One thing continues to stand true as Google continues to make constant updates and changes to its search engine algorithm. You can’t oversimplify stuff and concentrate just on one dimension. Your SEO approach includes both on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
Here’s a comprehensive overview of both of these essential SEO approaches, along with best practices, to help you learn more about the ins and outs of each one and re-tune your strategy to be current.
What is On-Page SEO?
Think of the most basic optimization tactics for search engines:
It’s all the steps taken directly within your website to enhance your search ranking position by making it easy for search engine bots to interpret the page and give end-users a preview of what the SERP clicks through. Overall content quality, page performance, and content structure are also taken into consideration.
On-page SEO Factors:
It’s important to approach this with the mindset that “content is king.” You can do all the optimization you want around keywords, descriptions, and internal links, but no one will visit your website if the on-page content sucks.
Although keywords are less important than they were a few years ago, optimizing keywords is still a cornerstone of today’s SEO. Hence the focus is being shifted to more long-tail keywords, which fits better with the current internet users’ search patterns. Think about your audience and the keywords they’re looking for then build and optimize the content of your website around those keywords.
After your actual on-page content, the title tag refers to the title of a web page, or the main heading you see in the SERP, and is one of the most important on-page SEO variables. Keep this title at or below 65 characters (pick your words wisely!)
A meta description is a short description that appears on a search engine results page (SERP) below the URL and in a social post beneath a headline. The content on that page is described and is written to help your web page show up in the SERP results list. To ensure that your entire description is shown in the search results, keep the description under 155 characters.
Alt text refers to the word or phrase that can be attributed to an image file to help ensure that it is indexed and so search engines know what it is because they cannot see images (they only see text). For example, if you use a graph in your blog that outlines some tips for injection molding, you can save the alt text as “automotive-injection-molding-tips” for that image, and that graph will begin to rank in the image results for that phrase.
Page security is more essential than ever, and it is essential to enable Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security technology to improve your security, trustworthiness, and visibility. You increase the likelihood of a third party not coming between your web server and the webserver of the visitors by enabling SSL, ensuring that information entered on the site is secure. Similarly, Google actually prefers SSL-enabled sites, making it vital to increase visibility.
For today’s marketers, in addition to the factors listed above, an organized URL structure is important because it makes it easy for search engines to crawl from page to page on your website and makes visitors’ navigation more efficient. As easy-to-understand URLs are more likely to earn clicks and help search engines crawl your site, URLs should contain keywords that reflect the pages they are directed to. URLs, using your primary keyword for that page and not using redundant words, should also be fairly short.
This is where pillar pages for marketers have come into play more recently, with some website pages dedicated to popular topics that your prospects are looking for and linking all related pages back to that pillar as well. Consider that you want to build pillar pages dedicated to applications for say automotive, medical, and consumer injection molding. You can tailor your content and URL strategy specifically to those pillars with your pillars identified, link all related content back to the main pillar page, and help you boost your searchability on those subjects.
Another important factor in on-page SEO is the internal linking of related pages on your website. Linking to various relevant pages on your website makes everything easier for search engines to crawl, and it also keeps visitors involved for longer.
Breadcrumbs are navigational aids that inform visitors to the website where they are on your site and help Google understand your website structure as well. Typically, a small text path at the top of a page, a breadcrumb, indicates where the user is, with each step clickable. Breadcrumbs appear in the Google search results giving users’ a clarity of where the page is located on your site.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to the factors of page ranking that occur off your website, like backlinks from another site. It also includes your methods of promotion, taking into account, for example, the amount of exposure something gets on social media.
Off-page SEO Factors:
The number and quality of backlinks to your website is undoubtedly the biggest off-page SEO factor. The more sites that link to your content, the more Google grants your site domain authority, boosting your ranking. This has led advertisers to attempt questionable paid link-building strategies, but you can take several organic approaches that produce efficient outcomes, such as:
The text of the backlink anchor is very significant, too. This is why most companies do not have a problem with their brand name rankings. The anchor text will contain most of their names. When you want to rank for a specific keyword, you really want the keyword to be included in that anchor text.
Measured on a scale of 1-100, to determine the strength of your website, your domain authority is a number given to you by search engines. Think of it essentially as a grade. In the search results, websites with a higher domain authority gain preference, while websites with a lower domain authority are more likely to rank close to the bottom.
A few different factors measure domain authority, including how long you’ve had your domain name (the longer the better), the domain name history, the number of backlinks, and the number of 404 pages. You can maximize your domain authority and enhance your ranking by ensuring you have a technically sound website that follows the SEO best practices.
While page ranking is not directly linked to a social media post’s interaction, social posts that generate a lot of clicks will definitely help boost site traffic and generate a ton of link shares.
Sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and other review sites online reviews help boost local SEO because they revolve around where you are. Looking for IT services in your area, for example, brings up local listings. If they do not serve your area, then there’s no point in showing you an IT management company. Consider citations for NAP (Name, Address, Phone) as well.
PPC (Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
Of course! You start thinking, this is more about SEO. Honestly, SEO is a part of a good Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaign. You have to get visitors when your website is still getting off the ground, and PPC can help with that. It generates more traffic to your site if you have good content that you promote with PPC, resulting in more backlinks to your site and other forms of ranking variables.
On-page and off-page SEO work together to enhance the ranking of search engines. You will be well on your way to earning backlinks, improving your domain authority, and controlling your off-page SEO by working on what you can control today — producing quality content that is supported by on-page SEO of high quality.
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