When it comes to on-page SEO, some tactics are just WAY too obvious. You’re going to bold your keyword 3 times? Really? I’m sure Google will never find out how to overcome such advanced tactics *rolls eyes*.
Let’s be clear about one thing – if you practice SEO then you are trying to game the search engines. Even if your tactics are ethical and legal, you’ve never spammed a site or person in your life, you’re still trying to game the search engines. With that in mind, approach your on-page optimization in a less obvious way.
These days it’s all about being subtle with your optimization tricks and techniques.
Tip #1 Pretend Google is a Person
Sometimes we get wrapped up in optimization techniques and lose focus of the basics. Take a look at a piece of content you recently tried to rank. From the perspective of a person, is your article completely relevant to your keyword?
Pretending Google is a person or writing like your handing your page to someone for review is a good tactic for keeping your content relevant. If you don’t think your content is great result then why should Google?
Tip #2 Define Your Keyword
This is a tip I got from Neil Patel about approaching the way you optimize your content. The idea is that you write like you are providing a definition of your keyword. This will help you in your content creation by giving you a simple way to structure and design your writing with SEO and relevancy in mind.
Even if your keyword is a few words long and contains some verbs you can still use this approach in creating content that is very whole and centered around your keyword.
Tip #3 Keep Consistent Meaning
It’s important that you don’t just begin and end your article with attention to your keyword. After finishing, take a good look at what each block of content is about. Google actually might consider the relevancy of individual parts of the content and you want each part to seem equally relevant.
This doesn’t mean to put your keyword in every paragraph. Rather, keep a more holistic view of your article and its contents so that you can make less obvious adjustments.
Tip #4 Use Similar Terms
You can use a tilde (this squiggly thing ~) in order to find Google-recognized synonyms.
For the most part, Google understands and recognizes synonyms the same way you and I do. However, the search is a good idea because it will provide you insight into exactly which terms are being considered and used as synonyms.
Tip #5 Link to Relevant Sources
I’m sure you’ve been told before to link out to other sources… but seriously do it! When linking out, before even considering SEO simply consider your readers. If you reference another article or some resource link to it, that’s just good writing.
The common fear with linking out is the loss of PageRank. Just forget about PageRank! I’ve written posts before with DOZENS of DoFollow outbound links and haven’t noticed any negative effects. That page also is having problems gaining rankings.
If you’re still trying to sculpt your PR and bold your keyword, well, welcome to 2012. Stop trying to game the search engines so aggressively and make your optimization more passive. Keep semantics in mind and assume Google can read your article like a real person.