On Page SEO Checklist

on page SEO checklist

One of the first things you want to consider when designing your content is how to make sure it’s organized in a way that will help search engines understand what your page is about and rank it appropriately. Many SEO tactics help your human visitors understand your website as well as the search engines. Here is a quick on-page SEO checklist to make sure your web pages get the search engine ranking they deserve.

SEO Title:

One of the most important things on your on-page SEO checklist is the SEO title. This is is the title you list in the <head> section of your page between <title></title> tags. The SEO title is what a search engine will show as the headline of your listing. Keep in mind that it needs to include your key-phrase as well as give human visitors a reason to click on your link.

Sample of SEO Title in HTML

<title>Your SEO Title Goes Here</title>

Meta Description:

The Meta Description is a short summary of what your page is about. It is generally what a search engine will display under the headline for your website. Make sure it includes your key-phrase and that it will make human visitors want to click on your link.

Sample of Meta Description in HTML

<meta name="description" value="Your meta description goes here.">


Your headline is the title of your page that the visitor sees when they visit. Search engines know that this represents what your page is about, so be sure to include your key-phrase here as well. Your headline may be the same as the SEO Title, but it doesn’t have to be.

Sample of Headline in HTML

<h1>Your Headline Goes Here</h1>


Search engines also look at your sub-headings to figure out what your page is about. Make sure your key-phrase is in one or two of your sub-headings. Don’t over-do it though, or you may get penalized!

Sub-headings also help break up your text. They make your content easier to read. This helps your visitors find the information they are looking for. When your visitors find what they need, they are more likely to recommend you to others – so this is a great way to get more back-links as well.

Sample of Sub-Headings in HTML

<h2>First Main Point</h2>
<h3>Additional Information</h3>
<h3>Additional Information</h3>
<h2>Second Main Point</h2>

Phrases in Bold:

Highlight your main points in bold, and be sure to include your key-phrase. Bold text helps search engines know what is most important on your page. It also helps your human readers scan your text to see if it is what they are looking for.

Sample of Bold Text in HTML

<strong>my important information about my key-phrase</strong>

Link Text:

When you link to your new page, think about the text you use as the link anchor. Instead of “click here” provide a description of the page you are linking to that includes your key-phrase. Links from social media and other pages on your website can help search engines discover new content.

Sample of Link Text in HTML

<a href="full url">linked text goes here - include your key phrase</a>

Images with Alt tags:

Make sure to include at least one image with and alt tag that contains your key-phrase.

Sample of Alt Tag in HTML

<img src="uri" alt="description of image that includes your key-phrase">
About the author


Karen Freeman-Smith currently makes a full-time living from a small portfolio of websites. She has 25+ years of experience in programming and web development for companies like Lockheed Martin, PBS, Daimler and many others. She has a BS in IT with a minor in Business Systems Analysis. Karen lives near Portland, OR with her partner, two grown children (in and out of the basement), and a cats: Havoc and Shiva.

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