In the world of SEO, both off and on-page factors make a difference to your rankings. Here is how to get both aspects right.
Google is constantly making changes to their algorithms – some updates are major and require action from all website owners, while others are smaller but still impact some sites.
If you’re feeling a bit confused or have lost track of the many updates, know that you’re not alone.
There are still a number of different factors that search engine crawlers pay attention to but overall, your main focus should still be on user experience because that’s what’s going to get you noticed.
This article aims to serve as a recap and a quick guide to the on-page and off-page SEO tactics that are still important.
On-page SEO refers to all of the changes that you can make to your site to boost your SEO rankings. This includes meta descriptions, alt-tags and general changes to your HTML. On-page SEO also looks at the quality of your content as well as the overall performance of your site.
Here are the tactics that still matter.
Keywords are not as important as they were several years ago but they can still make a difference to your results. Since user experience is the most important aspect, focus should be shifted to long-tail keywords instead because they better cater to user search queries. When researching your keywords, think about what a user would be searching for and incorporate that into your keyword strategy.
Title tags and meta descriptions still have a role to play on your site as they are your “first impression” in Google’s search results. Your title tag and meta description can still be used to optimise for specific keywords but most importantly, they should be used as a tool to draw additional visitors to your website. Just be sure to stick to Google’s character limits if you want your title tag and meta description to work for you.
Not only do organised URL structures make it easier for users to navigate your site but they also allow search engine bots to crawl your site more efficiently. Including keywords in your URLs is another way to earn more clicks. Carefully consider the structure of your site before you start altering your URL structures though.
If you use a large number of graphics on your website, alt tags are still a must as they give you additional opportunities to appear in relevant search results.
Developing an internal linking strategy is a must for SEO success. Linking to relevant internal pages makes it easier for bots to crawl your site and will encourage visitors to spend more time on your site.
Following the recent issues with data security, online users are now even more skeptical about the websites they visit and trust. An SSL certificate offers a layer of protection between web servers and third parties and will make a difference to your SEO rankings because Google prefers HTTPS websites.
With such a big emphasis on user experience, it only makes sense for page speed to still be an important on-page SEO ranking factor. If users are getting frustrated because your pages aren’t loading fast enough, it reflects badly on the performance of your site and Google will be less likely to index it. It’s important to consider page speed on both mobile and desktop devices!
Off-page SEO refers to any factors that can’t be controlled directly from your site. Off-page factors include backlinks, social media exposure and how you are promoting your website and your content.
Here are the tactics that still matter.
The more quality backlinks you have, the better. The way Google sees it is that if a large number of authoritative websites are linking back to your site, it must mean that your content is useful, relevant and engaging. It should be said that countless brands have tried using questionable backlink tactics to boost their domain authority, which never produces long-term results. Rather create a credible backlink strategy if you want to produce real results.
Domain authority is a number on a scale from 1 – 100 that indicates the strength of your website. Naturally, websites with a higher domain authority rank better than those with a lower domain authority. There are a few different factors that determine your domain authority, including domain age and history, number of backlinks and number of page errors.
Social media posts that drive a lot of traffic to your website or content that is frequently shared on social media has greater weight with search engines. Working to improve the quality and shareability of your content goes a long way in boosting your SEO rankings.
Both on and off-page factors are important for achieving strong and consistent SEO results. Once you’ve taken care of your on-page factors, work to create valuable, engaging content to start getting off-page factors to work for your site.