On Page SEO Checklist

On Page SEO Checklist – 13 Major Elements to Optimize

By: Frank DePino | January 25, 2024

An on-page SEO checklist will take you through the essentials your website needs to rank. You can tackle tasks like writing title tags, adding internal and external links, and finding target keywords. What is on-page SEO, and what should be on your checklist?

On-site or on-page SEO is adjustments to a website’s internal links, tags, and content to increase its ranking. Optimizing your website with an on-page SEO checklist makes it easier for search engines to understand your site structure. Elements you might focus on include internal linking, page speed optimization, URL structure, and schema markup.

There are yet more facets of your website to optimize and prioritize. This on-page SEO audit checklist will review basic and advanced SEO strategies designed to increase your website’s visibility, attract traffic, and increase leads.  

What Is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO includes the modifications you make to your website to increase your optimization and rank. It’s the opposite of off-page SEO, which are SEO strategies outside your website.

An on-page SEO checklist prioritizes tags, meta descriptions, website structure, loading speed, content quality, links, and optimization. You can also get deeper into on-page SEO with advanced tasks we’ll discuss later.

Why is on-page SEO important? By mapping out your website layout, you tell a search engine crawler how to navigate your site and its content. The search engine can determine how relevant your content is to searchers and increase its ranking accordingly.

Boosting your rank is paramount, even if your business is in a good SEO position. You can always increase website traffic, leads, and conversions with a higher rank.

After all, according to Ahrefs, only 0.63 percent of those using Google for a search bother to click to the second page. If your lapsed SEO hygiene causes your site to slide that far down the rankings, you’re practically invisible online.

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Essential On-Page SEO Checklist

Now that you understand what is on-page SEO and why it’s worth prioritizing, here is an essential checklist. Tackling these tasks one at a time will make a noticeable difference in your SEO ranking.

1. Title Tag Optimization

The first area to focus on is your website’s title tags. A title tag is an HTML webpage tag that can appear as a snippet in Google and other search engine results. You can think of the title tag as a webpage’s headline.

A title tag should be descriptive and engaging, utilizing primary keywords according to your keyword research. However, only insert relevant keywords.

Watch your title tag length. The optimal length is 50 to 60 characters. According to SEMrush, Google rewrites most title tags exceeding 70 characters. This can cause your original message to be muddled.

The SEO Specialist is applying all the checklist points to improve the on-page SEO of his site

2. Meta Descriptions

This post and all the content we publish on the Mediaboom blog have meta descriptions. These are short synopses of the blog post in 140 to 150 characters. A meta description should include your main keyword and possibly a secondary keyword, but no keyword stuffing.

A strong meta description can improve the click-through rate of your content, generating more organic traffic.

3. URL Structure

Your on-page SEO checklist must include improving your URL structure.

URLS include fragments, queries, paths, ports, parameters, subdirectories, top-level domains, secondary domains, subdomains, and schemas. Here’s a breakdown:

  • The scheme or protocol indicates the proper protocol for web servers, such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS.
  • The subdomain is the website page the user wants to visit, like https://blog.website.com.
  • The second-level domain is the website name, such as https://mediaboom.com/.
  • The top-level domain is the entity registration type, including .com, .org, .gov, or .edu.
  • The subdirectory or subfolder points to a webpage section, such as https://mediaboom.com/news/, with “News” being the subdirectory.
  • The port indicates a connection endpoint through a numerical value, such as an IP address.
  • The path is where the resource or file within the URL is located.
  • The query indicates a query string and is represented by a question mark.
  • Parameters in a URL are searched values, from specific search terms to numbers.
  • Fragments use a hashtag and point to a webpage location, such as a name attribute.

Your URLS must be SEO-friendly, following the structure above, utilizing keywords, and promoting clarity and consistency.

4. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)

If you read enough blogs online, you’ll notice they all use H1s, H2s, and H3s. Heading tags create content structure and hierarchy. Search engines use heading tags to display your content correctly, keep it organized, and make it readable.

Here are some best practices for writing heading tags:

  • Heading tags should incorporate your keywords naturally.
  • Your post should only contain one H1 tag for the title. All main subheads should use H2 tags, then H3 for subheads within H2s, and H4s or H5s for subheads within H3s as needed.
  • Stay consistent across your headers, utilizing the same title case throughout.
  • A header tag should not be a full sentence or paragraph. Save that for the content itself. Stick within a 70-character max limit for writing headers.
The SEO team is discussing keyword placement and density

5. Keyword Placement and Density

A basic on-page SEO checklist is incomplete without discussing target keywords, how to place them, and how often.

As mentioned throughout this section, keyword stuffing is a bad practice. Jamming your keyword into every other paragraph or every 100 words will get you penalized by Google for producing poor content.

You could drag your rank down further and negatively impact the user experience, so keyword stuffing is not worth your while.

The appropriate keyword density varies by word count. However, with a free keyword density checker like SEO Review Tools and others, there is no excuse to publish content that overuses a keyword. The practice will have just as detrimental an effect as keyword stuffing.

6. Internal Linking

Published content will use internal links to draw your website visitors to other relevant content. If you use internal links correctly, your SEO ranking can improve, so follow these best practices.

  • Be clear in your anchor text. Vague descriptors make your readers weary about clicking, as they’re unsure where the link will take them.
  • Naturally incorporate your keyword into the anchor text.
  • Don’t add too many links. A good rule of thumb is no more than two links for every 500 words.
  • Link to important pages on your website.

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7. Image Optimization

Images break up paragraphs and make your content interesting. You’ll also increase your views by 90+ percent, according to marketing resource Jeff Bullas.

However, unoptimized images can hurt your SEO ranking. Review your blog content and add alt tags to your images, which are descriptors of the image. Write an alt tag as though describing the image to a friend on the phone who can’t see it.

If your image fails to load or goes offline, an alt tag is a suitable replacement.

You should also consider compressing or re-uploading smaller versions of large images. Bloated file sizes make your website load slower, hindering your SEO aspirations.

8. Mobile Responsiveness

An on-page SEO checklist needs mobile-first indexing, as Google will review the content on your mobile site to determine your rank before the desktop version.

Fortunately, you can use free tools like Google Search Console for insights into how mobile-friendly your website is and amend it based on the results.

Google Page Speed ​​Insight shows Mediaboom speed score: 100/100

9. Page Speed Optimization

Fast-loading websites are a must for on-page SEO. Loading speed is part of website performance, and Google prioritizes high-performing sites in its SERPs. Further, a slow-loading website detracts from the user experience and could increase your bounce rate.

According to browser tester BrowserStack, a mobile website should load in 8.6 seconds and a desktop website in 2.5 seconds.

How do you improve your website loading speed? Here are some tips:

  • Reduce redirects.
  • Cut down on external scripts.
  • Cache your browser HTTP.
  • Optimize your images.

10. Content Quality and Length

The last basic on-page SEO checklist element is content. High-quality, informative, and relevant content will help your website rank.

Comprehensively covering a topic is a must, but how many words does that require?

Your content should be at least 1,500 words to rank, with 2,000 words as a good cutoff point. Some brands prefer shorter-form content between 500 and 750 words, so test shorter and longer content to see which drives the most engagement.

Mediaboom’s work with Aspen Luxury Concierge included revamping the company’s SEO campaign and improving content marketing. Our agency created a targeted, relevant keyword strategy that pushed Aspen Luxury Concierge into the top 10 Google search results for more than six of its keywords in only 90 days.

Further, ALC had a spike in new user organic traffic by 118 percent after working with Mediaboom.

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Advanced On-Page SEO Checklist

The following elements of this on-page SEO checklist are more advanced but cover critical components of your SEO campaign.

1. Schema Markup

Structured data through a schema markup tells Google what your page elements are and how they should appear. Google knows more than 30 types of schema, with some including books, articles, carousels, datasets, how-tos, Q&As, FAQs, and recipes.

Other schemas you might incorporate into your SEO campaign are:

  • Product markups, which provide product information and details.
  • Sitelink markups are for SERP navigational links beyond your homepage.
  • Review markups give your business a star rating between one and five.
  • Local business markups indicate the parts of your website with business contact details.
  • Logo markups refer to your logo on a search engine.

Using schema markups can build your brand presence, increase a site engine’s understanding of your website content, and help your ranking.

The SEO specialist has just installed a plugin to share her SEO-optimized content on social networks

2. Social Sharing Buttons

Incorporating social sharing buttons into your SEO campaign can increase your website visibility. However, you can overdo it, so only use three buttons at once.

You might stick to the most popular platforms like Twitter or Facebook or select social platforms based on which your audience gravitates toward the most.

Social sharing buttons perform best on the left or top of the page.

3. HTTPS and SSL

The last item on your on-page SEO checklist is HTTPS and SSL. We discussed HTTPS earlier and how it relates to URL structure, but what about SSL?

SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer. This internet safety protocol uses encryption between servers or between a browser and a website. Using SSL reduces instances of identity theft, data theft, impersonation, and internet eavesdropping, facilitating a safer, secure environment for your audience.

Google Search Console shows the organic clicks received by Mediaboom after optimizing on-page SEO

Monitoring and Maintaining On-Page SEO

An on-page SEO checklist is a great starting point for improving your SEO ranking, but you must continually manage your SEO to hold your rank. Here are some strategies to implement.

Keeping Abreast with Algorithm Updates

Search engines change their algorithms regularly to improve the user experience and keep up with our shifting world. You must stay current on the latest algorithmic updates and adapt your SEO strategy to meet the new parameters.

Regular SEO Content Audits

An on-page SEO audit checklist must include regular content checks. An audit can reveal weaknesses in your content strategy and recommend areas for improvement. For example, you might update older content or rewrite a post so it will perform better.

You can use Google Search Console for SEO content audits. SEMrush can audit your website in minutes, so you can begin changing tact today.

Mediaboom’s work with dermatological company Qazi Cosmetic Clinic included a fresh SEO plan, website overhaul, paid ads, and strategy.

By incorporating content marketing into its SEO strategy, Qazi increased its new users by nearly 2,000 percent, generated 3,496.68 percent organic traffic, and enjoyed 2,127.01 percent total traffic.

Let’s work together to create an SEO strategy that serves your business.

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Finalize Your Strategy: Let Mediaboom Guide You Through the Ultimate SEO Checklist!

Building your SEO checklist begins with Mediaboom. Our expertise can increase your SEO ranking so you can reap the rewards of more site traffic, leads, and conversions. Get on the road to better website visibility with Mediaboom.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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