The Magic Numbers of Search Engine Optimization

Mrs. Winters, my 4th grade math teacher said, “Nine is a magic number.”

I didn’t believe her. But it’s true. Multiples of 9 always add up to 9. 9 (9+0) 18 (1+8) 27 (2+7) See?

Search Engine Optimization has magic numbers too! I’m about to let you in on the magic numbers of SEO, but before I do I have to warn you: If you don’t pay attention to SEO some of this might sound like gibberish.

That’s okay. All you really need to know is why you care.

And that’s easy. You care because SEO allows your content to be seen by the people who need it. It may be the first step to them seeking help and getting unstuck. Each person who comes into contact with your free content is impacted by it. This is your chance to create the change you want to see in the world. SEO matters. That’s why I’m taking the time to talk about it.

If something doesn’t make sense, just schedule a call with me. I’ll see if I can help you unpack it.

internal links, external links, SEO, webpages, websites, copy, conversion

Here are the magic numbers for you to reach more people, make a greater impact, and grow your business.

Three Pages That Can Make Or Break You

What do you think the most important page on your website is? 

It’s your home page, duh. It’s the first page people see when they click on your site. It has to be enticing and more than that it needs to give them an idea of what you can help them with. 

If this is the first page people see, and the most visited page on the entire site, it’s also the biggest chance to make your website work for you. Your goal with your homepage is to suck people further into your world. There should be links throughout the homepage for them to find out more about you and your services.

The second most visited page on any website is the “About Me” page, and this is where I see people throwing away opportunities. Your about me page might be a place to talk about your favorite kitten, but it’s not a place to say, “Hi, my name is Jeni. My cat’s name is Kitty. Here’s our selfie,” and call it a day.

It needs the same care and work every other page on your site gets. It needs to be well developed, explain who you help and what you help them with, and speak to your why. Why? Why you? Why now?

This might come as a shock but there are thousands of other people out there who do what you do. People need you for a reason and being your most authentic self in your online real estate is the best way to help them know that.

The third must have page is probably a no brainer. It’s your services page. If people don’t know what you’re offering, they can’t buy. 

Your site needs these 3 pages at a minimum, but you still have to follow SEO best practices to make these pages matter.

Page Length 

750 is the magic number of words on a web page that Google’s Virtual Spider Man likes to bump up. Anything less than that Google brushes aside as content that doesn’t go deep enough to matter to users.

The SEO Journal is quick to remind us that word count alone doesn’t make or break SEO, and priority should be given to user experience over meeting a word count for the word count’s sake. While I agree with their assessment of causation versus corelation, if you’re not taking the time to be detailed and specific what kind of a user experience are you actually providing? 

Yes, you should make your words count, but I still think word count is a good guideline to ensure you’re providing enough value.

Page length is something most people understand, but nonwriters often struggle with it. “How can I write 750 words about myself or my business? Don’t I just sound like I’m bragging?”

Probably not. Everything you’ve accomplished and what your business doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, because you know about it. You were there for the story. The rest of us weren’t, and before we can do business with you, we need to know what you’ve accomplished.

Internal & External Links

An internal link is just linking to another page or blog post on your own site. An external link is linking to authoritative site in your industry. Google hearts .gov and .edu sites for this purpose. You need 2-4 of each.

Believe it or not, links seem to freak people out. When it comes to internal links, they may think they don’t have anything worth linking to. Don’t worry about this. The purpose of an internal link is just to show the thing you’re trying to be known for is something you actually talk about a lot.

“Okay, but why would I send someone away from my site?” On a sales page, I’d probably agree with you, and this is a legitimate concern. I won’t tell you there’s no chance someone leaves and never comes back. That’s possible.

But if your site is engaging enough, and your offer is strong enough, this shouldn’t be a real concern. You also need to ask yourself is the goal of your site SEO or conversion?

Obviously conversion is a factor either way, but if the main goal of your site is conversion that means people find you through another means and you send them to your site. In this case, the site’s almost the last stop. They’re coming to check out.

If the goal of your site is search engine optimization, you’re focusing on making it easy for Google to send people to you. You want good copy either way. You want urgency, for them to understand and recognize a need for your offer, and ultimately to click the buy button. But if you don’t have your own pipeline, SEO is the best way to go. And Google wants to know it’s sending people to legitimate sources. 

Use these rules and structure your page correctly, and your SEO will rank. 

SEO in and of itself is complicated. If you’re not a writer, creating compelling copy is hard and lacing it with SEO is even harder.

Do you need structure?

How Page Structure Boosts SEO

Growing up in East Texas with purple hair tied into a Pebbles Flintstone ponytail on top of your head with a gold chain wrapped around it, you tend to pop out. If you ask me as a writer and content marketer, there is nothing wrong with being the streak of color everyone sees among a wall of sameness. But my grandma didn’t see it that way back then. (She’s on board now.) Then she desperately wanted me to conform. 

The words, “You need structure,” were uttered over far more dinners than I care to talk about.  But she wasn’t totally wrong. Structure is good for a lot of things. A structured bag tends to be more organized and useful than even the largest bag with no structure. Structured dresses highlight assets and deflect areas you might not be fond of. 

There is a time and place for structure, and when you’re trying to boost your blog, it’s the time and place. Do you need page structure?

What Is Page Structure?

Does that subheading stick out to you? I know, I know, I’m answering a question with a question, but stay with me for a minute. 

If you’re like most people, the larger letters caught your attention and you skimmed the subtitles before you read the article. The letters look large because my subtitles are always in a “heading case” and the paragraphs are in “normal text.” 

In theory, SEO page structure would make use of multiple header settings and only use each one once. Following this guide, your page would be structured something like this: 

Can you spot the cases I’m using and where? You’ll notice I’m only using a few of these cases and theory says not to repeat them but I am. If you haven’t figured out which case I’m repeating yet, don’t worry! I’ll tell you below.

Page Structure Improves User Experience & Boosts SEO Ranking

Remember earlier I said most people skim the section titles before reading the article? It’s true the larger text catches your eye, but skimming the subheadings lets you know if this article is what you’re looking for. (Spoiler alert: If you’re not a writer, it’s worth working with one. Obviously if I’m on the fence about an article being for me interesting headings make me stick around.)

If the article doesn’t seem like it’s what you want, you leave the site. When you leave a site after a few seconds, the site’s bounce rate goes up, and SEO ranking goes down. 

Because I know the larger text catches your eye and you’re skimming to see if this article is what you’re looking for, I’ve used “Heading 1” for all section titles. This technically breaks SEO theory, because I’m repeating a case. But user experience matters, and I don’t want you to think one section is more important than another. 

If an article has no structure, it’s going to look dense and daunting on a screen. People will bounce. And even if I am your special dedicated reader who really needs the information you’re providing and is willing to wade through it, I have no idea if this is the content I need without subheadings to tell me!

Your page structure is a map that boosts your ideal client’s experience on your blog. If we’re talking about closing and sales, a well structured, well written blog obviously makes you look more professional. But just as a matter of search engine optimization and making you visible, having a clear maps reduces your bounce rate.

The Virtual Spider Man LOVES Page Structure

Google’s virtual spider man—as I like to refer to the AI bot who scans all of the pages on the interweb and decides how to rank them—loves page structure.  The artificial intelligence is able to quickly scan the titles. Virtual Spidey Man likes to see multiple “header cases” being used and loves them for them to be easy to read. 

That being said, our friend the spider has gotten smarter over the years. He’s going to check to make sure those headings are relevant by scanning the rest of the article. WIthout good page structure, you’re only getting ranked if you’ve already got a built in platform and celebrity status. If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that’s not you.

Are You Using Keywords in Heading Cases?

We’ve talked about keywords and why they’re important before, but keywords in a title or  section heading are much more meaningful and matter more for SEO than keywords embedded in the small text.

Using keywords in the text could just be a casual mention, but using keywords in a section heading usually means you’ve got a whole section dedicated to KEYWORD.

Hopefully, this has helped.

But if you need more help with SEO join my SEO & Marketing Community!

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You’re highly educated and highly skilled. You studied hard for your coaching certification or during the advanced degree required to become a therapist, and every client you’ve worked with has thanked you for the results. You’ve changed lives.

And you’d like to change more, so why aren’t you fully booked? And what does any of this have to do with the alphabet soup in the title line?

I can answer both questions. It doesn’t matter how good you are. If people don’t know about it, they can’t book you. The answer to the first question is marketing. It’s time to up your game.

You might find the letters S, E, and O in alphabet soup, but the letters in the title line point to something a whole lot hotter! 

Search Engine Optimization is the best strategy for being found on Google. It is the strategy to catapult you or your business to the first page of search results where most sales that start with an internet search happen.

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Since SEO relies on an algorithm—not just Google, each search engine has their own algorithm, but this blog will refer to Google best practices—the explanation is going to be a little technical, but I’ll make it as snooze-free as possible. Promise.

A search engine is any website or app you can type into the search bar of and get specific results. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Bing, Insert Random Name Of A Website With A Search Bar Here are all search engines. When we talk about SEO for that platform, we’re talking about writing our content in a way that makes it easy for the site’s algorithm to find and boost.

The easiest way to think of this is that the algorithm is a robotic spider. (It really is. It’s AI.) The spider has been programmed to find certain things, and it crawls everything posted on its search engine looking for those things. When it finds something that meets the elements it was programmed for, it grabs the content with it’s creepy spidey legs, matches it to the search it fits with, and pushes it up. 

That’s search engine optimization in a nutshell. But each platform will have slightly different rules, so you’ll want to tailor your content to the site you want to be known on.

How Does Google Rank Search Engine Optimization

You know what’s awesome about this question? Google actually tells us exactly what they’re looking for in a site. Expertise Authority, and Trust. They use the “EAT” acronym to help people talk about and understand it.

  1. Expertise

Expertise is your experience and what you know. However, Google won’t rely on your resume or testimonials to take your experience and knowledge at face value. They want to know you know what you’re talking about.

“Jeni, how do I convince a robotic spider I’m good at what I do? Also, can I just say having to convince a robotic spider I can do my job is annoying.”

Yeah, okay. We’re all annoyed by that last part, but the good news is robotic spiders are fairly easy to convince. You just need external links. These can’t be just any external links. They need to be solid external links. Aunt Dorothy’s blog or a flat earther’s Youtube channel probably isn’t the best place to start.

Start with authorities in your industry or niche. For a therapist, that might be the American Psychological Association. The coaching industry can be highly unregulated. If you’re a coach, you may want to start with your certifying body. But Google prioritizes sites that end in .edu or .gov, so scholarly articles and relevant government websites are good for anyone.

Just remember, the goal is to convince Virtual Spider Man we know what we’re talking about, not to publish a list of links. That’s so 2012.

  1. Authority

Virtual Spider Man also has to believe you’re the authority on whatever it is you’re talking about. But if you paid attention to the first letter of this acronym, you’re halfway there. You’ve proven expertise. Now, you just need to prove that Thing You Linked to Scholarly Sites On is a thing you talk about a lot.

An added plus is the more you talk about That Thing—especially while using the rest of the acronym—the more you’re boosting your expertise. Consistency has always been the most basic and most crucial marketing strategy. You’re just consistently marketing in the information age.

“Fine, Jeni, but how do I prove to Mr. Spidey that I talk about The Thing a lot?”

Oh, that’s easy. You need internal links. If external links prove expertise, internal links prove authority. You’re just linking to other parts of your own website or your own blog posts. (If you don’t have a blog and want to use SEO as a strategy, I strongly recommend you get one.)

  1. Trust

Virtual Spider actually trusts you easier than he believes your expertise or authority. But it may be once you’ve taken the time to prove you’re an expert and an authority, trusting you is easy. The “T” comes naturally.

If you’re looking for resources to make SEO a cornerstone of your marketing strategies, I’ve compiled a list of The Best 5 SEO Resources.