On-page search engine optimization (SEO) is kind of like talking about politics; everyone has an opinion. Some SEO experts may disagree with me and that’s fine. I know what is working for us and how we are getting fast results for ourselves and our clients.
Some experts believe that you have to have the following:
- At least 500 characters
- Keyword phrase in an H1, H2 and H3 heading
- Keyword phrase in the first sentence and the last sentence
- Keyword phrase bolded, italicized and underlined at least once.
- Link to another page on your site
- An image with an alt tag with your keyword
I used to believe all of this too until I saw how we’ve ranked pages in less than a week with only two sentences of content. Of course, we got them to rank faster with only a few authority backlinks, but that’s for another article and we’ll share some of our sources in it. But, we had the bare minimum of on-page content including what we recommend below.
For the sake of this article, let’s say our keyword is “Red two armed widgets”. You are allowed a maximum of 70 characters within the title tag. Make sure you have your keyword phrase within the title tag but don’t be spammy with it either. It’s a good idea to remember that this is your first opportunity to sell to a prospective visitor, so make sure it’s something that will invite them to click on the link.
“High Quality Red Two Armed Widgets At Affordable Prices”
This is your second opportunity to sell to a prospective visitor as it’s what shows up underneath your title text on the search engine results page (SERP). The description doesn’t show up anywhere on your website, just in the search engine results. You need to include your keyword phrase within the description text. Again it’s a good idea to type something into the 155 characters allowed that will entice someone to click on the link and visit your site. Don’t repeat the keyword or keyword phrase at all.
“Acme widgets in Anytown is your best choice for high quality and affordable red two armed widgets for over 20 years. Check out our huge selection.”
Make sure your H1 heading includes your keyword phrase. We’ve had success just making the H1 our keyword phrase as long as it makes sense.
“Red two armed widgets”
There is a lot of debate that you need 500 words or even a thousand. We’ve had success ranking pages with just two sentences. Seriously. Obviously, you’ll get your visitors more interested if you have good content and it will keep them on your site longer. But, you don’t need to get overly worried about it for optimization purposes. Just make sure your keyword density is between 1% and 2%.
Authority Link Within the Content
Within the content of your page, you need to link out to an authority website related to what you are trying to optimize for. A good site to look for pages to link to is Wikipedia.org as almost every article is an authority. So if Wikipedia had an article about “Widgets” or even “Red two armed widgets”, link to that. If you are doing local SEO, then you can link to the article about the city you are trying to optimize for or you can even link to the city’s website. If it was Vancouver, link to the city of Vancouver website. You can also link to a manufacturer’s website if you are selling products.
Include a YouTube Video
Google seems to love pages that embed videos from YouTube. It may be that they own YouTube and want people to embed them, I’m not 100% sure why but I can tell you it works. Try to embed a video related to your keyword phrase or a video about the city you are trying to do local SEO in. As silly as this sounds, we got a page to rank in a large city for a competitive term by embedding a music video from YouTube by Katy Perry that was related to our topic.
We prefer creating our own videos so that we can use it to promote the product or service we are trying to sell. But, you can use somebody else’s video if you want.
I fully expect people who are better than us at SEO to disagree with me. This technique may not work in the future, but it’s working right now and quite effectively for us.