On-Page SEO Checklist 2018: SEO is hard to understand and master. It takes a lot of time, effort, reading and experimentation. But that doesn’t mean you cannot write SEO-friendly articles from the beginning.
Certain aspects of SEO (the term includes a wide range of activities) can be easily taken care of if you have a checklist of essential ‘to do’s while writing blog posts. And this article is about that – On-Page SEO Checklist. Read on to find out.
Ultimate On-Page SEO Checklist 2018
There are basically two types of SEO – On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On page SEO are those SEO practices that are done on the page that is to be published. The idea behind On-Page SEO is to optimize ‘the page’ – each and every element of it – in a manner that search engines understand its relevancy and rank it higher. So, let us see how to do that. Let us go through the ultimate On-Page SEO Checklist – top 17 On-Page SEO Techniques.
1. Do Keyword Research And Find Out Your Target Keyword
Target keyword or Primary Keyword is the search term or phrase for which you want the page to rank in SERPs. Choosing the right target keyword needs one to do proper keyword research. Many factors are to be considered before choosing the target keyword, like the search volume of the keyword, competition level, etc.
2. Include Target Keyword In The Title
The target keyword, which is also the topic of your blog post, must be in the title of the post. In fact, the title should start with the target keyword.
This, however, may not be possible with every primary keyword. And that’s absolutely OK. If possible, place it in the beginning, otherwise just include it somewhere in the title.
Add modifiers to make the title look interesting. This also helps in getting your post ranked for long tail version of the target keyword.
3. Add H1 Tag To Your Blog Title
H1 Tag is the headline tag. Make sure you add it to the title of your post. Content Management Systems (CMS), like WordPress, usually add the H1 tag to the title automatically. So, you don’t have to worry about that. Just make sure there is only one H1 Tag in your blog post.
4. Keep The URL SEO-Friendly
The URL should be such that it makes sense to the users as well as search engines. The URL mysite.com/122419xyzpodttitle isn’t half as good as mysite.com/target-keyword. Search engines will give preference to the latter.
Basically, keep your URL short (remove unnecessary words) and simple. Include the target keyword in it, with each word separated by a hyphen.
5. Use Keyword Rich Subheadings
Make sure you use subheadings in your content and add H2, H3 tags to them. There should be at least one H2 tag in your post and the primary keyword must be included in it.
As for other subheadings, place the primary keyword in them if it looks natural. Otherwise, use any other related or secondary keywords.
6. Use Target Keyword At The Beginning And End
Make sure you use the target keyword twice or thrice at the beginning of the post, i.e. in the introduction. Make it look natural. Also, use it at the end, in the conclusion.
7. Link Internally Using Proper Anchor Text
Internal links to related pages, not any random page in your site, is very important. Make sure you use the right, keyword rich anchor texts and not generic keywords while interlinking. This will help Google understand the relevancy of the linked pages better.
Also, your anchor text shouldn’t be the same as the target keyword of the post you are writing.
You can keep 2-3 interlinks in a post. Though there is no fixed rule about it, too many interlinks make a page look spammy.
8. Use Outbound Links
Linking to relevant pages of other websites which are authoritative in the same niche as yours help search engines understand your website, your niche and the relevancy of your post better. Use at least one outbound link in your post.
9. Use LSI Keywords And Secondary Keywords
The content must include variations of the target keyword as well as other related keywords to help search engines understand the relevancy of your post better.
Note that be it the target keyword, LSI keywords, or related keywords, their placement should look natural and not forced.
10. Set Meta Description
Meta description is the snippet of the post that shows in search results. If you do not set the meta description yourself, search engines will pick up some text from the content itself. So, it is better to do it yourself.
Start the meta description with the target keyword and elaborate on the title in a sensible way, using other keywords. Do not stuff it with keywords or their variations.
11. Add A Properly Optimized Featured Image
You must add a featured image, also known as post thumbnail, to your post, which will be visible when the post is shared on social media. The featured image, or any other image in the body of the post, should be optimized with proper file name, description, and most importantly, Alt Tag with the target keyword.
13. Improve Readability Of Your Content
If your blog post is easy to read, process and understand, people are likely to stay on the post and not hit the back button. That is, the time spent on your articles will be more which search engines will notice and consider this information to determine relevancy and hence, rank.
14. Write Well-Researched, Quality Content Of Long Form
Do proper research before writing the post.
Check which are the top five articles that are ranking for your target keyword. Read them thoroughly and see what other keywords they have used. Try to incorporate them in your post.
Also, apart from including the information that these articles are providing, add some additional and unique information.
15. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
If you are using a WordPress site, you just have to use a theme that is ‘responsive’. Check out the theme details before using it.
16. Make Sure Your Site Speed Is High
If your site doesn’t load fast enough (preferably within 4 seconds), it is likely that users won’t re-visit the site. So, test the loading time of your site and boost it if necessary. There are tons of tools to test site speed. You can use Google’s free PageSpeed Insight.
17. Keep Buttons For Social Sharing
This, basically, encourages your readers to share your posts on social media. This, in turn, helps your post to increase its reach. Also, encourage your users to drop comments, and respond to them.
These cover more or less the most important On-Page SEO Checklist. Make sure you implement them in your posts. You can use Yoast SEO plugin which will help you in ensuring many of these aspects of On-Page SEO being taken care of. You can read this article on how to set up Yoast SEO plugin.
I hope this detailed article on On-Page SEO Techniques helps you. Feel free to ask your doubts about On-Page SEO Checklist in the comment section below and I will try to respond at the earliest.