A few weeks ago I was on a call with a consulting client.
This client is one of the biggest travel brands in the world. You’d recognize their name in an instant.
As soon as we finish our small talk, my client says:
“Hey Brian. I just had a meeting with the whole marketing division. We really need to focus on our on-page SEO.
I know you’re the man that can help us with that.”
Later that night, I was in a taxi on my way to dinner. And I couldn’t help but chuckle as I thought back to that call…
When I first got started with SEO, my approach to on-page SEO could be summarized in two words:
Today, some of the biggest brands online pay me for my on-site SEO advice. Crazy.
Over the years (thanks to A LOT of trial and error) I learned the right way to optimize content.
In simple terms: I focused on giving Google what it wanted. And my rankings shot up like a beanstalk.
And I still use many of these same on-page SEO tactics today.
Specifically, I focus on a handful of advanced on-site techniques that make Google’s job easier.
Without further ado, here are the 5 tactics that tend to work best:
#1: I delete “dead weight” pages
If you’re like most people, you have at least a few “dead weight” pages on your site.
And from lots of testing I’ve found that these dead weight pages can put a serious dent in your SEO efforts.
What are dead weight pages, you ask?
- Old blog posts
- Ecommerce product pages that don’t generate sales
- Archive pages
In fact, I recently advised the guys at Proven.com to delete their dead weight pages.
And it helped increase their organic traffic by 48.7%.
#2: I cut out the junk from my URLs
Back in the day, my URLs would look something like this:
All these long URLs do is confuse the heck out of Google.
Instead, I cut out all the junk and made my URLs either ONLY my target keyword or ONLY the title of the page.
For example, if my keyword was blue widgets, I’d use a URL like: example.com/blue-widgets
#3: I link out to authoritative resources
This is a big one.
Most SEO-focused folks don’t link out to other sites enough.
The idea is that they’ll lose traffic and bleed link authority (PageRank).
But here’s the deal:
Google WANTS to send their users to pages that are hubs of helpful information.
(And yes, that includes pages with a healthy amount of outbound links)
And for every user you lose from an outbound link, you gain TWO from the boost in SEO traffic.
So make sure you include at least 3 outbound links to closely-related authority sites in every post.
#4: I add modifiers to my title tags
Believe it or not, but 50-75% of your search engine traffic comes from long tail searches.
And a good chunk of these long tails are 6-8 word keywords that are NEVER going to show up in a keyword research tool.
So how can you possibly optimize around them?
That’s simple: just add “modifier” words to your title tag. Some of my favorites are: “2016”, “best”, “review”, and “checklist”.
So you’d make your title tag something like:
Blue Widgets: The Best Options for 2016
These modifiers are words that tend to show up in long tail searches. And when you include them in your title tags, you’ll gobble up more long tail traffic.
#5: I make sure my posts are 1200+ words
Sure, this goes against conventional wisdom.
But, as they say, results don’t lie.
Every single one of my top-ranking posts are at least 1200+ words of meaty, valuable content.
Sure, a lot of so-called “experts” told me that no one online will read more than 400 words.
But after a lot of testing, I’ve found this to be complete BS.
You see, when you create a valuable resource on a topic someone cares about, that person WANTS to read a lot about it.
So when you give them a comprehensive resource, they’ll thank you for it.
(Also, my industry study of 1 million search results found that longer content ranks better in Google)
So if there’s a page you really, really want to rank for, make sure that page is 1200+ words of outstanding content.
Now I want to turn it over to you:
Which of these 5 strategies are you going to implement first?
Hit “reply” to this email and let me know.
While I can’t personally reply to every message, I read every email.
Talk to you soon.
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