One of the most common “mistakes” I see is that people don’t make their headlines clickable, especially when it comes to blogs. In the previous chapter, we covered on-page SEO techniques related to content.
A great way to plan and organize your topics is to use the so-called content hubs. (If you do a quick SERP analysis you’ll notice that the search results are almost identical for all of them). Your content strategy should be based on a proper understanding of your niche and the needs of your audience.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages technology allows faster content distribution on mobile devices. In practice, it means the content is served in a simpler, stripped-down version of your page on smartphones. If your hosting has a poor server response time, there’s little you can do with any further optimization. Not only for the obvious reasons but also because the usage of HTTPS protocol has become a minor ranking signal in 2014.
And to earn those rankings – to nail that “Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness” qualifier from Google – you must be a subject matter expert. Today, I never create blogs below 2,000 words, if my goal is to rank for a focus keyword. But there’s one strategy that works perfectly – creating content that is 10x better than your competitors, also known as the “10x content” strategy. If your focus keyword is “outdoor sports” and you’ll feature an image of a man climbing the mountain, you don’t have to use the alt text “a man performing an outdoor sport”. You can actually do more harm than good by trying to use the keyword a certain number of times in your text.
Featured snippet (sometimes called “position zero”) is a selected search result that appears above the standard 10 results in Google search. Its goal is to answer the user’s question directly in the SERP. Besides the length check, it allows you to check the actual SERP results for any keyword in any location to compare them with your snippet and get inspiration from what works for your competitors.
Here’s an example of a SERP snippet for our post on “7-step SEO strategy” with the focus keyword SEO strategy. Putting your focus keyword in the title tag is very important. Once you have a focus keyword, you should use it to optimize your page for the given topic. By focusing on various search intent types you’ll be able to target various stages of the buyer’s journey. A content hub is a collection of pages that are all related to a certain topic.
The best practice is to place the focus keyword near the beginning of the title tag. As we’ve mentioned in the previous chapter, the title tag and meta description of a page is a good place to put your focus keyword. Title tag and meta description are HTML elements that represent the title and description of the page. They are displayed in the search results or when the page is shared on social media. If you run a WordPress website, there’s an official AMP plugin to help you with implementation.
Republishing is also a great opportunity to promote your post again on social media and newsletter, or starting a new link building campaign. Even if it wasn’t your case, an update is a relatively easy way to improve the quality of your content, which is never a bad thing to do. It means, not every topic requires content freshness but many do. Content length and comprehensiveness basically checks that “expert” box. You must be an expert on the topic you’re writing about, and you must prove it when you write content. The thing is that as an author, you can’t “bluff” your way through 2,000-5,000 words on your topic.
In other words, your website may perform worse in Google if you don’t use HTTPS. So they’ll have a headline, post snippet and a Click here or Read more button in a vertical line. As you can imagine, ‘Read more’ is the only link they have in place.
Search engine developers realized that if many quality resources link to a certain page, it means the page is valuable and trustworthy. There’s a direct correlation between quantity and quality of backlinks and rankings.
Always remember that there’s no such thing as the ideal number of keyword appearances on a page (a.k.a. keyword density). It is best practice to use your focus keyword in the H1 heading of the page.