Onpage SEO Checklist

Your meta description serves a dual purpose. This is the text which will appear in the google search results, and should be considered to be advertising copy. But it also needs to be keyword oriented.
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This is a list of the most critical on-page SEO factors.
Wherever possible, your page url’s should contain relevant keywords. For instance, instead of a page url list this:
wherever possible your urls should look more like this:
On dynamic websites, this can be implemented using .htaccess rules.

Meta Description
Your meta description serves a dual purpose. This is the text which will appear in the google search results, and as such, it should be considered to be advertising copy. But it also needs to be keyword oriented. At a minimum, the meta description for each page should contain that pages main keyword at least once at a minimum. Your meta description should be less than 150 characters as anything over this will be truncated when displayed in the Google search results.

Meta Keywords
Officially Google reports that it doesn’t pay attention to Meta Keywords, unofficially we believe Google may take some notice. Yahoo and other top search engines to take meta keywords into account, and as such it is vital to include at least 5 relevant keywords in this section. Again, the meta keywords should be assigned on a page by page basis.

The title attribute is displayed both in the title bar of the browser, and in the Google search results. As such it should be descriptive and contain your main keyword at least once. Further is should be less than 64 characters in length in order to avoid truncation.

H Tags
H tags identify the header hierarchy within a web page. Just like in a Microsoft word document, you can assign a top header, known as a “Header 1” as well as lower level headers, such as “Header 2” and “Header 3” – There are similar attributes within the code for a web page known as “H Tags” or “Header Tags” – As much as possible, your keywords should be contained within page headings and header tags. You can style the text within header tags to any size, weight and colour.

IMG file names and alt tags
An important and often overlooked SEO attribute is the file names and alt text on images. If possible, your image file names should contain your keywords, and every image should have alt text which should also contain your keywords. Alt text is displayed in the case where any image can’t be loaded, and also when you hover your mouse over an image.

Keyword Density
As an absolute minimum, your pages should contain atleast 3{4d2303c3d7018ed3e1a955ec2105d2bcecc5b881e14ee890535c5ae577f46e7a} keyword density for your most important keyword. You should also strive to include about 5 LSI keywords on each page. There is no maximum keyword density, however your should never look un-natural because you have been “keyword stuffing”

LSI Keywords
LSI keywords are keywords which relate to your top keyphrase for each page. You should sprinkle these within the body copy of your pages. As a guide, you should look to include about 5 LSI keywords per page.

Bolding, Underlining, Italicising
Just as in a word document, if you bold, italicise or underline a word or phrase, you are giving that word or phrase extra importance. You shouldn’t over do this by underlining and/or bolding every instance of your keywords, however a few instances will have a positive effect on your rankings.

Link Alt Text
Links, like images, have the option to include alt text. This is used for accessibility purposes (for vision impaired persons). While not the most powerful on-page seo attribute, best practice is to include keyword relevant alt text for every link.

Internal Links
You need to pay very close attention to the anchor text of every internal link on your website. Links to pages with anchor text such as “Home” are doing you no favours. Wherever practical you should be linking with appropriate anchor text to appropriate pages, from every page on your website.

External Links
Keep links to external pages to a minimum. There are cases where it is appropriate to link to an external source, and you will receive minor benefit from linking to relevant pages, however you shouldn’t have more than one external link per page.

Number of links
You should keep the number of links on a single page down to less than 100. This includes both internal and external links. If you absolutely can’t stay below this figure, you can exceed this limit to a degree, however this is not recommended.

File Size
The time it takes to load your website is a reasonably critical SEO factor. You should keep the file size of your webpage and all attachments to a minimum. You should also be careful about loading attributes from other servers, such as analytics code, as this can greatly increase page load times. You should work to a practical limit of 400kb total size for each page and all files required to render that page, such as images. Video is the only exception to this.

Page Freshness
Updating pages regularly is very beneficial. This can be achieved in a number of automated ways.

Limited use of flash, frames, iframes and javascript
As much as possible you should avoid frames, iframes, flash and javascript.

Duplicate Content
Make sure you aren’t duplicating the same content on many pages of your website. You also need to be aware that each page may be assessable via multiple different URL’s and this should be limited as much as possible.
An example of the same page being accessible by multiple urls:
•    www.yoursite.com
•    yoursite.com
•    www.yoursite.com/index.php
•    yoursite.com/index.php
This particular problem can be rectified within the .htaccess file.

The founder of Attwood Digital, Mark is a digital marketing veteran having been working online since before the dotcom boom. He created the world's first online skip hire service in 2003, has created multiple online courses, lectured on digital marketing and even written a book on the subject. He is also an ICO advisor and crypto-enthusiast.
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