On-page SEO is optimizing the actual pages of your website so that they are attractive to search engines. But they also need to be attractive to searchers. The goal is always to get ranked so that people who need the information you have can see your page. This means you need to craft your web pages to meet the demands of both search engines and searchers.
On-page SEO has a lot of elements and angles. In this post, we’re only going over the basics of how to craft your message.
In an earlier post, we went over how people search for information. We also looked into how Google learns what these searchers are looking for based on the keywords they type into the search bar.
Now that you know how your target audience is searching, you need actually to create content that fits the bill.
Below are the key points for how you can start applying your keyword research:
- Identify the terms and phrases your target audience is searching for and create a list of relevant keywords.
- Group these keywords into topics that the pages of content on your website will be based on. Note: Consider primary and secondary searcher intent and let it inform your keyword research and content creation strategies.
- Look at the existing high-ranking sites for the keywords and phrases you’re targeting. Note the format of their content.
- Create content that “one-ups” these pages. You can mimic the strategies that you think work but go beyond that and add your own unique and original flavor that sets you apart from the rest of the competition.
On-page SEO is as much about applying keyword research as it is about content creation. If you need help finding and managing that balance, a white label SEO team can help you develop a strategy that you can replicate.
Creating Valuable Content
It would be best if you were creating content on your website to be a resource that effectively answers users’ search queries. Yes, your goal should be to rank high on SERPs, but this goal should be a means of bringing high-value answers to searchers. Websites that only have ranking as their goal often resorts to dishing out content that is low-value and isn’t helpful to searchers.
It’s one thing to create different pages or article posts for different topics. However, it’s another thing to create multiple pages of nearly identical content while only changing the specific keyword used. This strategy is less effective today due to the improvements in Google’s search engine AI. If you want to rank high for specific keyword searches of the same topic, you are missing the point. Focus on optimizing for users, not keywords.
Similarly, instead of creating multiple pages and changing only the name of the location where your target audience is, create unique content for each subgroup. Thin content provides very little unique value to the searcher. Also, if you can’t write more than 300 words on a topic, maybe that topic isn’t for you. Focus on creating pages that explore a topic in-depth. This shows that you care more about search intent than rankings. Remember, when you can provide answers to potential questions all in the same place, you will rank anyway.
Duplicate content is exactly the same as another piece of content on your website or content that is identical to that of another site. Content scraping is the unethical act of plagiarizing another website’s content and passing it off as your own. This can be blatantly copy-pasting the content entirely or making no major changes or any transformative adjustments to the material. If you struggle to produce unique content for your channels, talk to a white label marketing agency.
There can be good reasons for duplicate content to be present within your domain or across your other domains. For this, use the rel=canonical tag to link to the original.
Contrary to popular belief, Google does not impose a penalty for duplicate content. However, Google has a process where it will scan and filter content on its SERPs for duplicates. If there is more than one version of the same content, Google selects the content that came first. This is what shows up on SERPs, and the copies are hidden. So, there is no benefit to stealing the content of another website because the duplicate won’t show up anyway.[bctt tweet=” On-page SEO is as much about applying keyword research as it is about content creation.” username=”ThatCompanycom”]
What Not to Do
Aside from thin content and content scraping, what are some low-value practices, and why should you refrain from resorting to them?
Cloaking is a technique to climb search rankings by displaying one thing to search engine crawlers and another to searchers. This is done by hiding certain elements, such as text or HTML code. Because it is a black hat SEO technique, the use of cloaking is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and, thus, can and has gotten websites unindexed. While there are rare cases of cloaking-like methods being allowed by Google, it’s best to stay away from it lest your website gets penalized.
Have you ever come across an article or post that repeats a word way more times than is necessary? Well, the excessive repeating of certain keywords is a practice that people think will cause them to rank higher in SERPs. However, that isn’t necessarily true. Google does look for keywords and related ideas but also looks for content that provides value. This means that repeating keywords to the point of redundancy will not help sites and could actually harm the way visitors perceive the content.
Inserting keywords and keyword phrases organically not only reads better but shows both readers and search engines that the substance of your content and answering the searcher’s query thoroughly is a primary focus.
Rely on Auto-generated Content
While there have been some impressive advancements in the fields of AI generated content, there are some sites that abuse auto-generated content. This is not to say that AI cannot create quality content. However, some use auto-generation, not as a tool for making valuable content but as a means to trick search rankings and climb up the results pages. This content type makes little sense, and there is no care or consideration involved when putting it out.
Google is not completely against auto-generated content, as some produce quality results. However, their guidelines are against those used to trick the engine. Auto-generation should be used to supplement the creation of better content, not as a soulless cash grab.
Ranking high on Google means figuring out what your audience is searching for. Then you can come up with an organized list of relevant keywords. Arrange them into topical groups and create content based on that. Check the current SERPs for competitor sites ranking for the same keywords. Evaluate their content, take notes, and create better content. This entails satisfying searchers, which Google rewards you for, and providing unique value that other sites don’t.
On-page SEO converts the technical aspect of keyword research into engaging content that provides valuable and informative answers to searchers. At the end of the day, it is about being the most valuable resource that users can rely on.