On-Page SEO Checklist: Guide to a Perfectly Optimized Page (2019)

On-Page SEO Checklist

As an essential part of getting your website ranked, On-Page SEO is considered as this complicated task. However, it’s straightforward if broken down correctly, that’s why I am going to give you my ultimate On-Page SEO checklist for 2019.

On-Page SEO Checklist

Table of Contents show

What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO for those who aren’t aware is optimizing your webpage for your target keyword.

Here’s a little bit of insight into how Google works (by QuickSprout).

How Google Works

For most of us, that’s all you need to know, however, some of you may have heard of On-Site SEO and may be wondering what the difference is.

The difference between On-Site and On-Page Optimization is that On-Site Optimization covers your entire website instead of just a single page.

So make sure that if you’re looking to outsource the SEO on your site, make sure to understand and make clear that you are looking for On-Site Optimization.

Next, I am going to discuss what the difference is between On-Page & Off-Page SEO and how they compliment each other.

How Does On-Page SEO Differ to Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO is the exact opposite of On-Page.

Instead of optimizing a page on your site, you use optimization tactics (mainly link building) that will help your page but on another website.

For example, if you were to have a page that talks about protein shakes, you would then write a guest post (the most common way of building links) that links back to your protein shakes guide.

That compliments On-Page because the search engines use backlinks as one of the 200 ways to rank your website.

The Importance of On-Page SEO

By now, you should have a basic understanding of On-Page SEO, but why is it that important to rank your site?

In this guide, I will be talking to you about the different things you need to do to have a well-optimized page.

So by doing all of those things, you will be setting your page up to rank highly in the search engines.

SEO should be the foundation for any business’s online marketing, and without doing the proper research and optimization, you will fall behind.

Don’t Fight a Losing Battle

Searcher’s intent is the answer users intend to find when searching for a keyword.

I am going to go a little deeper into this later; there are four different types of intent behind a search and search engines are getting a lot better at understanding what keywords require specific intent.

You are going to want to make sure that you fully understand which search intent Google and other search engines are ranking before you even start optimizing your page for your target keyword.

Now that you know that, here’s my complete On-Page Checklist!

My Complete On-Page SEO Checklist

Before I get into the checklist itself, there are a couple of things I wanted to mention.

First off, this checklist isn’t in any particular order.

You don’t need to check these off in order of importance; if you want to do that, you can download the PDF attached to this guide (I will make sure that’s in order of importance).

Next, it’s essential that your web pages aren’t over-optimized.

If they are, it could hurt your rankings, so don’t try to force your article to have everything ticked off.

Lastly, to get the most value out of this checklist, you will need to look at each point and ask yourself two questions.“Have I already optimized my page for this?”

If you haven’t, then move on to this question. “If I optimize for this point, will it be worth the effort in the long run?”

Optimizing Your Content

How Engaging is Your Content?

It doesn’t matter how amazing you think your content is, if nobody finds it engaging then it will become a dead page.

Zombie Pages

That’s why this particular section of the checklist is significant.

Engagement is essential to any business but in regards to an SEO perspective on it, if more people are consuming and getting value from your content, then that can have a positive effect on your website as a whole.

For example, the more your readers like your content, the longer they will stay (which increases your dwell time).

They could also share your content, join your email list or even purchase a product from your brand.

Here’s what you need to look at when trying to make content more engaging.

First, you’ll want to share stories and experiences within your content.

Storytelling is one of the most significant ways that humans have transferred information to one another.

By giving examples of how you’ve experienced the subject you’re discussing, it shows expertise and will increase the likelihood of your audience respecting you.

Next is a simple one, make sure that your content feels personal.

One easy way to do that is by using the words “You” and “I.”

It makes your content feel like an exciting discussion instead of a boring lesson.

Another way to make your content more engaging is to state who your consumers are.

I am sure that you’ve searched for something on Google or Bing and found an article on the first page that wasn’t aimed at you. You just ended up leaving.

So by doing something as simple as stating whom your content was made for, your overall dwell time will go up.

Lastly, know what you’re talking about when it comes to the topic of your content.

It’s easy to tell when somebody doesn’t know what they’re talking about when reading an article. Even if you have to spend a week or two researching the topic that you want to talk about, do it.

Your audience will appreciate the research you’ve put in to help them – trust me.

Make Sure Your Content is Different From What’s Already Ranking

Do you want to know how I made content for my first affiliate site?

I’ll tell you.

I went to Google, typed in my target keyword and just copied the content from the number #1 position.

Copied Content

Seriously.

I didn’t copy everything, but I would copy 80% of the article and thought, “Yes, this will get me to the top of Google.”

Clearly, I was delusional. What you need to think when creating new content is how you can make something that is different while still provide a lot of value (even more than what’s out there).

Here’s how I approach this scenario.

First off, I take a look at every result listed on the first page and make notes of what’s already working.

How to See What Works in SEO
Look At What Subjects Content on The First Page Are Discussing  

By combining all of the best parts from each result, you can create something brand new from a different perspective.

Next, I ask myself what experiences I have had in this particular subject. For example, if I wanted to create an article about social media marketing, I would list down some impactful experiences that I have had.

Lastly, if a solution was found in the experience that you had, for example how you found the answer and what it was. A common misconception with content is that you need to re-invent the wheel with every post.

That’s not the case, just by having your own experiences with something can give a new outlook on that subject.

If you’re not using affiliate marketing as your business model, you can still take this same approach.

Invite your customers to give you stories that you can share with your readers or give your audience some insight to your company that may not be first-hand knowledge.

That allows you to create content that can’t be matched since nobody else runs your business.

Make Sure to Have as Little Spelling and Grammatical Errors as Possible

Having a ton of spelling and grammatical errors will not make you look professional and can even hurt the credibility of your writing in certain people’s eyes.

That’s why you want to have as little mistakes as possible.

I usually write the first draft of my content with many mistakes so that I don’t spend too much time on the first draft; then I will use tools like Grammarly to fix those mistakes.

Grammarly is free.

However, I would recommend using the premium version (if you can afford it) so that you can fix grammatical errors as well as spelling errors.

Have Content That’s Well Written

If there’s is one thing I want you to remember it’s this.

All because you have long-form content, and all because there are little to no mistakes, doesn’t mean that it’s well written.

A well-written piece of content flows nicely from start to finish and allows people who consume content differently to get all the benefits of it still.

Writing has always been and always will be a skill, and like all other skills, you need to train it.

With written content, you have two options. You can either spend the time developing your writing skills or hire writers from places like UpWork who have developed their skills already.

Professional Writers on UpWork

I also recommend checking out Doug Cunnington’s detailed post on hiring writers. You will need it, trust me.

Create Content for All Types of Readers

People consume content differently.

Some will read your content from the first word to the last. Others will look for the sections that mean the most to them and read those parts.

To make sure that all of your readers can consume your content the way they want, you need to make sure that your content is scannable.

The easiest way to have scannable content is to break down all of your articles into sections that discuss specific parts of your topic. Make sure to use your header tags clearly, use many bullet points and most importantly, keep your sentences short (Preferably 1 – 5 lines at most).

Beat The Average Word Count on The First Page

It’s not a secret that Google loves informative content. Ahrefs did a study that shows that there is a direct correlation between long-form content and higher rankings.

ahrefs case study

Your content needs to be well thought out and structured. Here are a couple of ways I can create content that’s 2,000, 3,000, or even 7,000 words long.

Combine Your Articles

If you have a lot of content on your site, I am sure that some of them are related.

Some of them might even be talking about the same subject but in different ways.

One great way to lengthen your content is by combining those articles.

For example, if I had two articles that talked about WordPress SEO. One was an article about Yoast, and the other was about All in One (two WordPress SEO plugins).

I would combine the two articles to create a Yoast Vs. All in One SEO (The Ultimate WordPress SEO Plugin).

Break Your Content Down into Sections

Writing a 3,000-word article seems scary, and I understand that because 3,000 words is a lot.

However, if you break your content down into mini sections, it becomes a lot easier to write long-form content. For example, if you wanted to list the 10 best protein shakes and your word count goal was around 2,000 words, then you’d only need to write 200 words per protein shake.

Writing 200 words per section sounds a lot easier than writing a 2,000-word article.

I still use this strategy when writing content and now I find it challenging to write articles under 1,000 words long.

Always Have Descriptive Headings

Going back to scannable content, you need always to have descriptive headings for your sections.

Descriptive Headings

Not only does it help the people who want to skim through your content, but it will also give the people who are reading everything some insight into where the article is going.

Using Similar and Related Keywords in Your Heading Tags

Your content isn’t going to rank for your target keyword only.

It’s probably going to rank for dozens of different keywords. In fact, for one of the sites that I use to test things for SEO, I have an article ranking for many different keywords.

LSI Keywords

This article is ranking for over 200 keywords.

By using related search terms (LSI Keywords) and similar search terms (Modifiers), you can increase the number of visitors you get from search.

Anthony Says: If you are already ranking for keywords, you can check your Search Console to find some new variations to target.

Finding New Keywords Using Search Console
Click to See The Image in Full

By choosing one of your pages and heading back over to the keywords section, you can find out all the keywords that your chosen page is ranking for in Google. By optimizing your content for any of the search terms that you’re ranking on page 2, you can push yourself on to page 1.

Add LSI Keywords into Your Content

Google is looking for the most through content out there.

We already know that, but people still don’t understand that they are continually updating their algorithm in mind of having the most through content.

The Hummingbird update was the first significant step towards this new mindset that Google has.

That’s why you need to start creating your content with the mindset of publishing a resource rather than short articles.

If you take a look at my WordPress SEO guide, you’ll notice that each section was designed to give you as much information about the subject as possible.

Let’s use another example.

When you think of basketball, who do you think of?

Michael Jordan?Koby?

Lebron James?

Using LSI Keywords to Rank

Well, Google knows that most people will instantly think of them, so by including their names in content about Basketball, it gives search engines an even better idea of your content’s topic.

Using Lists to Space Out Your Content

The best way to keep your reader’s attention is by using the whitespace on your website effectively.

Trust me that is a lot easier to do than it sounds. For those who don’t know what whitespace is, it’s merely the white space around the text on your screen.

Using Whitespace

I have already given you a great way to use a lot of whitespaces (by using short sentences and paragraphs). Another way to break up your content and use more whitespace is by using numbered and bulleted lists.

Doing that will make it easier for your readers to digest that information.

Always Keep Your Content Up-to-Date

Content can become outdated.

Mainly if your content time based (for example How SEO Works in 2012 or Trump becoming president).That’s why it’s important to keep content up-to-date.

Nobody likes 7-year old content (unless they are there for the person behind the content). I like to update my content either every year or every couple of years.

Anthony Says: Instead of writing a new version of your article each an every year (like On-Page SEO in 2018 and On-Page SEO in 2019), I like to publish something called “Evergreen Content.”

Evergreen content is content that you publish today that will continue to be relevant for years to come.

By publishing Evergreen style content, all you’d need to do is update a few sections of the article and the title every so often.

Crawling & Indexing Your Site

Make Sure That Search Engines Can Crawl Your Website

When looking at your site, Google uses something called spiders.

Google Crawlers
Image is from https://themaverickspirit.com/

It’s a software that allows them to crawl all the pages of the pages on your site. However, if your site isn’t crawlable, then it will be harder for search engines to index your website.

Usually, the two issues that can cause your site not to be crawlable is your robots.txt file and your noindex tags.

There are two easy ways to fix those issues.

Firstly, you can manually check your Search Console for any pages that have been noindexed or blocked by robots.txt.

You can also check your robots.txt by typing in http://yourdomain.com/robots.txt. In addition to that, you can also check all of your pages blocked by robots.txt by using Screaming Frog.

All you need to do is put in your domain name and let it scan your site.

Screaming Frog

Then you go to “Response Codes” and filter by “Blocked by robots.txt.”

Check to See If Your Pages Are Indexed

If you want to rank on the first page of search engines, then the first step to that is getting those indexed. The best way to check if your pages are indexed is either typing the URL into Google search or checking your Search Console to see what IS indexed.

Checking What Pages Are Ranking on Google
Click to See The Image in Full

If your page isn’t indexed, you can take two different routes. These routes depend on a single question, “how long ago did you publish your page?”

If the answer is recent, then you’ll take the first route which is to head over to Search Console.

Once there, you can enter the URL of the page into the top search bar. Search Console will try and pull the data they have about the page (and it’s also where you can request indexing to Google).

Google Search Console

If your answer to the question above was more than a week ago, then you’ll want to check if either you have noindexed the page by mistake or Google has chosen another canonical URL to index.

If you have noindexed the page, make sure that it’s indexable.

However, if Google has chosen another URL as the canonical, you’ll need to investigate that further and specify your preferred URL.

Finding The Best Keywords

Be Sensible About Which Keywords You Target

Targeting keywords that your website isn’t ready for is a huge problem. Many people do it (including me!).

That’s why I am telling you to be sensible about the keywords that you target. There are different methods for finding great keywords.

However, I am going to keep it simple for this example.

If you use the Moz (or ahrefs) domain rating bar, you can check the authority of each website ranking on page one.

Moz Bar

A quick test you can use to determine if a keyword is worth going for is to check the DA (Domain Authority) of all the results on page one. If they’re all over 50, then don’t bother unless you have a DA of at least 30.

If there are quite low (maybe between 20 – 40), then you can check the PA (Page Authority) of all the results and use the same process.

Results with a high PA will be difficult to beat because they have loads of authority (aka backlinks and social shares) attached to them.

Anthony Says: that it’s possible to beat a website with a DA of 70 if their PA is low. That means that their page isn’t high-quality and can be outranked by just optimizing your On-Page SEO and internal links effectively.

Are You Already Targeting The Same (or A Similar) Keyword? 

It’s bad practice to have multiple pages targeting the same keyword. In fact, that was one of the primary reasons that the canonical tag was created.

Having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword is known as “Keyword Cannibalization.” Here is an example.

Keyword Cannibalization

It’s the same with similar keywords.

Creating a page about On-Page SEO and then publishing another page for On-Page SEO for 2019 wouldn’t be very smart.

So here’s what you should do:

  • Only have a single primary keyword for each post.
  • Instead of writing new content on the topic, update your existing content.

For example, instead of having a guide on email marketing, and then another one exampling what email marketing is, you can have one guide about email marketing that examples what it is.

Anthony Says: Remember to keep the search intent behind a page in mind when optimizing for a keyword.

For example, you could have an article talking about SEO consulting, and also have an SEO consulting service page.

There are four types of search intent when it comes to your website.

Informational, Navigational, Transactional, and Commercial.

Optimize Your Headlines for Click-Through Rate

Title tags are used by search engines to get an understanding of what your page is about quickly.

However, it’s not just search engines that your headlines are read by; people will also be reading them.

That’s why it’s essential that your headlines entice them to check your article out over the other 9 results. That’s how I boosted my “Benefits of Using a Straight Razor” article from the 2nd to the 1st page of Google.

Optimize Your Headlines

AND how I increased the amount of traffic that page received.

You can check the percentage of clicks your content is getting for individual keywords using the Search Console.

Optimize Your Meta Descriptions for Click-Through Rate

Similar to your headlines, you’ll want to make sure that your meta descriptions are optimized for CTR.

Many people choose which article they want to read by looking through the meta descriptions, so give them a good reason to read your article.OptinMonster published an excellent guide on how to write great meta descriptions.

Click here if you want to learn more about that.

Add Modifiers to Your Titles to Rank for LSI Keywords

Using your primary keyword is just the first step to ranking your site. The next step is to use modifiers to rank for all of the similar search terms.

Add Modifiers to Your Titles

Common ones that I use personally are:

  • Best, Amazing, Crazy (Best Affiliate Programs)
  • Top, Amount in The List (15 Blogging Tips)
  • The Current Year (The Ultimate On-Page SEO Checklist for 2019)

Make sure not to use modifiers just for the sake of it, and it needs to fit in your title.

Adding Your Keywords Into Your Content

I am going to be front with you straight away. There aren’t any “magical” places to put your keywords that will guarantee high rankings.

Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. However, there are sections of your content where it’s considered best practice to place your keywords there (if they naturally fit in). Adding Your Keywords Into Your Content

Keyword Placement

Those places are:

  • Your URL
  • The Headlines (H1 Tag)
  • H2 and H3 Tags (if possible)
  • First Paragraph (or 100 words) of Your Article
  • In Your Image’s Alt tags (more on that later)

Anthony Says:I must stress that your keywords have to fit in your content naturally. People don’t like reading content that doesn’t make any sense.

Try Not to Use More Than 65 Characters (or 400px) in Your Meta Titles

The headline that displays in Google can be as long as 65 characters.In reality, the cap is 400px. However, that is about 65 characters long, so we say that instead.

With such little space, you’ll want to take full advantage of that space to entice visitors to click on your result. Remember when I said to add your keywords to your meta titles?

It’s seen as best practice to add them as close to the left-hand side of your title as possible.

Meta Titles

Advanced Tip: You can manually check which headlines are too long or you can use Screaming Frog to scan every page on your site that has over 65 characters.

Using More Than 65 Characters in Meta Titles
Click to See Image in Full

Just scan your site and click on the page titles tab. After that, you can filter all of the pages.

Always Keep Your URLs as Short as Possible

Let’s be honest, when have you ever remembered a long URL like this (http://mywebsiteisthe-bestwebsiteintheworld.com).

Never, right?

That’s why, even though it doesn’t impact your results as much as backlinks, for example, shorter URLs perform better in the SERP. It’s best to only have your target keyword in your title for user experience purposes.

They’re easier to remember and share online.

Image SEO is Important

Always Have Unique Images

It’s always better to have screenshots that you created instead of using other people’s images.

I use Gyazo to capture my screenshots.

Gyazo

Of course, it can’t always be viable to have screenshots and in those cases, you can use images from other websites – as long as they are credited.

Adding Images Can Help Readers Visualize Your Content

Humans are visual by nature.

So to take advantage of that, you need to make sure that you have visual content within your blog posts. However, you can’t just have a bunch of random images.

You need to have unique and complementary images to back up your content, which can either be custom designs or screenshots.

Always Make Sure That Your Images Are in Tip-Top Condition

Whether you’re using screenshots to compliment your content or custom images, you need to make sure that each image is in the best condition possible.

There are a few different things that you need to do that will put your images above all others. The first step is the quality of the image. You can’t have images that are barely recognizable.

Low Quality Images
Shout out to anybody who knows who this character is

So it’s critical to have HD images. Next is the size of your image.

It’s best Image SEO practice to have your images full size within 100px of the size that you plan to display the image on your website. Meaning that if you plan on showing your image at 1280 x 720, your image size needs to be at max 1380 x 820.

Anthony Says: It’s not 100% necessary to have your images so close to the size it will be shown on screen if you either won’t be having many images on your site or you’re using a CDN, but it will help load your site as quickly as possible if you do follow this practice.

Lastly, you need to compress all of your images. Luckily, this is the simplest thing you need to do when focusing on your images.

If you’re using WordPress, you can use any image compression plugin (for example EWWW IO, Imagify, WP Smush) and if you’re not using WordPress, you can use TinyPNG/JPG.

Optimize All of Your Images for SEO

Image SEO is super underappreciated.

Though it might not be much traffic, it is possible to get extra traffic to your site from images. Additional, Image SEO helps search engines learn the topic of your page.

Keyword Placement

Using alt text, you can describe the topic of your image to search engines.

You should always add a detailed description of your images in the Alt tag.

External & Internal Links

Build a Strong Website With Great Internal Links

In terms of building your site’s authority, a compelling way of doing that is by using internal links.

Not only does it allow your website to be more crawlable, when your site receives backlinks, that link juice will spread more effectively through your website.

In addition to that, you’ll also want to make sure that all of your internal links are useful to the user.

It’s not Google who will be clicking those links, so by only linking to another page on your site if it’s useful, you will increase the level of trust between you and your readers.

Use Keyword-Rich Anchor Texts for Internal Links

If you’ve read any SEO article from a credible person, you’ll know that using keyword-rich anchor texts for your backlinks will do more harm than good.

However, this isn’t the case with internal links.

Keyword Rich Achor Text (Internal Linking)

It’s important to use the target keyword for the article you’re linking to as the anchor text.

For example, let’s say I wanted to link to my guide on setting up a niche site, I could either use partial-match anchor text (like setting up a niche site) or exact-match anchor text (How to build a niche site).

Google Only Takes The First Link into Account

No, I don’t mean that Google only looks at the first link of your webpage. What I mean is that if you have multiple links pointing to the same page, Google (and other search engines) will only take into account the first link – First Link Priority.

For example, if I wanted to link to my getting started page from this guide, Google will not take any links in my article into account because I am already linking to it from my menu.

Anthony Says: Links from headers, footers, and side menu generally isn’t as powerful as contextual links (links that appear in the content).

On the other hand, I am not linking to my WordPress SEO guide anywhere but the content, so they will take that into account.

Always Use External Links

Using internal links is excellent because you’re keeping readers on your site for longer. However, if you’re not linking out to credible sources, then your content won’t be associated with them.

Whenever you state a fact or reference something that somebody else did, link out to them.

Not only will that increase the trust of your page, but it will also help the website that you’re linking to which could be the stepping stones for networking.

Open External Links in a New Tab

​Again, you want to keep people on your site as long as possible, and by linking out to other sites, you may lose those people if you’re not opening them in new tabs.

Though it’s something small, it can cause some annoying issues down the line. If you’re using WordPress, you can click the box underneath the “Link Text” when inserting links to open external links into a new tab.

Open External Links in a New Tab

If you’re not using WordPress, make sure you have target=_blank in your external links.Here’s what that would look like:<a href=”https://staging.bloggerxl.com/” target=”_blank” >BloggerXL</a>

Use Your Current URL in Your Internal Links

Redirects, for the most part, are useful.

However, if there are too many redirects, issues can occur. If your website is http://yourdomain.com, and you change the link to your homepage to https://www.yourdomain.com, it could potentially cause a redirect chain later down the line.

User Experience (UX)

Make Sure That Your Page Loads Quicker Than 3 Seconds

Load time is essential to have a decent user experience. Also, it will save you from being penalized from Google.

It’s better if you can have your entire website load quicker than 3 seconds for the majority of the world.

After some recent tests using GTmetrix, my site loads faster than 1 second in the UK and about 2 – 3 seconds everywhere else.

GTmetrix's score

You can check out my guide on WordPress Speed Optimization to learn how to improve site speed by at least 80% to learn more.

It’s Now a Ranking Signal to Have SSL on Your Site

Did you know that Google is now taking into account whether or not your site has https://?

They have even been showing users if a site is not secure in the domain bar.

It’s Now a Ranking Signal to Have SSL on Your Site
Image Taken from https://jemmettfoxmedia.com/

Even if you’re a legit business, I have had conversations with people who will not use a company merely because they didn’t see the green padlock on the site.SSL (which you can learn more in my site speed guide above) encrypts the details that users may give to the site owner.

Allowing their data to be safe from hackers.

If you’re not using SSL, then you best get it now (since it’s free!). Most hosting platforms have free SSL attached (including the platform I use WPX Hosting).

Most People Use Mobile to Browse The Internet

Did you know that 63% of people in the US used mobile in 2017 (according to Stone Temple)?

That was based on 2,000,000,000,000 visits.Search engines have also started ranking your website based on the mobile version over the desktop version.

It’s called Mobile Index First.

You should check to see if your website is mobile friendly, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to find out.

DO NOT Use Aggressive Pop-ups

​Pop-ups suck.

Well, at least most people think that, however, pop-ups still convert on average of 3% according to Sumo. The main problem with pop-ups is that marketers are still way too aggressive with them.

For example, imagine landing on a site wanting to learn about SEO, and then you see a random pop-up about email marketing.

Then once you’ve closed that down, another pops up about Facebook. You’re eventually going to leave.

Anthony Says: To get the most conversions out of your pop-ups, you’ll want to make sure that they are not intrusive and they’re related to what your users want to learn.

In regards to mobile, unless you are using a two-step approach, I wouldn’t use pop-ups AT ALL.

Some Off-Page Stuff to Keep in Mind

As I mentioned earlier, Off-Page SEO can compliment On-Page and help you rank even higher in the search engines.

Instead of leaving you hanging not knowing what you need to do off your site, I want to give you a few things to keep in mind when doing Off-Page Optimization.

Anchor Text Diversity

​Anchor text is the word or phrase that is used when linking to a different page or site. For example, if I said, “Take a look at this awesome protein shake, go here to learn more.”

I could have all of the different text below as my anchor text:

  • Protein shake
  • Go here
  • Learn more
  • Go here to learn more
  • Awesome protein shake

You can also have the URL as your anchor text.

Using my blog as an example, you could link to my homepage like this (https://staging.bloggerxl.com). SEOs call that a “Naked Link.”

There are many different types of anchor text, and you need to take each one seriously because if you lean towards one specific type to early, your links could potentially be devalued by search engines making them useless.

I can go more in-depth about anchor text. However, I feel that Nathan from Gotch SEO did a fantastic job with his guide on anchor text.

So I recommend checking his guide out for more information.

Branding

If you want long-term success in digital marketing, you’re going to need to build a brand.

People trust brands, and if you can build a brand that people trust and share, search engines are going to notice the number of social signals that your site is getting.

That can be very powerful because having a well-known brand compliments your site’s rankings.

For example, if you made a guide on how to use protein shakes, and people are clicking on your result merely because they know your brand, it will send signals to search engines.

So, as Rand said on Whiteboard Friday no branding isn’t a ranking factor, but it positively impacts your SEO.

Competitor Research

​Knowing what works for your competitors can be the difference between success and failure. It’s a significant advantage to understand what is working for your competitors and why it is working for them.

That being said, here are some tips you need to research your competition effectively.

First off, you can find out what keywords they are ranking for in the search engines.

You can do this by using tools like SEMrush or ahrefs to see what keywords they are ranking on the first and second page.

With SEMrush, you will need to log in and type your competitor’s URL into the search bar.

SEMrush Data
Click to See Image in Full

Then you’ll want to click into the Organic Search section.

SEMrush Organic Search
Click to See Image in Full

After that you can see a whole bunch of data such as the:

  • Top organic keywords
  • Top position changes
  • SERP features
  • Top pages
  • Top subdomains (if they have subdomains)
  • Main organic competitors

That should give you all the insight to which keywords your competitors are ranking for so that you can either create better content for the same keyword or see what topics they haven’t covered and target that instead.

Guest Blogging

I mentioned earlier that guest blogging is the most popular way to build backlinks.

That’s because you’re able to control the anchor text a little more because you wrote the article.

Though it can be powerful if you do a lot of guest blogging, I don’t want to write guest blogs for the sake of building links. If you do that, then it will show in your content which might put people off from checking out the content on your site.

It’s much better to write guest blogs to build your brand further because you’re already going to receive a backlink from those sites, so you might as well use it as a chance to show off what your content has to offer.

Neil Patel has written thousands of guest posts, so if you want to learn how to start guest blogging click here.

6.3 Social Engagement

Social engagement can go hand-in-hand with branding.

The more social engagement you get, the more your brand grows.

Here’s what Alex from Sprout Social said about social engagement.

“Social media engagement is essentially like a long-term relationship. You can imagine a committed and lengthy relationship takes dedication, readiness to adapt, the ability to think about the future and ensure the other party involved is happy for years to come.

Try not to think of engagement as just a single interaction with one of your customers. As Thunderhead shows, you’re creating an open line of communication over a period of time. While the term “customer relationship” may come to mind, engagement is different and on its own level.”

If we are looking at social engagement from a digital marketing perspective, then we are looking at how many shares and comments each of your posts gets. In the spirit of being 100% transparent, I am not going to be giving you advice on growing your social engagement.

The reason for this is because I don’t get much engagement myself.

However, I am going to cover a couple of points in the Sprout Social article (link is above) and let you know some of my experiences with their advice.

1. Start the Conversation

The basics of what they say for this section is that as a brand, you need to be actively looking for engagement with every post and a great way to do that is by starting the conversion yourself.

Now I haven’t had 10,000s of social shares on a single post; however, even if you don’t have a large following, it can still be helping to start the conversation. You may end up with a new follower as a result as I did.

One of my recent tweets (follow me @BecklesTweets) talked about podcasts and which podcasts I should follow.

I got a response from somebody and had a little conversation with them. As a result, they followed me and are still following me today.

3. Jump on Current Events & Topical Subjects

Hoping on current trends and events can be a great way to get your brand in front of new eyes.

It’s not something that I do.

However, it’s probably something I should try out. Just knowing that a brand supports the same things that you do can be enough for you to follow them.

Huge influencers still use this tactic because of how effective it is to increase engagement.

Gary Vee (a renowned entrepreneur) often posts tweets about current sporting events and other types of events to spark conversation with his audience and the numbers will tell you how well it’s working for him.

Now Go Optimize Your Website

Wow, that was a lot of writing on my part.

I would highly recommend that you read over this a couple of times if you didn’t understand everything or you forgot something.

I understand that this was a lot to take in but I hope that you gained some valuable insight from this On-Page SEO checklist.

If you did learn some valuable stuff, share it with others who may be looking for the same answers.

Also if you have any questions, feel free to leave them below (I get back to EVERY comment on this website). If you don’t have a question, then let me ask you one.

Which one of the techniques listed do you think will help you the most?

Let me know that in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

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Anthony Beckles

Anthony Beckles

Hey creators, I'm Anthony (Founder of BloggerXL). My goal is to help you get started creating content. So, join my community to stay connected with me and other future creators.

6 thoughts on “On-Page SEO Checklist: Guide to a Perfectly Optimized Page (2019)”

  1. Hello there,

    I have been struggling with my website for a good deal of time now, and you have made me realize the areas where I was going wrong.

    One question I would love to get help with is, do you recommend adding the tags for every post so that the search engines know under what terms to index the posts for? Is it wise?

    1. Tags are good, so I do recommend using them but not for search engine purposes. When I use tags, I usually have the intention of helping the readers out by linking all posts with similar tags together. Shane Melaugh (owner of Thrive Themes) has made a video dedicated to Tags & Categories, so please watch this and make your decision from there.

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