On-Page and Off-Page SEO: A Quick Guide
You have a website for your company, but is it performing as well as it should? Putting up content related to your business and creating an aesthetically pleasing look is essential in the beginning stages, but there are many factors beyond information and design that determine how a website will perform. You must incorporate both On-Page and Off-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to gain traffic and success for your website.
The importance of SEO lies in the impact it has on your website’s appearance to Google. Google is constantly crawling websites to algorithmically rank their relevance, authority and usefulness, providing a status that will determine where your website shows up in the search engine.
At first glance, SEO can be complicated and technical, but as long as you follow a procedural and intentional approach, a few simple changes can significantly boost your ranking.
On-page and off-page SEO work together to improve both the user experience and the Google impression. One is not more important than the other, and both must be optimized to ensure the success of your page.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO refers to improving and optimizing everything that a user can see on the web-page. This includes providing relevant and engaging content, properly coding HTML tags and meta-tags, optimizing system functions like page-load time and URL names, and editing CSS layout and tags.
All of these features will impact the user experience on your website and will encourage readers to either stay and explore your site, or cause them to leave. Think of the user experience on your website as an indicator of customer service for your brand. If a user experiences slow page loading or finds your content boring they are likely to be unsatisfied with their experience.
On-Page SEO is essential for user experience, which in the end will impact your ranking. The more people enjoy your content and are impressed by your website, the more likely it will be shared and engaged with, therefore increasing the visibility and social clout of your brand and website.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO deals in the “behind-the-scenes” of a website. It can be summarized in one word: links. The more that your website is linked to, the higher the authority of your domain will be. If you have a great deal of valuable links pointing to your site, search engines can assume that you are providing good content.
Getting other websites to link to your website increases traffic and signals to Google that the content you are offering on your website is useful and relevant, and therefore should have a higher ranking.
Off-Page SEO tells Google what others think of your site.
This concept is often referred to as “backlinks”, and the better your backlinks are rated, the better your website will rank. Without backlinks pointing to your website, it is almost impossible for Google to figure out the usefulness of your page. Natural links from authoritative and relevant websites act as votes of confidence that help search engines trust your website.
However, it is important to note: link quality is much more important than link quantity.
In the past, the number of links you had was extremely important but as Google algorithms have become more complex, they have shifted to value quality links higher. At this point, On-Page SEO becomes relevant. High quality, fresh, and relevant content and positive user-experience make you more shareable. With awesome content, lots of social media shares, and support from bloggers and influencers, you will build backlinks to your website.
Tips on improving SEO
Typically on-page SEO is taken care of first, then off-page follows. You don’t want to share a page that isn’t ready for users.
Here are some tips to make sure that your web page is ready for sharing.
- Organize your internal pages. Having a good flow and layout to the pages on your website ensures that the “SEO juice” will keep moving throughout your whole website. Make sure you create a homepage or landing page that has links to the other pages of your website through tools like drop-down menus. No internal page should stand alone, but rather be connected with seamless navigation.
- Keyword Target thematically. Do some research on Google Keyword Planner (hyperlink) to figure out the best keywords for your company to try to rank for. Avoid popular keywords that massive corporations are ranking for because you will never be able to compete.Don’t be afraid to brand your keywords for ultimate specificity. Pick a few that are thematically related and this will signify to Google what you do and are all about.
- Place Keywords throughout your website. Once you have your keywords, ensure they are present throughout your website, especially on the landing page. This will tell Google the most important and informative page of your site. Make sure your Keywords are in the title tag of your page. The closer the keywords are to the start of the title the better, as this has more weight with search engines.
- Don’t Overload Keywords. While it is tempting to put keywords everywhere, have restraint when making content for your webpage. Google penalizes websites who try to overload keywords; Remember, quality over quantity. Use tools like LSIgraphic.com for ideas on variations of keywords.
- For a list of 12 additional things you should do optimize on-page SEO click here. http://backlinko.com/on-page-seo.
So your website is ready to share, what now?
- Fix broken links: When links on a website are broken they lead to a 404 error page. This is unappealing to the user. These problems pop up over time as the result of hosting expiration, pages upset during file transfer, typos or URL changes. Check that all the links on your website are functioning, and replace or get rid of those that are broken. This will improve the speed and function of your website.
- Distribute Quality Content: Blogs, and other high-quality media like pictures, videos or infographics are great ways to engage users and are easy to share. Infographics tend to have a great deal of success online as they are visually appealing and can share a lot of information easily.
- Share content with bloggers and influencers. Get your content out to as many people as possible. The more eyes the better! If you can be shared on a website that has a pre-existing high authority domain, it will significantly increase your ranking.
The most important things to consider when it comes to SEO are user experience, user intent, and valuable content. Optimize for users and create content that will be relevant to them and you will be sure to increase your ranking.
Be consistent and methodical and you will grow in Google’s rank system.
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