Welcome to our complete on-page SEO checklist for managing websites. Here, we’ll cover all the necessary steps to launch, run, and grow your website. Be sure that you’re familiar with SEO fundamentals and concepts before you start implementing the following steps. We have explained every step briefly to help you understand them in detail.
Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
1. Set up Google Search Console (and other tools)
Google Search Console is an essential tool for any SEO professional. It gives you numerous actionable insights that can help you improve your site’s health and performance. In addition, you can use the generated data to create content strategies and evaluate your progress. Another helpful tool is the Bing Webmaster Tools. They help you track your progress on the relevant search engine.
2. Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a marketing analytics tool for viewing data and insights on how people use your website. It tells how people visit your website, who they are and how they engage with it. Like GSC, Google Analytics is also a must-have for any SEO professional.
3. Install an SEO plugin (for WP website)
If you’re running a website, the odds are that it’s a WordPress website. If it’s a WordPress site, you’ll have to install and configure an SEO plugin that lets you optimize your site and highlights any issues present in your website. Yoast SEO, for example, is among the most popular SEO plugins among WP users.
4. Make a Robots.txt file
The robots.txt file of a website informs search engine crawlers of the pages they can request from the site. It also tells them about the pages they can’t request from the website. It’s a way for de-indexing web pages. To check your website’s robots.txt file, visit https://www.yourdomain.com/robots.txt. Replace “yourdomain” with your website’s domain name.
5. Ensure your website is indexed
Google may be incapable of indexing your website. Sudden de-indexing is a prevalent issue among web developers and SEOs. You should use a site audit tool to ensure that your website gets indexed and crawled properly.
1. Competitor Identification
One of the most effective ways to research keywords is to find your competitors. Therefore, competition analysis is a prominent aspect of today’s SEO. Find websites that operate in your industry and target audiences that you want to attract to your business.
2. Find the primary keywords
Every business has keywords that generate actual sales and revenue. They are your primary keywords, and they will be your main focus when you perform SEO. These keywords have high volume and high competition. You’ll base your keyword strategy on these keywords, such as their variations and long-tail versions.
3. Find long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are phrases with multiple words that people look up online. These keywords have significantly lower volume but offer higher conversion rates. For example,
“online banking” is a short-tail keyword, while “how to perform online banking” is a long-tail keyword for the same.
4. Analyze the ranking pages and their intent
Once you have identified the keywords for your website through competitive analysis and comparison, you should start analyzing the pages that rank for those keywords. Also, it’s important to know the searcher’s intent, or else people wouldn’t click on your web pages regardless of its SERP ranking.
5. Prioritize keyword difficulty
As the final step of your keyword SEO, differentiate them in order of their difficulty. For example, some keywords would be very easy to rank (long-tail keywords with low volume), while some would be very difficult to rank for (short-tail keywords with high volume). Hence, it’s vital to know which keywords in your SEO list are easy or complex.
1. Make your website mobile-friendly
Your desktop website would be different from its mobile version. Mobile devices account for more searches than desktops. Hence, you should make sure that your website doesn’t have any bugs or technical issues when it opens on a mobile browser. Make sure that it’s easy to navigate while scrolling on a mobile device.
2. Check the website’s loading speed
One of the most influential ranking factors is the load speed of your website. The chances of a visitor leaving your web page increase 32% as your page load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds. To find page speed issues and fix them, you should use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool.
3. Use HTTPS
You should find all the HTTP links present on your website. They are detrimental to your site’s SEO. However, you might need to take the help of your developer to fix this issue as you would have to update page templates or search on the database.
4. Check for Duplicates
There are multiple versions of a website, such as https://yourdomain.com or https://www.yourdomain.com. All of these versions should point to your website. The primary version would be https://www.yourdomain.com, and all the other versions should 301 redirect to that one.
1. Fix errors in title tags
Go through your website and look for duplicate and missing title tags. Title tags that are too long are also detrimental to your SERP ranking as they won’t appear fully on the results page. Since the title tag tells the search engine about the content on the web page, it should be unique.
2. Fix errors in meta descriptions
Your web page’s meta description plays a huge role in determining if someone would click on your web page or not. The ideal length of a meta description ranges from 120-160 characters. So, you should focus on keeping all of your meta descriptions in this character range. Also, your meta description should have the keyword you’re targeting and must be creative enough to instil interest in the audience.
3. Audit the Content
Make sure that your content is unique and doesn’t have any plagiarism. Plagiarism is dangerous for any web page because it simply wouldn’t rank. Another thing you should look for is content that doesn’t add any value. Content that doesn’t rank and doesn’t offer value shouldn’t be on your website.
4. Optimize Images
You should ensure that the images present on your website have proper alt tags. An alt tag tells the search engine crawlers what the image is about. If the image doesn’t load, the text in the alt tag would appear on the webpage. Hence, it should be concise and accurate.
5. Resolve Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization refers to when multiple similar keywords are spread throughout your page. It makes it difficult for search engine crawlers to determine which keywords they should rank for your web page. Make sure you’re using specific keywords and in the right quantity.
1. Analyze your competitor’s links
Check your competition’s links and see the places they are getting links from. It will help you strategize how you can outrank them and get ahead of them. There are various tools you can use for this task, such as SEMRush and Ahrefs.
2. Apply the skyscraper method
The skyscraper technique refers to creating more valuable content and has higher keywords than the content ranking for a specific keyword. It can be a speedy and effective way to boost your website’s ranking for long-tail keywords.
3. Conduct online PR
Online PR has a ton of advantages. It allows you to get more mentions, increase brand awareness, enhance your business reputation, and get links from popular websites. You can get in touch with different PR firms such as DigitalPR or BitReputation.
4. Create important profiles
Your business must have online profiles on the relevant platforms. This means you should have a Google My Business page and have profiles on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. They will help you enhance your audience engagement and make your business more recognizable.
5. Turn unlinked mentions into links
Link generation is one of the most vital aspects of SEO. A fantastic way to generate links for your business is by transforming your brand mentions into backlinks. You can find your brand mentions on different websites that have used your content or cited you as a source and check if they are giving you a link. If not, you can simply ask them, and chances are, you’ll get a backlink very easily.
In today’s cut-throat competition, it’s vital to implement the right SEO strategies. It would ensure that you attract traffic and accelerate the growth of your website. SEO is a broad concept in itself, and following the above SEO on-page checklist will help you utilise it. You’ll need to implement other digital marketing concepts such as search engine marketing and content marketing for proper online growth.
If you’re eager to learn more about SEO and other digital marketing subjects, we recommend taking our Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication program. It’s an online program with three different tracks and multiple specialisations, including branding, marketing analytics, marketing communications – PR, and social media & content marketing.
The list of activities that can help in improving the quality of your webpage to ensure that it organically ranks higher on the SERP. On-page SEO activities involve improving the quality of tags, links, content, etc. The competition between websites to rank on the top of the SERP is intense and hence, merely creating a website cannot be the end of your SEO efforts - you must invest effort in Onpage and Offpage optimization to make sure it attracts a steady stream of traffic. Search engines today still lay emphasis on different on page parameters while ranking web pages. Since every aspect of onpage SEO is completely under your control, it is important to take complete control of this factor and influence to improve your website's rankings. The complete SEO checklist to manage your website include:
What exactly is OnPage SEO?
Is Onpage SEO still important?
What are the different factors that I need to tick mark to improve my SEO rankings?
Content Elements: Content is the king. High-quality, carefully crafted content tells search engines that your website adds value to users and improves the chances of your website ranking higher. Here is what you can do to improve the quality of content on your website:
1. Incorporate carefully researched keywords
2. Develop engaging content
HTML Elements: This refers to the elements in the source code. Here are some HTML elements to work on:
1. Page titles
2. Meta descriptions
Site Architecture Elements: Site architecture means how your website's pages are linked together. Your site structure should enable websites to easily scan the contents of the page for the purpose of indexing and ranking. Here are some site elements you can work on to improve your site architecture:
1. Page URLs
2. Internal Linking
The list of activities that can help in improving the quality of your webpage to ensure that it organically ranks higher on the SERP. On-page SEO activities involve improving the quality of tags, links, content, etc.
The competition between websites to rank on the top of the SERP is intense and hence, merely creating a website cannot be the end of your SEO efforts - you must invest effort in Onpage and Offpage optimization to make sure it attracts a steady stream of traffic. Search engines today still lay emphasis on different on page parameters while ranking web pages. Since every aspect of onpage SEO is completely under your control, it is important to take complete control of this factor and influence to improve your website's rankings.
The complete SEO checklist to manage your website include: