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Finding the right optimization that gets your website to the top of the search results can be tricky if you don’t know what works.

Here are a few important tips to follow in order to enhance the optimization of your page.

Research the true meaning behind your keywords

Keyword research has become a prime element in establishing optimized pages. Search engines go deeper into the meaning of keywords and can predict what a user expects to see from any given search query. Optimized pages provide these expected values because they match the search intent of the user.

When we research keywords we are not only looking at the metrics it produces (such as monthly volume, CPC, etc.) but we look for the keyword synonyms and the issues that are attached to the keyword topic.

Your research on keyword topics should expose a series of problems people face that can be used as article topics and subtopics in order to enhance the relevancy of a page as it relates to the keyword in question.

People love reading about solutions to problems so it has become common practice to publish solutions that provide people with a way to improve their current situation.

This concept continues to grow as search engines become more aware of the contextual meaning of your pages and how people respond to them.

If you are providing true value by presenting an answer that solves a particular issue, visitors will be engaged, they will return to your site, and they will share your article which brings more traffic to your website.

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Determine exactly what the user is looking for

At the core of effective keyword research is the ability to identify search intent. It is the driving force behind keyword research and a crucial phase of planning in an SEO campaign.

A clear understanding of every aspect of what the user is searching for allows a publisher to provide the options within the content they make available.

Search engines already know what a user expects to see when they type in a search because they have the data and on-site metrics of billions of searches that indicate what engages users and keeps them on a website when they type in a specific keyword.

Compile first-hand evidence of search intent

We can identify search intent by simply placing ourselves in the user’s shoes and researching the common places that they would ask questions and find answers.

Social media has created a massive resource filled with data on what people talk about, what problems they have and what solutions they seek.

Make use of social data

You can leverage the information that social media provides through sites like Buzzsumo, where you can find specific threads, groups, and topics that are most talked about.

Buzzsumo shows the social engagement for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit as well as the number of links to the most popular posts on the keyword topic you enter. You can use the information here as an indication of what keyword topics are most important to your intended audience.

Pinpoint hot topics

To get a first-hand idea of what resonates the most in your audience read through the posts that are listed and read through the comments that follow each post. You can find the real gold in what people are saying in their comments after the posts. Take note of the questions they are asking and the comments that tend to spark responses.

These are the topics and issues that will give your page a higher level of engagement based on a similar audience to that of the post you’re reading.

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Write for your audience

Believe it or not, search engines can tell who you’re writing your content for and what type of audience your content is geared towards. There is a difference when you are writing to educate your reader and when you’re trying to convert them to a client.

By connecting with your audience you are able to write using terms that they would use, thereby enhancing the optimization of your page.

Develop your virtual audience

The concept of a buyer persona is a powerful model that can be used to find a deeper connection to writing for your audience. The more you can visualize who is reading your content, the more you can speak directly to them so they relate on a deeper level of understanding.

In order to get the maximum benefit from this exercise, you should come up with as much detail as possible about your ideal reader. You would speak differently to a 20-year-old college student then you would a 45-year-old corporate executive.

Establish their age, job, income, marital status, likes and dislikes. The more you put into creating this person the more likely you will communicate on their level in your content.

Link the pages within your site

Although the focus has been primarily optimizing how you write your content there is still the technical aspects that boost the level of optimization your page has for specific keywords.

Linking your page from other pages within your website add to the optimization for the keyword you’ve selected.

Perform a search for all pages on your site that have your keyword in the body of content. You’re going to choose the best-performing pages since they will pass on the best metrics and refer the most traffic.

You can use Google’s search console, Ahrefs or SEMrush to see what pages have the most traffic and highest click-through rates.

Use your keyword as anchor text to link from performing pages with related content on your site to your newly published page. Be sure to vary the anchor text and use a ratio of 35% exact match keywords and split up the remainder of links into varied anchor text.

The links to your page will help search engines find and crawl your site faster. The keyword anchor text will indicate the main keyword topic and phrase of your page and enhance your optimization.

Build links from related sites

In many cases, a page that is optimized very well will rank on its own, however, if the websites competing for the same keyword have referring domains linking to their pages you might need to build links to enhance optimization.

Perform a competitive analysis

Analyze the backlinks of your competition using a tool such as Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush to get an idea of how many links you might need. You can also use this information to pursue the same sources for links if they fit the criteria and are related to your content.

Assess the quality of potential links

Always exercise caution when pursuing competitor’s links since you can’t be sure that all links on their profile have had a positive effect on their site. They may have links that caused their site to move backward and they needed to battle back into position. Use links that are qualified to enhance your optimization.

It’s true that the number of referring domains counts towards your ranking but only when they are related to your content and from sites that are healthy.

If your site is about business and you have a link from a cooking website, no matter how good their recipes are they aren’t going to help your optimization. Getting a link from Forbes to your business site is a vote of confidence from a highly rated business site which equates to a link that will highly optimize your site business-related keywords.

Choose the most appropriate sites to link from

The knowledge of this fact has led to guest posting as being a popular method of link building. Consider that you are able to choose a website in your niche, the domain rating and submit the content that most relates to your own page. It makes this method of link building an excellent option.

Guest posting is considered a white hat method of link building but is not without its risks. It is clearly stated that any form of link schemes which include paid links results in a penalty to both websites.

It isn’t uncommon to find blogs and websites offering paid links openly. If they are not using “nofollow” links and clearly stating what posts are sponsored it’s a violation of best practices and can trigger a penalty.

Avoid websites that offer paid links publicly as it may lead to a penalty that will knock your site back in the rankings.

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Placing your keyword in the title, URL and in the body of content optimizes a page but websites can be optimized on a much deeper level. The contextual meaning of the content you publish will supersede the appearance of a keyword when it addresses search intent.

In order to optimize a page, it’s necessary to provide the potential solutions that a search query represents. A well-researched page that presents these solutions, coupled with a strong backlink profile from credible sites is the strongest method of optimizing your site.

Christian Carere is an SEO consultant Toronto-based freelancer. He is the founder of Digital Ducats Inc. and specializes in search engine optimization services for SMB’s to improve rankings, increase leads and generate more new clients.


Dennis Pestro is working full time on Scrapebrokers.com - Main provider of SEO Resources and Traning for SEO Companies and Individuals looking to win the SEO game.