On-Page SEO | A Checklist for Beginners
On-page SEO sometimes sounds like a load of technical jargon.
In reality, it can be broken up into a bunch of simple steps that can be implemented on any blog.
They payout of on-page SEO can be huge.
Let’s say your competitor is outranking you for a targeted keyword. Let’s also assume that they haven’t included this keyword in their title tag.
There’s a decent chance that you can pass them up in the ranks by simply adding that keyword to your title tag. That’s right, you can have an inferior back link profile and still out rank you competitors.
Pretty powerful stuff, huh?
This is your page/post title.
It’s also known as an H1 tag.
You’ll want to include your keyword in the title tag (towards the beginning). Here’s what it looks like in the editor version of this post.
In the above example, I’m aiming to rank for on-page SEO. I’d also like to rank for the long tail keywords on-page SEO checklist and on-page SEO for beginners. So I included variations of those in the title.
If you want to know everything there is to know about title tags, Moz has the ultimate guide.
Include your keyword in the URL.
Above is the URL for this post.
Create engaging content
Google monitors things like user engagement and bounce rate.
One of the best ways to optimize both of these is by creating awesome content.
Here are a few things to think about when writing a post:
- Add media/images
- Add value to your audience
- Be organized and easy to read (break content up into small, digestible pieces)
- Be relevant (don’t stray from your topic/target keyword)
The subheading is also known as the H2 tag. It’s less important than your H1 tag, but still worth covering.
Here’s a look at the subheading for this section of the post.
Ideally, you should include your keyword in at least one H2 tag.
You can also throw in some keyword variations and long tail versions of your keyword in a few H2 tags for good measure. Keep in mind that H2 tags have a minimal impact, so focus more on subheadings that clearly communicate your message.
You’ll want to use your keyword a few times throughout the post.
The ideal ratio is .5% to 2.5% keyword to words. Use your keywords sparingly.
Include your keyword in the first 100 words of your post. You’ll also want to use LSI keywords (variations of your keywords) throughout your post.
Page Load Speed
The load speed of a page has a huge impact on bounce rate.
According to a KissMetrics study, 40% of people abandon a website that take more than 3 seconds to load.
Length of Post
Your posts should be at least 300 words.
Studies have shown that longer posts perform better in search engines.
Link Out to Other Pages
You should link out to other websites 2–3 times per post.
These should be DoFollow links (that means you haven’t added a rel=”nofollow” tag)
Link out to authoritative sources. This will also help build trust in you as a source.
Include your keyword/keyword variations in the <alt> tag of any images.
Above is an example of the alt text I used for an image of a URL earlier.
On-Page SEO Tool
If you don’t want to bother remembering all of the little details, download the Yoast SEO plugin. You’ll get on-page SEO reminders at the bottom of each post while you’re editing.