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On-page Optimization

By on December 18, 2013 in On-page SEO, SEO with 0 Comments

SEO Best Practices for On-page Optimizationon-page optimization

SEO best practices to improve the SERP (search engine results page) rankings is a combination of two main factors: on-page optimization and successful inbound marketing. On-page optimization is only a first, albeit mandatory, step. The only time when on-page optimization alone can result in a page-one ranking is when very uncommon terms relevant to the page content are used to optimize the page. (See Bear Poop on Mars post) On highly competitive search terms, on-page optimization is not what gets the page to show up on page-one of the free (organic) search results.

On-page optimization gives the search engines the clearest understanding of each page and, properly executed, the best chance to rank on one primary and additional secondary keywords. The primary keyword must show up in the page’s URL, Title, Content, Meta Title and Meta Description at a minimum. It also helps to include it in any alt tags that define images on the page.

When competitors abound and your web visibility is low, you must look creatively to find the lowest competitive keywords that remain relevant to your page to have the best chance of a page-one ranking, even to the detriment of less traffic. In many cases, it is a reality of receiving less traffic using less competitive keywords versus no traffic on the most competitive keywords.

There are circumstances when highly authoritative domains, they themselves savvy in search engine optimization, will populate Page-one of the most competitive (and lucrative) keywords and make it virtually impossible for other companies to compete on those keywords. An example is the legal industry.  Authoritative sites, like lawyer.com, findlaw, nolo.com, legalmatch.com, and lexisnexis  occupy the first page on most location-specific and practice-area search terms making it extremely difficult for small law practices to achieve a page-one ranking. This forces them to either pay the fee to be included in those directories or pay the cost per click required to put their ad on that page. 

The cure sometimes is to create many different pages relevant to your business optimizing each page on a different keyword. (By the way, that’s a benefit of blog posts. Each blog post is a page.) So, if you are not yet able to rank on competitive keywords with high average monthly search volume, say 1,000, hypothetically you could have 100 pages optimized on 100 very low competitive keywords each having a search volume of 10 per month to give you the chance for the same amount of traffic.

The “snippet” is the presentation of your search result. Remember that a Page-one ranking puts your snippet in the SERPs along with (typically) nine others. Now is your chance to compete for and “win the click!” How you design the snippet will earn more click-throughs and potentially higher rankings. (Tip: Google keeps track of how many clicks your snippet wins and if the visit to your site results in a bounce back to the SERP for a better choice.) The most important pieces of the snippet are the Meta Title (the top line, 70 characters max.), the page URL (2nd line) and the Meta Description (3rd and 4th lines, 156 characters max.) Each should contain the primary keyword for the page and will become bolded if they match to user’s search term to increase their relevancy.

Example of On-page Optimization – Before and After

Below are three examples of product pages that were re-optimized on new researched keywords and how those keywords were used in the page’s URL, meta title, meta description and in the new page content (product description). This process was completed on over 2,500 pages over a six month period and has resulted to date in over 765 first-page rankings. This can be a helpful example for companies that re-sell manufacturers products and have made the mistake of using the manufacturer’s Product Name as their primary keyword without asking themselves if it’s a term people are going to search on. In the first example, are more people going to search on  Headwaters Mesh Vest or on a term such as fishing vest?

On-page Optimization Template #1

Old URL Key: headwaters-mesh-vest.html
Product Name: Headwaters Mesh Vest
Brand Name: Simms
Who Worked on It?: SEP
Old Description: A never-go-fishing-without-it essential for your next warm-weather angling excursion, Simms’ Headwaters Mesh Vest boasts 19 intuitively structured pockets that can be stocked full of everything you need on the water—tools, keys, media player, and maps to your favorite backcountry hideouts. The mesh construction allows the vest to breathe, while the padded rib-knit collar feels great against your neck and gives you all-day comfort. A Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish turns a midsummer shower into an unnoticeable inconvenience.
Keyword to Target (Local Monthly Searches): “fishing vest” 6,600
Other Potential Keywords (Local Monthly Searches): “mens fishing vest” 22
Suggested New Product Name: Fishing Vest | Headwaters Mesh Vest
New Meta Title: Fishing Vest by Simms | DJBENNETT
New Meta Description: Simms’ Headwaters Fishing Vest boasts 19 intuitively structured pockets that can be stocked full of everything you need on the water. Mesh. Zoom-into photo.
New Description: A never-go-fishing-without-it essential for your next warm-weather angling excursion, Simms’ Headwaters Fishing Vest boasts 19 intuitively structured pockets that can be stocked full of everything you need on the water—tools, keys, media player, and maps to your favorite backcountry hideouts. The mesh construction allows the vest to breathe, while the padded rib-knit collar feels great against your neck and gives you all-day comfort. A Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish turns a midsummer shower into an unnoticeable inconvenience.
New URL Key: /fishing-vest.html

 

On-page Optimization Template #2

Old URL Key: headwaters-stockingfoot.html
Product Name: Headwaters Stockingfoot
Brand Name: Simms

Who Worked on It?: SEP
Old Description: Delivering first-class functionality at an unmatched value, the Headwaters Stockingfoot waders are engineered to perform when you need them most—whether that means going thigh-deep in Montana or navigating a fjord in Iceland, all in pursuit of a great catch. They’re made of waterproof three-layer Gore-Tex fabric to enhance maneuverability and keep exterior moisture at bay, while still allowing internal water vapor and perspiration to escape. The reinforced leg panels and innovative front-leg seam construction make them ridiculously durable and irritation-free. The adjustable shock cord cinch at the top puts the waders on lockdown, blocking out the cold and hoarding the heat you need to stay comfortable—no matter how icy the waters get.
Keyword to Target (Local Monthly Searches):
Other Potential Keywords (Local Monthly Searches): “stockingfoot” 1,600
Suggested New Product Name: Stockingfoot | Headwaters Stockingfoot
New Meta Title: Stockingfoot by Simms | DJBENNETT
New Meta Description: The Headwaters Stockingfoot waders perform when you need them, whether that means going thigh-deep in Montana or navigating a fjord in Iceland. Waterproof.
New Description: Delivering first-class functionality at an unmatched value, the Headwaters Stockingfoot waders are engineered to perform when you need them most—whether that means going thigh-deep in Montana or navigating a fjord in Iceland, all in pursuit of a great catch. They’re made of waterproof three-layer Gore-Tex fabric to enhance maneuverability and keep exterior moisture at bay, while still allowing internal water vapor and perspiration to escape. The reinforced leg panels and innovative front-leg seam construction make them ridiculously durable and irritation-free. The adjustable shock cord cinch at the top puts the waders on lockdown, blocking out the cold and hoarding the heat you need to stay comfortable—no matter how icy the waters get.
New URL Key: /Stockingfoot.html

 

On-page Optimization Template #3

Old URL Key: morada-long-sleeve-shirt.html
Product Name: Morada Long Sleeve Shirt
Brand Name: Simms
Who Worked on It?: SEP
Old Description: This shirt was built to keep up with your go-where-the-fish-are spirit. It is lightweight and easy to pack, and no matter what you put it through, it stays fresh and clean thanks to its water- and stain-resistant Teflon finish. The single chest pocket is roomy enough to store your fly box, off-shoulder seams eliminate irritation and enhance mobility, and built-in UPF 30 protection ensures that the sun won’t drive you inside before you’ve hauled in the trophy catch of the day.
Keyword to Target (Local Monthly Searches): “fly fishing shirt” 260
Other Potential Keywords (Local Monthly Searches): “simms fishing shirt” 28 “simms fishing” Medium 4,400 “simms fishing apparel” 12
Suggested New Product Name: Fly Fishing Shirt | Morada Long Sleeve Shirt
New Meta Title: Fly Fishing Shirt by Simms | DJBENNETT
New Meta Description: This fly fishing shirt was built to keep up with your go-where-the-fish-are spirit. It’s lightweight and easy to pack, built-in UPF 30 keeps you on the river.
New Description: This fly fishing shirt was built to keep up with your go-where-the-fish-are spirit. Part of the Simms’ fishing apparel line-up, it is lightweight and easy to pack. And no matter what you put it through, it stays fresh and clean thanks to its water- and stain-resistant Teflon finish. The single chest pocket is roomy enough to store your fly box, off-shoulder seams eliminate irritation and enhance mobility, and built-in UPF 30 protection ensures that the sun won’t drive you inside before you’ve hauled in the trophy catch of the day.
New URL Key: /Fly-Fishing-Shirt.html

 

 

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Scott Pierson

About the Author

About the Author: Scott Pierson is the founder of The Executive SEO Agency, an inbound marketing and SEO consulting firm based in Shelton, CT. Scott is a speaker, blogger, trainer and adviser to executives on the subjects of search engine optimization and search engine marketing. .

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