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15-Step On Page SEO Site Checklist

Thinking about your SEO performance? Do you connect keywords and metatags to SEO? There’s much more to on page SEO than those two and we’re here to give you practical strategies to boost those rankings. We also offer a free SEO Audit to further help you out.

1. USE SEO-FRIENDLY URLS
According to Google research, the first 3-5 words are given more weight. Further SEO studies show that short URLs may have an edge in the search results. So, if you want SEO-Friendly URLs, make them short, sweet and include your target URL.

2. BEGIN TITLES WITH KEYWORDS
Your title tag is the most important factor in on-page SEO. In general, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the better your content will rank with search engines.

3. INCLUDE MODIFIERS IN YOUR TITLE
If you want to rank for long tail versions of your keyword, add modifiers. These are words such as “best”, “guide”, “checklist”, “fast”, “review” and the like.

4. ALWAYS HAVE AN H1 TAG
Wrapping your blog post title in an H1 tag is essential. The H1 tag is your “headline” tag. Most CMS’s, like WordPress, do this automatically for you. If you’re using one of these then you’re all good. It’s worth checking out your site’s code to make sure you have only one H1 tag and that it contains your target keyword.

5. LEVERAGE MULTIMEDIA
Text will only get you so far, both with SEO and with readers. Leverage images, video and diagrams to increase time on-site and reduce bounce rate, both of which are critical ranking factors.

6. WRAP SUBHEADINGS IN H2 TAGS
Include your target keyword (for example: SEO) in at least one subheading and wrap it in an H2 tag. H2 is your “subheading” tag.

7. INCLUDE YOUR KEYWORD (SEO) IN THE FIRST 100-150 WORDS
Some site pages only have 250 words, others have 1000 words. Regardless of how long your content is, include your keyword in the first 100-150 words. Doing this will help Google (and your readers) understand what your page is about.

8. USE RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Responsive design ensures your site is mobile friendly. Back in 2015 Google began penalizing non-mobile friendly sites and, more importantly, according to Statista.com, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones. It’s simply smart business.

9. USE OUTBOUND LINKS
Outbound links are when you link from your site, or blog post, to an external site. Simple and highly effective. A good rule of thumb is to include 2-4 outbound links per 1000 words. This is a smart, easy way to increase your SEO and ignoring it one of the biggest mistakes people make.

10. INCLUDE INTERNAL LINKS
If it’s smart to use outbound links, it’s also smart to include internal links. Shoot for 2-3 per article and if you want an example of a site that does this well, visit Wikipedia. They’re the quintessential internal link site.

11. HAVE A FAST SITE
Google has gone on the record to state that page loading speed is an SEO ranking signal. If you need to boost your site speed, you can compress images, use a CDN or switch to faster hosting. Not sure how fast is fast enough? 75% of users won’t visit a site again if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. Visit GTMetrix.com to find out how long it takes for your site to load.

12. OPTIMIZE IMAGES
Make sure your images are properly named to include keywords. For example (on_page_SEO.png) and that your target keyword is part of your image Alt Text. Google reads the Alt Text and it tells the search engine what your content/page is about. If it sees images are about water filters, then it knows the content is about water filters.

13. INTEGRATE SOCIAL SHARE BUTTONS
While this may not have a direct impact on your SEO results, this will increase the views of your site. Ultimately, the more views you get, the more likely someone is to link to you. Go ahead and put those social share buttons somewhere prominent on your site (that means other than the footer). In case you need more motivation, one study found that prominent social sharing buttons can increase social sharing 700%.

14. POST LONG CONTENT
If you’re just starting out with a blog, any length of content is good as long as it’s close to 400 words. That said, once you’ve gotten your feet wet, aim for longer content in the 1,000-2,000 word range for SEO sake. Recently it’s been shown that longer content ranks significantly higher on Google’s first page.

15. ENCOURAGE COMMENTING
This isn’t a “proven” strategy however, Google has confirmed that having a thriving community can help a lot with rankings. It takes more effort as you’ll need to moderate it, but it will also help with customer service, retention and loyalty.

If, after reading this, you’re thinking “What the what?” or “I need help”, give us a jingle. We’d gladly run you through some scenarios on how we can partner to help you boost your rankings.