On-Page Optimizations: An SEO Checklist

There are hundreds of factors that affect how and where a search engine ranks your website. What’s important today may not be as such in a month. Search engines are constantly making adjustments to their algorithms to align with user intent and usability. Today, SEO is much more than simply ranking for a specific keyword. These constant changes means there are constant updates to be made to your website. A good place to start is on-page optimization. On-page optimizations are visual improvements that affect the pages technical foundation. Here is a checklist of our top 5 best practices for making on-page optimizations to your site.

URL Structure

SEO Impact: High 

It’s important that your URLs reflect the category hierarchy of your website. Search engines determine the relevancy of a web page by looking at the structure of the URL. URLs should be:


Separate keyword with dashes, not underscores and use lower-case letters.

User Friendly

URLs should be no longer than 115 characters and no more than 3 directories deep.

Contain the Page Keyword

It’s important to include the the word or phrase that’s the focus of the page in the URL.


SEO Impact:High 

Unique, relevant content is the one of the most important on-site SEO elements. Create content on your website that is relevant to the product or service your company offers. Ask yourself: Does the content on this page answer a question? Is it providing useful information about my product or service?

Target Keyword

SEO Impact: Minimal/Medium

SEO is much more than ranking for a specific keyword. The focus on a target keyword and shifted to topical optimization. One page should target a single query. The content on your page should be a logical and comprehensive answer to a user’s query. Keywords/Page Topics should:

Not Include Duplicate Occurrences

Each page should contain unique content and ideas. More than one page focusing on the same topic can results in duplicate content penalties and more importantly confusion on behalf of the user.

Focus on A Singular Topic

Keeping each page focused on one specific topic will allow users to find your content easier and get the answers they are looking for.

Title Tags

SEO Impact: High

Title Tags appear as the clickable text in a search result. The Title Tag value is one of the primary ranking factors used by search engines. Like the other elements, title tags should include the keyword/keyword phrase. Title tags should be:

35-65 characters in length

Limiting the title characters will avoid truncation in the majority of cases.


Don’t use the same title tag on multiple pages

Branded and Consistent

The company name/brand should appear at the end of the string and appear consistent throughout the site.

Blog-Post-ExampleContextual Links

SEO Impact: High

Cross linking between pages of similar and supporting topics within your website are important for ranking. It’s also beneficial to link to external resources to help boost credibility.

Though there are many factors that affect search engine rank, these 5 items are a great place to start for getting your website on the right track.

Sean Van Guilder About the author

Sean Van Guilder has been helping businesses get found on the internet for over 20 years. He has a 10,000 foot view of digital marketing that helps shed light on SEO as a business driver.  Sean has worn almost every digital marketing hat out there and brings strategies and tactics that have knocked the socks off of companies such as Microsoft, MSN and WONGDOODY, to name a few.  Currently, Sean is leading the SEO Practice for premier digital marketing agency, Point It, in Seattle.  Sean is a self-taught digital marketer and loves every minute of it.  When he’s not in front of a computer, he’s teasing his co-workers, playing sports, hanging with his kids, making music and collecting HO scale trains.

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