SEO Best Practices 2019 (White Hat On Page SEO Tactics)

What’s up SEO pro’s!

My name is Chase Reiner and today I’ll be showing you some of the best SEO practices for 2019 and beyond.

If you have no idea how SEO works or what it is, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.

It is the process of improving traffic organically generating to the website from online search engines through the use of written copy.

We are going to be covering some of the basics like optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, and on-page content like heading tags and things like that.

Then moving into more advanced things like schema markup and what you need to know about creating content.

All these things will be about the best practices when it comes to SEO.

We are going to be covering on-page SEO and then I am going to be talking a little bit about off-page SEO, which has to do with building links and some other things like social signals.

We are going to start walking through some of the basics for title tags, meta descriptions, and all the things you need to know about them.

Then we will move into more advanced topics.

If you’d like to watch the video presentation for this post, instead of reading it, please head to: SEO Best Practices 2019 Video

By the way, all of the methods utilize my SEO audit checklist template, if you’d like the lite version, you can pick it up here:

Going Through Setting Up The SEO Template

Let’s take a look at the roadmap template.

Before you get too overwhelmed with what all this looks like, don’t worry.

This is a template for your system and for your implementations.

Now, I have a road map where I do a bunch of crazy technical things as well as something called ‘benchmarking’, which we will be discussing further later on.

Google Sheets Template

This is not completely necessary if you are just starting out, or still creating your website.

Eventually, though you should come up with some sort of system for the SEO optimization you will need to be doing.

Personally, I really like to use Google sheets for that so I am going to be teaching off of Google sheets today.

If there is one tool that I would recommend for any aspiring SEO professional it would be ‘Screaming Frog’.

What Screaming Frog does is lets you crawl a website for up to 500 URLs, and then gives you a ton of information about that website.

When you are starting out you’ll want to see what is technically wrong with the website in question and what can be improved and the easiest way to do that is to use a tool like Screaming Frog.

It will show you all these problems clearly and pretty quickly.

Screaming Frog

If you want to pick up the tool this tool and the downloads are available here at ScreamingFrog.Co.Uk

You can open it up and plug in your website, and it will spit out a list that looks like this (Figure C).

Once you press the export button, it will show you all of the different URLs on your website and if there is any issues with them or not.

Details are written per section, then per category on the right-hand side of the window.

Now you can see, in Figure C, I’ve made things a little bit easier for myself.

What I did was format algorithm with conditional formatting so as to color code whether or not a link is good or bad.

Conditional Formatting

Again, by having these systems, it makes it easier for me to either outsource and hand off this work to somebody or to eventually do it myself.

The conditional formatting makes it easier from a glance to find which is which

You are free to come up with a system of your own that works for you, but I’ve spent a lot of time developing and perfecting this layout for my own purposes.

This will be the format I’ll be using throughout this guide.

This template will appear at every step of this tutorial because, at the end of every step, you should go back and update the information on your template as a basis for future implementation.

If you would like to opt to use my template in your future projects you can find it here: SEO Audit Checklist

Title Tag Optimization

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s just talk about the basic principles.

A title tag appears as the main header when your URL comes up on Google search results. It’s the first thing people see when they come across your site on Google.

They are clickable, HTML elements.

First of all, if we look at some of our URLs on our website, you can see your title one has a length four characters.

Again, Screaming Frog will actually tell you whether or not something is good or bad.

If you go over to Page Titles, it will say if a title is missing if it is duplicate if it is over 65 characters if it is under 30 characters, and so on.

That is how you can start optimizing based just off of Screaming Frog telling you exactly what to do. Simply edit accordingly.

Let me talk about some of the basic principles you need to know about.

Let’s just start with title tags. So, when you are constructing your title tag you want your main keyword pulled to the left of your title tag, meaning you won’t write it first.

If for instance, we wanted to optimize our homepage.

The way we can actually look at what our home page has in its title tags just type “site:” and then the URL on your browser’s address bar.

Here is what the title tag for my home page is.

Title Tags

Now, most people who visit my homepage are just looking for my name.

I also put some other words in there which we will call qualifiers.

This means that when somebody is searching for me they’re probably looking for White Hat SEO courses or software.

That is something really important you need to think about when you are doing your title tags.

We will be running through the steps in creating an effective title tag.

For this, it would be easier to use an example that is not a home page, because homepages are harder to optimize for.

Instead, let’s start with something like this Rank and Rent guide.

The keyword is “rank and rent 2019.”

Those keywords are written first so that they are pulled all the way to the left.

You want it to say “rank and rent 2019” or whatever your main keywords are, and then again some sort of qualifier.

I used “ten steps to recurring income” in the original example but let’s try creating a new one.

Now, it is ideal if you can get your keywords semantically listed in your title tag, meaning that after your main keywords, afterward, you are going to also have something that has to do with “rank and rent.”

The way I actually find those words is by going into my Search Console.

Press Open Report then go into Pages.

Grab the page URL, plug it into Pages.

Then press on pages.

Search Console Pages

If I go to queries and I sort by impressions, what this is going to do is it is going to show me the keywords showing up the most for this query.

So you can see here, “rank and rent” showed up 894 times with 286 clicks, so I can pretty much tell that this is the main keyword I want to go for, based on how much it is showing up.

Then if I keep scrolling down you can see “Google Maps Rank Tracking” as well but that is not really what we want to go for, so we will probably skip that one.

If we scroll down a little bit more you can see the key phrase “rank and rent websites.”

A little lower and we can also find “rank and rent niches.”

What you want to do is try to take a combination of all the top occurring keywords and put them into something.

So let’s take “websites,” “niches,” and “steps” because according to Search Console, those are all different words that are occurring in the top impression based keywords.

We can say, “Niche websites ranking” or “Steps to ranking niche websites” or something like that.

You have to figure out how to be creative with the phrasing to be able to fit all the words in a way that makes sense.

Here you can see that this is a good title tag because it has all of our semantic keywords present there.

It has what people are looking for as well and as our main keywords pulled to the left.

Remember that your title tag is your first impression for people who are just now finding your site.

Make sure it is properly descriptive, relevant, and attention-grabbing enough to attract them.

What I would do next is put this in the template under the appropriate URL where I want the title to be changed.

This of for when I go and optimize the title again later. This way I will remember the new title tag I want for that URL.

Meta Description Optimization

Now let’s move on to meta descriptions.

Those are the short descriptions displayed under the title tags when the URL comes up in search results.

This should be a short, concise, and attention-grabbing summary of the contents of the page it is linking to.

You will want to go for something that is going to have the same layout.

Ideally, you’d want to have all of these different keywords or semantic keywords in the meta description as well.

The reason for this being, what is going to happen is when your website shows up in Google search–Let’s say somebody types in “rank and rent 2019” and then they type in “Google my business optimization”–the things that are searched for will show up in bold in the in the Meta Description.

The more times you can mention the different semantic variations of these keywords in your Meta Description the more likely they’re going to show up in bold which is going to lead to improved click-through rate.

A higher click-through rate will generally improve the position in the ranking in the search engine.

This is how Screaming Frog recommends you formulate your Meta Description from a technical standpoint. You don’t want to have missing or duplicate meta descriptions, you don’t want to be over 155 characters or below 70 characters, and you don’t want to be over 930 pixels below 40 pixels.

Meta Descriptions can contain a short summary of the contents of the page, as well as an enticing invitation to why they should click the link to read more.

The Meta Description is also where you would find commonly searched phrases on the topic so choose your keywords wisely.

So that was a run-through through of the copy that appears on search results, namely meta descriptions and title tags.

Now let’s move on to some of the on-page elements, or the written copy that will appear on your actual web page.

Search words displayed in bold on the Meta Description

On-Page Elements

On-page elements refer to the main body of writing on your page.

This copy is usually longer and more detailed. This will be the main content of your webpage and the main point for what readers are coming for.

That being said, on-page copy can be tricky because it’s a balance of informative writing and SEO.

You need to provide valuable information that the people are looking for, at the same time optimizing for traffic generation and search engines.

The way I optimize my pages based on on-page elements is just usually based off of averages taken from websites that are already top ranking on Google.

I got a tool created for myself called Bench Marker which will actually let me scan any keyword or key phrase off of Google and then tell me the average for it.

This tool is based on the averages found in top 10 ranked sites on Google for the keyword.

Bench Marker

Let me show you how this looks.

You can plug the keyword into the tool and then it will spit out something like this.

Let’s just say “SEO consultant” is something I want to go for.

What this is going to show me is based on my URL for that keyword.

You can see I have 899 words on the page and the top 10 average has 1470.

That means I need to add about 1064 more.

On the image count you can see here given URL we have 10 the average is 27 so we need to add about 17 more.

Now you can take this information with the grain of salt.

When it comes to implementation, you don’t necessarily have to add 17 more images, but again you want to go for an average that you can tell people are already looking for or are getting results for.

Then you can try to optimize based off of that.

Now the one thing you do need to know is that when you are optimizing a page, and let’s just say Bench Marker says you are a thousand words lower based on the average, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you only need to add a thousand words.

It might mean that you actually need 1,900 words or even 3,000 words.

I will tell you why. First of all, for example, your page is at a thousand words and the average is 2,000.

It might be that your content is not even what is supposed to be there in the first place.

Let’s just say that a thousand words you have are all just the text lorem ipsum over and over and over.

Now that is not going to be helpful to your viewers or your ranking because you don’t have any actual content that should be there.

This should be based on what people are already actually looking for.

Google also ranks you based on the content it is expecting to find.

This date is based on the recurring words found in the websites that are already ranking for that keyword.

They will also consult on content from authority sources of that topic.

The way around this if you want to go for word frequency. See what words are shown the most frequently in those similar pages. Y

ou also want to make sure that you add the words that are at the lowest on your own website or at the highest deficit from the average.

So let’s just say you have “SEO” mentioned 28 times on your page but on average it is as much as 31 times.

You probably want to add it three more times to your own page.

I actually recommend your content exceed the current content average.

Let’s say the current average for a keyword is 2,000 words.

Well, you are probably going to want to go up a little bit just so that you can add more keywords and also just beat the average and make a higher quality piece of content.

Say you take the average which is 2,000, and you add up to 3,000.

At that point, you are probably going to want to actually take that multiplier and apply that to whatever the average is.

So again, if the average for 2,000 words is 31 and you add another 1/3 of that and another 1/3 of the content to your page.

Then you are going to want to optimize this for a couple more words.

Remember that you will need to optimize for several keywords, not just one, to maximize your reach.

If you take these methods and apply it to your copy it is going to be a lot more effective than just thinking about it from a word count perspective.

A lot of people will just take content and they will go, “Oh well this content has 2,000 words so I need to obviously add a thousand more.”

It might not even be that. It might be that you actually need to reformat how your content currently is showing up in the first place.

Balancing good writing and wisely worded SEO makes for an effective website that should also rank well.

Data Based SEO

That leads us into data based SEO which is where I do most of my SEO these days.

Some people make fun of me from time to time by calling me “Guess-EO,” which I think is hilarious.

I think a lot of people in the community are starting to become Guess-EO’s themselves.

Data based SEO is optimizing not only for the search engines but also for the users and readers.

Your website ranking well on Google is pointless is people don’t actually stay to use it and bring you the returns you designed your website for in the first place.

It’s easy to get lost in the numbers.

Statistics make the task sound a lot simpler than it is.

You will see tutorials of people saying “Well if you just add other related keywords to your copy then it is probably going to rank higher.”

Now if you have the word SEO a hundred times in your copy, you have 2,000 words and you are not ranking, but the other person ranking number 1 has SEO in their copy only three times and they only have up to 2,000 words as well, that means that you are probably over optimized.

So it doesn’t even matter if you add other related content to your a copy.

You need to go and under optimize that. Remove all those words and change it to other variations.

You need to rethink your copy to be able to provide more relevant, valuable content.

The only way you are going to be able to tell if you are over optimized or not is to base it off the top 10 average URLs ranking off of Google, the is through Bench Marker.

In terms of going into more database type SEO,  that is when you get into something called benchmarking.

This is sort of a term I came up with.

People say benchmarking all the time, but SEO benchmarking specifically, is something I came up with and that is the system I use here.

I think it is unique because I don’t think a lot of people are doing this besides me and the people that I’ve taught it to.

This gives them a fresh look on SEO that many people don’t have.

What happens with most people is that they will end up trying to rank a page but then forget what the actual goal of that pages which, is to bring in more conversions, more leads, and then hopefully more traffic.

Obviously, if you are ranking high you are probably bringing in more traffic, but that is not always the case if you are not focusing on other user behavior signals as well.

That is where benchmarking comes in, which is focusing on user analytics-based data from Google Analytics and from Search Console. You can subscribe to Google Analytics here at Analytic.Google.com and Search Console here at Search.Google.com/search-console

Search Console

I will not be discussing how to use these tools one by one anymore, in the interest of time.

If you aren’t familiar with how these tools were, I have a few tutorials available on them on my Youtube page.

Long story short though, if you can if you pull the data from Google Analytics and from Search Console you can actually see the click-through rates, the impressions, the conversions, the bounce rates, and everything else that is associated with a given keyword and a URL.

Pulled Data From Google Analytics

This becomes extremely important when you’re looking through your rankings.

Let’s say I am ranking number one for Rank and Rent.

I am meeting all of the averages for that keyword and it is performing very well on Google. It has a 5-10% click-through rate.

If this is the only statistic I see, I am probably not going to want to try to rank it for anything else.

I would probably just to let the page sit there until somebody else ends up outranking it.

But if I look at some of the other statistics on the page, like let’s say the conversion rate is really low or the or that bounce rates really high, meaning a lot of people who are hitting the page are bouncing off.

Then I will want to figure out a different strategy.

I want to figure out how I can improve the end goal which is the conversion rate and the user experience.

This will also actually help you rank higher as well if your main goal is still ranking.

This is how you do that.

Let’s say I have a 76% bounce rate but everything else is going well, what I can do is go into it and look at it from a visual perspective.

If it doesn’t look very good and if I run it through GT metrics maybe the page beats too high, I will know that the problem isn’t in my copy but in my visuals. I can now go hire a designer.

I can reoptimize this page to make it look better.

If that doesn’t help, well then I am going to try to figure out what else I can do to improve the user experience.

For the most part, if you improve the design and the page-speed you will end up lowering your bounce rates and raising your conversion rates.

It will also depend on your website’s goals, and on what your conversion is and what you are counting as a conversion.

Back to best practices, let’s talk about some other things in the SEO realm related to setting a solid foundation.

It is really important for you to come up with a strategy that sets a foundation first before you go into more advanced things like trying to rank.

A good metaphor for this is if you wanted to build a house.

You wouldn’t try to go build the upstairs bathroom first.

Instead, you’d always try to build a solid foundation before anything else.

For SEO the top floors would be where all the traffic comes in and where you’re trying to rank for everything.

The foundation would be where you can give a great user experience in the site architecture.

It will always be advantageous to focus on these foundation elements of your site you because when you do end up bringing all that traffic in, you’re not going to have to go back to fix everything from the ground up, and in the process severely hi-jacking your progress and your income.

For example, You start out with a website that has a bad layout, design, and functionalities and you optimize your copy based on your current site’s features.

You eventually see its flaws and want to revamp it a few years down the line, but not only will you be hiring a designer to redo them but you will probably need to add new SEO copy as the functionality and layout of your site changes too.

The way you can ensure your foundation is solid is by performing an audit.

I’ve constructed an SEO audit that goes through all of the different things that you are going to want to see when it comes to a website’s architecture.

These sort of things are important to handle first.

For instance, if your site doesn’t redirect the preferred version of itself, then what is going to end up happening is you are going to have two different websites indexed.

This will make it a lot harder to rank your content, which in turn is going to hurt you overall.

Again if you focus on auditing your website early on, it’s going to make things a lot easier for you in the long run because you’re not going to be trying to build traffic with a shaky foundation.

That is why people end up usually hiring me for audits because they want to make sure that they have a solid foundation.

I will go in and I will do all the benchmarking for them to see if there are any current problems with their website traffic and user experience.

I base this on the keywords that they’re already getting traffic for or want to get traffic for.

Then from there, I would go focus on creating a new content strategy to continue to rank them for keywords.

Content Strategy

This brings us to the actual ranking for new things.

Let’s just say you’ve already done everything we’ve discussed so far.

You did all this benchmarking and you’ve improved all of your content-related averages with the methods that I’ve been talking about.

The next thing you are going to want to do is to come up with a content strategy.

Once you are done optimizing, you’ve done the click-through rate optimization, changed the title tags, your meta description, on-page copy, etc. Then you will want to focus on creating new content to increase your site authority.

What you’re going to want to do is publish content based on what your current Authority is.

So first, we’ll need to determine what exactly that is.

You can do this by going to a website like Ahrefs.

You can visit the site and subscribe to its services here at Ahrefs.com

Ahrefs URL Report

You are just going to plug your website into the search bar here.

You can see in Figure J that I’ve typed in ChaseReiner.com.

What you will see here is it says you have a UR of 29 and DR of 29.

These stand for URL Rating and Domain Rating. What that indicates to me is, that on average, I will probably be able to rank for a keyword with a difficulty within this range, 29.

One of the things that you can do is take different competitors of yours—let’s just say Backlinko, Neil Patel and Quora—and plug them in along with my website to generate a content gap analysis.

Ahrefs URL Report

I can now go and filter by keyword difficulty from 29 to 35 because that is the range I want to go for—and then filter by specific keywords that say SEO.

Here we see that the keyword “SEO Best Practices 2018,” has a volume 800 and difficulty of 29.

It looks like  Backlinko and all my competitors are ranking for that and I am not, despite the fact that is within my range.

When you are doing SEO it is really important to be able to use the different social media assets that you create like your; YouTube channel, Facebook groups, Facebook page, and so on, to generate organic traffic and bring in more interactions, shares, user-generated content, to eventually drive up your ranking.

So if that’s what you wanted to do, how would that work?

So for example, let’s say I make a youtube video, and transcribe it into a companion blog post.

Then I’d post that blog post to a Facebook page.

I am going to hold a competition on my Facebook group and say that the person who leaves the most detailed comment will win let’s say, a $2,000 package or whatever.

From that, I am going to get a bunch of user-generated content.

Now check this out: I only need three thousand words and all these people posting are giving me free content, and I have a video on top of it.

Based on those averages, chances are that I’ll be ranking pretty high.

The amount of authority that I have again and am going for, is 29.

The fact that I have people who are going to go to the post share it, even possibly link to it and leave user-generated content, will help increase my rating and allow me to go for keywords in higher ranges of difficulty.

So from there what you do is you work your way up until you start building more and more authority and then you tackle harder and harder keywords.

The fact is, if you are at a 0 domain Authority, you are not going to build rank for something that is within a 30-50 difficulty range.

So you’d want to start out by targeting within a certain a range like 0 to 10 and then building your content and rankings up from there.

I am a big advocate of doing internal linking over external linking from other sources simply because I can control those links better.

Creating a content strategy gives you guidelines when formulating new content and copy for your site.

You are basically assessing what content you still need and at what level you are able to achieve based on the content you already have.

It is a continuous process you need to apply to your website.

Re-Optimization

One other thing I want to talk about is how to re-optimize your content.

To ‘re-optimize’ is to change your content strategy, and change the keywords you decide to optimize for, based on your current authority.

So say if we go back and check our SEO audit checklist, and see this URL is ranking really well.

If I bring it into Search Console, plug in the URL, press Apply, and filter by impressions and we see that “SEO Audit Checklist” is ranking position one but then this second keyword, “SEO Audit Template” brings in a ton more of traffic and there are more than 9000 searches.

Reoptimizing Keyowrds

At that point, I might want to start re-optimize to that keyword instead.

So the way I’d do that is I take the keyword or the URL, and bring it into Ahrefs.

Plug the keyword you want to optimize for, “SEO Audit Template” Keyword Explorer.

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

This will actually give me a tally on how difficult this keyword is to rank for.

You can see the keyword difficulty is 59. That is much too high for my range, which if you remember, is 29.

So until that starts to hit around at 40 or 50 range at least, or if my Domain Rating starts to go up to say 60 or 70, I probably do not want to target this.

So let me try again and go over to the other keywords.

If we plug in the keyword I originally optimized for, I will probably get something that is a little bit more reasonable within my range.

As I go down the list I can look for keywords that are workable within my range.

Supposedly, it gets easier and easier down the list.

You usually want to target the one that is closest to your range so ideally I probably would have actually gone for one with around 30 difficulties.

Just by performing the optimization I can raise the position from an average 25 to an 11.9.

Continuously performing the good practices we just talked about will continue this progress.

In summary, SEO best practices for 2019 really revolve around creating a really good user experience, and targeting what people are actually looking for.

It’s about making sure your content is relevant and useful to readers.

You can achieve this by optimizing your website’s copy based on averages and information already readily available on Google which you can access through various online tools.

Following these ‘best practices’as I talked about today will help optimize your site’s copy based on where your current authority is at.

-Remember to build a solid foundation first before pouring all your efforts into a ranking. 
-Perform benchmarking and audits to ensure your site’s architecture is strong and stable.
-Always revisit your stats on Google Analytics and Search Console to ensure your website is fulfilling its desired purpose and bringing in conversions. 
-And regularly check if your keywords are up to date and reoptimize accordingly.

Regarding the technical things that I was referring like doing schema markup and OG data, etc. Unfortunately, this post has already run too long, so instead of me boring you with another really long tutorial, just check out my channel.

You can go through some of the tutorials I have there.

You can visit my youtube channel here at Youtube.com/ChaseReinerSEO. There are tons of long tutorials for those of you who really want to deep dive into SEO.

Also if you don’t have a template and want to use mine instead of creating your own, I recommend you go buy it.

It may be a little pricey but it is very valuable and you will be using it a lot.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours into to creating it, and the quality shows it.

You can buy it typing in the keywords “SEO Audit Checklist” or checking out this link here: Chase Reiner SEO Audit Checklist. Hopefully, by the time you see this, it will be number one in ranking.

So that is it for today, hopefully, now you know a little bit of some of the SEO best practices for 2019.

If I missed any topics you were hoping I’d discuss, feel free to email me and let me know.

Until then, I’ll see y’all next time!