On Page SEO is one of the only things you have full control of an SEO. In this article, I am going to show you a checklist of On Page SEO to boost your ranking in Google, if you follow it properly.
What is On Page SEO Checklist?
Now if you are new to On Page SEO, it’s basically the process of optimizing content and HTML source code of every web page to help them rank higher in the search engines.
But still, On Page SEO won’t be enough to rank for competitive terms. By competitive terms mean it won’t be enough to compete with high difficulty keywords.
To compete with high difficulty keywords you have to do Off-Page SEO, create backlinks and many other things properly to beat tough competition.
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However, for low difficulty keywords, this On Page SEO checklist really works. It has enough power to grow your website with a low difficulty keyword.
So let’s get started with the Checklist of On Page SEO.
On Page SEO Checklist
1: Understand & Match Search Intent
Before writing a single word, the very first thing you need to check is the search intent of the user behind this particular query.
For example, if someone searches for “buy headphones”. This means they likely want to see category pages from ecommerce stores. So your blog post of “10 best headphones to buy” won’t rank in Google.
Because the user has already made up his mind to buy headphones, he is not looking for reviews.
How to Know Searcher Intent?
Well, you don’t have to guess what search intent is. Since Google gives preferences to pages that their users are happy with.
To find a user intent, just search for your target keyword and analyze the types of pages that show on the first page of Google.
Afterall, user happiness essentially means satisfied search intent.
Let’s understand it more deeply, assume you have a website where you sell supplements and you want to create a page targeting the keyword “best protein powder”.
If you look at the search results you can tell right away from the titles that they are all blog posts that follow a list-styles format.
So for this scenario, I wouldn’t advise creating a product or category page targeting this keyword. Because if you are not matching intent, you probably won’t rank.
But if you want to create a blog post on this keyword, I highly recommend you to actually visit those webpages to get a better understanding of what they have included in their posts.
Before writing any article it’s a good practice to check the search intent by putting your keyword in Google. Because Google’s job to return is the most relevant result for any user query.
So take note of search intent and make sure your page matches it.
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2: Use LSI Keyword
According to the study of AHREFs, they found that on average, the number one ranking page for a target keyword ranks for nearly a thousand of other relevant keywords in the Top 10.
So what you will need to do is find related subtopics to ensure your piece is thorough.
There are many ways to find these related subtopics.
1: Analyze the top ranking pages: For this just put your keyword in the Google search and look through the search result.
Open every page and find related keywords. For example I searched for the term “create webpage” and opened the first result and found this.
In this image, you can see all the underlined words are related to my keyword.
2: Google Autosuggest: Just type your target keyword and you will see a few suggestions. Like I search for the keyword “freelance websites”. Here you can see a few suggestions that Google recommends to me.
You can use these keywords in your content.
Just make sure that these are all related subtopics and not standalone topics for their own.
Standlone means just take any keyword and search it on Google. If the results are different from your main target keyword, then don’t use it because it does not match with your keyword.
3: People Also Ask Box: Third way to find related keywords is to use People also ask box in Google.
Just search for any keyword and you will see common questions people ask.
You can also scroll down to the bottom of the page to see additional keywords and potential subtopics for your blog post.
A better way to find related keywords is to use Tools like Semrush and Ahrefs.
3: Use short but Descriptive URLs
Many research studies found that there’s a clear correlation between the number of characters in the URL and pages that rank higher in Google.
Let’s say that your page title was “10 best freelance websites to work from home”. The wordpress automatically puts your title as the same into your URL.
So my URL will become like this-
Which is longer than it needs to be.
So as a general of thumb, use your target keyword as the URL slug. So for this only put your keyword in the URL and remove the rest of the part.
This looks perfect, it’s catchy, easy to remember, short and descriptive.
Other advantages of this type of URLs-
- People are most likely to click the search result that exactly matches with their search query.
- Descriptive URLs tend to include your target keywords. People often use anchor text when linking to a webpage, it can be helpful there.
If you already have long URLs but are getting good traffic then you don’t need to change them. There are many websites who are getting a good amount of traffic with long URLs.
But short and URL descriptive is a good practice in SEO.
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4: Use Keyword Properly
Your target keyword must be present in the Title, meta description and H1 tags.
There are two main reasons why you need to add a keyword in your title tag, meta description and h1 tag.
1: There is a small relationship between ranking pages who have strategically placed exact-match keywords. So it can improve your ranking.
2: It can help searchers quickly understand that your page is the most relevant for their search query.
In other cases the exact match keyword can look quite spammy. So you don’t need to stuff exact-match keywords into your titles or even contents.
Instead of writing the same keywords again and again, you can use synonyms, stop words, and connect words.
Google is smart enough to figure things out. Just make sure your content is on point.
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5: Optimize your Images with alt tags
This is a super low hanging way to improve your On-Page SEO by optimizing your images with alt tags.
Image alt tags allow you to provide descriptive texts for images on your page.
When you add the alt attribute you would basically describe the image by adding
Now there are few reasons why this is important to do.
1: When your image fails to load on your page, the alt text will appear as a replacement.
2: Alt text can help by providing a more rich experience for your users.
3: This can help you to rank your images in Google images.
Alt text is extremely helpful if you want your image to rank in Google Images.
It boosts your ranking in this way that whenever someone sees your image in Google for their search query. If your image is ranking higher and descriptive enough then the user will click on that image and land on your web page.
It doesn’t take much effort to add a few words and describe your images which can lead to big returns.
6: Add Structured Data
You can add structured data in your webpage whenever it makes sense. You will often see some search results with the start ratings.
This is the result of adding structured data, which can have a positive impact on your click through rates.
But using this is not about increasing visibility in Google Search. Since not all scheme types create additional detail in SERPs.
It’s about making it easier for search engines to understand what your pages are about.
So while it is not a direct ranking factor, it may still help you rank higher in Google.
To create this you can use Google Structured Data Markup helper to quickly generate your own code.
7: Create Simple & Easy to Readable content
Creating clear and concise content can help search engines piece together what your content is all about.
But what’s even more important is making it simple and easy to read for real people.
It’s believed that Google looks at user signals like dwell time and time spent on page by the users to influence ranking.
So if your content is complicated and difficult to understand, your visitors will head straight for the back button, which is never a good thing.
Here are few tips to improve readability
1: Avoid use of big words if you don’t have to use them.
2: Use short sentences and paragraphs.
3: Write as you speak
To enhance more readability of your text you can use Hemingway Editor which is free to use.
So this was the On-PageSEO checklist that we use to grow our blogs and it works tremendously well. If there’s anything we have missed that you find to work particularly well.
Please share it in the comments, so other people can also take the advantage.
Hope you enjoy this article.
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