Growth Checklists
On-Page SEO

17 Key On-Page SEO Practices [Audit Checklist]

A checklist of on-page SEO optimisations and tactics to help maximise your content efforts.
by Dan Siepen
Created On:

I hope this checklist helps you with optimising your on-page SEO 🙂

Titles, Tags & Descriptions (HTML)

1. Are Main Title Tags (H1) optimised and used correctly?

H1 Tags are one of the most important tags and should be used to highlight sections of your page. It can be used for content titles or to highlight the title of what the page is. It's important to optimise these H1 tags to reflect what the page is about and ideally what the target keyword you want to be ranking for.

How you edit these H1 tags depends on the CMS that you use, but for most you can easily make these required changes for your website. Make sure to have a H1 tag on every page and ensure that it's relevant.

2. Are Subtitles (H2 & H3) optimised and currently correctly?

In conjunction with the above, make sure ti include H2 & H3 tags where required to support your page & content structures. Don't overuse these tags but use where required to split out the content and make it easier for the user to find relevant information on the page.

3. Got a lot of pages? Fix any duplicated Titles Tags and Meta Descriptions.

Having duplicated titles and meta descriptions across your site can hurt your website's rankings. If your site has duplicated titles, then how does Google know which page it should rank?

Ensure to have unique meta descriptions and unique titles to optimise your site.

Links - Inbound & Outbound

4. Ensure to include internal links within your content

Internal linking is great for your website and is an important ranking factor for Google.

How do you go about building an internal linking strategy? There are a few things that need to be done including;

- Determine site structure
- Navigational links + related content sections
- Contextual links
+ other items.

Check out the guide below to find out more about the benefits that Google likes and what to consider for internal linking.

5. Ensure to include high-quality outbound links

An outbound link quite simple means including links to other sources in your content. They're important for SEO as it ensures there is a balance for the page with authentic and relevant content.

It's good to include at least 1 high-quality outbound link per written content.

Technical On-Page Optimisations

6. How fast is your site? Both on Desktop & Mobile? Optimise your page-speed.

It's no secret that website + mobile speed are a factor when it comes to SEO and ensuring users get a fast website as part of their experience.

A couple of really good tools I use for testing + diagnosis page speed issues are both Google's PageSpeed Insights and a tool I really like and recommend is using GTmetrix.

--> Bonus resource: Here are some SEO tools I use which can help with page speed (and other things)

7. Optimise your images with descriptive "alt" text (and also make sure they are optimised for speed)

Alt text for images describes what the images are on a web page and can help you rank in Google images and improve topic relevance of your content.

They're easy to implement with most CMS platforms.

I recommend reading this wonderful post by Ahrefs on Alt text + how to optimise them

8. Implement Schema Markup for Rich Snippets

Schema Markup is for those advanced with SEO. In its simplest definition, schema markup helps structure the content on your page to help Google understand it better. Implementing Schema markup can be a bit tricky if you're non-technical or have a clunky CMS.

The various types of Schema Markup to include on your site include you can find in this great post Schema Markup and Structure Data by Moz.

9. Optimise your link structure across the site

This is also another fairly advanced SEO strategy that does require serious research into what's best for your website if you're not an SEO consultant or have years of experience with SEO.

For those not experienced with SEO, I recommend watching this video by Semrush (which is a complete website audit tutorial). to understand the basics. It's great if you're starting out. Otherwise if you have a site with lots of content, then it's best to seek an experienced SEO consultant or agency to help provide a solid website structure/SEO strategy.

On-Page Content Optimisations

10. Keyword Cannibalisation - Find and Fix these for certain competitive keyword pages

Keyword cannibalisation is when you have the same keyword across your site on multiple pages, multiple times which may confuse Google. This is often done unintentionally which is stated in this great post by Ahrefs.

In other words, having two blog posts which are similar, which one does Google rank as priority? There are other factors that can be affected including link and anchor text dilution, hurting crawl budget and then ultimately your key goals such as conversions will suffer.

So how can you identify keyword cannibalisation? This great guide by SEMRush explains the process (of course this may be different using the SEO tool you use). Yet, how can you fix keyword cannibalisation? You may have to consider restructuring the site, building new landing pages, find new keywords + 301 redirects.

My advice would be to seek an experienced SEO consultant to help identify + understand next appropriate steps.

11. Optimise your keyword usage within your content

There's a few steps & factors involved when optimising your keywords within your content. This includes;

- Prioritising certain keywords
- Ensure content is unique
- Include Alt text for images
- Ensure to include internal and external links
+ other factors. This is a good post to read more.

This is a good article on SEO Strategy by the guys at Clickminded worth checking out.

12. Include images, videos + other content assets to improve time-on-page sessions and shares

Increasing your time-on-site/average page time helps with rankings. A great way to achieve increased session times includes creating an engaging experience for users reading your content.

In addition, shares help get more relevant visitors seeing your content and staying longer on the page. Include important assets such as images, videos, polls, slides or other forms of content which makes content more shareable.

13. Use shorter sentence & paragraph structures to ensure your content can be easily read

Making sure your content is easy to read + digest helps with a lot of factors. I do like Neil Patel's blog as an example in this case as his content is easier to read + digest due to the line weighting between sentences. I think it's a great strategy to make sure it's clear for readers and it's optimised for mobile readers on a small screen.

Additionally, moving away from longer to shorter sentences makes content easier to digest as well. If you're wanting to improve your content or skills in writing great content, consider using Hemingway App or Grammarly which can assist with this.

Extra Strategies for Optimisation

14. Create more "Epic Content" to drive SEO inbound traffic

Ever heard of the skyscraper technique? Put simply, it's an SEO strategy to help decide which pieces of content to create, and of course how to create something that is better than anything else.

It's not exactly rocket science. I'm sure you have come across epic pieces of content before and you can understand why it potentially ranks well. Creating the epic piece of content is where the hard works come in. Another amazing post by Ahrefs explaining the skyscraper technique and how to create great content.

15. Ensure all pages + content is optimised for mobile (including all resource & blog links)

This is self-explanatory but have you checked every page across your website for optimisation? Not just the homepage or key landing pages? Ensuring all pages of the site are optimised helps with lots of factors. It's only a positive thing!

16. Don't underestimate the important of website UX

UX and SEO share common goals - if the user can easily navigate the site and engage with the content, then this reflects in better experience and play into factors such as staying on site (increase session lengths) and visit multiple pages (increase pages per session).

Other UX factors include mobile friendliness, page speed, long-form copy, links to resources + other pages through easy navigation + others.

As an example of great blog/content UX, is this amazing piece of content, "Guide to product Analytics" by Mixpanel. You can see why users would be engaged.

17. Add important CRO elements such as comment boxes (and prompt users to comment), social share buttons, pop-ups for email lists + more.

It's important to keep in mind we need to make it easy for the user to share + engage with the content we produce. Make sure to include comment boxes (like I do with Disqus), social share buttons, in-line CTA's, pop-up modals or static forms to subscribe to the email lists, etc. Plenty of guides + software tools to help speed up implementation.

👋 G'day everyone, Dan Siepen here from down under 🇦🇺🦘🐨. I'm an experienced growth marketer w/ 8+ years exp. across SaaS, B2B, DTC & eComm. Get to know more about me (check my homepage too) & if you want to connect, just reach out. 👇
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