One of the 4 pillars in SEO is on-page search engine optimization (also known as on-site seo).
It examines the elements of a page’s content that have an impact on how search engines index, rank, and see it.
This article provides a practical checklist for on-page SEO that you can use in your content strategy for 2022.
This list, when combined with the other three pillars of SEO , on-page SEO and content, can help you improve your online visibility, increase your digital presence and bring in more organic traffic to pages.
The checklist can be used to create new pages or audit existing content.
Here are some things to keep your eyes on:
The Go-To Onpage SEO Checklist for 2022
The title tag is the first part of our on-page SEO checklist. This is the title of your article, but it’s also the first thing that the user sees when they look at your link in the search engine results.
Try to keep your title tag under 70 characters. Anything beyond that will be cut from the SERP link. Google might also offer a slightly different title if you have a long title.
According to Google’s John Mueller (mark 2.57) , officially, there is no limit on the length of titles and it doesn’t affect your rank.
You can still control the text that is associated with your website by limiting the characters.
Your title should not only be concise and informative but also compelling and engaging to grab the attention of the user.
Avoid clickbait and sensationalism. It can disappoint search engines and readers, as well as cause disappointment. Penalized for misleading headlines could result in you losing your credibility and ranking.
Check out this guide to writing catchy and engaging blog titles.
Now it’s time to move on to the next stage of our SEO checklist: keywords. Each page should have one keyword. It is best to use it in your title tag, the first 100 words in the intro, in the headings and subtitles, and in the URL.
Be careful to not use too much it. Keyword stuffing is no longer in fashion and can only harm your SEO.
It can be difficult to find the right keyword density, but it is worth it. Search term variations (synonyms) can improve the readability and UX of your text. After all, repetition is just as irritating to humans as it is for search engines.
However, keyword search does not end with your main keyword.
Search engines will see that your content is diverse by including secondary keywords. This will make it clear that you can provide comprehensive information as well.
You can discover new topics and ideas while researching them. This will improve the value of your content. This will allow you to engage more users and show search engines that you are an expert .
You should also look at semantic keywords when doing your research.
These search terms add context to your content, and help search engines understand you better.
These keywords can be researched using tools like Semrush or the LSISgraph.
A well-constructed content structure can contribute to both UX as well as SEO.
You can make your text more readable by using subheadings and headings. This is especially useful for users who are often in hurry and have to scan quickly.
This decreases confusion and may increase dwell time and engagement. It can also send a positive signal for search engines.
It can also help bots.
H-tags are used by search engines to help them understand and pin the most relevant topics and subtopics.
The h-tags must be keyword-rich and contain not only the main search phrase but also relevant long tail question keywords that are of interest to your audience.
To create featured Snippets, search engines also use headings or subheadings. This information is not compiled manually but is derived directly from websites.
You can also pull it from bullet points or numbered lists. These content structures are excellent at communicating information in a clear and concise way.
Many website owners and marketers are not familiar with SEO. They think backlinks when building links.
The links to the page, both internal and externe, are equally important. This is why we created a special spot for them in our on-page SEO checklist.
Internal linking allows the bots to determine the hierarchy of pages on your website and how they are related. Google considers internal linking more important than external links that lead to content.
Make sure you only add relevant links with appropriate anchor texts. Otherwise, the bots might be confused about what pages you have.
Although there is no limit on the number of links you can add to your internal pages, it’s best to not exceed 100. As with all things, don’t overdo it. Each link could be an invitation for the user to leave your site and never return.
External links, also known as outbound links, are important. It is a good practice to link to high-authority pages, such as statistics and industry research, or other reliable sources.
Google uses this to place your page in context and to help you understand its content.
External links to reliable sources could leak small amounts of link juice (a.k.a. Equity) to your page and increase your credibility.
Consider including 3-10 outbound hyperlinks in your content for the best results.
Image size can have a significant impact on page responsiveness and page loading speed . This can severely affect your Google score. Slow-loading pages are not preferred by search engines as they offer a poor user experience and users are more likely to abandon them.
This will prevent you from having to resize your images.
Image optimization is not limited to these two areas.
Google can crawl images but it is not yet able to understand them.
When it comes to following an on-page SEO checklist, focus on the meta text that goes with your images, the file name as well as the alt tag.
These must be clear, precise, and concise.
The search engine bots won’t be able to find your file name if it is gibberish or contains random numbers and letters. A description or keyword, such double_rainbow.jpg and SEO_checklist.jpg will make sense.
In each of these cases, the alt texts explains the contents of the photo and replaces visual information with words.
140 characters are the limit for an alt tag (with spaces), so keep it brief and simple and include a keyword if you can.
Meta Description appear in the SERPs below the title tag. They provide a brief summary of information that describes the page.
Although meta descriptions do not directly impact rankings but can increase click-through rates of your links within the SERPs, this can have a positive effect on your standing with search algorithms.
Backlinko actually found that pages that have meta descriptions have a 5.8% greater click-through rate that pages that don’t.
Google generates meta descriptions automatically for pages that do not have them. It’s better to write your own. Generic descriptions are typically pulled from the first line of the page (excluding the title tag) and are not very compelling. They may even not make sense.
Google encourages to create your own meta descriptions.
This SEO element has a character limit of 155 characters. This SEO element should contain your main keyword, a brief summary of your content and, if you can, a call-to-action.
It may seem difficult to do this in such a small space. Here’s a trick: use your meta description as an extension of the title. This gives you more context and allows you to grab the user’s attention.
Last, but not least, in our on-page optimization checklist, you should optimize URLs for your pages to be unique and keyword-rich.
It is best to keep the slug (the text that follows the domain) shorter than the rest. However, it is important not to use the main search term.
You will avoid confusion when publishing content on related subjects.
You might have pages about topics like how to monetize blogging and niche blogging.
In this case, the slug of the pillar post shouldn’t be just “blogging”, but “blogging-101”, “blogging-ultimate-guide”, “blogging-starter-pack”, or something similar, depending on your title.
These slugs can be used to help search engines understand the relationship between your pages and their internal linking.
A descriptive URL is essentially a tiny bit of information that provides additional information to crawlers. It is also user-friendly and makes sense for website visitors.
This is it! Your top-of-the-line SEO checklist for 2022.
These steps will help you optimize your pages to meet Google’s current criteria. It will also improve the way Google sees and interprets your pages.
Even if you follow all the guidelines when writing your content, remember that SEO rules are constantly changing.
You should therefore regularly review and update your content to keep up with the latest SEO trends.