On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher in Google search engines, increase traffic to your site, and get more conversions.
Once your on-page SEO strategy gets off the ground, your online rankings will increase massively.
There are many on-page SEO factors to consider when optimizing your pages.
To fully optimize a web page for more organic traffic from search engines, you need to help search engines understand, recognize, and rank your content. You can do this by optimizing title tags, content, internal links, external links, backlinks, and URLs.
To help you through that process, we have created an on-page SEO checklist that includes all the steps for optimizing your pages or blog posts. Then use the rest of this post to learn how to execute those on-page SEO steps effectively.
Keep reading to learn how to do on-page optimization for each of these factors!
Step 1: Optimize the page URL
Starting a new page? Make sure you add your URL. Here are some practices to remember when you’re optimizing your URL.
1. Is the primary keyword in the URL?
Look at the URL and check if the keyword is included (this does not include keywords in the domain name). This is an example of a page that includes the main keyword in the URL:
This is an example of a page that does not include the primary keyword in the URL:
2. Is the URL short and user-friendly (human-readable)?
Look at the URL structure and check if it’s short (under 6-7 words) and easy to read and understand.
This is an example of a short and user-friendly URL. A good rule of thumb for this is to ask yourself, “Would I be able to remember this 5 minutes from now?”
This is an example of a long and user-unfriendly URL
3. Is the URL located in a subfolder and not a subdomain?
Look at the URL and check if it’s a subdomain or not. These are examples of URLs that are not in subdomains:
This is an example of a URL that is using a subdomain:
4. Does the URL use hyphens and not underscores?
Look at the URL and check if it uses hyphens instead of underscores.
This is an example of a URL that uses hyphens:
This is an example of a URL that uses underscores:
Step 2: Check on-page elements
To test on-page elements, we will use a free SEO tool called SEO SiteCheckup. Open SEO SiteCheckup and input your URL.
1. Is the page title optimized?
It’s the first thing users see when they find you on Google. It’s also displayed at the top of the user’s web browser.
Google search engines typically display the first ~65 characters of a title tag. Characters have different widths, and the maximum title width is 600 pixels.
With all that said, write for your users, not for robots. Get them interested and make them click.
Look for the “Meta Title” result and check for both length and keyword
- Check that the title is under 70 characters
- Check that the keyword is included in the title
2. Is the meta description optimized?
Look for the “Meta Description” result and check for both length and keyword.
- Check that the meta description is under 160 characters
Check that the keyword is included in the description
3. Is the header optimized?
Look for the “Heading Status” result and check for both number of H1 tags and the keyword.
- Check that there is only ONE H1 tag on the page
- Check that the keyword is included on the H1 tag
4. Are the images optimized?
Look for the “Image Alt Text” result and check that all the images have ALT tags.
Look for the “Page Objects” result and click on the “Images” icon to check the image filenames.
Check that all the images have descriptive and user-friendly filenames. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Can I guess what this image is if I just read the filename?”
- This is an example of a user-friendly filename
- This is an example of a user-unfriendly filename
5. Is my web page optimized for speed?
You shouldn’t speed up your pages just for rankings, and it should be for user experience.
One of the best ways to speed up your site is through caching.
Enable Compression: Use Gzip to reduce the size of files by up to 70%, which increases their transfer speed significantly.
You can use the Google page speed tool to check your page speed and make suggestions to improve.
Also, check out this article on 39 page speed optimization tips to crush your load time.
Step 3: Check keywords in the body copy
- Is the primary keyword mentioned at least 2-3 times on the page?
Keyword research is the starting point for search engine optimization. We base almost all of our decisions on keyword research because we can understand what our customers are looking for.
- After your keyword research, make sure you use those keywords in your content.
- Type in the target keyword and check that it’s included at least 2 or 3 times.
2. Is the page not over-optimized?
- Follow the same process described in the previous step. The main keyword should not be included more than 8-9 times.
3. Does the page include Latent Semantic Index keywords?
- Open LSIGraph and input the primary keyword
- Look for the 2-3 related keywords that are most relevant to the topic of the page
- Use the “find” search box in your browser to check if the page includes those LSI keywords
- Get synonyms and LSI keywords in your body copy.
Step 4: Check links on the page
1. Is the page free of broken links?
Use the Check my links Chrome extension to check for broken links. To do that, click on the extension and wait for the queue to reach zero.
- If the “Invalid links” indicator shows a value of zero, then there are no broken links on the page.
- If there are broken links on the page, the “Invalid links” indicator will show the number of broken links.
2. How is my link building process?
Getting links from other pages on your site is important. Keep in mind how easy (or difficult) it’s going to be to acquire backlinks before you start creating your pages.
Besides that, the anchor text used in those links are important. Make sure you add anchor text when linking to other pages.
Step 5: Setting up Technical Optimization
1. Is my page indexed?
The starting point of technical optimization is indexing. If your page is not in the index, you will not show up. Anytime you make a change to a page, you want Google to know about it so that those changes can be incorporated into where you rank.
2. Do I have tracking/analytics in place?
Analytics and tracking are vital aspects of SEO (and digital marketing in general).
It’s how we measure progress, it’s how we improve and it’s how we calculate our ROI. This includes all the metrics associated with increasing traffic and growing your business through search engines.
Make sure you have set up your Google Analytics in place to keep track of your results.
And use the Google Search Console performance report to compare organic CTR on different platforms.
If you want more information, check out out Technical SEO Checklist!
Make Your On-Page SEO More Effective
Awesome, that’s all we have about on-page optimization.
Once you’re done following these steps, you’ll know the exact status of your on-page SEO and be able to fix these issues for any page you have.
You need a complete on-page SEO checklist that hits all of the best practices for SEO if you want to boost your site’s ranking.
To get a full SEO list of everything you need to optimize your website, download our complete on-page SEO checklist below.