Search Engine Marketing Made Easy With Our On-Page SEO Checklist
There seems to be approximately 50 million SEO checklists claiming to hold all the answers to your optimisation woes. Why should you pick ours? Well, because it’s fun. Plus, as a crew of strategists, creatives, and techs on a mission to help our clients achieve business objectives, not just marketing objectives, we know what we are talking about. So read it, love it, share it, hug it, or call it ‘friend’. In all seriousness: Within this simple, plain English breakdown of enthralling on-page SEO techniques, we plan to convince you that basic SEO is not scary, nor difficult, NOR boring. You need SEO, so you may as well enjoy it.
What Do We Mean By On-Page SEO?
On-page content lets Google and its users know what your page is about. It determines whether you’ll rank in search engine results, how you’ll rank, and what terms you’ll rank for. On-page refers to factors on your website that you can easily control. And it’s not all about content. Technical elements are included in the equation: Title tags, headings, URL structure, Alt text for images, site speed, internal links, meta descriptions and responsiveness are all a part of the aspects that can be optimised. The reason why you’ll want to invest your resources here? The more on-page SEO you do, the more organic traffic you’ll get to your website and the more attention your business gets.
Here It Is: The Ultimate On-Page SEO Checklist
Step 1: Improving Mobile Site Speed and Responsiveness
The #1 on the list is mobile site speed and responsiveness. Here’s a fun exercise; test your site’s mobile speed. Think with Google will analyse your loading time. It will also present an estimated percentage of visitors that may flee your site screaming because of your loading time. You can request a free report, check where you stack up in comparison to your industry competitors, gain advice on how you can improve your speed, and make your site mobile-friendly.
Think with Google will let you know if your site doesn’t pass the dreaded usability guidelines. Any problem areas with your mobile speed and usability need to be addressed as a priority before you spend a lifetime labouring over words.
Step 2: Creating Killer Content
Content is the most important on-page ingredient in your recipe. Google wants to know what you’re about. It’s a machine on a mission to connect user queries directly to content that will make them blissfully happy. Keywords on their own have depreciated significantly in Google algorithm revisions, replaced by well-crafted content.
Keyword stuffing is long gone. But it’s still important to have your killer keyword theme defined. Keep those phrases handy. But in terms of the main body copy on your pages, it’s crucial to write for humans, not bots. Write naturally, and the keywords that are relevant to your content will come naturally.
Got cracking copy that copywriters want to copy? Sweet! Let’s have fun with page tagging!
Step 3: Page Tagging
a) Optimise Your Images
Break out the keywords and variations relevant to the page, and utilise them in your image name, and image alt text. Don’t use the same exact match keywords on millions of photos on the same page, just once per page is sufficient. Avoid using underscores in the image names. Apparently, Google is a hyphen fan.
b) Don’t Forget The Headings
Your main heading’s (H1) job it is to tell Google what you’re about. It’s a really nice spot for your keyword phrase. Let’s say my killer keywords are “Make SEO fun.”
That’s what we should name my page. If it were the (H1) for a blog post, we’d choose something like 10 inspiring ways to make SEO fun.
Your subheaders (H2) are a nice home for keywords, but ensure the headings are relevant to the copy and don’t repeat the keywords of your (H1). Google is intuitive enough for you to enjoy enriching your content with clever variations and synonyms.
c) Meta Page Title
If you named your page with your killer keywords, most of the work here is done. You can just follow the title with your company name or a very short explanation of your product. Limit titles to about 55 Characters including spaces.
d) Meta Descriptions
The meta description, or snippet, appears on the Search Engine Result Pages under the URL. Google will pull content from your page to appear here automatically. You’ll need to adjust it to include your keyword phrase, somewhere near the beginning if possible. Your meta description should be a clear, concise and relevant description in less than 160 characters including spaces.
According to Survey Monkey, the meta description is the hook that will convince 43.2% of users to click through to your page. This little sales pitch should always contain unique and irresistible information.
Are you now looking sexy on the SERPs? Marvellous. Now to explore the wonders of the URL!
Step 4: URL Structure
Your URL is the actual address of your page. There are fiery discussions over whether a long or short URL is best; we don’t think it makes much difference. What everyone agrees on is that structuring your URL to “localhost/anchordigitalnews/post-name or category/post-name” is good, and integrating your keywords is even better. Ugly URLs like “localhost/anchordigital/13/id=e21” give no joy to your SEO. Rocking the ultimate URLs? Awesome, let’s look at leveraging links.
Step 5: Leveraging Internal And External Links
Internal links hyperlink anchor text within your copy to other relevant pages or posts on your site. Ensure your links are relevant, and provide further information that your users will appreciate. Try to include 2-3 internal links in every post.
External Links point anchor text to other web pages and posts. Linking to sites with good page, or domain authority that Google loves and trusts will help prove to users and bots that your site is bursting with credible information. You must be careful with your choice of external links. You will lose credibility if you link to spammy sites. Before you begin, make sure you have a clear understanding of the difference between black and white hat linking techniques.
Step 6: LSI Keywords
“Latent Semantic Indexing keywords.” There you go. That should clear it up. Thankfully the LSI keywords meaning is not as daunting as it sounds. In fact, it makes writing ‘killer SEO content’ much easier. Simply put, LSI’s are keywords or synonyms related to a keyword search. Based on user search patterns and behaviour, the Google algorithm recognises how one search is related to another.
LSI keywords appear in Google search suggestions as you begin your search. Thanks, Google! Once you’ve executed your search, check the bottom of the first page. The clever engine will have given you some more searches related to your initial terms.
For example, when we ask Google “what are LSI keywords?” Google also suggests we may be looking for “what does LSI keywords mean?” and, ever so thoughtfully, gives us another eight phrases related to my search which we can oh-so-subtly scatter throughout our copy. If you’re looking for a cool free LSI keyword tool, Isigraph is a very handy semantic keyword generator. Check it out!
You’ve almost perfected your on-page SEO. Bring on the buttons and spread the word!
Step 7: Social Sharing Buttons
Prominent social sharing buttons on your posts are a must. Making it easy for riveted readers to share your earth-shattering content, driving welcome traffic to your site. Additionally, as your post gains traction, you may find yourself receiving mentions and links to your blog or site. This will elevate your rank, boost your authority, and make you feel warm and fuzzy.
It’s important to remember that even with perfect on-page SEO, the organic rank rise takes considerable time. To complement your SEO efforts and fast-track your return, a snappy AdWords campaign or two will help you see more immediate results.
That concludes the most entertaining on-page SEO checklist we could muster. Thanks for joining us. There is nothing left to say but “Happy optimising”!
If you’re still hesitant to dive into this SEO adventure, we may be able to lend you a helping hand. We get it. SEO is easy to learn, but hard to master. And as a business owner you’re probably already wearing too many hats. Luckily, we have senior digital marketers on board that have successfully been helping businesses outrank their competition for years. We’re here to help you optimise correctly and cost-effectively.
Anchor digital is a crew of strategists, creatives, coders, account managers and techs. We are a digital agency powered by your business goals. With Anchor in your corner, you can expect tailored expertise and measurable results. Our business model is simple: Consult, Create, Convert. Through close collaboration, accountability and total transparency, Anchor combines the forces that set your digital brand sailing. From the ground up, we’re your partners in the climb.