What's the Difference Between On-page and Off-page SEO?
About 70% of marketers consider SEO marketing more effective than PPC. With digital marketing becoming more mature, many companies are getting better at SEO and prefer using it for their long-term campaign strategies. You also get more traffic, qualified leads, and sales from SEO than PPC.
As search engines continue to make constant updates to their algorithms, SEO has become more complex and you can’t just focus on only one dimension. Your SEO strategy needs to address both on-site SEO and off-site SEO to become successful. But each of these SEO approaches is different, so it can sometimes be challenging to understand your SEO marketing campaign.
Below is a comprehensive guide to help you understand the best practices of On-page and Off-page SEO.
What is On-Site SEO?
Google looks at your content to determine if it’s a relevant result for your user’s search query. Part of this process involves on-page SEO. On-site SEO marketing involves optimizing the elements that you have control over on your website, including page speed, site accessibility, optimized content, title tags, and more, so you can rank higher on search engines.
On-Page SEO Checklist
Since about 57% of marketers believe on-page content is the most effective SEO tactic, you may need to use it to stay ahead of the competition. Here are the several key components of on-site SEO that can help curate a successful marketing campaign strategy.
Nothing plays a crucial role in your SEO marketing efforts than quality and relevant content. This is why your target audience visits your website in the first place. Apart from your content being useful and engaging, it should be easy to read. You should also incorporate targeted keywords strategically into your content without overstuffing.
The title tag is what your readers see first when they get the search results. To ensure your page ranks, you should put targeted keywords in the title tag. Apart from using the main keyword on the title, you should optimize it for length. Since Google prefers titles close to 60 characters, you can limit your title tags to 55-60 characters, including spaces.
Search engines value your headings more than any other text within your site. This is why you should try and place your target keywords into the headings, ensuring you accurately reflect your site’s quality content.
Meta Description Tag
Search engines like Google tend to display your meta description in search results. Since it provides a brief summary of your web page, it can influence your click-through rates. Adding a targeted keyword can make it more relevant to the search engine and your web visitor.
As an aspect of on-site SEO, URL structuring is often overlooked. The words in your URL can influence your SEO results. This is why you should avoid using generic URL strings and include relevant keywords, making it easier for search engines to crawl your site. Also, ensure your URLs are as short as possible. When changing your old URLs, ensure you redirect your old ones to your new ones.
Alt Text for Images
Using alt text for all the images on your site is important. It enables users that can’t view the image to understand the content of your images. Applying the alt attribute for each image keeps your website in compliance with web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG).
When optimizing alt text for an image, you should thoroughly describe your image in 8-10 words and include a keyword where it sounds natural. What’s more, you can add the geo-locator.
Page Load Speed
Web visitors value convenience when searching for products and services. If your website takes too long to load, there are more likely to move to the competitor site. Since Google wants to help its users find what they’re looking for as fast as possible, you need to optimize your pages so that they load faster. It helps Google rank your page higher in the search results.
Some key website speed factors include:
- Minimizing HTTP requests
- Having image sizes under 100kb
- Setting browser caching to at least a week or longer
- Enabling Gzip compression
- And more
Almost 72% of users will use their mobile devices to access websites by 2025. This means prioritizing your website's mobile experience has become more important than ever. If your web visitor has to pinch and zoom on your website when they visit from the phone, they’re likely to leave.
You can optimize the website layout for mobile by generating a Mobile Usability Report. It helps identify any issues your website may have.
Want your web visitors to review your other content?
You should include at least 1-3 links on your blog post to direct visitors to other pages on your website. It not only helps your target audience but it’s also important for search engines to index your pages. When adding your internal links, ensure you use relevant anchor text.
Your website security is not only important for search engines but your web visitors. Facilitating Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security technology is important for improving your online safety, authority trustworthiness, and even visibility.
You can also reduce the likelihood of cybercriminals coming between your web servers, ensuring your data is safe. What’s more, Google is more likely to rank your site higher is SSL-enabled.
Having structured data helps Google understand your content better. This is why it’s an essential part of your on-page SEO audit. For instance, if you have a product page that includes things like prices, ratings, and more, you need to structure the information in a specific way in the HTML or Google won’t understand it.
Although writing readable text isn’t a direct ranking factor, you should include it as part of your on-page SEO process. This is because readable content makes it easy for Google and your web visitors to digest your information. To make your content readable, you can:
- Break up your content into easily digestible chunks
- Use several headers and subheadings.
- Utilize bullet points
- Add supporting images or media
- Apply plenty of paragraph breaks
- Use clear, actionable sentences
What is Off-Site SEO?
Off-Page SEO refers to the activities you do outside your website to increase the ranking of your page on search engines. From shares on social media to mentions across the web, these techniques can increase your credibility and rank. Unlike on-site SEO, off-site SEO marketing is out of your control.
Off-Site SEO Factors
Since off-page SEO shows search engines that your website is important to others on the web, it can improve your authority. Below are popular off-site SEO factors and how you can use them to improve your rankings.
If your company has aspirations of ranking on the top page, creating backlinks should be a core part of your off-site SEO. Getting reliable websites to link back to your site can help you drive traffic to your site determine your rank on search engines.
Since links are the primary way of navigating the internet, they can improve your users’ experience. It enables your web visitors to easily navigate to the information they find relevant.
You can get backlinks by creating quality content, reaching out to companies, social media shares, or joining an association. Although link building is hard work and requires a long-term strategy, your website’s ranking position will improve significantly if done well.
Social Media Marketing
One of the most effective off-page SEO marketing tips is the use of social media. It increases the reach of your content, encouraging more clicks to your latest content. While Google hasn’t directly stated that social media links can benefit your SEO, they mentioned that social media platforms are crawled for data just like any other website.
This ensures that your social profile ranks at the top for any brand-related search term. That’s why you should make sure your social profiles positively reflect your brand.
Another SEO marketing tip is offering third-party websites with guest content. You should research and reach out to third-party websites that are trustworthy and with a target audience similar to yours.
This way you can increase your brand awareness, improving the chances of driving referral traffic from the guest website. Before you place your content on an authoritative website, ensure it’s unique and engaging.
Do you want to use off-page SEO to influence online opinions?
Influencer marketing can help you find, contact, and engage your target audience. If done well, you can end up making a purchase. Through brand mentions from online influencers or your employees, you can create positive engagement with your brand and boost your audience’s trust.
Also referred to as directory listings, local SEO is a reliable off-site SEO technique. While submitting a local listing may look easy, you need to provide correct information across each listing to ensure your off-page SEO marketing services are successful. From your business name and address to your contact number, they need to be correct so that your target audience can access the right business.
Is On-Site or Off-Site SEO Marketing More Important?
You can’t choose between On-page and off-page SEO. Both need to work together to improve your search engine rankings.
At Alkali, we can help you optimize both your on-site and off-page SEO marketing and increase your visibility online. Contact us to develop an SEO strategy that best suits your needs.