On-page SEO is not Dead

I keep reading articles about how "real" SEO experts don't worry about on-page SEO, and instead focus all their efforts on link building instead.

It's true that link power is the most important factor for competitive phrases, but there is also good traffic to be had for the less competitive phrases, which also tend to be more qualified.

I don't understand why people write off on-page SEO when it is so easy?

I took a screenshot of my ranking in Google New Zealand last week for the phrase "seo advice".

SEO Advice SERPS - Kevin Pye at number 1, RagePank at number 2


Last week RagePank was at number 2 for this phrase

This number 2 ranking wasn't really something I was after - Google just happened to pick up the phrases from some text I wrote for my meta description.

Some simple changes...

The image below shows the new Google results after making some simple changes to the page. These changes were made to the title and meta description, and didn't take long. The changes I made should be obvious from the Google result.

SEO Advice SERPS - RagePank at number 1+2 and Kevin Pye at number 3


An easy jump to number one after a couple of small changes

Notes

Notice the | separator in the title - this makes the title clearer for the user, but Google still sees "seo advice" as a complete phrase.

Also nice to see the indented result once the number one position was achieved.

This is not a competitive phrase within New Zealand. Don't expect this to work wonders on the big phrases. I'm not suggesting for a minute that you don't need links, rather suggesting you can often increase your rankings quite easily by making small on-page changes.

  • Use your webstats package to see what phrases people are finding you on.
  • Look up those phrases and see where you currently rank
  • Can you modify your on-page elements to get better rankings for this phrase? (without going backwards on other phrases)
  • Make the changes and check back a week later - you may be surprised with what you can do.
  • If Google has cached your page (with your changes) and your ranking has not improved, then you should now go build some links for this page, using your phrase as the clickable text.


This technique seems to work best for pushing a page 2 result onto page 1.

The combination effect

While some people will swear that on-page SEO is best, while others swear links are all that matters, it makes sense to use a combination approach. By doing your on-page SEO properly, you will get maximum benefit from your links, and you will need less of them.

If the search engines change their weightings at some stage, you have both bases covered and are less likely to be hit hard when algos change.
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Tags: contentnzseoserpscontent nz seo serps