On-page SEO & Off-page SEO
One of the first things many new webmasters do in an attempt to conquer the top positions in search engines is to rush to on-page SEO. While on-page SEO is a powerful tool, relying solely on it isn’t enough. On-page SEO alone is simply not powerful enough to drive your site to the top of search engines.
What Is On-page SEO and Off-page SEO?
Basically, on-page SEO includes all the techniques you apply to the text and meta of your pages. Just about all these techniques involve keywords. To get relevant keywords, use and analyze your site’s stats. Examples for on-page SEO are:
- creating unique title tags and h1 and h2 tags
- using unique meta description and meta keywords
- using URLs that include keywords; avoiding long nonsensical strings
- interlinking all pages well within the site with relevant anchor text
- creating keyword rich pages without stuffing keywords
In the end, keep in mind that your content is created for human beings. Search engines are getting better at recognizing if you’re stuffing keywords purely for SEO purposes. Make sure each article reads well and is still attractive to your users after your SEO techniques have been applied.
Off-page SEO, as the name implies, includes strategies applied anywhere but your actual website. Examples of off-page SEO techniques are:
- getting backlinks from high PR pages on related websites with relevant anchor text (check your competitors’ backlinks to find relevant sites)
- creating a presence on social networking sites
- participating in forums as an expert
- writing guest posts
- ask to get liked and tweeted on social networking sites
- bookmarking on StumbleUpon etc.
- creating and offering widgets for your site
- answering questions on ‘answer sites’ as an expert
Both on-page SEO and off-page SEO are important. If you don’t combine on-page SEO with off-page SEO, you may not get the results you envision. In other words, it is important to research keywords and apply them to your text and tags (on-page SEO) and get quality backlinks (off-page SEO).
Combining On-page SEO and Off-page SEO
Having good keywords in strategic places will be more effective if you also have quality backlinks for example. A PR5 backlink with your keywords as the anchor text can be more important than on-page keyword density. On the other hand, if you don’t have good keywords, that’s not good either. So it is best to have both, good keywords and quality backlinks. If one of these are missing, it may hurt your SEO results.
The bottom line is that using on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques will give you better results than only one or the other.
It would be great if there was an ultimate formula for the successful combination of on-page SEO and off-page SEO, but, as you may have guessed by now, there isn’t. Finding the right balance between on-page SEO and off-page SEO for your specific site is what’s crucial. Each site will demand it’s own balance. It’s a matter of available resources you have for SEO, the niche of your website, business model, etc.
On top of that, ranking algorithms change frequently and search results depend on the settings of each person’s browser, so even if you manage to find a good balance between on-page SEO and off-page SEO today, you may not get the same results from your strategy in the future.
For example, currently quality backlinks have a relatively high weight and if you invest some efforts in building quality backlinks, you’ll most likely see some positive results for your efforts. But this may change in the future. Reality is that SEO is an ongoing process and in order to keep your site ranking well, your on-page and off-page SEO strategy should be analyzed and updated on a regular basis.
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