[Video] On Page SEO Tips for Google

Keyword Density vs Conversion Oriented Content

  • Keyword density as a measure of relevancy is at best limited. If pages have too high of a keyword density and are too focused they may have suppressed rankings or may get filtered out of the search results, plus dense copy does not read well, does not convert well, and nobody will link at it.
  • If your content is emotionally charged then it does not need to be as optimized to rank well. If people respond to your content by linking at your site then you gain authority and will rank better.
  • Conversion rates and value per customer are far more important than keyword density. If your content converts you can always afford to buy traffic and/or sign up affiliates.
  • Great usability is a key to converting. Read Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think if you are new to the concept of usability. Make sure your pages are structured with headers, subheaders, and bulleted lists.
  • You should actively drive people toward conversion using text links in your content. Cleanly segment the page into small easy to read chunks using headings, subheadings, and bulleted lists to make the page easy to scan. Use textual formatting and other visual cues to call out the different audiences or the different reasons people would buy your product or service. Dan Thies does a great job of this on his SEO Research Labs website.

Setting a Baseline

  • Use web analytics tools to track your traffic sources AND what keywords are converting.
  • Work on improving on page optimization and conversion rates of your most important pages first.
  • Ensure you have some trusted quality inbound links. Start with a few trusted directories if you are starting from scratch. No matter how much on page SEO you do, you are not going to get much exposure or rank for competitive terms until AFTER you have some trusted inbound links.

Mixing Things Up

  • Search for your keywords on Google and look at the text from top ranking pages. They are defining the local language set. Make sure you include some of the words and phrases that are common in those pages.
  • Use tools like Quintura and Wordtracker to find modifiers to include in your page. After you are done optimizing the page, you can enter your URL in the Google AdWords keyword tool to see what they think your page is about. If they do not select the right topics that means they might not be certain what your page is about.
  • Mix up the order of words and phrases in your page. If your page title uses farm insurance in it, then include something like insurance for farmers in your h1 heading. Also mix up how you use phrases throughout your page where it makes sense, but stay clear of using language that doesn't make sense, like butter peanut.
  • Instead of paginating, it typically makes more sense to keep some pages longer in nature. Glossary pages and other text heavy pages rank for a wide array of keyword phrases. Using various word counts depending on sales needs, content requirements, and topic selection is a better strategy than writing every page to match a specific arbitrary length.
Published: October 30, 2007 by Aaron Wall in videos


October 30, 2007 - 7:40pm

That was the refresher I needed. Through your book and the help of many others I am getting more traffic than I ever imagined. I think sometimes we all get so caught up with ranking for our keywords or phrases we forget about our audience.

I manage only ecommerce sites and I was thinking about driving around Chicago where I live, and you can tell pretty much if you are in a good neighborhood or bad by how disorganized and chaotic the storefronts are. Content really isn't really the issue it's the way it's presented.

The ghetto stores will have crap plastered all over the entire building, this and that on sale, cell phones etc. Then you finally find the store you want to buy something from and I notice things like freshly paved asphalt, bright yellow parking stripes, windows that aren't covered with crap and when I get inside I want to be able to find what I'm looking for without asking four or five different people.

For some reason that video drew me to a new reality - connecting the real with the virtual which is very important to me. Again thanks, Dan

October 30, 2007 - 8:40pm

Glad to be of help Dan. It rocks that you got so much out of such a short video.

October 31, 2007 - 4:49am

You never give yourself enough credit, I was part of your very early following, my leg is very messed up and it's very fortunate a friend recommended your book. SEO Book and your videos and free advice changed my life. I can't get over how much you go out of your way to help everyone with your videos, forum posts everywhere and free advice.
I never strayed from your advice and you are truly an expert at what you do. Matt Cutts may put on better side shows, but I have not been to his blog in many months.
Any time I see you put something new up, I'm here!!
Again, thanks, and God Bless.

October 31, 2007 - 9:39am

You try to help people out and know you help some, but rarely know how much. I am flattered by your comments. Congrats on your success Dan. :)

October 31, 2007 - 10:13am

Good advice I must say and it really helps steering people away from focusing too much on pagerank/text link and back to the basic of website building, which is building good content for your website visitors.

Probably something that might help :-

- after following all the excellent advice to create the pages, publish the pages online and seeing traffic to the pages, study the web stats to see if the pages are correctly serving the key phrases targeted, minor adjustments may be needed.

- notice some other key phrases checking the pages ? is there any right content in the pages to serve these key phrases ? if not, then it may be a signal to create content for these missing key phrases.

Studying the web stats can give us a clearer picture of traffic and enable us to focus more on the content building to serve the site audience.

The more we serve our site visitors, the more we will gain from them.

Hope that helps.

October 31, 2007 - 8:26pm

Too true foong. Using web analytics to refocus the on page messaging of high traffic pages to match their rankings is an easy way to improve user experience and increase profits.

October 31, 2007 - 6:26pm


Thanks for the reminder that it is all about Web Site Optimization, not Search Engine Optimization. The profession finally got some C level traction for our skill set but the name is about 5 years out of date.

Anyone who has spent some time working on clients sites should understand that you need to focus on conversion to be successful. Conversion is the intersection of user intent, site content and interface. The SEO thought process is a great way to reach that goal:
Keyword Research (which is really Market Research)-->
Customer Driven Information Architecture -->
Relevant Content Development =
Quality User Experience = High Conversion


That's irony.

September 22, 2008 - 12:21pm

Thanks a lot for this post. It's really helpful.

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