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On-Page SEO checklist to get your SaaS SEO Right from Day 1by@abdulfatahaishat
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On-Page SEO checklist to get your SaaS SEO Right from Day 1

by Abdulfatah Aishat May 31st, 2022
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The Complete On-Page SEO checklist - to tap maximally into organic traffic. Set up an analytics tool to analyze the traffic-into your website, activities of that traffic on your website and traffic-out of your website - on a granular level. Perform keyword research to ensure you aren't fighting to fight for keywords that are feasible for you to rank for. Depending on factors like your domain, industry, industry and topic, it might be easier to. identify more about how to optimize for the best keywords to. optimize for some keywords than others.
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Were you wondering what else you haven't done regarding your site's on-page SEO? You have consumed lots of blog posts, infographics, videos, and articles about the topic. You have implemented and executed the information too and now that you have dedicated such an effort, you are wondering whether there's something you missed.


Given the nature of SEO and the fact that there are so many little bits to consider, it's easy to miss an aspect or two.


‘Is it okay to say it's done now?’, You wonder. Can I rest assured that I've ticked all the boxes in the on-page SEO world?


Well…, worry no more. Here's a complete on-page SEO checklist that enables you to confidently lay down the mouse, close the computer and stretch your body - rest sure that there's nothing else to do; apart from routine audits - and soon enough, you'll be reaping results from your on-page SEO efforts.


This is a pretty straight-to-the-point, no fluff list, so you can quickly tick the boxes and reward yourself with a cup of hot chocolate. Let's get into it.


The Complete On-Page SEO checklist - to tap maximally into organic traffic



  1. Put a practicable content marketing strategy in place


You surely aren't just picking random topics and curating content around them right?


Thank goodness.



A solid content strategy is the backbone of any successful content marketing campaign and no tangible and sustainable results will be obtained from blindly picking keywords and topics around subject matters you 'think' will interest your audience and writing about them. None at all.


That's such a black-hat technique that's bound to leave a sour taste in your mouth when you realize you aren't getting any sustainable results with it - in terms of long-term passive traffic from Google.


How about short-term traffic? Well, if you are lucky enough to have chosen a non-competitive keyword and your content is really good, maybe for a short while. But long-term, continuous inflow of sustainable organic traffic? - absolutely not achievable without a solid content strategy.


So, do you have a practicable content marketing strategy set up? One that you actually intend to follow? ‘



  1. Set up an analytics tool



To analyze the traffic-into your website, activities of that traffic on your website, and traffic-out of your website - on a granular level -, you should set up an analytics tool.


Google Analytics is a great one - an SEO experts' cult-favorite. It is a web analytics tool that helps to track the performance of your website pages. On Google Analytics, you can track traffic sources, analyze people's behavior on your site(through metrics like bounce rate, dwell time, average session duration, top pages analytics e.t.c) and measure and track conversions - and also monitor Google ad performance, if your business uses paid advertisement.


You can also integrate Google analytics seamlessly with other Google tools and services so this is an added advantage if you are a fan of Google services.


Other alternatives to Google Analytics are keyword research software tools;- Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz. Though they are primarily used to dig up lucrative keywords to optimize content for and analyze keywords one's competitors are ranking for, they also offer options to track web traffic and analyze web visitors' behaviors.


If you are a SaaS brand, you will find them even more useful as the bulk of your content and inbound marketing strategies lies in SEO and keyword optimization for Google searches.


  1. Perform keyword research


To ensure you aren't fighting a lost cause, perform keyword research to analyze keywords that are feasible for you to rank for. Depending on factors like your domain authority, industry and topic competitiveness, keyword relevancy, and search volume, it might be easier for you to rank for some keywords than others.


If you are a start-up, it's advisable to choose BOFU(bottom-of-the-funnel) keywords that although have low search volume, have high conversions and offer you a higher chance of ranking. You should also focus more on long-tail keywords as they are easier to rank for.


To know more about keyword competition and how to identify the best keywords to optimize for, Ahrefs Academy has great resources.


  1. Create content that meets the 3 pillars of quality content


Which are…


  • Relevance
  • Visual appeal &
  • Relatability


Since content is big to on-page SEO, you want to be sure you are creating content that is relevant, visually appealing, and relatable.


So, ask yourself these questions;


  • Will my prospect find this content useful? Will it provide information for her to solve a burning problem?
  • Is this content easy to read? Appropriately spaced? Are there multimedia inserted? Is it easy to scan through?
  • Can my prospect relate to the subject matter/topic easily? Is this content contextual for her?



  1. Create content that favors your ranking


Certain content types are better suited for specific conditions, industries, and topics than others. You should know when a long-form blog post is necessary to get a message across, different from when a listicle is the best way a point can be communicated.


This is called matching the search intent - i.e providing the browser with the content type he really intends to consume when he makes the search.


But how does one know the search intent?


Simply search for the keyword in Google. Or search for your content title or an LSI fashion of the keyword if the keyword is a short tail one, too broad, or polysemic.


Take for instance, when I searched for the term 'keyword research', I was presented with in-depth articles about the topic.


If you are looking to rank for this keyword, you should produce a similar content piece because this search result shows that people who browse this topic - keyword research - want a well-detailed piece about it.


So, run a quick search for the search intent behind the keyword you are optimizing for and make sure your content piece offers just that.


  1. Include your keyword in your URL




The uniform resource locator(URL) is the address given to a given resource on the internet - in this case, the content page you are trying to optimize.


The URL is a great place to insert your keyword because it enhances your ranking efforts by helping Google understand your content better. Even though it's not a primary ranking factor, it does contribute to some of the traffic influx. And with SEO, every little bit matters.


Is your keyword inserted in your URL?


  1. Make your URL short and clear


Still on URLs, it's optimal to insert your keyword but not random word combinations, numbers, and jargon.


Keep it simple, and short and make it clearly describe what your content piece is about. If your URL necessitates the highest form of AI to understand it(literally speaking), it's too complex.


A simple and clear URL enables Google bots to understand the content of your page quicker and better.


A great example is…


https://brokeblogger.com/blog/blogging tips-article



From this URL, you can easily decipher the fact that the resource is an article about blogging tips from brokeblogger's blog.



  1. Make your title tag memorable & insert your keyword in it


Write title tags that make browsers go 'seriously? I wanna read this'. I mean, compelling titles that hook browsers and inspire clicks. The type that builds curiosity and 'I Can't wait to see what the jist is' feelings in your prospects. Those kinds, yeah.


While the title tag being compelling is not a direct ranking factor, it does drive up click-through rate and increase search traffic.


And what's more? These landing prospects - haven been captured by your title hook - are more likely to click around your site for a longer while - as long as the content delivers - and engage with your brand further. What more could be better?


So, analyze your title of choice again. Is it enough for the reader to stop scrolling and click on your article in milliseconds?


Since title tags are important to give browsers a quick attention-catching idea of what your content is about - and whether it's for them or not(i.e worth clicking on or not) - it's important to clearly state - in the title - what your piece is about, who it is for and what your reader will benefit from consuming your content.


Doing this makes your title tag descriptive - a quality Google desires in title tags. According to Google's guidelines, writing a descriptive and concise title tag is important.



Title links are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it's relevant to their query. It's often the primary piece of information people use to decide which result to click on, so it's important to use high-quality title text on your web pages.


Google



Here are some tools to create better title headings…



I won't 100% rely on these though. Writing better headings is more of a conscious amalgamation of content value, target audience persona, content audit data, and industry jargon than the whirl of an AI tool.


  • Hubspot's Blog Ideas Generator
  • The HOTH's Blog Topic Headline Title Generator
  • Content Row's headline generator
  • Tweak your Biz's title generator
  • Coschedule's headline analyzer



In addition, include your keyword in your title tag to further fuel your SEO efforts.


You should also try to keep the keyword as close to the front as possible. That way, when Google crawls your title, it indexes the keyword first - in milliseconds - and gets a faster sense of what the content is about.


  1. Keep your title tag length within 60-65 characters


You must have come across some truncated titles.


This happens when the title length exceeds Google's title character limit which is between 60 and 65 characters. This is more reason to keep your keyword as close to the front of your title as possible. That way, if your keyword were to exceed the character limit, your keyword is still out there visible to the eyeballs of Google users.


However, ideally, try to keep your title length within the ideal character limit so that your title can wholly serve its purpose of compelling browsers to click through to your site.



  1. Use keywords in your header tags



Your subheadings deserve some keyword-love too - insert your keywords into them too!


In addition to helping to organize your writing, header tags can offer great ranking opportunities.


An example is featured snippets which Google drags from sections of articles. Optimizing your header tags for search by using keyword-rich subheadings increases your chances of ranking for featured snippets.



  1. Include your keyword in the body of your article and also add its synonyms and LSI forms


As you progress with discussing point after point in your writing - and writing sections after sections - you'll naturally be able to include your exact keyword multiple times. But where this is not feasible without outrightly keyword stuffing, borrow some words from the synonyms and LSI forms of your main keyword.


You should do this, especially in your subheadings where it might not be natural to include the keyword word for word, letter for letter. You can freely make use of LSI versions and closely related synonyms of your keyword as Google uses RankBrain, an AI semantic tool that can understand these variants of your primary keyword.


  1. Switch up your keyword order


Your keyword order - the sequence of words in a string of keywords - can determine how well you rank for close variants of your primary keyword, especially in a very competitive niche.


So, play around with the keyword order. For example, if you are trying to optimize for 'latest CRM tools in 2021', you can also try using - in your content - keywords like…


  • 2021 latest CRM tools
  • CRM tools latest in 2021
  • latest tools for CRM in 2021


  1. Use keyword once in the first 100-150 words


Lots of marketers make the mistake of not being upfront with the keyword they are optimizing for in an article. Don't let this happen to you.


Include your keyword within the first 100-150 words to enable Google to get a quicker sense of what your content speaks of while indexing it.


  1. Perform image SEO


Image SEO - the act of optimizing images to rank on the image section of Google SERPs - is also part of on-page SEO. Add keywords to your image filenames, ALT tag description, and image titles.


  1. Use 5-8 external links


External links build credibility and trust for your website. To support the opinions, points of view, and statistics in your content piece, link to…


  • Top industry blogs
  • Research sources - for the stats you use
  • Expert quotes
  • Thought leadership content


  1. Use internal links



To distribute traffic across your website, link to 2-5 pages on your website.


That's just an average though. More is absolutely merrier as long as it's done sensibly such that your content doesn't turn into a rainbow of hyperlinks.


Don't forget to use descriptive anchor texts to ensure your reader gets a gist of the page you are sending her to.


  1. Write an arresting introduction & conclusion


Also called the lede and the kicker in traditional journalism, the introduction and conclusion are key aspects of any great writing.


Write an introduction that draws your reader into the story and end with a conclusion that takes her by surprise and makes her want to stay forever.


  1. Check for content or title duplication


Do you think you might have another piece of content speaking about/optimizing for the primary keyword you have at hand? Or another article with a title very similar to the one for the current content?


You should check…, and confirm.


Keyword cannibalization - the situation whereby Google is confused about which of your content pieces to rank for a keyword or combination of keywords because there's quite a number of them, scattered all around your website - is not a pretty scenario to be in.


You risk having Google decide to rank a content piece of lower priority instead of the best content piece for that subject matter because…., well, Google doesn't know they are different on your priority level.


So, check through the content assets on your website. If there's another content piece or a number of them saying pretty much the same thing, you should consider combining them to produce a more detailed guide. Or you can otherwise choose the best and get rid of the remainder.



  1. Don't forget to give opportunities for distribution - add links to social media


61% of the world's population use social media and 93% of internet users are on social media sites, especially the more popular ones like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. So, your reader is most probably using them as well.


Give her an opportunity to share your content with other prospects by adding social media links to your content. That way, you can drive more traffic to your blog while also gaining some social proof that your business produces valuable content.


After all, no one shares poop content.


  1. Check for mobile-friendliness


Is your website visibility top-notch on mobile? Can your website be navigated seamlessly on a mobile device?


Top B2C industries like beauty, personal finance, travel, and food get most of their traffic from mobile. If you write for any of these niches or their significant others, you are killing your chances before having them if your site is not mobile optimized.


But even if you are B2B, you shouldn't ignore mobile optimization just because mobile users account for just a minimal portion of your conversions.


You might be getting most of your conversions and leads from tech-savvy, industry-jargon-proficient desktop users but you can't deny the fact that a good number of those individuals start their journey to your customer bucket from their mobile.


In a fast advancing, technology-spearheaded world, where it's easier to swipe open your phone than it is to open your mouth - and I mean that literally - don't be surprised if Elon Musk joins your company's customer community page from an Android 10 device - sorry, make that an iPhone 13 Pro.


  1. Check for crawlability


Google needs to crawl your content - and your entire website too - before it can index it for display in search results.


If your content can't be crawled because of one issue or the other, you won't be shown on any search result page - not even the one at the deep bottom - because Google doesn't know that your content/website exists.


Common issues that might prevent your website from being crawled include…


  • Having a no-index tag on your site
  • Improperly configured robots.txt file
  • Broken redirects
  • Lack of site map on website


Use this AI tool from Ettvi to check your site's crawlability in minutes.



  1. Check for page load speed


The average tolerable page load speed according to SEO experts is 1-3 seconds. If your speed loads slower than this, then…, well, lots of people will click off. A titanic 53% of people will leave your site if it doesn't load in 3 seconds.


Our attention span as humans is unbelievably short… and our tolerability - especially of a search engine result that an alternative to is just a back button away - is even shorter.


So, to avoid sending your dear dinner guests - prospects that you dedicatedly attracted with your title and meta descriptions - scrambling for the nearest fast food joint - your competitor's content most likely - since your promised delicacy took forever to arrive, you should always be keen on improving your page load speed.


To take it directly from the horse's mouth, use Google's page speed insights tool to analyze your website's load speed on Google. The tool also offers suggestions to improve your page load speed after displaying your page load speed results. There is also an option to check for both mobile and desktop users.



Final Thoughts


On-Page SEO is a principal, non-negotiable part of any successful SEO campaign.


If you are overwhelmed with the many tidbits surrounding On-Page SEO and want to ensure you are getting it right with every piece of the on-page SEO pie, the information you have just consumed ensures just that.


In short, hit publish with confidence with this checklist…, checklisted.


Now that you have the ultimate checklist for on-page SEO, here's to less stress(and less fretting) over SEO-optimizing your content pieces.