On-Page SEO Checklist

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The following is a list of items to consider when optimizing on-page SEO. On-page is SEO that is in your control on your post. This is in contrast to off-page SEO, which includes things such as building backlinks, brand reputation, etc.

Content, Content, Content

  • First off, write fantastic, quality content. Typically, your content should be helpful or engaging for your avatar. If ever you have shiny objects overwhelm, always just remember that quality is paramount. Giving your readers something useful is what the Search Engines want, so all the better. Over time, while some people have been able to game the system, quality content has been the key to long-term winning results for both you and your customer.
    • If it helps and you use the method of breaking down and outlining your posts, you may find it easier to fill the page. Make sure you are adding something for your audience, not sure getting to a word count.
  • Aim for longer content.
  • Keep your content on point.
  • Make sure your writing appeals to the audience/avatar and is free of errors (I write this and think, oh no they’re going to check over this page).
  • Consider working in information to answer/cover any “People also ask” and “Searches Related to” topics from Google itself.
  • Create a specific image great for sharing (Pinterest size, text, etc) with social media sharing buttons.
  • Do a check over of the entire post – verbiage and links once posted.


  • Make sure your content applies to the keyword.
  • Place your keyword, within reason and without keyword stuffing:
    • Post Title
    • Heading on Page
    • Within the first couple sentences
    • In the URL (be careful if you change though – if existing URL is already getting hits to make sure a redirect set up)
    • Alt Tag and Image Name of photo in Media
    • Where it naturally occurs within the content
  • Do not use the keyword unnaturally or keyword stuff your post.
  • Focus on one keyword per page, typically your well-researched long-tail keywords while starting out and your domain authority is low so you can still rank page one.
    • For long-tail content, try for at least around 1000-1400 words
    • For somewhat competitive more broad, less niche-y but still not super competitive content, consider 2000+ words
  • Also, naturally work in some of the LSI and related keyword from the bottom of Google with your keyword search in the ‘Searches related to’ section. You may look up LSI words specifically by using LSIGraph, but can also just search for keyword and look at bottom of the results page. Free or paid keyword tools, such as Ubersuggest can show related keywords as well.
    • Work them into the content where natural.
    • In headings (H1, H2, H3, H4 tags) and subtitles
    • Navigational anchor text and title tags
    • Alt Tag and Images Names
    • Content verbiage – regular, bolded, and/or italicized
    • Internal Links to Related Topic
    • Image filename, alt and title tag
    • Media filename and title


  • Make sure the title is catchy or intriguing (but not clickbait!).


  • Don’t be afraid to add outbound links to authority sites.
  • Add relevant internal links – try to offer at least 2 or 3! You want to make your site sticky. If you’ve niched down, this shouldn’t be too hard, plus it makes it more enjoyable for your avatar.


  • Use images that match the content.


  • Use short paragraphs
  • Have a good balance of white-space
  • Italicize and bold for skimmers, highlight important content
  • Link to your other content
  • Ensure there is an affiliate link disclaimer upfront if the post has affiliate links
    • Consider using a plugin such as Ad Inserter (WordPress Plugin) or, if you have Genesis framework, Simple Edits (WordPress Plugin for Genesis Framework)
  • Ensure your affiliate links stand out (standard blue, underlined is most well known) – and have a mix of text and picture links, if possible
  • Have a Call to Action (CTA)


  • Use title tags.
  • Keep title between 50 – 60 characters or it will appear truncated in results.
  • For broad keywords with lots of competition, shoot for at least 3000 words.
  • Use H2 and H3 subheadings for the organization of your blog post.
  • Add alt-text to your images including the keyword as possible.

Meta Tags

Define your meta tags to be click inducing and intriguing. Usually these may easily be defined by using WordPress SEO plugins.

  • Define meta title tag around 55-70 characters (longer may get truncated).
  • Define meta description tag around 145-155 characters (longer may get truncated).



  • Set WordPress to use Post Name as the slug in your permalinks settings. Note: If changing AFTER running a successful site for some time, be sure to redirect posts so you don’t lose already well-ranked posts.
  • Do not use the date in the URL path. This can be detrimental because as your posts age, even if they are evergreen topics or you keep them up to date because it may come into question whether the content is current or fresh.
  • Ensure your URL has the keyword in it.
  • Use dashes or hyphens in the slug or page URL for spaces. Search Engines treat them as spaces where underscores are not.

Secure Your Site

  • Making your site secure helps your rankings. Get an SSL certificate and use https instead of https. There is a WordPress plugin for this.

Speed/Page Load

WordPress plugins are available to assist with many of the options listed below.

  • Optimize and compress your images for performance considerations.
  • Use a cache plugin to speed up the process of serving up your pages to visitors.
  • Host your site in a location closest to the bulk of your customers, if possible. This may mean using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
  • Look over your site for large files and compress them yourself using a photo app or online tools. Just be sure to read up on the tools to make sure you aren’t turning over rights to the image being processed.
  • Test the page speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
    • Test the home and any landing pages.
    • Test posts – they are just as important as the home, if not more because most people will initially land on a post!
    • If you’re unable to get your site loading speed to an acceptable level, it might be your theme.

SEO Tool Verification

Using the YoastSEO WordPress plug-in may be helpful for many of these things. RankMath is another well respected WordPress plug-in.

If using YoastSEO and you mark the post as Cornerstone content, then the page’s SEO rules are more rigidly enforced so you have very well optimized SEO for these important posts on your blog.

RankMath is another well known WordPress plug-in that people love to use as an alternative to Yoast.

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