Website owners who are serious about SEO, often waste thousands of dollars every month on link-building and writing more content. Spending this money while having terrible on-page SEO scores is like driving a race car with the breaks on. Follow our on-page SEO checklist to get free websites of bad on-page SEO scores.
Especially large websites can double or triple their traffic if they take care of their on-page SEO. On-page SEO is a neglected area, because you need to be quite technical to understand what’s going on behind the scenes and you basically need to have a big website to play around with and make mistakes (without getting fired) and learn from it. Luckily, we already made all the mistakes so you can learn from us!
Here, we list the top 7 things you can do to improve your on-page SEO.
You should aim that the user does not have to download more than 1,5 Megabytes. In most cases, you will see that users need to download Facebook Pixel, Google Tag Manager, Google Ads Tracker, HotJar, Intercom and so on.
2.) Right-size your images
You should right-size your images. On many websites, you can see that they are showing an icon with dimensions of 100px by 100px. The image that they use for it is 2800px by 3000px. Also, the image is in a format that requires even more resources (e.g. jpg). As a result, the image is 2MB and the user has to download the whole image to see a tiny icon.
Go to https://pagespeed.web.dev/, type in your url and then click on ‘Serve images in next-gen formats’. This gives you a list of images you should resize and change to *.webp format.
The first two points have been about decreasing loading times. You have been told that website speed does not matter. This is not correct.
Every time, we substantially improve the site speed, the website receives much more impressions or clicks. This is our latest case study (2023). This website owner is receiving ~1,500 impressions and ~50 additional clicks per day.
3.) Your pages are not indexed
Most website owners are surprised when they hear that their website is actually not fully indexed. All the content was written for nothing. The urls on your sitemap do not show up in search engines.
There are multiple ways to diagnose the issue. You can submit individual urls to google search console.
Google Search console will tell you if the page is indexed. If not, you can request indexing.
You can also check the total number of pages that are indexed. Simply type in site:yourdomain.com and you will find how many pages are indexed. If your website has 10,000 pages but only 5,000 results are found that means that 5,000 pages have NOT been indexed.
What to do? You really don’t want to index 5,000 pages by yourself. Luckily, this is a very low-hanging fruit and we can fix this for you. Check out how the SEO Copilot can fix your indexing issues.
4.) Content Pruning
Likely, most of your pages does not get any clicks. This is a negative signal for search engines – most of your pages are not attracting any visitors. Search engines keep score and they note ‘90% unattractive content – suppress ranking of this website.’
Moreover, search engines are crawling these unattractive pages on a regular basis and they spend your websites precious crawl budget on them. When they run out of crawl budget, they move on to the next website. Updates on your important pages may not be reflected in the search engine then.
Google search console lets you find some of these pages – however, you can maximally display 1000 pages. Check out how the SEO Copilot can help you with content pruning.
We believe that content pruning is one of the best things you can do to your website. You should add a no-index to pages that had 0 clicks in the last 6 months.
We have seen very strong increases (2x or 3x) in clicks and impressions are pruning content. For larger websites, we pruned even 90% of the content and the traffic skyrocketed.
This is a recent case study of content pruning. You should be able to see results after 2-3 months.
5.) Internal Linking and Site structure
Your internal links likely look like a haystack, search engines are choking on your website and they never see you as an authority in the field.
Your website should be built around the concept of content clusters. This means that your home page should link to category pages which in turn have links to individual items. Most e-commerce website builders follow this structure though.
For example, if you run a phone e-commerce store (https://www.example.com), your home page should link to phone categories (https://www.example.com/iphone) (your money site) and the category page should in turn link to specific IPhone that you are currently selling (https://www.example.com/iphone/iphone-14). At the same time, the (https://www.example.com/iphone/iphone-14) should point back to your category page and/or other money pages you want to boost in ranking.
This is how a well structured website with content clusters looks like.
6.) Your meta tags and url structure does not contain the target keyword
Bad url, meta tag copy costs you clicks, conversions and a lot of money. When user search for something (e.g. “wedding photographer”) they are more likely to click on search results that contain the search query in the url, meta title and meta tag.
- BAD: www.your-perfect-wedding.com/page-1-home
- GOOD: www.your-perfect-wedding.com/wedding-photography-singapore
- BAD: Check out our website, 2018
- GOOD: Best wedding photographer Singapore (Updated, 2023)
- BAD: Wedding Photography | Singapore | Rates | Same-day edit | Singapore
- GOOD: We have shot more than 600 weddings in Singapore. We only have expert photographers to shoot your special day.
Check out how the SEO Copilot can help you generating metatags in 1 click for your whole website. We typically see a 200% improve in conversions when switching to enticing meta tags written by the SEO Copilot.
6.) Your canonicals should point to the right page
For self-built websites, the canonicals are often wrong or missing and it prevents indexing by search engines.
To give some context, canonicals tell search engines which page should be considered for showing the user for a given search query. For most websites, every page should be a self-canonical. If you do not have canonicals – add them!
If you have 3 pages which are the same version of a given page, point their canonical to the main version which you want to index.
7.) Footer SEO
You are leaving a lot link juice on the table if you do not leverage your footer to point to your money pages. Specifically, you should have 3-4 columns of categories and their money sites / most important sites. Over time, they will get a ranking boost.
Becoming an on-page SEO expert takes years. You also need the opportunity to work with big websites and (accidentally) tank them to know what works and what doesn’t. We have built the SEO Copilot to help you fix your on-page SEO with the click of a button. Give it a try!