Your On-Page SEO Checklist
We all know that the key to getting your website noticed in a world brimming with digital competitors is to find ways to appeal to search engines. This is aptly known as ‘search engine optimisation’ (SEO), and is based on a whole web of intricate factors that you should implement and regularly monitor if you want to drive a consistent flow of traffic to your site.
However, there are two separate components when it comes to SEO: on-page and off-page. Off-page optimisation entails all those things you can do outside of the website to increase its chances of getting noticed (e.g. social networking sites, local directory listings, social signals, press releases, etc). Conversely, on-page optimisation refers to all measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its search engine rankings.
It is important that you ensure your on-page factors are on-track to securing that prime position atop Google’s search results page. To help you along, we’ve prepared a checklist of on-page factors that all work to influence your search engine ranking.
- Do your meta title tags feature main keyword/s? Your meta title tag reflects the actual subject matter of your web page. Your meta title should include the main keyword or keyword cluster – preferably at the beginning of the title – while still sounding natural and sticking to a maximum of 65-70 characters.
- Do your meta description tags meet character maximum? Your meta description is mainly used to ensure a positive user experience on the search results page. Make sure you keep to the preferred 156-character maximum and give a brief outline of what the page entails. It also helps to include specific keywords and a call-to-action in if possible.
- Is your URL structure concise and does it include keywords? The page’s URL should be short and keyword-rich. It should reflect the information hierarchy of the page, and avoid things like numbers and codes. Essentially, search engines use the URLs to understand the relative importance of the page.
- Do your body tags feature keywords? Body tags or header tags act like headings and subheadings, and rank in importance from H1 to H6. They anchor the text on your page, and should therefore contain variations of your main keywords or keyword clusters whilst dividing up your content in a logical and useful way.
- Is your written content engaging, unique and keyword-rich? Your webpage’s content should incorporate three core pillars: engaging information of a substantial length, unique content, and appropriate keyword density. Obviously, from an audience’s perspective, they are interested in reading well-written content that provides value to them. From an SEO front, unique content is paramount as any pages with duplicate copy will be severely penalised by search engines. However, the right percentage of keywords inserted throughout the copy will attract a more positive result within the search engine results.
- Are you including effective imagery? Engaging images, videos and diagrams can reduce bounce rate and increase the time a user spends on your site. They break up your content and create a dynamic sense of flow that adds to the total quality score of your page.
- Have you employed internal linking? Do your pages link to one another? This can greatly help with your SEO strategy as it creates a sense of credibility in the eyes of Google. Overall, it’s a good idea to include at least two internal links per page; a maximum of four-five. We suggest linking back to the category page, the subcategory page (if applicable) or the homepage.
Following these points is a great starting point to spearheading your website on its path toward top end search engine rankings.
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