Surfer SEO Training: Achieve PERFECT On-Page SEO
How do you surfer SEO to achieve perfect, on-page, optimization, so surfer is by far the most exciting SEO tool I’ve found since starting back in 2013. Now this article you’re going to read, is from a real-life SEO consulting session. In short, I’m training their in-house team on how to use surfer, so they can get better rankings and more traffic from Google.
So make sure you block out some time to read this entire SEO training article, because I share some advanced tips throughout. Also, please, like this article and leave a comment saying surfer if you’re pumped to see how to use this awesome tool, let’s dive right in so you guys said you have tinkered around with this a little bit. Oh yeah! This is all new to me. Talking to you, okay, yeah, so just to give you kind of an overview really this tool.
Its primary purpose is purely for on-page SEO. It’s not going to do a whole lot of other stuff, but as far as optimizing a single page, this is really going to be the best so you’re going to find that, and it just helps because of course you know there are plenty of best practices when It comes to on-page SEO that you can follow, but it is nice to show like actual data. That’s telling you and directing you towards what you should actually be doing, as opposed just following general best practices.
So and the thing is like every keyword and every vertical is different, so you know how you optimize one page in one vertical versus how you optimize an another one and another vertical could be radically different, and so this tool basically just levels the playing field, so That you basically know how to optimize, based on that specific keyword and vertical, so that’s really the value of it. So let me so.
There are some nuances here that we want to make sure I cover so right here in the SERP analyzer. You can put any keyword in here now. I don’t recommend putting the exact variation that has the most volume. If it isn’t a readable query so, like you could do STD testing Austin now that might be. That might be a keyword they’re going after, but in natural language. That’s not how people would write, and so the reason why that’s important is because, if you do SDH in Austin, it’s going to give you suggestions based on that exact variation.
Okay, and so, if you try to do that in with an actual copy, it’s going to seem very unnatural and weird to do it. That way, it’s just not a normal way to to speak, and also Google really is at the point where it knows that STD testing, austin austin STD testing are really the same thing gotcha, so you’re not really going to need to be that specific. Maybe back in the day that would be necessary, but now anything that’s closely related to those keyword.
Phrases is going to be pretty much the same thing so so that’s why I always make sure that I do it in natural language. So, let’s just do austin or actually, let’s do it differently, because I think i’ve already done that one for you guys will do chicago, STD justin’s that work sure. So you can select mobile or desktop i’ll. Typically, just do i’ll do one with desktop and then one with mobile, but in this case will this do desktop? I don’t know what is the percentage for you guys as far as desktop first mobile, like eighty five mobile, oh yeah, okay, I mean everyone’s phones are like so personal, so you know people are much less.
I feel like they’re much less concerned about searching for something. This personal, if they’re on their phone but yeah, I mean like eighty, eighty five percent of our sales come from mobile traffic: okay, yeah. Let’s just do mobile, then, in that case, and then NLP stands for I don’t know if you know what that is, but natural language language processing. So in this case it’s natural language processing doesn’t really matter.
You don’t need to know the technicalities of it, but really what it’s doing is it’s basically analyzing the keyword phrase and pulling ideas that are relevant to that primary phrase. I’r so like, for example, it may associate. You know HIV testing with STD testing, because those things are closely linked. So really what it is is an AI pulling these ideas. So you don’t have to use this and it sucks up your credits, as you can tell here, so you don’t always have to use it.
I typically will just because I like getting as much data as I can, but yeah. That’s, basically it as far as settings. Altum Utley, you can choose whether you want this or not, and you can see the differences, but I would recommend it in most cases. So, what’s going to do create a query: what are the credits again yeah, so the credits are base are on a per keyword basis. So every time you every time you run a keyword like one variation.
It will take one credit away for the day and then these are actually on the monthly basis, and the reason for that is because I think it takes so much processing power to be able to do that. So they’re very like for a lack of a better word stingy about it so yeah. So let’s go ahead and check this one out and this can be pretty overwhelming Luke. So, just a quick yeah, it’s going to feel like a lot, but you know, as I kind of walk you through it, it’s not too bad.
So what this initial chart is just showing it our averages. I typically like to just look at like the actual raw data, so I can see, but really what it’s showing here is just straight word count, and we look at you know across the board. Here, most of the word counts are substantially lower, which the thing with SEO – that’s really kind of annoying that tends to happen is like we’ll go towards one trend for a long time, and then that trend will become void and that we need to like tone things Back so for the last, like I would say, prior to the last two years, the easiest way to rank was just to have the longest page possible, like the most words like the deepest, and that was that that worked for a really long time.
But then all of a sudden Google started to get you know a lot smarter. They started to realize that word count didn’t equate to quality. So that’s why you’re, starting to see a lot of pages that don’t have big word counts, ranking because now they’ve basically figured out a way and I’m not entirely sure how they’ve been able to do it. But, okay. They just know that there is a lot of fluff in a lot of content right, though typically, what they’re going to do is they’re, probably going to look at the websites that are most authoritative and they’re going to say, okay.
Well, if these super authoritative websites have this word count, but then all of a sudden this week website has you know 1800 words. It’s just going to be a mismatch. So really the takeaway is that we want to match whatever is showing on the first page. We don’t want to go extremely above it, we don’t want to go below it. We want to be like right in that sweet spot for where for what’s ranking, so that’s what averages can come in a plane? You can kind of you know you can mess around this and see the different things.
You know it’s kind of funny, because you know 1 through 10 has much less word count than 11 through 20 on average. So you know it’s kind of nice to see this with your own eyes and say: okay well, yeah. Maybe we need to cut the words a little bit now. The good news is, you, don’t have to make decisions based on this little chart here and it’s actually kind of funny. Just looking at the chart, you can see that higher word counts tend to not do very well because look at this 31 through 40 have the biggest word counts and they’re they’re not doing too hot.
So just click the audit option here and then what its going to do is literally going to show you exactly how to optimize this page to a tee. This first section here show missing backlinks. This is basically just what would be called a link intersect in href. I don’t know if you’ve done that before, but basically what it’s doing is just showing you the links that your competitors have, that you don’t have, and so you know, if Google’s looking at websites and trying to determine you, know who’s the best and they see that You know the first five web sites have these links from really authoritative sites and all of a sudden, you don’t.
You know, they’re, obviously going to pick the sites that have the better links. Ultimately, so it should be an initiative to try to get these links. Now. That’s kind of what we’re doing on our site we’re trying to get you guys. These super authoritative links gotcha, but to be in you know, to put it in perspective, getting a link from Forbes. You know you’re looking at 2,500 to 3,000 dollars for one link sure so you know it can get quite pricey trying to get these super authoritative ones, but it’s still good to you know, export this and then just have on the list of targets.
You know that we want to go after or at least find alternatives that are close in the same Authority. Ballpark. Does that make sense easy yeah? So now, let’s scroll down here, this is more on page SEO based stuff and it’s honestly, it’s pretty straightforward. You know it’s just going to give you the exact phrases that it pulled based on the NLP and based on just the general keyword density. So right away, you know they’re recommending that you add at least 2 to 11 of this exact phrase which is Chicago STD testing, and you know you only have one at this point apparently, and it’s really all right there.
I like that yeah yeah, so and that’s why it’s important that you put the phrase that’s natural because then otherwise it’s going to tell you to put you know, STD testing Chicago eleven times or something like that, which we definitely don’t want. So now. One thing I will say is: while this tool is very accurate, it’s not perfect so like sometimes it will do a crawl and it will crawl your page and like it will miss some stuff, but anyway, the way that I go about doing it is I’ll.
Do this report, and then I’ll typically either export this or I’ll? Actually, just do this, this shareable link and I’ll send that to a team, member and I’ll have them go through and do all of the the recommendations. And then you can actually just hit this refresh button and then Cyril surfer will recrawl that page and then give you an updated percentages here as far as density. So that’s kind of the cool part is you can like.
You can just make the changes and then see those reflected here, lino directly, which is really nice so and then one thing that’s cool is they they actually do sort it by relevance. So, like they’re, going to give you all kinds of recommendations down here, doesn’t necessarily mean you should do them all like her. You know at the time to speed, maybe that maybe that could be relevant, maybe not Cove in nineteen.
You know who knows probably not super relevant to that page, but that is why they sort it that way so yeah, so you do have to use kind of your best judgment. Obviously, but in a lot of cases like please call like you definitely don’t need to place that ten-time right so but yeah I mean it’s, you have any questions about this. The density part now that looks great yeah. So it’s I mean it’s pretty straightforward for the most part, I would focus just you know kind of on this, this top half and then once you get down to lower just you know, use your best judgement, okay, so that’s kind of the first thing and then This part is also one I really like, and I’ve actually seen direct results from doing this, so it actually gives you a range they should aim for.
As far as word count – and so in this case it’s saying you know, 521 to 1072 is the target. So you know you’re sitting about 800 words above that, so I know it’s. It’s super bizarre to think like wait, I have to actually like delete content to rank its right. It’s a really weird concept, but I just make it difficult to because, like our markets are so the content is so similar so like we try to like switch it up by putting more content on there.
But I mean if this is more important than having similar content than I mean we can definitely look into it. Yeah I mean I, I would aim to keep every page super unique. So, even if that takes you way longer than do, I would extend those resources out longer just to get it done, because it’s just going to be beneficial like I’ll. Give you an example like I have. I have a blog post that targets the keyword backlinks, which is hyper hyper, competitive sure and when I first published that blog post, which was in I want to say, maybe 2016 yeah, I ranked on the first page super fast and that that blog post had like 7,000 words like it was enormous, like stupidly long.
I don’t even know why it was that long. Then he missed us, but anyway I ended up ranking really well and I ranked for a long time all the way from 2016 to maybe 2019 even into 2020. And then, when those recent updates hit, I dropped hard like I went all the way to like number 15, and I was like what in the world because I have like. I have more links to that page than any of the competitors. Like you know, all the other thing checked out, so the only thing that I could think that it was was – and this is actually with the new updates that I’ve noticed, and so this might be kind of something to think about, and there is documentation from Google About this particular idea, but I’ve kind of come up with my own concept of it.
But just because you published a blog post that performed well at one time doesn’t mean it should continue to perform well forever. And the reason is because, when I published that blog post at that time and for the following years after that was the best blog post and most in-depth blog post or page about that particular topic. But over time over time, as more people begin to compete. For a keyword, your content is no longer as unique as it once was.
Now, all of a sudden, you have all these copycats who just basically take your information and then you know, recycle it and create some blog posts and also what happens is Authority sites that are much stronger than you write about the same topics now so now. They’re starting to push you out too, and so, even though their content isn’t necessarily better in any way, they are just stronger. So therefore you’re going to get pushed out so the way to combat that, and unfortunately it’s really annoying.
You have to literally update your content on a pre frequent basis to make a unique for that query. So, for example, at the time when I did the backlinks post that you know when it had its initial phase, it was all about, like you know what are backlinks and you know, how do you build backlinks, really general stuff just about it? So then I decided, since every single blog post and every single page ranking was about that exact topic.
I was like well, you know what I’m just going to do a data-driven post, that’s all about, like our backlinks actually important like do they actually matter for SEO. So then that’s what I did. I literally deleted every single word from that old blog post and then just replaced it with this new one. That was a completely different concept altogether and then the rankings shot back up. So that was a very long-winded thing to explain that, but I took that blog post from 7,000 words to 2,000 words got it and the rankings went out very cool yeah.
So that’s and I’ve actually seen that across multiple verticals like, even though, with the personal injury lawyer’, we cut his content content down by a ton rankings went up and how the opposite is also true. In some cases you want to add content in some scenarios, but fortunately you have. You have surfer to kind of give you that give you that path to you know make that decision, so you don’t have to make it on your own.
Do you think quick question? Is you know the reason they’re kind of switching? That is because they want people to get rid of the fluff. You know essentially and just get right to like the hard points you know, because everybody kind of skim reads now and it’s more of just how you said you know people got too much fluff and we’re driving home like the real points of a lot of articles, Because it was just a lot of stuff in there and just how you said kind of reversing it the way I don’t know that I’ve been noticing that too, I was just kind of just throwing ideas around and I was like I wonder if they’re just trying To you know, have people get rid of the fluff and a lane, or you know, drive home the true hard facts and points of you know certain topics.
Let’s say yeah yeah and that’s that’s exactly right. In fact, a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re trying to push push voice, search so much because, with with voice search, the answers have to be fast. They can be like a 7,000 word article like they need to be like one. You know one sentence type of thing, so there have been a few SEO Elsa I’ll, send you guys what the key word is after this I’ll need to find it, but this guy that I actually talked to today, he he worked for fresh books.
Have you guys heard of fresh books, I’m not okay yeah, so it’s just basically an accounting software, but anyway they have an extremely authoritative website and this guy did SEO for them and so he’s always running experiments on their site. And one thing he did is he found a keyword that was like kind of a question based keyword and then what they did is they just? They literally answered answered that keyword phrase, which was probably five to six words.
They literally answered it with like two sentences. They published that blog post and immediately went into the featured sniffing like to literally yeah literally two sentences and into the featured snippet for a keyword that has, like you know, a hundred thousand searches a month. Wow, that’s insane! So so it’s showing you that that is what Google cares about right now they want. They want, like minimal content, is little content as possible to answer whatever the query is so since yeah, so it does, it does make sense like I.
I totally am guilty of writing long content just because it was the way to manipulate Google at the time, but now now it’s different so now my content is getting much shorter, it’s getting much more efficient, and so fortunately surfer can make this a lot easier, and I actually, I recommend stacking grammerly two with this, so like, if you guys have your writers. What typically my my like content process is to draft the content and then put that content through grammarly and then, even if you want to take it up, another notch actually put it through a Hemingway writer.
And what that’s going to do is it’s going to force the writers to write, really concise content like hey he’s gravely every day man, I love ya. Oh man, it’s the best and I mean like I wish I had grammarly when I was in school like I live in so much better in school, but yeah I mean that’s that’s kind of my process, so I do write the draft put it to grammarly and Hemingway and then put it through surfer: okay, okay! So if you go through that process that that can really improve the quality of the content, so for so for our site, I mean it’s, it’s very modular in the sense that we have to have.
Well. I say we have to have a lot of content on here related to our process, which is pretty much identical for every location, I’m guessing that this content is more closely related to what we would have in our intro paragraph, or you know right underneath our h2. I mean, or is there any way we can could like keep the rest of the content on there like our order visit results? You know why choose us, you know same day, testing, confidential testing, etc.
Yeah I mean I would I would try to be. Is like literal with these recommendations as impossible, initially and then adjust after so okay, you know just use your best judgment, but it’s really going to come down to the intent of the keyword. So, like someone searching, you know, STD testing center in Chicago the intent is they’re looking for an STD testing center. So really, you guys shouldn’t be trying to persuade them to use you, okay, as opposed to giving them like data about Chicago STDs, because they probably already think they have one.
So they probably don’t really need a whole lot of data about it right so they’re. Looking for a problem, they’re looking for a solution to their problem becomes so that comes down to knowing like the different types of intent. So you know transactional intent, which would be someone searching for an actual STD testing center. Verse informational. Like you know what is an STD okay, so yeah you got ta, you got a structure.
The page is based on that, but yeah, just you know, use your best judgment so so yeah, that’s kind of the first thing is just getting this. The total word count in the right spot and I’m sure you can probably easily remove 800 words. So if probably any fluff that might be on that page or something or just adjust it to make it more efficient got it, and then it’s going to give you some like HTML recommendations, you know hey, since you guys are going to be kind of new to This, I would just be pretty literal with the recommendation, so even if, like they seem kind of like they’re not going to matter it’s on, maybe just do it so that way you can.
You can know that you optimized it to the tee, and then you can kind of go from there, so that’d be kind of like the foundation. Okay. So – and this is the same thing – it’s basically just telling you where the frequency of exact key words in the copy and in different different parts of the HTML one thing you can actually do that’s kind of cool is, if you just click, show, details will actually Show you where you compare against wow, that is so slick.
It really is it’s super cool, so yeah. So this this initial report is basically all about density and word count for the most part. If you want to get like start to get really granular, you can go back to these filter section. You can start to mess around with those and start to see. You know if you can find any correlations for various things. The only thing that that I should mention here is, of course, page loading, speed, which is huge, but you guys seem to already have that covered well, so you know what’s really strange, those are the Lightspeed tool that Google has consistently ranks us fairly poorly because of Like our chat app, even though the site loads really quickly, that consistently will take up to well in Google’s eyes, eight seconds to load.
So our actual page speed score averages around 25 to 40, and I remember seeing a post go out on SCJ. I think mentioning that, starting in 2021, your page speed score is going to factor into rankings, so I mean I see that this tool definitely shows that we’ve got a more. This is more realistic representation of how quickly our page loads, but I think Google might be seeing it differently. Do you kind of have any ideas on that yeah? Well that that’s kind of the dilemma at this point, because you know you can have a fast loading website and Google can still give you a horrible score right.
I mean that’s what we’re running a dedicated server and our website is like stupid fast, but Google doesn’t see it that way. Well, really it’s kind of twisted, but Google’s really their end goal, I think, is to get everyone on amp. That’s really what they’re goal is, and so the way to the way to get a good score like I’ll just show you like, I moved, I moved Gaucho SEO to amp and I used to have a score of like sometimes below 10.
It’s extremely difficult. You have to have the most lean website to even get this type of score like I had to delete so many plugins and find like all these alternatives, and it was a big, a big process and I’ll just give you a little insight into this this website. I also have a website, that’s in the coffee industry and then my wife’s website, that’s actually in the fashion industry. I moved all three websites to amp.
So all right. Well, that’s something I can dream about. Yeah I mean there. They are the documentation, for amp has gotten a lot better like a couple years ago it was horrible, like you’d, have no chance moving a couple years ago. Now it’s it’s gotten a lot better like they have like special coding just for amp and do you guys use Google tag manager yeah? We used to TM them, okay yeah, so you have to literally get a completely different property 4 amp to be to be compliant with amp.
It’s like it’s pretty complicated, but the thing is the only way I’ve seen to be able to do it accurately. At this point, is you have to have an extremely minimal theme like mine? Like is minimal, as you can get, and I can I can get away with that, because it’s just a blog but like for you guys you’re not going to be able to really do this. So I think you know you need to try to do as much as you can try to get that score up as much as you can without amp and maybe just start researching, amp and start messing around like.
Maybe you guys can create a dummy site and try to see if you could like trying to do it. I’r just going to tell you it’s hard. Okay, it’s hard, and I don’t know I don’t know how much you’ve talked to rob about it. But yeah I mean you basically can’t have any any scripts yeah. When I, when I read through the documentation a while ago, I was like how is this even possible? You know everything gone. You know yeah just yeah a box pretty much.
I know well well, and the only thing that’s crazy is before I did this. I had I had tracking codes for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and even my drip email provider, and none of them work anymore, except for Google Analytics and Facebook is the only one that supports it. At this point and my Facebook analytics numbers are so off like they’re. They don’t it’s not even like tracking anymore, even though I’ve set it up for amp, it’s like totally off now.
Google Analytics is perfect, of course, so I don’t know what Google’s trying to do if they’re, trying to like squash their competitors or something by but yeah. It’s it’s difficult, so not to get too off-topic here, but definitely something to think about. You know maybe brainstorm that with your devs or whatever, and you create a dummy site or something to mess around with it. Even just getting some exposure to it might be a good idea at this point, because Google is really going to be pushing UX, really really hard yeah, oh my god, and if just just to put it this way, I’ve been doing this for so long that when Google says something publicly they’re already using it.
So if they say in a year from now that they’re going to be doing, they’ve already been doing it, I got it so you know it’s kind of like how, like the military puts out like a new plane, no check out our new plane, yeah that we’ve Had for a year down, yeah yeah, I got they’ve been dropping bombs for three years. It’s similar to that. So but yeah I mean this. This initial report, like you’re, going to have a lot of work to do obviously like okay yeah.
So you need to do this with with every single page and, like I said, just do it with the the natural phrase all right, yeah and, like I said you would do it do it given the time restraints that you have, and I won’t say the thing: That’s kind of cool about this is you can actually train someone to do this really well like I I can have. I have so many words to me. I pay them $ 27 per hour. They live in the Middle East and they do all this.
For me, oh wow, so you can outsource this. Oh yes, 100 %. Oh man, yeah! That would make my life so much easier, yeah. So, okay, it’s good! It’s good yeah! You can just go to up work and find pretty much any SEO. Person could do this. So that now I will say like, if you’re going to do that, make sure that you talk to the person and see that they have. They can speak English fluently at least because otherwise they’ll bill inject words like in a natural way, which you don’t want.
So you want them to be able to, like you know, take these words and put it into sentences and a totally like natural and organic way. If you give them the right instructions and you’re detailed about those instructions, they will follow it to a tee. Awesome is what they’re so good at like anyway, so you have any questions about this. It’s kind of a lot. No, this is this is great. I mean honestly, I think once I like dig into it and I’ll probably have some more questions but like yeah yeah, once I get over the initial hurdle and like comfortable with the UX and everything, I’m sure that I’ll be able to plug through this pretty quickly.
Yeah and like I said one thing, that’s oran is like once you make the changes, you know it, I would recommend Luke that you or actually I would have you actually go through the process of optimizing, a page on your own okay, that that way, you can See how it’s actually done and then from there I’ll be easier for you to explain that to someone else. Definitely, okay! So that’s one thing: I’ve kind of learned about this sorry, my dogs are going crazy for some reason, no worries and then one other thing is just to make sure you refresh after you make the updates.
Okay, so how it is yeah. Well, unfortunately, I think in your market you have to play like the algorithm game and you have to kind of wait it out until the next core update right. It’s just that’s what we did last year and like it was literally a flip of a light switch. All of a sudden, all of our traffic came back and everything was hunky-dory yeah and we can only hope it happens again. Some other things here.
You can actually look through these tabs and obviously the best way to learn. This is just for you to dive in, and you know do yourself, but this will just basically show you some keyword, variations that you may want to target on that page as well, and okay, like you know, similar to the other one, it will actually show you The relevance so basically, what it’s saying is that the top 10 results mentioned this particular keyword phrase in one way or another okay, so that can be an indication that you may want to include a section about sti’s as well, not just STDs and then maybe even Talk about you know a section dedicated to free, STD testing as well to talk about that so yeah.
You know you can use these as your sections, ultimately other types of density. So so that’s, basically it and then the other thing about this tool you can use. It’s kind of cool: is this content editor? So basically, what you can do is you can put this into the editor and then you can actually edit the content based on the recommendations, also yeah. So if you, if you finish, you know your your analysis with grammar early and Hemingway and then have the writer put it through here, you just have them log in and put it through here and then they can actually go through and optimize it before even goes Live if you guys are like putting out a new blog post or a new transactional bitch, for example, so pretty useful to be honest, very cool.
This is some killer software man yeah, it really is like I don’t. I don’t get impressed by SEO software very often, but this one is they’ve. Really they’ve really thought about a lot. You you have any questions. Aj not really I mean I just want to get into it and mess with it and start running some stuff, but seems he seems amazing. You know yeah, I just like how everything is compacted in this one software, and just it’s how I said before the UI is just on point cuz.
You know what you said you get into some of these and they are just they just look terrible. You know yeah totally agree, you can’t really use them and you know everything’s. This thing has a nice flow to it. That’s the first thing I noticed yeah and I and that that means a lot to me. You know like I want. I want it to be simple when I get in there. I don’t want to have to like think about like okay.
Is this thing going to loan today, or is it not going to load yeah? Oh one of the thing I was going to say is how you send it. You know it’s a lot of stuff compacted and one well before this tool. I had to use like multiple tools to get the same data so like I had to use I’ll. Actually, just show you the two why you stopped you used to find word count it’s this one right here, I would put I’d, have a feeling yep I’d have to put my items down.
My VA go URL by URL and tell me what the competition is and what the averages are. So just just streamlining that alone is enough to make me pay for this tool so but yeah it’s it together. Sometimes I know yeah so, but it’s definitely exciting but yeah. That’s basically it so hey. Thank you so much for reading this article and if you learn some things, please like this article and leave a comment below if you have any questions whatsoever.
Also, if you aren’t subscribed, please subscribe now, because I publish new SEO training articles every week and lastly, if you want to learn or about surfer I’ll, have a link in the description box below this article. Thanks again for reading and I’ll see you in the next article
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