On-page SEO is everything that can be optimised for search on a single page of a website. The following checklist should be applied to every individual page on your site before it goes live. If your website is already live without SEO optimisation, go through each page on your website and apply this checklist ASAP!
How to check my website SEO
Use this checklist to check the different pages on your website for search engine optimisation. Look at a product page, a blog post, or even the homepage. Every webpage should be able to tick off all the items on this list. If not, you can’t expect the page to rank optimally in search results.
|On-page Element||Optimisation required|
|✓||Mobile responsive design.||Your website has to look and work great on mobile devices. As well as general design, all text must be 16 pixels (12 pt font) at least. If your target audience is a bit older, consider making it even bigger.|
|✓||Indexable by search engines and present in sitemap.||Your sitemap must be configured correctly, and submitted to your GSC account for indexing.|
|✓||Optimised URL structure.||Your URL should be 50-60 characters long, and contain the target keyword for the page if possible. Use dashes instead of underscores as word separators.|
|✓||Optimised page title.||Your title tag should include the target keyword and be compelling enough to convince users to click through from search results. Less than 60 characters.|
|✓||Optimised meta description.||The meta description should also include any target keywords, and is your second opportunity to convince users to click through to your website from the search results. Less than 120 characters for mobile, 160 for desktop.|
|✓||Appropriate schema markup implemented.||JSON-LD can be used in the code of your page to achieve more detailed listings in search results (AKA rich/featured snippets).|
|✓||H1 includes keyword.||Every page needs one unique sentence wrapped in an h1 tag. It should be at the top of the page and contain your target keyword that you want the page to rank for. It should also explain the main theme of the page, and be different to your page title.|
|✓||H2 includes keyword.||H2 tags should be used on your main subheadings. The keyword should appear naturally throughout these as well. For any less important headings you can use h3, h4, and so forth.|
|✓||Keyword appears within first 100 words of paragraph style copy.||A page attempting to rank for a specific word or phrase should naturally contain a few mentions of it at the top of the page.|
|✓||Word count is over 1000 words.||While it is possible for pages with few words to rank, it's easier to rank with a higher word count...as long as it's quality content.|
|✓||Keyword appears naturally across the whole page.||These keywords/phrases will also appear throughout the rest of the page copy. Don’t go overboard though, there is such a thing as over-optimisation. Aim for 15+ mentions if targeting a single word. In headings, keyword synonyms, questions, etc.|
|✓||Image filenames include keyword.||Another place to pop the keyword is in an image on the page. Again, putting it in every image may look suspiciously like over-optimisation.|
|✓||Images aren’t unnecessarily large/slow to load.||A fast-loading website is essential to SEO. Uncompressed images are often the cause, so ensure images are optimised.|
|✓||Image alt-text includes keyword whenever possible, and describes the image as if to a visually impaired user.||You can also add ‘alt-text’ to an image. Use text to describe the image to help it appear in image search results, and so blind users can read about the image you’ve used on your website.|
|✓||Engage users with video and unique, eye-catching imagery.||Keeping users engaged with your website is a great signal to Google. Use design, imagery, and video to provide users with a helpful experience.|
|✓||Internal links to appropriate pages.||Linking to other pages of your website helps users (and search engines) navigate the site. Anchor text should contain target keyword of destination page.|
|✓||External links to appropriate pages.||Links to other websites are good too, but make sure you use a ‘rel=”nofollow”’ tag for these.|
|✓||Backlinks to this page.||It’s also good to get other pages of your website to link to the page you’re optimising. Links from the homepage give the page it’s linking to more importance.|
How can my website start ranking?
Once you’ve ticked off every item on this list, you can be confident that your page is ready to rank. Does that mean it’s guaranteed to show up on page #1 straight away?
Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Yes, checking the items off this list will help you outrank some competitors, but the ones at the very top have probably done all this already. That’s why they’re there before you.
There’s a whole bunch of stuff that needs to be done to a website, and continue to happen on a website, for it to climb the first page rankings. On-page optimisation is just one of the three pillars of SEO, and this checklist only scratches the surface.
If you need help implementing SEO on your website or increasing your website traffic in general, contact the SEOwriter.