Top 10 On Page SEO Techniques (Backed by Data)

Have you ever wondered if the on-page SEO tips that experts are recommending actually work? I mean, does using your target keyword in
your URL really have an impact on SEO? Does site speed really play a factor in rankings? In this video, I’m going to break down the
top on-page SEO techniques that you can use to get higher rankings in Google,
backed by hard cold data. Stay tuned. [Music] What’s up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. We have a lot of solid on page SEO techniques
to cover so let’s get this party started with our top 10 tips. Number 10, use short URLs for your pages. Here’s a short URL. And here’s a long one. So true or false? Do short URLs rank better in Google? Our study on on-page SEO factors shows that
on average, short URLs with a median of around 17 or so characters ranked visibly better than long ones. If you’re a WordPress user, then all you
need to do is click in the URL box here, and enter in your short URL. But does this mean that you should go and
change all of your long URLs to short ones? I wouldn’t say so. Even though there’s a small correlation,
I don’t think it’s a significant enough ranking factor to change your existing ranking pages. Number 9, use your primary keyword in your URL. If I were writing an article about SEO tips,
then my final URL with my keyword target would look like this. So does this actually help you rank high in Google? The answer according to our study is… False. Interestingly, out of all keyword-related
on page SEO factors that we studied, this was the only one that showed a negative correlation. In fact, John Mueller from Google
went on the record and said: “I believe that is a very small ranking factor. So it is not something I’d really try to force. And it is not something I’d say is even
worth your effort to restructure your site just so you can get keywords in your URL.” But do I recommend using it? Absolutely. Two reasons: When your link gets shared, people can easily
identify what the page is about without even clicking through to the page. This should increase referral traffic compared
to having links that look like this. Or this. And second, the exact match keyword that you
want to rank for will be included in the anchor text of every naked URL backlink that you get. And we did a study on anchor texts, which
shows that top ranking pages tend to have a larger percentage of exact match anchor
text links in their backlink profile. So take 10 seconds to customize
your URLs and reap the benefits. Number 8, use your keyword
in the headline, so the H1 tag. In our study, we found that around 85% of
pages that rank in the top 10 of Google, don’t have their keyword in their H1 tags. But there was still a small correlation, so
I still recommend using various keywords in your headings and even subheadings. And the main reason for this
is more user experience based. A study from Neilsen Norman Group found that
on average, a user will read, at most, 28% of the words on a page. But then they said that 20% is more realistic. Here’s the thing: Scanning text is an extremely
common behavior for users. You probably look at a page, scroll for a
bit, and if something pops out to you, you read that section. And if you think that section
was awesome, then you think: oh shoot, did I miss out on anything else? So you scroll back up and then you read the post. Using trigger-like keyword phrases in headings
and sub-headings may be enough to pique a user’s interest and have them
stick around a little bit longer. Number 7, add external links to authoritative websites. Again, John Mueller said that adding external
links to other sites is not a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. But Reboot Online’s study disagrees. They ran a fun little experiment on these
two completely made up words, which I won’t even attempt to pronounce. They set up 10 different websites, 5 that
linked to authoritative sources like Oxford, Cambridge, and And then the other 5, they had no external links at all. And the results were clear: the sites that contained external links, ranked
higher than the ones that didn’t for both keywords. And in our own study, we found a small positive
correlation of pages that link to Domain Rating 70+ sites ranked in the top 10 of Google. So here’s an easy takeaway. Don’t be afraid to link out to other resources
that will enhance the experience for your readers. For example, if you’re writing a blog post
on the best golf gear and you found a great comparison of golf balls, then link out to them. But don’t just do it for the sake of it. Number 6, add internal links
to pages that you want to rank. Internal links are links that go from one
page on a domain to a different page on the same website. And these have been proven time
and time again to help with rankings. So a quick tip is to look at your pages that
are currently ranking on page 2 of Google, add some internal links to relevant pages
that you want to rank, and hopefully it’ll be enough to give your pages a small boost in rankings. You can find pages that rank on page 2 by
going to Google Search Console, click on search traffic, and then search analytics. Then make sure you check these boxes up here,
and then sort the positions in descending order. You can quickly scan through the impressions
column and try to spot bigger numbers, which suggests that there’s a higher search volume. But these are average positions,
which isn’t very accurate. You can do this more effectively
using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. Just type in your domain or a subfolder. So I’ll use and run the search. Next, go to the Organic Keywords report. Here, you can see all of the
keywords that our blog ranks for. So I’ll narrow down our results by setting
the positions filter to only show keywords that rank in positions 11 to 15. And you can see that our post on SEO tools
ranks in position 11 with 16,000 monthly searches. If I click on this icon here, you can see
that we’ve been hanging around the top of page 2 and bottom of page 1 for this
keyword for a little while now. So this would make a great target
to point some internal links to. Now we need to find pages
where we can add these links. You can do this by going to Google
and type in a search query like:, and I’ll add “SEO
tools” in quotes for a phrase match search. And you can see that there are a good number
of pages where we can add internal links from. Clicking through to this page, and then doing
a find for the phrase “SEO tools,” you can see that this would be a great place to add the link. Number 5, re-optimize titles on under
performing page one rankings. I’ll level with you: even if you have the perfect title and meta
description combination, it won’t really matter much unless you’re on the first page of Google. Why? Because as the saying goes: “The best place to hide a dead body is on
page 2 of Google’s search results.” First, you need to identify the pages that
are ranking on page one. Again, you can do this in Google Search Console
and look through the different positions versus click-through rates. And as a very general benchmark, the #1 ranking
spot sees an average CTR of 33%, #2 gets 15% and #3 gets around 10%. If you see anything below that, make a note
of it and start playing around with your titles and meta descriptions. Here are a couple ways to get
some great ideas for new titles. Let’s say that I’m creating an epic post
on hotels in San Francisco. Looking at the organic Google search results,
you can see that they appear to be mostly list posts of the top or best ones. And two of them actually include prices in the title. This can tell you a lot about the
intent behind a searcher’s query. So you might want to create yours in a similar way. Next, look at the ads. Since a lot of the big players are constantly
experimenting with ad copy, you can bet that for high CPC terms like this, you’ll find
some solid title and description ideas that can boost your CTR. There’s an awesome data-driven
way you can do this too. I’ll click through to this ad. Next, I’ll copy the URL without the parameters. Then I’ll go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool
and paste the URL here and run the search. After the page loads, click on “ads” under
the paid search category. And right away, you can see all of the different
ad variations and see which ones have been attracting the most clicks for them. If you’re still stuck, borrow some ideas
from viral sites like Upworthy or Buzzfeed. For example, if I do a google search for “San Francisco” hotels, you’ll see a few cool ideas that
you can work into your title tag. Number 4, create in-depth articles. People have been raving about “long-form
content” for quite some time. In fact, our study showed that content length
had the second best correlation across all on-page SEO factors that we studied. But how long is “long-form?” 1,500? 2,000? 5,000 words? We found the median value for a #1 ranking
result to have 800 words, which I don’t think quite fits into the category of “long-form.” So instead of focusing on word count, focus on coverage. For example, if you’re writing a piece on
making the perfect cup of coffee, you can’t just say, say: “grab a Kcup, put it in the
machine and wait.” If you truly want to deliver on making the
perfect cup of coffee, you’d want to talk about beans, water temperature, brewing methods
like French press, drip, or using an Aeropress. An easy way to find related subtopics is to
Google the keyword phrase you want to rank for and skim through the sub-headings
from the top ranking pages. Clicking through to this one, you’ll see
that they covered a few different methods like pour overs, French Press and Aeropress. And on top of that, they included a helpful
bullet point list for each method with preferred types of beans, brewing time, and
flavor profiles you should look for. To expand your coverage, you can copy the
URL and paste it into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Next, click on the Organic
Keywords report in the sidebar. And on this page, you can see all of the
keywords that this page ranks for in Google. So bottom line? Forget word count and focus on covering the
topics and sub topics that will serve the searcher’s intent. Number 3, use modifiers in your titles. Modifiers are add-on words to a base keyword. My favorites are best, top, buy, and the current year. For example, someone might search for “golf clubs.” But they might also search for “best golf
clubs” or even “best golf clubs 2018.” A super cool way to find modifier keywords
that actually have search volume is to type in a seed keyword in Keywords Explorer. Next, go to the phrase match report in the sidebar. And you can see that there are well over 2
million keywords with the keyword golf in it. Next, click on the include search box and
type in a modifier keyword like best. And you can see that there are some great
keyword ideas where you can add modifiers to your title. Best of all, for the golf niche, the keyword
difficulty scores are extremely low on these, which makes them potentially great
keyword targets that you can go after. Number 2, don’t have slow loading pages. In 2010, Google announced a new signal in
their search ranking algorithms: page speed. And as of this month, July 2018, page speed
will become a ranking factor for mobile searches. But according to the results of our research,
the correlation of this on page factor with higher positions in Google is very small. So should you even bother optimizing for page speed? Absolutely! This deals more with user experience and
it will affect your bottom line: revenue. Google performed a study on 11 million mobile
ads and found that as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the probability
of bounce increases 32%. And as the load time increases,
so does the probability of bounce. Here are a few tips you can use to speed up your site. First, go to Google Pagespeed Insights and
enter in the URL that you want to analyze. You can toggle between your mobile
and desktop page speeds here. Then scroll down a bit to see
the optimization suggestions. Often, you’ll see that slower page speeds
are attributed to files like images, scripts, and style sheets. You can click here to download optimized versions
of these and make the appropriate replacements on your page. Next tip, use a content delivery network (or a CDN). For example, if your hosting server is located
in New York, but your visitor is in Australia, it can take quite a bit of time for
the transfer of data to complete. CDNs minimize the distance between where the
visitor is browsing from and where your website server is hosted. The next tip is to use an image compressor. Images in their raw form, they can be quite large. So you can use a tool like Shortpixel to
optimize your images for the web. I’ll just drag and drop a picture of this
handsome fella here and soon after, you can see that it compresses the image by quite a lot. Final page speed tip is to cache, cache, cache! If you’re a WordPress user, you can use
plugins like W3 Total Cache and get a solid configuration without a technical bone in your body. And finally, we’re on to number one! Are you ready for this? Improve your UX by enhancing your UI. This last tip almost summarizes all of the
on page SEO factors into one. So Google’s job is to provide the best results
to their users for any given search query. And in order to help Google achieve that,
you need to foster that user experience for their visitors. Aside from the content itself, the user interface,
or the way the page looks, can have a significant impact on how people interact with your site. First is to improve visual readability. If you look at these two pages side-by-side,
which one is easier to read? Obviously the first one. Let me break this down for this article which
is about how to write a resume. They use a readable font-size, they write
in short sentences and short paragraphs, they have standout images like this one that instantly
connects with the someone wanting to learn how to write a resume. They have nice little breaks for checklists
and pro tips making it hyper-scannable. And they provide some solid visual examples
of what a resume should look like. Some other tips to improve user experience
through your user interface is to include a table of contents for long posts like this. And you can even make it scroll down with
the user so it’s easy for them to jump to different sections. And the final one that I think will gain popularity
over time is to include interactive features within your blog posts. You can do this in simple ways by sharing
a slide deck, videos, surveys, polls, and in more complex ways like interactive tools. You can obsess over low-hanging optimizations
like keywords in titles, but you need to know that there is power in cumulative value. Now, while our data supports a lot of these
on page SEO factors, there is very little correlation in most of our findings on an individual level. But as you implement all of the different
optimizations together, you should start seeing more results. Most importantly, always focus on fulfilling
the searcher’s intent the best you can and you’ll be on your way to perfecting your on-page SEO. If you enjoyed this video, like, share and
make sure to subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. So keep grinding away, get results, and I’ll
see you in the next tutorial.


  1. Hi Sam, I don't know how this 15 mins 🕝 gone really this one video and on-page seo 📊 Technique's was honestly awesome. 📕

    Thankyou for share this amazing one. 💫 (In last survey my vote was for on page seo and Boom 💥 you posted it)


  2. Great stuff as always. These videos are night and day different from Ahrefs earlier content… keep going. I have a very similar post on my channel 15 Blogging Tips that mostly talk about on page SEO factors. I won't link out of respect, but thought it was funny that a lot of tips are exactly what you guys have pointed out. So at least I'm doing something right!

  3. Honestly one of the best SEO videos I have ever watched, holy hot damn! I was hoping that the last one would be SSL, and while I know that Chrome is displaying warnings about that shortly, it’s more secure, blah blah, would love to see some data based feedback. Anything on that?

  4. Отличная подборка! Молодцы!
    Для yandex тоже это всё работает.

  5. Ещё надо бы добавить про переменные в тайтл и дескрипшен. Например, у вас интернет-магазин. Цена в тайтл должна быть всегда актуальной. Тогда тайтл должен быть динамическим.
    Пользуемся этим на проекте.

  6. Sam Your Killing it! BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM! Sam is a keeper. He does such an amazing job. He's entertaining, video editing is great, and expert knowledge!

  7. Wonderful video as always, Sam!

    The only thing that sucks is that I'll have to wait for another week for the next one!

  8. Thanks for an amazing post as usual. As a SEO specialist the only concern I have about getting the most out of these videos, is that I kinda have to purchase a subscription to AHREFS to get access to the tools in the video. $99/month is way too much for me as a freelancer, so does anyone know a way around this? Thanks

  9. For #2 tips, don't forget about the Speed update for mobile search ranking. Google them self said that page speed is now one of the rank factors.


  10. Not sure if anyone else bothered to reference your link, but your data was collected over two years ago. I’m no SEO expert, but doesn’t Google amend their SEO annually? For example, Google emphasized CTR will play a more prominent role this year. Tons of other experts cite this, yet your study mentions nothing about it. I just don’t understand why a two-year old study is utilized for something that gets modified so frequently.

  11. There weren't any techniques I wasn't aware of and haven't used but I was surprised at the data behind some of these. It was an interesting video, thanks!

  12. Could somebody tell me that some of the websites have a very good DR PR but their traffic value is almost less than 100$, while there are sites who have low DR and PR but their traffic value is estimated in Thousands of Dollars. What is the scale to measure the site improvement? If my intention is to get more visitors to generate leads, why should I bother to gain the DR AND PR when my competitors have low DR AND PR but they are getting lots of organic traffic according to ahrefs tool.

  13. Amazing Video! I just have 1 question : We have a directory website. How should we structure our links?
    Should we do /categories/name-category/name-list-item
    Should we do /name-category & /name-list-item , so without their parent link name before them?

    I would love to hear from you and keep up the great work!
    Happy we're using Ahrefs for our site, it's the best! 🙂

  14. Hello sir, i want to use images from others website for my website images gallery, can i do that ? " my website is in India but those are not dealing in India" and is it affect seo ranking ?

  15. Okey I got it..I will subscribe for your plan next week but I need you or any one of you to suggest some best practise for my website ..I need your help..As the my company owners are new to seo ..I know you can easily lgnor this ..But if can will be immensely appreciate and will be of commence benefits…As there is a. Dry big media house that is associated with us..They are the largest media industry in the world…And pls look into this on a very serious note..Sir..
    .Plz don't ignore this

  16. Excellent Video with tons of information. I must have to appreciate your research and quality of the videos. The only question left with me is about CDN. If my website speed is quite good in google page speed test, should i still buy a CDN for this or no??

  17. Hey Sam You always say dominate your niche but on ahrefs site it is monitor your niche ??

  18. So, most of those On-Page SEO techniques doesn´t have any impact on google rankings directly and has to do more with UX

  19. Hi Can u make video on affliate marketing for brining website to my website. Is it real or scam , how good it does bring traffic.

  20. I would certainly try to add the main keyword to the URL, maybe not for direct ranking impact, but it may also help increase CTR and by that way increase rankings.

  21. I love this channel so much.. this is only the second video I've watched, but this info is the best I've seen.
    About the short URL. The image highlighted only the slug after the " / ". Is that the part that you counted in the data?
    That means the characters -> https://www. <- does not count towards the URL length
    ? If I'm using the 17 characters as the ideal to aim for, I don't count the https://www. Also I do not, correct?

  22. You said most (85%) of top-ranking sites do NOT use the target keyword in H1.

    So 15% of top-ranking sites DO use the target keyword in H1.

    Did you compare that with the bottom ranking sites?

    Maybe 0% the sites on the 4th page have the target keyword in the H1. Or 85% as well.

    Knowing the comparison will make the 85% figure meaningful.

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