7 Point On-Page SEO Checklist for Optimizing Page and Post Content
Use our on-page SEO checklist as the basis for developing SEO-friendly website pages and blog posts.
1. Page Titles
Page titles are typically not visible on the page or post itself and can usually be found in the web browser title bar or tab. They are often used by search engines as the title of the result snippet and play a significant role in search engine rankings.
Make sure page titles are both relevant and related to the actual content on the post. Blog post (page) titles between 50 and 60 characters long prevent search engines from shortening or cutting off the title.
On-Page SEO Page Title Guidelines:
- Keep below 60 characters to avoid truncation
- Relevant and related to page content
- Leftmost words/phrases are weighted heaviest by search engines
- Must be unique to other page titles and on-page headings
- Be careful not to create page titles that compete internally with other pages
2. Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are also not visible on the page and will most likely be used in search engine result snippets. Although meta descriptions are no longer used by Google as a ranking signal, they can affect search result click-through ratios, which can in turn affect search engine rankings.
On-Page SEO Meta Description Guidelines:
- Keep below 160 characters
- Word/phrase use not important/weighted (ignored by search engines), focus writing on intent – getting the user to click
Make use of short, easy-to-digest text headings within the post content. Stick to using only one H1 and few H2 class headings. Multiple H3, H4 and so on can be used. Order is important, meaning H1 before H2.
On-Page SEO Heading Guidelines:
- Use structured heading tags (with only one H1/up to 70 characters)
- Ensure the page title and H1 are unique (not duplicates)
When using an image, always fill in the associated title and ALT description fields with text that is both relevant and related to the content where the image is displayed.
On-Page SEO Image Guideline:
- Add ALT text to all images above the fold (up to 100 characters)
5. Internal Linking
Include a link(s) to key landing pages within the first paragraph of blog posts when relevant. Link back to the new page or post from other relevant and related website content within the first paragraph. Internal linking plays a key role in on-site SEO. As such, it is advisable to adhere to an overall internal linking strategy or guideline when building links.
On-Page SEO Internal Linking Guidelines:
- Avoid excessive internal linking unless it makes sense (like a listing of products), anywhere from 1-3 based on the size of the post is a good range
- Always adhere to an overall SEO strategy prior to building new links to avoid internally competing content AKA content cannibalization
6. External Linking
Don’t be afraid to link to other resources on the web, especially when it makes sense. Google tends to favor pages with outbound links to external websites that are in alignment with the content focus of the originating link.
On-Page SEO External Linking Guideline:
- Consider adding the “nofollow” link attribute to external links located above the fold (ATF)
Include video content if relevant and available.
On-Page SEO Video Guideline:
- Embed structured data video markup using JSON (preferred by Google)
General On-Page SEO Checklist Tips
- In terms of overall word count, 500 words should be considered the minimum
- Write rich, easy to digest, short sentences with paragraphs containing 2-3 sentences
- Focus on creating intent-based content that incorporates key elements of both SEO and CRO to drive clicks and conversions
- Adhere to a consistent posting schedule – this teaches search engine crawlers how frequently the website is updated (and when to return). If you post weekly, make sure new posts go live at the same time/day every week.
Just the Beginning
Our on-page SEO checklist is a basic guide designed to assist with optimizing website page and post content to improve organic search engine visibility. It is one of the many building blocks of an effective overall SEO strategy. Contact us to schedule a free SEO consultation.