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On-Page SEO Myths Debunked

Dec 10, 2018
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 SEO is a combination of a variety of tactics with the end goal of increasing  a site's visibility in organic search. One of the most well known and discussed parts of SEO is on-page SEO.  In this video, I am going to debunk some of the most common myths and give you a few pointers on how to get more from your on-page SEO efforts.

 

Video Transcript: 

Hey, what's up? Welcome to Hack My Growth. In this episode, we're going to be debunking some pretty common on-page SEO myths. Hey, thanks for checking out this video. If this is your first time watching or maybe even watching awhile and haven't yet hit this subscribe, please do so now. We would love to have you join our community. Today we're talking about on-page SEO and more specifically, a few myths that are very common around this specific topic in the SEO community. On-page SEO is a term for all the different factors that impact your SEO score or your ranking or your visibility on organic search that are directly dependent on your website.

These are the changes that you're going to be making to your website that are going to correlate and have a direct impact on your search visibility. These are things like your title tag, the way that your code is structured, the meta descriptions, the type of content you're writing, those types of things. Now today we're talking specifically about things that are going to direct your organic ranking and those things are going to direct how your website looks in search. When you google something, you're going to see something that looks very similar to this. It's going to be a blue link. You're going to see the URL in green. You're going to see some text underneath, and you possibly could see some related site links underneath as well.

What you do on your website can play a large role in how this shows up and can change whether or not somebody visits your site. The first myth I always hear, "Once you get SEO done or on-page stuff done, you can just move on to the other stuff. You don't have to touch that again." There's this thought that once you do on-page work, you don't have to worry about it anymore. Well, the reality is you do. Things change. The internet changes. Users change. Google changes its algorithm and you need to make sure that you're up to speed, that your title tags still make sense, that your meta descriptions are still appropriate and meet the end goal of the users who are searching in search.

If you just set and forget your on-page SEO, you're missing out on a ton of opportunity to improve the visibility of your site, improving the click-through visibility of your site. Don't ever think that you just do it once and never have to touch it again. You don't just enable a WordPress plugin and let WordPress pull in and make the decisions for you and move forward. That's not a strategy. That's hoping that something's going to work out for you. As we know, hope is a not a strategy. It's just hope.

Unless you put some thought behind it and you start to work through these different processes and allow yourself to make updates over time, you're not going to reap the benefits of really optimizing your site using on-page SEO tactics. The next thing is that keywords are no longer relevant. This is a very hot topic more so in the content marketing spaces. People are moving towards topic-based search, which I believe that topic-based search is important and relevant, but we've thrown out the keywords. We've assumed that keywords are no longer relevant to what we're doing when it comes to our content or our meta descriptions and our title tags.

But the reality is that keywords do play a big role because those are how people search. Yes, people use voice search. They search differently, but they still use keywords and phrases, so a long-tailed keyword or a medium-tailed keyword and sometimes very direct terms especially when they're looking for a local business and things of that nature. You still need to make sure that you're optimizing around your keywords, that you're using those keywords in your title tags, that you're using them in your URL path, that you're using them in your meta description. Keywords and related keywords are going to be bold inside of the search results and it's going to depend on whether or not somebody might click on that link. 

If they see relevant terms about what they're trying to look for, if you have them right here in your listing, that's going to play a big role in whether or not somebody's going to click. Would they rather click a meta description that has bolded keywords, that are related to what they're talking about? Are they going to click one that doesn't have it? My assumption is they're going to click when they see something that looks contextually appropriate. The last thing is that the meta descriptions are no longer relevant. Now yes, it's true that Google doesn't factor them in as far as the algorithm goes. They're not reading your meta description and saying, "Okay. These are the keywords that you're using."

They're not really looking at it like that, but they are still reading it and they are understanding it. One thing that impacts search is do people pogo stick from your site and then back to the search results because they didn't like what they saw. Is your meta description accurately describing the content that you're driving people to and does that content fulfill the need of the user? Well, you can use your meta description to drive people to your website.

If you have a higher click-through rate, if your site and your content is seen as fulfilling that answer, you're going to get a higher position in the results because Google's saying, "This site knows what they're talking about. This site deserves to rank higher because it has content that people are looking for." Don't overlook meta descriptions. Don't let those just to be pulled in automatically. Create meta descriptions that make sense. Treat this like you're creating ads for your website. This is how it's going to operate and you're looking at free ad space.

You want to make sure that you have meta descriptions that accurately describe what you're doing, what that page is about, and making sure that it really meets the end goal. Three quick tips. You want to review your performance often. If you haven't been using Google Webmaster Tools, which is now Search Console, you need to have that account. You need to see your impressions. Impressions are how many people are seeing your link in the search results. You need to look at clicks and the click-through rate. You need to be paying attention to that often. One of the quickest ways to adjust that or change things to improve your click-through rate is to make adjustments to your meta description.

If that's not working, you might need to relook at some of your titles and those things and make sure that they're all coordinated, that they're working together. But by reviewing often, you can see how your site is trending in search and then make better changes in order to make sure that you're getting the visibility and more importantly, the interactions that you're wanting to see. Now when you do this, you want to test. You might want to test the new meta description. When you do that, drop in an annotation into Google Analytics. That's a little box that you can pull down and then you can add a note about something you did on a specific day.

Then you can track to see how that's made an improvement or maybe not an improvement over time. You can start to update as you go. Test, annotate, update. Test new meta descriptions. See how they're impacting your search visibility and your click-through rate and then you continue to make adjustments other pages as needed. The last thing is never ever, ever set it and forget it. On-page SEO is a very active part of the SEO process. Now you may not be making changes every single day or you may not be doing the same type of work as maybe link outreach or some of the technical stuff that you're doing with technical SEO and structured data, but you still need to pay attention to on-page SEO.

You can't just let it sit by itself and hope that it's doing its job. If you're not staying updated on it, you're missing out on a ton of opportunities to increase the visibility of your site. Your site is the one place where you get to directly speak to Google and tell them everything that Google, the search engine, needs to know about your site so that they might see this is viable content. It deserves to have better visibility for the end users. If you have any questions on-page SEO, anything we discussed in this video, please comment below. We would love to continue the discussion. Until next time, Happy Marketing.

 

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works has also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing solutions.

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