LESSON #77: On Page SEO

In the previous lesson we started learning about search engine optimization, and we did some initial keyword research and analysis.

Today we’re going to dig in and start optimizing our website with On Page SEO.

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • SEO by its nature involves optimizing for the search engines, not just for humans. BUT…

  • We should optimize for humans AND search engine robots. Increasingly, SEO takes visitor experience into consideration.

  • On Page Optimization Factors:

    Domain Name – Use your primary keyword. Hyphens are optional. Use a top level domain (.com, .org. net). Country domains can be used if you’re optimizing for your country only.

    You can register domains here.

    Advanced tip: use an aged domain. (just make sure it has a clean history)

    Page URL – Use the page’s targeted keyword as the page file name. Hyphens optional.

    WordPress makes it easy. See lesson #34 for permalink setup. Also here is a web host with one-click WordPress installation (Coupon Code: ERICSTIPSCOUPON).

    If you’ve already got WordPress posts with non-SEO friendly URL’s, use a permalink migrator plugin, such as Dean’s Permalink Migration or Permalinks Moved Permanatly.

    Title Tag – Use the page’s targeted keyword at the beginning of the title. If you’re using WordPress, use the All In One SEO Pack plugin, or else use an SEO theme like Thesis Theme.

    Meta Description – NOT generally used for SEO ranking, but still important. Use your keyword one time, keep an honest non-spammy description, and make it compelling to entice clicks.

    H1 Tags – Use your targeted keyword within an H1 tag at the top of the page. This can be a headline.

    Keyword Usage – Forget about density, frequency, LSI, etc. Just be sure to use your keyword at least once in the content, and use it up to several times in a natural way that makes sense. It may help to make it bold one time.

    Images – Use your keyword as the image name, and in the “alt” text. Just make sure your picture accurately fits the name and description.

    With good image optimization, you can get a lot of extra traffic from image searches. In general this traffic is known for NOT converting into sales, but is traffic nevertheless, and in some cases can be converted.

    Site Structure – Your site should be easy to navigate. Use canonicalization (no duplicate content within your own site). Front-load your content in the coding of your page (ie. you don’t want a big navigation menu to be the first thing the search engine robot sees).

    Internal Linking – Use keywords when linking within your own site. For example, at the beginning of this lesson I linked to the previous lesson. Notice that my anchor text is “search engine optimization”, NOT “Lesson #76”.

    Site Map – Use an XML sitemap. To make your own, see the protocol at sitemaps.org. Or use one of the many site-map generators, or a WordPress plugin such as Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold.

    Privacy Policy and Terms of Service – Some people say this affects SEO, although it is very questionable. But even if it doesn’t affect SEO, you should still have the proper legal docs on your site (See lesson #43). And on the topic of compliance, you also need to follow Google’s technical and quality webmaster guidelines.

    “No Follow” Link Attribute – For SEO purposes, it’s probably best to use “no follow” on your blog comments. Also, you may wish to use it for affiliate link, and any link to a “bad neighborhood” (but you shouldn’t be linking to bad places).

    Fast Page Load Time – Your site should load FAST. Don’t bog it down with many plugins and 3rd party apps. Use clean, minimalist coding.

    Original Content – Yes, content is king. Not just for SEO, but for long term success of any website. Good content does not inherently bring web traffic; you still have to be a marketer. Good content is also necessary to decrease your bounce rate (helps with SEO), increase the time visitors spend on your site, and increase repeat traffic.

    Fresh Content – Posting more frequently can help you gain authority with the search engines more quickly. And I’m not talking about auto-blogging. It must be good, original content.

  • Free SEO Beginner Guides:

    Google’s Starter Guide
    Seomoz Beginner’s Guide

    To learn more about SEO, I recommend the Professional SEO Training Course, which is used to train SEO industry professionals around the world.

    Action steps:

    1) Do an analysis of your competitors’ On Page SEO.

    2) Optimize your pages for your keywords.

    3) Make sure your site structure is good.

    4) Make sure your site is FAST.

    5) Provide good content regularly.

    We’ll be looking at Off Page SEO in the next lesson.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 59 comments on “LESSON #77: On Page SEO

    1. Philip

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks once again for the wonderful content on SEO On-Page optimissation. It has helped refresh some of my check list for my sites in this area.

      And talking about wordpress site, I have used this plugin to help optimise my On-Page SEO on all my wordpress site and many of them have a good ranking in the SERP with the help of this plugin. You may have a look at this plugin at http://www.seopressorwp.com.

      Cheers

      Philip
      Singapore

      Reply
    2. anxietycurepaniccure

      I am not sure what you are saying about “Original Content”?
      Must it be original or is duplication OK. According to Ed – Samurai challenge – duplication is OK! I have so much respect for your opinion.

      Reply
    3. d3so

      Nice SEO tips. I didn’t know the meta description didn’t add any effect.
      There are also plugins that help make sure you add necessary items on your post.

      Reply
    4. Abraham van der Linde

      Yet another UBER lesson from Eric.

      Thanks Eric, I realy needed this. my site is not nearly getting the traffic it’s supposed to get. Now I know a bit more about SEO and going to implement it now

      Reply
    5. Abraham van der Linde

      One other thing you did not mention.

      With the nofollow tag, use the open in new window tag too. This will help you by way of keeping visitors longer on your own site.

      Reply
    6. Vince

      Yep… great post as usual. 🙂 Been doing this. 🙂

      Reply
    7. Photo Soren

      Thanks Eric,

      As usual a helpful hand for people. May I add the use of internal linking among pages to include in your primer here, with keywords in text links to main pages fitting to the KWs.

      Best

      Soren
      Denmark – Just returned from Bangkok in Thailand 🙂

      Reply
    8. Eran

      How do I find out if an old domain used to belong to a spammer?

      Reply
    9. Eran

      Do you need all-in-one plugin if you have thesis theme?

      Reply
    10. Colin Scott

      Good stuff here Eric, how would you go about using the content first trick, or ensuring that the content is placed first then navigation, if you are using WordPress.

      Is it theme specific, or is there something we need to hard code to have that done?

      Also do I no follow privacy and contact us pages?

      Reply
    11. Bob

      Another great lesson. I always try and watch them through at least two times.

      Bob

      Reply
    12. BC

      Eric, please forgive the intrusion. I do follow your videos and have learned a great deal from them.

      I am looking for Joint Venture, partner, or other opportunity.

      This note is not one of desperation, more one of resignation and determination. Resignation as I planned to do this myself and determination as I don’t plan to let my pride get in the way of success. I have reached a point where I don’t seem to be able to get over the last hump to increasing my web based income. I planned to do this myself (with the coaching here) but seem to have a mental block to the last bits of the process.

      What I have: Small web hosting company – needs to grow; several good URLs registered to me; time and some knowledge of html and how the web works; several email groups based on gardening/rising food, (spam free groups that I have only lightly fished), a couple of products of my own. Also have working computers (1 Apple G4, 1 HP) and web access. Experience with Quark, Photoshop, Word and several other programs, have also made CD and DVD video projects and have taught and acted as a trainer on a variety of subjects. I feel that I bring some things of worth to the table.

      Of the URLs I have three are garden related, one web income, one directed at pet care, two planned as reporter/videographer membership sites and a couple of other miscellaneous areas. I am not locked into any one way but seeking push to profits in any of several areas.

      What I need: Someone to help me get over the last hump. I don’t expect to make a million in a week but I must get more income coming in. I can spend the time and sweat and provide web space. May need some code and good leads to products I can affiliate with or resell. (I have done the html on several sites but some things elude me).

      What I cannot provide: Any money. I am trying to keep a roof over my head, and that of my elderly mother. (She is in the red but I usually break even. I am not in any serious debt but she has a mortgage). Turned all the credit cards in and there is no one I can borrow from (was not raised to borrow). I don’t want money from any one that replies. What I want is enough help to get my own income streams. I am open to joint ventures, partnerships something in that order. Not charity but a push in the right direction (and maybe a kick in the backside if I get distracted by details).

      Something needs to change and I recognize that the Internet offers the highest potential. Just a few hundred a month would be a huge help. Without any changes I figure mom and I would be homeless sometime mid to late 2011. There is time to prevent this – if I can only get past what is blocking me. If you want more details, to verify that I write the truth, or other information email me. I need someone to consider joining me in making more income please send questions by email so that we can discuss it in a more private forum. Send to:

      (Don’t I have a private site I can post this to along with a request to Eric’s tips? They also need to know that I am not spamming this out to ‘everyone’.

      info@newwebcash.com

      Reply
    13. Dan @ Instant Money-making Websites

      Thanks for another great lesson Eric. I wanted to ask you before if it’s profitable using auto blogging software. But you have answered my question about it.

      I have always felt all those auto blogging software being peddled around on the Internet were useless, and restrained from buying. I don’t know why some well known Internet marketers are promoting this product when they know it doesn’t help your quest to make money online.

      Thanks again for your honesty.

      Reply
    14. Eric Post author

      I’m not saying you can’t make money with autoblogging. You can. But I don’t think it’s a good long term business-building strategy unless your strategy is to fill the web with millions of useless websites.

      Reply
    15. Eric Post author

      Good question. The Thesis theme has those features built in, so you would not need to use the plugin. I’ve added this to my notes above.

      Reply
    16. Eric Post author

      Good point, thanks. Internal linking is a part of On Page SEO. I will add it to my notes below the video.

      Reply
    17. Eric Post author

      One easy way is to have the navigation in the right-side column. Are am not sure if there are any themes that address left-side navigation for SEO or not. A good test to see what the search engines see, is type the URL of your site at http://www.seo-browser.com. If there is a lot of stuff above your content, then you may want to look into a different theme or else doing some hard coding to address the issue. It’s technically an easy fix, but a little different for each situation depending on how the site is coded. I would think a good PHP coder could easily fix any theme for under $50 on vWorker.

      For SEO purposes I would not use “no follow” on your privacy or contact pages. The point is that Google may want to see that you’ve got those pages in place. I have sometimes used “no follow” on my legal pages because I didn’t care about SEO for those sites, and I didn’t want those pages being indexed.

      Reply
    18. Eric Post author

      Yes, you will notice that I usually open links in a new window that are within my lessons. I use the target=”_Blank” attribute. Some pop-up blockers will actually block this, but I think it makes sense for the way I use it. My readers may want to explore the links while watching the video at the same time.

      Reply
    19. Eric Post author

      The meta keywords don’t matter anymore either, but everyone still uses them… myself included! I guess we still use them out of habit, and we want to make sure we have them just “in case” the search engines still pay attention to them.

      Reply
    20. Eric Post author

      It needs to be original. I’m not saying duplicate content has no value. There are instances where it works. Syndication is common, and it’s a big part of how content is distributed on the web. Think about AP news stories… they appear in hundreds of places simultaneously, and yet those sites shouldn’t be penalized for “duplicate” content. But original content is absolutely more valuable than duplicate content, and Google seems to be valuing it more and more.

      Reply
    21. andrew

      hello eric i have been following your video blog all the way through and i must say you have been excellent with your showing,explaining and advice you are second to non and its free. my hat goes off to you sir thanks.

      Reply
    22. Diane

      Hi Eric,
      Just wanted to let you know how much I value your Tips. As a result of your generous tips, I trust you and always check out your recommended buys.

      But, I do have a query and/or complaint about this one–urgency, for instance. Money Extractor.
      I have no patience for these blabby videos. What leads these marketers to believe that their videos are so fab that everybody is willing to sit through their blab? What I really can’t stand [doesn’t apply to this one] is the newest trick of not displaying the timer so the viewer cannot put a stop to the harangue.

      Please tell me why marketers are ALL producing clone videos. They can’t write? They think we can’t read? What could possibly be the reason they think they will succeed by producing these time-consuming videos?

      I value your opinion and would really like to know what the underlying rationale might possibly be.

      Reply
    23. Val

      Hi Eric,

      First of all, let me say how much I enjoy and appreciate your teaching. It is “out of the top drawer” – so precise and concise. Thank you.

      I have a question. Your videos are so easy to watch and don’t need constant reloading. How do you get that right? I own your son-in-law’s paid version of the free video software you advertised a long time back. Will that get the same result?

      Reply
    24. Sanjiv

      Hi Eric,
      I run out of words, every time I want to comment on your lesson – but I think i have got the message across. Secondly, I have read the comments on this lesson and a particular comment of one BC did move me. Between you, me and the lamp post — Do you think you can help him? By the way, before you misunderstand, I don’t know him from Adam’s!

      Reply
    25. Eric Post author

      The reason they stream well is because the file size of the videos is very small– generally less than 1MB per minute. The way I do this is with the export settings when I export them from Camtasia. Here is the export settings of the video:

      SWF, Automatic frame rate (if the file is too big, I will lower the framerate until it’s small enough). 16 bit, compressed SWF, JPEG compression 50%, MP3 audio 22.050kHz, Mono, 32kbps.

      If I am working with live video (for example from Final Cut Pro on my mac), I use the same principles. I convert those to FLV using Adobe flash converter, and the key to making a smaller file is lower bitrate.

      I don’t have any son in laws yet, so I’m not sure which software you’re referring to? 🙂

      Reply
    26. Eric Post author

      Haha, I told my friend Bobby the same thing!

      The reason they’re all making these videos is because it’s easier than writing a good sales page, AND it works. HOWEVER, I think they are losing their effectiveness in our industry.

      Videos still work (and still work better than written sales letters in most cases), but in the IM world they need to seem authentic, not like a voiceover artist.

      Currently the ones that seem to be making the most money are the most unprofessional ones.

      In most other industries, I would imagine that the slick voiceover approach will still work, as they aren’t saturated with it.

      It’s interesting to see how the pendulum may be swinging back toward written sales letters!

      Reply
    27. Cyber Security

      Eric,
      Now there was a nice lesson. Some real meat and potatoes there. I was already aware of the information, however I did just learn about doing the internal linking about two weeks ago. I had the links at the bottom of the pages but had never done any linking in the body of the content.
      You have just confirmed it for me. I was questioning whether that was important, until I read your lesson. Thanks for the confirmation.

      Reply
    28. Marten Davis

      Eric:

      Nice to review some of the basic tips and ALWAYS you pick up a fresh and original tip. Your videos are “looked forward” every time you produce one. Thanks for your contribution. I am using all your tips on my Bankruptcy Appraisal Sites as well as all my other niche appraisal sites.

      Reply
    29. Franklin

      Great Eric! Great stuff, learned so much that I just realized that everything I was doing was totally wrong. Can’t wait for next lesson, Franklin. Thanks again!

      Reply
    30. Kathy Baker

      Hi Eric!
      THANK YOU as always for your very valuable information and lessons!
      Re All in One SEO Pack – couple sources have been saying it’s old, outdated, and Headspace2 is newer and up to date, and is the one to go with. What would your final advice on that be?
      Kathy

      Reply
    31. Duc

      Hi Eric,
      There are a lot of information out there about SEO. But I have to say that you have your own way to teach about this. Thank you.

      Reply
    32. Eric Post author

      The All in One SEO pack still does what I need it to do. I’ve not tried Headspace2, but I’d certainly be open to it. If you find that it’s better, be sure to let us know why 🙂

      Reply
    33. Graham

      Hello Eric,
      With all the videos now being used. Do the the same SEO tactics that apply to pictures come into play with video or are there differences?

      Reply
    34. Eric Post author

      There are some differences. Video does not have “alt” tags. Instead, you would need to put the appropriate text near your video on the page, for example you could put keyword in an H1 tag above the video, and put a description next to the video or below it. On 3rd party video sites such as youtube, you would want to include your keyword in the title, and use keywords in the tags and description. We’ll talk about this in another lesson.

      Eventually it is quite possible that the search engines will look at the content of the video itself. In other words, the bots will be able to “watch” your video and keep an internal transcript of all the words spoken in it, which will be taken into consideration.

      Reply
    35. Graham in UK

      Hi Eric
      Another good video with some great SEO advice without any ‘fluff’!
      I was surprised about using keyword phrases for alt tags, my alt tags describe the actual image and which German Shepherd Dog it is without any emphasis on keyword description.
      Hmm…… will have to look at this again?
      Thanks for yet another helpful video lesson.

      Reply
    36. Michaela

      Hi! I find out that if we have an original content, duplication of it is good, but I know Google doesn’t like it… what is new!

      Reply
    37. Kanute

      Hi,
      Thanks for a really useful and nice lesson. What I like the best with your ‘tips’ is that we get a written summary of what you teach in the video, which makes it easy to repeat and remember better.

      Reply
    38. Jeremy Ballance

      Greetings Eric, I truly enjoy everything you have shared…extremely educational, especially for a new marketer such as myself.

      Reply
    39. Vijay Gaikwad

      Hi Eric,

      Pls tell me how to incresed traffic of a Website.
      Hoping positive response from you!

      Reply
    40. Alisa

      I found your site some time ago and booked marked it. I started watching video’s 3 days ago even though I am going backwards. I actually pulled an all nighter last night, boy work was tough today but once I get on this site I can’t stop. I also love the way you give the overviews of the video’s. It just reinforces more of what I just heard. Please don’t take this site down anytime soon as I am going to start lesson 76 right now and I guess it starts at lesson 1 so I have a long way to go. Your teaching style is very calming. You never leave anything unanswered and you are very active in answering any comments. Love this site

      Alisa DeGroat

      Reply
    41. Nedra

      Another great informative lesson…!!!
      Nedra

      Reply
    42. Yinka

      Hi Eric,
      I’m no longer receiving ur email deliever to my inbox. Please, kindly resend the previous email that I missed. The last email I received from you was lesson #83 in the last 3 0r 4 days. Your lessons are simply through great to be missed. Waiting in anticipation. Thank you.

      Reply
    43. Prue

      Eric, do you suggest I register as a company before trading or do it just after I start making some income?

      Reply
    44. Micah

      Hello Yinka,

      It appears you’ve caught up to the latest lesson.

      The next lesson will be completed soon. You should receive an email, as soon as it’s ready.

      Reply
    45. Micah

      Hello Prue,

      Eric discusses the things needed to start an online business in lesson #8:
      http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson8/

      Here’s his recommendation from that lesson:

      “In general, you can probably start as a sole proprietor, and decide later if you want to form an LLC.

      An LLC may help save you from paying self employment taxes. It also can protect your personal assets. Consult with an attorney or tax accountant.”

      Reply
    46. Marija

      Hi Eric.
      How about the content in affiliate links? Do I need to present the content of affiliate at the post or page in WP site? Thank You! Marija

      Reply

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