So you have begun – or are in the process of – trying to get your website more visible on search engines. More likely than not, SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) has come under your radar, followed next by “on-page” and “off-page” SEO sub-categories. What are on-page (also known as “on-site”) and off-page SEO? What are the differences between on-page and off-page SEO? How can on-page and off-page SEO help your website outrank other similar websites competing for prime spots on search engine results pages (SERPs)?
Keep reading to learn more about on-page and off-page SEO and the differences between the two.
What Is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO (also referred to as “on-site” SEO) is the optimizations performed within your website such as: keyword usage, content relevancy, headings, and much more! When building your website, creating new content, or simply optimizing for SEO, combining the following optimization techniques listed below will help improve your on-page SEO performance.
Keywords are the terms that people use to search for things on search engines. For example, someone seeking information about a marketing agency in NJ would search the keyword “marketing agency in nj”. The results from this search would include organic (non-advertising) results from websites that have optimized for these specific keywords. Therefore, for your website to rank higher on search engines’ results pages (SERP), you will need to create a keyword strategy on your website to propel your site to the top of the SERP where more people will see it. (Did you know that less than 5% of people will even go to the second page of a SERP?)
What does a keyword strategy entail? Generally speaking, once you’ve done some research and learned about how people would potentially search for your website, you should incorporate these keywords throughout your website! This includes headings, titles – even your URL! One of the easiest ways to incorporate keywords naturally is through blog posts. One great thing about blog posts is that, if you publish regularly, this ALSO helps with your on-page SEO! One tip: be careful not to overuse keywords (aka “keyword stuffing”) as many search engines actually frown upon this.
Headings are one of the most important on-page SEO ranking factors you should consider when optimizing your website. More than any other text on your website, search engines value headings the most. Tip: remember who you are writing your website for… yourself? Or a potential audience searching the web? Think about what a user may be typing in the search engine.
Similar to headings, titles and title tags are also a key ingredient of your on-page SEO strategy. This is another great place to implement those keywords that you worked hard on researching and prioritizing.
As our world becomes more and more accessible, search engines are prioritizing websites that are more accessible to those with disabilities. Alt text is not only a way to make your site more usable for everyone, but it is also a great way to optimize your on-page SEO. What is alt text? Alt text is essentially a text summary of images on your website. Another opportunity for – drum roll, please – keywords, alt text should be keyword-rich while concise while accurately describing an image.
Yes, website load speed is also a factor that should be considered when optimizing your on-page SEO. Why? Most people will spend only under three seconds before exiting a page that does not load quickly enough, and that number will only continue to decrease lower and lower.
If your website is not loading quickly enough, it is not only frowned upon by Google, but it will also increase your website’s bounce rate! Website load speed should not be overlooked – ensure you continue optimizing your site for speed.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
While on-page SEO includes optimizations occurring right on your website, “off-page” SEO (aka off-site SEO) are optimizations that happen externally, like on other websites that link to your website. Here are some examples of off-page SEO:
Backlinking is the term for when another website links to your website, and it is the most important element of off-page SEO. Another form of backlinking is contributing as a guest blogger, because you can typically link to your website in your post. The premise behind backlinks is that it helps your website establish credibility.
One way to increase your backlinks (besides guest blogging, like mentioned above), is to just create content that people actually want to read or to use. If people find your content interesting, they will be more likely to publish it on their own blogs or social media accounts! Win-win!
Another form of backlinking, sending out press releases is another great way to boost your off-page SEO. By sending out a press release anytime you have something newsworthy to share with your niche, news sites will likely link back to your website!
Other Forms of Off-Page SEO:
Social media will not necessarily increase your search ranking, however it is a great source of backlinking like mentioned earlier. YouTube is one of the best social media platforms that can increase your backlinking strategy because it is actually rated as the second most popular search engine! By investing your time in creating some YouTube content, you are only strengthening your off-page SEO strategy.
TIP: Google Business Profiles are another great platform to help increase traffic to your website! Be sure to claim your Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business or GMB) if you haven’t already.
The main difference between on-page and off-page SEO is all in their nomenclature. On-page SEO focuses on optimizations within your website, whereas off-page SEO techniques are usually backlinking or linking to your website from other websites. On-page SEO helps search engines index and rate your ranking based on your website’s authenticity and content relevancy; off-page SEO helps give your website more credibility.
To learn more about how SEO, visit: https://hudsondigitalgroup.com/important-things-to-know-about-seo/ OR if you have yet to begin optimizing your website for search engines, learn how SEO can help your business here: https://hudsondigitalgroup.com/seo-and-its-benefits-for-your-business/.
Want to learn more about your website’s SEO performance? Try Hudson Digital Group’s free SEO audit! Fill out the form here: https://hudsondigitalgroup.com/request-an-seo-audit/.