Did you know that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day?
Yes, that’s more than 40,000 search queries every second on an average. You have all used search engines like Google, and Yahoo to search for things online. If you are reading this post, probably you just performed a search moments ago.
Search Engines are highly efficient in providing you with millions of search results in a matter of seconds. The page that is displayed whenever you search for something through a search engine is known as a Search Engine Results Page, commonly abbreviated as SERP.
Here, all the results are ranked according to a variety of factors that influence their ranking on the SERP. Since the number of search results on the results page is humongous, it is very important for you, as a website owner, to get displayed at a higher rank to gain more attention, and website traffic.
Furthermore, if you consider the fact that the majority barely jump the fourth or the third page of the search results, then you will realize how important it is to be placed at a higher rank on the search results page. However, how do you do it?
Well, search engines use many complex algorithms to determine the ranking of your website on the results page. One great way to achieve a higher rank is SEO or Search Engine Optimization, where you follow the best on-page and off-page SEO practices.
It is a great digital marketing strategy that helps you optimize your websites, and pages for search engines, which in turn, reward you with a higher rank.
In this post, we are going to share with you some insights about the two types of SEO – on-page, and off-page SEO. We will also discuss the difference between the two, and how you can optimize for both on-page, and off-page SEO, and the best on-page and off-page SEO practices.
But, before we discuss the best on-page and off-page SEO practices, let us first discuss the basics! Here’s a brief introduction to Search Engine Optimization.
⦿ What is Search Engine Optimization [SEO]?
We all have used search engines like google to search for things on the internet. Well, have you ever wondered how these search engines display the search results? Search engines like Google use algorithms to push relevant results to the top of the search results page.
Even though what exactly these search algorithms are, and how they work is not known to you, enough knowledge is available in the public domain that can help you tune the webpages to boost their rankings or position in the search results.
The main objective of SEO is to improve your website’s visibility, and search result rankings by optimizing the site or the webpages for search engines. SEO can either be on-page (or on-site) or off-page (or off-site). We’ll be discussing these two concepts later in detail!
If you want to learn more about SEO, check out The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz.com. You can also check out the following articles on SEO, that will help you understand the concepts easily, and more efficiently.
⦿ Common Benefits of SEO for your Website
The prime benefit of SEO is that it can assist you in boosting your rankings in the search engine results. This will encourage more clicks, increase website traffic, and can also help you increase sales, and revenue. Here are some other key benefits of SEO for your website.
⁍ SEO focuses on Quality Traffic
Search engine optimization is an inbound marketing strategy. This implies that it focuses more on customers than the traditional methods of marketing that are generally outbound. Thus, more emphasis is laid on quality traffic than quantity traffic.
Both inbound, and outbound marketing channels help you reach out to your target audience. The difference here is that the traditional outbound channels reach your audience regardless of whether they want your information or not, which can be infuriating.
Some examples are spam emails, and calls, and interruptive pop-ups, and other advertisements.
Inbound marketing strategies, on the contrary, focus on how your audience can find you when they want a specific piece of information, and making important, and valuable information more easily accessible.
Many marketers consider inbound practices to be the best source of high-quality leads for their business as it is more user-centric.
Since SEO is an inbound marketing strategy, it helps you target those people who are actually actively looking for someone like you or your website, thus helping you target the right people at the right time. This helps you in being more effective in reaching your target audience, and boosting sales, and revenue.
⁍ SEO helps you get more Clicks than Sponsored Results
A quick look at the search results page will tell you that the first few results are generally highlighted. These results are the PPC ads, and appear above the organic rankings. However, more than 70 percent of users tend to click on the first few organic results instead of these advertisements.
This implies that SEO can help you get more clicks than PPC. More clicks = More traffic, and an increase in sales, and revenue.
⁍ SEO is Cost Effective
Unlike Search Engine Marketing, and PPC ads, which require you to pay a certain fee to advertise your website, SEO is an unpaid, and an organic marketing tactic.
This implies that just by efficiently optimizing your website for search engines, and crafting the webpages in a way that the search engines consider them worthy of directing the visitors to, you can gain exposure for a long period of time without investing a huge sum of money.
Well, off course, you need to invest in designing, and for implementing the SEO strategy, and also for creating high-quality content for your website, but it is just an initial investment. After that, there is literally no cost in keeping the traffic coming to your website.
⁍ SEO helps you Stay Competitive
A great SEO strategy can help you appear above other similar services, and websites. Since ranking will directly affect whether the user is going to click on your result or not, a higher rank will reward you with more attention, and more clicks.
This means that with a good SEO strategy, and the best on-page and off-page SEO practices, you can keep up or even beat your competitors, and move ahead of them.
⦿ What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is also known as on-site SEO. It is the process in which you optimize your webpages, and their content, and code such that it’s easier to understand for both the users, and the online search engines.
The main objective of the on-page SEO practices is to improve a website’s search results ranking, and boost organic traffic.
On-Page focuses more on the different aspects of your webpage that, when added together, helps in improving web visibility in search results ranking, and helps the website, and the webpages gain a higher rank.
Some popular SEO tactics like optimizing URLs, title tags, internal links, and webpage content are all part of on-page SEO.
More on-page SEO practices are but are not limited to, creating, and publishing high-quality, information-rich, and valuable content, optimizing HTML tags, headers, and meta descriptions, and using relevant images with alt texts.
It is not only free to do, but on-page SEO practices are also very easy to implement. When strategized, and implemented properly, on-page SEO can do wonders in improving your page’s search results ranking.
⦿ What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO refers to all those practices that are “off-page”. This implies that it is those tactics that are concerned with elements outside of your website. It is also known as off-site SEO.
It is in contrast to on-page SEO, where we optimize various elements that are present on your website. Here, we optimize various off-site ranking factors with the prime objective of improving the websites search engine results rankings, and also its trustworthiness, popularity, authority, and relevance.
One way to achieve this is getting linked to other reputable websites, people, or blogs, which helps you improve your reliability, authority, and also helps you drive traffic to your website.
Some other important off-page SEO actions are, but not limited to, promoting user engagement, and shares on social media accounts, promoting brand searches, etc.
While many people do not pay much attention to Off-page SEO, it is worth noting that off-site SEO-related factors likely carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight [source:Moz].
Moreover, a lot of key points that matter to Google when it comes to search results often happen away from your website. This clearly means that ignoring off-page SEO is not a good idea.
⦿ How are On-Page and Off-Page SEO Different?
The main difference between on-page, and off-page SEO is that on-page focuses more on optimizing parts of your website that you have control over, and what’s on your site. It is mainly concerned more with what’s happening within your own website, and what you can actually directly control on your website itself.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is concerned with elements that are not contained within your website (for example, backlinks), and focuses more on strengthening the authority of your domain with the help of earning backlinks from different websites, and content creation.
It is the culmination of all the things that you’re doing to help your website. It takes into account links, and other external signals related to your website. Further Reading: On-Page vs Off-Page SEO. You can also check out the following video to get a detailed look at the difference between these two concepts.
⦿ Key On-Page SEO Practices
Following are the key on-page SEO factors affecting search results ranking.
An important on-page SEO factor is the URL. Just like the content, the URL of the page should also provide value to search engines. It is worth focusing on the URL of your webpage, and that the category hierarchy of your website is reflected in the URLs.
This implies that the URL should clearly show the hierarchy of the information on the page. If the URL is designed in this way, it adds a helpful relevancy metric to the given page, and the search engines consider it more relevant.
It also helps you in speculating the information on the page without actually reading the content on that page.
For example, consider the following URL. https://www.bridgingpointsmedia.com/digital-marketing-trends/.This URL is well structured, and clearly shows the hierarchy. The search engine can see that the given page is related to digital marketing trends, and is of Bridging Points Media.
A good URL should always contain keywords. Moreover, they are never too lengthy. And, don’t repeat your keywords in your URL as it may make the URL look ambiguous, and too wordy, and thus affects user experience. Also, ensure that you are sensibly labeling your pages.
⁍ Title Tag
The Title tags are a very vital on-page factor for SEO. It handles the job of telling the search engines what your webpage is all about by providing an initial cue or context to the search engines.
If you aim at providing value to the search engines, and in turn achieving a good search results ranking, it is very important that the title which is supplied to the webpage is relevant to the content of your page, and is clear, crisp, and to-the-point.
⁍ Meta Description
Meta description may not be as important a factor as the other factors that we have discussed in search engine rankings, but they greatly influence the click-through rate. A meta description is a brief description that is displayed just below the title in your search result.
It gives the viewers a brief idea about what your page or site is all about, and is also a great factor influencing whether the visitor is going to click on your link in the search engine results page (SERP).
Thus, to boost your on-page SEO, another factor that you must keep in mind is the Meta description. Ensure that you are writing compelling Meta descriptions, and choosing the keywords wisely.
It is advisable to keep it anywhere between 150 to 160 characters in length, and avoid the use of non-alpha characters, and quotes as google generally cuts them out. (Non-alpha or non-alphabetic character is basically any character that is not a number or a letter.)
If you manage to write an attractive, and attention-grabbing Meta description for your website, it will attract more visitors, and increase the chances of the users clicking through to your page or site. This will ultimately help you boost your SEO strategy.
The content of a page is highly important when it comes to a better search result position. You cannot have gibberish, and useless content on your webpage, and then expect it to achieve a high search results rank. The content of your webpage not only speaks for your website but also for you, and your organization/business.
Also, the visitors land on your webpages to read your content. Thus, it is very important to make good quality, and relevant content.
If you look at content from an SEO perspective, the content is good if it supplies demand, and is linkable. When we talk about content supplying a demand, we simply mean that the content is supplying the demand for information on a particular topic.
It cannot be useless chunks of paragraphs. It must provide value to its readers, and become a good source of information.
Make sure that you are using the main keyword of your article once in the first 100-150 words of your article. Use the H2 tag for headings as it helps the search engines understand the structure of your webpage in a better way.
Also, it is a great choice to include your target keyword in at least one subheading, and wrap it in an H3 tag.
When we talk about “linkable content”, we are simply referring to the ability of the content to be linked. If users are unable to link to your content, search engines do not consider it of good quality, and will not rank it. Due to this, your content won’t achieve a good search result ranking, and drive traffic to your website.
Thus, if the content of your webpage is not linkable or doesn’t supply a demand, it will prevent you from achieving a high search results ranking.
⁍ Alt Text to Images
Most of the content management systems, for example, WordPress, allow you to add alternate text to images on your website. The visitors to the website are unable to see this text. It can be used to supply additional information about the images to screen reader softwares, and search engines.
When search engines crawl through webpages, and sites, an image that is accurately describing what’s in it or the purpose of the image, and the page it is present in surely helps the engine.
Thus, by inserting relevant keywords into the alt text of images, you can ensure that the search engines understand your page’s content better. This helps you in improving your search results ranking.
However, writing a good alt text can be a little tricky. Ensure that you can describe the image in about 8 to 10 words. Also, it is advised to use your keyword in the alt text. But, don’t make it sound too robotic or spammy, and keep it natural.
Keeping all these on-page SEO practices in mind, we can conclude that if you want to ideally optimize your webpage, ensure that your content is relevant to a specific topic. It can be a product, or a concept, or something relevant, and should provide value to your customers.
Remember to include a subject in the title tag, the URL, and in the image alt text. It is also advised to link your webpage back to its category page, subcategory page, homepage, and include links to other sources of information on your website, and to websites on the internet.
⦿ Key Off-Page SEO Practices
Building backlinks is one of the most integral part of an off-page SEO strategy. They are also very important to Google as it helps it to evaluate the quality, and value of a webpage. If no links are pointing to your webpage, Google can’t evaluate your webpage, thus resulting in a lower position on the search results.
Hence, your webpages need to have a lot of high-value backlinks. This will help you usually rank better than other websites that are similar to yours but have a fewer backlinks.
Generally, there are three types of links depending on the way they are earned. These are Natural links, Manually built links, and Self-created links. Let us have a brief look at them.
As the name suggests, are links that are earned, and editorially given. This implies that the other page owners link to your content without being persuaded or paid to do so. For example, if you add a link to a Wikipedia post that discusses a specific topic, then that page earns a natural link.
Manually built Links
Are links that are earned or acquired through deliberate link-building practices. In simple words, links created through self-promotion are Manually built links. This means that you as a page owner generally ask other parties, for example, customers or influencers, and important people to link to your website or simply share your link.
Are links that are created by methods such as a blog comment signature, adding a backlink in an online directory, and other similar practices. Self-created link building is generally frowned upon, and not considered that good in the field of search engine optimization.
⁍ Social Media Marketing for Off-Page SEO
Simply put, social media marketing is the use of social networking platforms for marketing. It is the use of social media platforms to build your brand, promote your brand, products, or services, increase sales, and website traffic, and so on.
It includes posting creative, and compelling content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising. If you want to learn more about Social Media Marketing, and how you can start with an SMM strategy for your business, you can check out this post for a deeper insight into the topic.
Social Media Marketing is also a great factor affecting your off-page SEO. It is a great off-page SEO technique, and can help you extend the reach of your content or webpages. You can use your social media accounts to share your own content with your followers, and promote clicks to your content.
Social Media Marketing also proves to be a great source of valuable backlinks.
Although Google has never directly stated that a link from your social media platform will benefit your off-page SEO strategy, they have said that the crawling process for data on social media, is similar to that of the websites.
This implies that even if it does not help you in boosting your off-page SEO, it will definitely help you, in your social profile ranking in the SERPs.
This will increase the visibility of your social media accounts and can, in turn, help you in gaining good many visitors, and impressions. And, when you promote your content through these platforms, it will increase the content’s visibility, and the chances of the content being linked to.
⁍ Guest Blogging
Guest Blogging is another great way to unlock traffic, and provides off-site SEO benefits. Guest blogging is easy to understand. If you are contributing to someone else’s blog posts to build connections, gain exposure, and links, then you are “Guest Blogging”.
The concept is simple: you write a blog article according to the requirements of a particular blogger, and get a backlink in return, usually at the bottom of the article which is called the Author Box. Providing other websites with your guest content is a great off-page SEO technique.
SEO guest blogging helps you gain secure, and effective backlinks from other websites, and also helps you in building a sound relationship with the owners of the websites or blogs hosting your content, gaining online exposure, and in reaching new people.
You must be wondering how it works? Well, it’s super easy. In guest blogging, you write a blog article as a guest for other third-party websites, and in return, you get a backlink to your own post. This backlink is usually placed at the bottom of the article of your content.
However, it is important to choose the other websites wisely. For example, it is worth considering the target audience of the website that is hosting your blog article, and also its niche, and reach, and ensure that it resonates with your content, and website.
This will ensure that you are targeting the readers who are actually interested in your niche, and not just the regular readers.
Also, ensure that the content that you are placing as a guest blogger is placed on a website having a strong DA. Other important aspects worth considering are the quality of your content, the freshness, and demand of your content, and of course its style, and tone.
To learn more about Guest Blogging, check out the following post: The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging.
⁍ Forum Posting
A forum refers to a meeting or a platform used to exchange opinions, and ideas on a particular topic with people having similar interests. Online forum posting is an online discussion platform where you can do the same.
A forum allows its users to have a meaningful conversation, and share their ideas with others with the help of a posted message.
Forum posting can also yield off-page SEO benefits for you. To do so, first, you need to build a trustworthy reputation amongst other people present in the forum. This will ensure that people find you, and your messages reliable.
To begin with, you also need a ready-made community or forum that is concerned with the services that you offer or the general idea of your website. It is important for the forum, and the forum threads that you are utilizing, for it to be relevant to your products, and services.
This will ensure that you are targeting, and engaging the right people. You can use this forum to provide valuable, and resourceful material to the members. This can be expert knowledge on a specific topic or something about the latest developments in the concerned field.
The opportunities are many, and you can always utilize these opportunities to post a backlink to your website. However, ensure not to spam the forum with backlinks to your website. This looks unprofessional, and amateurish.
Thus, socializing, and engaging with others with the help of online forums can help you with your off-page strategy, if implemented properly.
It is also worth noting that since off-page SEO is concerned with all the things happening outside your website, it heavily depends on the behavior of the users. This implies that users only share, and refer to your website if it is liked by them.
Thus, even after all your off-page SEO practices are on point, they will be of no use if you fail to make the users, the center of attention.
If your audience is the focus of your strategy, and of everything your website speaks of, then the likelihood of mentions, shares, and votes of confidence from reliable, and trustworthy external sources greatly increases.
⦿ Conclusion on Best On-Page and Off-Page SEO Practices
Best on-page and off-page SEO practices are integral to your SEO strategy. Focusing on these on-page, and off-page elements will help you in achieving a higher rank in the search results, and improve your website traffic.
The best on-page and off-page SEO practices can help you in generating traffic, and buzz around your site, and also help you improve conversions, sales, and revenue.
In this post, we discussed about the best on-page and off-page SEO practices. We hope that this article gave you a clear understanding of the concepts, and strategies. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section down below!
If you want to learn more about the best on-page and off-page SEO practices, and ways that can help you improve your SEO rankings, check out: 17 Ways to Improve SEO Rankings. For more posts, don’t forget to check out our blog.