onpage seo checklist

Onpage SEO Checklist: 15 Tips to Optimize Your Website in 2023

  • By Cristian Ward
  • 31-01-2023
  • SEO

On-page SEO is a crucial part of any SEO campaign. You may have been on the web for years, yet there are so many elements to consider. On-page SEO is a part of digital marketing that has always existed. While it has evolved through many iterations, the purpose remains the same.

Optimizing your on-page SEO is the key to high-ranking keywords for your website. Today, almost all brands online use SEO as part of their digital marketing strategy. Well, it was not very complicated a while ago; SEO has become much more complex.

As competition increases, more companies are getting on the SEO bandwagon. What this has done is improve the quality of SEO. SEO's complexity has increased as companies strive to make a difference in this limited space.

The Ultimate Onpage SEO Checklist for 2023

Here is the List of Top On-Page SEO Checklist for Your Website:

1. Target the Right Keywords

As we know from experience, keywords are an integral part of any SEO campaign. It is important for any business that you use the right SEO keywords. You can attract a lot of web traffic and engagement.

A significant portion of the SEO campaign has to do with keyword research. The reason is that keywords form the foundation of any SEO strategy. The more time you spend researching, the better your chances of finding the right keywords.

You can use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to find the right keywords.

It helps to look at competitor keywords to get the right keywords for your domain. On the flip side, using the wrong keywords can result in people losing interest. Not just that, but it can also hurt your search rankings.

2. Working on Your URLs

A rule of thumb when considering on-page SEO is that URLs are important for ranking well on searches. The key to writing great URLs is limiting the number of words you fit in. Ideally, a URL needs less than eight words to have the best effect.

This will convey what your page is about and also helps with searches. This is also where you can fit in a couple of important keywords. Remember never to overdo the keyword addition here, as it will be considered spammy.

Strong URLs can positively impact not just SEO but also when you share them on social media. People who read the URL will have a good idea of what the page is about. This will lead to better click-through rates and improve your website metrics.

3. Write Unique and Interesting Title Tags

Not many people pay attention to title tags, but it is an important factor in page rank today. The right title tag is the difference between a person clicking on your website or clicking away from it.

A title tag has to have the right mix of creativity and relevance. People tend to ignore your page if it isn't compelling or engaging. On the other hand, crawlers will not bring it up in searches if it doesn't have the required relevance. As a business owner, you need to balance both of these components. It helps you get the most out of your website SEO.

A title tag is limited to a specific number of characters; ideally, you should stick to this. The number of characters differs based on search updates, and the current limit is 60 characters, including white space.

4. Create Powerful Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions have been around since the very beginning of SEO. It is an indispensable part of on-page SEO, which you cannot ignore. This is true even after so many years have passed.

A meta description is the lines of text that appear below your link on our Google search result page. It is an informative piece of content for both search engines and readers.

Earlier meta descriptions used to be keyword-heavy and not very readable. Times have changed, and meta description needs to be more engaging to get the right response. Like title tags, using the right meta description can help readers differentiate your website.

5. Innovate with Header Tags

Another basic component of on-page SEO is header tags. Like metadata, header tags have existed for a long time now. The most common header tags range from H1 to H6 on a website. Headers can compartmentalize content for readers. It also helps to establish relevance when it comes to search engine spiders.

It’s critical to have headers that are easy to read so people can browse through the content. A web page with good headers will have more chances of retaining readers. Using headers creatively can help people read through long-form content easier.

Times have changed, and the focus today is on content for rankings. But professional SEO is also about optimizing the titles and descriptions for your pages. To get those top search rankings, you must ensure each web page has a solid header tag structure.

6. Calculate Keyword Density

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words. For example, if your website has 100 words and you used a keyword ten times, your keyword density would be 10%.

Keyword Density (KD) has been an incredibly important factor for search engines since Google released its Panda update in 2011. This update penalized websites that were considered "over-optimized." What this means is they overused keywords that deemed them spammy.

See how this website has overused the keyword on their website.

Over-optimization is also another consideration to be mindful. With search engines getting smarter, adding too many keywords into a single article can result in lower performance.

7. Avoid Being Too “Salesy”

If you want to get on the first page of Google, it's important to create content that users will find useful and link-worthy. However, if we've learned anything from SEO experts, many marketers try too hard to sell their products and services.

Instead, the focus should be on creating something truly valuable for their readers. Focus on helping your audience through your brand journey. If you want them to read and share your articles, then focus on giving value and solving problems for them.

Never give the impression that you published this content solely to get their money. This can come across as disingenuous and result in people losing interest.

8. Add Appropriate Internal Links

It has been proved time and again that internal links are very important for a website. This is especially true if you already have a lot of existing content. Linking to these content pieces can give them more link juice and get readers interested. It also works to give old content a new lease on life.

Having at least one internal link to a relevant page for all new content pieces doesn't hurt. Apart from just getting exposure, you will also ensure that people stay on your website much longer. More dwell time means better SEO metrics.

However, many people take this too far and add too many links just for the sake of it. This is not a good idea because Google will penalize you for having excessive interlinking. Especially if the links aren't relevant to each other in the context, ensure that the internal linking process is relevant.

9. Opt for Authority Outbound Links

When you look at long-form content today, it has at least a few outbound links. The reason is that outbound links are great for SEO. They are great for improving page authority and establishing your brand. This is great for brands that are just starting.

Linking to higher authority websites has two benefits for a business. One, it can help add authenticity to the content you post. Two, it shows readers that you know what is right and irrelevant to your domain.

This, in turn, improves your brand's recall and opens up possibilities for collaboration. Digital marketing and SEO today are all about working together. If the site you linked to finds your website relevant, they might be open to working together.

10. Check Your Links Work Periodically

Broken links are a huge problem for any website. Google cracks down quickly on these broken links, and they can sometimes even deindex those pages. Broken links don't just mislead your readers, but they can also make your website look unprofessional.

The solution here is to audit your backlink profile as often as possible. There are SEO tools out there that can help you find broken links on your website. These can help you find broken backlinks and replace them with other relevant links.

You can also get other important backlink metrics like anchor text distribution and domain diversity. Some AI-powered software can also help keep this process automated. This is an option to consider if your company is growing.

11. Include LSI And Long-Tail Keywords

If you're doing SEO for your website or blog, you've probably heard of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords have a high number of searches per month but low competition. It makes them easier to rank for than short-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords aren't the only ones you should be targeting, though. You also want to include LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, which describe the main keyword in more detail. The main purpose of LSI keywords is to help search engines understand your article better.

You can use the LSI keyword finder to find the right keywords.

Both are great for increasing traffic and conversions. They help your customers find what they need on your website exactly.

12. Optimize Images and Alt Tags

Studies have shown that adding images to content increases engagement numbers. It breaks up the monotony and makes long-form content a lot more palatable. But when adding images, it is good to keep a few things in mind.

While you spend a lot of time on the text on your pages, you may forget to pay attention to the alt tags and image optimization. Search engines use alt tags to understand what each picture is about. It adds important context here and helps search engines index it better.

Image optimization requires you to keep your load times as low as possible. Large images can considerably decrease your website's loading speed. Optimizing your images helps improve load times and improve user experience.

13. Ensure Strong CTAs On All Pages

A call to action, or CTA, is a tool marketers use to improve conversion rates. CTAs appear on landing pages and other key areas of a website. The purpose of this is to convince the visitor to take some action and continue the journey.

CTAs can be as simple as "Contact Us" or "Click Here" buttons that direct visitors toward an email form or contact page. They can also be more complex and visually enticing, like a sign-up form for an eBook, webinar, or shopping cart.

As important as CTAs are, it is vital to use them only when necessary. Using too many cities can make your content look very pushy. This can affect your SEO metrics and your rankings.

14. Evaluate Audience Search Intent

Intent refers to what the user wants when they search for a particular term or a website. There are different types of search intents when it comes to customers. The two basic types are commercial intent and informational intent.

A user is said to have commercial search intent when looking to buy something. If somebody is looking for more information on a particular subject, they have informational intent.

Creating content that aligns with either search intent is important for a brand. An example would be when a user is searching for running shoes. If they search for "best running shoes," they are most likely looking to buy them. Or, if the search string is "what running shoes should I buy," it is informational intent.

15. Write High-Quality Long-Form Content

Regarding ranking well, long-form content has been the best-performing asset today. Long-form content can keep people engaged. It can be informative or focus on getting more sales for a brand. It has the flexibility to go in-depth on a topic.

Adding to that, long-form content allows Google to understand what your site is about. Creating high-quality, detailed content tells Google that your site is a relevant source of information.

This increases rankings and helps you get found by people looking for specific information. Of course, writing long-form content is not enough; you must also make it readable.

16. Focus on High Readability

The readability of a web page is the ease with which a reader can understand it. Readability is one of several measures designed to make content more accessible. This accessibility is especially important for the average, non-technical Internet user.

High readability is the key to SEO content. Search engine algorithms like Google want users to find what they are looking for when they search. To do that, you must write easily digestible articles in simple language.

Using easy-to-understand language, short paragraphs, and sentences contribute to readability. You also need to provide well-written header tags that are informative at a glance.

17. Always Start with A Good Introduction

Your first impression is everything; you only get one chance to make it. You can't afford to mess up your introduction. A good start will allow you to hook your readers and make them want to continue reading.

If they don't like what they read in the introduction, they won't finish reading the rest. You need to provide them with all the necessary information upfront. It keeps them from going back through your content, looking for something specific.

You can bolster a good introduction by using the appropriate subheadings. All these together will make a very compelling article.

18. Improve Site Loading Speed

As a metric, loading speed is one of the top priorities in ranking regarding SEO. Google will rank your site better if it has a faster load time. You should leave no stone unturned regarding your website's loading speed.

Loading times are not just one aspect of website design or implementation. It combines many factors, such as optimizing images, background code, and platform. Today's websites are designed to be leaner and load much quicker than before.

Quicker loading pages offer a better user experience and work well for engagement and conversion.

19. Include NLP Voice Searches

With the introduction of powerful mobile phones, one area that has developed significantly is voice search. People are more comfortable searching for things on their mobile devices through speech. Optimizing your website for voice has considerable advantages for local searches.

For SEO, this presents a new set of challenges. The biggest change in search engine optimization is moving toward voice search. Suppose you are not using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyze your content. In that case, you are missing out on key SEO opportunities.

Keywords do not just limit search queries but how the users interact with their mobile phones. Moving forward, voice searches are not just an option but mandatory.

20. Opt for Mobile Responsive Design

Studies have shown that web traffic has increasingly leaned toward mobile devices. With more than 60% of all web traffic, computers are being left behind. The need for a mobile-responsive website design is now a necessity. It has become an integral part of the marketing plan of most business websites.

Mobile responsive design creates a unique experience for people on smaller devices. The website can dynamically alter its dimensions based on the device accessing it. This is undoubtedly the way to move forward for better SEO benefits.

21. Implement the Option to Add Reviews

Reviews are an important part of a business's trust cycle mechanic. Today, word-of-mouth marketing beats every other marketing platform. People are interested in hearing what others say about a product or service.

This is why you should have an option for adding reviews to your website. These reviews can act as testimonials for your product. It can also help people understand how you interact with your customers.

Reviews are more authentic than marketing copy, and user-generated content builds trust. It can also help improve conversion rates and increase sales, especially from people who are on the fence about your product.

22. Check for Keyword Cannibalization

Something you need to plan well ahead for SEO is keyword cannibalization. Cannibalization occurs when several pages on your website target the same keyword. This results in several different pages ranking for the same keyboard, diluting SEO strength.

To prevent this, ensure you've categorized each website or web page based on its keywords. The better categorized they are, the more chances of it ranking for unique keywords. This is important because, most times, searches limit pages per keyword from your website.

23. Keyword Tracking and Monitoring

Tracking and analysis of keywords are very important to any successful SEO campaign. You can use this to measure metrics generated by any particular keyword. It can give you valuable insights into your selected keywords.

Several tools exist today which can handle keyword tracking analysis effectively. Generally, people use Google Analytics and Google Trends to track the progress of keywords. Since these are free, they do not give you detailed information compared to paid tools.

Keyword tracking can also be used as data for other projects involving the same niche. Ensure that you've recorded this data to reference it easily.

24. Add A Reading List for Related Content

To build credibility on your website, allow readers to browse a reading list. Here you can link to many other articles on your website that are relevant to the current topic. This can allow you to re-engage with the user and improve dwell time.

You are also increasing the chances of conversion with more articles for the reader to click on. This is an excellent opportunity for marketers to brand their businesses. Especially true if they're providing an update for their readers on topics in the industry.

Reading lists also allow you to promote other writers' content and help them reach a wider audience.

25. Include Social Share Buttons

If the last few Google updates are to be believed, social share buttons are now a ranking signal. Getting more serious strength by adding a few social buttons is a great bargain.

Besides the SEO benefits, adding social share buttons encourages people to share the article. This can help brands get a lot more engagement on their content pieces. Many tools and free plugins are available online, allowing you to add different social media sharing buttons.

See how TechCrunch is using social share icons on its website.


As you can see, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered to have a search engine-friendly website. This 25-point checklist provides you with the essentials to optimize your site for search engines without sacrificing your creative vision.

We hope you were able to get actionable pointers from this article. Do share your experiences with on-page SEO and if this post could help you get a better digital marketing experience.

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