If you own a business, then the most important aim should be to reach out to the right customer. In 2017, the most preferred and easiest option is by reaching out to customers online. One of the key strategies in our online marketing platform is SEO. On Page SEO strategy plays a key role here. On Page SEO Efforts helps define a website to Google which then decides its position in SERP. This blog intends to highlight a few major On Page SEO checklist based on Google’s best practices for a quality website. However, before diving into our On Page SEO checklist, let's make sure that all your SEO Efforts revolve around providing the best experience for the users because, as of 2017, the user experience of a website is an essential On Page Factor for Google.
On Page SEO Checklist for 2017
Now let's dive into our On Page SEO Checklist for 2017
Content Uniqueness and Quality
Google places a greater importance on the uniqueness and quality of content. Duplicate content present within the website or within some external website would not be entertained by Google. Google’s Panda Algorithm was an update developed to catch duplicate and plagiarized content of a website. Content eventually becomes unique when one provides a unique value to a user through the content being showcased.
The most overlooked element of an On Page SEO process is the Site structure of a website. The site structure should be such that the most important pages are accessible from all website pages and at the same time deep or inside pages should be accessible from no more than 2 - 3 clicks from the home page. Header and Footer navigation elements should be utilized to its full potential by the main pages of a website. It is often noted in Google SERP that the ranking possibility of a website is closely related to its website architecture. The statement is more valid if the website is an e-commerce store. As the Site Structure is to be defined before a website is developed, it is safe to say that On Page SEO protocols begin before a website is even developed.
Google has recently announced the introduction of the mobile first index in search where mobile results are indexed prior to desktop results and would be considered as the primary source for ranking. In Addition to that, it is a well-known fact that searching for information using a mobile platform has exceeded the desktop search option, as per 2017. Due to this, it would be a recommended norm to make our device mobile friendly and responsive for all mobile devices. So it gets a higher weightage in our On Page SEO Checklist 2017 .
Comprehensive and long form content, which gives more value to the user, is now given a higher priority in SERP by Google. Comprehensive content also helps you to include synonyms of targeted keywords within the copy. You could target a word count of 1000 words for a content piece and could extend it further if the competition demands it. Along with the length of the content, more importance should be given to the quality of the article. Content in a listed format can increase its probability of appearing in Google’s Answer Box, referred as the ‘zeroth’ position of Google SERP.
Semantic or LSI Keywords
Including synonyms or close variations of your targeted keyword will help you provide more value to your content than simply stuffing keywords all through your copy. It will also help a page rank for other user intents or keyword terms different from the targeted main keywords.
A Page SEO Title should be unique for each and every page of the website. Page Titles should be enticing enough for the user to click on the results and should include the targeted keywords. Make it a point that the targeted keywords should be included at the beginning of a Page Title. The SEO title should be limited to a maximum of 60 characters, beyond which it won’t be displayed in Google Search Results. It is a wise practice to include the brand name at the end of the SEO Title. Since Page Title is the first thing Google sees while understanding the page, it deserves a higher priority in our On Page SEO Checklist 2017.
Each Meta Description should be unique for all website pages and should be captivating so that a user clicks on it. One should include targeted keywords in the SEO Description, and it should not be greater than 156 characters.The Meta description helps both user and search engines understand what the page is all about A well-written meta description has the potential to improve your CTR, so greater care must be given while writing the meta description for the page. The Page description should most probably include what we are offering with that particular page along with a ‘call to action’ asking the user to take a specific action. Call to actions like ‘Click here' and ‘Download’ can be used.
A Page URL should be unique for all pages of the website. It should be short and must include the targeted keyword. An Ideal URL Length is 3 - 5 words or 40 -45 characters with keywords included in it. You can also follow an URL Hierarchy for an e-commerce website, keeping in mind the URL length. It is also seen that Subpages placed closer to the root domain page or home page achieve a greater ranking possibility than those placed far from the home page.
Page Heading Tag
The H1 Heading tag should be in line with our SEO title. It should contain the focus keywords and should speak about the page content. Other tags like H2, H3, and H7 can be applied to the subheadings. Make sure to include the focus keywords and synonyms of the same.
Writing content with a focus on the intent and using the targeted keywords within the first paragraph of a copy will serve better in terms of ranking. This is to make sure that we provide the user what he is looking for as soon as possible and is also a user experience factor according to Google.So it would be wise to start your story in the above-mentioned manner.
Image Alt Attribute
As of 2017, image content is more digestible than text content, and it is also pointed out as one of the latest SEO Trend for this year. It would be wise to include at least one image in your article. The image should be complemented with proper alt text as well. Images without alt attributes would not be visible for Google. Since image searches are gaining greater prominence, it would help you include the targeted primary keyword in the alt text option. So it has a greater say in our On Page SEO Checklist 2017
Including targeted keywords and its variations within the content can help both search engines and the user better understand its context. Including targeted keywords within the first 100 words and using the targeted keywords and its synonyms at different parts of a content piece can be a good way to distribute keywords more evenly.
Page Load time
Page load time is an important User Experience factor according to Google. If a website takes more than 2- 3 seconds to load, then it would be considered as the user having a bad experience and can seriously affect the ranking. So, care should be given to maintaining a page load time of around 2-3 seconds across all mobile as well as desktop devices.
Including internal links as part of the content helps with navigation and the overall user experience of your website. One should make sure that the links are related to the context of the content being showcased.
Outbound linking helps to provide greater value to your content. Google places higher weightage to content which shares links that would be useful to the user, and is related to the information user is seeking for. A minimum of 2-3 outbound links would be helpful in this regard.
Social Media Buttons
Engagement and social sharing of content are not considered as a direct ranking factor by Google. However, providing social media buttons with the content can seriously boost the social reach and user engagement. So, it would be wise to include social sharing, review section and discussion forums within a website.
The above On Page SEO Checklist is prepared keeping in mind the user experience of the website. One could expect a higher position in SERP if you implement the above SEO Checklist characteristics. A well-maintained and well-optimized website has a higher probability of achieving the top position is Google Search, and we all know that top ranking websites get natural backlinks from other authoritative sites. So, to conclude, I would like to point out that your On Page SEO efforts actually opens the door to an array of options to achieve future Off Page backlinks.
I hope the above checklist proved helpful in your On Page SEO Audit Process. If so then do share your comments and opinions in our comment section below.
This resource was published by Ranjit Venugopal01 March 2017
Ranjit is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Webdura Technologies . He is Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Hubspot Certified . He loves digital space and helps businesses increase their returns through digital strategies.