In this guide of mine and on Vishawjeet’s rocking blog, you’re going to learn a trick or two on how to boost your site’s relevance, and exactly why you need to be doing it, with every article you publish from now on.
What is relevance exactly and why do I need it?
Relevance in SEO is targeting a keyword with your article, and then using words and phrases that are relevant to that keyword throughout your article and in strategic places.
Why is relevance important for ranking highly in Google?
Here’s the thing,
Google demands article relevancy in order to rank it.
You had a page that is relevant to absolutely nothing (that’s actually impossible; but it’s just an example). But that page had 1 million backlinks pointing to it.
What do you think would happen?
Your page would rank for:
Because it is not relevant to anything, Google chose not to rank it, even though it has ample authority;
By making your article super relevant to the keyword you want to rank for, you will need way less links to rank, sometimes no links at all.
Here are 9 on-page SEO hacks that’ll get you really far.
#1- Keyword in the SEO title
SEO meta title is the number #1 on-page SEO element you need to have on the page. and you have to get it right too, or you can kiss your desired rankings goodbye.
So you need to have an exact match keyword as your SEO title. Of course, it’s advisable and I recommend you also have filler words to make it appealing and thus increase CTR.
But the keyword is a must as it’s the first sign to Google that you page is about “X” keyword.
#2- URL should contain your target keyword
URL’s are another high-level signals for Google on what your page is about. I suggest you have your exact match keyword in there, even if you’re targeting a really long tail keyword.
No matter, let your URL look a bit unseemly.
What matters is that you’ll send that crucial relevancy signal to Google.
But also, when a user sees your URL in the SERP’s they will be more likely to click.
It’s a win-win for you!
#3- H1 tag should also contain exact match keyword
H1 tag is actually your true headline, the first thing people see when they land on your page.
And common wisdom you find on the web suggests you eschew SEO and focus solely on making it a killer headline
The folks that say that are partially right. You should make a killer headline… but you also need to have your keyword in there.
I don’t care how- just do it!
Trust me, it is possible to make your keyword an integral part of your H1 headline; you just have to work for it just like with anything else in life.
But it pays to do it as you’ll rank higher in Google.
#4- Keyword in the lesser headings (h1, h2, h3, h4,)
These are bound to be plentiful through your post, so you can’t be having the same keyword in all of them.
That’ll be good old keyword stuffing. Except it wouldn’t be good and you’d get penalized by the big G because it’s ancient tactic that doesn’t work anymore.
Instead, have your exact keyword in one of the lower heading tags, and for rest, you have free reign.
Do what makes sense for you and your audience.
#5- Keyword in content
Gone are the days of needing the exact keyword density and keyword stuffing to rank good.
So no, you don’t need to mention your keyword a bazillion times.
Just several times.
Once in the:
- beginning (first 100 words)
And that’s it really. Google is smart and keyword stuffing nowadays can only hurt you.
#6- Image SEO
Image SEO is an easy SEO win for relevance.
I mean, in whatever post you publish, you’re bound to have several images that make your post readable and scanable, right?
That’s great, but you should also employ images for your SEO purposes.
- Optimize your first image for your target keyword (keyword in alt attribute and image filename)
- And for other pictures, you can use keyword synonyms (LSI).
#7- Be smart with internal linking
Internal linking works best when you have many articles on your site and some authority to your name. Then that authority is spread across the site and you rank higher for all your keywords.
But really, you should always internally link, even if you have only 2 posts and 0 domain authority (Moz’s DA metric).
Link to thematically related content and use exact match and partial match anchor text.
And don’t worry about internal linking anchor text- there’s no Penguin penalty for linking internally.
#8- Be clever with external linking
A clever external linking strategy is nothing more than linking only to relevant articles.
For example, if you’re writing an article about backlinks- link to an article about external linking.
If you’re writing an article about SEO- link to an article about SEO;
if you’re writing an article about cars- link to one about cars, or car parts.
You get the point?
It’s crucial to link relevantly only.
This strengthens YOUR site’s relevancy.
What if I have to link to a non-relevant article?
Use a no-follow tag.
#9- Do a TF-IDF optimization
TF-IDF stands for Term Frequency Inverse Document Frequency.
It’s basically a way for you to check (with a tool) what are the words and phrases that your competitors on the first page of Google are using; but you’re not.
So you too can include them and hopefully rank higher because you’re suddenly much more relevant.
It’s a great SEO hack!
That’s the school of though I subscribed to until I read this comment by Bill Slawski:
He basically says that TF-IDF is an SEO myth and that it doesn’t work like that, because Google uses all pages in its index to score content relevancy; and TF-IDF tools only use the first 10 results in Google.
So it doesn’t work like that.
What you do is up to you.
As for me?
I use TF-IDF on my most important articles,
so very sparingly, but it often seems to work, so go figure…
Conclusion- Relevance to the rescue!
Who knew it’s so important for ranking in Google?
But it is. Get it right and I guarantee you’ll climb Google SERP’S faster and be far more durable when updates hit.
Ultimately, you will need links to rank but on-page relevance is a HUGE shortcut.
So huge in fact that you’d be a fool not to use it to your advantage.
But I know you’re not a fool; but a very smart individual.
I want to thank Vishwajeet for posting my article, and I’ll be here to respond to any and all questions that come through.