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Shrub's 2023 On-Site SEO Checklist

On-site SEO is important because it tells Google about your website and how you provide value to visitors and customers. By optimizing your site for both human eyes and search engine bots, you can help your site rank higher in search results and attract new traffic. SEO is called on-page because the changes you make to optimize your website can be seen by visitors on your page (whereas off-page and technical SEO elements are not always visible). Every part of on-page SEO is up to you; that's why it's so important that you do it correctly.

You need high quality content on every page

Content is one of the most important aspects of on-page SEO. It communicates what your website and business are all about to both search engines and site visitors. To start creating high-quality content, choose keywords that are relevant to your site and business, and research your rivals' content to make sure you're giving them a good challenge. All other on-page SEO elements stem from quality content, so make sure to put in the time and effort to create it well.

Don't forget to title pages

Title tags are an important part of your website's content. They help visitors and search engines find what they're looking for quickly, and include the focus keyword for each page. To make sure your site pages rank for the right intent, be sure to include the focus keyword in your titles. This can be done naturally, although Google does have a character limit. Visit their blog post to learn more: Titles must be under 60 characters in order to display correctly on Google Search, and avoiding keywords in your titles will ensure a healthy reading experience. Be sure the title is relevant to the page and avoid using all caps.

Headers are important too

When we mention headers, we're talking about the HTML element <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. Headers organize your article and blog content for both readers and search engines, so they can distinguish what part of your content is most relevant to them. Use important keywords in these headers, but make sure they're different from keywords in your page title. Most important ones should go in your <h1> and <h2> headers.

Meta descriptions aren't as scary as they sound

Meta descriptions are the short, headshot-style descriptions that appear under your page's title in search results. Although they're not considered official ranking factors by Google, they can have an impact on whether or not your page is clicked on, so it's important to make sure yours is killer. A good meta description should be under 160 characters and include your keyword or keyword phrase in a complete, compelling sentence (or two). Plus, avoid using alphanumeric characters like —, &, or +.

Image alt-text (Good for SEO and vital for accessibility)

Image alt-text is an important part of SEO for images. It tells Google and other search engines what your images are about, which can help consumers find your site. You need to add alt-text to your images in order for them to be discovered, but there are a few things to keep in mind when doing so. Be descriptive and specific, contextually relevant to the broader page content, and keep it short. As usual, use keywords sparingly and don't keyword stuff.


Your URLs should be simple to digest and easy to remember, while still directing readers to the most relevant information. They're also important when keeping your site hierarchy consistent. Here are a few tips on how to make SEO-friendly URLs: Remove extraneous words, use only one or two keywords, and use HTTPS if possible.

Internal Linking is like a healthy root system

Internal linking is literally just hyperlinking to other helpful pages on your website, in a way that makes sense and flows. Doing this helps your on-page SEO juice, because you're able to send readers to other pages on your website, which keeps them around longer. Google likes that. This also gives Google more time to crawl and index your website pages. This is just another piece of the puzzle when it comes to potentially ranking higher on search engine results.

Site speed (vroom vroom)

Who wants to wait for a site to load? No one, that's who. Let's just say page speed counts for a lot when it comes to SEO. Google actually cares a lot about user experience. If your site loads slowly, there's a big chance your visitors aren't going to wait around — and Google is well aware. Talk to our team at Shrub to check your site speed and, more importantly, improve it.

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