On-page SEO has always been part of our overall SEO strategy, however, what most people do not understand is that having a well-optimized website is not enough to get you targeted keyword rankings.
Here’s the hard truth:
If it were that easy, then Google would have a hard time deciding whom to place on the first page because everyone would be optimizing their web pages for any given keyword. That is why search engines rely heavily on the quality and number of backlinks, which accounts for an estimated 90% of your entire rankings, maybe even more!
But don’t get me wrong…
On-page SEO is still critical! It is needed to not only give you that “slight” extra boost alongside your backlinking efforts, but also to reduce your bounce rates and provide an overall better user experience.
Here is when you need to start putting some extra care and focus on your on-page factors:
If you have a good amount of authoritative and quality backlinks already and you just seem to be stuck somewhere on or before the first page. It just could be that your on-page SEO is not where Google wants it to be.
So today I will show you 5 techniques that’s sure to boost your pages and reduce your bounce rates.
Before we get into the five on-page SEO strategies you can use to give your site that rank increase, first make sure you have these basics implemented on your web pages already:
- Security: Your site must be secure (doesn’t need to have an SSL, although that is a plus). Use Google Webmaster Tools to get notified of any security issues.
- Fast: your website loads fast and scores high on Google’s page speed test (doesn’t need to score 100/100, but at least 80/100).
- Mobile Friendly: You have a responsive design, and it passes Google’s mobile friendly test. “Mobile friendly” has become a major rank factor for mobile and tablet searches. And although it does not affect desktop searches, an estimated 50% of web traffic comes from the mobile.
- Cross-Browser Compatible: Your website functions and design should be compatible with all modern web browsers. If your site still has the same design since the pre-historic age of Internet Explorer 6, then most likely Google already dropped you from the ranks.
- User-Friendly: Your site should be easy to navigate, and your main pages should all be one click away. Hard to find pages will increase your bounce rates, which will ultimately have a negative impact on your ranks, period!
- No Duplicate content: Each page should be unique and provide value to your users. If you have pages that are very similar to each other, then use the canonical URL method.
- Don’t Over-Optimize: Your content should not be keyword stuffed or overly optimized for search engines. You only need to include your main keyword once. It is a best practice to use synonyms of your main keyword as oppose to repeating the same keywords.
Now that we got some of the basics out the way let’s move on to our 5 advanced SEO techniques for reducing bounce rates and improving website traffic. These 5 approaches are rarely ever talked about and almost never used, yet if you apply them than your giving Google what they want and making their job a lot easier.
1. Place your primary keyword at the beginning of your title tag
Google places more weight on the first words in your title tag (which is likely because it is what users see first). Try to be smart with your use of words and include the important ones first especially when it makes more sense.
So for example, if our main keyword is “New York SEO” then we would make our title tag like this: New York SEO – Best NYC SEO Company
It is as simple as that.
2. Link out to authoritative sites
This step is imperative:
Many SEO’s think that the link juice will flow out to external sites, and they will lose page rank because of it. Moreover, some SEO’s just don’t want to lose users to external sites. However, the opposite in both these occasions is true.
Linking out to relevant authoritative sites will build more trust with Google and increase the chances of your content being found in the search results. Google wants to send their users to pages full of helpful information that include outbound links to sites relevant to your topic. If your page is a “dead-end”, then you are sending Google a bad signal about your content.
Here’s the kicker:
Whatever users you lose to an outbound link is made up in the traffic Google gives you for having those links in the first place.
3. Make friendly URLs
If your URL’s looks like this: YourDomain .com /3-31-2015/category/5-ways-to-improve-on-page-seo-to-increase-traffic
Then your not giving your users or the search engines a great service because all your doing is confusing them both. I know that if I were visiting a website I would be annoyed if I had to read the URL in that structure.
Furthermore, search engines do not prefer this type of structure because it is not a URL best practice.
Here’s what you need to do instead:
Replace the full URL version with an anchor text keyword or a shorter version of the actual URL, like this: YourDomain .com /improve-on-page-seo
It is best just to use your target keyword phrase or your page title. Strip away any extra data such as the date or category name.
Having numbers in the URL does not benefit your SEO in any way, unless, of course, the number is part of your keyword.
If you are using WordPress (WP), then it is easy to remove article dates, and category names from the URL by setting a custom URL structure like this: /%postname%/
4. Add keyword modifiers to your title tag
Modifiers are simple words, phrases, or clauses that provide a better description to your sentences, or in our case, your keyword phrases. So for example, adding words like “best”, “review”, “top”, “2015”, and so on, within your title tag will increase your traffic from long tail keywords. Just consider the fact that up to 75% of search engine traffic comes from long tail searches.
Almost all long tail keywords will never show up in the Google Keyword Planner so you pretty much have to put yourself in the users position and think of all the different ways you would go about searching for your keyword.
Here’s an example of how you would use a keyword modifier:
Best On-Page SEO Strategies in 2015
From the above example, “On-Page SEO Strategies” is the main keyword, while “Best” and “2015” is the modifier. You will be able to rank better for long tail phrases just for applying this one simple method alone.
5. Your content should be 1000+ words
After literally testing hundreds of pages when optimizing content, pages with 1000+ always ranked better than content with ~500 words. Many so called “SEO experts” today will tell you that users will not read everything and will turn away if the content is too long, but results don’t lie.
Google has already said that pages with longer documents are more preferable because it paints a detailed image of what the content is about. Consider the fact that the average content length ranked in the top 10 results of Google is around 2000 words.
As long as you are offering pure value in your content, users will read everything and even add a comment. Just make sure its a topic that interests your readers.
However, if your just adding sentences for the sake of having more words, than most likely you will experience a high bounce rate. The key here is to make sure that every sentence you write is providing value and is engaging your readers.
There is no point ranking a web page with too many words and too little value because your rankings will end up suffering once Google estimates your bounce rate overtime.
Next time you write about a topic, make sure its comprehensive and gives users real-time value that they can share and engage with. Never provide outdated information that you yourself would not read. A real SEO expert would tell you that adding MASSIVE GOODWILL in your market is the key to a winning SEO campaign because after all, the real goal of SEO is to increase sales using targeted search engine traffic, not merely get visitors to your website.
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