On-Page SEO Checklist for New Websites

This is a checklist of on-page SEO strategies for new websites. Don’t forget to bookmark it to refer back anytime.

URL

  • Use your keywords in the URL.
  • Use readable and recognizable URLs.
    • Avoid using words like “is”, “the” in the URL.
    • Avoid using modifiers in the URL. /wordpress-seo is better than a-quick-guide-to-wordpress-seo.
    • lower-case letters are preferred in the URL.
    • Use dashes (-) to separate words.
    • Don’t use dynamic URLs like /page?p=305
    • Keep the URL short.
  • Set up canonical tags on all the pages (Important).

Title

  • Use a catchy, compelling title.
  • Use modifiers in the title.
  • Add your keyword to the title, preferably to the beginning of the title.
  • Being relevant can help you. Eg: How to improve SEO in 202x?

End-User Experience

  • Increase site speed
    • Check your site speed at Google PageSpeed Insights and follow the recommendations.
    • Compress and optimize all images.
    • Remove unnecessary plugins if you have any.
    • Remove unnecessary scripts and stylesheets.
    • Enable GZIP compression.
    • Minimize CSS, HTML, and Javascript.
    • Use async scripts when possible.
    • Leverage browser caching.
    • Use a cookie-free domain to serve static content (this is optional, but reduces static content loading time).
    • Use a Content Delivery Network (Optional).
    • Reduce server response time.
    • Use an HTTPS/2-supported server.
  • Website Design (Some tips here will improve user engagement and session time. So, they will indirectly help to improve your SEO)
    • Add whitespaces (or padding) when needed.
    • Choose colors wisely.
    • Have sufficient contrast between texts and background.
    • Set up an icon.
    • Use a readable font and font size.
    • Organize components of the website.
    • Ensure easy navigation.
    • Using ads? Make sure ads don’t harm the user’s experience.
    • Don’t use pop-up ads. Native ads are preferred.
  • MAKE YOUR WEBSITE RESPONSIVE. (extremely important)
    • Use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to test if your website works well on mobile.
    • Test it yourself. Even if you pass the Mobile-Friendly test there can be flaws in the mobile version of your website.
    • Not only mobiles but also tablets and widescreen devices.

Linking

  • Link to your own content. (Internal linking)
  • Link to authority websites. (External linking)
  • Don’t link to spammy sites.
  • Use rel="nofollow" for advertisement, sponsored, or any link that is unrelated to your blog post.
  • Have user-generated content? Use rel="ugc".
  • Always use <a> tags for links – not Javascript.
  • Use meaningful anchor texts like Improving <a>site speed</a> can... instead of Click <a>here</a> to....
  • Linking to pages with a similar topic as your post isn’t encouraged. (Logically, how can you rank better than your competitor when you link to them?)

Content

  • Write quality content.
    • Solve problems.
    • Answer questions.
    • Write skyscraper articles.
    • Publish original case studies and researches – even simple ones.
  • The introduction is crucial to keep users in the article.
  • Choose a keyword.
    • Choose long-tail keywords using the suggestions while searching on Google to narrow down the topic. (Narrow topics are easier to rank.)
    • Choose low competition keywords. (There are tools out there for this.)
    • Make sure to add the keyword in the URL and title.
    • Use your keyword and its synonyms in the content and headings.
  • Use appropriate HTML tags. (If you are using a CMS, the editor will usually do this for you.)
    • Use one H1 tag (same as the page title).
    • Keep hierarchy in mind and use H2, H3, H4, etc.
    • Keep content inside <content> tags if possible. (Not required.)
    • Use <pre>, <code>, <p>, and other tags appropriately.
  • Add Images.
    • Choose quality images.
    • Make sure to compress them before using them.
    • Add alt to all the images!

Other On-Page SEO Optimizations for New Websites

  • Create a sitemap. (Important.)
  • Create a robots.txt file.
  • Use HTTPS.
  • Use Schema Markup,
  • Update outdated content. (can make a big impact.)
  • Limit downtime. (Choose a better hosting provider.)
  • Set up Google Search Engine. (Important.)
  • Set up an analytics tool, preferably Google Analytics. (Important.)
  • Set up Bing Web Master tool.
  • Check for broken links and fix them.
On-page SEO Checklist
On-page SEO Checklist

We hope you enjoyed this on-page SEO checklist which is based on recommendations given by experts, Google Search support articles, and our own experiences. Did the checklist help you? Did we miss anything? Please let us know below.

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