Google’s main service, and priority to its users is providing relevant results to each query. To predict this accurately, SEO has two major components; onsite, and offsite. Understanding the difference between both, and the best way to maximise them for your website will make a big impact on your website’s authority and position on SERPs. Basically, onsite is everything in your control (or whoever looks after your website) on your actual website. Offsite means the things you can do everywhere else, be that building links to your website, social media and a whole host of other strategies.
This includes everything you do on your website to make it more search friendly. Onsite SEO usually involves adjusting several components of your content and website structure to make it relevant to search engines.
This is because search engines rank your website using the quality of data they can gather from it.
Key Components of Onsite SEO
Every step in a good onsite SEO strategy must be in line with Google’s guidelines. With good research and a clear action plan, you should be able to develop a strategy that provides the needed results.
Here are the important elements to consider, across all pages on a website.
1. Title tags and descriptions
Search engines crawl live pages and websites to determine their relevance. Your page titles and descriptions should give a clear indication of what your website is about, and why it is relevant to users.
2. Titles and meta descriptions
There are various metrics to stick to in terms of keyword inclusion and length. Make sure keywords in your titles and meta descriptions are relevant to the content in the main body of your pages.
A well-optimised page should also use header tags: H1, H2, and H3 with the right structure.
Your website cannot attract or convert visitors if there is no (relevant) content published. Pages such as your landing page should have high-quality, relevant, and readable content. Each page should also have a defined call to action. As well as meaningful content, it’s also important to ensure the text is highly readable. There are tools to algorithmically check this, including not using words that are too long or unnecessary. (See what we did there?)
4. Internal Linking
Page on your website should contain links to other internal pages. It’s not just enough to leave links lying around though. They must provide additional information that your visitors need. The structure of your site is important, and a great deal can be achieved by auditing a websites URL structure.
5. Website load speed
A heavy website with slow load speed will not rank high on Google. How often have you got tired of waiting for a page to load and clicked away? Well, this affects something called bounce rate, which google also keeps an eye on.
At EncodeMK we are sometimes guilty of being obsessed with fast loading web pages. On sites that we host ourselves or have control over, we go through a rigorous list of optimisation techniques to make sure it’s as fast as it can possibly be for the server it’s hosted on. If that’s not fast enough, then it’s time to move server.
Other important onsite SEO factors include:
- Mobile optimisation – This deserves way more than a bullet point to look out for an upcoming blog post.
- Sitemap structure
- Broken links (and other errors on the page)
- URL formats
The other end of SEO involves everything you do to promote your website, beyond its internal pages. This is done using several marketing efforts such as:
1. Link Building
Google’s complex algorithms don’t just evaluate your website. They also search out authority websites that link back to yours. Your own authority has to be proven by other high-quality sources.
2. Reviews & Reputation
You can increase your visibility using review sites. A good online reputation is important for authority building.
3. Influencer outreach
Who are the people or publications that already have the trust of your target audience? Once you identify them, offer to collaborate on something that will also provide value for them.
4. Guest blogging
Write for authority platforms in your industry, and leave links that take users back to your website.
5. Social media
Find and engage with your audience on social media. Also, give them something to share on their own pages.
So which is more important, Onsite or offsite?
There is no question that both of them are equally important.
However, we typically focus on optimising onsite SEO before promoting offsite. Even after you pull in visitors with offsite SEO, they won’t convert if your website has nothing valuable to offer them.