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Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

I tried the new SEMrush On-Page SEO checker and rose 7 positions on Google for 5 pages, overnight! Ranking on the search engines is a combination of guesswork and science proven methods, although it’s constantly changing. Even what’s proven is subject to change quickly.

In today’s video, I want to talk about SEMrush’s On-Page SEO Checker.

We use tools that guide us and help us pay attention to what’s happening with Google and what’s happening with our pages, and we can use these to improve our own efforts.

Some of this we can base on our own experience and our own skills, and then sometimes it’s better to go to the tools and actually use some of these strategies to improve our methods.

Yesterday, I went ahead and did this for the first time.

I set up a few of my top pages that generate a lot of traffic. I went through each one. I spent hours and hours. I went through each one and did some of the suggestions. I didn’t do the backlinks yet, but I did a lot of other suggestions, which I’m gonna show you.

I wasn’t looking for perfection, I was looking for progress, and I wanted to make some changes and see what kind of results this actually gave me.

Well, overnight all of these pages rose on the search engines for the queries I was focused on. Every single one of them.

Each page has lots of keywords that it ranks for, but I focused on certain ones with each of these pages because I was focusing on a single focus keyword for each page.

This was for my real estate business in Las Vegas. There’s a variety of pages in there from hyper-local to niches, to neighborhoods. There’s A nice combination of pages here,  and this checker worked with all of them.

I actually pulled up each one of these pages individually for multiple keywords and they all rose after doing this just yesterday. There is definitely something to this.

Now let me show you how this works.

Gather the Keywords

The first thing I do is I go over to my Search Console. It’s a good idea to have Search Console set up so that you could actually measure which keywords and pages are bringing you the most traffic, so you know where to work on first.

Typically working on your highest volume keywords is a good strategy.

Another great (probably better) strategy might be just to work on all of your pages that are ranking on top of page two and you want to move those to rank on page one.

You can do a sort and filter and find all of your pages that are on page two and follow these optimization strategies.

Either way, you can start with your high volume, which is going to be harder to move significantly, or you can start with your page two keywords, pages that are ranking, and they’ll probably be easier to bump up and move to page one, which could lead to a significant result in traffic.

How to find your Keyword Stats in Search Console

  1. Locate Search Traffic
  2. Choose Search Analytics
  3. Change date to desired target range (30-90 days)
  4. Check off queries and position
  5. Sort by position
  6. Select the keyword you want to work on

Now what you can do here, you can import all of your pages from Google Search Console and you can actually use filters. You can say, “I only want to import pages that are in this position.” You can do a filter for only keywords that rank 11 to 20.  Great strategy. In fact, I would suggest that you do that first before you go after high volume keywords.

For this example, we will take one from the Google Search Console. I chose Retirement Las Vegas.  I can scan for this page by search keyword now in SEMrush if I have loaded my pages. Or, I can add a keyword and page manually to optimize.

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Read the Report

SEMrush returns six ideas in our example. Let’s go ahead and click on those ideas. If you’re already doing on-page SEO at a high level, a lot of things will already be green because you’re following best practices, right?

FIND Featured Snippet Opportunity

In my case, my SEO strategy needs no improvement. There’s no keyword cannibalization, which means I don’t have multiple pages trying to rank for the same keyword phrase. That’s perfect.

This one is great. “If there is a high probability that your page may appear on a featured snippet, we’ll tell you.” That is the coolest thing. I did that yesterday. My Las Vegas zip codes page, which is my 2018 goal, which hit number seven today by the way offered that suggestion. So I went in and optimized it.

I’m very excited about that. That was 60,400 monthly searches. This section will tell you if you could potentially earn a featured snippet. (Also check out SEMrush Featured Snippets).  If that search query has the chance of earning a featured snippet, it tells me that so I know to go back in and make sure I’m doing questions and answers.

I’ve got my schema markup. I’m doing everything I can to earn that snippet. That’s so cool. Now, the next part says  “focus on creating more informative content.” You’re probably going to see this a whole lot. If I click on see detailed analysis, What I’m able to see here is how long my content is compared to somebody else’s content.

Remember, this is not really about counting words on the page. It’s comparing how comprehensive the pages are.

Check Semantically Related Keywords

Next, there’s a keyword usage section. For example here, for our keyword “retirement Las Vegas”, SEMrush says I’ve used the keyword phrase 1.67 times. I’ve used it in my title. I’ve used it in an H1. I’ve used in a meta description. I’ve already covered all of that really well. It might even be a tad over optimized because I used it 11 times.

Let’s go look at semantic keywords. Interesting. This is my favorite part of the On-Page SEO Checker. What it does is it measures semantically related keywords.

SEO Content Template, a different tool inside the SEMrush SEO suite,  suggests related keywords before you build the content. This one does it after you build the content and they’ll be different.

Because once you create all your content, then SEMrush has a better idea of what the topic is and it can better suggest semantically related keywords.

Get Backlinks

I look at each of the suggested keywords and build in content using them wherever it is natural and applies.

There’s also a backlink suggestion in here. There are some locations on here that they are suggesting you go get a backlink from. What I would do is I would open the suggestion and ask myself “Okay. Is there a way to get an article or an advertisement or something that has my link to it on this page? ” Yeah, possibly. Running a real estate ad, running a listing ad, requesting they share an article or infographic etc.

Overall, with this on-page SEO checker portion, we’re looking at keyword usage. We’re looking at semantically related keywords. We’re looking at backlinks. We’re looking at content length, and we’re also looking at video usage.

If you go back to page ideas, there’s a couple more.

Improve Readability

Making your text readable. This is something I struggle with incredibly and I guess what I’m going to have to do at this point is hire an editor to come in behind me and make things more readable because I’m never going to sit down and learn that in this lifetime, nor do I really care to. There is a readability score.

Basically the lower the score, the harder it is to read.

The higher the score, the easier it is to read according to whoever is checking the readability. It has to do with passive voice. It has to do with sentence structure. This isn’t something I’m specifically natural with.  It’s so funny.

One of my developers for my real estate lead generation company, Ballen Brands, my whole team makes these videos for our YouTube channel. When he makes his videos, he pre-writes his scripts and they always pass the readability factor. He’s just one of those guys that just naturally writes in that type of format.

Depending on where you fall on that spectrum, you’ll have to decide what’s right for you. How much this plays into ranking is debatable.

From what I’ve understood, readability is not yet a direct ranking factor, but we do want our content obviously to be readable.

The readability score wants sentences to be simple and short. Part of making that readability score better is to go in and make any sentence that’s long shorter, break it up into two sentences.

Even vocabulary that could be considered too advanced for the average reader isn’t suggested on writing anymore because of the readability factor.

You want a kid to be able to read this and understand what you’re talking about. You don’t want to necessarily dumb it down, but at the same time, you want to watch super-advanced vocabulary. That’s just a touch on that. Like I said, that’s not something that I would say is my specialty at this point.

Make sure your title tag is being used correctly. That there’s no duplicate content. That your page is not blocked from crawling. You want to make sure that your page speed is fast enough and that your bounce rate isn’t too high.

Today was an overview and it works, it works, it works. I was so impressed with the results today I had to make a video.

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