Onpage SEO is all about one thing. Leverage points. It an aspect we always include in a report for enterprise auditing services.
Meaning, what changes can you make to your website that will get the most organic traffic?
Most What Hat SEOs focus on subjects that are highly debatable and don’t always yield results, but here we will focus only on stuff that works and results in significant traffic gains.
Don’t believe us? Here is a marketing campaign we worked on by fixing mainly fixing Onpage SEO issues:
Got your attention? In this part of our SEO trainings we are going over the major problem areas we see when working on client sites:
Keyword Selection – Pick both Easy & Hard Ones
This is an incredibly deep topic. In fact we don’t think most SEOs give this subject enough credit. In fact we could probably make an entire course on this subject, if you are on a budget you can just have a look at our SEO keyword research article.
If you do not know what a keyword is, it’s the search query you type into Google.
What we recommend.
- Learn how to properly analyze keywords. Which ones are hard? Which ones are easy? Hint hint, 100% of expensive SEO tools don’t tell you, you have to look at the types of sites that are ranking. If it’s all 20 year old sites ranking that are very powerful, you probably don’t have a chance, if it’s newer sites like yours or the one you are working on, then it’s much more possible.
- Pick keywords that are easy to rank for. Generally speaking, especially with newer sites this is a gamer changer.
- Make kind of like an “avalanche” – meaning the first set of keywords you plan should be kinda easy, but slowly build up to harder and harder Keywords.
Title Tag – The Biggest leverage Point in SEO
What is a title tag you say? It’s the headline’s you see when you type something into Google:
luckly, nowadays most CMS or eCommerce platforms make it very easy to update this information. It’s worth mentioning that we wrote an entire article on title tag optimization.
Entering the proper information here is easily the best way to get some initial rankings.
Here are some tips on how to get started:
- Put the main keyword you are targeting towards the beginning of the title tag.
- Don’t be afraid to mix in other keywords that are strongly related to the subject or ‘intent’.
- Make the title tag human readable and a little catchy. After all it’s going to be humans who click on the search results.
H1 – The 2nd Biggest Leverage Point in SEO
Not sure what the H1 is? Well it’s the main headline that we have written for any given website:
There are a lot of different heading tags. For example heading 1, heading 2, heading 3, etc etc. In fact we have an entire article all about H1’s.
Here are some quick tips when setting up your H1’s:
- Only have 1. It’s a powerful ranking signal, more than 1 confuses Google.
- Include important keywords, ideally towards the beginning.
- Feel free to mix highly related keywords.
- Should be human readable and interesting.
URL – Make Short & Easy To Understand
According to our SEO testing, the H1 & Title tag just carries a lot more weight. That said, the URL is still important.
Not sure what it is? Its that thing you see here:
Here are some guidelines when creating a URL:
- Keep it short and sweet. As you can see from the above image, at a glance, just from looking at the URL you can tell that its about “Coffee” in Chinese。
- For advanced users, feel free to use sub-folders to group similar together. (Sorry, this one is for the nerds, a rather techie subject. )
Website Structure: Build A website that Makes sense to both people and search engines.
A big mistake we see most SEOs making is that they only focus only on optimizing individual articles or product pages. They do not put a lot of thought into website structure.
Think of it this way.
If you go to a large shopping store, generally everything is very organized. The gardening equipment is in the gardening section of the store, the dog food is in the animal products section of the store, the tents are in the outdoor section of the store.
This is how your website should be set up. All the articles or products that are similar should be grouped together.
Internal Linking – A largely Unspoken Leverage point
Simply put, most SEOs do not know the power of internal linking. Namely, how you create internal anchor text and keywords you include. Lucky for you, we have an entire article on anchor text linking.
In short, it is when you “link” the articles together in your website.
If you are not familiar, an internal link is the blue text you see here:
Here are a few quick tips:
- Don’t go overboard like wikipedia does, you can’t compare their website to your own. They use far too many for the average site owner. They deal with very different issues than normal site owners.
- Be highly descriptive in your anchor text, describe the article with keywords that are highly relevant to the article on your website you are linking too.
- Don’t go overboard, meaning don’t use the same exact keyword 100% percent of the time.
Topic Relevance and Site Architecture
Now that we understand internal linking, you’ll want to link together all the pages on your site in a logical way. If we use “coffee bean” as your main keyword as an example, we would suggest you do something like this:
This is the most basic “silo” structure you can make for a website.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Have some kind of hierarchy, meaning the “most important” topic or keyword should be at the top.
- A trick we like to do, generally the harder keywords would go at the top of the hierarchy. This way they get more internal links and topically relevant content linking to them.
- Do not be afraid to link “both ways”, meaning two articles can link to one another. To be a bit more clear, the article about “arabic coffee bean” page can link to the “overview coffee bean” page and vice versa.
Final thoughts and Conclusion
Well there you have it. Now you know how to increase the organic traffic to your website simply by fixing a few factors. The above topics might seem simple, but it took us years to figure out. Hopefully our hardship can save you a lot of trouble.