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Learn the Difference between On-Page and Off-Page SEO

One thing is constant despite Google’s ongoing updates to its search algorithm: your SEO strategy must include both on-page and off-page SEO.

Understanding the subtleties of both SEO strategies is crucial to ensuring that your marketing plan is in line with current best practices. This side-by-side comparison of on-page and off-page SEO is a great place to start. Read on to learn more!

What Is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO (or on-site SEO) is optimizing web pages to rank higher in search engines for specific keywords, thus increasing organic traffic. It involves adapting the SEO title tags, headings, and content on each page to be optimized for keywords and phrases that you come up with through extensive keyword research.

These optimized elements are what  Google uses to determine the purpose of each piece of content on your website and how it should rank for users. The better Google understands your content and the more they think users will engage with it, the higher you rank in search results. This will result in more organic traffic, conversions, and revenue. Even better, if done correctly, on-page SEO improves user experience.

What Are the Ranking Factors of On-Page SEO?

1. Content

Unquestionably, content is king. You can optimize your page with as many keywords, descriptions, and internal links as you want, but guess what? Your bounce rate will skyrocket if your content is not well-reasoned, well-written, and inherently beneficial to visitors.

2. Title Tag

A title tag is a piece of HTML code that lets you name or title a web page. This is one of the most crucial on-page SEO elements after the actual page content because they are displayed in the browser bar and search engine results pages.

Be careful how you use your keywords! Titles cannot be longer than sixty characters to ensure proper SERP display.

3. Keywords

The use of keywords effectively is a crucial SEO component. The focus has shifted to long-tail keywords that make up precise, in-depth phrases as Google’s understanding of nuanced language and search intent evolve. 

Build and optimize the content of your website based on your target audience’s search terms and demographics.

Note that we are not referring to META keywords – a long-depracated HTML tag that is no longer used or recommended.

4. Meta Descriptions

A meta description is a summary (no more than 155-160 characters) of a web page’s content. This appears as part of SERP snippets and is typically below social post headlines. It helps users understand how relevant your content is to their search query and encourages clicks. Google may also bold keywords found in the description if they are what the user searched for, improving click-through rate.

5. Internal Links

As it links internal pages pertinent to one another, internal linking is a crucial component of on-page SEO. It’s an easy way to help search engines index your website and keep visitors on your site longer.

Pillar pages may be helpful in this case. By making pages for well-known topics, you can streamline user searches and enable links from all related pages back to that pillar. 

What Is Off-Page SEO?

Any actions taken outside your website to raise its search engine rankings are considered off-page SEO. Instead of using only your website to rank pages, Google’s algorithm considers your entire online presence. According to First Page Sage, backlinks comprise 16% of ranking factors.

How websites refer to your brand, and in what context, says a lot about your content and authority. Off-page search engine optimization is comparable to word-of-mouth advertising in this regard. Essentially, off-page SEO keeps track of online brand mentions for your company.

Moreover, when authoritative websites link to your blog posts or service pages, the credibility and authority of that content increases. This is referred to as link juice. The value transferred via links ultimately helps your site achieve a higher ranking in search engine results and attract more organic traffic.

Google uses backlinks as its primary metric to assess this. Any content marketer’s successful off-page SEO strategy must include link-building activities, but we’ll also cover other off-page SEO techniques.

Factors of Off-Page SEO

1. Link Equity and Backlinks

Undoubtedly, the quantity and quality of your website’s backlinks impact your off-page SEO. The more trustworthy websites link to your content, the more domain authority Google gives your site, which raises your site’s rankings.

Many marketers and businesses have fallen prey to questionable paid link-building techniques that are many times harmful  to rankings. Make sure your strategy does not include any black or gray hat link building strategies. 

The following organic link-building tactics can produce successful off-page SEO results:

  • taking part in a podcast and receiving a link in the description back to your website
  • guest blogging
  • being mentioned in trade publications for the industry
  • requesting the sharing of content by contacting industry contacts
  • taking part in professional communities like forums
  • arranging events (in-person or virtual)
  • being a knowledgeable resource for Help a Reporter Out [HARO] 
  • releases on Industry Websites

You can gain access to the link equity of reliable websites by taking advantage of these opportunities.

Furthermore, consideration should be given to the anchor text used in backlinks – the text other websites use to link to your website. When used as anchor text instead of keywords, company names and pertinent brand mentions increase brand recognition while having little impact on off-page SEO rankings. Make sure to diversify anchor text when possible and never build a bunch of backlnks with the same keywords in them. Always mix in your brand name and raw website UR.

2. Social Media Engagement

Connecting with individuals on multiple social media platforms is a simple way to increase the popularity of a blog or website. This also increases business and backlink opportunities.

3. Domain Authority

Search engines rate your website strength with a score between 0 and 100, known as your domain authority. Ultimately, it forecasts how likely a website will appear in search engine results.

The length of time you’ve owned the domain (the longer, the better), the domain’s history, the quantity of 404 error messages, the number of backlinks, and much more affects domain authority. 

You can raise your domain authority and ranking by ensuring your website follows SEO best practices and is technically sound. The likelihood of a favorable SERP ranking increases with domain authority.

Wrapping it Up

We couldn’t possibly cover every aspect of this topic, but it is essential to have both on-page and off-page SEO to get more traffic to your website. On-page SEO includes optimizing your website for search engines so that they can find and index your site more easily. Off-page SEO includes building backlinks to your site from other websites. That’s it, in a nutshell.

If you need an SEO agency to work on your website after learning the differences and the importance of both on-page and off-page SEO, Decisive Design is ready to help! We would love to contribute to your online presence and success with a winning SEO strategy. Reach us out today for a free quote!

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