On-site Versus Off-site SEO: What you Need to Know
SEO, Search engines & Website optimization
Search Engine Optimization: surely you’ve heard the term by now. SEO is essential for any growing business, as it’s one of the main components working to increase your online visibility as well as your customer reach. But, did you know that there are two different types of SEO? On-site and off-site SEO, sometimes referred to as on-page and off-page, are the two, separate components of the search engine optimization process.
In order to maximize your online presence in search engine results as well as moving your business up in the rankings, you will need to explore the world of both on-site and off-site SEO. But what exactly is the difference? Understanding the two versions of SEO is important in order to utilize them to the best of their ability.
On-site versus off-site SEO: what’s the difference?
In a nutshell, on-site SEO is the process which makes your website available and visible on search engines. For the most part, this consists of playing with elements of your website so that they are easily readable to search engines can identify, or crawl, across the content, as well as the structure of your site.
A high index ranking on Google depends directly on the information that search engines can gather from your website, as well as the relevance of your content. Fixing issues with your on-page SEO as well as considering it in all of your posts will allow you to optimize your content to be easily understandable and recognizable in search engines.
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Elements of on-site SEO
On-site SEO is fairly straightforward and doesn’t require a marketing genius to figure out. However, we’re here to ensure that you avoid making common mistakes by pointing out the most common elements of on-site SEO.
Titles and descriptions: if you are running a blog for your business or otherwise, you must pay special attention to page titles and descriptions. Do you know about the importance of the meta-description? If not, you should check out our article on the subject.
If your titles and descriptions are not yet optimized in a way that makes them visible in search engines, unfortunately, your website may go noticed in search results. As mentioned, optimizing titles and descriptions doesn’t require too much effort. First, it is important to keep things short and sweet, with titles coming in under 60 characters and descriptions no longer than 150 characters.
Avoid the overuse of keywords, but make sure to focus on one or two essentials that allow search engines to know what your content is about. Further, make sure the titles and descriptions are catchy and engaging, looking for ways to encourage visitors to interact with your website.
H-tags: If you don’t know about the beauty of h-tags, look no further. Especially important is the H1 tag, as a well-optimized page will only have one of them. The h1 tag is usually the same as the title and should include your main keyword. A few h2 and h3 tags should be scattered within the rest of the article, and should also include keywords or surrounding relevant words. Again, h-tags are in place to allow search engines to sort and rank your content.
ALT text for images: If you are using images to break up blog posts, the ALT text included with the images has a use. In fact, this text gives search engines more of an idea about how this image relates to your page.
Internal links: Internal links are a way to enhance the experience of your website users. Essentially, they allow you to link relevant, inter-related content website between pages, helping search engines to discover more of your content.
Content: Although all of these points relate back to the quality of your content, it is still important to mention that on-site SEO has a lot to do with the quality of the content itself. It is important to approach all blog posts from a fresh perspective and offer your users high quality, interesting and informative content. If you do not begin your process with quality content, both on-site and off-site SEO won’t matter.
Only once you have considered the elements of on-site SEO should you begin to think about off-site SEO. However, off-site SEO is equally as important and necessary for gaining visibility as well as reaching new clients.
Essentially, off-site SEO refers to actions taken on the internet to promote your website. However, this excludes advertising. There are two common practices when it comes to off-site SEO and they are as follows: links pointing to your website from other websites and social media marketing.
Elements of off-site SEO
Link building: The algorithms that decide where a website ranks in search engines relates directly back to link building. Although this is only one of the factors that affect website ranking, these algorithms are influenced by links pointing to a website. If said links are coming from a trusted source, they are ranked higher. Thus, if a link to your website ends up on a high-ranking website, in it a vote of confidence in favour of your content.
Unfortunately, link building is a tricky practice and one that needs to happen naturally in order to positively affect your SEO and thus, your visibility. Natural link building will involve other websites offering to post your links because they’ve found your content useful and worth linking. As mentioned in our onsite SEO section, this will happen if your content is of good quality.
Further, guest posting is another form of solid content marketing. This involves writing a blog post for sites in your field that matter. This is another way to gain Google’s trust, as well as continuing to promote your business.
Social media marketing: using social media to market your business has become a common practice. Not only is it cost effective, but it’s one of the fastest ways to promote your online content. There are specific rules and functions within the realm of social media marketing, and if you’re curious, check out our article: The best social networks to increase your company's visibility
As you may have already guessed, both on-site and offsite SEO work to give visibility to your content. If you need more information about specific SEO practices to optimize your content, check out our article: What is an SEO-optimized article?