OnPage SEO Checklist
OnPage Checklist – Responsive Theme
A responsive theme is where a website is designed to fit the user’s screen no matter which device they are using. It does this by changing the location of text, images and buttons on the screen to fit the necessary size.
Re-size the screen to test this.
All websites MUST be responsive now, or use a different theme.
OnPage Checklist – Silo Structure
A silo structure is a way of organizing internal links for usability and to push link juice to the most important pages.
An internal link is a link to another page on your website.
How it works
A silo structure, as shown above, works by having inner pages all link to a money page (the page you are trying to rank). The money page will usually have 2-4 links from other pages, these pages will be relevant to the money page. You then have 4-5 supporting pages linking to the inner pages, they are relevant to the inner pages which they are linking to. You then have 2-3 blog posts linking to these supporting pages. You can also link blog posts to other inner pages or the money page.
You can add as much depth to your silo structure as needed,
Within your silo structure, you can send backlinks from sites, social profiles and/or web 2.0s to your money page(s).
Minimum of 4 Supporting Pages……………………………
OnPage Checklist – 10+ Pages of content
The amount of pages you need depends on what you are targeting, although all sites should have a minimum of 10 pages.
A site which is only targeting a local niche usually only requires 4-5 main pages and 5 supporting pages linking to one money page, which is usually the home page. The main pages include:
- What we do
A blog is recommended for all websites. You should write 3 blog posts, these posts can link to inner pages such as the money page or supporting pages.
Ranking multiple pages
If you want to rank more than one money page you must create the money page you wish to rank as well as 4+ supporting pages which link to it.
You can have money pages which you rank that are not your home page, as shown in the image above. You do this by having the home page link to the money pages and then creating 4 supporting pages for each money page.
OnPage Checklist – Permalinks include keyword
Your URL establishes page relevance, this happens by EMDs (exact match domains) and PMDs (partial match domains). So you must include keywords in your permalinks / URL to tell Google what the page is about. For example brand.com/pink-fluffy-elephants/ is a web page about pink fluffy elephants.
WordPress makes it simple
You can add keywords to your permalinks by going to WordPress admin area, then settings and clicking on permalinks. It will give you a list of permalinks you could use, post name is the best permalink to use.
1. Remove stop words – stop words are words such as A, In, And, Get, The, But, Or, As… They waste space so remove them from permalinks. For example, instead of brand.com/plumbers-in-london/ just have /plumbers-london/
2. Don’t repeat words – By repeating words you can easily over optimise your website which can lead to penalties. For example, if your web page is PlumberJohn.com/plumbers-london/ you are repeating words, instead your web page permalink should be PlumberJohn.com/london/
Another example of repeating words is if your web page is brand.com/plumbing/london-plumbing/ This permalink overuses the word plumbing and instead the permalink should be brand.com/plumbing/london
3. Keep them short – Shorter permalinks seem to rank higher. So instead of having /toys/wacky-things/pink-fluffy-elephants/ You should keep it as short as possible and have /toys/pink-fluffy-elephants/
4. Set Canonicals – You don’t want /pink-fluffy-elephants/ and /Pink-Fluffy-Elephants/ being seen as separate sites or both indexed. Likewise, you don’t want /pink-fluffy-elephants/?replytocom=72 you want it to be seen as /pink-fluffy-elephants/ as this creates duplicate content.
WordPress implements this for you, so if you are using WordPress do not worry about it.
OnPage Checklist – Title and Meta Description Optimised
The title tag is the title that appears when somebody searches on Google and your website comes up. The title tag is super important to optimise for relevancy.
Rule 1: Start with the main keyword – So if you are ranking for “Plumbers London” that is what you will put in your title tag.
Rule 2: Make it human – This is so that it is natural, this means that the title would change to “Plumbers in London”
Rule 3: Add modifiers – such as 2016, best, guide, review. For example Best XYZ product of 2016, Best XYZ product guide, 2016 XYZ product guide. This allows you to rank for additional keywords people may search for.
Rule 4: Leverage space by drawing attention – Title tags have a maximum of 70 characters so if you have any addition space left, utilise it. For example “Plumbers in London” is very short so add more to maximise space, such as “Plumbers in London – Get Your Free Appointment Now” the free appointment gets more attention from people
Meta description is the description which appears below your title and URL when your website appears on Google. You need to treat the meta description as an advertisement. Include a call to action.
You can get around 150-160 characters in your meta description currently. If using an SEO plugin on WordPress such as Yoast SEO or All in one SEO. Then this is already in place so you don’t go over the limit.
Rule 1: Use synonyms and/or variations of your main keyword – For example instead of plumbers using the word “Plumbing”
Rule 2: Use as many keywords as you can while keeping it readable – This makes it more relevant to the topic
Rule 3: Treat it like it’s an AdWords ad – Right it so it’s compelling for people to click on.
If you are ranking for “Plumbers in London” an example meta would be:
“24/7 emergency plumbing services covering London. No call out fee. No repair, no charge. Get your free expert consultation now.”
From the first sentence, we can rank for “emergency plumbers London” “emergency plumbing London” “Plumbing services London” “24/7 plumbing services London” “24/7 plumbing London” “24/7 Plumbers London”
We are also writing it as a sales piece and adding a call to action at the end. This means that we are treating it as an ad while still fitting in all the keywords.
OnPage Checklist – H1, H2, H3 Tags Optimised
<h1>Your Main Headline</h1>
There is only one per page. H1 tag is the main headline of the page, so what the page is about.
To create a H1 tag you put <h1> and </h1> on either side of your main headline.
You can have as many of these as you want per page. The subheading is just sub category’s in that main heading.
<h3>Your Sub Subheadings</h3>
These are unlimited per page. They are a smaller category within the category of a H2 tag.
Why this is important
1. Readability – It’s really hard to read without subheadings to split up the information.
2. SEO – Heading tags are prime places to establish relevance. The H1 tag is the second most important factor for developing relevancy.
1. Include the keyword in the H1 tag – It is the second most important thing to develop relevancy. Make sure the most important keyword is in the H1 tag. Make your H1 tag similar to your…………….
OnPage Checklist – 750+ words on money pages, 500+ on other
The more content a page has, the easier it is to rank. This is because it increases quality.
If you are ranking for a local niche this is the guidelines to follow:
750+ Words if the page is a money page – page you’re trying to rank –
500+ Words if you are not ranking the page
(Though the more the better)
If you are ranking in a massive niche which is very competitive and highly searched for, this is the recommended guidelines:
2000+ Words if the page is a money page – page you’re trying to rank –
750+ Words if you are not ranking the page
Sometimes even in a highly competitive niche, 750+ words per money page is enough.
Best rule for money pages
1-Up your competitors.
Look at what is working for your competitors and one up them.
If your competitor has a 3,000 word article on their site then add a 4,000 word article to your site.
If they are ranking a page with 5,000 words then make sure your page has at least more than 5,000 words.
OnPage Checklist – Minimum 1 Authority Link per money page
If you link to spammy sites you’re a spammer whereas if you link to highly trusted sites you’re trustworthy.
How to make use of this
On “money pages” link out to 1-2 SUPER authority sites* within your niche.
*Obviously not sites you’re competing with
Link to highly trusted sites with relevant content.
Web site about football you can link to BBC Sport / Football.
Web site about health you can link to Government sites / pages (NHS)
Link to Universities, they have a lot of studies and topics to link to.
Associations within the industry.
These links are normal and build trust.
OnPage Checklist – 2+ Geo-Tagged Images per money page (with alt text)
Google can’t read images so you have to tell them what they’re actually about.
There are 3 techniques which you can use to insert some relevancy into your images. These are:
1. Image naming
Make the file name similar to your keyword (synonym/variation)
If you’re ranking for “Plumbers London” name the image london_plumbing_company.jpg
2. Alt tags
Alt tags are descriptions for images if they don’t show up
Bad Practice: Stuff a bazillion keywords in there
Good Practice: Use synonyms / variations of a focus KW, but write it like a caption
Important: If you have several images, make sure you’re not over-optimising. Don’t use the same keywords in the images.
When adding an image to your site you want to type your alt text in the alt text box (where the arrow is pointing)
It’s basically about setting a location for where your image was taken, perfect for establishing local relevance.
Do this for all your GoogleMyBusiness profile images, website images, business directory listings, etc…
For example, if you are targeting a local area you can say that the picture was taken there.
There are numerous tools to do this…
For Mac: HoudahGeo
For Windows: GeoSetter
OnPage Checklist – Heading & First paragraph captures attention
If people visit your web page then bounce back to Google, your website clearly wasn’t what they wanted. So Google won’t want to continue sending you traffic.
So to increase the time spent on your site, the heading and first paragraph must capture their attention, this is to hook them in.
There are a few ways to do this, they are:
1. Tell them what they’re going to get from reading your page – So in the first paragraph tell them what they’re going to get out of your page
2. Make it simple to read and consume (think paragraphs) – This also includes adding images and/or videos. Make sure to use paragraphs of 2-3 sentences.
3. Bucket Brigade – Using phrases to tease them, this makes them read on. These phrases include:
- As if that’s not enough
- Best of all
- But wait there’s more,
- By now
- By the way
- Even better
- Good news!
- Here’s why
Integrate these in your sentences to make them read on and don’t use it once so that they read on for a while then stop. If someone reads your first page but don’t feel compelled to read the rest the may click off. By getting them to read on you are more likely to convert them to a client.
OnPage Checklist – Keyword density
There’s no exact formula for how many times or what percentage of times to include keywords.
It is extremely important you don’t over optimise your site. This means don’t deliberately use the keyword repeatedly in your articles. You can deliberately use it in the H1 and title tag but don’t repeatedly use it.
Use it once in your………………………….
OnPage Checklist – JSON-LD Schema Setup
Schema is a markup for making sense of the content on your website.
Google and other sites can now understand who the author of the site is, what your products are, your opening times. Schema allows them to understand it.
It does this in two ways:
1. Adding code around your content to “markup” what it is – This tells them what the text is. As you can see it says “areaServed” and the name of that area served, which in this example is Massachusetts.
2. The easiest way is to use JSON-LD – This is where you markup in one piece of code, then just paste it in the <head> of your website.
This is recommended as it is so easy to do.
Use a JSON-LD Generator to make it even easier: https://www.jamesdflynn.com/json-ld-schema-generator/
This is what it will initially look like, you need to fill in all of this information. Select a local business markup to create. It then automatically creates the code for you which you paste in the WordPress head of your site.
Where it says sameAs you are able to add other URL’s related to you, this includes social profiles such as twitter, facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc..
Paste this before the final </head> tag.
OnPage Checklist – Confirm there’s no WWW/non-WWW duplicate content
Check the website with WWW. in front of it, then without. Does 1 redirect to the other?
If not, the website has a duplicate content issue.