SEO Bootcamp Part 4
In SEO Bootcamp Part 3, we took a look at some of the historic SEO practices and the shift in thinking that must take place to do well today. It also covered that along with that change in paradigm comes a new set of skills and concepts that one must master in order to boost search engine results. In order to do that, one must start with a handful of keywords and track the results over the course of several months to gauge performance. But it doesn’t end there, the SEO marketing warrior must also do their homework to make adjustments to their current keywords and keyword phrases as well as researching new ones that their ideal customers are using.
But in order to better understand where you are going, you must first understand where SEO began back in the day. Once you have a grasp on that, the new way of On-Page Optimization may just make a little more sense to you. So let’s start with the old way…
On-Page Optimization: Old-School
Back in the day when the Internet was still young and search engines were in their infancy, the way to get a page on the search engines was by using search terms. The general concept was that if a page used a certain search term or phrase, it showed up in the search engine results along with the hundreds or thousands of other pages out there that used the same keyword. Getting better placement at first depended upon how much you spammed that term on the page versus how much your competitor spammed it too.
Then there were the dozens or maybe even more tools out there that weighed the density of such keywords on each page; many of which touted that the more the term was spammed on the page, the better the results. The results of which created a virtual feeding-frenzy of web masters and website owners cranking out page after page of keyword-laden content that was of little or no use to website visitors. Keywords were crammed into every possible nook and cranny of a page in order to beat out the next guy for the coveted top slot for a keyword search.
Coincidentally, this also created a rather horrendous customer experience for the above mentioned reasons. Keywords were slipped into URLs, they were used in ridiculously long page titles, they were used repeatedly with on-page headings, they were used in the meta description tag as well as the alt and title tags of images and repeated ad-nauseam (repeated so often that it made you ill) throughout the content of the page.
In some cases, it was so bad that this sort of tactic would over-ride any variations thereof, damaging search engine ranking for all terms.
On-Page Optimization: A New Way of Thinking
Stop right there! Before you go any further, know now that you will still need to use keywords.
The idea is to use keywords in a manner that does not turn your pages and posts into an electronic trashcan. Instead of creating a twenty car wreck of keywords, think about how you want to provide value with each and every page or post. Think about which keywords match the content and add value for the visitors to your website. And instead of repeating the same keyword or keyword phrase over and over again, use variations of related terms that will help you rank higher with a diversity.
Examples of related terms would be: website & websites or blog & blogging.
You will also want to use what is called lateral keywords (words or phrases that mean basically the same thing). For example: doctor & physician or accountant & tax preparation.
Last but far from least, when you use a very specific keyword phrase (i.e. long-tail keywords), you are targeting the phrase or phrases that someone may use when they are looking to buy a particular product or service. This is also highly-qualified traffic that generates leads and/or gets you sales!
In SEO Bootcamp Part 5, you will learn about the core components that make up excellent On-Page SEO!