Are you looking for a quick checklist of on-page SEO techniques? You’ve come to the right place. This short list is your one-stop guide to on-page optimization, providing step-by-step instructions for optimising the most important components of your page.

What Is On-Page SEO? 

On-page SEO is the process of optimising elements on your website to better rank in search engines and drive traffic. This involves optimising content elements like site copy, keywords, and relevant topics, as well as HTML elements like your page titles, headings, image alt-text, and meta descriptions. Structural or architectural elements like page URLs and internal linking should also be considered.

Why Should You Conduct On-Page SEO Audits? 

Before writers publish their work, they have editors and proofreaders go over their work first to spot typos, factual errors, or any inconsistencies in their writing. Doing an on-page SEO audit is kind of the same thing. The process helps you identify potential issues in your website – issues that could compromise your ranking on search engines and your site’s overall user experience. 

Remember, you’ll want search engines to easily find and rank your site so that more people actually know it exists. At the same time, you want to make sure your site content is engaging enough for users to stay on and explore. 

Our Comprehensive On-Page SEO Checklist 

1. Page Content

The first item on your checklist? Optimising page content. There are many ways to go about this, but one of – if not the most – important steps is finding the right keywords for your page. 

Look for keywords that are:

Here are some keyword research tools to get you started:

2. Page Titles

Also called title tags, page titles are incredibly important to your SEO strategy because they help site visitors know what to expect on your webpage. They also tell search engines whether your page is relevant to someone’s search. With all this in mind, you have to make sure your title tags are accurate and relevant to your page’s content. 

Where do title tags appear? You can usually find these on your browser tab, on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and on other websites that link to your page. 

When optimising your page titles, keep the following practices in mind:

3. Headings

Headings (also called header tags) provide structure to your text and allow readers to easily scan your content to get a feel of what to expect. 

Headings don’t have as big of an effect on your SEO as, say, your page titles or meta descriptions. But if you get your headings right, you can keep readers on your page for a longer time and minimise your bounce rate. Bounce rate reflects the percentage of visitors that exit your page without interacting with anything on it, like clicking links or filling forms. When pages have a high bounce rate, search engines will assume that your page isn’t interesting to searchers, and will bump you down on the rankings.

So how can you optimise your headings? 

4. Meta Descriptions

A meta description is a short summary of what your page is about. These usually appear in search results under the page’s title. A well-written meta description can influence searchers to click on your page, while a bad one can lead searchers to scroll right past you on the search engines.

Meta descriptions also appear when pages are shared on social media, so they can help you get click-throughs even outside of search engines. Remember, click-through rate is important to search engines. The more clicks you get to your page, the better your chances of moving up the ranks. So a good meta description is crucial to your SEO strategy.

Here are 4 tips for writing an effective meta description:

5. Page URLs

A URL, also called a link, is your page’s unique address. Optimising your URLs is important because they’re literally the link between your site users and your content. URL structure affects both user experience and page ranking. 

Here are 4 ways to optimise your URLs:

6. Image Alt-text

Alt-text describes the contents of a photo. This is especially useful for visually impaired users who rely on screen readers. In place of viewing an image, they have a screen reader dictate the image description out loud to them. That way, they still get the visual context of your webpage. Sites also display alt-text when image files can’t load. So even if your user has a poor internet connection, they can still get an idea of what your image was supposed to be.

Many SEO beginners tend to overlook image alt-text. But aside from making your page more accessible, alt-text also helps improve your rank in Google Images. According to Ahrefs, Google Images makes up 20.45% of all online searches, making it the second-largest search engine in the world. 

Here are some tips for adding image alt-text:

  1. Be specific. You want both users and search engines to get the picture, so to speak, even if they can’t actually see the picture. Be as descriptive as you can.
  2. Write naturally. Don’t use alt-text to overload your image with keywords. Instead, write your alt-text as if you’re describing your image to someone who can’t see. 
  3. Keep it short. The recommended character count is 125 characters or less. 
  4. Don’t state that it’s a picture. Screen readers and search engines can tell when they’re reading an image, so you don’t need to waste your character count on “Image of…:”. 

7. Internal Linking

Internal links are hyperlinks that bring you to other useful pages within your website or domain. External links, on the other hand, bring you out to other websites. 

Internal linking is important to your SEO strategy because it keeps users on your website longer, telling search engines that your site is valuable to searchers. It also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages. 

When optimising internal links, make sure to tick the following boxes:

The Bottom Line

We hope this comprehensive checklist has helped you to better understand what on-page SEO is and why it’s so important. Remember, the goal of any SEO audit should be to improve your website’s overall user experience and performance in search engine rankings.

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