On-page SEO Checklist
- On-page SEO ChecklistContent is high-quality, relevant, fresh and at least 500 words in length.
- Target search phrase is included in page headline.
- Target search phrase is included in at least one sub-headline.
- Target search phrase is repeated three to 10 times within body copy. Don’t over-do it, or the page may get downgraded as spam. Keep the reader in mind as you work with the target search phrase. Copy should always be reader-friendly.
- Page includes relevant images and/or graphics that help illustrate the target search phrase.
- Captions for images and/or graphics include the target search phrase.
- Content and/or tools and resources on the page are so good that visitors will want to share your link with others and post your link elsewhere.
- Location: If you are optimising for specific country, state, city or regional names, be sure they are in your copy and perhaps in a page footer.
- No misspellings or poor grammar. Yes, the search engines downgrade for either.
- Inclusion of social media links and / or user discussion or reviews. Pages with active visitor interaction are scored higher than static pages.
Coding and Behind-the-Scenes Factors
- Include the target keyword/search phrase in the page URL if possible.
- Title tag: Every page should have an HTML title (enclosed in <title> </title> tags). The title copy should be unique, include the target keyword or target phrase, and must be 70 characters or less (any longer, and Google will truncate it anyway).
- Meta description tag: Even if the search engines don’t weigh a meta description in ranking a page, it is very important, because it is the marketing copy for your page. The meta description in the page head-tag set (enclosed in <meta name = “description” content=””> usually appears with your organic search listing, and induces readers to click through. The meta description tag should be no longer than 160 characters, and should include your target phrase.
- Image alt text: Use the target phrase in image alt text (embedded in the image tag as alt=”your keyword”)
- Links from copy: Use links to other pages on your site, or other resources judiciously. Links should be relevant to your page topic. The latest research shows Google may penalize any page containing more than 100 links, and we recommend stopping well short of that number, unless there is a good reason. A few internal links (to other pages on your site) are a positive, especially if they tie together similar topics. Internal links also help search engine bots navigate and categorize your site.
- Mobile: Make sure sites and pages intended for mobile devices are coded so that the search engines recognize them as mobile. This goes beyond the scope of this article, but keep it in mind as you work with your developer on a mobile site.