In this video I discuss:
- All of the major elements you NEED to optimize for on-page SEO
- Other elements that are helpful to optimize for on-page SEO
- A tour of all of these elements in WordPress and the Yoast SEO plugin
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6.5 Transcript Below
It is time to talk about on-page SEO. We have talked about search engine optimization a little bit and kind of given some tidbits along the way. But now it’s time to really dig in and teach you everything you need to know about on-page SEO. And this is very specifically essentials. This is not intended to be a totally comprehensive lesson on on-page SEO. This is intended to be everything you need to know to get started and to get a lot of bang for your buck, as far as SEO is concerned.
It is not an exaggeration or too far-fetched to say that someone could create a whole three-day seminar on just on-page SEO. Especially once you wander into the realm of PageSpeed optimization, making sure your pages load really quickly. And a lot of the much more technical things that really only developers, a lot of the time, are going to be fully equipped to handle and address appropriately – I’m not going to get that deep. What I want to teach you is the basics and like I said what you need to know to get the most bang for your buck out of your search engine optimization efforts, as far as on-page SEO is concerned.
But I want to be very clear upfront. This is not intended to be totally comprehensive. It is intended to be everything you need to get off and running, and then you can continue developing your knowledge as time goes on. And I may dig into it more as time goes on. But these are the most critical things you need to pay attention to in on-page SEO when you’re creating content for your niche site – in order to start getting rankings, and start getting traffic, start outranking some of your competitors with your really high-quality content and then in turn making money as time goes on.
But I would say this covers at least 80% to 90% of the things that really have an impact. And then all of the other things you can do, and spend a lot of money and a lot of time on optimizing, but they’re going to have a much lower impact overall. I think it goes back to I mentioned a few videos ago: “Done is better than perfect.” I want to keep it simple and get you to 90% in a matter of 20 minutes in this lesson. And if you’re doing it yourself, probably 10 or 20 minutes per post rather than trying to get you to 100% and having to do three days worth of videos and you have to sit here and watch hours and hours and hours and get drowned in details. And then on top of that, you could spend dozens of hours optimizing your website for on-page SEO and spend a lot of money on it when it’s really just not necessary. Let’s get you to 80% or 90% as quickly and as simply as possible and let the more complex stuff lie and handle that down the road. Okay?
So without further ado, let’s talk about everything you need to know about on-page SEO.
So on-page Search Engine Optimization is essential for getting high in the SERPs – which SERPs is the acronym for “Search Engine Ranking Positions” – which is exactly what is sounds like. It’s your position within the search engines. And of course, the most important of all of those is Google because last I checked, they still owned about 70% of the search market place. Bing and Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo and all those other guys only owned 30% combined. So we’re still playing very much to please Google because they have the strongest algorithms, and as a result, they serve up the best search results and most users that use a search engine use Google above anyone else.
As we dig into on-page SEO, one of the reasons that I had you install the Yoast plugin is because it’s going to make things tremendously easier. We’ll see that here in a minute because I’m going to show you in a live environment what factors I’m talking about in this particular slide. But for now, just know that Yoast makes things so, so, so much easier. And you’re going to be very happy that that’s the plugin that you installed because there are other SEO plugins that you can install and Yoast is the only one that does what I’m going to show you.
The most important things for on-page SEO, the absolute biggest bang for your buck and I would almost say… I won’t say it’s impossible to get rankings for keywords without these, but it’s going to be at least two or three times as hard. These really serve as a strong foundation for ranking for any keyword you’re trying to rank for.
So the most important factors are you want to get the keyword in the title of your post in WordPress. That’s almost always… always as far as I know… going to get your main keyword in an H1 (Heading 1) classification, which hopefully will make more sense when we get into WordPress; you want to make sure that you use your keyword in your meta title; you want to make sure that you use your keyword in the meta description; and you want to make sure that you use your keyword, your focus keyword, that you’re trying to rank for with that article in your URL slug.
If you’re asking yourself questions like: “How many keywords should I try to rank for per article?” you need to go back in the training when we talk about those things in a previous section, okay? But these are where you want to get your keyword at a bare minimum. These are most bang for your buck. You really, really, really need to hit all of these points. Not like hit three of five or whatever, however many this is – hit every single one of them. Hit every single one of them. Make sure your keyword’s in all of these, okay?
It’s also very, very helpful to use the exact keyword in at least one header besides the title, which is automatically taken care of if your keyword is in the title – which I’ll show as we get into WordPress and I show you my article all dressed up. So we want to get in at least one header, we want to get it in image alt tags where we can at least once (and that’ll make more sense as I hop into WordPress as well), and we also want to get it throughout the content. So a small note about ‘throughout content’ – used to we would try to get the exact keyword in there as many times as we could and it was not very good for user experience, especially when we’re talking about Long Tail keywords like “how much does tattoo removal hurt”. It’s kind of hard to cram that in places and you even have to get a little bit creative to work that in at all besides the title.
So you’ll see how I did that (as we get into the content, I’ll call attention to it) but the important thing I want to say… I could be remembering this acronym wrong but I believe it’s LSIs which essentially amount to… and forgive me if I’m getting that wrong. But LSIs essentially amount to synonyms that search engines recognize. So Google has gotten really good these days and continues to get better at recognizing the kind of keywords that typically surround a topic in an authentic piece of content.
So even though I may not use “how much does tattoo removal hurt” several times throughout my post and in the content throughout my post, when I use “how much does tattoo removal hurt” – which I use a couple of times in this post or I talk about “pain” or I talk about “pain management” and “pain relief”, Google should know that all of these things are surrounding this particular topic that I’ve optimized my post for which is “how much does tattoo removal hurt”. And theoretically, as far as we know, again, Google only tells us so much. Those things help raise our rankings as well. Okay?
So when I talk about using the keyword throughout the content, I’m not just talking about the exact keyword we’re trying to rank for, you want to get in there as much as you can. But if you find yourself having difficulty getting your exact keyword in the content over and over again or you’re having trouble getting it in anything outside of like a header and an alt tag in the title, just do your best to use close synonyms that makes sense that don’t hurt user experience and don’t make your content seem artificial or robotic or like they’re trying to abuse the search engines or the search engine algorithms. So just know that, we’ll see that when we get into the article, okay? And you’ll see that if you go look at the article yourself at RueTattoo.com, if you want to take more time with it than we’re going to be spending in this video.
Engagement also seems to have a lot of impact on search engine rankings these days and that can mean a lot of things. Engagement, traditionally speaking, is like sharing on Facebook, sharing on Twiiter, getting posted to social media, getting posted to Reddit and stuff like that. All of those count as engagement and social proof. When you talk about the more fine details of engagement, we’re talking about how long people stay on your website, how many pages they view whenever they do come to your website.
And I’ve even heard people that I respect immensely, theorized that your meta title and your meta description – which are what show up as a big blue link at the top with the description below it in Google and kind of tells you briefly what that page is about. Whenever you see that and you decide: “Oh, I’m going to click this fifth result instead of the first result”, because that meta title and meta description just jumped out at you and made you think: “This is what I’m looking for.” And as a result, you get a higher click-through rate which is very much how Google AdWords and even Facebook’s pay-per-click advertising work. The higher your click-through rate, the more they reward you with cheaper clicks.
Someone I respect very much a couple of years ago theorized that Google could be using that data. That if your meta title and your meta description is so well that more people are clicking it and when they click it, they stay on your page longer or they go through more pages on your website than the top results above you, hat could help boost your rankings. And technically, that’s a form of engagement as well.
And I don’t think that’s at all unreasonable. There’s no way for us to know for sure when it comes to a lot of things that play into Google’s algorithm. There are people that go as far as analyzing Google’s patents to try and reverse engineer as much about this algorithm as they can. But at the end of the day, we just don’t know for sure. We can pay attention to what the authorities… there are some great people in the industry that do a lot of research and they publish their findings and that’s what seminars and conferences and continuing education are very good for if you’re getting into this industry. But all of those are secondary. If you do focus on high-quality content and adding value, all of those other things will come – they’ll fall into place.
And I think that’s important to note because as we get more complicated, it gets harder and harder; your chances of success decrease, decrease, decrease because you can get more and more overwhelmed, you can spread yourself thinner and thinner; and then before you know it, your head’s spinning and you can’t make sense of anything anymore. So I really wouldn’t worry too much about focusing on engagement right now, personally. We’ll talk more about social media in the next section when we talk about getting traffic to your site. But personally, I would just focus on my content, I would focus on adding value and let the chips fall where they may in this particular instance.
So as I mentioned, there are a ton of other factors. There’s page load speed, there’s all kinds of… you know, all kinds of things theorized as to what works, what may work, what doesn’t work. You know, anchor text plays a huge role, as far as we can tell. And anchor text is what keywords someone uses in their link when they link back to your site, which is technically off-page SEO and outside of the umbrella of this particular video. But we’ll talk about off-page factors in Section 7 when we talk more about getting traffic to your site.
But there are all kinds of things on-page that could have a pretty big impact on your rankings and your SEO, but the big ones are here. And again, for the sake of simplicity and not just totally screwing your chances at succeeding in this industry, because you’ve already got enough swimming around in your head, I encourage you just to focus on the big ones up here in bullets two and three. The most important and also helpful. And then let everything else kind of fall into place and build on your knowledge in time.
But if you’re just getting started and you’ve never run a really profitable website, I would just focus on bullets two and three, which I’ll show you here as we get into this in WordPress and let everything else kind of take care of itself. Because if you’re doing everything else I’m teaching, those other factors will automatically be taking care of themselves, okay?
So let’s take a look at this in WordPress, without further ado.
So I have a post drafted in WordPress. I took the text document that I showed you with all of my article for “how much does tattoo removal hurt” – the keyword I’m optimizing for. And as I told you, I put it in here and I proofread it and I added formatting all at once. You can see like I have italics and bold there. I have bold here – so that’s what I do to add emphasis to my writer’s voice.
And I also went through and I added my… when you heard me earlier in this video, if it didn’t make any sense, when I talked about Heading 1 (h1), Heading 2 (h2) – or just headings in general because there’s a lot more that h2, there’s h3, there’s h4, h5, h6 – this is what I’m talking about. You see when I highlight this, it says “Paragraph”, when I highlight this, it says “Heading 2” and this is actually a code. If we go into the text… I don’t want to overwhelm you too much, but if you go in here… you can see
– that’s what it does when you highlight a piece of text and you select Heading 2. So it turns it into an h2 tag, these are referenced a lot of different ways but these can be really helpful for SEO if you get your keyword in them. Okay?
The first thing I want to take a look at is you can see over here Yoast is telling me right now my SEO is good. And I always want to do enough to at least get the Yoast indicator to green. And you may be asking yourself: “well, how do you do that?” You come on down here… and I’m talking about Yoast SEO’s indicator… or yeah, Yoast SEO evaluation analysis, if you will, not their readability. My readability, personally, pretty much always comes out to red and bad with Yoast. I just don’t worry about that too much. I only focus on what they’re giving me when it comes to SEO.
So you can see if I scroll down here, I have a big Yoast SEO section. I put in here my focus keyword, so that Yoast knows what I’m trying to optimize for. And then it gives me all these pointers and it tells me what I’ve done really well, what I’ve done okay, and what I just haven’t done well at all in their opinion. You want to take this with a grain of salt, because at the end of the day, Yoast is not perfect; but I make sure to hit the major ones.
So you’ll notice that my keyword is in my title. Like I said, that’s a big one. You will notice if we come down here that my keyword is in my meta title, which is different than my post title. You will notice that my keyword is in my meta description and it’s right there at the beginning. So all of these things are suggested by Yoast and they are things that I have passed. You will also notice that I have the focus keyword in one subheading. If we come up here, I used it here towards the end. And if nothing else, it’s very hard to get some keywords in subheadings. This is an h2 subheading. But at the very least, you can always wrap it in your final thoughts, conclusion, wrapping up. You know, you could have said any one of those things and “Wrapping Up: How Much Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?”, “Final Thoughts:”, “Conclusion:” – so there are a bunch of different ways to do that. But if I have trouble getting the keyword in a subheading anywhere else, I can always fall back to getting it in the conclusion. Okay?
And as we go through here, you’ll notice… actually one of the things Yoast is saying, the keyword density is 0%, which is too low; the focus keyword was found one time in my content. You know, frankly, that’s just not something I’m going to worry about because this is a difficult keyword for me to get, to just cram in throughout an article. It’s a question. And sometimes, questions can be really, really difficult. So I have it here in the first paragraph which is another thing that Yoast suggests is to get your keyword in the first paragraph of your article.
And I also have it… where did I put it? I think I put it here. I have it in an alt tag. I mentioned one of the things that’s helpful is putting your keyword in an alt tag at least once. If you can manage it, two or three times. But at the same time, you don’t want to abuse this. A lot of people will just cram their alt tags with keywords and Google will catch on to that very easily. It’s a very unnatural looking thing and ultimately if you do too many things that try to cheat Google or very clearly abuse their ranking factors and attempt to game the system, you can get punished.
So you can see for this alt text, I put gigantic back tattoo. Because ultimately, what alt text – which stands for Alternative Text – is if that image doesn’t populate or if someone is blind and they cannot see your content, they have a text reader that reads your content to them. That alt text is meant to describe the image, if it can’t be displayed or if someone can’t see it. So you can see here “professional man with knuckle tattoos and sleeves”, I’m putting “tattoo” in here and “knuckle tattoos” in here, because again, that should show Google that I’m writing around the topic. It knows it should see these keywords around this topic. So even though they’re not directly benefiting, they are probably helping me as kind of LSIs… let me make sure I’m getting that. Make sure I’m getting that… yeah, okay. Latent Semantic Indexing is what LSI stands for. So I did remember that correctly. And if you wanted to read more about that, you can. I just wanted to make sure I was not like giving you the wrong acronym over and over again.
But Google uses an algorithm to determine the kind of things that should be discussed and the synonyms and other topics within that arena that should be discussed for a genuine, authentic piece of content. And they are constantly improving and getting better at these things. So you’ll notice, even the one where I crammed my keyword in here… a little bit of a stretch but not too much… I still described the picture “pain pills and other options”. So that’s where I put the keyword in an alt tag.
You know for Tags, I might put “tattoo removal”, “pain relief”, “pain management”. Okay. You just get… you know, if you want to research more on how to use WordPress tags, essentially, like you can Google it and WordPress has a lot of information on them. But essentially, the way I think about this is if someone is reading an article about pain management and they want to see what other articles I have on pain management, if they were to click that tag, they could see other articles on my site for pain management. So that’s how I use tags.
For category, I’ll put “Pain Management” and these… you know… these in theory should help on-page SEO a little bit as well. And that’s that. You know, I’ve got my images in there. You know, we’ll go over this in more detail later. You know, I’ll kind of give a high-quality… or I shouldn’t say high-quality… an in-depth look at what I’ve done throughout this post. Kind of wrap up this section and summarize it. But for now, I just want you to see all of these things, as far as on-page SEO is concerned, which is what this particular lesson is about.
So you can see my keyword is in my page title. You can see my keyword is in my meta title, which is what is displayed typically in the tab in your browser. If we were to view the page source, you can see my meta title and my meta description is in here somewhere… I probably just overlooked it. Anyways, it’s buried in here somewhere. It has to be because I set it in Yoast. I’m just having trouble finding it here. And now… now I am overwhelmed because I’m not a super techy guy… there we go. I got back so… that’s interesting. There it is. Meta name equals description. This is the code for a meta description and it’s universal. And so you can see that my meta description is right there.
So these major things… you can’t see it in the preview but you can see here I got “how-much-does-tattoo-removal-hurt” in my URL slug. And I got it… you’ve already seen that I got it in a heading, I got it in an alt tag… or I should say a subheading… I got it in an alt tag, and I used synonyms and other LSIs that just naturally occur as you write this content, and I also used things… I mean it counts as a synonym… but two or three times throughout this article, I say, “how much tattoo removal hurts” which is very close to “how much does tattoo removal hurt” and Google should know by this point, their technology is good enough that we can assume that they know to associate those things with one another and reward me accordingly.
So anyways, I could ramble, ramble, ramble… go on and on and on… but that should be enough to get you started. If you just focus on this, on what we talked about in this particular slide show, as far as on-page SEO goes… this is enough. This is enough if you just focus on this and you focus on high-quality, high-value content, you will see results in time.
Pick your keywords well, write really high-quality content, and then use your keywords in your on-page SEO. And if you just do that… we’ll talk about this more extensively in Section 7… but if you just did that and you stuck with it and you were consistent and you just saw things through, it’s only a matter of time and you will, will, will see rankings come and then you’ll get traffic; and once you get traffic, you can make money.
So don’t overlook on-page SEO. It’s essential, it’s critical, and these are the most important components. And if you just focus on these and nothing else… you know, we’re talking again about bullet points two and three… if you just focus on these and nothing else, that would be enough if you’re picking keywords according to the training from last section. Alright?
So, okay. That’s a tough one. I hope you’re feeling okay about this. I hope you are not super overwhelmed. If you have questions, as always, feel free to post them in the Facebook group which is free for registered members. And I will see you over there and I will see you in the next video where we’re going to talk a little bit about how often to post content, alright?
See you there!