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7 Steps to an Effective
On-Site SEO Strategy

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Getting your website listed on page one of Google Search is harder now than ever. Because there are fewer unpaid listings per page on a search. The number of ads at the top, the bottom, and the sides of search pages is enormous, leaving little room for the coveted organic page rankings. However, with a good On-Site SEO Strategy, not all is lost. 

Does that mean you have to buy ad space to be found on search? No! Organic On-Site SEO ranking is still possible, it just requires a unified strategy. In this article, we will give you the steps we use at R11 Solutions to get page-one rankings for our clients.

For this article, we will use wedding photographers as a sample niche. The name of the company is Happy Day Photography. We want to rank the new website on page one of the search for “wedding photographers Washington.” Here’s our process:

Table of Contents

01 Keyword Research

It all starts with keyword research. We search for “wedding photographers Washington” and make a list of all the websites ranking on page one for this keyword. Then we place the websites in Ahrefs to see what other related organic keywords they’re ranking for.

We do this because finding out which keywords the competitors are ranking for simplifies the research process. Why would you spend hours going through the entire keyword research process, when your top-competitors have already done most of the work for you.


02 Your Website Domain Name

After wrapping up with the research, we register the website domain. When acquiring the domain, you want to have at least a portion of the keyword in the domain name. In this case, we’ll register something like happyweddingphotographers.com

To make this simple, just use this formula: brand name + partial keyword = your domain name. If your brand name has two words, you could use one of them in the domain, and the rest can be used in your target keywords.

We’re aiming for simplicity and efficiency with our SEO strategy. If you implement keywords this way, it requires fewer resources to rank the website because the domain name is already relevant for the keywords you’re targeting. Can you see how this domain name would be more effective than happydayphotography.com?

03 On-Page Optimization

Step three is On-Page Optimization. Once again, it is a smart idea to look at what your top competitors are doing. This way, you’ll get some easy ideas for your own optimization. If they’re using certain keywords in the title and the H2 tags, you should have them in yours as well, otherwise, you won’t be ranking on the same Google Search pages as them

The trick, however, is to change things around to make your On-Page Optimization more unique. But you get the overall idea, it’s not necessary to test everything out when you already know what’s working. The only thing you want to focus on right now is having better SEO than your competitors; that’s your biggest advantage.

04 Cornerstone SEO Content

Once we have our new website set up, we post content on it that is relevant to wedding photographers in Washington. We will use multiple target keywords from the list we created from the competitor sites. Rather than create a separate article for each keyword, we create a long (1500-2000 words) article in which we use multiple keywords. The keywords are used in the Heading tags (H1, H2, H3) to quickly show the search engines the topics being covered in the article.


05 Citations & Press Releases

After we finish setting up the cornerstone content outline, we focus on business citations and press releases. Every local business should have them in place the moment they launch their new website. This helps create relevancy for the niche and for the keywords they’re targeting. Citations are references to your online business – they include the name, address, and phone number.

When we created the domain name with the main keyword, we were already leveraging a lot of online connections. Every citation we create will have our target keyword (wedding photographers) in it. By doing the same with press releases, we’re expanding our reach and are creating more backlinks.

Having your main keyword in the website domain already puts you 10 steps ahead of your competition. But, you’ll also require fewer backlinks to rank higher in search engines. It might seem a bit like magic, but it’s a strategy we’ve been using for 6 years. Even with the ever-changing Google algorithms, this strategy remains consistent in its ability to improve ranking.

06 Guest Posting to Improve SEO

Guest posting is a great way to create genuine backlinks from a variety of different domains. Backlinks are links to your website that reside on other domains To accomplish this, you’ll have to reach out to websites related to your niche that accept guest posts.

You will want to develop real relationships with these website owners to gain their trust. You also have to provide them with high-quality content that they would be willing to post on their site. Most website owners are aware of the value of a guest post to your marketing. This is why they only give out those coveting guest posting spots to those who can provide the quality content that their readers expect.

To search for websites that accept guest posts, type: write for us + (your niche), and other similar search parameters. You will find sites that are accepting contributors or guest posts. There are usually specific instructions for contributors and parameters for articles on the site.

You also want to make sure that you’re getting links from relevant websites, sites that are clearly related to your niche in some way. Sites related to photography or weddings will be your best fits for the wedding photography niche.

You want to have your target keywords in the title and the URL of the guest posts you are posting. Getting these guest posts is not easy to do, but if you accomplish it, you’ll have your websites ranking on page one in no time.

07 Using Anchor Texts for Backlinks

The seventh and last step is to use anchor texts for backlinks. Anchor texts are the words seen by a reader that is hyperlinked to your website URL. They may be in the content of your guest posts in social media posts or comments, and other appropriate content.

For guest posts, make sure to follow the rules for anchor text and links provided by your host site. To begin with, use simple, common anchor texts, such as those listed below.

You want to make sure your links fit naturally in the content where they are placed. Once you’ve got around 30-35 guest posts linking to you, then you can start using other types of anchor text to backlink to your site.

These are the exact seven steps we use at R11 Solutions to achieve top search rankings for our clients. If you’d like to learn more about how to create a successful On-Site SEO strategy for your business, contact us for more information.

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SEO Case-Study, Happy Day Photography: 7 Steps for an SEO Strategy That Works

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