether or not or not customers click on by way of to your web page. A powerful headline:

  • Conveys worth. What’s in it for the reader? “7 Yoga Poses to Try Today” doesn’t give me a cause to click on. “7 Yoga Poses That Improve Sleep” alternatively, does.
  • Doesn’t overpromise. Don’t name it an final information if it isn’t one, or change it to match different top-ranking pages for that question if it doesn’t include that content material.
  • Is descriptive. “Services” may work as a web page title in your web site, however on the SERP, this might imply something. Instead, go together with “Affordable Norfolk Landscaping Service Packages”
  • Is fascinating.  This doesn’t imply utilizing caps, hyperbolic phrases, or exclamation factors! Use power words, like “supercharge” as an alternative of “improve.” You can refer to those 88 headline examples for concepts and steering.

on-page seo checklist - headline optimization

Short, SERP-friendly title tag on the left; longer, more model voicey H1 title on the precise (and a publish that delivers on its promise).

6. Headings

Headings are used to prepare the knowledge in your web page into clear sections and subsections. These convey to readers the hierarchy of the web page, however Google must know that too with a purpose to perceive its relevance to the key phrase you’re focusing on. But it may possibly’t establish headings based mostly on font dimension and weight of font like we are able to. Instead, Google sees in HTML.

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There are six varieties of heading tags. If you’re utilizing a CMS like WordPress, SquareSpace, and so forth., you’ll see a drop-down menu of heading tags in your editor (you may customise the sizes of those headings as nicely), however you may as well manually apply them within the HTML code.

on-page seo - html headings in wordpress

  • <H1> is the title of the web page; you must have just one H1 per web page.
  • <H2> labels the principle sections of your content material. A well-optimized web page might have wherever from two to 22 H2s (that’s a lotta twos proper there), relying on how a lot content material there’s, however you must all the time have no less than two that include the key phrases you’re focusing on—which must be straightforward to do with one part in your publish and the conclusion.
  • <H3> these are used to additional label the completely different factors made in every H2 part. Use these as wanted, however don’t pressure it and don’t fear about having key phrases right here.
  • <H4> to <H6> These headings don’t actually have search engine optimisation worth, and if you happen to’re chopping up your content material that a lot, it’s most likely not going to be very readable. I do generally use H4s however solely as soon as in a blue moon.

on-page seo checklist - html headings

Heading tags additionally allow Google to floor your web page in outcomes for more particular queries associated to the web page, permitting you more alternatives to appear on the first page of Google. The greatest factor to recollect with headings is to verify they’re descriptive. A reader ought to have the ability to get the gist of the web page simply by skimming the headings.

7. Meta description

The meta description is the outline of your web page that seems below the title on the SERP. Consider it the advert in your web page, as a well-written meta description tells searchers your publish will reply their question and will get them to click on. Here’s your meta description guidelines:

  • Keep it between 155-160 characters.
  • Include the key phrase you’re focusing on, and associated key phrases if it is smart.
  • Make it actionable and talk profit. For instance
    • “This post provides a list of power words and alternative versions of common words to use in your marketing materials.”
    • Write more memorable advertising copy with this checklist of over 350 energy phrases and phrases—for emails, blogs, social, adverts, and more!

on-page seo checklist - meta description example

Google gained’t all the time use the meta description you’ve supplied. It dynamically creates them out of your content material based mostly on the question—which is why it’s necessary to have these heading tags in there. Keep in thoughts additionally that the meta description additionally seems in preview snippets, like those you see on social media.

Get a free, fast, on-page SEO audit with our free Website Grader!

8. URL

Most, if not all CMSs generate an automated URL in your web page—generally the title you’ve given it or generally a string of numbers. You’ll wish to edit this URL to:

  • Contain the key phrase you’re focusing on
  • Use dashes as an alternative of areas
  • Keep it quick. The key phrase itself will suffice in nearly all circumstances.

on-page seo - URL example

Had this URL been, would you may have trusted it sufficient to click on it?

9. Links

There are two varieties of hyperlinks concerned in on-page search engine optimisation—inner hyperlinks and exterior hyperlinks (additionally known as backlinks). We shares some nice intel on linking on this 10-step SEO audit, however listed here are the fundamentals.

External hyperlinks

These are the hyperlinks in your web page that take customers to different domains. An on-page search engine optimisation greatest follow is to hyperlink out to pages on the subject from web sites with high domain authority. This helps Google to belief your web page more. In his SEO techniques post, Brian Dean recommends linking out to no less than 3 high-quality domains

Internal hyperlinks

These are the hyperlinks in your web page that take the reader to different pages in your web site. Your web page shouldn’t solely embody inner hyperlinks, however different pages in your web site ought to hyperlink to the one you’re optimizing.

For any case with linking, the anchor textual content must be particular to the web page you’re linking to and include the key phrase it’s focusing on. Not solely does this make for a greater consumer expertise, however the more hyperlinks to your web page that use the key phrase because the anchor textual content, the higher your probabilities of rating.

10. A *few* technical optimizations

I do know, I do know, this isn’t a technical SEO checklist, however like I stated earlier, the several types of search engine optimisation are interconnected. Below are some issues that ought to already be in place, however generally have glitches in order that they’re straightforward troubleshooting in case your web page will not be performing in addition to you anticipated.

  • Mobile-friendliness: Your web site as an entire must be constructed with responsive design—that means it would alter to any display dimension—however generally, components fall by way of the cracks. If you’ve embedded a video or added a desk to your web page, for instance, double-check to verify it’s showing correctly on cell.
  • Crawlability: Your web page can’t rank if it’s not listed. And it may possibly’t be listed if it’s not crawlable. If your web site reveals up on the SERP, it’s listed. But generally, weblog posts or pages get unintentionally unindexed for one cause or one other. If a web page is getting unexpectedly low site visitors, test the again finish of the web page in your CMS to verify indexing isn’t turned off. If it isn’t, you may use Search Console to troubleshoot.
  • Social share buttons: This is completed on the web site stage, often by way of a plugin, and makes it simpler for others to amplify your content material. Just be sure that the plugin doesn’t decelerate your web site.
  • Page pace: Page pace is a rating issue, and outsized pictures aren’t the one factor that may drag a web page down. Use PageSpeed Insights to test the pace of your particular person web page. Both instruments will inform you what you could do you probably have a poor rating.
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best website graders - pagespeed insights

11. Content freshness

The importance of content freshness can fluctuate relying on the question, nevertheless it’s necessary to periodically replace any web page you wish to rank to protect its worth. I’ve a complete content refresh checklist right here, however for a sneak peek, listed here are some updates you can also make:

  • Update or add new info.
  • Add hyperlinks to new content material and repair any damaged hyperlinks.
  • Replace previous pictures (particularly graphs and platform screenshots).
  • Check to verify the intent of the key phrase hasn’t modified.

Free on-page search engine optimisation checkers

As now you can see, a web page rating on the high of Google isn’t simply effortlessly streaming alongside. There’s a number of work that goes into it, and that is for each web page in your web site. Luckily, there are on-page search engine optimisation checkers that will help you out.

  • search engine optimisation instruments: Free trials from websites like Ahrefs and Semrush can run complete audits in your web site to test for on-page, off-page, and technical search engine optimisation components. These are greatest for search engine optimisation specialists who know what to search for and tips on how to read the outcomes.
  • WordPress plugins: Namely Yoast, which can present a rating and ideas on the readability and key phrase focusing on of your content material. Take these ideas with a grain of salt although.
  • Website graders: These instruments are more beginner-friendly. LOCALiQ’s Free Website Grader gives a report just like the one beneath, explaining what the outcomes imply and prioritizing motion gadgets for you.

on-page seo checker - localiq's free website grader

Use the free LOCALiQ Website Grader to get a report like this in your web site.

On-page search engine optimisation templates

To make your life simpler, I’ve a number of templates for you.

On-page search engine optimisation guidelines template

The first is the guidelines template that you could customise to your liking. You can print it out or make a duplicate of the Google Doc to make use of when publishing pages or running content audits.

on-page seo checklist template

Click to enlarge | Make a copy of this Google Sheet template

search engine optimisation weblog publish templates

I’ve created a collection of blog post templates that can enable you to to create high quality content material optimized across the key phrase you’re focusing on. Here’s only one instance:

beginner's guide blog post template outline

Go to the free blog post templates.

Get more web site site visitors with on-point on-page search engine optimisation

Now are you able to see why on-page search engine optimisation is that below-the-surface hustle? There is a number of legwork that goes into it. But the more you do it, the better it will get—and the more site visitors you’ll get to your web site. To recap, right here’s tips on how to do on-page search engine optimisation:

  1. Do your key phrase analysis and goal just one key phrase or key phrase theme per web page.
  2. Write correct, organized, actionable, and in-depth content material on the focused key phrase
  3. Place your key phrase within the title, headings, pictures, meta description, URL, and first 100 phrases of the web page.
  4. Compress and resize pictures, and embody the key phrase within the alt textual content and file identify.
  5. Use a compelling title that conveys worth, front-loaded with the key phrase.
  6. Use headings to convey info hierarchy, with the key phrase in no less than two H2 headings.
  7. Write a benefit-focused meta description that accommodates the key phrase.
  8. Include 1-3 exterior hyperlinks to high-quality websites plus inner hyperlinks.
  9. Keep the URL quick, descriptive, with dashes between phrases and embody the key phrase.
  10. Check for cell compatibility, web page pace, and indexation.
  11. Periodically replace and refresh the web page components to take care of content material freshness.
Jerry Gordon

About Jerry Gordon

Webmaster, nature and tech lover. Jerry manages the day-to-day operations at DigiToolsadvisor. He loves enjoying his free time, but most of all, trying new tools to master.