SEO Checklist for Top-Notch Content and SEO Performance
Definitive SEO checklist for on-page content optimization

SEO Checklist for Top-Notch Content and SEO Performance

Publish date
August 15, 2023
Team Marketechy
How to improve on-page content to ensure higher rankings for your website? We've pulled together latest insight to give you this comprehensive SEO checklist on content optimization.
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What is an SEO checklist?

An SEO checklist is a systematic list of tasks and best practices designed to optimize a website for search engines.

Year after year, experts continue to place high-quality content and on-page SEO in their lists of Google’s major ranking factors. So it’s fair to say that SEO-optimized content and on-page ranking factors stay the #1 priority for site owners and agencies regardless of digital marketing trends.

But what defines quality content and on-page SEO optimization? How can we track and gauge their efficiency? Are there rules of thumb to include in the SEO checklist when adding a new website page or running the complete website overhaul?

Today we’re focusing on actionable suggestions that will improve the overall SEO performance of your website. So let’s get started.

How On-Page Content Impact Google Rankings

It is common knowledge that content is crucial since it grabs users’ attention, wins their trust, and motivates them to buy from you. But how exactly does text content contribute to overall page rank?

#1 It Increases Time Users Spend on Page

Average session duration’ and ‘time on page’ are essential behavioral signals. Google takes those into account when calculating page rank. Even though you might not use Google Analytics to track these benchmarks, Google still collects such data along with the number of visitors.

When you serve users compelling and relatable content, the bounce rates go down, and time on the page goes up. Therefore, search engines recognize that particular page is noteworthy and move it up in the SERP.

#2 Long-Form Content Generally Improves SEO Performance of a Page

Let’s clarify: the content word count indirectly impacts SERP position, but it’s not a ranking factor. The Smart Insights team introduced some interesting findings in their infographic. It reveals a correlation between average content length (ACL) and such aspects of SEO performance as SERP position and domain age.

According to the infographic, TOP-1 pages contain 2,400+ words. Between TOP-2 and TOP-10, we can see a gradual decrease of ACL from 2,450+ to 2,000+ words.

Domains older than 10+ years have ACLs of about 2,700 words. On the contrary, domains aged 1 to 10 years have ACL of around 2,100 words. Regarding that, we can assume that newer domains might outperform older ones. But that would be possible if older domains have fallen behind with building new backlinks and adding new content to their site.

One way or another, we generally recommend marking in your SEO checklist that writing long-form content is better. The practice shows that long reads are likely to bring more backlinks. The more valuable insights you share with your readers, the more appreciation you get from readers and search engines.

#3 Diverse Content Satisfies Different Intents

Diverse, intent-focused content is at the core of every actionable SEO checklist. That is because keywords with different intent can bring you organic traffic and strengthen your presence in SERP.

Without delving into each definition, let’s just mention that there are four of them:

  • Informational (these bring traffic to your blogs)
  • Navigational (these matter for local SEO performance)
  • Transactional (these lead to product pages and product categories)
  • Commercial (these combine informational and transactional intent)

The successful SEO performance will largely depend on well-laid-out mapping of all keywords related to your topic and creating intent-specific landing pages.

An SEO Checklist: What Defines Content Ranking Quality

First things first, SEO text content must be easy to digest. Qualified content marketers and managers can tell at a glance whether the content is user-friendly. Here are some valuable tips to scribble down your SEO checklist next to ‘Main Content Requirements.’

Structured & Well-Organized

Posting solid walls of text is no do. The content broken down into short paragraphs with headings and subheadings appeal to readers much better. Use bulleted lists and tables to emphasize important parts of your text where possible. Moreover, adding graphic elements (photos, artwork, infographics, and trends) into on-page text is strongly recommended across SEO checklists.

Firstly, it helps to reactivate readers’ attention if they get bored scrolling through text. Secondly, it helps you stand out with a recognizable visual design.


Considering that most informational content like blog posts, FAQ articles, and case studies amount to 2,000+ words, you simply must use jump links. Implement a Table of Contents at the top of your publishing so users can immediately jump right to the desired section.

Written in the Proper Tone of Voice

Your business communicates with website visitors almost exclusively through text. Therefore, the tone of voice should meet with the consumer’s intent.

You can check the tone of voice of your writing in a couple of ways. As a part of your SEO checklist, you could use Grammarly or Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant for such checks.

If you fulfill these requirements, you’ll see that engagement metrics like time on page and depth of scrolling rise immensely. Considering improved user behavior signals, Google will attribute a higher value to website pages and move them higher in SERP.

This is where Marketechy steps in to develop a plan of work tailored to your growth marketing, metrics, and budget.
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Top 5 Elements for Your On-page SEO Checklist

Let’s discuss what on-page items you should focus on to ensure the smooth SEO performance of your website.

#1: Title and Meta Description

SEO experts repeatedly refine title and meta description tags in their content optimization work. We’d also recommend you scan topic resources like Search Engine Land, SEO blog by Ahrefs, or Moz’s blog to check whether Google’s requirements have changed.

For now, the title and meta description have to be:


  • 50 to 60 characters including spaces and '| Your Brand Name' (no more than 580 pixels)
  • informative
  • Unique within your website
  • High-volume keyword placed at the beginning
  • Contains a brand name
  • Capitalized for better readability
  • Comma, hyphen, or pipe are advisable separators

Meta Description

  • The optimal length is 150-160 characters including spaces (no more than 920 pixels)
  • High-volume or related keywords included
  • No repetition of the same keyword
  • Company’s unique offer included
  • Use сomma, exclamation mark, question mark, and full stop for punctuation

#2: Wordage and Headings

We’ve discussed how important the well-structured long-form content is a couple of paragraphs above, so just a reminder to add the desired wordage and structure requirements to your SEO checklist. 

#3: Use of Keywords

Nowadays, there are plenty of SEO content checkers and SEO writing assistants you can leverage to reach optimal use of keywords. For instance, you can try some trusted services from SEOwind’s article.

We’d mainly like to draw your attention to the keyword density metric. Starting from the Panda update back in 2011, Google began to fight keyword staffing and considers it a Black Hat SEO practice. So keeping keyword density below 1-2% will secure you from penalty.

HubSpot’s experts generally advise using the same keyword no more than 1-2 times for every 100 words of copy to ensure the proper density and better SEO performance. Also, remember that your keyword should be used naturally. So besides direct use of high volume keywords, it’s worth using its long tail phrase and semantically related word forms.

A good example is the article you’re reading right now. We’ve placed our high-volume keyword ’SEO checklist’ in the H1 tag and used a related secondary keyword, ’SEO performance,’ as a supportive one across the text.

#4: Structured Data Markup

There are three crucial reasons why structured data markup is a must for every SEO checklist:

  • Faster indexing. Structured data markup speeds up the crawling and indexing of new pages, directly improving website SEO performance.
  • Rich snippets and video carousels. Having your pages represented through rich snippets allows you to deliver users immediate value. Moreover, there are illustrative case studies proving that rich snippets can yield more impressions, clicks, and organic traffic.
  • Meeting E-A-T requirements. Structured data provides necessary preciseness helping search engines to link particular authors to their mentions across the web.

The most common way to manage and verify structured data is to use Google’s Markup Helper. If you primarily want your page to make it to a rich snippet, you should also run makeup code through the Rich Result test.

#5: Internal Linking

Well-laid-out internal linking is a must-have for your SEO checklist, whether you’re building a site from scratch or doing regular SEO audits. Cross-linking between pages eases up both Googlebot crawls and users’ navigation within the site. It is also a way to tell Google which pages are more important.

  • Breadcrumb Navigation. Breadcrumbs aren’t just a navigation bar on top of the main content. They appear in SERP snippets allowing users to understand your site’s overall structure.
  • Featured Posts and Related Products. These internal linking modules kill two birds with the same stone. Firstly, they help to retain visitors by offering them to look into other articles/products. Secondly, they help users to navigate to topic-relevant pages.
  • Anchor links. Anchor links distributed across the text inform users about related content they will see if they follow the link. Also, they improve page rank because they foster indexing and show search engines that page content is relevant.

Nowadays, webmasters can utilize tons of native modules and SEO plugins of site builders to implement internal linking. For instance, Yoast SEO is still going strong for WordPress sites.

What SEO Performance Metrics Evaluate Content Quality?

The go-to advice for SEO performance assessment is that you shouldn’t zero in on rankings only. The ranking spot is more of a goal, but to understand how to get there, you must pay attention to other crucial metrics. After all, SEO results contribute to common digital marketing efforts, and teams channel their efforts to see better ROI. So we recommend assessing SEO performance in terms of SEO and business goals.

Core SEO Metrics

If you followed our SEO checklist all the way through, expect improvements in the following benchmarks:

  • Time on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Traffic to the page
  • Keyword rankings
  • Backlinks
  • Brand/company mentions
  • Social shares

Core Business Metrics

To justify the efficiency of content optimization, you should also measure:

  • Conversion rate
  • Increase of qualified leads
  • Revenue growth

These metrics give you a measurable and clear view of SEO performance. However, you can also consider user satisfaction to read the audience’s sentiments.

Basically, as a small-business organization, you can track people’s voices from Google Reviews and UGC-like comments below your blog articles. However, if you need a more solid and precise measurement of customer satisfaction, try pushing CSAT surveys to your audience through website pop-ups, email, or social media.

How to Prioritize Optimization Tasks on Your SEO Checklist?

So now that you have a solid SEO checklist for content optimization, it’s time to build a coherent course of action. It’s crucial in terms of time and resource efficiency.

1. Set Goals You Want to Achieve

Whether you serve the client or promote a personal blog, remember two rules:

#1 – your goal should be measurable

#2 – set a “stretch goal’ (a secondary one)

Over-ambitious goals might not suit a business SEO checklist. But if they support the idea of some side-track result, you could try it. Practice shows that taking challenges like that typically pays off with higher productivity.

2. Identify Pages that Drive Conversions

You can easily identify those using Google Analytics. We’d primarily recommend you track User Conversion Rate. It indicates the ratio between visitors that triggered the conversion event and the total number of users in a certain period.

MeasureSchool provided a comprehensive guide on how to add this metric to the traffic acquisition report in Google Analytics 4.

3. Recrawl Your Website 

Conduct a comprehensive website audit before going to on-page optimization described in our SEO checklist. You can follow suggestions from our previous post about website migration strategy to do that properly.

4. Leverage Analytics Toolkits

Google Analytics Custom Report can satisfy your basic need for a 360-degree overview of your gains in traffic, search visibility, conversions, etc. You can also check crowdsourcing products available at Google Analytics Solutions Gallery. These would be equally beneficial for newbies and experienced GA4 users.

Entrust Your Content Marketing to an Upskilled Digital Marketing Team

Building up and going through an SEO checklist like this is challenging, though rewarding. Remember that each content optimization case is unique, and so are workflows within the teams. So make sure you can source enough people and work hours to move down the SEO checklist nicely and easily.

Luckily you can request qualitative assistance from the Marketechys team to enhance your website’s SEO performance.

So contact us to discuss on-page optimization issues and work on the roadmap for necessary improvements.

Ready to grow your online presence and quality leads? Drop us a line!