In today’s market, a business’s success is usually proportional to its website’s visibility. Online search engines provide on-demand directories of businesses that direct you to the products and services you need. But with so many web properties indexed by search engines, it’s getting harder and harder for fledgling websites to stand out in the crowd.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of using free (“organic”) methods to increase the visibility of your website to search engine users. In other words, SEO does not include ads at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) or paid placement purchases.
However, every SEO strategy has two key components: on-page and off-page. If you focus on developing just one of the two, you can kiss your chances of ranking #1 or #2 in the SERPs.
If you’re ready to learn about on-page and off-page SEO best practices, read on. Below are some techniques that can help you step up your SEO game and rank your website for high-traffic keywords.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page or on-site SEO includes all visibility optimization techniques implemented on the website you are trying to rank. In short, on-page SEO is manipulating or tailoring the content of a website to appeal to both users and search engine crawlers.
What website owners must understand about SEO is that SEO is written for a dual readership. She’s a web crawler, a robot that scrutinizes content from the world wide web to categorize and link relevant pages. Good on-page SEO strikes the perfect balance between being human-like and at the same time sprinkled with necessary keywords, technical metadata, and formats that web crawlers search for.
There are many on-page SEO factors that search engines like Google and Bing consider when indexing and ranking a website. Here are some of the key on-page SEO factors that search engines prioritize in their ranking algorithms:
Title keyword: The title meta tag is one of the primary relevance signals for search engines. Be sure to include the main keyword or phrase you want to rank for (such as “best hockey sticks for kids”) at the beginning of your title tag. This way Google and Bing can recognize your his website as a source of information related to keywords.
Meta description: Don’t ignore your website’s meta description. Your website’s meta description tag should naturally include your main keyword and, if possible, secondary keywords.
Heading and body keywords: Both the body text and heading (H1) tags of your webpage should contain the keywords you want to rank for. These days, you don’t have to stuff your web content with keywords. In fact, it works the other way around. Instead, we recommend aiming to use your main keyword 3-5 times in your content.
Length and format: When creating text for your website, don’t skimp on the word count. Google and other search engines prioritize informative and relevant articles by adding sources and links that provide value to their readers.
Outbound links and replication: All web pages should feature original, fresh content not found elsewhere online. If search engines detect duplicate content on different pages of your website, you may be penalized. Also, be sure to include outbound links to other relevant and reliable sources so that Google recognizes your website as a reliable provider of information.
Other relevant on-page factors: If you want to maximize your organic visibility, there are some other important on-page SEO components to consider.
• Include keywords in the URL.
• Link internally to other web pages.
• Caption images with keywords.
• Update content regularly.
• Optimize for mobile devices.
• Establish efficient site mapping.
Why you need off-page SEO
In the past, when someone talked about “SEO,” they almost exclusively referred to on-page techniques. As Google’s search algorithms improve and the ranking landscape becomes more competitive, off-page SEO best practices are just as important. This happens elsewhere online, not on your website.
Link building: Most off-page SEO is just a matter of building links to your website. The more trustworthy and authoritative domains refer to your website, the more likely search engines will recognize your website as an authority. Link building is difficult because The trick is to link your website content from other reliable sources. However, it is difficult to persuade trusted websites to browse your content. A relatively easy workaround is to serve guest posts on a high authority domain. Be sure to include the author’s biography in your article, which refers to your website’s landing page.
Social media: Links from social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook count toward your website’s position in the SERPs. One of the simplest off-page SEO techniques is to create curated social media profiles and use each to link to your web content.
Domain authority: Off-page SEO is about establishing your domain’s authority in the eyes of search engines. Search engines measure different signals when determining authority, but in my experience, the more links back to your website from a reputable site, the higher the authority factor.
Master SEO on and off the page
If on-page SEO is a science, off-page SEO is an art. While on-page SEO gives you complete control and lots of experimentation, off-page techniques are cumbersome, unclear, and to some extent dependent on luck. This does not mean that you cannot optimize your website using these techniques. That means you need to spend a little more time networking, take a trial-and-error approach, and build a web of links to reference. your website.