When it comes to search engine optimisation, even just navigating the terminology can be a bit complicated for newcomers. The process of improving a website’s search engine ranking is filled with many different measures that range from those that can be addressed in just a few minutes to other, long-term efforts that require more time to show results.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the differences between on-page SEO and off-page SEO, and what you should be doing to handle both.
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What Is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to all the tactics involved in optimising individual web pages to rank higher in search engine results pages.
On-page ranking factors have a huge impact on your entire site ranking, and the most notable ones are:
This is what makes your page relevant to a search query, and can even determine its position. It’s basically what the user is looking for in the first place, so of course, the page content is essential for search engines. Creating high-quality content, therefore, becomes a huge priority in your SEO strategy.
But what does high-quality content look like? Well, it’s essentially content that answers all the burning questions your audience members may have. You need to conduct a bit of research to see what are the main topics that your potential audience wants to learn more about or needs information on, then answer these questions through the content on your site.
Content can come in all forms, from blog posts to product or service description that gets ahead of the search queries.
You can use title tags, meta descriptions, and image descriptions to provide more information to search engines about your content, and leverage your most important keywords.
To find your keywords, you need to do a bit of keyword research, using Google’s Keyword Planner or another keyword tool available online. Through this process, you can identify a few search terms that are worth optimising for in your site, throughout your content as well as metadata.
Keyword research is especially important for local SEO purposes, as you need to discover what words your local audience might be using to look for businesses like yours.
Your site structure is essential to ensure search engine crawlers can quickly scan your site, and to allow users to use your site without problems. Focusing on URL structure is another issue that needs to be addressed in your on-page SEO strategy.
A good URL structure looks something like this:
This structure is easy to understand both by users and web crawlers, and it makes your site simple to navigate.
User experience refers to how well your website meets certain expectations regarding the look and feel of your website.
First, we have the design of the site. While looks aren’t everything, there are some key issues in website design that have to do with readability, meaning a user’s ability to consume the content on your site without problems. For this, you need to consider:
- A good font
- A pleasant colour palette
- The spacing
- White spaces
- Page sectioning, etc.
Then, there are the technical aspects that allow users to fully utilize the site:
- Fast loading speed
- No broken links
- Functional buttons, visible anchor texts, etc.
By concentrating on these key issues, you can address most of your on-site SEO needs. Now is time to move on to the methods that are off-page SEO factors.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO tactics are some of the most complex efforts of the overall search engine optimisation strategy. That’s because they refer to all the activities you do outside of your site to ensure you will rank higher in the search engine results pages.
The major strategy in this sense is building links, specifically backlinks. While internal links (the ones that help users navigate the different web pages of your site) are part of your on-SEO efforts, link-building tactics are meant to get the attention of other websites.
A backlink is the type of hyperlink someone else uses to link to your website. Search engines look at the number and quality of your backlink profile to determine your position in the SERPs. The more backlinks you have from high-quality sites, the better regarded you are as a brand and website by both search engines and users.
Building backlinks is a long-term process that cannot be rushed, though you can support these efforts through a good strategy that contains:
- High-quality content that makes others in your industry take notice of your work, and quote you;
- Taking part in offline events, donating to charity, and becoming more known in your community outside of your business activity;
- Guest posting on reputable blogs or news sites;
- Collaborating with other brands or influencers;
- Taking part in interviews, podcasts;
- Promoting your content and activity on social media, and to journalists, bloggers, or local news, etc.
All these activities can help increase the number of brand mentions you have. A brand mention is simply an instance where someone mentions your brand. And, whenever someone mentions a brand online, they usually provide a link to your website too.
These link building tactics take a while to show results, but they are also the only way to get natural links, and not forced ones that Google can tell exist just to add to your backlink profile.
On-page and off-page SEO work together to improve your site’s position in the SERP, and one cannot exist without the other if you truly want to see the success you’re hoping for.
We at Australian Internet Advertising are here to assist Sydney businesses with all their SEO needs. If you want to work with us, reach out now for more information!