Optimizing a website to make it search engine friendly is not an easy process especially if you do not equip yourself with a good onsite SEO checklist. Unfortunately, there are too many onsite SEO checklists out there that are different from one to another, and even some of them are already obsolete. The following are basic onsite SEO checklist recommended by many SEO experts that will help you to optimize your site from start to finish.
Keyword density of every page should be maintained between 1% and 3% to avoid being marked as keyword stuffing by the search engines. Using LSI keywords to complement your main keywords is a good practice as long as you use them properly.
There are two elements of meta tags that you should pay attention: title tag and meta description tag. Until now, title tag is still considered as a powerful ranking factor. Unfortunately, this element is often either neglected or abused.
Whenever you create title tag, make sure you include keyword close to the beginning of the title. Write a unique title tag for every page so you can avoid duplicate title tags. Shorter title tags are always better because long title tags tend to weaken your onpage power.
Although meta description tag now does not have any impact on ranking, it is still important to write unique meta description tag because unique meta description can help to increase click-through rate and make your web pages look more valuable. Make sure that your meta description tag is attractive and meaningful to visitors and does not exceed 200 characters.
Content should be of high quality and give benefits to your visitors. Make sure your site does not have duplicate content. There are a few good tools out there to help you spot duplicate content in your site. You should also remove or no-index web pages that have thin content.
Remove or repair any broken links in your site. There are many tools and plugins that can help you to do this task without much effort.
Implement proper internal linking because Google still likes this practice. As long as there is no specific internal linking pattern then your site should be fine. Link to other pages naturally and make sure that the internal linking gives benefits to your visitors.
Make sure that your links are short and do not contain special characters. In case you cannot avoid using long links, take advantage of link shortening services like Bit.ly.
Page load time
Make sure that your site can be loaded in less than 3 seconds. There are two reasons why your site should have a fast page load time. The first is that visitors can easily hit the “back” button if your site is slow and the second is that Google gives penalty to sites that cannot be loaded in 3 seconds. If your site is slow, installing a free cache plugin can be the solution.
Make sure your site has a sitemap.xml and submit it to Google Webmaster Tool and Bing Webmaster Tool. Creating a static sitemap is also important to ease your visitors to explore your site.