SEO: On-Page and Off-Page 101
November 23, 2023
What is happening inside your website is just as important as how things are around it. The main goal of SEO is to make your website stand out, get higher rankings on search engines and create a wider range of target audience.
The main goal of SEO is to improve the inner-workings of your website and deem it worthy for the as one of the best results for searches. This will increase website traffic and improve website sales / conversions
To make this happen, putting in On-page and Off-page SEO efforts is crucial.
Difference between On-Page and Off-Page
On-page elements let the search engine understand your site. However, you obviously won’t rank high without credibility, and that is where off-page seo helps you. It enhances your credibility and exposure by establishing your authority outside of your website.
In simple words, on-page SEO represents your website while off-page SEO promotes it.
Coming from the word “ON-PAGE”, this refers to the internal practices done to optimize a website and rank higher on search engines. It covers the factors you can control within your website, meaning it occurs on the website itself.
Search engines choose the best sites for its users and on-page SEO is a major factor of it. In this part, you are ensuring that Google understands what your site is all about. This makes sure that it can be crawled and indexed.
Essentials for On-Page SEO
The kinds of content you publish on your page will tell Google about what kind of website you have. These have to be useful and of your readers’ interest. Pick the best content type and content format you’re producing according to their search intent and give them what they’re looking for.
Take note that these must align with Google’s E-A-T Guidelines.
It’s always good to do keyword research and feature the right sets of words and phrases your audience speaks. Getting your audience to visit your website is what you need, and you obviously can’t accomplish this if you don’t speak their “language”.
From building your site, to identifying good landing pages, and creating outstanding content, keyword research must first be conducted.
You can use various tools for this such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, KWFinder, and Moz.
Using videos, images, and infographics helps a lot in boosting your SEO more than you know. These make your page more interesting and keep your visitor stay longer.
Title tags are the first thing the readers notice upon scrolling on the search engine results pages and it influences their decision to click on a page or not. It’s important that this element is brief, unique, and relevant. Read more about the best practices in optimizing title tags.
These tags let the search engines know how your content is relevant to the users’ search query. Therefore, it’s also important for your on-page SEO.
Meta descriptions are the brief summaries that appear beneath the title tags on search engine results pages. Just like the title tag, this has an impact on users’ decision on whether to click on your page or scroll to a more interesting one.
It’s also important to mention that Meta Descriptions don’t affect your standing in search engines. It’s mostly for affirming the reader that your page is the content for them.
Google recommends just short, meaningful terms.
In this case, the reader is taken to a different page on your website by clicking a hyperlinked text.
Internal linking is mainly intended to have your user keep on reading / going through your website. One interesting article leads to another, which is appreciated by both your reader and search engines.
You’re basically crafting an experience by leading your reader from one page to another. Example:
- How to make fresh pasta
- How to make spaghetti pasta
- How to make spaghetti from fresh tomatoes
- Best pasta brands
Imagine how far and wide this can go for the reader instead of having a binary setup of having a reader merely go through one article and leave your website immediately after.
If internal linking is leading others to other pages in your website, external linking is citing others’ content. It’s simply not hoarding and restricting their attention on your website.
Also known as outbound links, or the links on your website that transfers your readers to a page on another website. It creates value to your readers and builds trust with them when you also talk about others and their content.
How long people spend time going through your website is also a criteria on good SEO. It’s natural that sites that create good content get the most attention and engagement. It’s about making people stay and read.
It’s common knowledge that whether visitors are using desktop or mobile devices to access your website, page speed plays a significant role in SEO. This also influences the readers’ decision as well whether to stay on your site longer or not.
You may use Google’s Page Speed Tool to check your website’s performance.
When a query is entered, this short yet insightful statement appears on top of the results page and gives a summary of basically what the searcher is looking for. This is a crucial factor that can either drive users to click on your website or go to another that is more appealing.
Here’s a guide on how a Featured Snippet is set.
Last but not the least, Schema Markup. This lets the search engine find and understand content easier through codes. It makes the content stand out on the SERPs and improves your website’s click-through rate.
Off-Page SEO refers to the external practices you do to improve search engine rankings. It’s for sure that you would want your site to be talked about in other places beyond your control. You want to increase popularity and build your site’s reputation, right? This is literally what off-page SEO aims to do.
Unlike in on-page SEO, you have lesser control over your off-page SEO as it happens outside your page. The most popular example of it is building links. Your rankings will absolutely increase when you establish a huge number of backlinks from different high quality sites, and these pages can also transfer some of their authority to you.
A successful SEO strategy is clearly impossible without off-page SEO so let’s talk about it further.
Essentials for Off-Page SEO
Link building refers to creating/inserting links on other websites that point to your own site. Whenever you’re reading a blog or an article online, you scroll on it and see hyperlinked text in between paragraphs. When you click on these texts, it transfers you to a different page or a different website. These links are known as backlinks. Note that these can be natural or self-acquired links. And while it’s great to have lots of these, it’s important that they’re from high-authority sites.
There are different ways to build these backlinks but here are some of the most common link building strategies you probably heard about before:
In link building, guest posts are one of the most popular ways to get your backlinks posted on relevant websites. Through this, you can promote your website based on how you want to promote it, you get to write about it, and place your backlink at the most perfect location in the article. But it’s important to remember that it does not work one-way. While you’re writing to advertise your site, be sure to also contribute to the website you’re advertising at, and the article you submit to them must align with your and their website’s niche.
Instead of writing and posting a whole article, you may just simply find a relevant existing article on their website and find a part where you may insert your backlink into.
Broken Link Building
Another way to earn backlinks is through replacing existing broken links placed in some articles with your backlink. You may use the tools in SEMrush and Ahrefs to identify these broken links. Once you’ve located them, you can report them to the webmaster and suggest a relevant page from your website as a substitute.
HARO Link Building
HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, is a recently made popular link-building strategy that lets writers and journalists connect with informed sources. So basically, bloggers, influencers, and experts share their knowledge when journalists seek input for their articles which facilitates connections with major media outlets. And this procedure is beneficial for SEO since it enables users to obtain backlinks from reliable sources that are of high quality.
Take note of these things:
- Linking to high-authority sites is a must.
- Unique domains make a difference.
- Only consider relevant sites.
SEMrush, Ahrefs, Hunter, and HARO are a few off-page SEO tools you can use for link building.
This strategy plays an important role in SEO and it’s actually one of the most popular techniques that professionals do. It helps you increase your website’s organic traffic, ranking, and credibility. You will find this process easier to grasp if you have gone through these SEO Key Terms. There are several terms that you may come across and find unclear.
Simply put, people refering/citing/pointing to your content is an
indicator to search engines that your page’s content
is good and will naturally be among the top searches.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are another useful channel to increase your content reach. While social media links to your website do not directly impact your SEO, it definitely helps in building reputation and credibility towards your readers.
Social platforms can give you more clicks to your content and valuable backlinks from platforms with high domain authority (DA). By staying consistent with your social media strategies and keeping an eye to algorithm updates you can increase the rank of your profiles in the search engine results pages.
Moreover, sharing relevant materials on social media platforms makes it more visible and improves the possibility that others will share and link to it.
Spend some time locating forums that discuss topics that are relevant to your niche. Build your connection and participate in discussions to drive traffic towards your website. Regular participation in forum posting can get you a variety of high-quality backlinks as well as an increase in your search engine ranking.
Posting on forums is a good way to boost your off-page SEO and get a wider range of audience for your brand. While there are tons of forums on the internet such as Quora and Reddit, it’s your job to find the ones that can help you.
Forum links to your site also doesn’t directly affect your ranking, but is great for reputation building as a good source of information.
In the ever dynamic world of SEO, “it takes two to tango”. You don’t get to choose which to prioritize between off-page and on-page SEO as these two complement each other. If one is weak, it affects the whole effort. It’s like a well-balanced meal where On-Page is the main course as it provides the substance and core flavors of your meal, while Off-Page is the garnish and sauces which add depth and flavors to the main course. Your meal won’t taste good if one of them is missing.