SEO is critical for growing your business. It boosts your search rankings and improves traffic to your website. If you aren’t on the first page of search results, less than 1% of users will even see you.
Optimizing your website SEO doesn’t happen accidentally. You need a clear strategy and plan for implementation.
On-page SEO is one type of SEO Google uses to rank your website. It optimizes your individual page content to rank higher on Google. It includes content elements, HTML, and the architecture of your site.
Follow this SEO checklist to improve your on-page SEO and help your business grow.
1. Create High-Quality Page Content
The foundation of good SEO is high-quality content for your website. Quality content provides value for your visitors and demonstrates that value to Google.
Identify the Right Keywords
Using the right keywords is essential for on-page SEO. The goal is to rank higher for relevant search terms.
You can do keyword research by searching Google to see what comes up for your competitors. You can also use an online keyword database. This will help you identify the words and phrases people use to find websites like yours.
Consider Your Visitors’ Search Intent
Finding the right keywords includes considering your visitors’ search intent. After you find a relevant keyword with high search interest, you should look at the types of articles that come up in a search. You want keywords whose results match the goal of your page.
If your goal is to increase sales, you want pages focused on selling the product. Informational articles tell you that visitors are looking for more information about a topic, not to make a purchase.
Use Keywords Naturally
Using keywords in your body content tells Google and your readers that your page is relevant. The primary keyword should appear in the first paragraph. Secondary keywords can occur throughout the page.
Keywords should fit well in context. Forcing keywords where they don’t sound natural lowers the quality of your content.
2. Optimize Your Page Titles
The page titles or title tags for your website are one of the most important factors in on-page SEO. The page title tells visitors and Google what they will find on the page. Your title tag should motivate readers to click through to your site.
Include the Primary Keyword
You want the search engines crawling your page to see the main topic in milliseconds. Including the primary keyword in your title tag is essential. Ideally, the keyword will be at the beginning of the title.
You can include other keywords as long as they fit naturally. Google penalizes your page if it seems spammy and stuffed with keywords.
Keep the Title Short
Google will cut off your title if it’s too long. The page title should ideally be between 50 and 60 characters, including spaces. This helps ensure it will display correctly.
3. Use H1 Tags for Your Headline
Your headline is the title that visitors see on your site. It’s different than the title tag that appears in search results.
However, both titles should be similar. They both work to tell search engines and users what’s on your page.
The headline doesn’t have a character limit. It should include your primary keyword and motivate visitors to stay on your page.
Don’t Forget the Other Page Headers
Headers or body tags help organize your content. They help users and Google see the content that is most important. Subheadings can use H2, H3, and H4 tags.
You should only have one H1 header per page, but you can use as many subheadings as you need for your content.
Headers should include keywords. Using secondary keywords in your header tags is a good strategy.
4. Write a Clickable Meta Description
The meta description is the short description of your page that appears under the title in search results. It isn’t officially part of search engine rankings. It affects whether a user clicks on your page or not, though, and that’s obviously very important.
The meta description should include your primary keyword. It should explain what users will get from your page and why they should visit.
Meta descriptions are short, though. They should include only one or two compelling sentences. If the description is longer than 160 characters, Google will cut it off.
5. Streamline Your URL Slug
A URL slug is the part of the URL that’s specific to the page. Your page URLs should be easy to understand for search engines and visitors to your site. They should be clear but descriptive.
Including your primary keyword in your URL slug is a good practice. However, stuffing too many keywords into the URL will end up hurting your SEO.
To optimize your URL, you can start by removing unnecessary words. A shorter URL structure helps Google crawl your page more efficiently. Shorter URLs are easier for your users to remember.
Use https for your URL if possible because Google sees it as a positive factor. Also, if you change your URL slug, be sure to redirect the old version.
6. Incorporate High-Quality Visual Content
Relevant images and videos can increase engagement with your page. Web content with visuals gets an average of 94% more views.
For the best SEO, you need alt text for each image. Alt text is a brief description that tells search engines about the image. Google delivers image-based results, so alt-text can help more visitors find your site.
The alt text should be specific and relevant to the content of your page. You can include keywords as long as they fit naturally.
Start Working on Your SEO Checklist
This SEO checklist will help improve your on-page SEO. You can boost your rankings and increase traffic.
Successfully optimizing SEO takes time, though. It can be expensive to maintain the full-time marketing staff you need to continually update your website.
Red Stone Studio can help you meet your goals. We offer full-service digital marketing solutions. We’ll work with you to customize a plan that fits the needs of your business.
Contact Red Stone Studio today to start checking off your SEO checklist.