On-Page SEO: Actionable on page SEO Checklist for 2020

Do you know On-Page SEO in Detailed?

If not you will learn today!

This is a practical guide to learn complete on-page SEO in 2020, the content is written for both beginner and advance level.

IF you are still confused regarding On-page SEO just do a comment below and I will respond to you.

Over the last 3 Years Google has done lots of algorithm updates related to backlinks, user experience.

We all have seen the positive and negative effects of Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, Fred, Pigeon, Rankbrain and more countless. Reports suggest that google do major 2 to 4 updates in a year. SEO Updates will come and go but keep Learning SEO.

In this new On Page SEO 2020 Guide you’ll learn the fundamental of:

  • What is On-Page SEO?
  • Complete On Page SEO Checklist.
  • On Page SEO Audit.
  • On Page SEO Faq

Let’s get started optimizing your existing website.

What is On-Page SEO?

Do you know the basic difference between On-Page SEO, On-site SEO and OFF Page SEO?

If not let me clear you what is seo? before we learn on Page level SEO factors. SEO consist of On Site, On Page and link builiding.

    • On-Site SEO – Its process of whole website technically modification according to search engine guidelines. This Process includes steps likes SSL, Redirection, Fixing Duplication, User Experience, Bounce rate, Site Architecture, Speed ( Which is also useful for On-Page SEO)
    • On-Page SEO – Its Similar process like on site seo but focusing only on single page optimization. Here we are going to optimize a landing page with Meta title, keywords, descriptions, heading tags, image, internal links and content. Single page optimization helps in overall website On Site SEO improvement.
    • Off-Page SEO – Off-Page SEO is also known as link building. Its process of acquiring link to your website targeted page from other domain.

Why is On-Page SEO Important?

Do you think the way you optimize your website in 2012 to 2015 is still working in 2020?

May be not!

But, If I share my last 10 years of On-Page SEO experience I can say that the fundamentals remain the same, But the way to execute it, has been changed.

When you ask a programmer or beginner regarding On-Page SEO then they simply tell you to add keywords in content in tags. 

Guys,On-Page SEO contains important factors like

  • Keyword placement
  • Meta tags
  • Heading tags
  • Content writing pattern
  • User experience
  • Conversion on that page.
  • External and Internal linking
  • Video and Image

So optimizing the above points in the right way will help to get a better On page optimization score.

The Detailed On-Page SEO Checklist 2020

Here is complete on-page SEO checklist covering most detailed points. If you have a new website then you need to focus on all the points, else check what necessary for you and take your own actions.

1. Performance Tracking

Why Performance tracking? it’s very important to understand your user experience on website. Here are the most important performance tracking took that we need to setup

  • Install Google Analytics: GA is free tool by Google that help us to monitor website overall traffic. With detailed Google Analytic installation you can easily monitor matrix like
    • Identify from which source your website getting maximum traffic.
    • How much time spend by your users?
    • Bounce rate monitoring.
    • Conversion tracking – Goal, Purchase, Subscriber and more.
  • Add Website in Search Console:  Google Search console is another free tool offered by google. IT Has lots of work to do but for page level optimization you can track what keywords are showing impression for the page and do better optimization with title, description, heading tags and more.
  • Monitor Keyword Ranking: Monitor page level keyword position, You can use various tools to monitor keyword position or just spend time and search in google and check at what position you are ranking. For Keyword Position monitoring use tool like

2. Crawling Indexing Page Optimization

For a smooth crawling and indexing check.

  • Check Page Crawl issue? Check whether any issue with your noindex and robots.txt file.
  • Noindex tag:  Check noindex, nofollow tag and fix it if accidentally you blocking
  • Robots.txt: Check whether you are not blocking google bot for indexing.

Here is one tool that personally I use to check any crawling issue. In Rank Slider tool ( http://tools.ranksider.com/header-checker ) Just enter the page URL and check performance. In return if you are getting 200 status code then everything is alright.

Check Page Indexing in Search Engine

Once you check that your page is crawlable by spiders / bots, it’s time to check our second step regarding Indexing of page.

Just take the URL and search in google and if the page results appear than your page is indexing properly if not available just check the page meta tags, robots txt file and fix the noindex, nofollow tag.

3. Keywords Related Page Optimization

1. Finding right targeted keywords for the page

Targeting right keywords for the page will save your time to rank fast. Take the keywords and do competitor analysis. Check below points

  • Available competitors
  • Find keywords difficult, If you have a high authority website go with Keyword difficulty above 50, or else work below 50.
  • Find Keywords Search volume
  • Do analysis of your top 20 competitors with their DA, PA, Backlinks
  • Do you have the budget / time to rank for those keywords?

Once you get answers, just create a new spreadsheet and prepare your Primary keyword list and focus on points we are going to discuss.

2. Fix Keyword Cannibalisation: 

Focus on targeting page level unique keywords.

3. Page & Search Intent Relevancy:

Search Intent and page relevancy helps in determining your website quality and user engagement with site.

  • When a user comes from google organic search and immediately bounce back, then chances are that you start losing your top position. This is because of wrong search intent and page relevancy. 
  • There are 4 types of search intent and based on the intent we need to craft our landing page.
    1. Informational Query  – “how to do On Page SEO”
    2. Transactional Query  – “Hire On Page SEO Expert”
    3. Comparison Query – “Top 10 seo expert in Surat”
    4. Navigational Query – “VJ SEO Marketing Company”
  • Based on the search intent we need to add targeted keywords in a page content to bring next level search intent relevancy.

4. Add primary keyword in Page title:

Adding targeted keywords in title is still important on page factor. Title help in determining

  • Important Page level relevancy factor
  • Appear in search result page
  • Help in improving your click through rate.

5. Is your Page title click worthy

If a user searches for your targeted primary keyword and if keyword appears in the title then more chances of getting clicks. Google considers it as a relevant factor to determine relevance.

If your page shows lots of impression in SERP and still very low traffic then you need to fix by looking at

  • Search Console Data – Impression vs Click
  • Search console – Check New keyword that showing impression
  • Rewrite your page title to make it more attractive

6. Add Keyword modifiers to your title tag.

Adding words like Top, Best, year ( 2020) will bring users attention and improve CTR.

7. Title tag Length.

Search Engine shows your title approximately 55 to 60 Characters in search result page. It’s important that we keep our primary keyword initially and then use our copywriting techniques to make eye catchy title

8. Keyword & H1 Tag Relevancy

Keep Only Single H1 tag on a page. You can find how many h1 tags are available on page with two different ways.

  • Check your page source code
  • Use tools and check for the page optimization.
  • Use your primary keyword in H1 tag to make it more relevant.

9. Keyword & Meta description

After title & URL, Meta description is the third option that directly comes in user interaction. 

Many times we have seen that Google rewrite meta description tags, but that’s due to non availability of your keywords in meta description.

It’s always a best practice to add your primary keyword in the meta description tag to improve CTR and maintaining user search intent.

10. Keyword & URL Structure

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Having keywords on the landing page URL makes it more relevant. It also brings psychological advances on user mindset help in making decisions whether to click or look for other results.

While Creating your landing page URL Focus on

  • Keep it short
  • Use primary keywords
  • Avoid parameters, underscore
  • Make it in lower case
  • Use hyphen to separate words.

11. Keyword & First Paragraph Relevancy

Most SEO experts suggest starting writing the first paragraph focused with primary keywords. There are reason behind this lets see

  • It helps in maintaining User search intent.
  • Google bot starts reading your content from top to bottom and after getting relevancy signal from title, URL, Description, H1 tag the next part comes is content.This further maintain your page relevancy.

12. Keyword Density:

It’s always an open question how much keyword density? Many people think that repeating the same terms over and over brings over optimization. Here is what I do while writing my content.

  • I always try to make content natural as possible and keywords are automatically adjusted.
  • Once I finish my content I use keyword density checker tool and see how many times my top 10 competitors are repeating the same words. Based on data I adjust the content by adding synonyms.

13. Keyword variation

It’s very important to work on closely related search terms and integrate it with your content. Using keyword variation brings content relevant and most of the time people use these terms to find the same content.

14. ADD LSI Keywords

LSI stands for latent semantic indexing. When a Search Engine crawler visits your page they start looking for some relevance in similar terms.

  • After the Google Hummingbird Updates it has become important to create content not only focusing on the primary keyword but also adding relevant topics to that search term.
  • You can easily find LSI keywords in google search pages ( Related Searches Section ), reading other question answers, forums and more.

If you compare our existing page targeted keyword and content writing pattern then you will notice that most of the time we have used LSI keywords.

4. Content Related Page Optimization

Content plays the most important role in determining page relevance. Before you write content, it’s important to understand the search quality guidelines given by Google. Writing your page content focusing user search intent, adding relevant topics, and adding trust signal.

How to Differentiate your content from competitors?

When you focus on the same niche and topics with your competitors it’s very important that you create unique, informative and problem solving content. 

 It’s easy to write long content when you target informational search terms, but it’s difficult to provide unique information when you are writing for transactional query.

Unique Information:

Use Testimonial of your customer to make the content unique. Show some case study related to results you have brought.

Check Page Design – Make it Unique & Eye Catching

Create a better design as compared to your competitors, Most of the time pages designed with transactional intent don’t have any goal completion. 

Google keeps track of small goals completion activities on websites. So my advice is to check your design, add some forms and set up some event in google analytics so google can keep record of your goal completion.

Content Writing Quality Checklist

You will lose authority, trust when you have simple spelling and grammatical errors. To maintain quality check all the 

  1. Grammer & Spelling Errors

Check your page level simple grammar and spelling errors. You can use some authority tools like grammarly, to check your mistakes. 

  1. Long Content

Longer content better chance of ranking, that’s not true at all. No matter whether you do it in just 100 words or 1000 words. Add relevant information to bring trust and engage your readers.

  1. Check Content Grade Level – Lower the higher

When you write content make sure that it’s easy to digest. Your readability must be high quality. You can use the hemingway app to check your content grade level. Below 8 grade is known to be great content.

  1. Use Of Short Paragraph

Whenever possible use short paragraphs as it is easy to read. Internet users have a habit of reading well formatted content with short paragraphs.

Content Presentation Structure

  1. Heading Tag Structured

It’s important to structure your H1, H2, H3 heading tag logically. Use only one H1 tag on a page.

  1. Use of Bullet Point and Numbered List

If your targeted page has long content then use numbered list or bullet points to differentiate content. This will help users to read your full content.

Is your Content Up to Date?

Most of the marketer focuses on generating new content instead of improving existing content. 

This is a very big mistake.

Just keep your old page and update new information every four months. If any major changes are done related to your content then take it seriously and optimize it instantly.

5. Image Optimization

When you are doing page level optimization make sure that you use high quality unique images to engage your users.

Compare Image Ratio with your competitors:

When you want to rank higher compared to your competitors, its very important to outrank them not only by content, but with images also. Here is what you can do.

  • Analyze top 10 results and make a list showing how many images used by your competitors.
  • Create Unique & Engaging Images

Page Level Unique images

Main reason behind creating unique images is to solve people’s problems. Most of the time people don’t like to read long and boring content. Unique photos for a page is to keep users for a long time on a page.

High-quality images

When you are serious about your branding than use high quality images that speak and attract customers. Hire professional graphic designers or photographers and shoot images that speak alone.

Image Format

Website speed plays an important role in google ranking. There are 4 to 5 types of Image format available that you can use.

  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group )
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics )
  • Gif (Graphics Interchange Format )
  • Webp (Image format Lossless/lossy compression )
  • JPEG 2000 ( image compression standard and coding system.

All formats have their own pros and cons. Out of all the above formats, we mostly use PNG format for getting high quality images. 

Image Size

To get better page loading speed always use images sizes as per required. Most of the time we make mistakes by adding bigger images and resizing with css, avoiding such common mistakes will improve on-page optimization quality.

Use of images Compression

If you have more images and not optimized properly 90% chances of slow speed. To avoid this always use image compression. There are two ways to optimize images

  • Either use images compression tools like https://compressnow.com/ and add compress images before launching.
  • Or setup server level image compression.

Image File Name

Often I have seen simple mistakes done by graphic designers in image file naming. Whenever you write file name make sure

  • It has descriptive filename
  • Avoid using spaces
  • Always Use hyphens to separate words.

Image ALT tag optimization

Alt tags play a vital role in giving image ranking. To understand images better spiders look at your ALT tag.So always write descriptive alt tags that describe your images.

6. Video Optimization

If your competitors don’t have video and you are using video on-page, you will definitely get an advantage. While adding video on a page make sure it follows some on-page seo guidelines. Here are few of them

Video Related to Primary Keywords

When you add video make sure its related to your primary page

Unique Branded Video on Page

If you create a video content will give you double benefits. With just simple modification you can add videos in youtube, social media and create brand awareness. Add youtube videos on the website.

Use Responsive Video

It’s important to use responsive video. If you have used embedded videos from youtube its most probably in responsive format, but whenever you add direct videos make sure its mobile friendly and responsive.

Video SEO

If you have not used video as per the guidelines, instead of getting benefits you might get negative effect in below cases

  • Not hosted on high speed servers. Instead for beginners I recommend adding videos on youtube and embed videos on your website.
  • Do proper video optimization with title tag, descriptions and tags
  • Use Eye Catching video thumbnail.

7. Internal & External Linking Page-level Optimization

Whenever you do page level optimization put some extra efforts on giving internal and external links. Your internal linking structure decides the future of other pages.

Anchor text of Internal Links

Your internal link anchor text must be keyword related, but make sure it’s not randomly stuffed on page. Whenever you get a chance to share more information related to that topic just link it.

Look at your competitors anchor text linking pattern and be smart to take only quality suggestions. Do not blindly copy.

First Link Priority

Do you know what it is? Whenever you do multiple internal links on a page, google considers only the first one. So always consider putting the most important link first place.

Page Level Breadcrumb Setup

Breadcrumb is useful when you have a deep level structure. I mean, when you are using categories and subcategories. But before using it, understand the first link value.

Link Relevancy:

Always link to pages to share more relevant information, avoid link stuffing. While linking keep your user in mind.

Fix Redirect Chain:

When you have an old website and redesigned or installed SSL certificate, chances of redirect chain. The best way is to set up a proper 301 redirection and fix redirect chain if any available.

External Links

Give Links to an external trusted website or high quality content if you lack some information. This will help your readers to get more clarity on your topics.

Use of Nofollow Tag on External Links

When you give links to a third party website know the purpose, if its promoted one always use the nofollow tag. Below is the type of links you must add Nofollow tag.

  • Any affiliate links.
  • Any sponsored post
  • Paid Links

Open External Links in New Window

Whenever you link to another website, open it in a new window. This is because your primary focus is to keep users on your website. If you lose your visitor in sort time, your page level trust metrix will not improve.

Broken Links

Check your page internal and external links and if you found any broken links fix it immediately.

Link Styling and Colors

Put some effort on UX to style your links and body text. Use different colors and add underline to all links. 

8. UX/ UI Optimization

User experience is one of the key factors in determining your pages ranking in google. After putting hard work on content, videos, Image, linking, structuring but your user experience is poor you will not get the ranking you are thinking about. You need to focus on the below page level user experience factor.

Page Speed – Under 3 Seconds

Check your individual page speed in gtmetrix and Google page speed insight. If your speed is less than 3 seconds everything is alright else you need to work on speed improvement.

  • Upgrade to better web hosting
  • Use CDN
  • Use Browser and server side caching.
  • If you are using wordpress use a fast loading theme like generatepress.

Mobile Friendly Test

If you have designed your website with mobile first concept then you don’t need to worry about the mobile friendliness.

To check whether google thinks your website is mobile friendly or not just visit this mobile friendly testing tool and check how your website is available to google.

Use of Https

The Internet is all about security and fraud, after Google’s official announcement of using SSL certificate as ranking signals, almost all websites transferred from http to https. Check whether you are using https, If not Just order one SSL certificate.

Use of Proper Font Sizes

Font size plays an important role in engaging users. If your font size is too small or too large, users will leave your website soon without further reading. For mobile devices it’s advisable to use a large font compared to a desktop.

Aggressive Ads Placement

If you are a blogger or using ads on websites then it’s important for you to control aggressive ads. Showing too many ads will distract users and they will leave your website.

Place the ads in such a way that users and website owners both get benefits.

9. Local Optimization

NAP [ Name Address Phone] – Whenever you use an address for link building purpose or adding in local directories make sure that your internet address should always be consistent.

If you are planning to rank for Google my business listing then make sure that your address is visible in body or footer of the page.

Here are some best practices that you need to work on below points.

Your Local Address:

Add address consistently on all your pages ideally before closing body tag. There are two types of situations when you have multiple locations.

Multiple Location: IF you operate from multiple locations then do not add address sitewide, Instead create separate pages for each location and add relevant address on page.

Single Location: You can add your address in footer or sidebar as it’s just one so will not create issues.

Adding Structured Data to address

Always add structured data to your address. You can use schema markup to do this.

10. Bonus Recommendation

Add Author Bio –

Always add author bio on pages where required specifically on blog post, article or press release. Also make sure that you create a unique author bio page with more detailed information.

Add Social Share:

Implement social sharing on your page. This will not only bring additional social traffic but also help you to gain trust.

Setup Goal Completion:

Add small conversion tracking on each page and once you start getting conversions your trust in google eyes will increase.

Conclusion on On Page SEO

I have put hard efforts on preparing advanced on-page SEO checklist. If you have any suggestion use our contact details and respond us  I will personally update that information for you.

Use this proven on-Page techniques and create a page that satisfy user and Google.