Search Engine Optimization is a very crucial tool that can help maintain your business afloat in the online market. For any business that hopes to flourish in the digital mode, learning the basic factors of SEO is the key to success.
Any organization that you can think of off the top of your head- whether it is an e-commerce site, an online grocery retailer, or your favorite breakout escape room – they are using SEO to boost traffic on their websites to create more sales. This article is here to provide you with the basic details about SEO to make things simpler and easier for you to learn and follow. So, let’s get started now!
Firstly, there are two basic categories when it comes to dealing with SEO on your website – On-page and Off-page SEO. Now, let’s find out what they are.
What is On-Page SEO?
After you have the content on your website ready to hit global markets, what you need to focus on is certainly, on-page or on-page SEO. By using on-page SEO, you will be able to properly optimize the content on your website for respective search engines and viewers on the web. The few basic tactics that fall under its jurisdiction are the optimization of your title tags, your webpage content, and even internal links or URLs.
Do I need On-Page SEO on my website?
No matter how much technology evolves these days, our friend Google continues to go back to its traditional habit of searching for keywords before displaying results. So, YES, you certainly need to use on-page SEO on your website!
To prove how important the usage of proper keywords on your title tags is, simply do a Google search on any relevant topic you desire. Thereafter, notice how the results that you get consist of mostly articles that have almost the same order of words as their titles. Not just optimizing your title tag based on relevant keywords is important, but there are several other factors that you need to take into account.
So, what falls under On-page SEO?
While several factors fall under On-page SEO, here we have enlisted the few basic and most essential ones that you must take into account to allow your business to soar high!
1. Title Tags
Firstly, of course, you have your title tags. The title tag is often considered to be the most vital part of your entire On-Page SEO process. Make sure that you club your keywords into your title tag seamlessly and logically. Furthermore, do keep in mind that your title tag should not exceed 55 to 60 characters, including spaces.
Alongside keeping your title authentic and natural, try to push your keywords towards the beginning of your entire title. However, while adding keywords to your title, make sure it does not sound meaningless at all. Using your brand name as a part of your title can also be a good way that can help you create awareness about your brand, as your website now comes up in the search results! Dropping in a suitable modifier like ‘best’, ‘checklist’, etc. is often a healthy approach to rank higher in the search results.
2. Your Headings
Following closely after title tags, the other aspect that you need to pay attention to is certainly the headings inside your article. Using proper keywords is important to ranking higher on search results.
Working your relevant keywords into your H1 Headings can be a good approach to optimizing your headings better. Also, using too many headings is not a good practice for any webpage. Instead, try to use a sufficient number of headings, avoiding an overwhelming excess, like, for instance, keeping one heading per page.
3. Pay heed to your meta description
Just like you paid enough attention to your title tag and heading, it is also important to curate your meta description properly. It is always advisable to incorporate as many keywords as you can in your meta description, without letting it sound robotic. Meta descriptions generally comprise 160 characters in total. Make sure the one on your website does not exceed this limit at any cost!
A properly crafted and keyword-rich meta description can be fruitful in boosting the organic CTR of your website, as it stands out in the crowd now. Adding keywords to your meta description is useful since Google tends to bold it when a user makes a search using those keywords. It thereby ensures that the given user opens your website and checks it out!
4. Maintain a proper structure of your URL
Yet another great way of harnessing on-site SEO is by incorporating your relevant keywords even in the structure of your URL. But, unnecessarily going on a rampage to change all your pre-existing URLs is not going to do you any help.
However, if you want some of your old URLs to take viewers back to some of your newly made URLs, using keywords in the new ones can help you. Using professional consultation as you do this would be better to efficiently regulate your URLs. There is some factor that should be taken care of while curating your URL, and here they are:
- Make sure your URLs are as short as possible and not drag them to be unnecessarily long.
- Organize all your directories and folders inside the webpage as disciplined as possible. It will help to guide your viewers in an organized way as they use your website.
- While the usage of keywords in your URL is essential, jamming too many of them is not going to do you any good. Use keywords in your URL in a manner that makes at least some sense and does not seem like a forcible juxtaposition of repetitive keywords.
5. Fast loading of webpages
No user likes to wait as they continue to stare at a blank page for what feels like hours. All viewers like to view pages that load as fast as possible. To make sure that your website ranks higher on Google search results, ensure that your webpage takes as little time to load as much as possible. Optimizing your webpage to load its content faster is vital to make it reach as many viewers as possible.
There is a simple tool by Google called PageLoad Insights, which you can use to check the time it takes to load your website both on desktop and on mobile browsers. The tool would also suggest ways to make your page load faster. Apart from the specific factors that are making your website lag, some basic ones can be looked into. Here are some of the basic factors that can make your webpage load faster than before:
- Start with minimizing the HTTP request on your website.
- Ensure that the server response time is limited to at least less than 2000 milliseconds.
- Set the caching of your browser to at least a week or even longer than if possible.
- Enable Gzip compression on your webpage.
No matter how many images you upload on your webpage, make sure that all of them have an image size less than 100 kb at all costs.
- Place all your CSS in an external style sheet.
Minimize the use of CSS, JS, and even HTML on your webpage.
6. Make your content mobile browsing friendly
Most of your viewers are likely to be browsing your website through their mobile phones rather than a desktop or laptop. In the digital world like today, there are a greater number of users who are shifting to the use of smartphones. It, in turn, makes your content optimized to be viewed through a mobile phone a vital factor to look into.
There are a few tools that can be used to find out whether your webpage is mobile browsing friendly or not. Based on the results, you can optimize your web page accordingly.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Other than On-page SEO, making proper use of Off-page SEO is also crucial for your webpage. To put it in simple words, Off-page or Off-page SEO constitutes all the actions that you may take outside the jurisdiction of your website and helps in getting a better ranking on your Google search results. It majorly emphasizes getting high-quality backlinks from other web pages.
Off-page incorporates several factors like the popularity and authority of the website to the general perception of users concerning the website. It is by promoting your business outside the boundaries of your website and by letting others know about the quality of your website that you can accomplish the task of off-page SEO for your website.
What do I need to do to get Off-page SEO?
The popularity and growth of your brand’s website lie in creating a greater authority for your brand on the web today. Keep in mind that it is factors like relevance, usability, trustworthiness, and authority of your website that is going to help designate its position in the Google search engine results.
Studies and surveys made recently have revealed how off-page SEO is responsible for carrying almost 50% of weightage in deciding your search engine rankings today. The more authority that a given website has on the web today, the higher are its rankings on the search engine results! It is largely because, with greater authority, viewers on the web start to recognize a given website as trustworthy and relevant in comparison to others.
Working on the off-page SEO factors for your website is like signaling to viewers on the web that yours is the most authoritative and trusted domain on the web. While there are several factors that affect off-page SEO, the heart of harnessing it truly lies in getting proper and high-quality backlinks directed back to your website. Let us take a look at the essential elements of off-page SEO.
1. Start with building backlinks!
As mentioned earlier, nothing beats the power of generating good-quality backlinks! The more backlinks your website has, the more is your probability of securing a higher rank on Google search engine results and vice versa.
Good-quality backlinks help in pushing up the trustiness of your website before your spectators on the web. While moving forward to build good-quality backlinks to your website, make sure to always prioritize quality over quantity.
Based on usage, there can be three major kinds of backlinks that you can use, and here they are:
1. Natural links:
These links, just as the name suggests, are provided ‘naturally’ without any action taken on the part of the website owner themselves. For instance, a travel blogger using a link that redirects viewers to the “Best Places to visit this Winter” is a natural link.
2. Manually-built links:
On the other hand, manually-built links require more labor. These links are generally created by strategic link-building activities to generate organic traffic on web pages. You can do this either by asking your trusted customers to use a link to your website or by having influencers share the content on your website.
3. Self-created links:
Basic practices like using a backlink to your website on several online directories fall under the jurisdiction of self-created links. You can even include backlinks to your website on relevant online forums, blogs, comments, or even in press releases. However, keep away from over-using this technique as that too is frowned upon!
Here are the factors that can help you the most in terms of generating proper off-page SEO-based content:
• How popular is your website on the web?
• The relatability of your linked content to the website that it is linked to.
• The ‘freshness’ of your link or how new your link is.
• The quality of anchor text that you use on your website.
• Whether or not the site being linked to is trustworthy.
• The number of links that already exist on the webpage that is being linked to.
• What is the authority of the linking domain and the page itself?
2. Focus on non-link factors too
While link-building is the most crucial factor when it comes to off-page SEO, there are several non-link factors that you must also take into account. Keep in mind that almost any activity that takes place outside your website but helps to enhance the reach of your content also falls under off-page SEO. There can be several aspects to this too, and here are some of the most commonly adopted ones:
1. Social media marketing –
This is probably the most opted factor to spread awareness of your website and gather organic traffic. With more and more people creating their social media accounts, the use of social media marketing to promote brands is significantly on the rise. Used with care and efficiency, it can help in promoting your website immensely!
2. Guest blogging –
Writing Guest Post articles is yet another way to opt for off-page SEO. It is mainly related to writing content for other websites that are related to your company in some way. You can approach relevant companies or any other company in your field for guest post articles. Guest posting can help you in getting backlinks to your website efficiently. By working on content marketing thus, you can ensure that your website receives some good-quality backlinks in return!
3. Influencer marketing –
With so many influencers working on the web these days, you can even use them to serve your purpose! Having social media or web influencers share your content on their blogs or social media accounts is a good way to promote your website.
Other than these factors, working on linked and even unlinked brand mentions to secure a backlink is also a good way to spread awareness about your website.
What is more important – Off-page or On-page SEO?
You cannot just happen to choose one kind of SEO strategy to work on and simply discard or discredit the other. You need to understand that both off-page and on-page SEO work with each other and are dependent on each other. It is both these kinds of SEO strategies that will work together to push up your rankings on the web successively.
However, if you wish to pay heed to the words of various professionals, it would be best if you focus more on your on-page SEO strategies before working on the off-page ones. Think this like building your own house; you would first wish to build a strong and reliable foundation for your house before you work on embellishing it in the best possible way, right? Well, working on on-page and off-page SEO strategies is pretty much like that!
So, now that you know all about the basic factors involving both off-page and on-page SEO, you are good to go! Go ahead now and start working on both these factors to increase the reach of your website on the web. However, make sure you strike the proper balance between these two different strategies to get the maximum benefit on your platform!