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Posts Tagged ‘on page optimization’

How to Rank Higher with Better Content and the TL*IDF Algorithm Explained

Posted on: January 21st, 2016 by admin

**UPDATE 4/1 – See bottom of page for some testing results.

Welp, 2016 is upon us and it’s that time of year to do some personal inventory. How is your site ranking? Not good enough? Not at all? There’s probably a reason this is so. With constant changes to Google’s algorithm, it’s a full time job just keeping up. I know, Google is always messing with yo stuff…right? Let me show you a quick and easy way to make your website content better.

Have you heard of the TL*IDF algorithm (not to be mistaken with tl;dr)? I know, it sounds sexy..let me explain. The TL*IDF algorithm has been around for quite a while now. It’s complicated, but it’s the way Google looks at words and the frequency at which they are used. Think frequency, not keyword stuffing (got it BHW?). Basically put, it’s the way that Google measures quality and understands content. If your the type that likes to geek out, here’s more information about TL*IDF. Mad props to the guys over at for the original article.

Now that I got that out of the way, let me show you a simple way to rank your pages better in the search engines (mostly Google..wink wink).

First, go to and get yourself an account. main page


It’s free for one account, but has limited capabilities. If you are a small business and only need one website, choose the €99.90 option (it’s around $108). If you are an agency or small SEO company, it’s another $20 (roughly) per additional account, or you can upgrade to their bigger plans.

1) Once you have created an account, add a project.

Add New Campaign


2) Next, enter your domain.

enter account information


3) Choose the amount of pages you want to crawl. If you have a big website, obviously you want to crawl more pages.

Page Crawl


4) Start the crawl. Give it a few minutes. You’ll be notified via email once the crawl is finished.

start crawl


5) Click on TL*IDF

click tl IDF


6) Enter your keyword

*Pro tip – I like to optimize my pages for 4-5 main keywords, so you can rinse and repeat this process with the same page multiple times.

enter keyword


7) After a few seconds you will be sent to the results page.  You will want to click “Two-word combinations”. This will filter results and give you better keyword phrases for your page or article.

results page

You have two other functions here. The Zoom Tool and the Proof Keyword Filter. The Zoom Tool allows you to zoom into the current keywords, and the Proof Keyword Filter allows you to filter only the top keywords. Try to stick with 10-20 keywords as a general rule of thumb.


8) After you click the Two-Word Combinations, it will look as so:



10) Next, you will want to click the “Compare with URL”. This will be the URL from your want to compare with the competition.

Comare with compare 2



11) Next Click on “Detailed Results” in the left sidebar.



**Below you will see, the tool gives levels and TL*IDF scores. What I suggest it to try to stay right in the middle of the light blue areas.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 1.19.08 PM


12) Notice below, I have marked all of the keywords not within the content.

results with marks


From here what I like to do is spread out the results a bit and make a list of the most relevant keywords I am missing within my content/article. I give that list to my writers, and have them incorporate them within the content. I’ll also try to incorporate them within the title tag, description tag, and alt tags as well.

Once the content is finished, I like to throw it into “Text Assistant”, to see if there are any additional keywords or phrases I may have missed.

test assistant


Rinse and repeat until you feel your content matches that of the competition. If you follow these steps your page or article will be well on it’s way to ranking better. Remember, every little thing helps with SEO.



Here is just one example of a page I fixed using this method. This is with zero link building and happen over a 30 day period:

Ranking example

Here is that same page 60 days later:

TL*IDF Example

**These are highly competitive keywords in a specific SEO niche.

Here is another project I started 30 days ago. The only links I built to this site were local citations 6 months ago. I will update in 30 days.

Example 2 of TL*IDF


Looking for a content audit? Contact us today to find out more.


Do You Have Google Friendly Title Tags?

Posted on: February 20th, 2015 by admin

Are your title tags good enough?

Do you know how to keep up with Google’s changes to the SERPs?

How does it affect your business?

One of the more impacting changes Google has made in the last year was altering the font for title tags: 16 pixels to 18 pixels and removing the underline. The purpose is to make SERPS easier to read and create a cleaner display.

For titles that were already at or under the recommended rate of 50-59 characters for a title, it didn’t change much. However, many are asking the question: how many title tags were affected by the font changed?

Authority Labs conducted a study to find out how many of the titles were actually affected by Google’s changes. Here’s a little summary of their study, data, and results:

      By compiling a list of random keywords and pulling the top results for each, they created a data set with over 111,000 results to work with.
      The team analyzed the data first by comparing the length of the title showing in the search results to the full length title found on the actual site page. That’s where things became apparent that the sweet spot for title tag length is about 55 characters.
      How many were changed?

      • 36% Partially changed (40,164 results)
      • 24.5% Completely Changed (28,336 results)
      • 38.6% Unchanged (42,983 results)

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 10.23.44 PM


    Even after breaking down the results even further and analyzing trends, the preference Google has for 50-59 character title tags is quite obvious.
    Though SERPs were affected and title tag displays were changed, there didn’t appear to be a trend between the ranking of a page and how much a title tag was changed. Basically, changes were distributed evenly across the board, all the way from the top results and buried web pages.

So if you’ve been good about keeping your title tag length under 60 characters, just keep doing what you’re doing. But if you’re not sure how to write an engaging title in that sweet spot, here are some tips to help:

  1. Not too long, not too short. Long title tags that are cut off on the SERPS aren’t going to attract readers, but neither will short, bland titles. Keep the character count around 55 by adding the attractive words you need and by cutting out redundant keywords at the same time.
  2. Keywords in the front, Brand in the back. If you want to include your brand in the title tag, place it at the end of the title.
  3. Clear and Candid. Title tags that are unique, coherent, and straightforward tend to get the most clicks.
  4. Title Tag Preview. Moz has a helpful tool that allows you to create and preview a Google-friendly title tag.

So, it’s as easy as this: Keep your title tags short, sweet, enticing, and within the recommended 50-59 character limit. And if you want to read more about the results found in this study conducted by Authority Labs, you can find the original article here.


Do You Need to Rewrite Your Title Tags?

Posted on: November 28th, 2014 by admin

Most likely Yes….A lot of attention has been given to Google decision earlier this year to shorten the length of their title tags. With all this hubbub we decided it was high time to weigh in on the subject and especially in light of the increasing number of questions we’ve had about the topic. A lot of people want to know if they need to shorten their title lengths to meet the new 55 character restriction and it seems that much of this commotion has been caused by a post from Authority Labs called ‘Google Doesn’t Think Your Titles Are Good Enough Anymore’.

Either way, it’s time we had a think about what this all means and whether it indeed is wise for you to cut them down.

What We Know

So is it true that titles over 55 characters are going to get truncated from now on? Certainly Google have recommended that title tags from now on should be 55 characters and under but this doesn’t actually mean that your titles will be too long in every scenario. The reality is actually a little more complicated than that you see and it seems there are a range of factors that will impact on how much of a title Google shows.

Here’s what we know:

  • Google now shortens more title tags than they ever have done in the past
  • Google will sometimes partially or entirely rewrite titles as they see fit
  • Titles displayed can now be anything from 40-70 characters with the average number of characters being 58
  • This means that your 58 character titles are probably okay and so might your 59 word ones be
  • Once you start edging above 60 though, you are risking getting your titles being rewriting
  • And 55 characters is the safest limit if you want to be absolutely certain that Google won’t edit your titles

So the approach has definitely changed and you certainly need to rethink your own strategy moving forward but not every one of your old titles needs to be revised.

What Should You Do About Your Old Title Tags?

There are other factors to consider here too. For starters, rewriting titles can actually damage your current listing in Google and that means you might cause your pages to drop down a few pegs in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Remember that Google consider title tags in their algorithms and if you change your title tag then they might view your page as less relevant to your target keywords or to other long-tail key phrases.

This means you need to weigh up your options to decide the best course of action. Just because Google isn’t showing your title verbatim, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t including that in their index. Really then the only effect this will have is on your potential visitors. That means you have to ask yourself whether that matters.

The risk is that letting your titles get revised could impact negatively on your CTR (click through rate). You no doubt came up with your title tag because you wanted something that would catch the eye and encourage people to click. If that then gets butchered, people might not want to click on your link. In order to actually get clicks and to get people to visit your site, you want your listing to be prominent in the SERPs and you want it to look the part. Both are of equal importance as long as they are impacting on your views and serving your goals.

So what you need to do is to focus on the numbers. If your new title has created a drop in your click through rate then you may want to rethink. If it hasn’t, then you might want to leave it as it is. The only time you might not follow this logic is if you think your new title could be hurting your brand.

Of course one other factor you need to consider is the sheer time it could take you to rewrite your titles. Do you have that time available? And would you even know how to go about shortening them without losing their oomph?

How to Tell if Your Title is Impacting Your Clicks

All this means that you really need to be able to accurately discern what impact if any your shortened title is having on your views. This is where things get a little tricky. You can use ‘info’ in Google Webmaster Tools in order to look at your CTR and if you know roughly when your title started displaying differently then you might be able to ascertain whether or not it had a direct impact. This is a little ‘iffy’ though, seeing as there are many factors that impact on your CTR and on your ranking, meaning that any number of things could have contributed to the changes in traffic that you’re seeing. Likewise, it’s possible that there would only be a small change anyway, which would potentially be almost imperceptible.

Creating Great Title Tags

Ultimately, as is often the case with SEO, your focus should be on providing your traffic with quality and that means choosing title tags for more than just the way they affect your site in the SERPs. You need to walk a balance between meeting Google’s guidelines and staying true to the style and nature of your site and brand.

Here are some tips that can help you to think about title tags correctly…

Recognize Their Importance: The first and biggest tip when creating title tags is simply to recognize just how important they are and to accordingly give them serious thought rather than just bashing them out. The right title will make all the difference when someone considers clicking on your link either in the SERPs or on social media, so don’t rush it!

Get to the Point: Google has a point – often it’s unnecessary to write long title tags and in fact these can simply waste time and be distracting for the user. Rather than writing long titles, try to pack more meaning into fewer words. That means selecting the correct vocabulary but it also means choosing to use things like abbreviations, commas, dashes etc.

Branding: Including the name of your site or company in the title tag can sometimes be a good idea and especially if you’re trying to rank for that. But in other cases this can just take up valuable space, particularly if your site/company name is in the URL. Learn when to include your brand and when not to.

Reflect Your Content: While you want your title tag to grab attention and clicks, you also need to make sure it accurately reflects the content on your site. Not only is it misleading to do otherwise (which upsets your viewers) but it’s also bad for your SEO. Ideally you want your keywords to appear both in the title tag and in the body of your pages.

Stand Out and Pique Curiosity: It’s important to stand out among the crowd and that means choosing the right working for your title that will get attention. You don’t want to stray into spammy ‘click bait’ territory but do try and create titles that will evoke and emotional response and that will encourage further reading.

Consider the Description: Your title tag does not act in a vacuum, it also works alongside your description tag, so think carefully about how the two will work together.

Follow these golden rules, consider what we’ve discussed regarding length and you won’t go wrong!



Basic On Page Fundamentals with SEO

Posted on: June 6th, 2011 by admin

**Updated 8/20

With SEO there is no magic bullet. No one knows how exactly Google’s or Yahoo’s algorithms work, not even the engineers that work there. It is important to understand basic knowledge with SEO and implement it as well as test it extensively. The amount of misinformation floating on the Net is staggering, but from a practical standpoint most of what you read “could” have some small truth to it. This is why it is important to be objective when reading about SEO. There is no wrong answer until you can confirm with your own testing. Once again, the only way you will ever know is by testing yourself to find out what works.

This being said there are basic fundamentals to search engine optimization. Again, all of this can be debated, but from my experience and extensive testing, using the basic on page methods outlined below will always improve your rankings within the search engines.

What is On page Optimization?

On page optimization refers to anything that is contained on your website, such as content, meta tags, alt tags, robot.txt, H1 tags, sitemaps, ect. Having your on page optimization properly done makes a huge difference. Why make it hard for the spiders to crawl your site? I have found that having a search engine friendly site is one of the easiest ways to get ranked. Many people ignore this aspect, but I think it is just as important as off page optimization. Below I will breakdown most aspects of on page.

1) Title Tag – The title tag is an HTML title element critical to both SEO and user experience that is used to briefly and accurately describes the topic and theme of an online document. The title tag is one of the most important factors on your website. It tells people exactly what you are, as well as the search engines what keywords you are trying to optimize. Try to make the title tag no more than 70 characters. Below is how I usually structure my title tags.

Mini Split Air Conditioners | Ductless Split Systems | Split Air and Heat

Some people choose to brand their website within the title tags, so you will have something like this: Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners for Less

How you structure your title tags again is up for debate, but it really depends on what you are going for. I prefer to stuff them with keywords. The only exception would be something like social media type websites where you want to brand your company or sometimes local businesses.

**Update – recently Google has seemed to devalue the title tag a bit. They are still very important though, so make sure you build them out properly and each page is dynamic.

2) Meta Description Tag – The Meta description tag is a snippet of HTML code that belongs inside the section of a Web page. It usually is placed after the Title tag and before the Meta keywords tag, although the order is not important.

The keywords and phrases you use in your Meta description tag don’t affect your page’s ranking in the search engines (for the most part), but this tag can still come in handy in your overall SEO campaigns.

**Update – recently Google seems to be taking description tags as a ranking factor. So make sure it is keyword rich, but don’t keyword stuff. Make sure it flows naturally. Also, try to make your description tags 72-160 characters.

3) Meta Keyword Tag– The meta keywords tag allows you to provide additional text for crawler-based search engines to index along with your body copy. How does this help you? Well, for most major crawlers, it doesn’t. That’s because most crawlers now ignore the tag. I have found that it is important with Yahoo and Bing PPC as far as quality score. Regardless I still ad keywords to this tag. Usually only 5-7 per page.

The proper syntax for this HTML tag is:

4) Robot.txt– “Robot.txt” is a regular text file that through its name, has special meaning to the majority of “honorable” robots on the web. By defining a few rules in this text file, you can instruct robots to not crawl and index certain files, directories within your site, or at all. For example, you may not want Google to crawl the /images directory of your site, as it’s both meaningless to you and a waste of your site’s bandwidth. “Robots.txt” lets you tell Google just that. The robot.txt is only required if you DON’T want the crawlers to index a particular page. Otherwise you can omit the use of it on your website.

5) Header Tags – The H tags are used to define HTML headings. The tag defines the most important heading. The defines the least important heading. I still use header tags on most of my projects, but the common consensus in the SEO community is that header tags are no longer important. I figure it won’t hurt so I still use them.

6) Alt Tags – The Alt tag is alternative text when non-textual elements, typically images, cannot be displayed. Basically search engine spiders can not read images. Therefor you can tell it with an alt tag what the relevance of that image is. For example:

Alt=”Mini Split Air Conditioner”

I always try to put relevant keywords within the alt tags according to the corresponding content on the website. For example, if there is an image next to an article about “How to install a mini split”, I will put something like this:

Alt=”Installing a mini split, how to install a mini split”

7) Content – It is well known that the search engines love content. Especially Google, which by the way gets almost 80% of all search traffic. You want your content to be unique, as well as descriptive. I try to scatter as many keywords on my homepages as possible within articles. So if I have have a list of 20 top keywords, I try to scatter them throughout an article or two on the homepage. Now this is just how I do it, and there are many different methods. Some people try to target 2-3 keywords, some more. I have found success by doing it this way. I also bold and underline some of the main keywords I am optimizing.

**Update – Google is getting really fussy about targeting keyword phrases that are not contained within the content of the target page. If you are going to target a particular phrase make sure it is contained at least one time throughout the content on that target page. Don’t overdo it though. There is a fine line between natural flow and keyword stuffing.

8) Exact Match Domains and Keywords in the URLs – I like to at least have one of the main keywords I am optimizing within the domain. This is not necessary, just a practice I subscribe too. This is a whole topic on it’s own, but it is important and the search engines do put a good amount of emphasis on having the keywords in the domain and URL. For example, if you are deep linking to a page that is targeting “Mini Split Installation in Georgia”, I like to have the page structured something like this:

9) Dynamic Meta Tags – Try to make sure all of my pages are dynamic. Try not to have the same title, description tags, on every page. Each page should be unique. Also, I always try to have an outbound link to an authority page on my websites. Oh and make sure there is no dead links on your website. This is never good. I use Google Webmaster, which tells me if there is any dead links on the site.

10) Sitemap – Ad a site map to your website. Why not make it easy for the spiders to crawl your page?

11) Site Speed – Site speed is really important. If you website loads slow, it can cause your site to lose rankings. No one wants to sit and wait for a website to load. Most search engines understand this.

A good tool to use is:

12)  www Resolve – Redirecting requests from a non-preferred domain is important because search engines consider URLs with and without “www” as two different websites. Search engines will see your site as two separate websites if you do not make sure this is done, hence considering them duplicate content.

13) Shared vrs Dedicated hosting – this is just my personal option, and I don’t have any data to back it up, but why share an IP when you can have a dedicated IP for a website? I have seen sites get hit that were sharing the same IP and then magically all the other sites got nailed at the same time. Now obviously this could have been caused due to the person using all the same methods, but why even risk it? It isn’t that much more expensive.

14) No Follow Attribute – I suggest that all my clients no follow all outgoing links especially outbound affiliate links. This will keep the site PR contained within itself. It is up for debate, but I think Google counts no follow anyways.

15) Site Architecture – you want to try to keep the PR flow of the site going to the most important pages, so site structure is important. I could write a whole article just on this alone, but obviously I want to try to keep this short. If anyone wants to discuss this aspect hit me up on Skype and I will point you to some very good articles on the subject.


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