In a rush? Here’s our summarised on-page SEO checklist for 2021:

  • Assign a focus keyword to each of your pages
  • Include focus keywords in headings on your pages
  • Add ALT attributes to all your website images
  • Include internal and outbound links on your pages
  • Ensure your website pages are easy to navigate
  • Provide at least 300 words of copy per page
  • Assign page metadata using your keywords

On-Page SEO Checklist for 2021

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a unique marketing year. Whoever thought they would be marketing in a pandemic, right?

With more Google core algorithm changes fundamentally changing the factors used to rank websites online, SEO marketing teams across the planet are battling to keep up with what’s best practice – and what’s not.

Here’s an on-page SEO checklist you can use to optimise your website pages and outrank your competitors on the Google SERPS in 2021!

How to Optimise Web Pages for Search Engines:

Looking to seriously optimise your website’s pages in 2021? Print out this on-page SEO checklist and tick the items off as you address them on your site!

Focus Keyword

If you have a WordPress website assigning a keyword for each of your web pages is a simple task.
All you’ll need is an SEO plugin (like Yoast or All in One SEO), which allows you to set keywords and metadata.

If your web page is about lawnmowers, your focus keyword for that page could be lawnmowers. This is known as a general keyword.

To get more specific with your keywords and key phrases, you could include the brand name of the item. So, lawnmowers could become Lasher lawnmowers.

Once you have a focus keyword for your page, consider writing down a few variations of that keyword/phrase that could help internet users better find your website.

So, variations of the keyword lawnmowers could include new lawnmowers, lawnmowers in Durban, etc.


Your web page’s headings are the first things people reading your information will notice.

The first, main heading is known as the H1 heading. This heading is a general statement that shares what the page is about.

Sub-headings are used to categorise information on a web page, breaking the wording down into shorter, easy to consume sections.

For on-page SEO success in the headings department, ensure your focus keyword can be found within your main heading.

To be an overachiever, like our WSI SEO team, include variations of the focus keyword in your web page’s subheadings.


This point on the on-page SEO checklist is often overlooked by many website developers. Images have shown to drastically improve conversions rates on individual web pages. Why is this?

Well, apart from the fact that they’re nice to look at – they invoke emotions within the reader. If your images are making your website visitors smile, there’s a better chance they’ll convert.

Images should include an ALT tag. This is a line of text that will be shown to a user, in place of an image, should that image not load for whatever reason.

For solid on-page SEO, make sure your page’s images all include ALT tags (describing the image) but that also feature the page’s focus keyword.


If you’ve used the internet in the last decade you’ll know what links are. In-text links are highlighted words that – when clicked on – take the reader to a specific page on the internet.

These linked pages can be on the same website (internal linking) or on another website (outbound links).

You’ll want to include at least one internal and one outbound link on each of your web pages. Use links to provide your readers with more information on the topic, that will add value to their internet experience.
Caution: Don’t overdo the links on a page, or it might be seen as spammy and lose ranking.

User Interface

When optimising your website pages with this on-page SEO checklist, keep one thing in mind: websites are built for the users – not for the owners. The website layout you like might not resonate as well with your audience.

So, assess each page’s layout and navigate your website as you would if you had landed on it for the first time in your life.

  • Is the purpose of the page clearly defined from the start?
  • Is it easy to navigate between pages of relevant information?
  • How easy is it to contact your company?
  • Are there photographs of your products/services?


Your website’s wording, otherwise known as body copy, is a critical component of it’s Google ranking.

SEO experts agree that more is more when it comes to readable information on your pages, and recommend an absolute minimum word count of 300 words per page. Our own research has shown that in South Africa, the pages that rank exceptionally well are sitting at a word count of between 750 and 1500 words.

You’ll want to include your focus keyword, as well as a few variations, within your body copy – but much like linking, too many mentions of the same keywords could result in a ranking penalty.


The final box to tick on this on-page SEO checklist is the metadata, or Google-specific information. This is broken into two sections: title tags and meta descriptions.

You’ll want to make sure your focus keyword appears close to the front of your title tag, and that your focus keyword is included in your meta description. Not sure how to insert your website’s metadata? Contact us and we’ll show you the SEO ropes!

WSI Durban, in partnership with our SEO department in Johannesburg, is able to offer researched SEO services to improve website ranking potential in South Africa. Connect with us to find out more about our tailored SEO solution!