Jack Sarlo

"17 Techniques To Create SEO Friendly Content And Get Top Rankings!"

SEO Friendly Content
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You can create SEO friendly content to get a lot of traffic from Google and other search engines.

This works if you create articles or if you prefer to make videos you have to include the transcript as well.

You’ll discover all 17 search engine optimization techniques. Use them to optimize and rank your article pages on the first page of Google.

These are easy to implement. You won’t need any special SEO software or technical know-how.

As an added benefit these articles will also enable you to be perceived as a trusted “expert”. This in turn will make it easier to convert your website visitors into leads and customers.

This is a proven strategy that’s being used by other successful marketers.

Just keep in mind that it’s a long term strategy, you’ll have to produce more than just a single article to see good results.

But results increase exponentially over time.

Table of Contents

On-page Seo And Off-page Seo

SEO TechniquesThere are two kinds of SEO techniques, on-page, and off-page.

Off-page techniques are difficult and time-consuming. They mainly consist of getting backlinks (links from other pages) to your page.

On-page techniques are much easier. They consist of making simple changes on your page and website to improve it.

If you pick the right keywords your article page can rank on the first page of Google without any backlinks.

Let’s see how to find these types of keywords.

Keyword Research

This is the very first step.

The key is to find “easy to rank” keywords. The whole 4 step process is explained in the keyword research guide.

That guide reveals how to find a lot of “easy to rank” keywords. 

But each page will be optimized for just one keyword.

However the page can rank for several similar keywords. For example, one of my articles is optimized for the “copywriting course” keyword. But it ranks for over 300 different keywords. 

Of course, the page doesn’t rank on the first page for all those keywords and most of the keywords send very little traffic.

Rankings For Keyword Variations
Rankings For Keyword Variations

The keyword you should pick for this SEO strategy should allow you to write an article about it.

For example, the keyword “random name generator” isn’t a good one because you can’t write an article about it. Who’s searching for that is looking for a tool not an article.

Now let’s see the techniques you can apply to your article page.

17 On-page Optimization Techniques

Some of these can only be applied after you finish writing the article.

If you’re using WordPress ideally install the free Yoast SEO plugin. That will help you apply some of these techniques much easier.

In your WordPress dashboard Click Plugins > Add New and then search for “Yoast SEO Plugin”.

Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO Plugin

To set it up correctly Enable or Disable the following features:

Yoast Features
Yoast Features

Most of the features are not required that’s why they’re turned off. 

Note: The features/modules of any WordPress plugin will use additional resources when they’re turned on. And that can affect your website and speed.

#1: Article Length

Your page needs to have a long article. The more words the better. However don’t just add a bunch of words just to increase the word count.

Google prefers long articles and high-quality articles.

2,500 or more is the ideal number according to the research performed by Neil PatelBrian Dean, and some other marketers.

But there’s a technique you can use to find the minimum number of words you should use.

Here’s how:

Search your keyword in Google and open the top 10 results in a new tab.

Only open pages that have an article.

Don’t open pages like e-commerce stores (eBay, Amazon, etc.), forum, Quora posts, or any other page that doesn’t have an article. 

If you can’t find 10 article pages go to page two of the search results.

Count the number of words on each page. You can do this in Chrome with an extension like “Word Counter Plus”.

Then calculate the average number of words. 

You can use a free average calculator. Just input the number of words on each page and click “Calculate”.

Your goal is to create a page that has more words than the average number of words of the top 10 pages.

For example, if on average the top 10 ranked pages have 2,000 words try to create a page with 2,500, 3,000 words or more.

Google equates the number of words with quality. And rightfully so. If you have more words it means your content is better and therefore deserves to be ranked on the first page.

Of course, Google is very smart. It won’t rank your page just because you have more words. That’s why there are 16 more SEO techniques. 

It can also identify low-quality content like e.g. content that you copied from somewhere else.

#2: Article Structure

Your article must be properly structured. 

This means it’s using headings and subheadings much like the chapters and subchapters of a book.

All page building tools like Elementor (my review)Thrive Architect, etc., allow you to easily use headings.

There are 6 headings but most of the time you’ll only use the first 3 or 4.

These are called Heading 1 (H1), Heading 2 (H2), Heading 3 (H3), and so on.

Heading 1 (H1) is used for the article title. You should only have one Heading 1 (H1).

Heading 2 (H2) is a chapter. You can have as many as you want per article.

Heading 3 (H3) is a subchapter within a chapter. You can also have as many as you want.

In much rarer cases you can also use Heading 4 that goes under Heading 3.

Here’s an example:

Heading Structure

With practice it will be much easier to understand when you should use these headings while writing your article.

But as a general guideline if you use an H2 make sure there are at least 200 – 250 words under it. An H2 is like a chapter of a book. And you don’t want these “chapters” to contain just 1-2 paragraphs.

H3’s can have a fewer number of words because they’re a subchapter.

For example, here’s how to use headings with Elementor:

Heading One Elementor

In Thrive Architect use the drop-down to select Heading 1, 2, 3, etc. 

Heading Tags

If you use some other page building tool it’s pretty much the same process. You just add a heading and then specify H1, H2, or whatever you want.

You can use the step by step guide to write your articles. It shows you how to write introductions, conclusions, find a topic for your article, writing techniques, and so on.

#3: Article Quality

You need to write a high-quality article. 

Google can detect that and loves long and quality articles.

Google can also determine how long they’ve been on your website. Your visitors will spend more time on your page if you have a high-quality article.

Technically this is known as “Dwell Time”. Many SEO experts believe it’s a ranking factor.

You can use Google Analytics to see how long they’re spending on your pages.

First, specify a date range e.g. last 30 days. Then go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Look at the “Avg. Time On Page” Column.

Time On Page - Google Analytics
Time On Page - Google Analytics

That’s not something you should check very often. Just focus on creating a long and quality article.

When writing your article try to write the best article on the Internet about your keyword.

Your article should be unique/original. You can get ideas from other articles, books, ebooks, videos, and so on. But don’t copy word for word any of their content.

#4: Keyword In Heading 1 (H1)

The article title should be placed in a Heading (H1) on your page. The page should only have one H1 heading.

Your article title should also be used as the Title Tag. This is the title that appears in Google’s search results:

Google Search Result
Google Search Result

You can use the Yoast SEO Plugin to write and verify that your title tag isn’t too short or too long.

First, find your post/page in WordPress and click Edit.

Edit Post/Page - WordPress
Edit Post/Page - WordPress

Scroll to the bottom to see the Yoast SEO section. Click “Edit Snippet”.

Yoast SEO plugin should automatically use your article title for the title tag. If not click “Insert Snipped Variable” and select “title” :

Title Tag - Yoast
Title Tag - Yoast

Check that under the title tag there is a green bar (not orange or red). Otherwise try to re-write it a bit to reduce/increase the number of words.

How To Write Your Article Title

I find it easier to write the title after I finish writing the whole article, but it’s up to you.

Use the keyword in the title of your article. Try to add the keyword at the very beginning of the title (if possible).

The article title shouldn’t contain just the keyword because it won’t make much sense.

For example if the keyword is “cat allergy” you can write a heading that makes sense to read…

“12 Cat Allergy Symptoms And Their Treatments”

Your title should use Title case, capitalize every word. Don’t use ALL CAPS. 

Use up to one punctuation mark like “?” or “!”.

You should always try to include numbers, parentheses, or brackets in your article title.

Examples:

Numbers: 12 Cat Allergy Symptoms And Their Treatments!

Parentheses:  Complete A-Z List of Cat Health Conditions (Updated for 2020)

Brackets: Cat Allergy Symptoms And Their Treatments [Scientifically-Proven]

It has been shown through studies by Hubspot and others that people are more likely to click such titles.

For example, Sean Falconer from Proven.com saw a 128% improvement in clicks after using parentheses.

You can get more clicks than pages that are ranking above you just because you have a better title.

You can refer to the free copywriting course for techniques to write good blog post titles/headlines.

#5: Keyword In Meta description

You can find and edit the meta description under the “Title Tag” in the same Yoast SEO plugin.

This is just a short description of your article. You can use some of the sentences from the “Introduction” part of your article. 

Once again, I find it easier to write it after I finish the article.

Include the keyword once in the meta description.

Here’s a quick example, the keyword is “cat allergy”:

“Discover 12 cat allergy remedies that are proven to prevent and in some cases permanently cure the allergy. Most of these are natural remedies…”

The Yoast plugin will display a green bar when you use enough words. If the bar is orange the description is too short or too long.

Meta Description - Yoast
Optimim Desription Length
meta description tag
Too Long Description

Note: Google doesn’t always use your exact meta description in the search results.

Yoast SEO plugin shows you a preview of how your page’s title and description will look in Google’s search results – on mobile and desktop devices:

SERP Preview
Search Results Preview

#6: Keyword In Slug

The slug is the part of the page URL after your domain name.

Example:

http://www.YourDomain.com/slug

You want to use your keyword there too. Use a hyphen (-) to separate multiple words.

Example:

http://www.YourDomain.com/cat-allergy-remedies

You can change the slug in the same Yoast SEO plugin under the title tag.

Edit Page Slug
Edit Page Slug

#7: Keyword In Heading 2 (H2)

Your keyword should be placed in at least one Heading 2 (H2). Your article could have many H2’s. Just put it in one of them.

Of course, write a properly heading don’t just use the keyword by itself.

For example, if your keyword is “cat allergy remedies”, you can make an H2 heading such as: “3 Natural Cat Allergy Remedies”.

#8: Keyword In First Paragraph

Include the keyword once in the first paragraph of your article. This should be as close to the beginning of the first sentence as possible.

For example, if your keyword is “cat allergy remedies” try to include it in the beginning:

“These 12 cat allergy remedies are scientifically-proven to control the symptoms. In many cases these can also completely heal the allergy. “

The first paragraph is usually the “Introduction” part of your article. As a general guideline try to write between 100 – 250 words.

#9: Keyword In Final Paragraph

The keyword should also be included once in any of the last 3-4 paragraphs. These are usually part of the article’s “Conclusion”.

#10: Keyword In Article

This is optional. You can include the keyword at least once in your article. 

You’ll probably do this anyway. You’ll have to write a long article, with at least 2,000 words. When you do that you’ll naturally use the keyword or variations of it at least once.

Don’t try to intentionally use your keyword when writing your article.

If you focus on quality, you’ll naturally use your keyword or variations of it. That’s exactly what Google wants you to do.

#11: Images

Images improve the quality of your article. These images can illustrate a particular idea you’re explaining. 

For that you can use mind maps, infographics, screenshots, gifs…

Use these images if you think they’ll enhance the quality of your article. 

It can be time-consuming to create these images. So how much and how often you use them depends on how much time you have.

The content creation course shows you how to create those kinds of images and the tools you can use.

Images can also be used just to make the article look nicer and interesting. There are many free stock photo sites like FreePik, Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash…

Everyone uses these sites. So ideally you want to customize them before using them.

If you’re in the cat niche your audience has seen a lot of these cat stock photos.

Cat Stock Photo

You can use a free image editing tool like Canva to make it unique:

Custom Image - Canva

Imagine an article with 4 stock photos and another one with 4 custom photos. The latter will certainly look more unique and professional.

You can find stock photos from these kinds of sites:

https://www.pexels.com

https://www.freeimages.com

http://www.1millionfreepictures.com

https://gratisography.com

https://unsplash.com

https://picjumbo.com

https://pixabay.com

http://compfight.com

https://www.everypixel.com

https://libreshot.com

https://stocksnap.io

https://search.creativecommons.org

https://freerangestock.com

https://www.lifeofpix.com

The following simple techniques will help Google understand your images. And your images will be able to rank in Google’s Image Search.

Filenames:

Always use a descriptive filename for your images, 1-3 words that describe the image.

If you upload a cat image, don’t name it 32kfdl2.jpg

Name it cat.jpg

If you have to use multiple words use a hyphen (-) to separate them.

Example: cat-allergy.jpg

Alt Text:

Use a descriptive alt text. If you want you can use the same words you used in the filename. Keep it short, maximum of 3-5 words. 

This text is displayed in case the image doesn’t load.

This can be done in WordPress after you upload an image:

alt title tags
Alt Text - WordPress

If you’re uploading a lot of similar images don’t use the same alt text all the time. Use an appropriate alt text, but try to vary them for example, “cat allergy”, “cat allergies”, “cat allergy cure”…

Captions:

You can use the same alt text for the image caption. This appears under the image in your article. It describes the image.

You can include your keyword in one or more of the filename, alt, or captions. 

But it’s optional. You should only use a keyword e.g. “cat allergy” if the image is indeed related to “cat allergy”.

Image Compression

Adding a lot of images can slow down the page loading speed. 

Speed is a ranking factor because a slow page gives a user a bad experience.

Images are the primary cause of a slow loading page.

To overcome that issue you can use a free plugin called Imagify

It will automatically compress the images once you upload them. You don’t have to wait or do anything.

It makes their file size small so they load faster.

Go to Plugins > Add New and search for “Imagify”.

Imagify - WordPress Plugin
Imagify - WordPress Plugin

If you don’t want to use a plugin you can compress images before you upload them manually using a free tool like Tinypng.

Of course, that’s a slower process.

#12: Videos

These are used to add value to your article as well. They also increase the time your visitors spend on your page.

Remember, that’s a signal that tells Google your visitors like the content.

If you’re making videos use those videos.

If you don’t have any try to find high-quality videos from Youtube or other video sharing sites. Watch the videos before you add them to your article to make sure they’re good.

Pick the ones that have as few ads as possible. Ideally from well-known companies, because these tend to be higher-quality and will be perceived better.

Don’t just add random videos for the sake of it. Only use them if they can explain/elaborate a specific idea you’re talking about in your article. 

You can add as many as you want in each article.

#13: Internal Links

You should link to other relevant pages that you have on your website/blog. 

These could be other articles, tools, products or services, etc. It depends on what you’ve got. 

A single article can’t possibly answer all questions. If you have another article that explains a particular point in more detail you can link to it.

For example, if you mention the “best natural cat allergy remedy” and you already have a complete article about that, you can link to it. 

Include a small summary perhaps a few sentences/paragraphs and put a link to the full article.

Or let’s say you have an article that reviews a particular product.

Whenever you mention this product in any other article you can link to that page.

These internal links will help your visitors. Use them where it’s necessary.

#14: External Links

These work the same way as internal links. But you link to pages on websites you don’t own. 

For example, link to useful tools, software, books, etc. You can link to articles or pages that contain some actual data and statistics (e.g. from surveys or case studies) to back up some of your claims.

These can be affiliate links. 

You must use external links where appropriate because you’ll help the reader. 

Be careful what you link to. You don’t want to send your visitors to spammy or worthless pages. 

Technically, you’ll pass “Pagerank” to pages that you link to (internal or external). 

This means you give some of the page’s ranking power to those other pages. 

So as a general guideline you don’t want to have more than 10 external links. Limit the number as much as possible.

If you want to suggest a very big list of resources, you can input the URLs without linking them. 

For example:

http://www.domain.com/page
http://www.anotherdomain.com/page

External links should open in a new window/tab.

Affiliate links should open in a new window/tab and have the “sponsored” tag. 

This is the only part that’s a bit technical. If you don’t do this it’s not going to negatively affect your page or website in any way.

But it is a recommendation because you’ll help Google to understand the type of websites you’re linking to.

Using the “sponsored” tag will tell Google you can get paid for this link in some way or another.

If you’re using WordPress click the “Text” tab in the text editor to see the Html code.

Text Editor WordPress
Text Editor WordPress

If you have a text link like this: Click Here to check this product it will look like this:

Link Html Code
Link Html Code

You just have to input the word “sponsored” followed by a space next to “noopener”.

Like this:

Sponsored Tag
Sponsored Tag

When you link to other pages on your website or someone’s else website (internal and external links) you’re helping those pages increase their rankings.

All links pointing to a page are called backlinks.

Google considers a backlink a “vote” from one page to another. When you link to a page you’re voting or recommending it.

The more “votes” a page gets the more likely it’s going to rank well in search engines. 

This doesn’t mean you should start linking to all your pages as much as you can. Only link to other pages where it’s necessary.

When using internal and external links write a descriptive anchor text.

This is the text that links to the page. 

Don’t use something like “click here” or “learn more“. Instead be a bit more descriptive e.g. On Wikipedia you can read about the top 3 cat allergy symptoms.

#15: Internal Backlinks

You should also link to your new article from other relevant articles on your website.

These are called Internal backlinks.

Optionally, you can use the keyword (or a variation of it) in the anchor text of that link.

For example, let’s say I have a page optimized for the keyword “cat allergy”. 

If I’m going to link to it from another article I try to use the keyword “cat allergy” or something similar in the text of that link.

Don’t link to your page randomly. Only link to it from a relevant article and where it makes sense.

For example, let’s say your new article is about “Cat Allergy Remedies” and you have another one about “Keeping Cats As Pets”. 

The latter might talk about possible allergies when keeping cats as pets. So you might link from this article to your new one.

Of course, if you have a lot of articles you’ll be able to link to your new article many more times. Each link will help your new page to rank better in search engines.

If your website is still new and you can’t find relevant articles do this step later on when you create more articles. 

You’ll be able to tell which articles have few or no backlinks with free software such as Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

For each page on your website it provides a list of pages linking to it.

Here’s how to use it:

1) Input your website URL and click “Search”.

2) Once it’s done find and click on the page you want to check. You can use the search box to find it.

3) At the bottom click on the “Inlinks” tab. This shows you all pages linking to it.

Screaming Frog - Backlinks
Screaming Frog - Internal Backlinks

Here’s a simple mind map with a recap about all these kinds of links.

Type of Links
Type of Links

#16: Homepage Link

You can link to your new article from your homepage. 

Google checks your homepage more often than your other pages. If you put a link to it there it will find it quickly. After a couple of weeks you can remove it.

You can display a list of your most recent posts on the homepage.

#17: SEO Silo

One thing that’s really going to help the rankings of every page on your website is an SEO silo.

These fancy words basically mean that you should try to create content about topics and their subtopics.

You should go really deep on a particular topic by creating content on as many of its subtopics as you can.

For example, if you write an article about “General Cat Health Problems” you can create more articles about its subtopics like “Cat Skin Diseases” and “Cat Obesity”.

The “Cat Skin Diseases” can be broken down further into new articles such as “Fleas & Ticks That Cause Itchy Skin” and “Food Allergy That Cause Irritated Skin”.

In this way, your website is like a mini “encyclopedia” about one subject.

This is illustrated in the mind map below.

SEO Silo
SEO Sile Structure

That’s extremely useful for your visitors and that’s also the reason why Google loves it too.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to use more internal links which help each page with its rankings.

Miles Beckler, a very successful marketer explains this strategy extremely well:

How To Analyze Results

You should not expect a ton of traffic after writing a single article. That’s not how it works.

If you keep producing one new article after another you’ll start to get more and more traffic.

Stick to a schedule. It may take you 3-4 days to write a single article. 

Try to produce one high-quality article optimized for a single keyword each week. It’s a challenge but it gets easier with time. You’ll make fewer mistakes and your results will improve.

Assuming you picked “easy to rank” keywords some of those articles will rank quickly (sometimes in just a week) and others can take a bit longer.

Results get better over time for many reasons.

The more high-quality articles pages you have on your website the easier it gets to rank new pages. Because if you use Internal links each article will get more links.

People will stay longer on your website if you have a lot more articles. If they’re spending a lot of time on your website Google assumes your content must be good.

You’ll also start to attract the attention of other website owners and bloggers in your niche. They might link to one or more of your articles. 

These are the best type of backlinks you can get. These are “votes” from other people which naturally count more than “votes” from your self (internal links).

Therefore results improve as you create more and more quality articles. So stick to it.

The first tool you can use to analyze your results is Google Analytics. It’s a good tool to know the number of visitors you’re getting, how much time they spend on your pages, and some other useful data.

Here’s a quick overview of Google Analytics:

Build Your List

Consider ways to capture the email (and optionally the name) of your website visitors. You want to start building an audience from your website. You don’t want them to leave and forget about you.

Elementor does have a popup tool but currently it doesn’t integrate with Aweber.

Thrive Architect does have a popup tool as well but it only contains 2 types of popups. You have no targeting options (such as showing the popup on multiple pages).

One of the best tools is Thrive Leads. This is a WordPress plugin.

You can build any type of optin form or popup e.g. exit intent, slide-ins, inline forms inside content, sticky ribbon, and more. These can be displayed sitewide or on specific pages. 

There are also done-for-you popup templates. It’s an easy drag and drop tool.

You can try different optin forms or popups until you find out what works best for you.

The guide on how to design a blog has a specific section explaining the various types of popups/forms you can use.

The second tool to analyze your results is your autoresponder. Check how many new leads you’re getting each day.

This is probably the most important data because for most businesses the primary goal is to build an audience/email list.

If you’re getting a lot of traffic but not so many leads consider testing a new type of popup, or a new freebie. 

The guide about Information products can help you create a freebie e.g. checklist, swipe file, quick video, etc.

How To Check Your Rankings

Another tool you can use to check results is Google Search Console.

This one tells you which keywords your pages are ranking.

Remember, your article pages can rank for variations of your main keyword as well. For example, if you’re optimizing a page for “cat allergy” it may rank for “cat allergy treatments” and a dozen other keywords.

Therefore even though you might not rank on the first page for your chosen keyword, you might be ranking for other keywords.

In Search Console click on Performace and specify a date range e.g. last 30 days.

You’ll then see all the keywords your pages are ranking for. And how many impressions and clicks they get. This refers to how much traffic you’re getting from Google.

There’s a lot more useful data.

Google Search Console

Here’s a quick overview of Google Search Console.

Note: You’ll need to submit a sitemap to use this tool. The Yoast SEO plugin automatically creates this for you. 

You’ll find it at www.YourWebsite.com/sitemap.xml

Domain Authority

Your Domain Authority (DA) is a score between 0 – 100. Websites with a higher DA score have a lot of pages ranking for many keywords. Their pages rank faster and higher and they are more difficult to outrank.

Every brand new domain starts with a 0 DA score. This number improves over time by various factors such as the number of backlinks.

Your DA score will take a lot of time to increase. Therefore it shouldn’t be the primary metric to judge your SEO results.

You can check your DA Score using this free tool.

Domain Authority Score

Your article pages will be able to rank for more competitive keywords as your DA score increases.

If you find “easy to rank” keywords you can still get on the first page of Google even with a very low DA score of 15 or less.

Sales

You also want to check how much money or sales you’re making. The way you do this depends on how you’re monetizing your website.

Over time, you’ll start to understand your audience much better. You’ll know which products they’re buying or not buying and the best ways to monetize your website.

So as you get more traffic you’ll also figure out the best way/s to monetize your website and business.

Once again don’t expect a lot of sales after writing a few articles.

You should not spend a ton of time analyzing these kinds of results. Perhaps spend 1-2 hours per week or less.

Creating content consistently is much more important because that’s what’s going to get you more and better results!

Off-page Techniques

Off-page SEO techniques mainly consist of getting backlinks to your page. 

Your article page will rank on the first page without any backlinks. That’s assuming you picked “easy to rank” keywords.

Therefore these techniques are optionalBut of course, if you use them it will be even better. In my opinion, it’s best to spend time creating more content than trying to get backlinks.

Furthermore, the best way to get backlinks according to Google is to write a high-quality article. If it’s really good other website owners/bloggers will find it useful and link to it.

Over time you’ll get those kinds of natural backlinks but it’s a very slow process.

But there are some legitimate ways to get backlinks. SEO Expert Brian Dean reveals 9 techniques:

Conclusion

Writing your first piece of SEO friendly content (an article or video with transcript) using these techniques may be quite a challenge at first.

But over time, with more practice you’ll get the hang of it.

Nobody built a perfect business from scratch. We all had to go back to tweak, modify, improve, or in some cases start all over again.

Keep in mind that out of all the free (or almost free) methods to get traffic SEO is the best one. Pretty much everyone agrees with that!

Your articles will keep getting traffic from Google. Results will improve and will only get better as you keep doing this!

If something is not clear or you want to ask questions you can leave them below. 👍

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About The Author

More than 7 years ago Jack made his first few sales online as an affiliate marketer. His site ranked on Google for dozens of keywords, so later on, he built courses and software to teach his SEO “secrets”.

He also won a Flip Camera in an affiliate contest.

Now he reveals all the insights he’s discovered throughout the years about Internet marketing, in his free guides and products!

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