Michal Suski


Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Michał Suski, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Michał is the co-founder of Surfer SEO. He is also an on-page SEO enthusiast rivaling other known on-page ninjas.

Michal has recently developed a cloud-based tool which can compete against CORA and POP, popular on-page correlation tools.

If you have any questions related to on-page optimization using correlation techniques, please feel free to pick his brain.

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s success and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.


Table of Contents

What is the most underrated on-page signal people are ignoring?

I’d say is the above the fold section, many people just put there a heading.

We had an issue recently that there was no exact above the fold – one change page 2 to page 1 the same day.

First 10 things you would do building a site from scratch.

Pick good keywords, analyze competitors, set up quick and simple website, write optimized content, get links from pages that rank for the keywords that are around my target.

Is targeting only one keyword per page a good idea? On a new site?

You have to pick the most important one since meta title has it’s length, but building wider content is helpful to support your head-tail keyword.

What will be the cost of your on-page tool?

There is a free version which is still useful. We used it for many clients when we were in beta stage.

Here is a walkthrough on free version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCZ6034fJ-c besides of that it’s 29, 59 or 99 depending on a plan.

Do you Surf for real or just went with the name for your biz?

I have never been surfing unless the internet counts

Ever had a client ask “how many backlinks must I build in order to increase my da by x%”? how to reply to this?

I use only organic traffic as a metric about authority. There is no way to answer this question because it can be one link to reach top 1 or 100 to do nothing.

Is it possible to exclude a competitor from analysis? For example a home advisor page ranking with a local business web page.

Sure! Use the eye icon next to the URL.

Pick His Brain! with Michal Suski 1


How many active users do you have now?

A bit over 3k including free users.

How many internal and external links should a well optimised article have based on the content volume? Let’s say for an article of 1,000 words.

Hard to say, but you can check how big is your competitors internal linking structure. You’d have to crawl all those competitors websites which is very time-consuming.
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What do you think with a page that has more than 150% words than the competitors? I’ve seen some on page optimization tools including yours suggest to reduce the words. What is the reason behind that? isn’t more detail information (in good quality) good for the reader? Any case study for this?

It was this simple audit which bases on mathematics. It’s good to review all controversial suggestions by hand on a chart view.

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Reducing words may be a case when you look for a service which is simple, having a complex article there won’t help you convert.

What is your take why reduce the word count can move the SERP?

It can help as a cofactor, not the direct one. Better conversion is often connected with better behavioral signals which may help in rankings. In my personal opinion – reducing should be considered carefully.

Do you have an affiliate program for it so I can promote it for you?

Drop me a line mate

Can you tell us the name of the program you created?

It’s https://surferseo.com

How’s your tool differentiate between cora and pop?

It gets SERP from a given localization, renders each page, calculate the data and present on the chart. It’s simple cloud based, real time overview. We provide data, you make better decisions.

Have you seen positive results implementing the recommendations from tools like seolyze and ryte regarding TF*IDF?

I did not tried it. I base on competitors which provides greatest missing words and phrases, look at these two screenshots.

1st shows missing common phrases and missing words count, second shows correlation between how much page miss from common words and ranking.

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Pick His Brain! with Michal Suski 4
So just add these, and your content gap is fixed.

What are your most effective on page check list?

Surfer factors, when I’m off then I fix it.

Besides of regular on page work with content make sure that your internal linking is done properly (consistent anchors) and add proper schema markup.

Related to Alt tags..Can you overdo it with them? What I mean is, is it bad to have the company name + main keyword for that page+specific keywords for the image on each image?Also, is it to much to name the image the same as the Alt tag?

If the image features the company name in it, or a property / building or staff of a company, using a company name would be acceptable.

Image Alt attributes are meant to describe the contents of an image if you couldn’t see it and had to describe it.

Use an image where it can easily be said to be fair use of main keyword and long tail in a description of it… be creative… think long term.

I use img alts as my special forces. When exact is needed and I can’t use it due to it’s weird wording.

You can overoptimize alts and it’s another thing worth checking while optimizing. This guy may have such problem.

Pick His Brain! with Michal Suski 5


On a web page is there Any specific header (placement) order do u follow. I mean in the order of H1.. H6 or whatever way u need after H1? Specific to on-page SEO.

I check how my competitors do.

If top use wide set of headings then I do the same, if it’s only about h1 and h2 then i write to max h3.

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It’s kind off messy look but you can see that h5 and h6 does not appear.

Pick His Brain! with Michal Suski 6

How many elements are you tracking. Do you correlate statistical significance of each element and show how many standard deviations?

The only statistics added is a Pearsons correlation but it not the best way to tell that you should take care of this factor.

Biggest issue is when a chart is messed up by results that are kind of affected by ranking drops caused by non on page factors.

Like on this example, line correlates but only in top30, Pearsons show low-mid correlation.

Pick His Brain! with Michal Suski 7


How about analyzing a page targeting 100 keyword at one page?

Tricky but doable, pick the one you are into the most and analyze one after another filling content gap with common words and phrases.

Let’s say i subscribe to the agency plan. You state that you check 500 ranking factors. And which are these ? How do I know you checked exactly 500 ranking factors , do you provide a report from 1 to 500 rankings factors and what can be fixed according to them (or not).

Thanks for the question!

We decided to go for structured factors instead of the list to make it easier to use. Surfer has factors grouped under structure, media and page speed segments. Each analysis can be done for mobile and desktop version.

There is also a toggle which doubles our list of factors – excluding or including text within <a> tags. Surfer analyze over 700 factors, we eliminated scrolling issue which was a huge pain reliever.

There are features that are hard to count as a single factor which are: common words from top ten pages (from 10 out of 10 to 4 out of 10 including report of what’s missing on your page), popular words on each page or even a google bot screenshot.

How many keywords we should target on landing page?

If they are related – you can target more but you have to know that meta title has it’s length and it may be tricky to figure out how to use it.

When I am working on landing pages I try to not target more than 10. Got more keywords? Group them and prepare specific pages.

Is siloing a amazon affiliate site still effective or what’s your thought on this?

Hey, I have never worked on amazon affiliate business, so really can’t tell. Hope you will find the answer

Does your tool look at NLP / entities and semantic relationships?

It does not right now, but we are working on including some of those. It base 100% on the SERP now.

Do you have an idea when your chrome extension will include US data? I have some people in my FB group excited about it, but they were discouraged that the US wasn’t included.

I hope we manage to give it away right after CMSEO.

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