So you’re looking to set up a new website? It’s likely if you are reading this article that you...
On & Off: Easy To Follow SEO Tips For Beginners
Some things are just better together, take Tom and Jerry, for instance, the same can be said for Onsite and Offsite SEO, otherwise known as On-page and Off-page SEO.
While equally important, Onsite and Offsite SEO comprises of completely different techniques that come together to increase your keyword rankings and overall visibility of your website in Google’s search results.
For search engine optimization (SEO) success, it’s key that you understand these two components and how they can complement each other.
What is Onsite SEO?
On-site SEO comprises of techniques that you can apply to your existing website to improve keyword rankings and subsequently increase traffic from search engines such as Google.
Good On-site SEO should inherently always first and foremost provide the best possible user experience for visitors to your website. While I appreciate that ‘best’ can be somewhat subjective, to avoid doubt, you should set out to ensure that your website achieves the following;
- Is clear an easy to navigate
- Offers concise, quality, accurate content that is both helpful and relevant
- Is accessible on all modern devices, including mobile and tablets
Simply put, Google is looking to ascertain what a human would see when they land on your website. Google will play judge and jury when it comes to deciding whether or not you provide relevant quality, and authoritative content to address the search query.
On-site SEO Techniques
Historically On-site SEO techniques focused heavily on the use of keywords, which were often placed strategically throughout a website. However, times have changed, with search engines becoming more and more sophisticated with every passing day.
While the use of keywords still plays a part, the emphasis today should be on creating “quality content”, a term which is overly used in the realms of SEO. Fear not, I’ll decipher what this really means. By quality, what SEO’s really mean, is relevancy. Essentially, does the content on your website satisfy the user based on their search intent?
Typically, metrics such as time on the page otherwise known as average session duration can help you to answer that question; if you are seeing high bounce rates, then this is also an indication that something is amiss. Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics can provide you with this data.
If you are unsure what your prospective customers’ are searching for, then find out using Google’s Search Console, the data here including search queries is like gold dust.
Once you understand the queries and better still the intent behind the query, you should then set out to answer the query in an authoritative and trustworthy manner. Better get typing then...
Beyond content and keywords, there are other techniques and elements that you should pay close attention to, they include;
- Page load speed; across mobile and desktop (Google’s Page Speed Insights can help)
- Use of Schema.org structured data
- Page URL structure; see the Moz SEO Cheat Sheet: Anatomy of a URL below
- Mobile friendliness; see our top SEO Tips In 2019 for more on this
- Create relevant quality content that is linkable
On-site SEO Getting The Basics Right
Sometimes it’s a good idea to cover off the basics. When optimizing a page it’s best practice to ensure that you cover the following too;
- Have a relevant page title which includes a relevant keyword
- Have a meta description, which is informative, contains a relevant keyword, and is enticing; this is your one and only chance to get the click-through
- Correct and suitable use of header tags such as H1, H2, H3, which should describe the topic being covered
- Image alt attributes; specify alternate text for an image where possible
What is Offsite SEO?
Offsite SEO refers to elements outside of your website that will also impact your search visibility and rankings. At the heart of off-page SEO is backlinks, building and obtaining backlinks it the main aim of the game.
Traditionally, there are three types of links, which are clearly defined based on how they were earned, they comprise of;
- Self-created links, which may be achieved by posting in a forum with a link in your signature, or by submitting your website to free online directories. Just err on the side of caution here, as similar techniques are used for black hat SEO.
- Manually built, which typically entails getting backlinks from existing customer websites, or by asking influencers to share and promote your content, this can also include competitions, whereby businesses give something away for backlinks, again though, you are sailing close to the wind, as Google does not recommend buying links
Natural links, the best kind of backlinks, these are links which are earned through producing quality, relevant, and linkable content
Off-site SEO Techniques
Gaining backlinks is by no means an easy task, however, here are just some techniques which you can follow to make this process easier.
Guest blogging also commonly referred to as ‘guest posting’ as the name suggests is contributing to external blogs. This will normally entail reaching out to webmasters’ of blogs within your niche, with the goal of contributing relevant content to obtain that all-important backlink.
Take it from us, to be successful with content outreach you need to be relentless, however, when you do make a breakthrough and your content is featured, it will make it all seem worthwhile.
When it comes to promoting your content to bloggers, journalists, or influencers, remember, that these guys likely receive countless emails of this nature, therefore your message to them needs to stand out, fortunately, you’ll find 9 amazing examples here to help you craft and refine your message.
Granted many small businesses can not afford to hire an expensive PR agency, however, with tools such as the ResponseSource journalist enquiry service, you don’t have to!
Using such journalist inquiryenquiry services will provide your business with the platform to reach journalists, and bloggers alike. You simply select the sector most relevant to your business and watch the enquires come in.
The enquires may, for instance, ask for expert comment or opinion on a vast array of subject matters within your sector. This, of course, provides you with an opportunity if you play your cards right to be featured in the national press (both online and in print), and popular websites within your niche. At the very least, it will also provide you with a platform to build a rapport with influential journalists covering your sector.
Customer service can make or break your SEO efforts. In fact bad customer service can ruin your off-site SEO efforts in 2-minutes or less. That’s why online reputation management and providing the best possible customer service experience is vitally important.
Some general brand reputation management and customer service tips to adhere to;
- Be responsive to all customer inquiriesenquiries, be it through social media or any other channel; as always remain helpful
- Respond to all complaints, it’s part and parcel of being in business, no matter how good you believe your product or service to me, complaints happen, always try to be understanding, empathizse, and at the very least acknowledge
- Master feedback; especially listen to your customers’ understand their needs, and where viable process feature requests
If you think that customer service is not relevant to SEO, then think again, and take into account the power of Google’s review rich snippets, the little orange stars you see in organic search results are based solely on customer feedback, and of course, proven to increase click-through rates.
In wrapping up, to be successful when it comes to SEO you need the right mix by following techniques and best practices for On-site and Off-site SEO.
Remember, when it comes to keywords, always do your research first, and consider LSI keywords too. Many businesses today fail to understand exactly what their prospective customers are searching for, and even if they do, then they miss the intent behind the search, and therefore, are unable to create relevant content, which has a negative impact on rankings.
For Offsite SEO, to be relentless; ensure that you can already demonstrate quality and relevant content within your niche, before reaching out to webmasters and bloggers alike. This will, of course, showcase the quality of your work and complement your outreach efforts.