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Rajesh Royal for Vanilacodes

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Search Engine Optimization Cheatsheet – complete guide #0 to #Hero

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO relates to the content on your website.

It includes strategies to optimize an individual page on a website. These factors (all of which are outlined in the on-page SEO checklist section) help search engines understand the topic of the content and see that the website is a valuable source that people would want to find.

Best SEO tools for On-Page optimization – #1 Yoast SEO #2 Rank Math

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is a part of on-page SEO but differs in functionality, it’s related to non-content elements of your website.

It includes strategies to improve a site’s backend feature and foundation. Technical SEO improves a site’s readability (which makes it easy for search engines to crawl and understand the site) and provides a good user experience, which helps search engines see that the site is high quality. Good user experience is also important for readers and can affect overall traffic and engagement rates.

Technical SEO Includes:

    • Site speed
    • Mobile-friendliness
    • Indexing
    • Crawlability
    • Site architecture
    • Structured data
    • Security

The best tool to get an SEO audit of your site Alexa SEO Audit.

Off-Site SEO

Off-Site SEO help strengthens the influence and relationship your website has with other websites.

It includes strategies to build a website’s reputation and authority. These factors help search engines see that a website is an ideal search result because it is from a reputable, reliable, trusted source.

Most off-site SEO relates to high–quality backlinks. A large volume of links pointing to your site from relevant, authoritative sites shows search engines that your site is valuable and established. You can gain these trust signals through a variety of link building and guest posting tactics.

Best Off-Site SEO tools – #SEMrush #Ahrifs (SEMrush have free tier option available).

On-Page SEO Checklist: Optimize Your Site Pages to The Limits

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing individual pages of content to earn better ranks in search and drive relevant traffic. It includes tactics that help a single page rank for a primary target keyword.


1. Perform ** keyword research **** to find the top keywords.**

On-page SEO starts with finding the best keyword for a particular page of content. The best keyword is the phrase or term that:

    • Is relevant to the main topic or theme of the content. The keyword should be an accurate description of your content.
    • Is regularly searched for by your target audience. The search volume for the keyword is large enough to drive traffic to your site from your ideal target market.
    • *Is within your site’s competitive power. * Your site has enough authority to rank above other sites already ranking for that keyword.

** 2. Choose one primary keyword for your content.**

3. Make sure the primary keyword isn’t assigned to another piece of content

A primary keyword should never be assigned to more than one page of content on your site. If you assign the same keyword to more than one page, it can cause keyword cannibalization issues, wherein search engines don’t know which page is more important and, therefore, rank neither page. You can use a duplicate content checker to find issues like this on your site.

4. Choose three to five related keywords for your content.

5. Create a content plan for your keyword.

Once you have your primary keyword, develop a content plan for how you’ll use it. Decide if the keyword should be a timely blog post, evergreen content, or a landing page. Decide how long the content should be and how you want the content to support your marketing funnel.

    • Match the content to the keyword ** search intent ***.* Create content that provides what the user would be looking for when they perform the search.
    • Decide where the content fits in your sales funnel. Use a customer journey mapping template and create content that fits into a specific purchase funnel level.
    • Create content that is better than currently ranking content. Review content that currently ranks for your keyword. Try to create a page that is more valuable, better organized, contains original data, etc.

6. Write a title that includes the primary keyword.

7. Wrap the title in an H1 tag.

8. Write more than 300 words of body content.

9. Write original content.

Do not copy content that is already published on your site or published on any other sites. Search engines may penalize your site or not rank your page if it has content that is copied or duplicated from other sites.

10. Write high-quality content.

Even when you create SEO content for the purpose of ranking, always remember that your number one focus should be your readers. Create high-quality content that is valuable, useful, and well-written.

11. Write for an eighth-grade reading level.

You know what I mean. Writing high-quality content doesn’t mean writing like it’s a college-level research paper in fact it means opposite.

Screenshot of Yoast’s SEO WordPress Plugin

Note: For a better practice to write SEO optimized content use WordPress with Yoast SEO or Rank Math.

12. Add the primary keyword to create a 2-3% keyword density.

13. Use each related keyword at least once in the body copy.

14. Make your content scannable.

Both readers and search engines like content that is easy to scan and understand. Go through your content and use formatting that makes it easy to quickly scan and review.

  • Break content into sections with descriptive subheadings.
  • Use bullet points for lists of information.
  • Use bold formatting or callouts to highlight important points.

15. Wrap subheadings in an H2 tag and respectively.

16. Use the primary keyword in at least one subheading.

17. Use the primary keyword in the first and last paragraph of the content.

18. Add relevant internal links using targeted anchor text.

19. Add relevant links to high-quality sites.

20. Set outbound links to open a new page.

21. Add at least one image.

22. Add the primary keyword to the image file name.

23. Add the primary keyword to the image title.

24. Add the primary keyword to the image alt tag and no image should be without alt tag because search engines are not humans they too have to what info image contain.

25. Size the image properly according to the viewpoint of a particular section.

26. URL of your post should be SEO-friendly that includes the primary keyword.

Create a URL for the page that includes the primary keyword. Avoid adding any stop words, special characters, or unnecessary words in the permalink.

27. Assign relevant tags and categories (if it’s a blog post).

28. Add an optimized meta title.

29. Add an optimized meta description.

A meta description is a blurb of information that supports the meta title. It also helps search engines understand the content and is displayed on SERPs. Add an optimized meta description that has fewer than 320 characters , includes the primary keyword near the front of the description, and includes a soft call to action encouraging readers to click.

Yoast SEO WordPress plugin screenshot of Edit Snippet feature

  1. Add structured data markup.**

To make the page’s SERP results look even more enticing, add structured data markup or schema to your page. Structured data are extra code that helps search engines recognize specific categories of copy within your content.

31. Add social sharing links.**

32. Proofread your content.**

Before you publish a post or page, always proofread the content for spelling and grammatical errors. Best tool for this – #Grammarly.

33. Check your work again.**

On-Page SEO Tools

Going through this on-page SEO checklist is much easier when you have the following on-page SEO tools to help with research, writing, and optimization.

    1. Alexa Keyword Difficulty Tool : For checking keyword difficulty and popularity and finding related keywords
    2. Alexa SEO Audit Tool : For checking duplicate content, word count, URL structure, and linking issues
    3. Alexa Site Overview Tool : For checking the authority of sites you link to
    4. Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin : For adding meta titles and descriptions, measuring content readability, and tracking duplicate primary keyword use from your WordPress dashboard
    5. Google Structured Data Markup Helper *: * For creating structured data and schema markup
    6. Alexa On-Page SEO Checker *: * For checking for missed on-page SEO optimization opportunities

Technical SEO? A Checklist for Higher Rankings

Think of technical SEO as anything and everything you do to improve rankings outside of content and links. Website and server optimizations built into the code or architecture of a site, from meta-tags to site security.

7-Step Technical SEO Checklist

1: Find Errors

One quick way to get started is by finding and fixing existing site errors. Technical errors can mean crawlers don’t index your pages properly or, in worst-case scenarios, don’t index them at all.

2: Revise Site Architecture

Site architecture refers to how information is structured on a website; for example, how pages are organized into categories or the pathways used to navigate between sections of the site. Website architecture impacts how both human users and search engine crawlers experience the site.

      Make sure your site has an  **XML sitemap**.
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3: Get Rid of Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is content that appears on multiple pages on the same domain or across domains. Quick way to fix this is Canonical Header Tag.

4: Improve Site Speed

Best tools to check site speed:

    • Google Page Speed Insight AKA Lighthouse.
    • GTMetrix
    • Pingdom
    • Webpage Test

Check your site against these tools and Try to remove or reduce as much as errors you can.

5: Heighten Site Security

    • Always use HTTPS for your site, you can get a free lifetime 128-bit SSL certificate from Cloudflare.

6: Introduce Device-Friendly Design Highly Responsive For Every Device


7: Use Structured Data Markup

Tools to check your site structured data markup
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool

It’s important to note that schema markup will help create rich search results but that not all structured data will lead to rich results.

Commonly used categories for schema markup are:

    • Products
    • Software Applications
    • Businesses and Organizations
    • Restaurants
    • Articles
    • Events
    • Recipes
    • TV Episodes and Ratings
    • Book Reviews
    • Movies

Website to get Schema markup details Website to Create Schema Markup

-: Mostly Used Structured Data Type – JSON-LD

Use WordPress Plugins

If your website is a WordPress site, there are a variety of schema markup generator plugins available to you. You can upload and activate the plugins to add structured data to your site without needing to get into custom coding.

Plugins are available if you want to use microdata, JSON-LD, or RDFa schema markup.

Here are some plugin examples:

Off-Page SEO Checklist: What Not to Skip

Off-Page SEO the tactics off of your website to increase your website’s authority.

    • On-page SEO shows search crawlers what a website is about.
    • Off-page SEO shows search crawlers that a website is important and valuable.

#1. Link Building

**The best way to show search engines that your website is trustworthy, valuable, and authoritative is by gaining links back to your site

It’s important to note that not all links have equal value. Some links have more influence on search engines than others.

Search engines give links varying levels of value depending on the:

    • Linking site’s authority. Links from more authoritative sites have more value.
    • Relevance of the content on the linking page to the linked site. Links from pages that are relevant to your brand, industry, and linked content have more value.
    • Anchor text of the link. Links with anchor text that is relevant to your brand or content on the linked page have more value.
    • Number of links to the linking site. Links from sites that have a large backlink profile have a higher value.

#2 Guest Blogging

When you write a guest post for another website or blog, the site often lets you link back to your website in the post or author bio. This link adds a site to your backlink profile. It comes with an added benefit of reputation building as your name and brand are being featured on another website.

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    • Brand Mention link acquisition
    • Broken link acquisition
    • Competitor research and many more

Links send concrete signals to search engines that your website is high quality and well-known.

#3 Business Social Media and Directory Profiles

#4 Social Media Marketing

#5 Influencer Marketing

Free Website Analysis tool –

Great Resources for SEO techniques and updates:


A blog is a powerful brand marketing tool.

Blogs are rated the fifth most trusted source for accurate information. 84% of people have purchased a product after reading about it on a blog.

46% of those people were just starting to research product options. That means a single compelling blog post could sway them in your product’s direction.

Maybe that’s because, by their very nature, blogs provide a personal touch that’s not found elsewhere.

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