On Page SEO: 21 Point Checklist to Perfectly Optimize Your Website

on-page-seo

On Page SEO is most important & essential part of SEO process. What I love about it is you can control all the factors in it & optimize website pages.

You have to use different On Page SEO Techniques to optimize your contents. Well-Optimized pages rank better in search engine results.

What is On Page SEO?

On Page SEO is the process of optimizing pages of your website & using best practices to improve ranking in search engines. There are different On Page SEO factorswhich are crucial to optimize<

21 On Page SEO Techniques:

1. Write An Attractive Title Tag:

Search Engines display title tag in search engine result pages (SERP). Every user clicks on the search engine results by reading title tag.

title tag

A title tag is a vital element of a web page because it is not only displayed in Search Engine Results but also in the web browser title bar & social media shared posts.

Here are a few tips on writing an attractive title tag:

Add Modifiers:

Add modifiers in title tag such as “Best”, “Top”, “Checklist”, “guide”, “review”, “2017” etc. Adding such a modifiers in your title tag will improve CTR (Click-Through-Rate).

Improved CTR will increase the ranking & traffic to your website.

70 Character Length:

I keep all my articles title tag length in between 60 to 65 characters. You should not write titles with more than 70 characters including spaces. If you exceed character limit, then extra dots will be added in search engine results.

Like:

title tag extra dots

So, You should watch the length of the title while writing it.

Add your brand name:

If you have well-known brand then adding its name into your title tag also helps in improving CTR. Add the brand name at the end of your title. It will also increase traffic If a user does search with your brand name.

Google will also consider your website as the best source for your niche If your site is getting traffic from brand queries.

Suppose, Your site niche is “Tattoo Removal” When a user does search with “best ways to remove tattoo + your brand name” then Google will consider your website as the best source of information for tattoo removal queries.

2. Start Title Tag with a Target Keyword:

It is not possible to start title tag with the target keyword in each blog post, but I recommend you whenever it is possible & If the keyword is so important for your business, Start your title tag with the target keyword.

I have written link building article and started the title tag with the target keyword which is “Link Building”:

link building serp

Search engines would consider the first keyword as the most valuable keyword for an article. So, putting targeted keywords at the start of a title tag will optimize on page SEO.

It is an effective way to write a title tag, but you should write it in a natural language. Don’t stuff the title tag with keywords. The title should convey a meaning while reading it.

3. Content Title should be in <h1> Tag:

The title of your blog post is a headline & It should be in the <h1> tag only.

If you are using WordPress or Joomla themes, then there is a possibility that headline (title) might have wrapped in the <h2> tag which is an entirely wrong way of implementation.

If you are using WordPress or Joomla CMS system then <h1> tag would automatically become a <title> tag of your web page. If you are not using CMS then you have to write both <title> & <h1> tags.

The h1 tag is a headline of your content, and it is bigger in font size.

Here are a few tips on writing h1 Tag:

Add Target Keyword:

Your h1 tag should contain target keyword in it. Like the title tag, You should start it with target keyword whenever possible.

You should use only one h1 tag per blog post content. Google won’t penalize your website for using more h1 tags, but it is better to use only one.

Matt Cutts who is a former head of Web Spam Team at Google explains it:

Don’t stuff with the keywords:

Do not stuff h1 tag with a lot of keywords. It should be meaningful & look natural. Google will penalize your website pages in no time for keyword stuffing.

It should be unique:

Do not use the same h1 tag content for all your web pages. It should be different for each page. The same thing applies to title tag too.

Check CSS and other code behind your h1 tag:

If your title tag is looking a way bigger or a way smaller, then you should check the CSS of your website. You should always wrap your headline in the <h1> tag only.

4. Write Compelling Meta Description:

Like the title tag, Search Engines display meta descriptions in the search engine results & social media shared posts.

meta description

Although the meta description is not a ranking factor for Google, It will entice the users to click on your article link. Mostly, In the mobile search results, meta descriptions are visible to the user’s eyes due to the small screen.

So take an effort to write meta description clear & actionable then It will entice the users to click on it.

Here are few tips on writing meta description:

Add Target Keyword:

Google will highlight the keywords in the meta description & it will look relevant to the query.

It should be in an active voice:

According to Grammarly:

With the active voice, the subject performs the action. It can provide more clarity, brevity, responsibility, or certainty than passive voice. If the active voice makes sense, use it.

If you write meta description in the active voice, it will look enticing. Actionable meta description makes the user click on the link.

The above meta description is in the active voice, and it is also actionable.

160 Character Limit:

If you exceed meta description character limit of 160, including spaces, It won’t look good. Google will add additional dots in meta descriptions.

So try to write meta description in between 135 to 160 characters.

5. URL Structure should be SEO Friendly:

There are a lot of ways to write URLs for your content. The WordPress system calls it “Permalinks”. The best URL structure is short in the length & contains the keyword.

url structure

Here are few tips for Good URL Structure:

Avoid using the underscore( _ ) & unwanted characters:

Your URL shouldn’t contain the underscore & characters like &, ?, @, %, etc.  because Search engines face difficulty while crawling such type of URLs.

You can use dashes(-) instead of underscores (_).

Matt Cuts on using Underscores & Dashes:

Avoid ugly URLs:

Your URL should not look ugly.

Like:

https://example.com/?p=253

Do not add dates:

Your blog post URL should not contain dates like a month, day, year, etc.

Eg. https://example.com/2017/03/26/fitness/diet

It’s nice to have a folder structure like above in the URL, but you should never add dates like this.

6. URL Should contain Target Keyword:

I always add only target keyword in my all contents. For this article, My target keyword is “On Page SEO techniques” so I have added only target keyword in the permalink.

on page seo techniques permalink

A major benefit of this method is users can quickly understand what your page about just by looking at the URL.

7. Install SSL Certificate to have HTTPS URLs:

Google has already stated that it will use https as a ranking factor. Top 50% of Google search results are HTTPS. It means half of the page 1 search results are HTTPS.

https 50 percent top pages

Moreover, The world’s most used browser “Google Chrome” has rolled out a browser update to show security status of web pages. If your website is not secure (not using HTTPS) & If it contains login form then “Not secure” status will be displayed on the left side of the browser address bar.

not-secure

Google has also stated that they are going to release the browser update where all the HTTP pages will be flagged as “Not secure”.

https ranking red secure

The users may leave your website by watching red color “Not secure” text even If your content is good.

If you want to make your website secure then yo have to install SSL certificate on your web server. You can buy it or use a free one.

LetsEncrypt is a free SSL certificate provider, with the help of this you can make your website secure & change your HTTP URLs to HTTPS.

Free SSL certificate is not a good fit for commercial sites like E-Commerce, SaaS, etc. Free SSL certificate lack features such as scanning of your website & warranty amount.

I use SSL certificate from COMODO provided by Namecheap.

dmarketer browser ssl

8. Increase Website Speed:

Google won’t give ranking perks to fast loading website, but It’ll penalize the slow loading websites. Fast loading websites have higher conversion rate & it improves the user experience. 

 Soasta published a performance case study stating that Mobile pages that are 1-second faster have conversion rate increment of 27%

conversion rate 1 sec faster

Kissmetrics has an excellent infographic on loading time. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

loading time infographic

Here are my Top 3 recommendation to improve your website loading speed:

Optimize Images:

Images are the major bottlenecks to site loading speed. You should compress all your images before adding into your contents. I always compress images & then upload them to my website.

List of the image file formats & image compressor sites:

.png – http://compresspng.com/

.jpg or .jpeg – https://tinyjpg.com/

.gif – http://gifcompressor.com/

If you are using WordPress, then you can use WP Smush plugin.

Change Web Hosting:

You might have doubt that what is the connection of web hosting to site loading speed but Yes, There is a connection.

You host a website on your web hosting provider’s server then user request it by entering website URL in the browser.

If the server is powerful, It quickly finds the site contents & present to the user.

If the server is not powerful enough, It will take some time to find out the site contents. It happens in shared web hosting services because shared server hosts a lot of websites.

How do you know the hosting server is not powerful?

It is easy to check it out. Go to Google Pagespeed Insight & Enter your website URL.

If you are seeing “Reduce Server Response Time” in the Suggestion Summary, then you have to change your web hosting provider or web hosting type.

Enter more URLs of your web pages and check for “Reduce Server Response Time” suggestion.

dmbundle-pagespeed

If you are using shared hosting or VPS hosting, you could see “Reduce Server Response Time” suggestion.

Please note that this is one of the many factors to switch current web hosting provider or web hosting type.

Do not use cheap web hosting services. It is fine If you are just starting your new website but do not rely on cheap and shared hosting as your website traffic increases.

If you are using WordPress I recommend these 3 web hosting providers (ordered by budget):

WPEngine (High Budget)

This web hosting has a high cost. More than 60,000 enterprise companies are using WPEngine to host their WordPress site. If you have a large budget & If you want to focus on your business rather than infrastructure, this is the best choice for you.

Kinsta (Medium Budget)

Kinsta is using Google Cloud Platform to host websites, So definitely It is an excellent choice for WordPress web hosting. It provides managed & Fast WordPress Hosting.

Siteground (Low Budget)

Siteground is one of the oldest hosting provider founded in 2013. It has good support, and It is best for both new & established WordPress websites.

If you are not using WordPress, then I would recommend AWS Web Hosting by Amazon or Dedicated Hosting by Hostgator.

Use CDN:

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a collection of distributed computers spread across the world. It is used to improve the speed & deliverability of static website resources such as images, CSS & Javascript files, static HTML files, etc.

These website resources delivered to the user depending upon the user’s geolocation, the origin of website resources & the origin of delivery network.

Suppose, Your web server location is in San Fransisco, USA & the user is accessing your website from Singapore. It will take some time to load the website static resources as the server location is a far away from the user.

Suppose, The one distributed computer network is in Singapore then there is no need to access website resources from San Fransisco, USA (Web Server Origin). The user will automatically access the website resources from Singapore Distributed Computing Network of CDN.

In simple words, CDN will present the website resources from nearest possible distributed computer network.

One of my favourite CDN providers is StackPath formerly known as MaxCDN.

It is low cost & high-performance CDN provider with the variety of features such as DDoS Mitigation, Web Application Firewall & SSL support. CDN is a great way to increase the speed of High Traffic Websites.

9. Content should start with a Target Keyword:

If you start your content with the target keyword, It will help search engines to understand what your page is all about.

start content with keyword

If you are not able to start your content with the target keyword, at least try to put your keyword in the first 100 words. Also, make sure that your writing will look natural while dropping the keyword.

10. Add Subheading in h2 Tag:

If you are writing a comprehensive content, then you will be using subheadings to make different sections which aid readability. I would recommend you to add subheadings in h2 tags.

Also, add your target keyword into one of the subheadings. h2 tags are bigger but smaller than h1 tags.

h2 subheading

It will be great If you add LSI keywords in subheadings. LSI keywords are synonyms of your target keyword, read further to know about LSI Keywords.

11. Add Engaging Multimedia & Visual assets:

If you add engaging multimedia such as Images, Videos, Graphs, Diagrams, then user engagement will increase on your site which is a positive sign of improved user experience for Google.

Moreover, the users will love your content & It won’t be beneficial only regarding SEO but also helpful in link building, conversion rate improvement & lead generation.

According to infographic published by Hubspot adding video in a landing page increases conversion rate by 80%

video conversion rate

I add a lot of images in all my articles. According to Hubspot Marketing Statistics adding image once every 75-100 words got double the number of shares than articles with fewer images.

visual content statistics

You should also consider adding visual contents like Infographics, Memes & Presentations.

12. Add LSI Keywords:

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords are one of the underused On Page SEO Techniques. LSI Keywords are synonyms of your target keyword.

If you add LSI keywords in your contents, It will become easy for Google to check How relevant is your page. It is recommended to add LSI Keywords in your Subheadings (h2) & paragraphs.

Also, drop one of the LSI Keywords in the first paragraph of your content.

You can find LSI keywords in two ways:

Check Related Searches in Google Search Result Pages:

You can easily find out relevant LSI keywords at the end of the Google Search Result Pages. Just search for your target keyword in Google and scroll to the end:

link building lsi google

Use LSI Keyword Finder Tool:

You can also use LSI Keyword Finder Tool like LSIGraph. Just type the target keyword in the search box, and this tool will present you with a lot of LSI keywords.

link building lsi tool

You would able to find more LSI keywords with this tool. Do not add a large number of LSI keywords in your contents, If you do, It will look like keyword stuffing which is against White Hat SEO rules.

I recommend adding 2-3 LSI keywords in your article, but It should have meaningful & natural language.

13. Add Internal Links:

Internal links are the web pages of your website. It is also called as inbound links.

If you add internal links to your articles, It will keep the user on your site which is a great sign of improved user experience.

Internal links help to distribute the page authority throughout your website.

internal link on page seo

Search engines have crawl limit of 150 links per page. So in the worst case scenario, Do not add more than 150 links on the same page.

In the best case scenario, you should add 3-4 internal links (Old articles) in your blog post.

Make sure to add relevant links with proper anchor text. It should look natural to the reader. Your internal links should not be the nofollow type.

14. Add External Links:

External links are the web pages from a different website than yours. It is also called as outbound links.

According to the experiment done by rebootonline “External links from relevant, high-quality, authority sites provide good ranking results.”

serp results external links

Moz has published a great Video on Whether adding External Links is good or bad? This video will clear your all doubts of using External Links in your contents.

I would recommend adding relevant & authority external links in your articles.

15. Optimize Images:

Image optimization for SEO is important on page SEO factor. Make sure all your images contain relevant ALT text. You should also name your images in a meaningful way.

Search Engines do not understand images. You can head to http://www.browseo.net/ and enter your website URL (which contains images), You would see How your website looks in the eyes of search engines.

image-alt-text

Search Engines check ALT text of your image source code to understand it. You should add your target keyword in the ALT text of at least one image of your content.

16. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly:

In 2015, Google rolled out an update to penalize the websites which are not mobile friendly. In 2016, Google has rolled out another update to index mobile friendly websites first.

Previously, Google was indexing desktop friendly websites first, but Today, It is required to have a mobile friendly website to get indexed in Google search engine.

You can check mobile friendliness of your website with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool:

mobile friendly test

Your website should have Responsive Design which will make it compatible with all screen sizes. I would also recommend checking “Mobile Usability” section of your Google Search Console.

Mobile-Usability-SC

In the Mobile Usability section, You would able to see the website pages which are not mobile friendly. You can contact or hire your developer to make your page designs responsive.

17. Content-Length should be more than 2000 words:

You should write content which is more than 2000 words. There are a lot of benefits of writing such a longer content:

Longer content gets the higher number of shares as compared to shorter content:

average shares by content length

Longer contents tend to rank higher in search engine result pages:

longform-content-ave-length-serps

So, It is very important to write longer contents which are comprehensive, actionable & engaging. I always write contents which are at least 2000 words longer.

18. Increase Time on Page:

If your site visitors are spending a lot of time on your article, It means the article is quality and value providing. You should improve user engagement on your content by writing long contents. Also, Add authority and high-value external links in your contents.

It would be great If you can add high-quality, relevant Images, Videos, Infographics, etc.  Always end your article by writing encouraging line to get comments from site visitors & Don’t forgot to respond to those comments too.

19. Increase Time on Site:

If site visitors are leaving your website quickly, It will increase bounce rate. Increased bounce rate denotes the low-quality website.

I recommend you adding internal links in your contents to increase time on site. You can also add “Related Post” widget at the end of the article which will be helpful keeping visitors busy with your site & also increases page views.

Improving website speed will have a significant impact on increasing time on site. Adding engaging videos is the best choice to decrease bounce rate.

20. Add Social Sharing Buttons:

If your article has a lot of social shares, you will not get higher ranking in Google though it is important to have social sharing buttons on your website to get a higher number of social shares.

If you get a larger number of social media shares, You will get more traffic & attention.

By watching the share count of your content, the users can quickly figure out that, you have a quality content which leads to more shares & more traffic.

It also increases the chances of getting more backlinks to your website. Coschedule has written an excellent article on Social Sharing buttons placement.

Most of the organizations receive 20% of their Twitter traffic from Tweet buttons.

traffic by tweet buttons

According to Hubspot Using Social sharing buttons leads 7x more mentions.

You can use free social media sharing button plugin such as AddToAny, but I recommend buying one.

Free plugins steal your branding & also show their website before redirecting to social sites which will take a few seconds.

redirecting social shares

Paid plugin provides more customization than free plugins & also increases the number of shares. I would recommend 2 social media sharing plugins for your WordPress website:

Social Warfare:

I am using this plugin & I like it very much. It provides enough customization options.

Monarch by Elegant:

This plugin provides a lot of customizations & different styles than Social Warfare.

If you are not using a WordPress site, then You can buy a plan from Addthis.

21. Add Structured Data:

It’s hard to understand complex data formatted in HTML elements for search engines. You might be using data such as Business Name & Address, Author Information, or more complicated data such as Recipe, Products, Events, Articles, Reviews, etc.

Search engines can easily understand such a complex data with the help of Structured Data Schema Markups. Structured data contents are used in Search Engine Result Pages, Google Cards, etc. which gives more exposure to your business.

You can test Whether your website is using Structured Data or not by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool:

structured-data-test-linkbuilding

I am using Genesis Framework by StudioPress & It adds worthy information as structured data like BreadCrumbList, Author Profile, WPHeader, WPFooter, etc. You can also use SchemaApp WordPress Plugin to add structured data.

If you are not using WordPress, then you can use Google Structured Data Markup Helper. You can get the code by highlighting the different areas in your content & later add that code in your web page.

If you are proving reviews of products then I would recommend using WordPress Author h-review plugin.

Keep an eye on the structured data errors and warnings with the help of Google Search Engine Console.

search console structured data

In the Search Engine Console, Structured data section will show erroneous pages. You have to make your structured data error free.

Conclusion:

These are the all On Page SEO Techniques you should apply to your contents. It is very important that you should create quality content for both search engines & users.

Search Engines understand your content If you have done a good On Page SEO. I always apply all On Page SEO techniques before publishing the articles & You should do the same.

You must apply On Page SEO Techniques to your content before building links to it.Click To Tweet

Content promotion, Link building & other Off Page SEO techniques come after On Page SEO.

Which On Page SEO Techniques do you use? Would you like this On Page SEO Tutorial?

Thanks in Advance for sharing this article.