When it comes to On-page SEO Checklist I’m sure you had heard enough about Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, Alt Tags blah blah blah… Right? I know. Even I have been there at the initial stage of my Digital Marketing Career. I have read many blogs on this and every blog delivered almost the same Information.
Let me tell you this. I have an Intern Named Prudhvi in my office who cleared the SEO Interview through a phone call and Impressed as no one did. But while coming to the practical Implementation, he disappointed me and the story was a whole new different.
Later, under my guidance, he came to know the difference between Theoretical SEO and Practical SEO.
Theoretical SEO vs Practical SEO:
Not only in the Digital Marketing Institution but almost every courses explain to you the same. If you ask them, what is the SEO checklist that we need to do before starting the work, they simply say
- Meta Description
- Keywords Density
- ALT Tags
- Clear URL
Of course, these 5 always tops the list. But there are some other factors which we all ignore under the name of Not a Mandatory One.
I have given a task to my Intern Prudhvi to write a blog post on the SEO checklist in details. Next day he submitted me the task. Guess what?? He mentioned the above five as an On-page SEO checklist in the blog post.
If you are looking for the same On page Checklist, I’m sorry you’re in the wrong page
But if you want to learn new in the checklist, Congratulations. You’re in the right page and I’m sure you love this Blog Post.
Let’s get into the topic. But before that, I have a few questions to ask you. Here it goes
My Questions on SEO
Whenever I ask in the community to help regarding SEO, everyone starts asking how to do SEO.
My questions to all of them.
- Have you written a Blog?
- Have you installed Yoast plugin in your WordPress Blog?
- Do you even know the Basics of SEO
- Do you seriously know about Meta Title, Descriptions, and Keywords?
- Have you done Keyword Research?
If you are a newbie to the Digital Marketing world, There is no way pointing you on these questions. But I have seen many experienced Digital Marketing fellows who keep on asking the same question repeatedly, My sincere request to all of them. Please stop asking these question. If you still want to know, Read this article completely. You might find the answer. But before Understanding SEO, You must understand How Search Engine Works.
Table of Content:
- SEO Friendly
- Place Focus keyword in the H1 tag
- Drop Focus keyword in the first 150 Words
- Make sure the Site is secure with HTTPS
- Importance of Internal Linking
- Optimize Images with ALT Tags
- Long-form content ranks higher than short-form contents.
- Mobile-Friendly Website/Blog
- Include Social Meta Tags
- Include Twitter Cards
- Remove Broken links from the site
- Optimize Page Loading Speed
My take on the On-Page SEO Checklist.
Let’s break the traditional start with Meta Title, Meta Description, and other regular stuff which you already know enough. I’ve got something interesting to start with.
#1. SEO Friendly URL Structure:
Before digging deep into the topic, firstly know the difference between Good URL Structure and Bad URL Structure.
Good URL Structure:
Bad URL Structure:
Search Engine Gaint Google is stated that 1st three words in URL will be given more weight. and the URL should be short and sweet. Study proves that URL with short words ranks better in Google Search Engine.
Change your URL structure to short and sweet from WordPress settings.
Go to the settings —> Permalinks —> Select Post Name.
Important Hack: Add your Focus Keyword in URL. It’s always good to have Keyword in URL so that your blog/website will have higher chances to get in Google’s 1st page
#2. Place your Focus Keywords in H1 Tag:
Yes. It’s absolutely a best practice. Let me show you an example. I have a friend named Ratnakar. He is a travel freak. He uses to go on a trip every 2 months and shares his trip experience in his Personal blog named The backpack Diaries. Ratnakar recently shared Papikondalu trip on his blog.
The blog got ranked in 10 days. Yes!! You heard it right. It just took only 10 days to get ranked in Google SERP. The main reason behind is, Placing Focus Keyword in H1 Tag.
Now go to Google and type,
Keyword: Rajahmundry to Bhadrachalam via Papikondalu Trip
SERP Rank: No.5
Quick Hack: Place your Focus keyword in the H1 tag. Google take it granted that you are in a right SEO track and rewards you with the SERP rank.
#3. Drop your Focus keywords in the first 150 words:
This is what something ignored every time. But this plays an important role in Google Ranking. Placing your keywords in the first 150 words brings your blog/website to the limelight. Sadly google’s one of the favorite ranking factors is the most ignored by Bloggers or Digital Marketers.
- Repeat your Focus keyword min 3 times on a page (Follow Yoast SEO Suggestions)
- Use Min 2-3 keywords in your Blog post by doing keyword research
- Put your Focus Keyword in one of the Image Alt Tag
- Place your Focus keyword in the 1st sentence of a paragraph.
- Mention your keywords (Apart from the focus keyword) in H1, H2, H3 tags.
#4. Make Sure your site is secure with HTTPS:
Yes !!! Very Important. One of the most Important Ranking factor for Google Search Engine. Let’s not get into the deeper technical stuff. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
Visitors feel that HTTPS Sites are more secure and it helps you to increase trust in your brand. Because all information exchange between the browser and your site is encrypted using an SSL certificate. Ignoring HTTPS can affect your brand name and Website traffic.
Google Included HTTPS as a ranking factor in the year 2014. Since then we can see the gradual increase in the HTTPS site in the Internet Jungle.
Studies have found a correlation between higher rankings and sites/pages using HTTPS.
#5. Internal Linking:
We have enough heard about External Linking. But, when it comes to Internal Linking we all start avoiding. But let me tell you this.
Internal Linking is Money
Internal Linking is Traffic
Have you ever seen how many Internal Linking does the Wikipedia contains? Every sentence contains Internal Linking. We can find nearly 50 Internal Links in every Wikipedia page and It is regularly visited for any kind of information.
- Use Minimum 3-5 Internal Links.
- Make good use of Internal Links by linking it to your previous posts
- Finally, Don’t forget to add Bio while writing your name. Let others know about you which plays the important role in the Personal Branding.
#6. Optimize your Image with ALT Tag:
Sad to say this. Don’t know why ALT Tag is one of the most ignored Google factors from the bloggers. I have seen many blogs which don’t contain the ALT Tag. Let me clearly say the use of ALT tag so that you don’t repeat the same mistake from the next time.
ALT Tag describes Image and Increase website visibility. It is the name of the image which gets displayed when there is a problem in rendering.
Here is how it looks in HTML:
<img src=”assets/images/kanye-laughing.jpg” alt=”Kanye Laughing” class=”img-width”>
The On-page SEO Checklist won’t give you information regarding every single “ALT” tag on the page, but it will tell you if there are images with missing ALT tags.
It may seem negligible. But do not skip out any chances to help search engines better understand the content on your page.
It’s a good practice to add ALT tags to every image in all your page
How to add ALT Tags in Website or Blog?
- If you are Using HTML Blog or website,go to the code find the Image tag and add Alt tag like below:
<img src=”assets/images/lircdigital.jpg” alt=”LIRC-Digital” class=”img-width”>
- If you’re using wordpress follow these steps.
Go to Add Media —> Upload Image —> Add Alt tag there itself like below
#7. Long-form Content Ranks higher than Short-form Content:
Long-form content is magic and also traffic. If you’re still reading this point, thanks for staying in my blog this long. Because you are giving me the money, traffic and you’re the reason for saving my bouncing rate. This blog post is a perfect example of Long-form content and I bet this blog post will end up nearly around 2400 words. Before jumping into the technical stuff, Let me tell you the advantages of Long-Form Content.
- Long-Form Content is Money.
- It Increase the session and User visibility.
- It has a power to put your visitors in other pages of your blog.
- Long Form Content can reduce the Bounce Rate.
- Last but not least. Long form content is Traffic.
Now, I know you don’t want to miss this anymore. One of the studies says google loves long-form content over short-form content. Longer content tends to rank significantly higher on Google’s first page.
So now the question is How many words does the blog post need? Can I tell you It should be more than 1900 words? I know it’s hard to believe my words so I got you the proof. Check the below graph. Words with more than 1900 rank better in Google position.
#8. Keep your Website/Blog Mobile Responsive:
From 2015, Google started penalizing the website which is not with mobile responsive. And with Mobile-first indexing, a mobile-friendly site is a now an absolute must. Only the best way to optimize your site for mobile devices is to have a Responsive Design.
Almost 60% of organic traffic comes from Mobile devices.
- If you are using WordPress for your blog or website, kindly search for responsive themes in google. Lot of good themes are available for free with responsive theme.
- If you are designing in HTML, CSS by using Bootstrap Frame work, ask your designer to write mobile responsive code for the website.
#9. Include Social Meta Tags:
Have you ever heard about Social Meta Tags?. If Yes! You are the right game. If No! Join the game immediately. Because it’s the new game in SEO and also an important ranking factor.
We all are familiar with Meta Tags because it became the part of SEO tradition and as I said at the beginning of the post, it was most discussed on the internet and make us believe that, It’s the only key factor for google ranking.
Social Meta tags hold equal importance like meta tags and both looks similar by the way. In other words, it is also called as OG Tags or Open Graphs Tags. I know not everyone familiar with these tags.
I will discuss OG Tags in detail in the next post as it is a good concept to understand and cannot be adjusted in a Single paragraph. But, for the basic understanding, these are the tags which help us to get the complete image on Social media with OG Text, Description, and URL. Like below.
If you are Using WordPress no need to include separate code. Because Yoast Plugin has the code inbuilt even in the free version.
Quick Hack :
Formats of OG Tags for HTML CSS website
OG Local: <meta property=”og:local” content=”en_US”/>
Title: <meta property=”og:title” content=”It’s best to stay between 60 and 90 Characters”/>
Type: <meta property=”og:type” content=”If you don’t define a type, Facebook will read it as “website” by default. So mention this Type tag.”/>
URL: <meta property=”og:url” content=”http://example.com/page.html”/>
Description: <meta property=”og:description” content=”it’s best to use around 200 letters”/>
Content: <meta property=”og:image” content=”1200 pixels x 630. Don’t exceed the 5MB size limit”/>
#10. Include Twitter Cards as well:
Twitter cards similar to the meta tags and OG Tags. It helps us to get a good image presence with URL in twitter platform. The only thing we need to do is Including twitter card code on the website which is built in the HTML CSS Coding Platform.
Like OG Tags no need to add Code in the WordPress platform.
Title: <meta name=”twitter:title” content=”70 Characters”>
Description: <meta name=”twitter:description” content=”200 Characters”>
Image: <meta name=”twitter:image:src” content=”http://example.com/image.jpg”> (800×418 or 800×800 recommended)
URL: <meta name=”twitter:url” content=”http://example.com/page.html”>
Card Name: <meta name=”twitter:card” content=”card-name”>
#11. Remove Broken Links from your Site:
Huh! New in the game. No! We forgot to remember this. We write blogs, We create pages, we update our site, we remove few links which have nothing to do with. But, we forgot to remove the broken link from the site. That’s where we are losing the rank.
For a minute, let’s forgot about the ranking and traffic. The broken link leads a bad user experience to our visitors. Not only the ranking that we are losing but also the trust in our brands.
According to Ahrefs, Google demotes pages with broken links in the SERP. Ahrefs found, on average, 2% of pages in the top 10 results have broken links.
#12. Optimize your page loading Speed:
If your site is not loading less than 5 Sec, You’re losing the traffic. No! I’m not joking. Google found 53% users abandoning a page if it takes more than 5 seconds to load. It’s one of the important On-page SEO Checklist
Site speed became the ranking factor officially in 2010 and many pages lost their rank soon after the Google algorithm update. It almost took a year to realize the fact.
Slow loading site is the massive conversion killer. One of the Case Study found that a one-second delay in page response can reduce your conversions by up to 27%
Page/site speed can be reduced by doing the following things
- Compressing images
- Reducing server response time
- Enabling browser caching
- Reducing redirects
- Reducing plugin count
- Setting up a CDN
Now, it’s time for implementation. These 12 On-page SEO Checklist can save you from all SEO problems that you are facing right now. Yeah! there are many to add in the list but these 12 are an ultimate checklist that works. You can even rank your blog or website even without a single backlink.
So, That’s the end of part-II in the beginner’s guide to SEO. The last and final part will be on Off-page SEO where we will discuss how to get the backlinks.
This is Vishnu