On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO... What's The Difference?
On-Page SEO, at it’s foundation, is all about what you do on your own website to optimise it for search engine rankings. Some examples of this are:
- Changing your h1 tags and meta titles to include your killer keywords.
- Regularly updating your blog with high quality, engaging content.
- Optimising your meta descriptions to maximise Click-Through-Rate (CTR).
On-Page SEO is all about making it as easy as possible for Google to read your websites code, understand what it is all about, and to help Google to know that by pushing up your website in the search results, you’re the highest value choice in your chosen marketplace.
As a general rule, you should generally start off your SEO activities by editing your website itself. It serves as the foundation. If you invest a lot in Off-Page SEO, yet have poorly optimised On-Page SEO, then your results will lag behind as a result.
Let’s go over some of the most important On-Page SEO factors…
A website that is optimised is a great thing. But before we can optimise it – we have to know what we’re optimising for! Here at Digital Capital Marketing we have a concept called your ‘killer keyword’. This is all about finding THE most lucrative keyword for your business, and solely focusing on that to start off with. This is most likely to be the main search term that people would type in when searching for your business. For example, if you’re an elevator technician in New York City, then your killer keyword is likely to be:
“elevator services nyc”
If you want to go a little bit technical here, then create a Google Ads account (don’t worry, you don’t have to pay any ads for this – just create your free account). After this, go to the Keyword Planner and type in your killer keyword. Let’s take a look using the example above:
In this case, it seems that more people search for ‘elevator repair nyc’ than our original idea ‘elevator services nyc’. For this reason, we’re going to change our new ‘killer keyword’ to be:
“elevator repair nyc”
Now we know exactly what to focus all of our On-Page SEO efforts on to begin with. Why focus on just the one keyword? This intense focus allows us to get the best results in the shortest period of time, and serves as an excellent foundation for future SEO efforts.
Title Tag & Meta Description
The title tag is just the text that appears in the tab of your website. It also appears as the biggest blue text in Google, like this:
You want to utilise these title tags as effectively as possible. Not only will you be using them to rank in Google, but you will also be competing for clicks against your competitors on your search results page. Here, we don’t want to just put your brand name. We want to add a brief description of what you do and why you’re the best. This is known as the meta description, and its the text found below where your website link (www.yourwebsite.com) is.
This is an incredibly important factor when trying to get people to click on your website, and a few experimentations may be required until you hit a jackpot. To start with, we’d recommend taking a look at your top 3 competitors and how they describe their services in the meta description.
After this, take some inspiration from them as well as from other good examples that you have found and try out some different versions of text to see what converts best.
Google themselves have said that a websites page speed is one of the most important ranking factors when it comes to On-Page SEO. In fact, they have even gone so far as to create a tool you can use to measure your websites page speed. This is called PageSpeed Insights, and within a few seconds you will be provided with a detailed breakdown of your websites speed on both desktop and mobile as well as Google themselves identifying some issues that you can work on to speed up your website.
Alt text is simply the text that is associated with any image that you post. What this means is that whenever you post an image, Google doesn’t want to have to figure out what your image is on its own. Instead, your alt text is a brief description of what your image is.
While providing a brief description is important, we’re all about getting the best results possible. To achieve this with your alt text, you should be including your killer keyword in all alt text descriptions. Using our previous example, if you are posting an image of elevator repair and you want to rank for ‘elevator repair nyc’, then you could write: ‘elevator being repaired in nyc’. This tells Google what your image is, while providing a nice boost for our search engine rankings.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Having one means that when a client is viewing your website, a 3rd party cannot get in between you two and mess with the transmission. It not only improves security, but it makes you more trustworthy in the eyes of Google and is a must-have for anyone looking to improve their SEO rankings.
Content creation lies around creating content for users. Most often this is in the form of blog posts and YouTube videos. Blog posts, like this one you’re reading, allows you to provide valuable content to your visitors, which keeps them on the website longer and encourages visitors to explore it. Google likes when people stay on websites for long periods of time as it suggests there is valuable content that should be shown to others (in other words – bumping you up in the search algorithm!).
Not only this, but it clearly demonstrates that your website is regularly updated. Google doesn’t want to show old websites – they’d much rather show new ones that regularly post new content. This is exactly what content creation does.
63% of Google searches are done on mobile devices. It’s safe to say that optimising your website for mobile devices is more important than ever. Google describe how important this is themselves in this blog post about mobile friendliness.
If the majority of searches are performed on mobile devices, and Google puts the effort in just to write about having a mobile friendly website, then it is clearly very important to have. Luckily for us, Google has gone to the effort of creating a mobile friendly tool. Just enter in your website URL, click the ‘test’ button, and wait for Google to let you know what the results are.
Now that we’ve covered some basics of On-Page SEO, we want to focus on Off-Page SEO. As the name implies, this is all about focusing on what is not on your website.
Backlinks are simply websites that link back to your site. This is one of the most important factors of Off-Page SEO because it is one of the main factors Google uses when choosing how high a website should rank in its search results.
To create backlinks, other websites need to link back to you. This can be done by simply asking other websites, being featured in the news, or participating in forums. It is important to do this in a high-value way – imagine if you’re the owner of a website and some random guy emails you, and asks you to put a link back to his website on your site. You’re most likely going to say no here.
In comparison to this, imagine if that same random guy emails you, but instead offers to post a guest blog post on your websites blog in exchange for a backlink. From your perspective, you’re gaining free added value in the form of a guest blog post, and all you need to do is add a small link back to your own website.
See the difference? This is a far more effective way of approaching backlinks.
This gets translated into something known as Domain Authority (DA). DA is simply a number that summarises how trustworthy your website is from Google’s perspective. Backlinks are the main source for the rating, and it is measured on a score between 1 and 100. The higher the score, the higher you will rank in search engines.
There are 3 ‘grades’ to a DA rating:
- 0-40: Poor
- 40-50: Average
- 50-60: Good
- 60+: Excellent
This is why the quality of your backlinks is incredibly important. It’s a game of quality here, not quantity. If hundreds of 5 and below DA websites are linking back to you, your DA score is low and Google is not going to trust you very much. However, if you have even just one or two >70+ DA websites linking back to your site, then your DA rating is likely to be far higher, and Google is very likely to trust you a lot more – meaning you get pushed up higher in the search engine results, getting more traffic, leads and sales passively to your website.
Google my Business (GmB)
Google my Business is the box that appears when you type in your business, like shown in the image below:
If you don’t already have a GmB page for your business, you can order one here.
Having a GmB profile is important for SEO as while prospects can easily find out more about your business, it also means your business starts ranking in Google Maps.
Google Maps SEO deserves a blog post of its own. But as a quick summary – often people will search for a search term like ‘elevator companies near me’. After they do this, one of the top search results is very likely to be a selection of businesses that are features on Google Maps, like this:
Being ranked highly on Google Maps means that you will appear at the top of the list – giving you even more opportunity to gain more business from SEO efforts.