On-page SEO: a helpful checklist to check off in 2021 and beyond

  • 30-second summary: On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your websites and content for search engine crawlers
  • It includes a lot of moving parts, so it’s simple to forget some components or fine-tune them incorrectly
  • This fast checklist will assist you keep all the various on-page SEO elements on track

On-page SEO is basically a set of strategies and finest practices for your web pages to make them more search-engine friendly and therefore, boost your rankings.

Now, as you know, keywords are at the heart of nearly whatever on-page SEO. However on-page optimization involves a lot of aspects– not just keywords– so it’s simple to neglect some of them.

To make it simple for you to ensure all your pages are properly optimized for the best possible rankings, here’s an useful list to check off.


Review the URLs of all pages on your website to ensure they’re succinct instead of long and complex. Much shorter URLs tend to have much better click-through rates and are more easily understood by search engine crawlers.

Include your page’s main keyword in the URL, remove filler (aka stop) words like “the”, “for”, and “to”, and keep it under 60 characters.


Your site is most likely teeming with images, and that’s a good thing as images contribute significantly to improving both user experience and rankings. They make your material more easy-to-consume, appealing, and remarkable, and when optimized properly, assist you drive more traffic to your site.

To optimize your images for on-page SEO, here are a number of things to ensure:

Image filename and alt text

Google bots can’t “see” images like people. They need accompanying text to comprehend what the image is about. Compose a detailed filename (“blue-running-shoes. jpg” rather of “82596173. jpg”) and alt text (which assists in case the image stops working to pack for some reason) for each image on your site, including keywords in both.

Alt text likewise helps make your website more accessible, as screen readers utilize the alt text to explain images to visually-challenged users. In fact, it’s prudent to test your site’s accessibility to guarantee you do not ever need to cough up big dollars for ADA claim settlements.

Image file size

Page speed is a major ranking signal for both desktop and mobile searches, and large images slow down your website’s load speed. Make sure to compress all images to reduce their size– ideally under 70 kb.

Titles and meta descriptions

Ensure that you’ve included your primary keywords in the front of the title tags of all pages. Make sure the length of your title tags is under 60-65 characters and no longer than 70 characters, otherwise, it may get truncated in the SERPs.

The title should be the only element covered in the H1 heading tag. In other words, just one H1 tag per page that’s reserved for the title.

For meta descriptions, simply ensure you have composed a keyword-rich and inviting meta description that is relevant to your user’s search intent. Keep it under 160 characters for all your pages. If you do not, Google will choose some appropriate text from the page and show it as the meta description in the SERP, which isn’t ideal for SEO.

Page load speed

Speed is a significant ranking aspect you just can’t manage to overlook. If your pages take anything over two to three seconds to load, your visitors will bounce to a competitor, and accomplishing very first page rankings will stay a dream.

Thus, validate that:

  • Code is enhanced with minified CSS and JS
  • There are no unneeded redirects
  • You have compressed all images
  • You’ve allowed file compression and web browser caching
  • Server reaction time is ideal

Regularly review your website speed utilizing PageSpeed Insights to learn the precise areas that can be enhanced.

Hyperlinks– external and internal

Guarantee you have an appropriate connecting technique that you constantly follow. Both external and internal links play a role in your on-page SEO.

External links

Citing external sources and having outbound links is vital for constructing credibility in the eyes of both Google crawlers and human visitors. Nevertheless, make sure that you’re just connecting back to dependable sources and high-quality sites.

Plus, guarantee there are no broken (“404 not found”) links, as they injure SEO and user experience. In case you may have a lot of site pages, it is best encouraged to develop a engaging and easy-to-navigate 404 error page. This will help you maintain site visitors and assist them find appropriate content/actions.

Internal links

Make certain to tactically interlink pages and content on your site. This helps spiders to much better understand and rank your material for the ideal keywords.

Internal connecting likewise assists to assist visitors to pertinent pages and keep them engaged.


All your article and website copy play a critical function in on-page optimization. Ensuring your target keywords are sprayed sensibly and naturally throughout your material title, URL, subheadings, and paras. Here are a number of things to get right.

Structure and readability

Verify the structure of material on all pages. Make sure you’ve utilized keyword-optimized headings and subheadings– H1, H2, H3, and so on, to develop a sensible hierarchy, which improves the readability and crawlability of your content.


Research studies suggest that longer, thorough posts perform much better than much shorter ones when it concerns Google rankings. So, make every effort to have a word count of 2,000+ words in every piece of content.

Comprehensive, long-form content will likewise serve your audience much better as it most likely responses all their questions about the topic so they don’t need to look for more reading resources.

Over to you

With each new update to its core algorithm, Google is quick moving its focus on gratifying sites with the best user experience.

However nailing your on-page optimization which connects carefully with UX will continue to assist you achieve top rankings and remain there. Therefore, keep this checklist handy as you deal with your SEO in 2021 and beyond.

Gaurav Belani is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Growfusely, a content marketing firm focusing on material and data-driven SEO. He can be found on Twitter @belanigaurav.