On-Page SEO Checklist: Make Your Blog Posts SEO-Friendly!

On-Page SEO Checklist: Make Your Blog Posts SEO-Friendly! 1
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SEO is not difficult; it’s easier than you think. All you need to do is Proper SEO.

When it comes to On-Page SEO, it’s all about improving readers’ experience as well as making your blog posts SEO friendly. I know you are tired of hearing about meta tags, keywords density, etc.

It sounds so complicated. But it will be easier if you follow a checklist.

If you are looking for an On-Page SEO Checklist to make your blog posts SEO friendly, then you’ll love this post.

In this post, I will be sharing a step-by-step checklist to make your posts optimized for SEO and boost your ranking.

And to be honest, there is no ultimate On-Page SEO checklist. Everything you do to increase the users’ experience is On-Page SEO (Click to Tweet). Here I’ll be sharing some common On-Page SEO tips for WordPress users.

Let’s dive into the details.

1. Select A Focus Keyword

Before doing anything else, you need to choose a focus keyword.

The focus keyword is the keyword for which you want to rank on Google. It could be a short tail keyword or long-tail keyword. Here’s an example of two types of keywords.

  • Short Tail Keyword: On Page SEO
  • Long Tail Keyword: On Page SEO Checklist

It’s comparatively easy to rank a long-tail keyword than a short tail keyword. But it mainly depends on the competitiveness of the keyword.

Now let’s see how to choose the focus keyword.

To find the perfect focus keyword, you need to do Keyword Research. It’s a kind of market research. It tells you what people are searching for and in what relative numbers.

Keyword Research starts when you type something on Search Box, and it starts showing possible search terms. If it happens, that means people are searching for the term, and it can be a potential keyword.

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Though this is not the ultimate Keyword Research tool, it can help you to understand what’s your audience is looking for. Google Keyword Planner was the most used SEO Keyword Research Tool. But the problem is, it has stopped showing Average monthly searches for a keyword for those who don’t have a running campaign.

I use and recommend SEMrush to see the search volume and related keywords.

By using SEMrush, I found that “on page seo” get more monthly searches than “on page seo checklist.”

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The keyword “on page seo” has more potentiality of attracting traffic. But the problem is, sites like Moz, Backlinko, NeilPatel.com, etc are ranking for the keyword “On Page SEO”. It’s almost impossible for me to outrank those sites.

It’s better to go with the second keyword. It’s less competitive.

When it comes to choosing the perfect focus keyword, there is no exact rule. You should choose a keyword that has search potentiality and fit your audience. And then optimize your post for that keyword.

Once you have the focus keyword, let’s move to the second point.


2. Write A Catchy Post Title

No matter how good your post is, it is useless unless people read the post.

A study on CopyBlogger found that 8 out of 10 people will read the Post Title, but only 2 out of 10 will read the post.

But if you have a catchy post title, it will surely invite your readers to check the post. The title is a kind of advertisement for your post, and certainly the best place where you want to impress your readers.

Another important thing to consider is the Click-Through Rate (CTR). CTR is the number of clicks that your post receives against the impressions. If you have a catchy title, people will click on your link from SERP. It sends a signal to Google that your post is relevant to the keyword, and you will get a ranking boost.

So post title matters a lot. Spend some times to write a catchy headline.

Here are a few things you need to consider to make your post title SEO friendly:

  • Make sure you have the focus keyword in your post title. A Moz.com study found that titles that started with targeted keyword ranked higher than others.
  • Finish your post title within 60-70 characters.
  • Use numbers. (Top 10, 15 Best, etc)
  • Use interesting adjectives. (Like Awesome, Incredible, Best, Top, Essential, etc.)
  • You can also use two different titles for readers and Search Engines.

3. Make Post URL SEO-Friendly

John Mueller of Google said that “Keywords In URLs” is a very small ranking factor. So it’s a good idea to make your URLs SEO-Friendly. Here are some actionable tips.

  • Keep your URL short and sweet.
  • Make sure it contains the focus keyword.
  • Avoid stop words. (Like to, for, your, etc)

A good example is the URL of this post – https://roadtoblogging.com/on-page-seo-checklist/

WordPress automatically generates a post permalink based on your post title. You can change it by clicking on the post tile and “Edit” beside Permalink.

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Note: Don’t change the URL of an old post. If you need to change the URL of an old post, follow these steps to keep your ranking stable.


4. Use Heading Tags Properly

Using heading tags is the best way to make your blog post scannable.

Heading Tags (H1 – H6), as the name suggests, are the headings and subheadings of a blog post. These tags are also known as SEO Header Tags.

The most important heading tag is H1. Normally H1 Tag refers to the Post Title. WordPress automatically adds the H1 tag to your post title. Having only one H1 tag on a blog post is good.

If you are going to use other tags like H2 or H3, try to add focus keyword on those tags.

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Don’t repeat the same tags too many times. It’s not a good SEO practice.


5. Use Multimedia in Blog Posts

Text-based blogging still dominates the blogosphere. But this is the era of VISUALIZATION. To stand up from the crowd, you need to add engaging images, screenshots, videos to your blog posts.

Here at RoadToBlogging, I use a lot of images and screenshots to make things easier. While these are not going to boost your rankings, but these can help you to increase user interaction.

Images can also drive huge traffic from Google Image Search. Just make sure your images are SEO friendly. Here are a few things to consider while adding images.

You can also consider adding YouTube videos to your blog posts.


Internal linking decreases the bounce rate and increase user engagement.

If you want to see how Internal linking affects SEO, check Wikipedia. They add tons of internal links on every page and rank high for many terms.

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Internal Links in Wikipedia

I am not going to tell you to add too many links like Wikipedia. Just add some relevant links to your old posts. It will keep your visitors longer on your site. (More Pageviews = Less Bounce Rate = More Money)

If you want to make internal linking easier, you can use the plugin Link Whisper by Niche Pursuits.

What about External links?

We all know that getting links from high authority sites can boost SEO. But did you know that external links to authority sites can boost your page’s rank in Google?

Yes, it can. Whenever Search Engine bot finds authority links on your blog, it sends a signal to Search Engine that your site can be trusted. So add 2-3 relevant external links on your blog posts.

And try to reach out to those sites’ owners that you have mentioned in the post. They may share your post on social media.


7. Use LSI Keywords

Let’s say; you are going to write about “Apple”. It could be Apple – The Technology Company, Apple – The Fruit, Apple – The 1980’s Movie.

How can Google bot understand what you are writing about?

The answer is LSI Keywords. LSI means Latent Semantic Indexing. It’s a part of the Google algorithm. LSI Keywords are those keywords which are related to your main keyword.

You can easily find LSI Keywords from Google search. Just search for your main keyword in Google and scroll down to the bottom of the page. You will get some related keywords under “Searches related to”.

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You can also use tools like LSIGraph to generate LSI Keywords.

Choose two or three keywords and sprinkle them into your blog post. Putting LSI Keywords in blog posts also increases the chance of getting Search engine traffic for different keywords.


8. Publish Long & Scannable Content

Longer posts usually rank high in Google. A study of SERPIQ.Com found that longer content significantly ranks higher in Google.

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There is nothing wrong with short posts; they can rank high too. But when you try to rank for a competitive keyword, write a detailed post. It also helps you to rank for the long-tail keywords.

Whenever you write a long post, make it scannable. People don’t read word by word. They scan. Here are a few things you can do to make your posts scannable.

  • Keep your paragraphs short.
  • Use subheadings.
  • Use lists.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Keep space.

9. Write a Killer Meta Description

Meta Description won’t help you to get high ranks. All it can do is, increase the CTR (Click Through Rate). I have already said that a good CTR can boost your rank.

A meta description is a meta tag that is used to describe a page. You can call it “Summary of your blog posts.” You can easily add meta description by using Rank Math plugin.

Your meta description won’t be shown in SERP all the time. It depends on the search term. If your meta description contains the search term, it will be shown on the SERP.

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Here are some tips to write a killer Meta description that increases CTR.

  • Finish Meta Description within 150-160 words. Google shows maximum of 159 characters in Meta description.
  • Put target keywords in Meta Description so that Google shows meta tags in SERP.
  • Make your description unique and relevant.
  • Use Call to Action words like ‘Learn how to’, ‘Check this’ etc.
  • Try to avoid the same words.

10. Optimize Your Post For Social Sharing

Social Signal is a ranking factor. That means having a good amount of social shares can help you in the ranking.

The best way to get social shares is to write high-quality contents. But it’s not enough if you don’t optimize your posts for social sharing. Here are a few things you can do to get more social shares.

  • Use An Eye-Catching Image: Social media sites pick an image randomly from the blog post if you don’t specify the image. You can upload specific images for Facebook & Twitter by using Rank Math box under the post editor. The recommended image size for Facebook is 1200*630px and Twitter is 1024*512px. You can use Canva to make an image quickly.
  • Use Different Title & Meta Description: Social Networking sites show the same title and meta description that you set for search engines. But the same thing might not work in social media. You can set different title and meta description for Facebook & Twitter from Yoast SEO box.
  • Use Social Sharing Buttons and Social Content Locker: Use floating social sharing buttons to make it easier for your readers to share your content. You can also use a social content locker. It works great for long content.

11. Make Your Blog Post Load Faster

Google has already confirmed that it considers page load time as a ranking factor. You can easily boost your page speed by using faster hosting and CDN. Here at RoadToBlogging, I use WPX Hosting.

Another important thing is using a speed optimized WordPress theme. Currently, I am using Astra theme on this blog. It has some amazing features like Image Optimization, Lazy Load Comments, Full Width/Narrow Blog Layout, etc to make your blog faster.

Recommended Reading: How to Speed Up WordPress Blog: 9 Easy Steps


Conclusion

It might seem to you that you’ve to do a lot of works to make your blog posts SEO friendly. But with the passage of time and practice, these will become your habit.

Hope this post will help you to make your blog posts SEO optimized. If you liked this post, please help me by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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93 thoughts on “On-Page SEO Checklist: Make Your Blog Posts SEO-Friendly!”

  1. Hello Sir,
    Thank you for this informative and helping post. I have recently start blogging and I am following your website daily for latest and helping updates.
    I would like to ask a question please, kindly let me know which tool is the best for Keyword ranking tool. I ask some senior for this and they recommend “Ahrefs”
    What do you say about it and one thing more How if i purchased Yoast SEO premium plugins. Because in Yoast Premium pluging we can add upto 5 keywords.
    Thank You…

    1. Yes, you heard it right. Ahrefs is one of the best keyword rank tracking tools. But I personally use and recommend SEMrush.

      And talking about the Yoast Premium, I think it’s better to go with Rank Math. It’s free and you will get all the premium features of Yoast for free.

  2. Hi Ishtiak
    I think the use of a compressed image, SSL and variation in ” Anchor Tag” is important too for On-Page SEO. This is from my point of view?
    What do you think about this?

  3. Amazing Checklist ISTIAK.

    You have covered all the fundamental elements needed to rank well in SERPs.

    I will be keeping these points in mind when creating and reviewing content.

  4. Hi Istiak,

    Glad i found this. I was making the list of some killer and creative on-page SEO checklist and stumbled upon here.

    As per me; High density of word content, design, Internal & outbound link building, Using LSI Graph, Page Loading speed are some serious factor every blogger or business owner must look into it if they want to succeed in their online business.

    You confirmed the same with this article, Many thanks!

    Keep writing… Will follow your blog for sure.

  5. Really awesome Tonight i read your blog First time. Post man And i never seen a blog writer as you. I didn’t read you all posts but yeah i read some of them. All post you have wrote very easy to understand. I would love to read your blog.

  6. Really a worthfull article on the On page seo. This article was very much helpful while doing my website onpage seo. Now my website is performing well. There are no issues with the On page seo.
    Keep postings on other topics of seo. Thank you

  7. Rajan Prakash

    Sir,
    your blog is a must follow tutorial for a newbie like me. I have 2-3 queries, where I can put those? I m a regional blog writer, my content is in Hindi. Your valuable tips are outstanding for English content, but will it really work for Hindi and other languages too? Sir, please guide me. I couldn’t find any workable tips for Hindi writing. If you have written something on it, plz post the link. Looking forward to you.

  8. Awesome reading experience. very few writers, write in such a cool and flawless style. I read your blog posts for the first time and found it very helpful. For a beginner like me it proved like a beautiful gift that I was looking for. Keep Writing. God bless.

  9. Yasir Khan Saqlaini

    Bro What A guy You’re. Really awesome Tonight i read your blog First time. Post man And i never seen a blog writer as you. I didn’t read you all posts but yeah i read some of them. All post you have wrote very easy to understand. I would love to read your blog. Your posts are saying these all are not just posts. Its your experience. i wish i become a blogger like you.

  10. Great post Istiak,

    Agree with you mostly on all points. If one wants to get some search engine attention, it is mandatory to invest some time and energy in on-page SEO optimization.

    Gaurav

  11. Thank you Istiak for your wonderful blogpost on SEO. Learned a bit of it here and am going to use it on my first blog.

    1. I’ve tested both showing breadcrumbs and post URL in the SERP. I’ve not seen any significant traffic changes for my blog. But the result may be different for you. I’d recommend you to do a test. And yes, it can increase CTR if your competitors are not using breadcrumbs.

  12. Hey Istiak ,

    SEO factor is one of the most important things for a blog. It’s necessary to choose a focus keyword.

    Most of the people are using the SEO Yoast plugin which allows them to choose one focus keyword.

    The headings should consist your post keyword. It would enhance the SEO of your blog post for sure.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    ~Ravi

  13. Hi Istiak, thanks for your nice post though I oppose the no # 6 – External links!

    It was past practice that quality outbound links had much value for SEO & it was written by Amit Agarwal of Labnol too, but the recent trend is if your post gets frequent no-follow links from the posts where you’re pointing to your outbound links, then Google will take it negatively.

    I hope you’ll consider it!

    However, thanks for hard work crafting the post.

    1. I am not sure about the latest trends. But SEO expert like Brain Dean still considers outbound linking as an On Page SEO technique.

      However, thanks for sharing your thought.

  14. Hi Istiak,
    Thank you for sharing such in-depth article with us. I will definitely follow this checklist for my beauty blog. SEO is very important to rank a post in Google, but unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to do a proper SEO. But after reading this wonderful post, I know about SEO.
    Thank you for sharing this valuable guide with us. Thanks!

  15. Very impressive and easily understandable Post for SEO beginners like me.

    I think this post is useful for blog but what about any portal there in no more content on page and so many keywords on single page please share any blog if you have written for portals

    Thanks

  16. Hi Istiak,

    You have shown every step blogger should remember while writing a blog post. From Keyword research to meta description every thing are important. Leaving one of the listed steps can make a ranking of blog lower on Google. I used to make this mistakes as I didn’t know much about blogging.

  17. HEY Istiak,
    Thanks For Sharing Very Informative Article, I Want To Add Couple of Point in This Post.
    1 – Use Targeted Keyword in First Paragraph and Try To Use Keyword in Begging (Use Targeted Keyword in First 100 Word)
    2 – Highlight Targeted Keyword Through Bold, Italic

    Those Point Help in Ranking I Don’t Know How Much Those Factor Role Play in SERP But I Sure Those Point Little Help To Improve On-Page Am I Right Istiak?

    1. Hi Virat,

      I agree with you on the first point. I came to know about this from Brain Dean of Backlinko. And I tested it on myself, and it worked.

      I am not sure about the second point. But it’s a good idea to use bold and italic to make content attractive.

      Thanks for adding value to this post. I really appreciate this type of comment.

  18. Hi. Thanks for your articles, it’s very interesting and useful. I also started a blog recently and please answer if you can. Your site is about SEO, internet tricks, internet marketing, the web, etc . How do you promote your articles with keywords if to consider that today lots of such sites as yours? How do you compete with such sites? :)

    1. I don’t compete with others. I just believe in this quote.

      Even if there are established blogs out there, people are always looking for fresh voices. That could be you so keep that in mind.

      – Darren Rowse.

  19. All the things you tell about seo are good but in this post, you have missed outbound links and the interlinking for people as done by shoutmeloud.com and Wikipedia, which boost traffic.

    Thanks for sharing such a great article.
    Keep it up
    Gaurav vashisht

    1. Hey Gaurav,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Actually, I’ve mentioned about outbound linking and internal linking at point #6.

  20. Hello, Istiak Rayhan
    Fantastic blogging site.
    I enjoy reading through your post. This is really a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. I like to write a little comment to support you.
    Really appreciate you for sharing this article.Thanks Again. Great.

  21. Tech Savvy Guy

    Wow, that post is really helpful. You just cleared all my misconceptions about on page SEO. I am thankful.

  22. Hello Istiak Rayhan,

    I have read your full article and I understood on-page SEO structure, it’s really helpful to me. But what is the major ranking factor in off page SEO to optimize my site for Google first page?

    Thanks.

    1. When it comes to off-page SEO; link building, social bookmarking, forum post etc are the most important factors. If you are a newbie in blogging, I’d suggest you to give more attention to on-page SEO rather than off-page SEO.

  23. Hey Istiak
    A simple, to-the-point and effective post. I agree with you that headlines play a very important role in a blog post. Another valuable site for generating titles is “ContentIdeator headline generator”. You just need to add your keywords and viola, you’ve an impressive list of headlines. Along with generating a catchy headline, you can also analyze its value at “CoSchedule Headline Analyzer” which will ensure you have a notable title for your post.

    1. Thanks for sharing the Headline Generating tools. I wasn’t aware of “ContentIdeator headline generator”.

  24. The meta description which we write should be written in a call to action way for generating clicks.

    LSI keywords is the one most important thing I am missing to implement in my blog On Page SEO.

    1. Meta description is kind of advertisement of your post in Google listings. You don’t need to worry about LSI Keywords if you write detailed posts like this I’ve published recently.

  25. One of the best on page SEO guide I’ve ever found. Thank you very much Istiak bro. Now I will be able to write killer article on my blog. Thanks again !!

  26. Hello Istiak Rayhan!

    Your article pretty interesting as well good to read. you have missed the keyword density thats only impact onpage SEO, what about that.

  27. Great post :) This helped me a lot in writing my articles for my blog. I’m trying to make my urls seo friendly as well. At first I really wanted to write anything under the sun but you made me realized I should focus on a topic. Thank you! :)

  28. Hi,
    This is useful post on seo of posts. please post on seo of pages as well.
    I ask particularly because I have family biz website as well that doesnt bring customers as much as I want.
    regards
    vinodh

  29. Great post Istiak! I would like to ask you how to add keywords in H1 heading of a post as Yoast SEO plugin always shows that h1 heading doesn’t have the keyword. I thought the POINT theme which I’m currently using does that automatically. Secondly, Yoast SEO plugin also shows that the keywords are not included in the first para of the post, although I can see them over there. As a result of these 2 deficiencies the plugin shows the SEO status of post as “Ok” instead of “good.” Would be glad if you add your tips as to how this can be fixed.

    1. H1 heading of a post is the title of that post. Most of the WordPress themes automatically attribute h1 heading to the post title. And I don’t think you need to worry about having keywords on the first para. It’s recommended, not mendatory.

  30. I Have Been Working On SEO Since 2009. I need Do follow Off Page Data And Best Idea. I Have Completed My Site On Page. I Will Be Starting Off Page SEO After 15 Days. But I Have No Proper Idea on Off Page SEO. I Will concentrate now on Off Page SEO factors.

  31. Hey There:
    This is one of the best blogging guide I have ever been through! I myself is an academic and SEO content writer but was not aware about these all. Since reading, I have stopped writing for others, your guidelines are a clear breakthrough in going forward of blogging arena! Wish me best and keep posting.
    Just wanted to know one thing: Can you tell me on what topic should I start blogging! I will be buying domain and hosting from your coupon codes!

    1. Good to know that you are planning to start your own blog. When it comes to choose a topic, I’d suggest you to choose a topic that genuinely interests you and will attract a lot of readers. And more importantly, pick a niche. Don’t write everything under the sun.

      Best of luck. If you have any further question, feel free to ask me.

  32. What a fantastic article you wrote! I read many articles on different websites but the info you provided is really great. I should keep in mind and use these tips, then let’s see what kind of result I can get. Thanks Istiak Rayhan.

  33. Impressive post , I have following this article. But i am felling doubt about keyword planer , may i know what will better to take keyword , like -phares , Board etc .. I know low competition keyword is best but how much global search will better to take effective keyword ? please if you tell it then i will fell happy ..

    1. The keyword competition that shows in Keyword Planner is actually for Advertisers. However, you don’t need to worry too much about Keyword Competition. Just make sure you have target keywords on your blog post.

  34. His, My name is Abid Khan From Dhaka, and I am a new Software Blogger.
    Your blog is realy Fantastic. I just Following Your Guide line and Post In My Blog site. Can you please share some OF social media marketing or OFF page seo tips With us… also Please (if possible) share your success story with us. that was realy Help full for Us.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. Talking about Off Page SEO, actually it’s a broad topic. It’s tough to describe the whole thing in a comment. I’ll try to write a blog post about Off Page SEO. And talking about my success story, I’ve some success as a blogger and someday I will share it with you.

  35. Thanks for sharing this information. Can you please tell me if we are running an ecommerce store than in how much words should I describe my product? And what is the best way to do SEO of my product? Is there any tip from you for ecommerce site?

  36. Hi Istiak,
    Your post is simply awesome, as a newbie I am trying to learn new things and searching for it. I found the post helpful for me. I was unaware from the ubersuggest tool.
    Thanks for updating me.

    1. Just don’t over optimize your posts to get good score. However, I’ll write about it on my SEOPressor review.

  37. Yes you are right all these points plays a vital role if you want to rank posts in search engines on top. I have learned many seo techniques from you blog. Thanks a lot.

  38. Imran Topu Sardar

    Hi Istiak,
    I think it is a great post for newbie bloggers, who wants to get more traffic from search engine. But it is more important to write a better content for site, it’s auto seo, that’s google like most.
    So, we should give more importance to write a better content for our site.
    What do you thik?
    Thanks

    1. Agree with you. Writing better content is important. But you can’t ignore On Page SEO as it’s all about increasing user experience.

  39. Hello Rayhan,

    This is such a great article for newbies!

    On Page Optimization is one of the main task of SEO, we all should do this. If your website’s on page SEO is not good, then your website will not get rank.

    Regards
    Sam Singh

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