When you lift weights, you need to learn good form to stay safe and do your best. It can help to have a list of tips that remind you of this before your exercises. This same concept in fitness applies well to SEO.
When you write content, a checklist for on-page SEO will help you. This checklist should remind you of what matters. It is also worth saying that as the search engines have improved, you get rewarded more by just writing well.
Try this this checklist.
On-Page SEO Checklist
- Try to have at least 100 words in the copy.
Strive for least 300 words, though the best content often goes beyond 1000 words.
- Use keywords in the body within the first 100 words.
This shows relevance to the search engines.
- Add the main keyword phrase in the title, meta description, and H1 tags.
Use under 55 and 115 characters for the titles and meta descriptions. The other tags do not have limits. Try to use the keyword phrase in any subheaders (H2, H3, etc.), image alt tags, and the URL as well.
- Use the on-page title (H1) followed by the brand for the title.
For example, the H1 is About, so the title tag would be About – Company Name.
- Confirm keywords with Keyword Planner.
You need to make a free AdWords account to do so though. Enter your keyword phrase in this tool as the product or service under “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.” Use your knowledge for the first keyword ideas. Try to add some synonyms as well, since Google checks for these and other related terms a well.
- Use the main keyword phrase a few times in the copy.
If the word count exceeds 1000, then shoot for at least a 1% density if you can.
- Try to get a Flesch reading ease score of at least 70.
This teaches you to use simple words and sentences so that all can understand your content. You can set up this test in Microsoft Word or use free tools online.
- Check for spelling and grammar.
This is a slight ranking factor and helps to leave a good impression.
- Write clearly before you write creatively.
The search engines cannot guess the intent of a page.
- Try to have just one intent per page.
Build out new pages or join them before having more than one intent per page or more than one page with the same intent. You can use 3-5 keyword phrases related to this intent though.
- Try to use a good image or video for each page if you can.
Use the right image alt tags and schema for video. This will boost conversion optimization too.
- Add social sharing buttons at the bottom.
This makes it easy for fans to share your content, leading to more traffic and conversions.
- Use internal and external links.
Both forms help boost your rankings in the search engines.
Internal links give a chance to use anchor text, or the text of a hyperlink you can click, on your own pages. The search engines use this to crawl and interpret your content. It can also help users find more relevant pages.
External links give a slight boost too, so do not be afraid to link out when you need to do so. Readers also see this like a citation, which boosts credibility.
Using On-Page SEO
On-page SEO used to mean just adding endless keywords. Now Google looks for readability and engagement. Use this on-page SEO guide to make sure your content ranks, but mostly know just to make it good as you can.