In this article, I’m going to show you simple on-page SEO techniques I used to help a client rank on Google front page in 90 days.
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to all measures that can be taken directly from the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings.
First, let me start with a story.
In 2015, a lady contacted me and complained that she wasn’t getting leads interested in her interior design school from her website.
She had tried everything from running Google AdWords to influencer marketing. But no leads. She didn’t know why.
So I gave her my SEO Services Form to fill.
This is the first this I usually do with my clients before taking a look at their site.
1. Why do you need to do SEO?
2. Who is your ideal customer or reader?
3. How would you describe what your business does to someone who has never heard of you?
4. Why would they need it?
5. What common questions do they ask you?
6. What search phrases would people type into Google search bar when looking for a product/service like yours?
7. Who offers services/products similar to you?
That’s a summary.
The reason for this questionnaire is to obey the first rule in SEO:
“Know Your Ideal Target Audience/Customer“.
From the answers she gave me, I could understand her customer’s online behaviour.
It goes like this: Susan has decided to start a career in interior design. But she doesn’t know the required skills to become an interior designer.
So what does she do?
She goes online to research and types in the keyword phrase “what skills do i need to become an interior designer in nigeria“.
She clicks on the relevant article and reads.
If she is satisfied, she now has another problem, where to learn interior design?
So off she goes to Google to search:
“where can i learn interior design in nigeria”
“interior design schools in lagos”.
If she sees the solution, she enrols.
But, if she’s not satisfied with what she saw or is sceptical about the school, she asks her friends on social media groups, or visits forums like Nairaland to get first-hand information on the best interior design schools.
Just to hear people’s opinions about that particular brand.
So how was I able to get Susan (my client’s ideal customer) to trust her site enough to click and become a buyer or subscriber?
How did I convince Google to trust her site enough to index and rank her website for the relevant keywords?
Next step was to do keyword research:
There are several ways to do keyword research, but the one I recommend you doing is using the tool available to everyone for free: Google Auto Suggest.
Just make sure you download this Keyword Everywhere chrome extension recommended by a colleague of mine, Lekan Akinyemi. It shows you the search volume for that keyword phrase. As you do your keyword research directly on Google.com.
That’s the sample above with the keyword everywhere chrome extension showing the search volume.
When I typed in the keyword phrase, I couldn’t find her website on the front page, neither was it on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th page of Google.
So I went back to see the first people ranking on the first page, what makes them unique? What are they doing right? This is called competitive analysis.
I found out that her competitor “Mavens” was ranking for that keyword.
I also copied the competitor URL and placed in AdWords Keyword Planner to find more keywords they were possibly ranking for and plan my strategy.
Then I checked this lady’s website and noticed a lot of things were so wrong. The website design was a mess. The landing page for the interior design school had several pages.
Meaning, the website visitor had to click on a button to go to another page to get the school fees, then click on a button to visit another page to register for the course.
And not only that, the registration form was so long and asked for sensitive info such as date of birth, state of origin, house address, marital status.?
I told her these form fields weren’t necessary
What you need to focus on right now is getting their name, email address phone number and cash. So I told her the website would need a redesign.
Then I checked out her blog. What I saw there made me gasp. Imagine an interior design firm blogging about politics, gossips, etc.
I told her no wonder Google is confused about your website.
I deleted the articles and created a Blog Content Theme for her to adhere to. Henceforth she would write about things related to Interior Design & Decor.
After crawling her website with Screamingfrog. I noticed that her focus keywords were missing from the following:
• [title tag] • [h1 heading] • [content] • [image alt text] • [meta description] • [URL Slug]
So I had to design a structure for her website. Decided on which was her important money pages and deleted the rest.
Optimized the hell out of those important pages.
Placed her focus keyword: “interior design school in lagos”
– Page Title
– Meta Description (very important if you want people to click.)
Also, ensure that your keyword phrase is also in the:
– Image Description (File name. Alt-tag,
– Header 1, 2, 3
– Body of content (first 100 words)
Within a few months, her page showed up on the front page.
Also, remember that it’s one thing to bring people like Susan to her site, it’s another thing to earn her trust and convert her into a customer, lead or subscriber.
So, I recommend this chrome extension to help me find out if her website landing page is conversion-friendly:
– The Landing Page Checklist.
With that tool, I optimized her landing page and streamlined the registration process.
Added social proof e.g. testimonials, photos of past students in training, etc.
This made it easy for people like Susan to trust her website and enrol at her school.
Other Things You Need to Install on your site to track progress:
– Yoast SEO for WordPress Users
– Google Analytics to track visits
– Google Webmaster Tools – google.com/webmasters
– Screaming Frog SEO spider to crawl your site