What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process through which you can improve the health and visibility of your website. Following an SEO Checklist helps you perform better organically on search results.
In other words, if you have been following a successful SEO strategy, you will see your website rank higher on Google search results. You will also be able to establish a ranking for a few of the keywords in your industry.
Better rankings on Google and other metrics like Domain Authority and Page Ranking helps establish the credibility of your website. Along with credibility, it leads to better sales and other incremental benefits for your brand.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is composed of three critical processes. Each one has to have a proper implementation for generating the best ROIs.
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
In this article, we are focusing on giving you a guide for On-Page SEO. We will discuss some of the best practices for On-Page SEO in 2019. In addition, we will also be looking at On-Page SEO Checklist, as well as, the best approaches to On-Page SEO in 2019.
Introducing the On-Page SEO Checklist Guide:
The On-Page SEO concept refers to the practice focusing on optimizing individual web pages with the target of ranking higher and earning increased relevant traffic in search engines. In this regard, On-Page refers to both the HTML source code and the content of a page. As compared to the off-Page SEO, which comprises of external signals and links.
The advantage of On-Page SEO is that it involves content, keywords, images, etc., basically the parts that you see – as well as some of the aspects that are not so obvious such as meta tags.
The beauty of on-page SEO is that the author or designer has control over the core content and how it displays on the page. This allows for optimization through the strategic use of content and the choice of keywords as well.
There is a need to adopt a pro-active stance when conducting SEO. This is because Google algorithms and SEO undergo constant changes that affect the standing of a web page.
As a result, before carrying out any action, there is a need to determine that whatever action you are taking will be the right one.
Establishing an effective On-Page SEO is not an easy task. It needs implementation through a series of step. Some of the main ones are-
1. Conduct your SERP Research:
Reaching the SERPs is a good start. The research here constitutes entering one of the core keywords into Google and evaluates what comes up.
You will get a good knowledge of what keywords from your industry are ranking and what is the competition. This will help you analyze the ways in which you can rank for those keywords through an SEO strategy.
Along with this, you can use also use Moz and Ahrefs to understand the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Rank for your website.
This will help you see the clearer picture and the end goal. For example, if your DA on Moz is 15, you might want to follow a strategy that will help you reach 40 on the DA. The more the DA the better is the health of your website. Similarly, the lesser the Page Rank, the better is your website.
This search will allow the content writer or designer to understand what Google considers to be the most important and relevant results for that particular search term.
Therefore, analyzing the first few results will offer an indication of what the optimization process should focus on enhancing the competitiveness of the targeted web page in the search engine. The focus here should be on the title, URL, and featured snippet(s).
Click on the first few results and evaluate the look of the page that opens. This will offer an opportunity to evaluate the product optimization approach, the look, scale, and scope of the page as well.
Most importantly, this research will reveal any gaps in the current top-ranked pages, which offers the designer the chance of adding an advantage on competing pages, and thus increasing the flow of relevant traffic to the targeted page.
It also gives indicators on how to create content that stands a strong chance of ranking highly in the search engine results.
2. Researching Keywords for On-Page SEO Checklist:
Standard approaches and strategic methods in SEO are constantly changing. There is a need for content developers to keep the pace of these changes. However, the need for keywords has remained constant. This highlights its importance in On-Page SEO.
The approaches adopted in choosing keywords need to take into consideration an overarching structure that includes the targeted online audience, and the overall targeted market segment.
In this regard, it allows the content developer to not only optimize their web pages but also steer them to the relevant audience as well.
The beginning point of keywords does not involve tools; instead, it focuses on the target market. Understanding the core needs and expectations of the market will have a massive influence on the eventual decision regarding the keywords.
Combining consumer needs with SEO skills allows for the optimization of the ranking of the subject web pages among the targeted demographic, which increases the marketing value of the marketing approach as a whole.
Segmenting the targeted market will introduce a micro- or Nano-marketing approach. In the modern market, this is a crucial approach because different market segments search for different things using different keywords. As a result, using a blanket approach might exclude several of these groups from the subject web page’s content.
For example, generally browsing users might use words such as “top 10,” “best,” and “review.” On the other hand, the users intending to make a purchase might use words such as “affordable,” “buy,” and “discount.”
This concept is especially important in 2019 because Google is focusing on prioritizing user intent when it comes to search rankings. This approach by Google is likely to favor e-commerce sites because most of the users are looking to buy something.
Therefore, On-Page SEO has to focus on all the questions that the content on the targeted web page might answer. This aspect can be highlighted by providing a concise and succinct FAQ and Q&A formats, which can be helpful in voice searches.
3. Adopting Short, Descriptive URLs for On-Page SEO:
Think of URLs as your website’s identification. If you were to identify yourself through a description, you would want to use a phrase or a one-word answer.
In the same way, for search engines like Google, shorter URLs mean better identifications. Google reads shorter URLs as valid directions that users can follow. Longer URLs lead to confusion and distracts audiences.
URLs should be short, clean, easy to read, and to the point. The analysis shows that Google’s algorithm prefers URLs between three and five words, as compared to the longer and messier ones.
It is a rule of the thumb among SEO folks that the shorter the URL the better is the visibility and results.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that your URL contains the primary keyword for the content provided as well as an accurate portrayal of the crust of the content contained in the web page.
If your URL does not have the keyword then there is no point in having a URL at all! Yes, keyword integration in the URL is necessary. However, most in the industry do not take into consideration such small yet important markers.
Without understanding what the content on the web page is, Google will be unable to crawl the content effectively, which means that the SEO approach will not be competitive among other results.
When Google starts crawling your content. It will start from your-
- Page Title
- Keyword in the Title
- URL and whether the Keyword is embedded in it or not.
- Heading of the Contentandwhetherthe Keyword is there or not.
- Sub-Headings of the content and whether the Keyword is embedded in it or not.
- Keywords in texts that are exactly similar to keywords in the title, URL, headings, and sub-headings.
It is only when the crawlers of Google see that all the above things are in harmony, will it help your page or the website to be searched organically and perform well.
4. Cleaning the Title Tags:
Title tags play a pivotal role in the optimization process of targeted sites. Title tags refer to the content that search engines such as Google’s crawlers, use as an indication towards the contents of the page. For example, Google will consider ranking your page after it sees keywords included in the title tag.
Additionally, Google uses title tags when it displays search results. In this regard, when someone carries out a Google search, the results come from the title tags that accompany the web page and the content contained therein.
It is best practice to include 2-3 keywords within the web page’s title, as well as keeping the primary keywords towards the front of the title. Moreover, the compelling text needs to be present to bookend either side of your keywords.
At the same time, it is crucial to understand that Google limits title texts to between 50 and 60 characters. This means there is limited space to maneuver in designing your title tag and including the targeted keywords to optimize the page as a whole.
Many content developers often find themselves in situations where only a single keyword can be included. This should not cause any panic so long as it makes sense within the topic and is present as a target keyword easily by the search engine algorithm.
5. Employing H2 Tags:
H2 tags refer to subheadings that should be present throughout the content to divide it into scanned and logical blocks. The primary benefit here is that the content becomes more readable and user-friendly.
The best web pages in the modern era are having the best user experience. In this case, providing easy-to-digest content is a big part of such an experience.
Subheadings provide navigation pointers. They allow the user to understand the ore structure of the content, the flow employed, and the shift of pace.
It allows the user to divide his or her consumption of the content in a manner that is not only easy to understand but beneficial to delivering the primary themes the content developer intended.
Overall, the improved user experience promotes increased time spent on the web page. At the same time, it develops a close relationship with the users, hence promoting repeater visitors to the page or the website.
From an SEO standpoint, H2 tags offer an opportunity to increase the number of times keywords occur within the content.
Unlike the main headings, subtitles can be strategically used several times on the content piece. This increases the chances of using the keywords. This helps in enhancing the ranking in the search engines.
However, to follow the overall rules of content, it is imperative to take significant care; for example, it is prudent to include the keyword in relevant contexts within the content and naturally blends with the rest of the content.
Typically, the keyword should be included in every three and four subheadings.
6. Focusing on the Meta Descriptions of On-Page SEO:
Meta descriptions refer to the small snippets of text designed to provide a description of the page’s content. Therefore, the core purpose of Meta descriptions is to give a lowdown to the search engines what content on the page informs audiences.
A Google search might reveal Meta descriptions of some contents or web pages, although this does not always occur.
In default mode, Google will select some text from the content and display it on the search results; in many cases, the chosen content is relevant to the overall focus of the web pages and its constituent content.
This highlights the fact that the Meta description can potentially affect the SEO and the click-through rate (CTR) as well.
Towards the end of 2018, Google increased the maximum description link from the initial 160 characters to 320 characters.
The change allows content developers to include their snippets in full. This gives reviewers a more complete summary or description of the subject content.
Using Snippets is beneficial for sites which list things and want to offer users ranks like the ‘Top Ten Lists’, etc. Google reads smaller information as more credible and broadcasts them directly to the relevant audiences.
Stepping up the use of keywords in a strategic, natural, and relevant way can enhance the CTR and SEO ranking of the content or web page within the search engines.
7. Focusing on the Content:
This is primarily the ultimate attraction to a specific web page. As the bread and butter of your web page, your content will ultimately have the biggest impact on your user, customer, or reader. Therefore, this affects where the page ends up in the SERPs.
Typically, it is standard practice to focus on the long form content.
For an article to be a long format one, it needs to be typically over 1500 words. Some studies point to the fact that 1890 words are the ideal word length. However, no report or accurate study has been done in this regard.
Articles that are over 2000 words do significantly well than 500 or 600-word articles. This is because of a number of reasons.
Some industry experts think that Google’s search engine crawlers or algorithms want the content to be informative or explanatory. At the end of the day, Google is all about providing relevant information to audiences.
Google thinks that articles which are shorter (500-600 words) do not provide accurate information. Conversely, many feel that Google has concluded that shorter articles are manipulatively employed by brands for link building.
This can open your website to many problems. Consequently, it can lead to a drop in DA, Page Rank, along with the worst thing that can ever happen- de-indexing.
8. Why Long Format Content works well for SEO:
There is a need for a balance between maintaining the attention of the reader and sacrificing quality and core content. This is especially important when it comes to SEO; the longer the post, the better it performs on SEO platforms. Therefore, the balancing act here is important.
Long posts often attract an increased number of backlinks compared to shorter ones; this will lead to a surge in its page authority and thus favorably position the page in the search engine rankings.
Moreover, long and authoritative posts will help cement your position as a thought leader in your industry, which can also lead to increased reader loyalty and repeat visitors. It facilitates the building of a brand and followership, which is the ultimate target for web pages.
The focus here should be in writing evergreen content – which is the content whose relevance and the utility will remain for long periods. This will help establish credibility, reputation and come across as a service to audiences on digital platforms.
9. Employing Modifiers in Titles and Keywords:
Modifiers are words like “2019,” “best,” “review,” “guide.” These are especially important in creating long tail keywords. These modifiers compliment the impact of your keyword(s) in SEO ranking.
They will be instrumental in ensuring your page appears in relevant searchers and aid the Google algorithm to understand the overall focus of the site or web page.
10. Other On-Page SEO elements:
Other crucial aspects that help in On-Page SEO include mobile-first indexing, user reviews, including FAQs.
As the video is the way forward on the digital domain, content that has videos will have a higher reach organically as compared to content with static imagery.
Answering some of the common questions in the content, schema markup, adding internal links, video optimization, and employing multimedia.
On-Page SEO: The Final Word:
SEO is an intricate aspect of business marketing. Many factors should be considered in employing SEO. Each of these factors has to be employed at the right time to improve the chances of success.
A good On-Page SEO Checklist will keep evolving and changing according to the targets you set. This also involves constant assessment and reassessment as you move forward.
A good idea is to start your On-Page SEO at the time when you are developing your website. This will help you save a lot of time, effort and monetary resources. A good digital marketing agency might be able to offer you an integrated package.
However, the designer and content developer have control over most of these factors. This means that it is prudent to employ or manipulate these factors in manners that improve the complete On-Page SEO checklist 2019.
This will result in the website design and development team to work closely with the SEO team. The result will be a solid foundation for your website.
On-Page SEO should not be limited in its implementation. In other words, do Off-Page SEO and Technical SEO simultaneously for better search and ranking.
Any SEO strategy is a long-term investment. However, if you are smart about what you want from your brand, you will benefit immensely from it.
How are you planning to take your brand or client’s website in 2019? What are some of the best practices that you think work best for On-Page SEO? Hit us up in the comments section, and let us help make the world an SEO friendly place!