Having an efficient online marketing strategy is vital if you want to thrive in today’s business world. Making a functional, user-friendly website is just the first step! You need to use SEO to impress the search engine bots so that they give you a good ranking. And as it goes, if you cannot be found in the first two pages of Google search results, you probably don’t exist. Luckily there are ample tools out there that can help you win this battle!
The job of a search engine is to find what is most relevant to what a user is searching for. It has certain criteria to determine this relevancy such as:
• User Experience
• Website performance
Now that you know what search engines want, here are a few things which they definitely don’t want:
• Poor User Experience
• Purchased links
• Keyword stuffing
You need a website with content that can make a good impact on search engines. The process is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) .
SEO focuses on optimizing a website so that it has relevant content of high quality for searchers as well as the search engines. It is also about promoting the website externally, i.e. through various methods like blogging, social sharing, social bookmarking and more.
So why do you need SEO?
If you are still asking this question, you really need to up your game! Over 67 per cent of searches are converted in a click for one of the results on the first page of the search engine result. That is exactly where you should be if you are willing to be found! SEO helps you attract more traffic to your page and increase market access. It can also effectively boost the effect of other marketing strategies such as pay per click (PPC) and retargeting.
Search Engine Optimization can be divided into two categories: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
The name is self-explanatory! On–page SEO focuses on the pages of your website in terms of content as well as the backend of the website. It involves improving the web pages on your site in order to secure a better rank in the search engine results. Here you are in-charge of a number of factors which affect the rankings. The main on-page SEO factors are:
• Keywords and phrases
• Meta description
• Title tags
• XML sitemap
• Website performance
• Internal linking and anchor text
• Heading tags
• Search engine friendly (SEF) URL
If on-page SEO is all about your website, off-page is all about the measures taken outside your website in order to improve your rankings. It includes link-building through leaving comments on blogs, participating in forums, guest blogging, outreach and more. Reviews, brand mentions and social amplifications also hold importance in off-page optimization.
“The number and the quality of links leading to your website is taken into consideration by Google when ranking a website.”
For Google, backlinks are like a vote; it is a sign that someone outside your website trusts your content and recommends you. The main techniques used in off-page optimization are:
• Social sharing
• Guest blogging
• Brand mentions
• Manual link-building
• Self-created links
On-Page vs. Off-page…What will work best for you?
To be honest, On-page and Off-page SEO are two different processes with identical objectives. Although you need both for best results, experts are of the view that you should tackle On-page optimization before you move to Off-page SEO. The idea here is simple—make sure your content is worth promoting before you go out there are promote it!
Why should you begin with On-page SEO?
Search engines are network applications that understand a specific language. SEO especially on-page optimization involves focusing on the language search engines will understand so that they know what your website is all about. Giving them more relevant signals will increase your chances of getting a better rank.
It is only when you have taken care of everything which comes under on-page optimization you should move to off-page.
For those of you who run a small business and target local customers, On-page optimization is all you may require. If you want to reach limited users through your website, using relevant content, tags, keywords, meta-description etc. are enough to do the job.
On-page optimization, when done right, leads to enhanced user experience. A website that offers relevant information, easy navigation and a user friendly interface is what the searchers are looking for. Make sure your content is engaging and utilizes all the targeted keywords appropriately. Not only this, you also need to concentrate on the usability of your website. On-page is what you need to ensure your target users or customers find your website useful!
Done and Dusted? Not really!
Search engine optimization isn’t a one-time thing. You need to tweak and update your website regularly in order to keep up with the ever-changing digital trends. When changes are made in a website, its SEO parameters become outdated. This is why both on-page as well as off-page optimization require constant attention.
Content is still the King!
Any search engine optimization can’t help you if your website does not provide unique, engaging and relevant content. Also, if your website offers really good content, other websites will readily offer backlinks to you. Before you set out on your journey to the first page of search engines results, make sure what you are offering is worth the time your users will spend on it!