On-Page Optimization: How To Build A Perfectly Optimized Page

February 23, 2012 - by Andy · Filed Under SEO, Uncategorized Leave a Comment 
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    You already know that the most important ranking factors are:

    • Links to your site – Approximately 50% of the algorithm.
    • The content on your site – Approximately 25% of the algorithm.

    The following article aims to teach you how to craft a perfectly optimized page for Google and take care of that 25%.  Instead of re-hashing information that is already out there, I am going to link you to a SEOmoz article that has already done a great job of covering this topic in depth – How to build a perfectly optimized page.

    That being said, here are my own personal guidelines and thoughts on on-page optimization.

    Title tag: The title tag is one of the most important on-page ranking factors. If possible mention your keyword as the first words in your title tag. Failing that, make sure you get your keywords within the title tag. Try to write something compelling that includes your keywords and modifiers. An excellent title tag contains all of your KW’s, doesn’t look KW stuffed and reads well/induces clicks through to your webpage.

    Meta description: Worthless for ranking. However, your Meta description is the snippet that is provided about your page in the search results. Writing compelling copy will increase your click through rate and get you more traffic. Having a high click through rate may be some kind of quality signal/ranking factor, therefore having an attractive Meta description that gets lots of clicks has no downside. Try not to write more than 155 characters, that is all Google will display.

    <h1> tag: The H1 tag used to be a very important on-page ranking factor; this has however been toned down in recent years. That being said, I still use the <h1> tag as the title of all our blog posts/content pages.

    Meta Keywords: Worthless, don’t waste your time writing these.

    Rel Canonical: This tag is used to specify the exact URL of a page. This helps stop potential duplicate pages being indexed by Google. For example, Google sees http://yoursite.com as a different URL to http://www.yoursite.com . Using the canonical tag tells Google the true URL for that page.  For more information on the canonical tag check out this video by Google’s Chief Spam Killer, Matt Cutts:

    URL: I try to keep all of my URL’s short. So for example, if I have a post on my site called “Website Ideas That Make Money”, the URL for that post would just be http://www.AffiliateFYI.com/website-ideas/

    Shorter URL’s are correlated with rankings and are easier to type in. Try to also incorporate the KW’s you are targeting in the URL. Always use a hyphen – separator instead of an underscore _ separator.

    Images: Images and relevant ALT tags are correlated with rankings.  We suggest that you add a relevant image with a KW ALT tag to as many posts as possible on your site.  Make sure you add KW’s to the image filename. Example: my-keywods-here.jpg

    Bolded keywords in site content: Bolding your keyword in the body text of a page seems to have a slight benefit in Google. I recommend that you do this at least once per post if you can remember. However, if you forget it’s not a big deal, the impact of doing such is tiny.

    Writing content: Whatever you do, do NOT stuff your pages with keywords. This is more likely to lead to a penalty than an increase in rankings. The rule of thumb I follow is that I make sure I mention the keyword at least once in the first and last paragraph of a post. Apart from that, I write all my posts in natural language and do not try and artificially incorporate keywords in to my text.

    It has been proven that Google gives a slight bias to how quickly you mention your keyword. By this I mean, it will be slightly more beneficial to mention your keyword as the first words of the first sentence rather than the end of the first paragraph. Quantifying how much this will benefit you is hard; my guess is that it helps a tiny bit.

    I often incorporate modifiers of a keyword or similar language in to a post. I do not do this on purpose, it just happens naturally when I write about a specific topic.

    Regarding post lengths, I try to make all of my posts a substantial length. What does substantial mean? Well, I very rarely put up posts with less than 300 words on my sites. I like to think in terms of quality instead of quantity. Whenever I write a post I just try to add as much value as possible and cover a topic comprehensively. Writing more text often gives you the benefit of ranking for more obscure/long tail keywords.  That being said I don’t go out of my way to write long or short posts.

    Your goal should be to write compelling posts that humans find interesting. High quality content attracts natural links, page bookmarks and social shares from visitors. If you can write something that makes someone want to share it with someone else you have done your job correctly.

    Freshness of content: There is evidence to suggest that Google gives some kind of boost to fresh content. If you get traffic for a certain term, you may want to periodically check over the content and add additional details if new information is applicable. For example, if you rank for a review of a certain service, if the service periodically changes its special offers, you will want to incorporate those on your page when they change their promotions. The freshness may help you rank but it is specifically good for conversions to have the latest information on that topic.

    Uniqueness of content: Whenever possible, try to take a new angle when writing your posts. If the top 10 rankings in Google re-hash the exact same information, what can you do to make yourself stand out? Try and take existing information and improve on it in some way or add something new altogether. Doing a review of a product? Why don’t you make a screen-cast video of the benefits of using that product? If you go the extra mile to make your content stand out it will only be good for you in the long run.

    If I can get natural links in the most competitive niches such as Gambling and Poker you can get links by creating amazing content that stands out to users. Remember, this is what Google wants you to do. They want the best content showing up #1, by creating amazing and remarkable content you are aligning yourself with what Google wants. Past experience has taught me that you want to be aligned with Google, not against them.

    A Final Note on Keyword Targeting

    It’s worth mentioning keyword targeting again. Building a perfectly optimized page is worthless if you are perfectly optimized for a keyword that no one searches for, or a keyword that gets searches but is too hard for you to rank for. As per the keyword selection tutorials, you need to be targeting keywords that bring you valuable visitors that are interested in making some kind of purchase.

    This usually means creating content in one of these two categories.

    1)    Creating review or information pages about stuff people buy online. Example: “Build my rank review”.

    2)    Creating posts that provide valuable information or answer some kind of questions.  Example:  “23 Amazing Website Ideas” or “How to SEO WordPress”.

    Follow Me on Twitter @AffiliateFYI for Even More Affiliate, Business and SEO Updates!

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