The pandemic has forced many businesses to focus on their online presence. But long before that, we saw steady growth in everything that moves online. So maybe you want to get involved and decide to build a website for your business quickly. Or perhaps you have decided to revitalise your existing website. Big! What now? SEO is one way to attract (and keep) people to your website.
The practice is to optimise your web pages to rank highly in Google search results and other search engines. This means that people are more likely to find your site when they search online. SEO focuses on increasing rankings in organic search results. The practices revolving around it are unpaid and focus on growing organic traffic.
If you have a website and want to get more traffic, there is no doubt that SEO should be a part of your marketing efforts. The idea behind SEO is that if you optimise your pages for the best results, you can move up those rankings and be one of the first results people see. This will give you more clicks and traffic to your website!
How does SEO work?
In simple terms, SEO works by showing search engines that your content is the best result for the topic under consideration.
Because all search engines have the same goal- to show their users the best and most relevant results.
How exactly you do that depends on the search engine you’re optimising for.
If you want more organic traffic to your website, you need to understand and care about Google’s algorithms. If you want more video views, it’s all about the YouTube algorithm.
What are the different SEO types?
SEO strategy can be divided into two distinct categories: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. Both are critical to the success of an SEO campaign, but they stand on very different sides of the fence.
On-page SEO focuses on optimising the parts of your website that are under your control. With on-page SEO, the focus is on increasing the credibility of your domain by creating content and gathering feedback from other sites. To better understand the difference between the two, you need to know how search engine algorithms work at a basic level.
There are two main areas that search engines consider when ranking your site compared to other sites on the internet.
- On-page SEO looks at what your website (or pages) is all about.
- Off-page SEO looks at how authoritative and popular your website is
Simply put, your ranking is primarily determined by on-page factors, whereas off-page factors primarily determine your order in search results.
On-Page SEO manages the various aspects of your website that affect your search engine rankings. Your website appearance on search engine results pages is determined by several ranking factors.
These factors include several aspects like website accessibility, page speed, optimised content, keywords, title tags, and more. On-page SEO is all about optimising what you control and can change on your website.
Checklist of on-page SEO
How do you make sure your SEO tactics are on the page ready? Here’s a handy on-site optimisation checklist that can help you monitor your strategy.
Include your target keyword in the title tag of every page on your website. Many best practices are part of a compelling title label.
- Limit your title name to 55-60 characters (including spaces).
- Click on a keyword closer to the beginning of the title (ONLY if it sounds natural).
- Insert a mark at the end of the title, separated by a bar (|).
Titles are usually the most dominant part of a page. For this reason, search engines give them a little more weight than the rest of your page copy. We recommend using your targeted keywords in the title of every web page, but make sure they reflect the great content on your page. Make sure your H1 is limited to one per page.
If possible, include keywords in your URLs. However, it is important to keep in mind that you must not change your existing URLs to have keywords in them. It would help if you did not change the old URL unless you plan to redirect your old URL to the new one. Consult a professional before doing this.
- Label your directories and folders in a way that makes sense to the user.
- Do not duplicate keywords more than once in your URL. Inserting keywords in URL is a valid strategy, but overdoing it will ruin the user experience.
- Make the URL as short as possible.
Alternate text for images
Any content management system should allow you to add “alternative text” to all the images on your website. This text on the image is invisible to casual visitors. However, the alternative text is used by screen reader software to help visually impaired internet users understand the content of your images. Search engines search for pictures in the same way, and including some relevant keywords while accurately describing the image will help search engines understand the content of your page.
Writing an alt attribute for each image supports your website according to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). When writing alternative text, keep the following in mind:
- Describe the picture in detail in 8-10 words
- Please enter your target keyword where it sounds most natural
- Add geolocator if necessary
Fast page loading or page loading speed
Google wants to help its users find what they are looking for as quickly as possible to provide the best user experience. Therefore, optimising your pages to load faster will help your site rank higher in search results.
Google has a Speed Insights tool that analyses your website on mobile and desktop computers. They provide tips for optimising page speed. There are also some quick fixes to get rid of anything blocking your site and slowing down your page load time. Important website speed factors to keep in mind:
- Minimise HTTP requests
- Ensure server response time <200ms
- Stop browser cache for at least a week or so
- Enable Gzip compression
- For image sizes under 100 kb (.jpg, .png, .gif)
- Put all CSS in an external stylesheet
- Minify all JS, CSS and HTML
- Prioritise loading of content on the screen
Convenience for mobile devices
Google has prioritised mobile page loading speed as an essential ranking indicator in recent years. How do you know if your website is mobile-friendly? You can enter a website’s URL in this test, and Google will tell you how user-friendly the website is based on the current algorithm.
In addition to loading mobile pages, website design must consider the mobile user experience. One way to review and optimise the layout of your mobile website is to generate a mobile usability report that will identify any issues your website may be experiencing.
Off-page SEO focuses on increasing the credibility of your domain by getting links from other websites. A good analogy for how power works is this. If you have a tub with rubber ducks in it (duck is your side) and start filling the tub with water (tie ties), all your ducks will rise to the top. Websites like Wikipedia rank almost anything under the sun. There is so much water in your tub that it will swim upwards without further effort if you throw the rubber duck again. This is where the importance of the “Domain Authority” lies. Domain Authority calculates how authoritative your website is compared to other websites. You can enter your domain name here to see the results.
How to optimise for off-page SEO?
Several factors affect your off-page SEO ranking. Although each of them deals with different strategies, they have the same goal of building your website’s trust and reputation from the outside.
- Embedded Shortcut
- Social Media Marketing
- Guest Blogs and Guest Posts
- Mention unrelated trademarks
- Influencer Marketing
The most significant off-page SEO factor is the number and quality of links pointing to your site. Some examples of ways you can link to your website are:
- Create great content that people want to link to because it’s valuable.
- Share your content on social media, ultimately generating links.
- Distribute emails to influential people in your industry who will eventually contact you.
- Guest blogging on sites related to yours. This guest post contains a link to your website.
While the number of links still matters, content creators and SEOs recognise that link quality is now more important than the number of connections. Therefore, creating shareable content is the first step to gaining valuable links and improving offsite SEO.
How many links do you need for good off-site SEO?
It’s challenging and based on your competitors’ domain authority because you want to make sure you’re playing in the same gritty environment. SEOs also believe that buying links is a valid link-building method. However, Google will now penalise you for buying links to manipulate page rank. You may also be punished for submitting links to link directories whose sole purpose is to increase the credibility of your domain. Again, quality wins over quantity when it comes to building relationships.
Which one of them is important?
It’s not about choosing between SEO and offsite. It’s like choosing between the foundation or the roof for your home. On-page and off-page SEO work together to improve your search engine rankings further. Take advantage of this SEO guide and learn everything you need to know about seo. However, SEO optimisers usually advise you to target your on-page SEO duck before focusing too much on off-page SEO. Just like when building a house, you want to lay the foundation first before making the rest of the house. Like a foundation, you may need to go back and do some SEO on your site from time to time. If you balance the two, you can make your site “bilingual” so users can understand it and search engine robots alike – and that’s how your rankings start to improve.