Search engine optimization continues to provide great value for business people who are also website owners. As a website owner, your focus should be on your core business to ensure you do your best in the field you are familiar with. However, this does not mean that you completely ignore what you don’t know. It is often recommended that you delegate what you don’t know to an expert or ask for advice from professionals who are familiar with that field or topic. When it comes to SEO, the story is no different; you can ask for advice from experts or better yet delegate the whole task to a St. Louis SEO expert with the skills, knowledge and experience to get the job done. Search engine optimization is scary to those who don’t know the exact steps they need to follow to rank their fresh content on top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). However, with just a basic understanding of the concept of SEO, both on-page and off-page, you can be way ahead of the competition. Below is the ultimate guide to on-page and off-page SEO.
On Page SEO
On-page SEO refers to all activities that take place within your website to boost its search engine rankings. Note that if you write as a guest blogger who writes a post for another website or blog then that would be considered off-page SEO but if you use specific keywords and provide fresh content that your audience finds useful then that would be considered on-page SEO. Therefore, it is important to know and understand the difference.
It is also important to understand how search works. For instance, Google’s search works by placing more emphasis on keywords being the same as the search query. A good indicator that a piece of information is relevant is when a webpage has the same keywords as the search query. That means that if keywords are on the webpage or in the headings or body of the webpage text, then the information provided is likely to be relevant. Therefore, the importance of keyword matches cannot be overemphasized. Simple keyword matching can make a big difference in the search engine results, although Google also uses other aggregated and anonymized interaction data when assessing whether search results match the queries. Even though Google has become much better than it used to be back in the day, the search engine still uses old tactics such as keyword matching for specific keywords on a webpage. An analysis of Google search results reveals a strong correlation between keyword-rich title tags and first-page rankings. Searching for a competitive keyword also reveals that the top ranking pages use the exact keyword found in the title tag.
However, content creators should understand there is more to on-page SEO than simply crowding keywords in your webpage’s HTML. Cramming too many keywords on a single page can be regarded as keyword spamming by Google. So, it should be done carefully to avoid being penalized by Google. To rank your content for Google and other search engines, you also need to optimize it for page load speed, user experience (UX), search intent, bounce rate, click-through rate and dwell time. Therefore, you should always optimize your content for SEO.
Optimizing your content for SEO
Once you’ve seen what on-page SEO is, you should know how to optimize your content for SEO. You should optimize all your webpages for search engines by using your target keywords within the first 100 words of your content. This may be an old-school on-page SEO technique but it is still relevant today. Just ensure you use your target keywords within the first 100-150 words of your blog or article. This is because Google and other search engines place more weight on keywords and terms that appear early in your webpage. Dropping your keyword within the first 100 words of your content lets Google know right away what your page is all about and can index it accordingly.
Your post title should be wrapped in an H1 Tag and subheadings in H2 tags
H1 tags are the large headings of your post that let your audience know right away what the post is all about. Google has made it clear that using the H1 tag helps it understand how the webpage is structured. While you don’t really have to use the H1 tag to rank favorably on Google, it helps the search engine understand how your page is structured, just as much as it helps users. You should also include your chosen keyword in one or more of the subheadings and ensure you wrap the said subheading in an H2 tag. Although it might not make much of a difference it surely does help. Other on-page SEO techniques to consider include keyword frequency, which refers to the number of times a keyword is used. Using a keyword many times helps but be careful not to use it too many times to the point where Google considers it keyword spamming. Mentioning a keyword once in an article may not be as effective as mentioning it a few times throughout the article. You should strive to use a keyword once every 100 words. You should also optimize your URLs for SEO by making them short and including a keyword in every URL. You can also optimize your title and description tags, as searchers use it to decide on the results to click on.
Off Page SEO
Of-page SEO encompasses all the activities done away from your website to increase the ranking of your webpage with search engines. While many people think that search engine optimization is just about links, it is actually more than that. One aspect of off page SEO that does not involve links is brand mentions on other sites without hyperlinks. If another website mentions your brand on their website, you could get traffic from that site without them necessarily sharing a link to your website or brand. Potential customers are likely to search for and find your brand online. Smart content marketers often start their search engine optimization with on page SEO, but this should not just be limited to on-page SEO because to a larger extent Google also considers things that happen away from a website. While you may not spend as much time on off-page SEO as you do on-page because your marketing goals may favor the latter, the former is equally important if you want to make good use of search engine optimization as an online marketing tool. According to research conducted by Moz, website owners spend close to 30% of their time on off-page SEO and the remaining 70% on on-page SEO.
Off-page is important because it informs Google just what others think of your website. It lets Google know how much value your website provides to the marketplace. While off-page SEO is not just about links and that brand mentions also play a role in the same, links are crucial in boosting traffic to your site. Having several links that point back to your website lets Google know that others value your content. A lot of links make Google assume that others find great value in what you have to offer to the extent that they have to share it with their own audiences. Otherwise, why would people randomly link to your content if it’s a waste of their time? Often, people only cite and share content they find valuable and like and would also like others to appreciate. Backlinking can be equated to word of mouth referrals in a brick-and-mortar business, as people are likely to refer others to products they find useful and affordable.
Backlinks are the backbone of off-page SEO and the more backlinks you have the better for your website. However, remember that the quality of backlinks is more important than quantity and so you’d rather have fewer high-quality backlinks than numerous low-quality ones. Don’t get it wrong, several high-quality links are, of course, better. Authority links from websites related to yours can make a big difference.
This is another popular off-page SEO technique that never gets old. Email marketing statistics have proven that the tactic is here to stay. Start by building an email list of potential and actual customers before you start using the strategy. Email marketing has often been used as an efficient and more affordable way to reach out to potential customers and get them hooked on a product or service offering. The majority of email marketers claim this technique is their primary lead generation channel.
Strategic guest posting
Guest posting or guest blogging can be helpful in several different ways. To begin with, it places your brand before an entirely new different audience. It also helps with unlinked brand mentions which, while they may not be as powerful as backlinks, can still be useful in letting other people know about your brand. Lastly, your guest posts can help you build links. Guest post backlinks can significantly boost your rankings, especially when done in small, high-quality doses. However, this can only be useful when you do guest posting on websites in the same industry as your brand, but they don’t have to be in the exact niche in order to work.
Have a presence on YouTube
Generating brand signals is an underrated yet effective off-page SEO tactic and using YouTube is one of the ways to take advantage of brand signals, which Google uses to determine whether a website or brand is legit. Using YouTube marketing can boost your website’s brand signals, especially those branded searches. First, your videos have the potential to get in front of several people, which you can clearly tell based on the number of views. Putting your brand in front of many people means more people are talking about you and writing about or covering your brand online. Besides, having real social media accounts that people know about and follow can add some credibility to your brand. When people see your videos on YouTube, they are likely to search for your brand to find out more about what you do. Just ensure you put links in the description to redirect people to your brand when they finally decide to find out more about your brand.
This is the ultimate guide to on-page and off-page SEO you can use to better online marketing strategies. If you want help with search engine optimization, be sure to consult an SEO expert with extensive skills and experience in the industry.