What is On-Page SEO?
Also called on-site SEO, on-page SEO is basically optimizing web pages to improve their search engine
visibility and boost the site’s organic traffic. The optimization is not a one-time process. It, in fact, should be
sustained and enhanced throughout the site’s lifetime. On-page SEO could mean multiple things, such as
publishing high-quality relevant content, optimizing your headlines, adding images and HTML tags, etc. The
overall objective is to ensure the site exhibits a level of authoritativeness, expertise, and trustworthiness.
On-Page SEO helps search engine robots comprehend a website so that the search engine could ensure the
site and its content is relevant to the query of a searcher. Search engines, with their myriad complex
algorithms, are now much more adept at understanding a user’s search requirements and delivering correct
search results. Adapting to the ever-changing and ever-evolving search engine algorithms is imperative to
stay in the hunt for top search engine rankings.
The following is your complete on-page SEO checklist for 2020.
Target Keyword in the URL
URL (uniform resource locator) are addresses or locations for individual pieces of web content. Search
engines need URLs for each website page so that they could display the page in their search results. Clear
URL naming and structure also helps people who would like to know what the particular URL is about.
A searcher is extremely likely to visit a page that has proper keywords its URL. For instance, if the web page
talks about the iPhone X, the URL should have the term iPhone X. If it’s just the site name and some
random number, searchers may not feel like clicking on the URL
Keep Your URLs Short
The URL structure is often overlooked as a component of on-page SEO. Recently, some search engines have
started placing web URL above page titles in their search engines. It’s, therefore, safe to say that URLs are
now even more important for SEO than they were before.
Besides ensuring the page’s keywords feature in the URL, make sure the URLs are short.
In fact, a short and keyword-rich URL is the only thing you need tooptimize web URLs for SEO.
That said, make sure your URL is not just your site name and keyword. It’s perfectly okay to add a couple of words to the URL.
Add Your Keyword to Your Title Tag
The title tag is essentially an HTML tag residing in each web page’s head section. It offers initial context or
cue on the particular page’s subject matter. Adding target keywords to the title tag helps improve the
searchability of a web page. Missing, poorly written, and/or duplicate title tags could negatively hurt the
Also, incorporate title tag modifiers such as “best”, “checklist”, “review”, “fast”, etc. These would help with
ranking for the long-tail variants of your primary keywords. For example, if you are reviewing a tech
product that was released six months ago, you may add the modifier “revisiting” to the title. The title tag
could be “Revisiting Product XYZ After Six Months”.
Moreover, add the year in question to the title, like the title for this post. If the content is evergreen, such as
pregnancy tips, you need not add the year. But if you are talking about SEO, smartphones, or anything that
keeps constantly changing and evolving, being time-sensitive is important.
Add Your Keyword to Your Meta Description
Meta descriptions have been integral to a site’s on-page SEO since SEO has been a thing. Meta descriptions,
like title tags, are HTML elements describing a page’s contents. They offer a brief description of the page’s
content. Therefore, optimizing a web page’s meta description by adding the right keywords into the text
would help improve the page’s click-through rate, perception of web page quality, and perception of the
A meta description is integral to a web page’s click-through rate. For meta descriptions to be effective, they
should be relevant and of the right length. The description’s relevance denotes how germane the description
is to the page’s content. It should be a synopsis of the page’s key concept. It should provide the searcher
sufficient information to ascertain that they are on a page that’s relevant enough to provide a solution or
answer a question.
At the same time, the description shouldn’t divulge too much information. Search engines
usually truncate meta descriptions and keep them within 155 characters. It’s, therefore, recommended that
the meta descriptions are 150 to 200 characters in length.
Add Your Keyword to Your H1 Tag
The H1 tag is part of a web page’s HTML elements (H1 to H6). The tag helps identify the page’s heading so
that it could be differentiated from the page’s paragraphs and other kinds of texts. In other words, the H1 tag
helps search engines understand your page’s structure.
Most content management systems (such as WordPress) add the tag automatically to the title of your blog post.
If you use WordPress, you are good. Butnot everyone uses CMS to create and design their sites.
If your site is custom-designed, check its code to ensure the titles have the H1 wrapping. And your keyword must be inside the H1 tag.
Add Related Keywords in H2 Tags
Besides ensuring your target keyword is in one sub-head at least, make sure you use related keywords in
your H2 tags. H2 tags are the second most important header tags featured in your content. Adding related
keywords in your H2 tags makes the tags uniquely descriptive.
For instance, if the H1 tag is Samsung Galaxy S10 Review, the H2 tag could be Galaxy S10 Benchmarks and Performance.
This should help boththe search engine robot and user to identify the page better.
Include Your Keyword in the Body of the Page
Your target or primary keyword(s) should be in the initial 100 words of your content. The sooner your primary keyword makes an appearance, the quicker and easier it becomes for search engine crawlers to ascertain what the content is about. The keyword could be placed right at the end of the introduction para or later in the article.
Use Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Your Copy
Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords provide context to your copy. They basically denote phrases and
words relating to the topic under discussion. Your LSI keywords should be related to your primary keyword.
For instance, if your content is about DSLR cameras, the LSI keywords could be best DSLR cameras,
budget DSLR camera, DSLR camera setup, Canon DSLR camera, etc. Sprinkle these keywords throughout
the article so that they look natural and not stuffed in.
Write 100% Unique Content
High-quality, unique content is content that’s created keeping both the users and search engines in mind. It
should be super valuable, search engine-optimized, and comprehensive. Not creating plagiarised copy is just
one aspect of 100 percent unique content. Unique content is primarily making sure the piece doesn’t just
stop with paraphrasing information that’s already floating on the web.
The content should bring something novel to the table and/or add more value to existing information.
That “value” could be in the form of a new strategy or tip, an improved list of curated information, strong design, fresh case studies, a streamlined stepby-step method, etc.
Optimize Content Readability
People online do not read content; they skim through it. And your efforts should not be to make your visitors
read every word in your article. You should, in fact, facilitate the skimming process. In other words, use a lot
of subheadings, images, and bullets in your content.
As far as copywriting goes, the reading level should be lower or close to basic so that the content is accessible or
comprehensible to the majority of cetizens. However, based on your niche, readability could change.
For instance, a scientific journal should ideally have a higher level of reading compared to blogs and similar sites.The same holds true for a tabloid newspaper and a broadsheet newspaper.
Optimize Your Images
Images help increase the visual appeal of your web pages. However, not all images weigh the same. In fact,
some could even slow your website down with their heft. Optimize your images properly if you want to
leverage them for on-page SEO. Optimizing images has a lot to do with using the right image format. If your
image needs animation, go with a GIF. If high image resolution isn’t necessary, use JPEG.
If high image resolution needs to be preserved, use PNG. If the image has an extensive color palette, use PNG-24. PNG-8
would be fine for images without a variety of hues.
When your website images are optimized, they increase the number of ways in which your ranking could
increase (such as showing up in image searches), enhanced user experience, and increased page load times.
The images you add must support your page content. Also, do not forget to use alt text and descriptive titles.
Alt texts help search engine robots and the visually impaired understand what the images on your site depict.
Internal Link Building
Internal linking is massive for SEO. It’s basically linking to other pages on your site. These links boost your
site’s crawlability. In other words, the links would help search engine crawlers discover other pages in your
site. Users will also be able to navigate your site better. Most importantly, internal links can help bring down
your site’s bounce rate. Bounce rates basically denote visitors checking your site out and exiting without
clicking on other links on your site.
The higher the bounce rate, the greater the number of people browsing just one page during a session.
Needless to say, increased bounce rates would hamper the SEO of your site.
When linking, ensure you use proper anchor texts. Wikipedia is a live example of how a high-authority page
shares link juice to other pages on the site. You should particularly look to link pages with higher authority
on your site to internal pages that would not mind an SEO push.
Link to Authoritative Sites
External links to related authoritative sites would help search engines ascertain the topic of your page. It also
sends the message to both search engines and users that your web page is a repository of quality information.
Make sure you don’t link to external sites too early in your content if the links are not going to be listed
down as resource links.
Mobile Responsive Website
If your website is not optimized for the smaller screens of mobile devices, it would have trouble ranking
higher. Mobile responsiveness has not always been an SEO factor. However, with smartphones becoming
ubiquitous and an increasing number of people using their mobile devices to browse the web, mobile
optimization cannot be overlooked anymore. There are several tools online that’ll help you check your site’s
Website speed has been a ranking factor ever since 2010. Site speed is basically the time a visitor has to wait
for a web page to load completely. E-commerce websites usually take 7 seconds to load a page. Blogs and
other lighter websites should ideally not take more than 3 seconds. Website speed also impacts your visitor’s
A site that has the HTTPS protocol in its domain name helps create a sense of security in the minds of the
visitor. To add HTTPS to your site, get a Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. These certificates help
encrypt user information. They make sure any information passing between the searcher’s browser and web
server remains private. If a website doesn’t have HTTPS in its name or it’s not secure’, it could cause the
website to look untrustworthy to visitors.
Spelling and Grammar
The odd spelling error or grammar mistake won’t really hurt your site. However, if the errors become a pattern or your content doesn’t read as if it’s written to high standards, the page could get downvoted by search engines. Not to mention, searchers would correlate your page content’s bad grammar with the overall quality of the site.
There are multiple on-page SEO factors to look into when setting up your website. It’s, therefore, recommended you have the on-page SEO checklist page handy. This would make sure you do not skip or oversee a factor. Backlinks and off-page SEO elements do have their place. But on-page SEO is the foundation on which off-page SEO elements are built. Therefore, getting on-page SEO right is critical to your website’s success. If you are doing SEO within your city then check our our local SEO guide.
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