Here I will share an awesome on page seo checklist, which you can use while writing an article. I will try to cover all the aspects so that, even if you are not using any plugin for on-page optimization then also you can optimize your post for search engine. You can also refer my off page SEO checklist.
Best Guide: SEO Best Practices – Learn Search engine Optimization
How to SEO: Step By Step On page SEO checklist
1) Post Title:
Post title is an important place where you can use your target keyword to optimize your post. It will be an extra benefit if you begin your title with the focus keyword.
tips: Title should contain target keyword, should begin with keyword (optional), title should contain at least 3 words and it should be less than 66 characters.
Permalink (or URL) of the post should contain your target keyword(or main keyword or focus keyword). Try to remove stopwords from permalink as search engine bots tends to ignore stopwords. Stop words are the words such as he, she, it, is, are etc.
3) Meta tags:
The one which you are seeing below is an example of meta tag description. This is an important place where in you can use your keyword, try to use it once and if description begins with the keywords then its an extra advantage.
<meta name="description" content="short and eye catchy description here" />
The below one is a meta keywords tag, its an optional thing as Google stated that they are not referring this tag anymore. which means Google bot are ignoring this tag.
<meta name="keywords" content="primary, secondary and other main keywords here" />
4) Header tags:
H1, H2 and H3 tags are places where you can use your main keyword, I would suggest you not to use main keyword at all places otherwise it would look spammy. Try to use main keyword in H1 tag and use LSI keywords in other places (in H2 and H3 tags).
5) Content length:
Before Panda update, short articles were sitting at the first page of Google but after this update number of such posts are very less and in future probably we will not be seeing such posts at the top page.
Make a habit of writing article of at least of 500 words.
6) Image ALT attribute:
If you have used an image in your post (which is a good thing :)) then use your keyword in ALT tag, it is because search engine cannot determine what the image is all about so they use ALT tag to know about image. So use your keyword and let search engine bot know that your page is about your main keyword. You can consider it as a important key-point of on page seo checklist.
7) Keyword in anchor text of external link:
It is good if you are linking to some external source, which is relevant to your topic and can add value to your topic. It gives a positive sign to search engine bot that you are providing references to your readers. It brings trust on your post and Google trust is directly proportional to ranking isn’t it? :D
8) Keyword density:
Maintain a average keyword density, I don’t want to discuss more here as I have already shared a full post about it. You can check it out at how to check keyword density.
9) LSI keywords:
Few years back rank high in Google was not a difficult task because people knew how to play with keyword density but not now anymore. Now a days search engine is more smarter and to determine the relevancy they don’t only look at keyword density they judge the relevancy by LSI keywords. This is second most important key-point of my on page seo checklist.
Readability is also a factor, which Google uses while determining the ranking of articles, for this you need to use a plugin. There are many premium plugins but If you are a newbie and don’t want to spend any money now then you can use a free wordpress seo plugin by yoast.
Interlinking is a very Good thing in terms of SEO as it will reduce the bounce rate and it can improve the ranking of your old posts, to which you are linking from your post. Use keywords in anchor text and vary it to avoid any penalty.
The above on page SEO checklist would be handy for you. If you have any questions then feel free to drop it as a comment below.