The On-Site Optimisation Checklist

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“What can I do to improve our website and drive sales and leads?”

This is something businesses are asking. Whether you’re an Ecommerce business or a traditional brick and mortar firm that’s looking to expand online, you would have put together a website that advertises yours services and works well but it’s not enough. You want to hone down your site and unlock its full potential.

The trouble is, what do you need to do?

There are plenty of blog posts and articles on auditing and conducting on-site optimisation but these articles are long winded or only tell one part of the job. If you’re thinking of a quick audit of your on-site, you will find yourself lost and buried under articles and posts that do not tell you what you want and what you need to know.

So in this Ricemedia blog, we’re going to give you our ultimate On-site optimisation checklist. That’s it.

In this checklist, we look at optimising your site pages for both SEO value as well as user experience.  So when you ask, what more can you do, you know have the tools to answer that question yourself.


You want your page’s URLs to be short, punchy and rich with keywords. Google prefers URLs with around 3-5 words, especially over long ugly URLs like ‘’. It does not look nice to Google and looks very unprofessional to your potential clients.

So take the time to write your own URLs.

H1 Tag

A H1 tag is your headline tag, it highlights the title of a page or blog post for Google and can directly affect the SEO value to a page. There are a range of tags, H1 to H6 but H1 is the most important and cannot be ignored. It helps define the page’s relevancy in search and make that page more searchable.

When titling pages and content, think of searchable titles like ‘How to conduct your own home evaluation?’ and set that as a H1, making your page incredibly searchable.

Keywords in Content

One of the basic concepts of SEO every business, blogger and person on the street knows about is keywords but they don’t know how to use them effectively. People think you need to pepper your keywords throughout your onsite content and this used to work back in the 90s but Google has evolved. Google is looking for organic keywords, appearing in good content.

A good rule to bare in mind is a keyword or link in every hundred words.

Add Modifiers

By modifiers I mean adding ‘2015’, ‘top…’, ‘guide’ or ‘review’, to your blog content. This will help those pieces of content rank for long tail versions of your keyword and make your content more searchable.

Also from a user experience perspective, it helps sells your content. ‘Top 10 hotels in Birmingham’ or ‘Guide to the Best Hotels in Birmingham’ is more appealing to your readers. Using locations in the title can help improve rankings for local keywords as well.

Loading Speed

This important for both an SEO and onsite optimisation perspective as well as part of enhancing your client’s user experience. Slower loading speeds for sites can directly affect bounce rates and SEO value.

You can check your site’s speed but to reduce and optimise your site you need to look at enabling compression to reduce your HTML, CSS and Javascript, optimise your image’s sizes and look at improving your server’s response time.


Optimised meta titles and descriptions are important as they help your site rank as well as give a short descriptions of the site’s content.

Meta titles tend to be the title of the page or blog, so write good strong titles. It’s in meta descriptions where you can drop keywords and modifiers, such as locations, to help rank higher. Write these for every page, individually. Each page is different, why not the description.

Use Social Sharing Buttons

Include social sharing buttons in your blog posts or add buttons to invite people to follow you on your social media. This might not seem relevant but social signals playing a larger part of search algorithms. Also, it will help increase sharing your content.

With user experience in mind, allowing your clients to find and see your LinkedIn profile allows them to see your business in another positive light and allow them to conduct their own background check on your business, looking at reviews and recommendations.

Long Content

In our monthly round up of Digital Marketing in September, we featured an interesting article from Search Engine Land by columnist John Lincoln that discusses why long-form content thrumps short, bitesize posts. The article is long, as you can imagine but it supports his argument very well and has won me over.

A good aim for content length is 1500 words; it allows you to scatter more keywords but also, it provides more value to your audience and that’s what you need to be focusing on. The point of you blogging is, besides making your site more searchable, is to provide an extra service to your potential customers, give them a reason to trust you. That is more difficult to achieve if you keep it in 500 words.

Other Things to Consider

  • Product descriptions is also content, don’t forget this. That’s strip of description needs the same amount of care and thought in writing it as any other piece of onsite content.
  • Keep an eye on bounce rates. Search engines use bounce rates to judge the quality of your site. Also it is an indicator that something on that page or on your site is not appealing to your audience or turning them away. This could be images, content or any number of things but should be investigated.
  • Tools, there are plenty of SEO tools that will help you analysis your site. Check out Majestic SEO, Screaming Frog and Google Analytics.
  • Competitors analysis, peak at your competitor’s site and see what are they up to. It might not be useful and you’ll be reassured that your site is performing better than theirs or you’ll find something useful to try for your own site and capitalize on it. So don’t be afraid to analyse your competitors, they’re probably doing the same to you.

That was Ricemedia’s On-Site Optimisation Checklist. If you’re unsure why your site is under performing or want to know how else can you improve you site, go through that checklist and find out. If you want to see how else Ricemedia can improve your on-site optimisation and our other PPC or SEO services, get in touch today.

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