While you may already be familiar with the basics of SEO, we are here to talk about the nitty gritty’s of On-Page and Off-Page SEO.
If you’re ready to learn about on-page and off-page SEO best practices, read on. Below are techniques to buff up your SEO game and help your website rank for high-traffic keywords.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is a method to optimize your webpages while adhering to Google’s guidelines to get better rankings on search engines.
There are dozens of on-page SEO factors that search engines like Google and Bing consider when indexing and ranking a website. What website owners have to understand about SEO is that they’re writing for a dual audience.
- Regular readers looking for a valuable content
- Robotic web crawlers that scour the content of the World Wide Web for relevant pages to link and categorize with.
Good on-page SEO strikes the perfect balance between appealing to the human while also augmenting it with necessary keywords, technical metadata, and formatting that web crawlers are searching for.
There are dozens of on-page SEO factors that search engines like Google and Bing consider when indexing and ranking a website. Here are some of the main on-page SEO factors that search engines prioritize in their ranking algorithm:
- Title tags: The title tag of your webpage is critical to its success as it is the first thing users see in Google’s search results. There are best practices you can follow to enhance the effectiveness of your title tags.
- Meta Descriptions: A meta description is a short paragraph of text that tells search engines and website visitors what about the page. Meta descriptions are unique to each page, contain the focus keyword, include between 135 and 160 characters.
- Heading tags (H1, H2, H3): Every website needs to focus on the user experience and ease the readability, and heading tags are no exception.
The H1 tag (headline) is the foremost and first element that visitors see when landing on your website page. Headings serve to reassure visitors that they are in the right place and have found what they are searching for.
With the Google Hummingbird update, there is a remarkable improvement in answering specific user questions.
Optimizing H1 tags for specific search intent and search query provides you the opportunity for the page to be ranked as a featured snippet at the top of the search results page.
Below is an example of Google featured snippet:
“What is Risch SMS?” is the Phrase included by H1 for this page and answers the search query straight in the SERP.
- Content of Page: The content on your website is one of the most significant ranking factors within search engines, and many see it trending toward becoming even more critical in the future. However, it is imperative to produce excellent content. SEO-wise, good content implies that whatever you write solves a problem for the reader, and secondly, it must resonate with their perspective.
- Responsive: Almost 60% of the searches in Google are now coming from mobile devices. Thus, if your website does not align with the underlying device and platform, you will face a higher bounce rate and a reduction in traffic.
To combat this issue, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, all the while maintaining its structure, design, and fixing all the problems. For a better result, make sure to check your website on a mobile device before its launch. Ascertain the button placement, layout, interface, smoothness, among others.
- Media and Images: Images play an essential role in enhancing the website’s outlook and presentation. They make a page more exciting and easier to understand.
However, for a search engine, the images are invisible, and they also tend to affect the page load speed. However, following these SEO-optimized image adding practices will help.
- Try to use original images, if that is not possible, make sure that the link the image to its source.
- Larger images burden the website page, hence, try to add small-sized images (in bytes).
- Adding Alt Tags to the added images makes them readable to the search engines, ultimately helping you improve the website’s visibility.
- In the Alt Tags and image name, try to be as descriptive as possible by using lesser words. For instance, for an image that shows a boy riding a bicycle, write “bicycle-riding-boy-small.jpg.”
- Lastly, if the number of images on the website’s page is more, try using a Content Delivery Network for the same. This will enhance the page load faster and will be more presentable. This happens because, with a CDN, the images are hosted by multiple servers, thereby distributing the load burden, ultimately enhancing the process.
Other Relevant On-Page Factors: There are a handful of other crucial on-page SEO components that need to be considered if you want your organic visibility to reach its maximum potential:
• Include keywords in your URL.
• Link internally to your other webpages.
• Caption images with keywords.
• Regularly update your content.
• Optimize for mobile devices.
• Establish efficient site mapping.
WHAT IS OFF-PAGE SEO AND WHY YOU NEED IT?
Gone are the days when SEO was synonymous with On-Page SEO. Today’s SEO does not limit itself to on-page strategies and methods.
But with time, Google’s search and ranking algorithm has become more robust and sophisticated. Today, ranking your web site’s page on Google is easier said than done. The sheer amount of competition requires amalgamating On-Page SEO with Off-Page practices to achieve the desired result. This occurs not on your website, but elsewhere online.
Backlinks: Within the purview of Off-Page SEO, backlinking is the most important attribute that can also have a significant impact on your website’s ranking. Backlinking is the activity where other websites give a link on their web pages or blogs to your website. In this, if your website has a backlink from a trusted and authority website, it has a significant impact on your website’s ranking.
Some of your content might get backlinked on its own. In many cases, however, you’ll need to put in some effort. You can obtain backlinks by:
- Connecting your Facebook page to your website.
- Submitting guest blogs to industry websites.
- Joining review and directory sites.
- Reaching out to influencers and bloggers.
Social Media: While it hasn’t been sufficiently proven that social media shares and likes are an off-page SEO factor, there are some compelling reasons to engage in social media marketing and include it within the off-page SEO strategies.
A strong social presence builds authority and reputation. It creates brand-specific fandom, spreads your content online, and drives people back to your site. Embed social media marketing into SEO strategy by creating shareable content, adding share buttons to your content, and having active social media pages.
Domain Authority: Domain authority helps search engines determine how much they can trust you. Although it is an essential factor for good SEO, building a domain authority is not in your direct control.
It is affected by:
- What is the age of your domain name (older domain names that remain active are given priority)?
- The history of the domain name. Because the previous owner did not comply with best practices, search engines will see that history and take that into account.
- The number of referring domains
Search engines and organic traffic play a significant role in your business growth because the majority of your target audience uses a search engine to find you.
The amalgamation of both On-Page and Off-Page SEO strategies is an effective method to enhance your visibility and garner a higher number of potential leads.
Mastering SEO On And Off The Page
If on-page SEO is a science, then off-page SEO is an art. Whereas on-page SEO leaves you in full control while giving you the freedom to experiment, off-page techniques are finicky, indefinite, and somewhat left to chance. This doesn’t mean that you can’t optimize your website using these techniques — it just means you might need to spend a bit more time networking and taking a trial-and-error approach to building out a web of links that refer back to your website.