In this publication I'm gonna show you nine powerful on-page SEO techniques. These are the same techniques that I've used to rank in Google for keywords like backlinks and SEO tools. I'm Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, the place where marketers turn for high rankings and more traffic. And today you're gonna learn the nine techniques that I use to optimize every page of my website. Keep watching. (jingle) I launched my first website way back in 2008. Needless to say, on-page SEO was a lot different back then. In those days keyword stuffing was all the rage. I mean people would actually argue on forums about what the best keyword density was. If my page has 879 words and my keyword appears 17 times, that's a keyword density of 1.9%. Perfect! Today, thanks to Google updates, like Hummingbird and RankBrain, on-page SEO is much more complex.
But one thing that hasn't changed is that there's the right and wrong way to optimize your content, and in this publication you'll learn the right way. So without further ado, let's dive right in with technique number one, which is to use super-short URLs. So I recently teamed up with a handful of SEO software companies to conduct the largest ranking factor study ever. In total we analyzed 1,000,000 Google search results and we discovered that short URLs tend to rank better than long URLs. Fortunately, it's super-easy to use short URLs on your site. Whenever you publish a new page, make the URL short and sweet. For example. In my guide about keyword research my URL is simply Backlinko.com/keyword-research. Speaking of URLs, our next technique is to include your target keyword in your URL. Again, this is really simple and easy, but it can make a difference in your rankings. When you're creating your URLs, just make sure to include your target keyword in that URL.
For example, in this post I'm targeting the keyword SEO tools. So I made the URL short and I also included my target keyword in the URL. Okay, so now it's time for our next technique, which is to use LSI keywords. LSI keywords are words and phrases that search engines use to understand what your content is all about. For example.
Let's say that you're writing an article about the Simpsons. How weird would it be if your content didn't include terms like "Homer", "Springfield", and "Mr. Burns"? In the SEO world these closely related terms are called LSI keywords, and when you include these LSI keywords in your article, it helps Google understand your content's topic. So, how do you know which LSI keywords to use? A simple strategy that I use is to search for your target keyword in Google. Then scroll to the bottom where Google shows you the Searches related to section. The terms in bold here usually make great LSI keywords to sprinkle into your content. With that it's time for our next tip, which is to publish long content. Remember that ranking factor study that I mentioned earlier? Well, we found something very interesting in that study, something that goes against conventional wisdom in the SEO and content marketing world, and that discovery was that longer content tends to outrank shorter content. In fact, we found the average result on Google's first page was 1,890 words. So why does longer content work better? For one, longer content tends to contain more of those LSI keywords that we talked about earlier. When you write long in-depth content, you naturally include more LSI keywords which makes Google happy.
Also, Google may have an inherent preference for longer content. Remember, Google wants to show their user the best result for a given keyword, and if your page provides someone with a comprehensive answer to what that person's looking for, Google will want to rank you high up on the first page. In fact, my highest ranking content also tends to be my longest content. For example, this post about SEO techniques is whopping 4,000 words, and that's one of the reasons that it ranks in the top three for the keyword SEO techniques. Okay, let's dive right in with technique number five, which is optimizing your title tag for click-through rate. Now, you probably already know that you should include your target keyword in your title tag. That's on-page SEO 101. But what you may not know is that you should also optimize your title tag for click-through rate. Why? Because it's a huge Google ranking factor right now.
In fact, a Google engineer recently gave a presentation where he confirmed that they use CTR as a ranking factor. In other words, if people search for a keyword and click on your result, it sends a strong message to Google that you're a great result for that search and they'll likely give you a rankings boost. So how can you optimize your title tag for CTR? Here are two quick tips that work great. First, include numbers in your title. There's a reason that your local magazine rack flashes numbers numbers on every single cover, and that's because numbers grab attention. In fact, a study by Conductor found that headlines with numbers get 36% more clicks than headlines without a number. Another simple way to boost your CTR is to add brackets and parentheses to your title. When HubSpot recently analyzed 3,000,000 headlines, they discovered that brackets and parentheses boosted CTR by an average of 38%. So let's say that you had a title that originally looked like this.
By changing the title tag to this you can significantly boost your page's click-through rate. This simple tactic works so well that I tend to use brackets or parentheses in almost every single title. Okay, we're making a ton of progress, because we're already on technique number six, which is to use external links. The guys at Reboot Online recently ran an interesting SEO study. They made up a new keyword that had zero search results in Google. Then they created 10 different websites that were optimized around that fake keyword. Five of the websites linked out to other websites and five of the websites had no external links. What do you think happened? The five sites that contained external links outranked 100% of the sites without external links. So it's clear that Google uses external links as an on-page ranking factor.
The question is: how can you use them on your site? It's simple. Include two to five outbound links to authority resources in every single article. For example, at Banklinko I generously link out to resources that help my readers out, and these external links make a small but significant difference in my rankings. Now that you tackled external links, it's time for me to show you how to use internal links. This one is insanely easy. Whenever you publish a new piece of content, make sure to link back to two to five older pages on your site. But not just any older pages, pages that you want to rank higher. Now, this may sound like common sense, but I'm always surprised at the amount of people that add 15 internal links to random pages on their site. Sure any internal links are better than none at all, but if you want to get the maximum benefit from your internal links, you need to use them strategically, which means only using two to five per page and linking only to pages that need a boost.
That's all there is to it. Okay, so we only have two techniques left. You're ready? Let's do this. Our eighth tip is to maximize site speed. Site speed is one of the few ranking factors that Google has publicly confirmed, and from my own testing I've found that a faster site gives you a slight edge. So, how can you make your site load faster? First invest in premium hosting. When it comes to your web host you get what you pay for. Back in the day I'd use cheap $5 a month hosting plans and, needless to say, my site loaded slower than molasses. Today I use premium hosts like Web Synthesis and Liquid Web.
They're not cheap, but the boost in speed that these high-end hosts provide make it well worth the investment. The second way to improve your site speed is to use a CDN. CDNs deliver your sites content closer to where a user lives which makes your site load much faster. With that it's time for our last tip, which is include multimedia in your content. If you read my stuff at Backlinko, you'll notice that I use a ton of screenshots, publications, and charts in my content. All this multimedia makes my content more valuable to my readers. And make no mistake, user experience is something that Google directly measures. For example, if your page has a high bounce rate and a low time on site, Google will drop your rankings. On the other hand, if people stick to your content like Super Glue, they'll want to show your content to more people.
And in my experience using lots of multimedia helps people stay on your site longer. Did you learn something new from today's publication? If so, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel right now. Just click on the Subscribe button right here. Also, if you want exclusive SEO and traffic techniques that I only share with subscribers, head over to Backlinko.com and sign up for the newsletter. It's free. Now I want to turn it over to you. Which on-page SEO tip from this publication are you gonna use first? Are you itching to try LSI keywords, or maybe you want to start publishing longer content? Either way let me know by leaving your comment below right now. (exhales) Okay. Alright, so what do think, sleeves rolled up or down? Nine. Alright, back to the serious stuff.
Great time to vacuum. I gotta breathe before I do that one. I just feel weird saying that.