In today’s world, the more people see your website on the search engine results page (SERP), the easier it is to attract new customers. And search engine optimization (SEO) is key to increasing your page’s ranking on Google and other search engines. However, SEO involves technical aspects and is one of the most complex areas of digital marketing. So, setting up a solid search engine optimization strategy for your business is crucial to its success.
An effective SEO strategy is generally divided into two groups:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
In on-page SEO, you optimize aspects of a website within your control, while in off-page SEO, you generate backlinks from other websites and create content to enhance a website’s domain.
By understanding both on-page and off-page SEO, you will be able to enhance your content’s ranking potential. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss on-page and off-page SEO so you understand the foundations of both.
Let’s get to it.
What Is On-Page SEO?
The term “on-page SEO” refers to all the techniques you can employ on a website to ensure that it will rank on a search engine results page. With on-page SEO optimization, you improve the content and technical elements of a page, resulting in more relevant traffic.
To increase your page ranking, you can optimize many technical aspects of your webpage with on-page SEO, including:
- URL structure
- Meta descriptions
- Title tags
- Image alt text
- Internal links
- Site speed
Best Techniques for Improving On-Page SEO
The following are best practices for on-page SEO to help you achieve and deliver the best results.
Generate Quality Content
Regardless of your SEO campaign’s goals, it’s important to remember that content is king. You can optimize your keywords, descriptions, and internal links all you want, but nobody will visit if your on-page content is not good. Your site will rank better if you create quality content with proper keyword targeting since search engines use this to determine if you’re going to meet the needs of those searching for answers.
Research and Incorporate Keywords
Keywords help you find the right visitors at the right time because they can be incorporated into all of the technical elements of your on-page strategy. An effective keyword strategy requires careful research and selection and must be integrated into the content naturally.
Having great title tags is one of the most important on-page SEO factors after your actual content on the page. Title tags refer to the title of a webpage or the heading you see in the SERP. You should add a unique title tag for each page containing a keyword describing what it is about and should be under 60 characters long.
Include a Meta Description
Meta descriptions are brief descriptions found below the URL on search engine results pages. In addition to describing the content on the page, it also aids your web page in ranking in search engine results. To ensure your entire description appears in search results, keep the outline under 155 characters.
Add Alt Text
The alt text is the word or phrase that is associated with a picture file to ensure it gets indexed and search engines can understand what it is since they cannot see images.
Here are some tips on how to use on-page SEO with ALT text:
- The alt text should describe the image content
- Where possible, incorporate the target keyword naturally
- Your image description should not exceed 8-10 words
- You should have at least one image on the page for each main keyword you are targeting
URLs refer to the page located on a website, displayed in the browser’s address bar. A search engine-friendly URL is a ranking factor in on-page SEO. It plays an important role in determining whether a page is relevant to a search query, so they should describe the page’s content.
Here are some good URL structure tips:
- It is best to start the URL with the keyword you are trying to target.
- The URL should not contain more than one keyword.
- Shorten URLs as much as possible.
- The URL should use dashes between words, not underscores.
Search engines can better understand a web page’s content if it contains Structured Data (or Schema Markup). Some search engines also use structured Data to display “rich results” in their SERPs.
Add Schema Markup to your web pages with one of the many WordPress plugins (free and paid). However, Google prefers structured data that uses schema.org vocabulary and recommends using JSON-LD. Additionally, you can test your code using the Google Rich Results testing tool.
Internal link building is another element of on-page SEO that should not be overlooked. Search engines will also have an easier time crawling your site if it has links to various relevant pages.
Bounce rates increase when pages take a long time to load or don’t render correctly on mobile devices.
Optimize your Headings
You should pay attention to your headings since they assist search engines in navigating your site. A page should only have one H1 and then subheadings ― H2 to H6. Make headings keyword-optimized, but don’t stuff them full of keywords.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to the ranking factors that happen off your websites, such as backlinks from other websites, your domain’s authority, your promotion methods, and social media exposure.
The purpose of off-page SEO is to get as many endorsements from other sites that are associated with your business as possible. The more mentions of your brand name and quality links pointing to your website, the more valuable your content will appear to computer algorithms.
Best Techniques for Improving Off-Page SEO
Here are some best practices for off-page SEO that can help you achieve and deliver great results.
Build Quality Backlinks
Off-page SEO is largely determined by the number and quality of backlinks that point to your site. A website’s domain authority increases if more sites link to its content. However, getting quality links isn’t so easy. Due to this, marketers have adopted risky paid link-building practices, but several organic approaches can produce effective results, such as:
- Guest blogging
- Publication in industry trade journals
- Contacting others in the industry who might be interested in sharing your content
- Participating in podcasts as a guest
- Joining an industry forum or community
- Hosting events
- Contribute to the reporting process
- Press Releases
It is also important to pay attention to the anchor text of backlinks. The reason most companies rank well for their brand is because of this. The anchor text will usually contain their name. A keyword must appear in the anchor text if you wish to rank for that keyword.
Increase Domain Authority
Domain authority is a number determined by search engines to determine the strength of your website, measured on a scale of 1-100. It is essentially a grade for your site. It is more likely that a website with a higher domain authority will rank near the top of the search results, while a website with a lower domain authority will rank near the bottom.
There are many factors that contribute to domain authority, including how long the name has been around, how many backlinks are attached to it, and also how many 404 pages there are. The best way to maximize your domain authority and improve your ranking is to ensure your website is technically sound and follows SEO best practices.
Increase Page Authority
Each web page on a domain is rated according to its Page Authority (or PA). Search engines are more likely to return a web page in organic search results if the value is high.
Improving a website’s link profile is the best way to increase its Page Authority. In order to achieve this, you need to get backlinks from other high-authority pages, which serve as “votes of confidence” for your page’s authority.
Invest in Social Promotions
Despite the fact that page ranking is not linked to social interactions, social posts that generate lots of clicks will certainly drive traffic and links to the page. It is recommended to develop a separate (and complementary) social media strategy for building a brand on social media. The posts and pages you create on social media can appear in search results, contributing to off-page SEO.
Don’t Forget Local SEO
The Google My Business (GMB) feature makes it easy for businesses to provide important information directly to the search engine. The company’s location, its services, its contact information, and its opening hours are included in this information. Similarly, Google uses GMB to populate results for Google Maps searches and the Google local pack. For local businesses that rely on traffic from a particular geography, it’s an essential off-page SEO factor.
Utilize Google Maps’ off-page and local SEO techniques by setting up your GMB listing. However, all your information should be accurate, and you should make sure that your phone number, address, and email address are consistent across all platforms.
On-page SEO and off-page SEO both play an equally important role in helping you increase your site rankings. A good off-page SEO signal is necessary for on-page SEO to work. By combining these two strategies, you can build a more powerful and well-rounded SEO campaign. However, SEO best practices are constantly evolving, with web user and online consumer behavior changing constantly. To meet users’ needs, you can create a strategy that targets a wider audience and attract more visitors using both on-page and off-page SEO.