Does On-Page SEO really help to rank your post? Is it really important? The answer is YES!
On-Page SEO is important as it helps search engines understand your website and its content.
- What is On-Page SEO?
- On-Page SEO Checklist
- 1. Title Tag & Headline
- 2. Subheadings
- 3. SEO-Friendly URL
- 4. Meta Description
- 5. Content Optimization
- 6. Image SEO
- 7. Keywords Placement
- 8. External Links (Outbound Links)
- 9. Internal Linking
- 10. Content Length
- 11. FAQ Schema
- 12. Page Speed
- Other On-Page SEO Techniques
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing web pages (that includes your posts) to help them rank higher in the search engines.
It simply refers to the SEO of your blog pages or posts. It’s about your content, tags & user experience.
Optimizing blog posts helps them to rank & drive organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, etc.
And to optimize your pages, there are certain things you need to keep in mind & implement while writing your content.
On-Page SEO Checklist
Here is the complete On-Page SEO Checklist you need to rank your posts higher. Implementing these things can help you get more traffic.
First of all, let’s talk about keyword. If you already know about what is keyword, you can skip this.
SEO optimization depends the most on just one thing – Keyword. A keyword is the search term you want your post to rank on.
For example, my keyword for this post is ‘On-Page SEO’ or ‘On-Page SEO Checklist’ that I want to rank for. Most of the elements in On-Page SEO revolves around the target keyword.
The first important thing you need to do is keyword research. It includes finding a keyword that is easy to rank & have some search volume.
In recent years, keyword research has become necessary. If you didn’t do keyword research & use keywords that have high competition, you will never rank.
Now that you know about your target keyword, let’s get to the checklist.
1. Title Tag & Headline
The title tag is the <h1> tag & the headline is the main heading of your page. They both are different.
The title is the text that is visible in the search results while the headline is the text that is visible on the page. It’s your choice whether to keep them the same or different.
Optimizing the blog post title & headline is much important. Whether a user is going to click on your title or not depends upon the title.
Your title should be compelling & optimized for SEO too. It should talk to the users. They should feel, “Yes, this is the post I am looking for.”
Keep your title short. Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag. If your title is longer, it may get cut-off.
Each page on your site should ideally have a unique title, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.
So, what can you do to optimize your title?
Not me but all professional bloggers & SEO specialists say this. Include your main target keyword in your title.
If possible, include your keyword at the beginning of the title. But, keep in mind, don’t force it. The title should look natural.
Why numbers? Studies say that titles include numbers perform better & get more clicks than titles without number.
Especially, use odd numbers as they tend to get more clicks.
Think of this title – “21 Genius Ways To Rank a Blog Like a Pro”
The words ‘Genius’ & ‘Pro’ are power words.
These power words evoke an emotion or trigger curiosity (which in fact helps to increase CTR).
Some of the best power words are given below.
One more thing you can do is to capitalize these power words as they stand out.
If a user searches “How to lose weight” & sees a result whose title is the same, he will click it.
Most of the users search “How to”, “Why”, “What”, etc. And if they see the same term in the search results, they will click it.
What I am saying is to use these question words in your title to rank for this type of search terms.
If you are lucky, your page might get a featured snippet & that is awesome as it appears at the top of the search results.
If you are creating a top list of something, don’t forget to include the current year (2020). The same goes for a tutorial or guide.
This way user will think that “Hey, this post is the latest. I should read it.” He will click on it.
Subheadings are h2, h3, h4, h5 tags. These are really important for SEO & user experience.
They help readers to navigate the post. It breaks the content into several parts that become easy to read.
Search engines use your headings to determine what the content on your website is about.
Most of the featured snippets have subheadings in them. That’s why subheadings are important.
It is beneficial to include your focus keyword or synonyms in subheadings (but not in all the subheadings otherwise it will lead to keyword stuffing).
Write subheadings that make sense to the reader. They have to be natural.
3. SEO-Friendly URL
Keep your blog post URL short & relevant. It is recommended to use 3-5 words only, if possible.
Include your main keyword in the URL (possibly at the beginning) to rank.
Yoast SEO recommends avoiding the use of function words (a, an, the, etc.) in the URL as these words add nothing of value to your URL.
You can also look at this post’s URL.
Don’t use underscores, as these connect the words and make them into one. Instead, use dashes (hyphens).
4. Meta Description
If you are using an SEO plugin, you can see the meta description option to write one. And it is also important as it shows up in search results.
Search engines such as Google display the meta description in search results, which can influence click-through rates.
You should write a compelling & simple meta description that is 150-160 words long. If you write more than 160 words, your description gets cut off in the search results.
Include your focus keyword & synonyms in the meta description to increase your rankings. Google recognizes these words & make them bold to stand out & increase CTR.
5. Content Optimization
Content is king. I just want to say one thing – write unique & valuable content. Write in an active voice if necessary.
Always try to write new content that is not available on the Internet. It should introduce new tips & strategies.
Avoid writing long paragraphs instead write short paragraphs. You know it too that reading long paragraphs is boring. Use bullet points too.
Content is not just words, it includes as much as things possible. So, what things you can add to your content?
6. Image SEO
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Including images in your blog post enhances readability.
A 1000 words blog post without a single image is quite boring. Including images such as charts, infographics, GIFs helps a lot.
For SEO, adding alt text to the image is helpful. The alt text (or alt tag) is an alternative text that will be displayed if the image can’t be displayed to the visitor for any reason.
It also helps for the image to be shown in the Google image search. Including the main keyword in the alt text helps to rank well.
Reducing the size of the images helps the site to load faster & also increases your rankings as Google also keeps an eye on the site speed.
7. Keywords Placement
While writing content, don’t forget to include your main keyword at different places in your post.
Include your keyword in the first paragraph or within starting 100 words.
Don’t overuse keywords otherwise, it will lead to keyword stuffing. Note that keyword density should be about 1-2% i.e 1-2 keywords in a 100-words post.
Instead, use synonyms or LSI keywords. LSI keywords are the words that are related to the main keyword.
8. External Links (Outbound Links)
Link to other high authority websites as it helps in link building & better SEO. Add relevant links that are actually helpful to the reader.
It helps search engines to know better about your blog niche. Hence, keep in mind to link to websites related to your niche.
Add both dofollow & nofollow links. Give credits to sources from where you took information or image.
According to Moz, getting external links is the single most important objective for attaining high rankings.
See, I just linked to an external website (Moz).
Avoid too many outbound links as it may disrupt the reading experience. Link out to some websites that are relevant to your page.
9. Internal Linking
Interlinking your blog posts is as important as outbound linking. It helps Google to index your blog better.
Add URLs of blog posts that are related to the content. Avoid including links that are not related.
Add dofollow links so that the search engine crawls them.
If you use WordPress, you can plugins like Link whisper for internal link building.
Linking to popular or pillar posts of your blog helps to increase your blog post rankings.
10. Content Length
According to Hubspot, the ideal blog post length should be 2,100-2,400 words. Different blogs are stating different numbers.
Well, you should always write 300+ words blog post as below 300 words post is considered as thin content.
Blog post length differs from post to post. If it is a guide, it will be lengthy & if it is a simple article, it will be not much longer.
This post itself is 2000+ words long.
11. FAQ Schema
FAQ (Frequently asked questions) is a set of questions and answers on your blog post.
If you implement FAQ schema on your blog page, you can rank higher & get featured snippets in search results.
Adding FAQ can potentially help your site be the source of answers for people using voice search to ask questions.
If you are on WordPress, you can add FAQ schema using Yoast or RankMath plugin. If you don’t use any SEO plugin, you can use this plugin.
Not only FAQ schema, you can add Review schema if you are reviewing a product or service.
12. Page Speed
Imagine if you are visiting a website & it takes much time to load, will you wait? No. You will just visit another website.
Google also sees your site speed as a ranking factor. Fast sites tend to rank higher than slow websites.
Make sure your page loading speed is fast. It should load in just 3 sec or less. You can see that my blog loads in just 1.1 sec.
Here are the things you should do to make your site load fast.
Use Fast Theme
Use a theme that loads fast i.e has less size. A light weight theme loads fast compared to heavy themes.
If you are on WordPress, you can use the Generatepress theme. This theme is recommended by most of the bloggers & can be found on many websites.
Other themes you can use are Astra, Hestia, Neve, Schema, OceanWP, etc.
More the size of an image more is the loading time. Hence, use images that are small in size.
Instead of PNG, JPG images, use WebP format for super reduction of your image’s size.
Activate Lazy Load. This doesn’t load the images that aren’t in view & loads when the image is in view.
You can use a3 lazyload plugin or Jetpack to enable this on your WordPress website.
CDN refers to a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.
Use Cache Plugins
Other On-Page SEO Techniques
If you focus on this On-Page SEO checklist, you will see your blog posts rank higher in search engines.
With On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO is also important to rank & gain traffic. Off-page SEO includes social media marketing, guest posting, etc.
If you want to share your tips & opinions, comment below.
Good luck with SEO!
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