The Complete On-Page SEO Checklist For 2023
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, isn’t as complicated as you think. It should be a basic part of your web mastering skills.
There are some terms you may not be familiar with, so we’ll teach you how to optimize every part of your website to be a search engine magnet. Let’s start with On-page SEO checklist for the year 2023.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing web pages to increase organic traffic and improve a website’s SERP rankings (search engine results pages). This entails improving a page’s HTML, internal links, and metadata (meta title, meta description, and keyword density), as well as providing high-quality, relevant material and graphics. Because of on-page SEO, when you combine all of these characteristics of a webpage, you end up with a better webpage.
Why is On-Page SEO Important?
Search engines use “on-page SEO” to assess your website and the information associated with it to determine whether a searcher’s query is relevant to your site. Google’s algorithm is continually being updated to better comprehend a searcher’s intent and produce search results that are relevant to that user’s needs. Your website should evolve in tandem with Google’s algorithm.
It’s critical that your website and its content, both what’s visible to people (media, content, photos) and what’s visible to search engines (metadata, HTML), be optimized according to the newest Google and Bing policies. Search engines will be able to understand your site and how to rank it as a result of this.
On-Page SEO Checklist
Start with the first section, Internal or On-Page SEO Checklist and work your way step-by-step through each topic. If you implement these simple changes and heed our advice, your website will be search-engine optimized.
One of the most important things you can do when you make a blog is On-Page SEO. How you set up your page structure can give you a huge boost in rankings and keyword searches.
If you want to rank well in the search engines for your keywords, you need to look at all the internal linking methods you can use.
Have you ever think How Long Does It Take To Make A Website Rank In Google Search?
Well, It depends on how seriously you can follow the below-mentioned tactics.
There are a lot of things you need to take into account. Your site will need keyword research, alt tags, keyword density, and a proper internal linking structure.
The absolute first thing you should do is some keyword research. Don’t let a little leg work deprive you of ranking well.
Keyword Research – Step One in SEO
Before you code a line or write a single word, you should start doing keyword research.
The first thing I want you to do is to go to goodkeywords.com and download the tool they have there. It will tell you the number of times a keyword or keyword combination has been searched over a period of time.
While it shows a “number,” it’s not quite accurate. Overture gets 8 to 10 times fewer searches than Google per month. But it’s a good indicator of how popular certain search terms are.
Now you’re just starting out, and your chances of getting ranked highly for a generic keyword are slim. Instead of trying to optimize “keyword”, try to optimize something a little more specific, like “Keyword Research”.
You really shouldn’t write for the engines. Write your content so it’s fresh and readable, and design your site so that it’s easy to navigate.
If you write about your keywords and use them in your content you’ll be fine.
Remember, sites that are written for humans, with SEO in mind, will do better in the long run than sites that cheat.
Your ultimate goal when you research keywords (both for high-paying keywords and keywords that get a lot of traffic) is to find a happy medium between the amount of traffic you can expect if you rank well and the amount of competition you’ll have. If you can’t rank well for your chosen keyword, try to rank well for a related keyword combination.
Every page you make for your website should have both meta-tags and a page title. The page title is a short description for your visitors and for search engines to identify the contents of the page.
Many search engines use the page titles to display the search results, so don’t leave them out.
A page title is at the top of your HTML code, and looks something like this:
The secret to using page titles right is to keep them short and sweet. Don’t use filler text. Keep it focused on the targeted keywords you found from your keyword research.
Your keyword research should be a factor in writing both your meta-tag and page titles.
Planning before starting to make your website can help you create an internal linking structure and linking method for your site, not something to be overlooked.
Your website needs meta-tags. It doesn’t matter what some search engine expert told you. The fact is that thousands of search engines still use your meta content to tell searchers what your site is about.
What is a meta-tag?
Meta-tags look a little like this:
< meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" /> < META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Keywords separated by commas"> < META NAME="description" CONTENT="Description of the page"> < META NAME="robots" CONTENT="FOLLOW,INDEX">
Meta-tags should be at the top of your source code on every page of your site. You might not be a meta-tag expert but that’s no excuse. Some websites let you make your meta-tags for free with all the bells and whistles. Meta-tags and page titles are closely tied, so don’t overlook your page titles, either.
Header Tags and SEO
The bolded text above is really a header tag. Using header tags tells search engines which words are important in the context of your page.
Consider <h1>,<h2>,<h3>, etc.. as a way to highlight important keywords.
Different browsers interpret the header tags in different ways. The format for coding header tags in HTML is always the same, though:
<h2>Header tags and your rankings.</h2>
There are several pre-set sizes for header tags. They range from H1 to H6, going from biggest to smallest. Use them to highlight your chosen keywords when it fits into the flow of your pages, but remember: You are writing for people, not machines.
Your rankings will suffer without the proper use of header tags, so don’t leave them out of your search engine optimization strategy.
Some keywords should be put in bold typeface to point search engines in the right direction.
When you’re writing web pages you will probably want to stress a certain word or two. Compared to header tags, using the option in your HTML code to make a word stand out doesn’t carry as much weight with search engines. Don’t dismiss it entirely, though, because it does count.
Anytime you stress a word to make it stand out to your readers, you’re also stressing that word to search engines.
Using Bold Text should be done whenever it fits into the flow of your content and matches the look and feel of your website.
Many WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editors do this for you on the fly but make sure you check the code to make sure it’s clean and not cluttered with extraneous tags.
Italicizing Your Text for SEO Emphasis
We aren’t going to take too much time on this, but many SEO experts feel that italicizing your text makes search engines pay more attention to those words.
These experts also suggest that you should use Italicize a keyword or two at least once on each page of your site.
The code looks like this
It’s easy to do, but don’t overdo it–too many italics will break up the flow of your text unless your name is Edgar Allen Poe.
Bolded Text falls under the same rules, but should probably be used a little more often.
Use Alt Tags!
To see an example of alt text, hover your mouse over an image in a well-designed site, words should appear describing the image. Alt tags were invented as a service to the disabled so they could “see” what an image on the monitor looked like.
It’s great news for SEO, too. As long as you don’t stuff your images full of keywords, it’s a good way to add targeted keywords to your page’s content.
Spiders eat alt tags up because even though they can’t read an image, they sure can read an alt tag.
A great example of an alt tag is a picture of a brown dog with spots, with your alt text reading: “brown dog with spots”.
Alt tags serve the following functions in SEO and web design.
Make sites accessible to the visually disabled.
Describe images so that search engines and the disabled can see them.
Add keywords to your pages without cluttering them up.
Use alt tags for every image on your website, within reason.
Internal linking raises your PR
Even more important than having the proper keyword density is correctly linking your pages internally. It’s probably the most overlooked aspect of good SEO.
You can have every page in your site link back to a single page and raise its PR just from the links you created. It’s certainly better than nothing. A large part of SEO is naming your anchor links and using them internally. You’ll notice throughout this site that we link to certain pages of our own. This is both to help you navigate our site, and also to help the search engines by showing them which pages are important to us.
Think about this SEO strategy from an e-commerce point of view. Would you rather have high-ranking terms of service page or a high-ranking sales page? I know which one I’d prefer!
We’re writing this crash course in an internal linking strategy to make sure that every page on your site passes PR back to your home page. This can be done by simply adding an anchor text link to the footer of your website. You can also link every page on your site from a site map if you have “orphan” pages that need to be spidered by the engines but aren’t included in your menu. A site map is a basic page that has a hyperlink for every page that you want the search engines to find.
Keyword Density and Your Rankings
Keywords should be chosen with care. Use your keywords as often as you can while still letting your page “read” well. The number of times your keyword comes up in your copy compared to other words is called keyword density.
Depending on who you ask, what search engine you are dealing with, and the phase of the moon, you will get a different answer from every SEO expert on what the right keyword density should be.
Don’t try and “trick” the search engines. You’ll almost always lose out in the end. Real content, written for real audiences, usually ends up outranking sites that try and cheat the search engines.
Decide right now to play by the rules and when your competition begins to get banned, you’ll still be up and running.
There are some important places to put your keywords. Take a look at blackbeltdomain.com. Can you guess what terms they’re trying to rank highly on? That’s right, they’re trying for a high rank on black belt profiles. They did a very good job of it, too. Look at the page source (right-click on the page and select “view source”). Take a look at their header tags, content, and meta-tags.
It’s a brand new site at the time of this writing and is topping out at number 9 in Yahoo after only a month.
I’m sure they kept keyword density in mind while they were writing the site. But they also kept the user in mind with informative menu options and clear text.
There is nothing wrong with viewing the source code on other pages to learn how they do it. As long as you don’t steal code or copyrighted work it’s OK to “look” for SEO training purposes.
External Style Sheets Are a Must for Fast-Loading, Well-Designed, Flexible Web Sites
When I get a new webmaster as a client, the first thing I suggest is to let me switch the site over to an external cascading style sheet (CSS for short).
There are many reasons for this, beyond loading faster and taking up fewer resources. It makes the pages less cluttered with tags and lets search engine spiders really cruise through a site.
The page you’re looking at right now is a tableless CSS designed website that loads fast and is geared towards making the search engines happy from a technical point of view.
Now, you might not think that page size matters much to search engines but remember, to get to your internal links they have to “read” your whole site. If your page is smaller they can do more crawling before the resources they have allocated for your site are exhausted.
Style sheets and clean code are a must for good readability and keeping the search engines happy.
Validated Code Is Important
To be honest, most webmasters don’t worry about validating their code. Running validation through a service like http://validator.w3.org/ is a great way to make sure that your website is readable by search engines.
Validated code means that all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes is laid out the way it should be. If it’s all good, the spiders don’t miss things.
File Sizes and Search Engine Optimization
You should consider the size of your website files both for the benefit of search engines and your visitors.
Obviously, you want your visitors to be able to get your website to load fast, but you need to help the search engines as well.
You can reduce file size in a few ways:
- Use External Style Sheets
- Use Validated Code
- Cut out all the junk
- Optimize your graphics
Reducing the size of your pages will help with your overall search engine optimization.
Sitemaps are a guide to the internal linking structure of your site. A sitemap is also spider-friendly and can increase the number of pages indexed by major search engines.
Google offers a way to submit your own sitemap directly to their search engine.
There’s a site out that’s a fun parody on SEO, and it’s also a great place to get an XML sitemap generated for free. Check out seo-sucks.com, use their sitemap generator, and have a few laughs.
Now every site should have a sitemap. It’s just a page that has all the URLs on the site. Some sites, like this one, use the menu as a sitemap as well.
Either way, if you don’t have links on your site to a sitemap or a page with links to all your pages, you’re missing out on a lot of search engine activity.
Once you review and implement these tips, ideas, and strategies you’ll be on your way to better search engine results and more targeted traffic.
Remember, your SEO job is never over. Linking, checking, monitoring, and creating new and fresh pages will keep your site optimized. That’s all for On-Page SEO.