SEO Content Checklist for Web Publishers [Google Sheets]

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Basic on-page search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of digital marketing that nontechnical people can achieve. Whether you are publishing a new page for your website or publishing blog posts, case studies, or even team member posts, following basic on-page SEO can go a long way in improving the consistency of search traffic.

This on-page SEO checklist template is for content marketers who publish content to a website. It covers the fundamentals of on-page SEO for:

  • Keyword Research
  • Content
  • Meta Data
  • and Technical SEO

Fundamentals of SEO for Content

If you want to increase the visibility of your website on search engines, it's important to start with the basics of on-page SEO. In this checklist, we'll walk you through the key aspects of on-page SEO that you can easily implement to improve your website's search engine rankings.

Keyword Research

1. Identify your primary keyword

The first step in optimizing your content for search engines is to identify your primary keyword or phrase. This is the word or phrase that best describes the content of your page or post. Choose a keyword that accurately reflects the topic of your content and has a high search volume.

2. Identify secondary keywords

In addition to your primary keyword, identify secondary keywords that are related to your content. These can be other words or phrases that people might use to search for your content. Including secondary keywords in your content can help it rank for a broader range of search terms.


‍1. Create engaging content

To rank well in search results, your content needs to be engaging and provide value to your audience. Write high-quality content that answers questions, provides solutions, and engages readers. Encourage readers to share, comment, or link to your content.

2. Aim for a content readability score of 58 or better

Make sure your content is easy to read and understand. Aim for a content readability score of 58 or better, as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score. Use simple language, short sentences, and an active voice.

3. Use title tags to break up content

Use appropriate title tags (H2, H3, etc.) to break up your content into sections. This makes it more scannable and readable for users.

4. Use your primary target in the H1 tag

Include your primary keyword in the H1 tag, which is usually the main heading of the page or post.

5. Add your secondary target keywords in the H2 tags

Include your secondary keywords in subheadings (H2 tags) to signal to search engines and users what the content is about.

6. Link to internal resources

Include internal links within your content to other pages or posts on your website. This helps spread "link juice" and improves your site's overall authority.

7. Link to at least 1 high authority outbound link

Link to other relevant pages or posts from high-authority websites to give readers essential resources and help your content build authority.

8. Use relevant images to break up content

Add images that are relevant to the content and help break up the text to make it more visually appealing and engaging.


1. Add primary target keyword to the Title tag

‍Include your primary keyword in the title tag (the text that appears in search engine results) to improve its visibility and relevance to users.

2. Title tag is 70 characters or less

Keep your title tag short to ensure it displays in full in search engine results and avoid truncation.

3. Set a compelling meta description

Write a brief summary of the content that appears in search engine results and provides users with an overview of what they can expect.

4. Include your primary keyword in the meta description

Including your primary keyword in the meta description improves its relevance and visibility to search engines and users.

5. Meta description is 150 characters or less

Ensure that the meta description is short enough to display in full in search engine results and avoid truncation.

Technical SEO

‍1. Compress images

‍One of the main causes of slow-loading pages is large images. Reduce the size of images to improve page load times and user experience. Try tinyjpg.com or tinypng.com to compress your images for free.

2. Use only one H1 tag per page

Only use one H1 tag per page to avoid confusing search engines and users about the main focus of the page.

3. No underscores present in URL slug

Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in the URL slug to avoid confusion for users and search engines.

4. Shorten URL slug

Keeping the URL slug short and concise to improve readability and search engine visibility.

5. Add Alternative Text (Alt Text) to Images

Alternative text helps users who are blind or visually impaired to understand the content of an image. Add descriptive and concise alt text to all images.

How to Use the Checklist

To begin using the checklist, you'll need to duplicate the document.

File > Make a copy

Make a copy of the checklist screenshot

Now that you have everything you need, it's time to incorporate more on-page SEO! Reach out to us if you have any questions.