How To Do On Page SEO & Create User Friendly Content
Optimization Techniques For WordPress SEO
On page SEO techniques for WordPress has two main considerations. While we want to write for users and not search engine robots there are some on page optimization basics that we can integrate and do so in a way that it doesn’t look over optimized.
If Using Yoast SEO plugin or similar plugins like all in one SEO or SEO Ultimate, then some of this will be easy to check for your target keyword using the tiles, description and other factors like having your LSI or related keywords in the content, the url and the article headline, as well as for social syndication meta data.
Before we get too deep there are other On Site SEO Factors that we can and should do to make sure your as well optimized as possible. Things like having privacy pages, contact pages and HTML as well as XML sitemaps, rich snippets, author rel and using webmaster tools for Google and Bing and so much more will be covered in another post later.
The On Page SEO Techniques For WordPress Optimization We Will Be Covering Are:
- Create a Compelling Headline To Increase Your Click Through Rate & Deliver On The Promise made In The Headline
- Optimizing Your URL For Search engines
- How To use Images With A Sneaky SEO Advantage
- Using a Sub Headline To Get More Keywords In Early With An H2 Tag
- Using Bullet Points Even Before The First Paragraph To be Both User Friendly But Also Help With The Use of Related or LSI Keywords
- Using Short Paragraphs With Optimized Headlines To Make Your Content Easy To Read & Not Look Cluttered and Daunting To the Reader
- 4 Ways We Can Take Advantage Of Video For On Page SEO
- Using A Social Locker With A Giveaway To Entice Social Shares To Give Us Social Proof and Ideally More Traffic!
- Adding A Call To Action To Maximize the Traffic (We Do SEO For The Purpose Of getting More Traffic After All!)
- 4 Clever Ways To Add Outbound Links And When To Use Follow or No Follow
- 3 Top Tips For Adding Internal Links Easily With relevancy & being user Friendly At the Same Time
- How To Make The Most Of Your Comments Section For Google Plus & Other Social Network Interactivity
- Easy To Use WordPress Plugins For Using Structured Data, Schema and Snippets
But most of the techniques discussed can be used on other platforms, although i do recommend below some WordPress SEO Plugins
Things You May Need To help Optimize Your Site (Plus Some WP SEO Plugin Recommendations, Strategy Tips & Techniques):
- Yoast SEO Plugin will help you with being able to see your snippets for your Title and description and will also help you score your optimization for your target keyword.
- A Giveaway For To Use With A Social Locker: This can be a simple but relevant addition such as a cheat sheet, like i will be giving here for on page SEO Checklist
- Your Main Target Keyword
- Grouped Keywords – Use Keyword Planner For Grouped Keywords
- Optimization Alpha (Now Posts into WordPress)
- Related Keywords – Look Under Google Search or Use LSIkeywords.com
- Plan Your Article From Keywords
- At Least One Call To Action – Whats the Purpose of Your Article… Local Business Leads? Optins? Affiliate Sales?
- Retargeting Pixels On Your Site
On Page Optimization Factors For WordPress, Technique No’1
Create A Compelling Headline To Force the Click Through
…And Deliver On The Promise Made In the Headline
“In simple terms you want to create a headline that will maximize click through rates from people who see your headline in the search engine results or from Social Media”
You can get some great compelling headline ideas by looking at buzzsumo, twitter, adwords ads and Facebook ads for ideas, otherwise there are some free headline generators that may give you some ideas and if using my Optimization Alpha software it has a compelling headline generator built in.
Your headline is usually done with an H1 tag with most WordPress themes, make sure you add your main target keyword into the headline and using a sub headline that backs up the claims of the headline gives us another opportunity to use an H2 or H3 tag with your keyword in it very early in the article.
I have also done a video post on How To Get Google To Optimize Your Content for You which deals more with the keyword research that’s needed before you start writing your content. Its a very simple strategy and its worth the 15 minutes or so of your time to see how you can indeed get Google to optimize your content!
Try to create curiosity to force the click through, perhaps even controversy if you are thick skinned enough to deal with both sides of a controversial headline in both your blog comments and social media. It’s not for everyone!
Lists work great, How To’s and question/answer type headlines that promise a solution etc.
On Page SEO Technique No’1 Quick Guide
My Headline Optimization Rules:
- Get your keyword in early in the headline.
- When you can, use the 1.5 Rule which is simply to get part of your keyword phrase back in again in the headline or use a related or LSI search term in there too. See example below of what the 1.5 Rule is
Other Useful Tips
- Try and avoid using link bait type of headlines and instead focus on useful “How To” (How To Optimize YouTube Videos using free SEO Tools), Benefit Or Numbers & Lists Type headlines (3 Headline Ideas That even Dummies can remember), Curiosity Headlines Works Well Too (using words Like secret, discover, Improve, New etc… “Discover The New/Secret SEO Tool The Pro’s Are Raving About To Get Fast Video Rankings!”)
- Try To keep Your headline short but with Impact, you have more room to play with in headlines than you do with a title for search engines
- Yoast SEO Plugin is really useful at this stage even though the title you add to Yoast plugin is for the search engines and your headline is for your blog. The reason is that you can see your title and description coming together nicely for the search engines but also in the social section you can extend the length slightly.
Example Of An Optimized headline Using the 1.5 Rule:
“21 On Page SEO Techniques For Optimizing WordPress Posts”
You can see the main keyword of “On page SEO” is right at the start and I have used part of a related term in “Optimization” within the same headline.
And Here Are Some Additional Resources That May Help With Generating Compelling Headline Ideas
Optimizing Your URL For Search Engines
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Its the web address people type in to find a web page on the internet. We have several ways of optimizing a url for the search engines and it really should be search engine focused to get the maximum SEO benefit from it by getting our keywords into the url.
In WordPress we have options if using posts where we have categories and sub categories and also in pages where we have parent page options.
Personally I like to use the /%postname%/ permalink when using posts as it makes its a little bit simpler if working with a silo structure of a site.
The length of the URL is determined now by pixel size and not character length as is used to be but it is approximately.
Lets Talk About SEO Plugins For WordPress
You can use Yoast SEO Plugin To be able to see snippets as you type the SEO Title too. But importantly Yoast will strip out words like “and”, “of”, “to” etc leaving you with more characters to get your main keywords in.
You can also get my pre-configured Yoast SEO plugin settings by clicking the banner at the foot of this post which you can import into your own sites. Just be careful with Titles not repeating if your WordPress Theme has SEO settings configured already. It will help you to remove some duplicate content though and some other settings that will help your site be better optimized.
I do not use the XML sitemap options in Yoast, instead i use this XML Sitemap Generator Plugin.
On Page SEO Technique No’2 Quick Guide
My URL Optimization Rules
- Use Yoast SEO Plugin as it strips out words we don’t need in the url (words like “and”, “of”, “to” etc) automatically, but for an important post check the url before posting. An example of why is that this post Yoast stripped out the word “on” when this post is about on page SEO and the word on, is essential.
- Get your main keyword In early as possible into the url just as you would the title and headline
- If you change any urls then you will lose the social signals that you earned, think first before doing any changes, often its better to go with what you have or to create a new post and redirect the old one using a plugin like 301 redirects or redirection plugin (but you will still lose your social signals!)
Optimizing Your Title & Description For The Search Engines
If not using Yoast or WordPress you can use the free snippet optimizer tool at SEOmofo which is really cool for seeing how your title and description will look in the search engine results.
Its worth spending time on your title and description to make it as appealing as possible but always an accurate reflection on the content. See the screenshot below to see how i optimized this posts Title and description.
On Page SEO Techniques No’3 & No’4 Quick Guide
Title & Description Optimization For The Search Engines
- Get Your keywords in early as possible in the title
- Use the 1.5 keyword optimization rule i discussed the the headline optimization tips above.
- With the 1.5 rule think of the density of keywords in the title too…the more keywords & related phrases the higher the density.
- Use SEOmofo snippet optimizer tool, its not only fund but its really useful as Google use pixel width and not character count for the title length
- Make sure your title is compelling as this is what will show in the search engines
- When using a separator in your title use a hyphen
- Get your keywords in early in the description too and use the description to be as compelling as possible while backing up or emphasizing the claims made in the title.
- You have room to add more semantically related keywords in the description too
- Try to use the description to create more compelling reasons to click through
- I always suggest giving something away with every post that’s relevant to the post, this is a great place to highlight that as a call to action in the description
Example of an Optimized Description
“Learn 21 On Page SEO Techniques For WordPress. Get My On Page Optimization Guide Checklist Chrome Extension To Use On Demand.
Optimizing Images & The Sneaky Outbound Link Trick
Use the image properties to add some additional meta data for even more optimization.
Jpeg image properties as seen in the screenshot to the left gives us the opportunity to add Title, subject, rating,tags, comments, authors and copywright…every one of these can have your optimization enhanced.
I have in the past grabbed complete articles from an authority site around the subject i am writing about and pasted it into the comments in jpeg properties and the same can also be done with Mp4 video properties too.
The Sneaky Outbound Link Trick
You can also use Infographics from others as your outbound link or even better to have your own infographic created for you and either put on an authority infographic directory and use that as your outbound link, but even better is if you can do some blogger outreach and get it featured on an authority site in your niche and add that infographic from there as your outbound link for a a sneaky SEO trick:)
This way you are curating your own content, which is pretty cool especially if your post is shorter, but i recommend doing more than one outbound links in longer posts and would always link to my own content if i can get it on an authority blogger or infuencer site, as well as what is the most relevant info in the context of what i am writing about.
On Page Image Optimization Techniques Quick Guide
- Always max out the fields that you able able to fill in when uploading images to WordPress making sure you have your main target Keyword in the title iof the image, and in alt tag and use the description of the image meta data to get the keywords and related keywords in again
- Use jpeg MP 4 properties to add additional optimization data as show in the screenshot above
- Images can slow down your page load time too, i suggest using smushit wp plugin and consider using a service like MaxCDN. You can also use a Lazy Load image plugin for faster page load time, there are more than one and best to test which one works best on your site, basically these plugins store your images and they appear as a user scrolls down the page.
My Outside The Box Image SEO Strategies
- Curate Your OWN Content…You can use images as your outbound link too! …an example of this would be using an infographic from an authority site and linking back to them
- If you can get your own infographic done and distributed to infographic directories then take the highest ranking one and curate your own content from what is like to be a do follow authority link.
Use Sub Headlines With H2 or H3 tags For Additional Benefits
If your main headline is problem/ solution focused then the sub headlines should back up that promise. This gives us a great opportunity to get our keywords and related or LSI in with H2 tag very early in the post Bullet Points too.
With sub headlines you can also add them into the Google keyword planner and look for content keywords & ideas for your paragraph underneath the sub headline and find the most commonly used modifiers ( sometimes refereed to as semantically related keywords).
Now, i am not saying go and reuse all these keyword phrases multiple times, simply to sprinkle them into your content and build up the relevancy as you do so.
The easiest way to do this is to write your article for users first then go back using a tool like Optimization Alpha and re optimize from there, but always keeping the content user friendly and don’t make it over optimized to the point where its not making grammatical sense or that it looks over optimized.
See my example below to understand better, from the example below we can see that the words commonly used are “best, what is the best, 2014, free” and these are what we call modifiers.
Using these in your paragraphs under your sub headlines helps Google understand your content better using their own keywords tool to tell you how to do your optimization.
Semantic phrases are an awesome way to build your content out and there is also the question phrases we can build in which are great for sub headlines!
Quick Guide Recap
Using Sub Headlines For Paragraphs & Using Bullet Points and Lists
Ok So lets Start With my suggestion for using bullet points at the start of the article
- Creating bullet points at the beginning of your content can make long posts look less daunting as well as give an instant overview of your content.
- These bullet points at the start of the post also allow you the opportunity to get a lot of semantically related keywords in very early into your blog post.
- They also allow you to create compelling sub headlines that your users will love and people do love list type posts too!
- You can do similar using table of contents plugins but i found them a bit fiddly to tweak personally.
- Remember that bounce rate affects your SEO, this is a good way to reduce bounce rate and have people look for specific parts of your posts that they will find useful or want to get to quickly.
Sub Headlines For SEO & User Friendly
- These can and ideally should be the bullet points you used at the start of your post
- Use Your keywords in here but try not to be too repetitive and think about over optimization
- For simplicity you can copy and paste your bullet points, un-bullet them and turn them into H2 or H3 tags and start building you content out from there
- You Can also consider using related or common questions as your sub headlines. These make your articles much less daunting for readers when you have long articles.
Paragraphs under sub headlines
- Try to keep them short and easy to read.
- With sub headings and short paragraphs you can keep each one tightly focused
- If you want to get them really well optimized, you can use LSI or related keywords for every sub headline
- Its simpler for you to construct long posts this way
We Can Take Advantage Of Video For On Page SEO
Video is huge for both traffic and SEO benefits, its a fact that’s not in dispute but the quality of the video is majorly important.
Before we get to the SEO benefits of using video, first we need to be clear what the purpose of the video is and then the format that its produced in. For example my videos are always seo training videos, created using camtasia and that’s what suite me best to get my message across. Other types of videos maybe more useful in different scenarios, for example if doing a short 45 second video advert to rank fast by streaming pre recorded videos to Hangouts on air or YouTube Live Events then a simple whiteboard video, animoto video or a powerpoint slide type video maybe your best way to go.
Its now very low cost and very easy to get video done these days too and using fiverr is probably the easiest, lowest cost and fastest way to get them done if not recording screenshare type videos like i use.
On Page Optimization Techniques No’ 10, 11 & 12
So lets dig into the ways to use video for on page search engine optimization from the point of view of your WordPress posts and pages
- Use Video XML Sitemap In Your WordPress Blog, You can get a free one from Amit Argawal At the WordPress Repository
- Use Video For Your Outbound Authority Link
- Use Annotations For a Clickable Link Call To Action Button In Your Video
Advantages of Using Video In Your Post…
- Reduces Bounce Rate (If the video is either engaging, has value or is appealing)
- Video Sitemaps Are easy to add to webmaster tools and segments your content to be indexed and will always update Google when you add new video content
- Great for authority outbound links
- YouTube Videos Have The Google Plus factor Built In!…Some people prefer to use their own hosted videos and i can understand that, usually their argument is that the content is under their control and you will never lose it. There is merit to that argument but with over 1000 seo training videos on YouTube i have never had an issue
- Can Increase Click Through Rates which come from both the YouTube video ranking as well as from inside YouTube too
- You can do a TON of other seo stuff on YouTube videos, even white hat stuff like creating playlists, relevant video commenting, adding silos to your video comments and so much more.
- Can Increase Comments and other interactivity, remember comments in YouTube will be shared on Google plus and any likes to your YouTube video will count as a Google Plus one social signal
- Annotations can be done in YouTube Or By Using wordpress plugins like simple video pro or others.
Using A Social Locker With A Freebie To Entice Social Shares To Give Us Social Proof and Ideally More Traffic!
An example can be found on this post below where i share the Google slide from webinars
On Page Optimization Techniques No’ 13
Click Here To Get The Social Locker Plugin
This one technique has increased my social shares from REAL people by at least 300% and the reason is that having something worth sharing that has value to the reader is always going to be worth a few clicks to get to whats being shared.
You need to have something free for every blog post that’s related to the post and adds value, below is some suggestions
- PDF of the Blog Post and you can use a simple chrome extension to do this is one click
- Powerpoint Highlighting the Main points, like we will have here below this post when its completed
- You Can Lock Video Too!.. Locking video with a social locker will encourage shares
- Cheat Sheets Are Really Popular, and really easy to do just by building out your bullet points from the start of the blog post
- Quick List Type Giveaways
- Free Plugin Or Software
Some Bonus Info On Using A Social Locker As An On Page SEO Technique
Social locker is Extremely Easy To Use Too!
The Plugin Giveaway Bonus Strategy…
- Find A Plugin Thats Free In The WordPress Repository
- You Need to Purchase WP Plugin Locker
- Follow the steps for the plugin by adding an optin form and locking the plugin
- Heres a 4 minute Video: Link To See How Its Done
- Now You Can Build Your List While Giving Value By Recommending A Plugin That Is Highly Relevant To Your Post
Adding A Call To Action To Maximize the Traffic
On Page SEO Technique No’ 14
Ok so what do Optin forms, list building and email subscriber lists have to do with On Page SEO?
In a Single Word its Traffic!
- Traffic To Your blog posts will get you more social signals & shares, this is a ranking factor after the Google “hummingbird” algorithm update
- Traffic From people who like your content will reduce bounce rate which has SEO Benefits
- Traffic comes from telling your list that you have a new blog post, with an email list you can inform them and tell them what you have for them there as well as any giveaways to give an instant positive traffic boost to the post
- Getting backlinks, bookmarks etc from your usual readers will get you more referral domain and referral IP links back to your post
The Number 1 SEO Ranking Factor?
Click Through Rates???
- Mentioning The Call To Action In Your SEO Title Or Description Will Increase Your Click Through Rates!… And according to this post by Attracta This is a major SEO factor, Thanks To Enstine For His Post giving a shout out to this.
5 Clever Ways To Add Outbound Links And When To Use Follow or No Follow
I covered one of these with the sneaky outbound link in image optimization but lets look at some other ways we can use outbound links for on page optimization…
On Page SEO Technique No’ 15
And Several Suggestions For Authority Outbound Link Optimization
- Use Authority Site or Authority Channel Videos As An Outbound Link… In The SEO Niche I May Use Whiteboard Friday or Matt Cutts Videos For Example
- Use Infographics As Outbound Links.. Adds to the value of your content while being an outbound link too as discussed above in the image optimization section
- Use Buzzsumo… To Find Highly relevant Content to link to…With Lots Of Social Signals & Social Proof Of Being extremely Popular & Topical This gets away from the usual Wikipedia type links that too many people are using, yet with undeniable social prrof via high volume social shares they are authority links in their own right.
When & How To use No Follow Links
- Types Of Links To Make No Follow…Would always be things like buy buttons, links to Google docs or even optin forms
- Use Link Patrol To Scan & Organize your outbound links into follow & No Follow
- How Many Outbound Links Should You Use Per Post?.. My Rule is always the same, if you need 5 outbound links to make your post user friendly then use them, you do not have to do follow them all but if you go and check some of the authority SEO sites you will see that they often use 100% do follow contextual links when linking to other peoples content.
- Also use the broken links checker plugin by Janis Elsts which is really useful and simple to use at the same time to make sure you are aware of broken links and even Prevents search engines from following broken links!
Here’s A Fun Bonus Tip On Outbound Links
The Sneaky Buzzsumo RSS Feed Link Inside Your Post Tip!
You need premium account to do alerts with Buzzsumo but here’s a clever way of getting around that
- Go to Buzzsumo and do a search using inverted commas, example “On Page SEO”
- Add the url from the search into Snip.ly…Sniply is a tool that lets you add your own call to action to any web page on the internet, you can use a free account for this
- Add a call to action link which is basically a link back to your own content
- See the result here The Top On Page SEO Guides Shared On Social Media This Month :)
- Notice that If You Click the Image its linking to my Diigo account which has a link back to this post.
3 Top Tips For Adding Internal Links Easily With Relevancy & Being User Friendly At The Same Time
Internal linking is huge for on page SEO and cannot be underestimated but that does not mean it has to be difficult, in fact i am going to show you super simple ways to do Internal linking nicely, without being left to chance and with very little effort..
On Page SEO Technique No’ 15, 16 & 17
- Hand Pick The Most Relevant content to link to yourself
- Use a related content plugin like Yuzo or Zamenta, this plugin is what you see underneath this post with the image and text links to related content
- Use Silo Plugin, this can be used to add a silo into your sidebar and which also fills the void if you have a 404 page, or you can use the Hierarchical pages plugin for your sidebar.
On Page SEO Techniques No’ 18
- Use Comments Evolved for WordPress Plugin To Get Google Plus Shares
- OR… Use CommentLuv to get backlinks To Your Own Blog, when you comment on other comment luv blogs you can leave a link to a post of your own
- Comment Redirect by Yoast is a great way to thank people for their comments and lead them to another page with a freebie or extended value “Redirect commenters who just made their first comment to a page of your choice. On this page, you could ask them to subscribe, like you on Facebook and lots more!”
Some additional ideas that i haven’t yet tested but will do soon are…
- Allow Images, Audio, Video Ability in Your comments section to increase interactivity Using This Plugin
- Add a contest to your comments section using this plugin..this potentially could be very powerful for a viral effect for your best content
- Or add audio comments which may increase interactivity using this plugin
Easy To Use WordPress Plugins For Using Structured Data, Schema and Snippets
This is a subject that confuses a lot of people except for the SEO geeks, to make it simple i suggest using a plugin that makes it easy to do.
On Page SEO Technique No’ 19 & 20
- Google SEO Pressor Snippet Plugin
- AuthotH Review, does a lot of great things but is focused on reviews
- Schema Creator by Raven,
On Page SEO Technique No 21 Is ???…
You Have To Unlock To Find Out
[sociallocker id=”2328″] Read The Blog Post Again, Download the Cheat Sheet PDF & Take Consistent Action! :) [/sociallocker]
Watch The Webinar Replays
21 On Page SEO Techniques For Optimizing With WordPress Part 1
On Page SEO Guide For WordPress 2014 Webinar 2
Get The Slides With Resource Links As Discussed In the Webinars
On Page SEO & (Bonus) Unusual Backlink Strategies
Case Study Results So Far
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