Any information about building a successful website will use the words search engine optimization (SEO). SEO determines how easy or difficult it is for the search engines to find and index your site. The concept of using keywords is easy enough to grasp, but some other concepts of SEO aren’t. We often are asked what the difference is between onsite and offsite SEO. We figured it was about time we tried to explain where more people could get the answer.
Onsite vs. Offsite
To begin, you need to know what optimizations you can do onsite and offsite. In a nutshell, onsite SEO is what you do to your website to make it easy for the search engines to find. Offsite SEO includes the things you do outside of your site, besides advertising. This helps make you easy to find by these same search engines. Doing only one of these will help your site be easier to navigate. But, you need to do both to realize your best potential.
What Is Offsite SEO?
We’ll start our discussion with one major thing you can do offsite – link building. Link building is when links to your website are found elsewhere on the web. It is important to understand that while any link from a reputable source outside your site is good, you need to work at getting these naturally. The search engines also give more weight to certain kinds of links. For example, you can have your website listed on any number of index sites. You can also get a link when someone likes what you have written, and they mention your website on their site. The search engines will look at the two links and give greater points for the second because it was organic.
Getting External Links
There are several ways in which you can build up external links. Here are the most valuable.
Creating a Press Release
Every time you add something spectacular to your site, send out a news release. Each news site that chooses to post your press release will give you a link back to your site.
Social Media Mentions
When someone tweets something they found interesting on your site or posts a link on Facebook, search engines are happy. Pick two or three social media sites to include in your regular marketing efforts. Although social media mentions can improve your ranking according to BrightEdge via a Ahrefs article ‘SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media’.
Accepting Guest Posts
When you allow someone else to post on your blog, they will naturally mention the post on their blog and social media, giving you highly-rated links. However, you will want to make sure that you are not accepting poor content.
What Is Onsite SEO?
You have more control of the optimization you can do on your site to be easier to find.
Title and Description
Besides using your main keyword your title and website description, optimize for length. Google sets the standards for indexing and prefers titles close to 60 characters in length and descriptions that are under 150 words.
Using alt text for all graphics on your site is a must. This ensures that users who are not able to view the image still get a similar experience. Image alt text commonly falls under website accessibility and you can read more about that in this post: Website Accessibility - Disabilities On The Web.
Use only one H1 Title on a page, with a primary keyword included. Next, have several H2 and H3 headings on each page. In these, you can use your keywords to increase the number of terms you are likely to show up for in searches. Google has a good resource on creating unique and accurate page titles.
Try to include at least 1-3 links on each of your pages that send visitors to other pages on your website. This works well with a blog because you can direct readers to related content, some that may have been written a year or more before.
Search engines love new content. Try updating your site regularly. This is easy to do with a blog but can also be managed with a bit of planning for the rest of your site.
Sometimes search engines find that your site is preventing them from crawling. You can do everything else perfectly but if the search engines are unable to crawl your site. To check on any problems, register your site with Google. Once registered, click on the “crawl” option and then click “fetch and render.” This will result in letting you know that either your site was crawled successfully or that there is a problem to fix.
These are the major things you can do to help increase SEO on your website. Where will you start today?
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Other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Resources
Here are a few other blog posts that we have written on Search Engine Optimization.