[GUIDE] Full Example of How to Do On-Page SEO

splishsplash

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I was writing a response at https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/w...uch-money-in-seo.1251081/page-3#post-13449074 and I was going to give an example of how to do on-page. I thought it would be better to create a separate thread here, but feel free to read over that thread first as it contains some interesting preliminaries.

If anyone here is already targeting the following keyword, or I mention any of their sites then I apologize in advance, but I need to pick something for an example.


Step 1 - Choose A Keyword

The first step is to choose a keyword.

This is just a base keyword. You are not creating pages to target keywords. You are creating pages to target topics. Most know this, but what you probably aren't aware of is that, when you target a page for a keyword, you automatically optimize it for the topic. This means we shouldn't be too concerned with "topics" vs keywords. Just be aware you are targeting a topic, and not just a single keyword.

In some cases there isn't a main keyword to target and the topic will contain several searches around 100-200 volume per month compared with your main keyword having say 400 search vol, then a bunch of 20-50 search vol. In those cases you'll pick a few keywords to try to optimize. It's harder in those cases, but if you guys want a guide on that I can write one later.

For this example we're going to choose "best laptop for nursing students"

Step 1.1 - Identify the topic

The topic here is laptops/notebooks for nursing students. Obviously. But we're thinking now in terms of the English phrase and not just the single keyword. If the keyword was "duplicate content" then your topic could be a number of things. Looking at page 1 for that keyword, there are a range of topics from avoiding creating duplicate content, to how to fix a duplicate content penalty. So as you can see this is an important step. Identifying your topic.


Step 1.2 - Identify the user intent

Next you identify the user intent. This just helps you write a better article. For this keyword it's really obvious, but for the above "duplicate content", it's not. You should always look at what ranks on page 1 for that keyword to find out what the user intent is unless it's very obvious. You need to match what Google thinks the user intent is, with what you decide it is. For our example, the user intent is to find a good laptop that's best suited for nursing students. They want to find something that's unique for them, and not just any old laptop. They are probably wanting to know, are there laptops that are particularly useful for nursing students compared with the rest.

Step 2 - Check Competition/Volume

Use ahrefs for this.

You check the base search vol for the keyword, but more importantly you want to see the traffic/keywords from pages that are on page 1 for the main keyword. Sometimes you have a low volume keyword(50-100), but it has a lot of longtails in the group, so if you target the group you'll get quite a bit of traffic.

This is how you do it.

Image%202020-07-24%20at%202.41.05%20PM.png


This one has 400 searches a month, which is a good search vol for the main keyword.

You can also see some other questions here which helps when creating the content.

Some related keywords like "best laptop for college nursing students". Important things to note, because this is clearly part of the keyword group, so we note this for our optimization.

Now let's look at the top 10 in ahrefs

Image%202020-07-24%20at%202.42.55%20PM.png



We can see that these pages are ranking for generally 30 keywords on average. The ones with 100 or so keywords have duplicates in ahrefs showing up because of html bookmarks in the table of contents. This is just a 'bug' from ahrefs. It's quite annoying actually because it makes it hard to compare pages. You have to use the content gap tool to see if one page *actually* ranks for more, but they don't. For example laptop study ranks for 2 more keywords than laptopconsider. Only 2.

So what we can see from this is that it's a very small topic, with only about 20-30 keywords in the topic.

If we take laptopsconsider.com/best-laptop-for-nursing-students/, the one without the html bookmarks we want to check how many of those keywords are in the top 15. You might have pages that rank for 4k keywords, but only 500 are top 15. Anything outside the top 15 for a page ranking in the top 10 for its main keyword you can consider irrelevant and not ones you want to target.

Image%202020-07-24%20at%203.42.40%20PM.png


So 23 keywords.

This leads us onto

Step 3 - Gather your main keywords for the topic

Let's look into laptopsconsider.com/best-laptop-for-nursing-students/ to get our main keywords.

And actually this one has html bookmarks too. There's really VERY few keywords in this group.

We have

Image%202020-07-24%20at%203.45.29%20PM.png


So really that is just

  • best laptop for nursing students
  • best laptops for nursing students
  • laptops for nursing students
  • best laptop for nursing school
  • nurse laptop (they're ranking here in almost page 1 because this isn't going to have any big sites targeting it like "gaming laptop" would)
  • best computer for nursing school (this is getting a bit more irrelevant here, but google probably considers the user intent close enough to laptops)
  • best laptop for college nursing students
  • best laptops for college nursing students
  • nursing school laptop
  • top laptops for nursing students

That's us really. It's a VERY small keyword group. This here is very important. This is the core group of keywords that are part of this single user intention. These are all connected quite strongly and are essentially "one".

Step 4 - Gather Topics/Questions to cover

Look through a few pages in the top 10. Ignore outliers that are in the top 10. Ie, strong sites, sites with short content, sites that are different to what you're creating(ecommerce, videos etc)

Note down a few topics/questions. Let's take a quick look here :

  • nursing school
  • college students
  • minimum requirements
  • lectures/campuses
  • maximize productivity
  • durability
  • time in nursing school
  • the usual laptop ones, weight/battery/display/cpu/ram/storage/performance/portability/design - These are important to get your laptop and laptop review topical relevancy.
  • exams
  • note taking
  • tablet vs laptop
  • webcam/online courses

That's enough for this one.

So you have your core keywords and your topics now you need to include.

Step 5 - Word Count

This is an easy step. Just look at the word count for what's in the top 10. Exclude outliers. Generally you want to look at what the weaker sites are doing because if a weaker site is up there with a strong site, it has better on-page. If there's 3 sites that are quite weak, with 3500, 4500 and 4600 words, then go for something between 3700 and 4800. I like to keep costs down, so I'd probably in this case go for 3800 words personally. You don't need to beat everyone on word count, just be in the general ballpark and at least above the lowest.


Step 6 - Word & Phrase Usage Counts

This is where some people get confused and think about "keyword density". Google isn't checking for percents. Percentiles are irrelevant. It doesn't really matter if an article is 2000 words or 4000 words. It just needs ENOUGH usage of keywords so google knows what the page is about. The title is NOT enough. I don't care if you've ranked pages with just the keyword in the title. There are so many factors in SEO. It doesn't prove anything. Try to consistently beat the kind of articles ranking for this nurse article by only using "best laptops for nursing students" once in the title. You just won't. They are ALL optimized for it. Even the guys on page 2-3 are optimized here. Where you CAN beat these guys is through *better* optimization. They may be using the core keywords enough times, but there's other areas some of them lack that you can improve upon.

So with that said, let's look more at what you want to do in this step before writing.

First, your core keyword. This is a fairly simple one, and in the vast majority of cases, you want to use the core keyword like this :-

title/h1, and h2/h3, and 1-2 times in the body, generally somewhere in the first few paragraphs. Absolute minimum of using it 3 times. There's no reason not to. Using it 3 times in a 1000 word article is still not going to put you into dangerous territory. Help google out. It is just an algorithm. It does not understand when you're saying things like "one of the major advantages that the asus XYZ has for nursing students is that it's really sturdy with an extra long battery life, so it's ideal for moving around from lecture to lecture". You as a human know that this is very relevant for "best laptop for nursing students".

This is actually how Google would parse that sentence :-

brands: asus

advantages of asus

nursing students

asus for nursing students

asus is sturdy

asus has long battery life

moving from lecture to lecture

I don't think it would connect that the asus is GOOD for nursing students who ARE moving around from lecture to lecture. That's too advanced.

So look at those topics there. That's not really what you were going for

Compare it to this

"One of the best laptops for nursing students is the Asus XYZ. It has an extra long battery life which is really good for busy nursing students who are studying at a university that has its lecture halls spread out and need a good durable laptop they can carry with them from lecture to lecture that won't run out of battery so they can take notes in every class with their laptop"

See the difference here?

Google will see this as

"best laptops for nursing students"
brand: asus

asus xyz is one of the best laptops for nuring students

Extra long battery life

busy nursing students

good for busy nursing students

studying at university

lecture halls

durable laptop

carry with them

take notes in class with laptop


Lots of usage of "laptop", "nursing", "student", "best" in here.

Google is just an algorithm, folks! Stop thinking you have to write amazing content to RANK. You have to write amazing content so your site lasts for a long time, and you eventually attract some natural links, but to RANK, you just need to give it what it wants to see.


Now, with an understanding of that..

Look at your competitors on page 1. Avoid the outliers as always.

I use surfer seo to help me with this next bit, but you can do it manually.

I've selected a bunch of pages in the top 10 to compare to and this is what it's telling me..

It recommends 4300 words.

8 headings

18 paragraphs

This is slightly useful. While "18 paragraphs" isn't going to rank you, it helps to stay closer to what the competition are doing. It's just giving you a general guideline for what google wants to see for this keyword group.

What's more important is this

Image%202020-07-24%20at%204.30.18%20PM.png


The "important terms to use" is the most important.

We can see here we should be mentioning "best laptop for nursing students" about 7 times. "best" 24 times. "laptop" 64 times. "nursing" 45 times, "students" 34 times, "nursing students" 25 times.

This is not keyword density. How in hell is google expected to understand your page is relevant for the topic if you say "best laptop for nursing students" once, mention laptop 10 times, and "product" or some generic phrase the rest of the time, say "nursing" 5 times, "students" 8 times etc. It will just see other words more often, other phrases and consider THOSE more important.

A human might understand if I say(Extreme example to highlight the point)

"The best laptop for students is the Asus XYZ. This product is really good for the aforementioned party because when they are at their place of occupation they will have many duties to perform with their product, so for the reasons already mentioned and more, this product is truly one of the greatest around for those with this occupation doing these kind of tasks daily"

You'd understand, right? Google would have NO clue you are talking about students, laptops and university.

Do you think a 5 year old would understand that? No. So what makes you think Google is smarter than a 5 year old human child? That's beyond ludicrious.

Using surfer seo is helpful, but you don't want to follow it *exactly*

Ie, it's saying to use "12 hours" 3 times. That's probably not necessary :)

And based on your core keywords you also want to adjust.

So we might use "best laptops for nursing students" 5 times and "best laptop for nursing students" twice, and maybe include a "the best laptop for nursing school students" in there too and I'd probably go for "best computer for nursing students" twice just to get some relevancy going for that since it's an easy one to snatch. On top of that I'd say "computers" a few times, and not just laptop. I'd probably go for some things like "computers for students", and "computers for nursing students" too which would help get that ranking.

For the single word ones you don't have to specifically use "laptop" 64 times. Use it as a guideline only. If your usage is particularly low, like 10-15 crank it up. Just look through your article and look for places where you can change words to more keyword rich words without making it look weird.

Places like :-

"The product is blah", or "It's a good choice", "This one is such and such", you can change to "The laptop", or "The asus laptop", "The asus laptop is a good choice for nursing school", "the asus laptop is a good choice for nursing students", "the asus laptop is a good choice for college students", depending on what keywords you're beefing up.

Finally, you can throw in a sprinkling of the "other relevant terms". For this, things like "core i7 processor", "thunderbolt 3", "solid state". I personally don't pay much attention to that, because providing you have a good writer doing the content, they will already have included plenty of these "technical jargon" type keywords. And these are less important than you might think. Google is really just looking for the core stuff like "laptops", "nursing students", "best", "best laptops", "best laptops for nursing students". For it to be able to make meaningful sense out of things like "solid state" and "thunderbolt" as it pertains to reviews is too advanced.

Step 6 - Write the Content

Step 5 was sort of talking about "rewriting stuff", so you can consider step 5/6 interchangeable. If you're using a standard writing service you'll have the content done then re-write yourself. If you've got your own writer you can train him up. If you're writing the content yourself you'll still probably do a post-analysis and tweak some things. Same with a writer. When you get bigger you can get an in-house SEO that you train up to manage your writers and handle all of this, pre and post optimization content work for you.


So that's it. Nothing more to say really! That's how you rank in google, guys. It's not about keyword density, or "high quality content". Google is an algorithm and as such you have to write as if you're writing for an algorithm, but also keep the quality high for your readers so your site remains future-proof. High quality content is good for your readers, meaningless for google. Google's favorite "do what's best for the users" is pure crap and just their attempt to get people to focus less on on-page seo, and just write stuff.

good luck. I hope this is of value to some of you.
 

hoqorn

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thanks alot. bookmarked.

Can i ask about code to text ratio is important ? i saw on different site audit website.
 

Dark Sky

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Spot on, absolute diamond guide.

I was always worried about these SAAS companies suggesting word usages, but your interpretation of the algorithm cleared it up for me, it makes sense now.
 

the gent

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i'm about to go into the shower and i will save it for later to read, but the look of it i think you didn't mention the Interlinking part to the article, or it does not matter that much
 

t2van

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Disagree to an extent. The problem with "writing for an algorithm" as you put it is at every stage google decide to move the posts or change requirements you need to re-evaluate your content vs competitors I think that's half the issues we see so many threads on about peoples sites jumping up and down with updates.

Id rather just take a bit of keyword research OR throw it away totally and just write for the user, that should be the focus and that's what google is trying to do anyway. Provide the content that's relevant to the search.

I get the algorithm still has to read the content to work out what it is BUT I don't think it's as basic as you point out like your example here:

"I don't think it would connect that the asus is GOOD for nursing students who ARE moving around from lecture to lecture. That's too advanced."

Where as I would say it is advanced enough to connect the brand and the purpose. Of course it's just not going to connect the dots for you that's ages away or "advanced" from that perspective but I think based on the content you write it can make assumptions and suggest for you anyway AFTER all it's down to what and how the user searches not google!
 

splishsplash

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Brb copying this and reselling as a $9.99 ebook that was originally $238.99

only $9.99!


I read your last post, so I know this would be better, just said thanks and bookmarked it so I can use this whenever I need it :)

Hehe, no worries. It's just funny :) Enjoy the read whenever you have time.

Spot on, absolute diamond guide.

I was always worried about these SAAS companies suggesting word usages, but your interpretation of the algorithm cleared it up for me, it makes sense now.

surfer seo is gold, but it's more like a tool in the hands of a mechanic. They can't tell you how to optimize an article, only give you useful data for you to optimize yourself. Surfer is the best of the bunch though. It lets me see what's going on in page 1 very quickly compared with doing it manually.

Disagree to an extent. The problem with "writing for an algorithm" as you put it is at every stage google decide to move the posts or change requirements you need to re-evaluate your content vs competitors I think that's half the issues we see so many threads on about peoples sites jumping up and down with updates.

Id rather just take a bit of keyword research OR throw it away totally and just write for the user, that should be the focus and that's what google is trying to do anyway. Provide the content that's relevant to the search.

I get the algorithm still has to read the content to work out what it is BUT I don't think it's as basic as you point out like your example here:

"I don't think it would connect that the asus is GOOD for nursing students who ARE moving around from lecture to lecture. That's too advanced."

Where as I would say it is advanced enough to connect the brand and the purpose. Of course it's just not going to connect the dots for you that's ages away or "advanced" from that perspective but I think based on the content you write it can make assumptions and suggest for you anyway AFTER all it's down to what and how the user searches not google!

Worrying too much about the future means you're missing out on opportunities now.

Would you rather write for the user, and have a site that might one day have amazing rankings, or would you rather just write for the algorithm and rank now.

But note that I say, write for the algorithm, but also write HIGH QUALITY content. Google is never going to be penalize you for using the word "laptop" 50 times in a 3000 word article about laptops or say "best laptop for students" 7 times in 3000 words. Never. Why would it? You aren't spamming, just being more explicit with your topics/keywords.

The problem arises if you abuse the algorithm, which means, you write garbage content and optimize it to rank. THEN you have problems.

What I am saying is. Write amazing content for the user. But optimize it for the algorithm. You see the difference?

Write for the user.

THEN

Optimize for the algo so the user can find it in the first place.

You read my last post. You know my thoughts on quality. :) Don't get me started on "quality products" again ;-)

When I do reviews I carefully research the products and everything surrounding it you need to know and I put that in a plan for my writers and I only use writers that are passionate about writing and want to write quality stuff. Most real writers don't like writing crap, they want people to enjoy their content.

Review articles for example are garbage in so many cases, but they don't need to be.

If I'm a nursing student and I want to know what the best laptop is, it's going to take me hours of research to figure it out. Your job as the person behind the "Best Laptop for Nursing Students" is to look at the laptops and figure out which ones are good for them, and write the reviews towards THEM with their own unique requirements in mind so they can spend 10 mins reading your article and be confident in making the right purchase. That's always my goal, but if I don't go BACK into the article after I've written it and optimize it then those nursing students will never find my article.

This is also why I prefer to write then optimize. If you write with optimization in mind it takes away from the flow and goal of the article. When training your writers too if you want them to optimize you should tell them to write first, then optimize later.
 

stelios0

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Some really good points illustrated on this post.

I always had this question, if u have a box in the middle of every page or a table let's say, how do you inform google that this is sitewise and its not plain duplication? (obviously without the cannonical tag on the page)
 
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