Now that you know how to mine the Internet for the perfect keywords that will send floods of interested and highly targeted visitors to your site, it's time to put them into play by creating optimized content.
This is what is known as on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it's the next brick on your road to online success.
On-page SEO is just a fancy way of saying that you have designed the content (words, pictures, videos, code) of the website in a way that search engines will easily understand what search terms it should rank for (ideally, your keywords).
In this newsletter, we'll show you exactly how to do that!
Before you start doing anything with your actual website, you need to make sure to set up Traffic Travis so you can keep track of your progress.
Adding Your Site
Adding your site to the Traffic Travis Dashboard is easy.
Use the "Create new project" setting from the Active Project drop box on the top right corner of the screen.
Then simply add the details of your website like in the example below.
Remember to import the pages from your website to the "My Site" portion of Traffic Travis as well, so you can check which pages are indexed, and whether there are any SEO warnings.
Use the "Import Pages" function to do this. Or, you can import an XML sitemap into Traffic Travis and have all your pages added automatically.
If Traffic Travis does not detect your site map properly, make sure you are using the standard sitemap.xml format.
Now that your site is all setup in Traffic Travis, it's time to optimize your content.
With on-page SEO a few simple changes to your website can sometimes result in better rankings. This can happen almost overnight, especially for lower-competition keywords.
However, if you blow by these critical on-page settings, you can be handicapping your SEO campaign before it even starts. It's vital to not rush through these first parts to make sure you're giving yourself the best chance for SEO success.
Here are the areas of your site that need to be optimized and how to do achieve that:
Title tags are one of the most important on-page SEO factors and will have a big influence on your SEO success.
Here is what a title tag looks like in the search engine results:
It's the first thing the search engine algorithms look at when trying to rank your site and it's the first thing actual human searchers will see as well.
Therefore, you should be using your main keyword in the title tags of your web pages. You can also include your brand name to help boost your profile.
Be careful not to make your title tag longer than 70 characters, or it will be cut off in browser windows.
Title tags can be edited through the HTML editor of your web design software or blogging platform.
Here is an example of a title tag written in HTML:
In this example you can see that "Dog Training Secrets" is the brand name of the website, and "how to train your dog" is the primary keyword being targeted.
The meta description is a short block of text that is often displayed in search engine results underneath the title of the page.
Your meta description should contain the main keywords you are targeting, yet also be written in such a way that it compels the reader to visit your site. Around 155 characters is the best length for a good meta description.
Here's an example of what the meta description should look like for our hypothetical dog training site.
Don't focus solely on jamming your keywords in your meta description in an attempt to please the search engines. You want to write a description that is going to be easy for real people to read and make them want to click through and learn more about what you got going on.
While a good meta description isn't going to magically send your page to number one, it will help increase your click-through rate. We know that Google and the other search engines look at click-through rates as one of their ranking factors.
Write an intriguing meta description and you'll get more clicks. More clicks will get you higher rankings.
Tweaking Your Written Content
Most web pages are made up of written content along with pictures, and video. Putting this content together the right way can help seriously boost your search engine rankings.
There are a few things to consider:
First, make sure you are using the keywords you want to target in your content. You can also use variations on the same keywords to create a more natural feel and help the flow of your writing.
Use Traffic Travis to help you find keyword ideas that slot nicely into your page. Here is an example of this in action:
Let's say you are writing an article about dog training collars. Using the Traffic Travis keyword tool you can uncover related keywords (like "remote dog training collar") that you can add to your article.
Avoid stuffing your page with keywords to try and boost its ranking (this will actually be bad for your site) — a good rule of thumb is to make sure it reads naturally. Or if you want to be more scientific, your targeted keyword shouldn't show up more than 2-3 times per 100 words.
Second, you want to mention your keyword in the h1 heading tag of your page. This will indicate to the search engines that the keyword you are targeting is important to the page. With most website creators, this naturally occurs when you name a post or page.
Image "alt" Tags
Many of the algorithms that rank websites don't have a way to "see" images that you use in your content. In order to help them understand what the picture is about, there is the "alt" tag.
It is important to add good "alt" tags to your images. Rather than trying to stuff your image alt tags with a whole list of keywords to boost your search engine rankings (this is an old trick that no longer works) you should be adding tags that are relevant to the image.
Create an alt tag that first describes the image accurately, and try to include a keyword or two if it looks natural and relevant.
For example, if you have an image of a dog training eBook, don't make the alt tag something like "dog training eBook, dog training manual, dog training guide." Instead, create a relevant and descriptive alt tag like "my dog training eBook cover."
Here is what an alt tag should look like:
For a more detailed guide to using alt tags for your images, read the Alt Attributes page on About.com.
Keeping Your Content Fresh
Search engines love fresh and new content, so a key component of optimizing your site is to update it regularly. You can create new pages or blog posts, as well as update your existing pages to reflect changes.
A good rule to apply here is to write for your readers first, and search engines second. Create articles, pages and posts that people will want to read. Then, tweak them based on the strategies mentioned above and you will reap the rewards.
Content is king on the Internet, especially after recent updates to Google that have placed even more emphasis on rewarding quality content. For an in-depth analysis of this subject read Joe Brockmeier's guide to the importance of content for SEO.
Creating Links Within Your Site
Creating anchor text links within your website to and from relevant pages is another useful on page SEO method. A good internal linking structure will help get your pages indexed in the search engines.
Because you have complete control over the anchor text used, make sure to use descriptive keywords for your internal links that also match the keywords you are trying to rank for.
Using internal links within your site will also help to reduce your bounce rate, which is another metric search engines use in their ranking algorithms. Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors that click through to your site and view only one page before leaving.
Giving visitors more options to click on will help them stay on your site for longer and view additional pages. And that lower bounce rate will help boost your search engine rankings.
Checking Your On-Page SEO
You can also use Traffic Travis to analyze your on page SEO and check for "Page Warnings" where your website might not be properly optimized.
The easiest way to do this is to use the My Site tool (where you imported your pages before) and look out for "Page Warnings." Click on the "Page Warnings" number to see a comprehensive list of what on-page SEO you are doing well, and what things you need to improve.
Here is an example:
Pay close attention to the warnings, and then fix as many of them as you can.
Optimizing your pages for your target keywords using the techniques you have learned today will help you blow past competitors who haven't taken the time to set up their sites as well as you have.
To recap, today we have covered:
In the next newsletter, we'll take a look at off-page SEO factors. In the meantime, check over your site and see whether you can improve its on page SEO using the tips above.
Wishing you every success, till next time,
With the free edition of Traffic Travis you can track up to 5 projects at once. But with Traffic Travis Professional you can save and track an unlimited number of websites. This makes it invaluable for tracking your competitors' websites as well as your own.
And thanks to our 60-day money-back guarantee, trying Traffic Travis Professional is risk free.
"I doubled my SE traffic in just 2 weeks!"
I'm a full time SEO consultant, currently working with a couple of SEO firms and earning a very decent income, but I wouldn't be if it wasn't for Traffic Travis, which is, in my humble opinion, the best SEO research and tracking tool.
In December (2010) I decided to test my theoretic knowledge and create a micro niche site. I thought it would be pretty easy to rank it.
That was... until I spent the first two months of my SEO quest with no SERP's movement and no increase in traffic...
I didn't even pass the 20 UV/day threshold until the end of January. After two months of daily link building I still wasn't on the first page and I was mad as hell.
I didn't know why and I didn't know how to get the answer!
Using Traffic Travis I found out that my site had some errors with the on-page SEO, that my competitors were all 5+ year old domains and the amount of backlinks they had was frightening.
But to make a long story short, after I finally developed a more adequate SEO plan and put into action (with Traffic Travis on hand) I ended up on the first page for all my keywords just 2 weeks after!
Now I could finally offer my services. And I had proof to back them up!
-Vivian Guillen, Dominican Republic