On Page SEO Versus Off Page SEO
It’s shocking how many online marketers and webmasters dive into SEO without even knowing the fundamentals.
And, almost none of them fully understand what they “know”. In order to get the most out of SEO, you need to understand both on page and off page SEO.
For years, marketers have been arguing over the importance of both on and off page search engine optimization.
Which is more important than the other and why? In short, off page optimization is greatly more important than on page, but for optimum results you must use them together.
On Page SEO
On page SEO is essentially optimizing your website and its content to better rank in the search engines. Unlike off page SEO, on page is completely free and extremely simple. On page SEO is based on optimizing your content for certain keywords you want to rank for by using them in certain areas of your site. Here are the six on page fundamentals:
1. Keyword In Title
Having the keyword in title is more important than any other on page value. Google and other search engines use the keywords in your title to determine what your page and or site is about. If you’re going to do any form of on page SEO, make sure you put your keyword in title, preferably at the beginning. (Google reads from left to right)
Another important reason why titles are so important is because they’re displayed in the search results. So therefore your title better be damn compelling or you’re not going to get any traffic at all.
2. Keyword In Description
The next vital on page SEO aspect is the description. Every page on the Internet has a description. Why are they important? Mainly because they’re displayed in search engine results directly below the actual listings.
3. Keyword In H1, H2 and H3 Tags
Using header tags has been proven to boost rankings time and time again. No explanation needed.
4. Keyword In URL
Again, another blatantly obvious on page SEO factor that just makes sense. By incorporating the keyword into your URL you’re just reinforcing your on page optimization. Keyword in URL is a factor that can really make a difference, but it’s not 100% mandatory.
5. Keyword Density
This on page SEO factor goes back to the origins of the search engines. Back when the first search engines came about, it was incredibly easy to “game the system”. The search engines ranked pages based on relevance. Relevance is still an important aspect, but popularity has sort of taken over.
Anyway by stuffing thousands of keywords into random web pages, marketers were dominating the search engines and literally making fortunes. Of course, that was before the first sophisticated algorithm.
Saying that, keyword density is still important. On top of all the other on page fundamentals, you should mention your primary keyword about 4-5 times in every 100 words. A cool 4-5% keyword density works for me and many others.
Just don’t think the higher your density, the better you’ll rank. It doesn’t work like that, if you go too low you won’t get the full benefit and if you go too high you’ll be seen as a spammer and be sentenced to the bottom of the search results.
6. Image Alt Tag
I actually didn’t use this one until the second year of my search engine adventures. Even though I was getting great results without using image alt tags, I definitely noticed an improvement after using them. An image alt tag is essentially a tag that tells search engines what your image is about.
Google and other search engines can’t appreciate a great work of art, they can’t see images. The only way they can know what they’re about and if they’re relevant to your site is if you use image alt tags.
Off Page SEO
Off page search engine optimization is the process of promoting your site off page. In other words, building backlinks. There are literally hundreds of ways to build backlinks, some work better than others. Unlike on page SEO, I’ve written a lot of articles about link building so I won’t talk much about it here. If you want to read 5 simple but deadly link building strategies, click here.
So who wins? On page SEO or off page SEO?
Clearly the winner is off page SEO. Why?
Well because you don’t actually need on page SEO to rank well in the search engines, at least not much of it. There is just no way you can possibly rank for any competitive keyword using on page SEO alone. Relevance is vital and that’s what on page SEO is all about.
But thousands of pages may be relevant to the keyword you want to rank for and I don’t see more than 10 listings squeezing onto the first page of Google. On page SEO is completely limiting whereas off page is not. There is no limit to the popularity of a webstie i.e. the number of backlinks you can build.
However there’s only so much on page SEO you can do before you run out of things to do. Combine them both, focus on off page SEO and don’t count on getting any traffic without link building.
P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below. Also put your name and email address into the form on the right for more cool SEO tips, tricks and secrets.