Analysing how I did it and why it is still there even though I have done no SEO work to maintain it since that first initial moment is both a lesson on the power of SEO and also what you should do, better and differently, in order to succeed in your rankings.
First however let’s look at the post itself. You will find it here. What strikes you (I hope) almost immediately is the poor value of the post. Barely 200 words long, it hold scant practical value and, quite frankly, in retrospect makes ashamed to admit to writing it (though technically speaking it’s a great showpiece of SEO might). The post was written in 2010 just as my first book SEO Help came out (it’s dated April 2011 because I had my entire site moved to a new platform on that date and the developers, unfortunately, could not take the dates of each individual post across).
I had a lot of offline commitments at the time so HelpMySEO.com was primarily a platform for promoting my book which meant it had to rank high for specific search terms. ‘SEO Help for my website’ was one of them.
Back then search engine optimised content meant writing for search engines first and human visitors a close second. Posts had a specific appeal and were written for high rankings. As you already know I no longer write these kind of posts. Everything which goes on HelpMySEO.com these days is ran through the simple question of whether it has practical value for the webmaster and business owner. If the answer is no, I discard it. The site has over 2,000 pieces of writing, some of which really need to be weeded out. I am going through that process though as with the case of SEO Help for my website I may keep some for the value of what they teach.
How to Optimise Your Content for High Rankings
Having stated my contrition what is really important for you right now is how I optimised the post in the first place and why it still keeps performing. For that we really need to look at the way it shows up on Google search.
My starting point was search query research. I just had a book out which took the webmaster through 20, short, practical steps which would help their website rank on the first page of Google. I needed to get it noticed. I did a little research using Google’s Keyword research tool and Google trends (incidentally two tools you are advised to use in SEO Help) and I found a high monthly volume search query which fitted my subject matter (i.e. my book) and the target audience I was aiming to reach.
Having found my search query I then applied four basic steps:
1. Search Query Match. I made sure the title of my piece exactly matched the search query.
2. URL Keyword Match. You will notice how all the keywords in the search query are present in the URL of the page the article is on.
3. Content Search Query Match. You will notice that the first words on the first paragraph of a very short article are also an identical match to the search query.
4. Authority. This is a recent development and it perfectly illustrates how SEO work is cumulative on a website. The Authorship tag is a new experiment by Google as it is trying to filter out low quality content and deliver relevant results on its first page. In this instance you can see how it has actually helped my rather poor quality (but super-optimized) page and given it a fresh lease of life on Google’s first page.
Before we go any further I need to stress that this is a great example of how not to create content today. In 2010 I was using HelpMySEO.com as a promotional platform for a single book in addition to many other offline marketing methods. The site was not intended to be the SEO and social media marketing, practical tips resource which it has become since. The SEO techniques used however are still valid and you can see that they deliver results.
In terms of content however the piece makes the Five Classic SEO Mistakes Maile Ohye advises against in this Google video:
Match great content to great SEO and you are on a total winner and, even better, you know that the results will last and keep on delivering long after you created your content.