What is on page SEO and off page SEO?
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a process of getting your website listed within the organic section of Google by conducting various activities without using paid traffic. Why would you want to invest your time and energy and money into SEO in the first place?
To find out check out my video below or keep reading for the full blog.
For starters you don’t need to pay each time somebody visits your website. You’re at the mercy of Google’s algorithm to determine who gets listed for a particular search and what position they get listed in. SEO is an inbound strategy, i.e people who are looking for your products or services, as opposed to outbound strategy, whereby you’re trying to reach out to people in order to promote your website.
Secondly you can get clicks to your website, using more precise keywords, otherwise known as long tail keywords. For example, if someone’s looking for a TV, one of your keywords could be best 40 inch Smart TV. With SEO, you would pick up these types of long tail keywords. The other advantage of SEO is that you get long term rankings. Which means you can be on the first page of a search engine such as Google for years and years to come by putting minimal effort into maintaining that listing.
How do you get your website listed within the organic section of search engine such as Google in the first place? The simple answer is you need to conduct a series of on page SEO activities as well as off page SEO activities. Both are equally as important. I’m going to go into detail about each one of these to give you a bit of a flavour of what both consist of and what the difference is.
On page SEO
Also known as on-site SEO. These are changes that you make to your website so that when a search engine visits your website, the search engines are better able to understand not just what your website is about it, but what specific pages on your website are about. For example, if you have a page about the best 40 inch Smart TV, when a search engine visits that page, they must instantly know what that page is about. In this way, search engines are better able to match what the user has searched for and see if your page is the most suitable fit, which a search engine can serve to that user.
I’m going to discuss with you a few different ways of conducting on page SEO. Do remember, this is not a comprehensive guide on how to optimise your website that will save for another time. This will give you an idea of the difference between on page SEO and off page SEO. To start with it’s imperative for each one of your products or services to decide on your keywords. What I mean by that is for each of your products or services, it’s important to know what the keywords are and what could be your main primary focused keywords that you’re going to be using to target those pages or sections of your website. You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, or Ubersuggest to research your keywords and to find the best suitable keywords which you can then start promoting.
Now your title tags are what is shown on the Google search engine results pages, otherwise known as SERPs when a user conducts a search. These are the clickable links that you see. People can read them and decide whether they want to click on that link or not. It’s important to make sure that you have a well-constructed title page that contains your main keyword within it. I usually have your main keyword or keywords towards the start of your title tag, as opposed to the end of your title tag. Title tags are typically between 55 and 60 characters, that’s a good length to have for a title tag. At the same time please avoid keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is using the example of a smart TV. If you put Smart TV everywhere on that page. That’s not a good idea because you’re not giving the user a good experience. You will be caught out and Google will soon know that all you’re doing is just spamming keywords.
Make sure you have got good headings within your pages especially with new key pages for your products, or services. In terms of on page SEO, they are known as H tags, H tags range from h1, to h2, h3, and so on. h1 being your most important title. For example, if you’ve got a page for Best 40 Inch Smart TV, then your H1 tag could be Best 40 Inch Smart TV. Think of these as main and subtitles for your pages. If you’re using a good editor, like WordPress or Shopify, you can easily highlight your text and just simply choose that as your h1 tag, or h2 tag or h3 tag and so on. It’s good practice to aim for one h1 tag, and multiple h2 or h3 tags,
Your page content is what users will see when they visit your page. Not only will users see what page content you have, but also search engines will come and read your pages to determine the quality of that page when assessing its ranking. In other words, what position you want to appear at. It’s important to have good quality content, make it useful and educational. Have a reasonable amount of content, I always advise to have at least 500 words on your page. If you can have more than that great but have 500 as absolute minimum. This will help when search engines are reading your page, they better understand what that page is all about. Use keywords. Make sure that your most important keywords are at the top of your content or towards the top of your content. Finally, make sure your content is unique. Don’t just go to another website and copy their content because you will get caught out.
With images again, this is something that search engines will read to understand what your image is about. It’s important to use alt tags within the images. Alt tags are what search engines will read, basically alternative text. If you have an image about a 40 inch Smart TV, make sure you put an alt tag on it for 40 inch Smart TV. Then, even if a user has disabled his images for faster load times, they will still be able to read that what the image was supposed to be in the first place.
Other types of considerations for unpaid optimization are areas like duplicate content. Make sure every single content within your website page is unique. This starts from your title tag, do meta descriptions to the actual page content itself, optimise your URL structure. If possible, put some of your main keywords within your URL itself. This, again, is helping Google to better understand what these pages are about.
Ensure every page has a good, well written meta description. Your meta description is not a ranking factor within Google but it will certainly help to determine whether the user clicks on your listing or not. Just take note that if you use a meta description, it does not mean to say that Google will use it, or any other search engine will use it. It will just help to influence what they use and whether they use it or not, or even if they use parts of your meta description.
That’s a summary about on-page optimization. Now I’m going to tell you a little bit about off page optimization or off page SEO to help you better understand the differences between the two.
Off-page SEO are the activities that are conducted outside your website, which then influence search engines such as Google to determine how they rank your website. Essentially, we’re trying to provide quality links and references to your website by other website platforms or other blogs and so on. A few examples of some off page SEO activities that you can conduct.
Guest Posting is whereby you reach out to other webmasters requesting their permission to write a blog on their website with a reference to your own website or a page on your website. It can be a tedious process to go through but if you can find webmasters who have got a well-established blog or website, this could then pay you dividends. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog generate an average of 97% more inbound links and 55% more site visitors.
Create good quality, shareable infographics. This is a brilliant way for the lifetime of your infographic to be continually shared by people who find it of use. As a result of that you’re constantly getting inbound links to your website or references back to your website. Again, you’ve created an infographic, which people are finding useful they’ll share it on other platforms as well or, or to other users.
Take advantage of broken links. A lot of websites have broken links, that might have blogs, which might point to a website or a page, which no longer exists. Use processes to find these broken links, then approach the webmasters and make them aware they’ve got a blog with a broken link and would they mind if I redirect that link to my website instead. What you’ll find is that webmasters will be open to this, because it’s making the quality of their blog a lot better, because they’re not having broken links on their blog. One word of caution just make sure that you’re constantly approaching quality and relevant blogs. Don’t just go to anyone. I’d rather you have a few good inbound quality, relevant links, rather than lots of links, which are of no value or they’re not in within your industry sector, because they’re not going to benefit you.
Every time you write a good piece of content, or you’ve got a good page on your website. Discussing it on social media, keep it active on social media. Although your posts may not require links to your website, or page itself, your bio page or your contact details will have your link to your website. Therefore, indirectly, you will be benefiting from this and you are sending signals to platforms such as Google of people who are going from your social media to your content. Google is looking at all of this to see what type of visitors you’re getting and how long they are staying on your website, and so on. What the bounce rate is, there are so many metrics it uses to determine the quality of the links that you’re getting. So, stay active on social media and promote your blogs, your content or your services regularly. If you’re thinking about what type of content to write for your social media, then use tools such as Buzzsumo. With Buzzsumo, you can see what are the trending topics that have a lot of engagement or what are the most searched for content. You can use that to your advantage by modelling that and producing more content for your own platforms.
Here’s the conclusion.
What is the most important, on page SEO or off page SEO? Short answer is both. You cannot do one without the other. In order to do good SEO, you need to conduct both activities on a continual basis. You need to make sure that your website is well optimised all the time. If you’ve got good quality content which is constantly being fed to websites. You’re not just creating content or leaving it alone. Your constantly creating new, fresh content and optimising at the same time. Likewise, you’re conducting off page activities in order to get quality inbound links which are organically grown so you’re not going to link farms or you’re not paying for these links. You’re writing content and sharing content which people are going to naturally share because they find it of use. Avoid buying links, avoid any dodgy quick win link building strategies because eventually you will get penalised for these just provide quality content and quality user experience. You’ve got to remember; SEO is a long term strategy there are no real quick wins. Consistency is the key.
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