On page SEO is now a critical part of a well-balanced SEO strategy.  On page SEO consists of the following areas:

1.) Page Speed/Page Load Time

Page speed is arguably the most critical aspect of your monthly SEO campaign.  A slow website can kill your bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit and conversion rate. In order to improve your page speed, you should be doing the following:

  • Compressing images as much as you can.  If you have a WordPress website, a popular plugin that will do this for you is TinyPNG.
  • Minimizing the number of calls on a page.   Combing javascript, CSS and other files as much as you can.  This will make coding the website more difficult but will show small increases over the site as a whole.
  • Minifying CSS/JS files if possible.  This takes the extra white space out of the files and makes the file size smaller which helps load the page faster.
  • Make sure your server isn’t slowing you down.  Measure your TTFT (time to first byte) and make sure it’s reasonable.  Should be in the lower milliseconds.  You can test this by using https://www.webpagetest.org/ . Another good web page speed testing tool is Pingdom.
  • Use a CDN if possible to offload the delivery of images, CSS and javascript.
  • Specify cache headers in your .htaccess file.
  • Use mod deflate (in the .htaccess file) to deflate (compress) files before serving them to the browser.
  • Try to get your Google Page Speed Insights scores as high as possible.  Achieving 100% is almost impossible, but the higher the better.
  • Parallelize your loading of assets (don’t block important assets from loading, try to load them at the same time).

2.) Onsite SEO action items:

  • Title Tag usage.  An old one but a good one, make sure your title tags are short (under 100 letters), concise and well written (for humans).
  • Meta Description.  Also not a critical one, but you should be writing your own meta descriptions to tell the user what they will see on the page.
  • Use Screaming Frog to crawl your website to show you all the broken links.  Fix your dead links/404 errors.
  • Robots.txt file creation.  Make sure you have a robots.txt file and you have defined the sitemap location in it.
  • Sitemap.  Sitemaps are critical for making sure you allow the search engines to crawl every page of your website.
  • Alt Tags for images.  Make sure all images have an alt tag, don’t do anything spammy or crazy in here.  They aren’t critical, but not something you shouldn’t forget either.
  • FULL HTTPS ON ALL PAGES.  Gone are the days of only using HTTPS on your cart/checkout pages.  You should be using HTTPS on every page of your website.
  • Eliminate duplicate content if possible.  Google doesn’t like this.

3.) Critical tools to monitor and improve

1.) Google analytics.  Use Google Analytics to measure your bounce rate, pages per visit, time on site and conversion rate.  As you do these things, all these should slowly improve.

2.) Google Webmaster Tools.  Link your site to Google Webmaster Tools.  Google will tell you everything that is wrong with your site.  Fix as much as you can.

3.) Monitor rankings with tools like Agency Analytics, MOZ, or SEM Rush.