Update September 2018: SEO has evolved a lot since I wrote this article, so I decided to update this article with what has happened:

While it can be rather hard (if not impossible) to handle the off-site SEO campaign, on-site search engine optimization is under your control and it will take you no more than a few hours to check the boxes below.

That’s not about adjusting your website to search engines ( as on-site sceptics might say) or about pushing your site to the first page in SERP in a day. That’s an online etiquette which demonstrates your level of competence and also makes the crawlers visit your pages more eagerly.

box I have made a keyword analysis and chosen keywords to optimize for;

box I have researched my site referrals by digging my search analytics and doing thorough website analysis;

box I have made sure my keywords are directly related to my niche;

box I use unique short meta tags based on my keywords;

box I have written unique content using my primary keywords;

box I add quality content at least once a week to ensure search bots have something new to crawl;

box I do keep to CCS styles;

box I keep my javascript in an external file;

box I’ve made sure that my code is clean and is no more than 100 K (the less the better);

box I do have a customized 404 error page;

box I do take advantage of <h1>, <h2> and <h3> to show search pots and user agents what is important;

box I have developed a good clean website structure based on my keyword analysis;

box I use readable  URLs (I do mod-rewrite if needed);

box I don’t use js, drop-downs or images for my navigation menu – just plain text links;

box I don’t overuse images and flash;

box I use alt text for my content-rich images and links;

box I have a site map to make Big Daddy’s life easier;

box I take advantage of rel=”nofollow” attribute to direct the PageRank flow;

box I do 301-redirect non-www version to www version (or vice versa) to show Google what I like more;

box (Optional) I do let SEO experts handle my on-site optimization!

Anything else? Please share in the comments!

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and ViralContentBee.com

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  1. SEO in China says:

    Nice checklist, but was that last one really needed? If outside SEO experts were involved, what’s the point of handling the above points at first? Better leave the expert get it done right!

  2. Do you seriously think I disclose all my secrets here? 😉 Well leaving that to professionals does not mean they will do only what everybody knows. Each niche presupposes plenty of unique on-site techniques – and that’s what seo companies are for.

  3. A great discussion on 301 commented by Matt Cutts: here

  4. Bill Simcox says:

    Good reminder.

    The difficult one…
    “I add quality content at least once a week to ensure Google has something new to crawl;”

    But I will make an effport.



  5. Great List!@SEO China I think it doesn’t matter if outside SEO experts as long as you do the list right.@Bill “add quality content at least once a week to ensure Google has something new to crawl’ these is the most important thing it is like updating your site and knowing that the google that your site is still existing and active.

  6. Send flowers to china says:

    Its a great list….
    I suggest this site to my friends so it could be useful & informative for them also. Great effort.

  7. Great list. just something to add.

    Create links using keywords within website content to link to other pages of your site.

  8. Soccer Jersey says:

    great lists. the following are my opinion:

    1. Bold and italic are another way to emphasize important words and phrases. However, use bold, italic and larger font sizes within reason because otherwise you might achieve just the opposite effect.

    2. images name, e.g. seo-smarty.jpg

    3. Control Outbound Links.
    Limit number of outbound links from a page to less then 100 (this is according to Google).

    4. – Page Load Time
    Google is considering page load time as a factor for SERP ranking. Less is better.

  9. Chris Hirst says:

    Oh please a 100Kb limit?

    It’s been over TEN years since bots only read the first 101Kb of page source code.

  10. Great check list!

  11. Hi Ann, what are your thoughts on the first links on a page. Currently I have info links on one site at the top (about, privacy, contact etc.). Should I move these?

    I think I will test and move them … I actually put them there to help build trust, but most people know to look in the footer don’t they?

  12. Hurrah, that’s what I was seeking for, what a stuff! existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this site.

  13. Harekrishna says:

    Excellent checklist for on-page seo. This can truly helpful to eCommerce SEO company and others.

  14. Thanks for the information! It is very useful to SEO beginners to rank their page on google.

  15. This is incredible! It is so true that on page SEO is essential to get top in SERP and pleasure to see such an in-depth report on it! When optimizing your website to grow traffic, it helps to have an SEO checklist or plan to follow to get the most out of your experience and effort.

    Fascinating stuff, I only stumble across you in the last couple of days. Keeping up the great content. I admire your way to describe the post, but one of the quick questions is what you would like to say about the keyword density and content length required in a post? Is keyword density also essential for SEO nowadays?

    Anyways, thanks again for this article. Bookmarked.

  16. Hi Ann Smarty,
    Great! This is an advanced on page SEO checklist, but I think you missed to describe keyword density, image optimization, internal linking and about modifiers.
    My on page SEO checklist are given below:

    1. Minimum content length 1000.
    2. Always try to use Keyword first in the title.
    3. Title must be h1 tag
    4. Try to use one main keyword in the subheading h2 tag
    5. Add modifiers
    6. Image optimizes, Etc.

    I am in the right track? Thanks for checking.

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