On/Off Page Optimization
There are essentially two major parts of search engine optimization: on page and off page optimization. Most every SEO service will fall under one of these two categories. While both are equally important to your overall SEO strategy, each requires different SEO tools and different tactics. For example, on page SEO deals with the content on your website, while off page SEO involves optimizing your website’s listings on other websites and online directories, among other strategies.
As you familiarize yourself with the basics of on and off page optimization, and employ the strategies therein, it’s important you track the results of your efforts to ensure you’re taking the right action. You can do so with StatCounter and our web tracker, using the metrics therein to monitor your website. However, you’ll first need to make the necessary changes to site to see the accompanying results. Having said that, let’s take a look at the fundamental differences between on page and off page optimization.
For more information in regards to SEO, be sure to check out the Insights pages we’ve provided below:
On Page Optimization
As mentioned above, on page SEO involves changes you make to your own website to help improve search result rankings. This is typically where most people start with their SEO strategy, as you have more control over the content on your website than others (like online listings). Some of the changes you can make to your website for on page optimization are listed below:
- Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: Title tags and meta descriptions are what is displayed in the snippet provided in search results pages. The title tag is the blue anchor text that links to your site, while the meta description is the text directly below the title tag. You can optimize these aspects of SEO by strategically placing keywords within them to show search engines, and users alike, what that page of your website is about.
- Htags: Another area of your site you will want to strategically place keywords in is header tags, also known as htags. H1 tags are most important, followed by H2’s, and so forth. Htags also help with the flow of the writing, breaking up the content so the user has an easier time reading your website’s content. In other words, you can view htags as subheadings for each section of any given page of your site, with H1 serving as the title (not to be confused with title tag). Not only are they useful to users, but search engines can also use these to find further information in regards to the page’s content.
- Internal Linking: In order to help users navigate through various pages of your site, you will want to internally link pages of your website to one another. You can do this with a main navigation menu at the top of your site, with a footer navigation at the bottom of your site, and by hyperlinking pages into parts of your content. For instance, if you know you have a page relevant to another, you should ensure each of those pages have a link sending users to the other page. You can do this to every page of your site to keep users clicking through and ultimately converting to paying customers, or leads.
- Image Optimization: When it comes to the images on your site, you will want to make sure they are not too big, as this can slow your page load speed. You will also want to include a keyword in your image alt text, as this tells search engines the subject of the image. Also, if your image has trouble loading, your website will serve the image alt text instead to let visitors understand the subject matter of the picture. So, aside from a keyword, your image alt text should also include some descriptive text for web users and search engines.
- Keyword-based Content: Keywords are essential to SEO, but overuse can cause search engines to view your site as spammy, which could lead to a penalty and removal from search engine results. The optimal keyword density is usually between 0.5% and 2.5%. Moreover, the content on your site should almost always be based around keywords, which you’ll also use in the title tags, htags, and meta descriptions—as mentioned above. In creating your content, keep the user’s intent in mind, or what they’d like to read considering the search term. Also, the longer the content, the better.
Off Page Optimization
While on page optimization is often the starting point for most websites, off page optimization is also immensely important. As mentioned before, off page optimization involves listing your website in local and online directories as well as building a strong backlink portfolio, but it’s not limited to these tactics. Let’s take a look.Backlink Building
Backlinks are essentially any link from one site that points to your own website. For instance, if another business mentions your company on their website and leaves a link to direct users to your site, you’ll have acquired a backlink.
Backlinks are the most important part of off page optimization, and are even quite important to SEO in general. Listing your website in online directories will give you a backlink, and although it’s often a nofollow backlink, they are still beneficial. You can also reach out to other businesses in your industry and offer to write a guest blog for their site, so long as they include a backlink to your website. This will give you a high-quality backlink which will help improve your website’s domain and page authorities, which directly contribute to your search result rankings. Of course, you can acquire backlinks in additional ways, but you must be careful in many practices to avoid coming off as manipulative to search engines. Given that backlinks are so essential to SEO, you can learn more on our How to Get Backlinks page.
Social media is also considered a form of off page optimization and you will want to continue to post to these platforms regularly to keep your social media followers happy and engaged. Depending on your type of business and website, you will want to use different social media platforms. Facebook, for example, is widely used by nearly everyone, whereas Pinterest is more suited for artists and hobbyists.
Regardless of the platforms you create accounts on, ensure you post regularly and respond to your followers. Social media is a great way to keep your audience engaged and improve the reputation of your business. Simply put, social media provides yet another way to increase the visibility of your business and website online.
Additional Off Page Practices
Aside from those off page tactics listed above, there’s plenty more you can do to improve your website. For example, your website’s name, address, and phone number should be consistent across all listings online. This will help avoid confusion for search users, and search engines as well. Of course, you’ll first need to submit your business to online directories, which is another form of off page optimization. While you’ll want to submit to directories related to your industry, Yelp! and Yellow Pages are typically two great places to start.
Track Your Traffic with StatCounter
Once you have performed both on page and off page optimization to your website, you will want to track how this has helped your website. You can do just that with StatCounter, and if you are in need of assistance or have any questions, you can contact StatCounter member support by completing the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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