Different SEO Techniques And How You Can Benefit From Them
There has been a lot of talk about search engine optimisation (SEO) and how it can help in driving traffic to your website. Since you’ve found your way here, we will assume that you too have taken interest in different techniques that help search engines rank your site against similar websites and make your competition look stiff. But there is a lot of ground to cover before you can even begin to consider yourself an on and off-site SEO specialist.
What does it take to succeed? Firstly, you need to fully understand how people use search engines, from the moment they first form the question they’re about to ask Google, to how they find you and possibly proceed to make a purchase or booking on your site.
The trick? Your website is a network of signals to be interpreted by search engines. The engine decides where your site will rank in organic search results. To determine your ranking position, the engine analyses the relevance of your web page to the search term used. This means that you have a better chance of appearing at the top of search results if you make your web content relevant to your customer’s needs (and do a better job at it than your competition).
Now you will understand what the fuss is about: How you manage your SEO determines where you show up in search rankings, and whether prospective customers can find you or not.
Behind every great Google ranking, is a team of SEO specialists, that have been perfecting their on and off-site SEO skills over years and years. It is believed that SEO was born in 1991. Around this time, the world’s first website was launched, and it quickly got crowded on the world wide web. Although Search Engine Optimization has been around for almost as long as the internet has, only one thing is certain in the world of SEO: It’s always changing!
SEO techniques have changed a great deal since the early days: From keyword stuffing to filling entire pages with backlinks, SEO has evolved from its clumsy toddler stage and grown into a sophisticated and technical practice, using both on-page and off-page techniques to land top rankings for high-quality websites.
We have mentioned these two terms a couple of times, but what exactly is on- and off-page SEO, and how do expert digital marketers use them to serve their clients (and what can you take away from it)?
That’s exactly what we, the team behind Anchor Digital, dedicated today’s post to! Here is everything you need to know, about both on and off-site SEO and how to combine the two, in order to develop and implement a successful marketing strategy!
Search Engine Basics
A search engine is a software that uses the internet to screen billions of websites for their content and evaluates thousands of factors in order to determine which content is most likely to answer the user’s question or search query. Search results are organised in a line of results, that we refer to as search engine result pages (SERP). In doing so, a search engine catalogues all available content on the Internet, a process called “crawling”, before continuing to match the query in a process referred to as “ranking”. And all of this happens in a matter of seconds.
Which Search Results Are “Organic”?
When a search engine presents its results, there are two types: Organic results and paid search results. Organic or natural results are all the pages that match the user’s search query, listed from top to bottom, starting with the most relevant. Organic search results are earned through effective SEO. Paid search results, on the other hand, are results that the site owners have paid for in order to rank for certain keywords and when set up properly, their listings show up on the very top of search results.
Organic or paid? If you’re not sure which one to go with, we’ll help you to find out which strategy is right for you!
What Is The Difference Between On and Off-Page SEO?
If you want to succeed with your search engine optimization efforts, it’s important to know and understand the difference between On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO involves all the on-site techniques you can employ to ensure a webpage will rank on a SERP. It uses both content and technical elements to improve the quality of a page, so the more time and energy you pour into on-page SEO, the more traffic you’ll get to a website and the more relevant that traffic will be.
Optimising a website for on-page SEO includes many different aspects, such as:
- Improving mobile site speed and responsiveness
- Making your site mobile friendly
- Page tagging
- URL structure
- Leveraging internal and external links
- Creating killer content
- Using LSI keywords
To learn more, check out our article on how to nail on-page SEO!
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO describes all the actions you can take outside of your own website. Backlinks are an integral part of off-page SEO. We would like to emphasise that a single quality backlink from an authoritative site is worth more than 10 or even 100 low-quality links. Keyword stuffing and buying or trading spammy backlinks used to be an acceptable practice, but by 2020 search engines have evolved far enough to identify sketchy practices and filling your page with irrelevant backlinks can get you penalised by Google and similar search engines.
Link building isn’t easy, but here are four strategies, according to Neil Patel, that you rely on:
- Writing guest blogs on other websites to promote yourself as an expert
- Write content linking to influencers in your field
- Scan influential blogs in your field for broken links and suggest replacing the broken links with content you’ve written – see an example from Backlinko of a Broken Link Building Email in the image below
- People love infographics, and more so sharing them
And of course, our expert SEO team has a comprehensive yet practical off-page SEO guide ready for you!
How Do On And Off-Page SEO Work Together?
All of the previously discussed strategies are important for the implementation of a successful SEO strategy, which results in increased visibility and credibility for your website. But picking one and forgetting about the other, is going to stand between you and the prime search engine ranking you’re working for so hard.
If you focus your energy entirely on on-page SEO, you will hit a point where small results are achieved for an increased amount of effort. Equally, if you focus too much on off-page SEO, you’re limiting your website’s potential. When crafting your SEO strategy, keep in mind that search engines are trying to deliver the best search experience for their users, and they take both SEO strategies into the account!
To attract the right people to your site you need both a highly optimised website (on-page SEO) and the external trust signals (off-page SEO). Therefore, we highly recommend you, to not focus too heavily on only one aspect of SEO!
To get you started, on-page SEO is definitely the right place: Everything that happens on your website, is directly within your control. Even the smallest tweaks can make a big difference, so not optimising your site would be rather foolish.
Once you’ve got the basics of on-page SEO right, you need to move on to the, admittedly a little bit trickier, off-page SEO tactics. Still, you shouldn’t waste time to start managing your website’s online reputation: The effects of off-site SEO take a little longer to come into fruition. Consistency is therefore key. The production of high-quality content, not just for your own, but other websites can get you backlinks and social shares that have your page authority skyrocket sooner or later.
Yet, there’s no perfect mix or secret sauce of SEO. In the end, it is in your hands to test what works for your website. If you feel equipped to do so by now, we congratulate you! Should you still have your doubts, we’d love to help you get started on the right foot!
But Why is SEO so Important?
More than 3.5 billion searches are performed on Google EVERY DAY. Let that number sink in for a moment. It means that no matter what you do for a living, no matter which product or service your business offers or how small or big your company is, there are people out there searching for what you have to offer – in this very moment. The key to taking them where you want them to (your website) lies in search engine optimisation. It’s what will get your page on the search engine’s radar.
SEO needs to be a priority, from the very day you start building your website. But don’t worry, it’s never too late to implement the techniques we mentioned earlier or hire a specialist that will sort it out for you. Sooner or later, you need to jump on the optimisation train: Search engines need to be fed data in order to pull a website out of an ocean of pages to the top of their search engine rankings.
SEO keeps the search results fair. If it didn’t exist, you wouldn’t find the website with the most relevant content on top of the search engine ranking, but maybe the site with the most pages or the words in total – which could be completely irrelevant to a search query. SEO greatly minimises the ability to manipulate search results and places pages on top that deserve to be there.
And lastly, SEO can save you a lot of money and is a great tool for everyone on a tight budget. You don’t need to spend large sums on getting paid traffic to your site. It does, of course, help to spend money on ad space, especially if you want to see a quick turnaround. But, SEO allows you to achieve great results, driving traffic to your page.
Don’t forget, your competitors may already be very dedicated to SEO and taking full advantage of its benefits. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity and get on that train today!
Google SEO Guidelines – The Do’s And Don’ts
Here is a quick list of tips to keep in mind before we wrap it up!
- Create websites for users, less for search engines.
- Always ask yourself: Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?
- Offer quality content and services.
- Research. Measure keywords metrics before writing your content.
- Use relevant linking wisely.
- Improve the structure of your URLs.
- Use tags appropriately.
- Optimise your use of images.
- Build a mobile-friendly version of your website.
- Notify Google of mobile sites.
- Invest in social media presence.
- Analyse your data and improve, improve, improve.
- Never use automatically generated content.
- Copy and paste. Creating pages without original content won’t get you anywhere.
- Cloak. Meaning, don’t present your users a different content from that information passed on to search engine crawlers.
- Participe in link schemes or buy links from low-authority pages.
- Rely on hidden text and links.
- Use doorway pages. They offer little value to the users.