If you’re wondering how do I increase my page rank in SERP, tweaking your website internally is a good place to start. To help you get there as soon as possible, we’ve comprised an on page SEO checklist that you can use as your step-by-step guide.
What is On page SEO?
On page SEO is the process of tweaking your website’s internal components with the goal of ranking higher in the search engines. Also referred to as on site SEO, the on page SEO checklist includes:
- Title tags
- Meta description tags
- H1 tags
- URL structure
- Internal links
These, among many other factors, are what search engine algorithms consider when trying to pinpoint whether your website matches the user’s search intent and provides a good user experience.
The more of these on page SEO steps you take, the more your website will naturally gravitate towards the top of the search engines. Fail to do so, and it will be buried somewhere deep down the search results.
What are the Benefits of On page SEO?
Google is on a mission to serve its users who are interested in getting their search queries answered as quickly and efficiently as possible. To determine which pages should rank at the top for a given search query, its algorithms analyze several on page factors to see whether that particular page soothes the user’s curiosity and matches the search intent.
In other words, if your website is built for the end-user in mind and provides helpful content as well as a spotless overall user experience, it will get an increasing amount of traffic from the search engines, thus ultimately affecting your sales and bottom line.
This is one of the major benefits of SEO, both on-page and off-page alike.
On Page SEO Checklist
To propel your website to the top of SERP listings as soon as possible, go through our on page SEO checklist and see if there are any improvements you can implement:
Update Your Site’s Existing Content
In the online marketing world, there’s a saying that content is king. That sounds nice and dandy, but what does it really mean?
To answer that question, try to place yourself in the shoes of your visitors and make an honest assessment of whether the content you’ve published delivers exactly what the title promises.
Ask yourself, is this the kind of article you’d be compelled to read yourself? If the answer is ‘no’, list out the changes you’d make and that will be your set of guidelines and technical SEO techniques to implement if you want to lower your bounce rate and get more traffic from Google.
If your website operates in the health niche or any similar categories, do not forget to link to credible sources to back up your arguments. This signals to the search engines that you’ve done your homework and that what you’re stating is based on science rather than fiction.
Furthermore, make sure to incorporate on page SEO keywords organically so that they naturally flow within the sentence structure (as opposed to stuffing them just for the sake of doing so, which is a massive no-no in today’s SEO landscape).
Above all, see to it that the content is free of fluff and that it matches the search intent of that particular keyword. Ideally, the content should be so helpful and well-written that other people will want to link to it without you even asking.
Optimize Titles, Meta Titles and Descriptions
The next crucial element on our on page SEO checklist are the website’s HTML elements – this is where it gets slightly technical. For non-coders, these are HTML tags that are nested in your website’s source code and are invisible to the naked eye when the website gets rendered in someone’s browser (unless you were to deliberately look for them in the source code, that is).
Nevertheless, meta tags play an important role in how search engine algorithms see your website and are some of the most crucial on page factors to consider. Inside the code, they look like this:
<h1>H1 goes here</h1>
<title>Title goes here</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Description goes here”>
Oftentimes, you will see the title tags being used to display the website’s title (these are also used to define what your browser will display in the active browser tab).
The key thing to remember if you want high search engine rankings is to naturally incorporate keywords in all of these (make sure they’re a part of the sentence).
For the title, keep it below 60 characters, therefore short and concise wins the race. Capitalize it, but don’t have it be all-caps (your readers won’t appreciate being screamed at).
For the description, keep it below 160 characters, and keep in mind this is what Google will sometimes display right in the SERP features at their discretion, right below each search engine listing’s respective title. Therefore, structure it in such a way that the user will be curious and thus compelled to click through to read the full article.
Use Internal & External Linking
One of the essential on page SEO techniques is to have your content link to internal and external resources, each serving as a way to provide additional information to the user while helping the webmaster reap massive SEO benefits.
External links point to other domains different than the one your content is published on and are typically used to reference authority sources on the topic. This tells Google as well as your readers that you’ve researched what you’re writing about, which leads to an increase in perceived trustworthiness and credibility.
Internal links, on the other hand, point to content that’s published on the same domain. Whenever you’re writing about something, see if you’ve written a similar article that’s somehow related to the content at hand or expands on it in a meaningful way. Ideally, the anchor you use should include the keyword that article is about (make sure to keep them varied).
Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an integratable tool that comes from the search giant itself. Best of all, it’s completely free to use! By installing it on your website, you will have an easy way of knowing how many visitors you’re getting as well as the sources they’re coming from.
Installing it can get a little bit technical if you have a static website, but if you’re using a modern CMS like WordPress, the good news is that it only takes a couple of clicks without having to dig through the code.
Optimize your Image Content
Enriching your content with images is one of the on page SEO steps you can take to improve the overall user experience as well as make your content attractive in the eyes of search engine algorithms.
The images you include should be topically relevant, not too big in file size (we don’t want to make the page load any longer than it needs to), and with a link to the original author (where one is warranted).
For search engine purposes, you should also include an alt tag that helps them classify it accordingly. The code looks like this:
<img src=”img_path.jpg” alt=”Description with a keyword goes here” width=”500″ height=”500″>
If you’re using WordPress, no coding is required and you can simply use a plugin to write the alt tags underneath the images.
Make Sure Your Website is Indexing
Just because you’ve successfully published an article or a landing page on your website, it doesn’t automatically mean that Google can (or is willing to) index it.
An easy test to see if search engine crawlers have parsed your website is to enter the target URL in Google directly and see if you get any results (it may take some time to start ranking for keyword queries).
In most cases, it helps to update your sitemap (on WordPress, there’s a plugin that does this for you automatically) or build some backlinks to it so Google can find it. If the issue persists, see to it there is no duplicate content on the page and that it doesn’t have a ‘noindex’ tag.
Use Social Media to Reach Your Target Audience
It’s in your best interest to make it easy for other people to share your content on social media. If you’ve ever come across integrated Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media buttons users can click to share the article without leaving your website, this is how it’s done.
Implementing social media buttons helps get more user engagement as well as backlinks to your website. In WordPress, there’s a free plugin for that, so there’s no need to get technical.
Ensure Your Site Content is Up to Date
Google encourages webmasters to keep their content fresh and relevant. The reason being is, as things change and evolve over time, you want to make sure that your users get the latest information on a certain topic that is both accurate and up-to-date.
If the search engine algorithms spot that you’re regularly working on your website, they will reward you with higher search engine rankings. Therefore, you should make sure to do your part in the process, as well as fix any broken links or images along the way.
Find and Fix Orphan Pages
In essence, orphan pages is a term that refers to pages that no one is linking to, thus making it hard for search engine crawlers to find and index them.
Once you’ve identified what these are, update your sitemap so that it lists them. Alternatively, link to them from your website’s menu, internally from one of your other pages, or build backlinks to them.
How to Optimize Your Title tags for On Page SEO
Title tags are arguably one of the most important factors on the on page SEO checklist. Below, we will give you concrete on page SEO steps to take if you want to make sure your title tags are implemented correctly:
Include Appropriate Keywords in Title Tag
Once you’ve discovered keywords that get a decent amount of search volume and are easy enough to rank for, you need to make sure to include them in the title tag. Ideally, this should be in an unaltered form and naturally as part of a sentence.
Make Sure Your Title Tags are Unique on Your Website and SERP
Each title tag should be unique, so make sure there are no others like it on your domain as well as across the web if at all possible. This tells Google that you’re pouring some time into it and producing hand-crafted content.
Be aware of the Title Tag Length
The ideal length of the title tag is between 50 and 60 characters, so keep it short and to-the-point.
How to OptimizeYour Meta Description for On Page SEO
Having an optimized description is one of the well known on page factors that search engines take into account when determining what pages should rank on top. To optimize your meta description for on page SEO, simply do the following:
Do Away With Duplicate Meta Descriptions
Each meta description should be unique. Therefore, go through each of your website’s content pages and make sure that no two of them are completely alike.
Write Unique Meta Descriptions for Each Page
If you’ve identified pages with non-unique meta description content or the ones that are missing a description entirely, write a unique meta description for each. The optimal length is anything below 160 characters.
Include your Target Keyword in the Meta Description
Not only do you need to make sure that your descriptions are unique and to-the-point, but also that they incorporate the keyword you’re targeting – this is one of the most vital on page SEO techniques. Try to keep the keyword phrases in an unaltered form, but only if you can do so naturally without making it seem stuffed or forced.
On Page vs. Off Page vs. Technical SEO
Now that we’ve covered essential on page SEO techniques, we’ll give you a shortened version of the off page SEO checklist. In essence, the former has to do with your website’s internal factors, whereas the latter with its external ones. Most of off page SEO boils down to building backlinks of various sorts, preferably from topically-relevant sources of high authority. And that’s on page SEO vs off page SEO in a nutshell.
With the help of our on page SEO checklist, you can satisfy the search engines by feeding them exactly what they want to see. As a result, your pages will rank higher in the search engine results pages, letting you reap the benefits of getting an increasing amount of organic search engine traffic.