If there's one thing you should know:
It's that, although SEO is a big subject – it can also be broken into tiny manageable parts and turned into a system.
On-page SEO by definition is:
The best practices of optimizing your web page(s) to rank higher in search engines by adjusting and measuring the factors of SEO that you have complete control over.
My favorite thing about SEO and online business, in general, is the mantra of reverse engineering. With SEO you'll start with keywords and then move up the ladder to on-page optimization and then off-page optimization. Moving from the factors you can control to the one's you don't, or at least, have very small influence in.
What you'll lern today
- How long your articles should be
- Where to place your main and secondary keywords
- Adding your competitor's keywords into your own content
- How to optimize images
- Do follow vs. No follow linking
- How to guide your audience to your review pages
Before we get started, let's lay down some foundations – we spoke earlier about the 3 pieces of the SEO puzzle but…
What is the one true fact we know about Google's algorithm?
That Google search engine only reads text.
Yes, in the future with the different variations with machine learning – it will be possible for them to decipher images quickly but it will also make it easier for them to read text on images too.
So if you think about it like that, your website can only benefit by having more text around your niche.
Yes, I know that people are talking about the positives of a content audit but let's not go down that path until we are seeing diminishing returns from putting out more content.
Diminishing returns occur when the benefit gained is less than the effort energy or money exerted.
We know that the more words we have on our site, the better – but how do we know how many words we should have for each article?
One technique I like employing:
Is to grab the Google Chrome Plugin Word Counter…
To check the number of words that are in each article for the term's I'm trying to rank for. Then press Command (or control) and “F” to find the keywords within that article.
See how many times your keyword appears in your competitor's articles.
Now that you've got the word count of top pages and the frequency of your keyword. It's time to figure out where to put those keywords…
Add Target Keywords To Your Titles!
Google knows how to read the text on your page because of HTML. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and what it does is define the layout of your page. Not by style… but by what the text and section's actual purpose is.
“This is a sentence in a paragraph.” would be displayed in HTML as “<p>This is a sentence in a paragraph</p>” to Google. We don't see it because that would be a big pain in the ass for us to read, but the most important reason why this exists is that it also helps Google figure out what parts of our content represent paragraphs.
And what's important for on-page SEO?
Titles and subtitles!
That's what “H1 tags” and “H2 tags” are. H1 is the title and H2's are the subtitles.
If you think about this in terms of a hierarchy, it would look like this:
This hierarchy is also how Google calculates importance on a page. So an H1 tag should be the defining subject of your page AND you should definitely put your target keyword there.
I'll say it again:
Put your Main Target Keyword in the H1 Title Tag.
Some of you might be thinking “ok, I'm just going to outsmart Google by putting multiple H1 tags on my page. This way I'll target multiple keywords”
Here are two examples why you shouldn't do that:
First, an article by Eric Sui from Single Grain about over-optimization mistakes – too many keywords being one of them.
And here's a video from the man – Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, explaining why we shouldn't use more than one H1 tag per post.
“Hmmm… Matt, can you still target multiple keywords in a single post?”
YES! That's where we H2 tags come in.
Add your secondary keywords into the H2 tags for higher relevancy in the eyes of Google.
You should also add your keywords into the Permalink (URL) of your page. For example, if you are aiming for the keyword “best toys for Christmas” then your URL should say “.com/best-toys-for-christmas”
By now, you know to put your main keyword in the URL and H1 tag – but where else can it go?
Head over to your Yoast SEO plugin (standard with every niche site we sell) and place the keyword phrase inside your Meta description and within your content twice more.
For a 2000 word article, I try and put my main keyword in at least 3 times. With the H1 tag counting as one. Leaving me to put the two remaining counts inside of my content.
Don't overdo this because it can actually cause Google to penalize you for Keyword Stuffing. So try for 3, but don't go crazy and put it in 15 times for a 2000 word article.
It's funny in a sense because as SEO grows in your mind, you try and think more like a search engine – meanwhile, Google is spending millions of dollars to think more like a human. Interesting right?
Look At The Words Google BOLD's – Add Those Into Your Content
Type your keyword into Google and look at the keywords that are bolded on the first 3 pages. Next, look at the ‘related searches' at the bottom.
Take those keywords and phrases and sprinkle them inside your own content. Google is bolding those words and making those suggestions because that's what people are frequently searching for together. This only helps make sure your content is going to get indexed in the right place.
Get Your Images Ranked Too!
In terms of keywords – add your target keywords into the Alt-tags and descriptions of your images. Think of the Alt tag like the H1 and the descriptions as the meta description from Yoast. This should help you get indexed in Google Images as well.
Another quick tip is to optimize your images and reduce their size using Pixlr and compress them in TinyJPG. This helps the images load faster when a brand new user visits your page and in Google's eyes, a quicker loading time means a better experience for visitors.
Guide Your Readers with Relevant Content – Not Just Your Own.
For external links:
I think people are probably still arguing about whether or not to have do-follow or no-follow links.
What they're really arguing about is whether you should be passing on the link juice you've earned to other people or hoarding it for yourself.
In my eyes, a normal (and “natural”) person writing content online is not going to know what this is. And the default setting is always “Do-Follow” so I just leave it as that.
What's more important to me is that the resources you are linking externally to are of high quality and have a high “Domain Authority (Moz)” or “Domain Rating (ahrefs).” Great content and trustworthy sites have a gravitational pull to them, so it's natural that a well-researched article is going to have links pointing to authoritative information.
PLUS – when you are reaching out to people in your content promotion phase, you'll be starting a relationship with a site that has lots of authority and your curated content could be good enough to share with their audience.
As for internal links:
These are links pointing to the pages inside of your website – try to direct as much traffic coming to your site to your “money articles”. The ones you intent to either monetize through Amazon.
Usually, these are “best hair dryer” or “hair dryer review” articles.
Here's a small outline of what internal linking would look like for people building sites based on what is known as Silos. You can think of Silos as categories on your website.
For every article that is in the supporting roll of the silo, I like to have at least one link pointing to the pillar article and one link pointing to another supporting article.
Here's a Quick Recap
- Google only reads text and HTML.
- Put your main keyword phrase into the H1 tag, URL, meta description, paragraphs and image alt-tags and image descriptions.
- Place secondary keywords into your H2 tags.
- Avoid stuffing your main keyword into your content. 3 times for a 2000 word article is what you should aim for.
- Take bolded words and related searches from the Google page's you're aiming for and place them elegantly into your paragraphs.
- Aim to link externally to sites with high Domain Authority or Domain Rating. DA of over 30 and DR over 45 are good places to start.
- When linking internally, have at least one link pointing from all of your supporting articles each – to your pillar article. And one link pointing to another supporting article within that silo.
I know this stuff might be a lot to take in but I think I've given you enough technical stuff to lay a great foundation. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave some comments at the bottom 🙂