Whoever said life was unfair must have certainly gone through the ever-changing Google algorithm updates. Because with every update that Google releases, SEO gets seems to get a little more complex. But, here are the Top 6 SEO Trends that will Dominate 2018 to make your lives easier.
There is not just one but two main buckets that search engines look at when assessing your site compared to other sites on the web.
- On-page: What is your site all about?
- Off-page: How convincing is your site? How popular is it?
Gone are the days when on-page SEO was essentially synonymous with keyword stuffing, while off-page SEO involved a bit more than getting as many links as possible to your pages, that too as quickly as possible. In other words, what you rank for is largely determined by on-page factors, while how high you rank in the search results is largely determined by off-page factors.
But now, both on and off-page SEO have advanced and evolved significantly. Each element of search engine optimisation now entails its own components to cater to, and each one offers its own potential for ROI.
Now we are sure you definitely want to know some important differences between on-page and off-page search engine optimisation so that you can prioritise your SEO tasks effectively. As crucial as both on-page and off-page are to the success of an SEO campaign, they’re on completely different sides of the fence when it comes to enhancing your search engine rankings.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO helps in optimising diverse parts of your website that affect your search engine rankings. It’s something that you have control over and can change on your own. Some of the biggest factors are:
Your title tags should include your keywords on each page of your site. You could look at the many best practices that go into writing an effective title tag.
They are called headings for a reason. And are usually the biggest words on the page. Any wonder then, search engines give them a little more weight than your other page copy. It would be a super idea to work your target keywords into the headings of each web page.
Metadata is a well-written description summarising the content of a particular webpage. It used to be one of the most important factors affecting search engine optimisation once upon a time. Meta descriptions should be created within a limit of 155- 160 characters, which effectively should not have anything but alphanumeric characters. Though in the current scenario, it can’t influence search engine rankings, but Meta Data does help in getting a high click-through rate.
Add keywords into your URLs if that can be done easily. However, you do not have to change the current URLs just so they have keywords in them. Don’t alter old URLs unless you plan on redirecting your old ones to your new ones. Consult someone who knows about this before you set out to do this.
ALT TEXT FOR IMAGES
Alt text should be added to all images on your website. The average visitor can’t see this text. The screen reader software uses alt text to help blind internet users understand the content of your images. Search engines crawl images in more or less the same way, so introducing some appropriate keywords while accurately describing the image will help search engines understand your page’s content.
FAST-LOADING PAGES, OR PAGE LOAD SPEED
In a world where everything seems to revolve around speed, we can’t blame Google for wanting to help its users find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. It does this to provide the best user experience. Thus, optimising your pages to load faster helps your site rank higher in the search results.
Fresh, relevant, and useful – the content on your pages needs to be all this and more. If the users are looking for something specific on your page, they need to be able to find what they’re looking for. It needs to be easy to read and provide value to the end-user. Search engines, especially Google, have several ways to measure if your content is useful.
It is but common sense to link pages. Linking one of your website pages to other similar pages on your website offers context to the search engine and to the readers as well. Some of the known best practices are:
- Include links in the main content of each page.
- Paragraph links carry the most weight.
- Use keyword-rich anchor text in links.
- Avoid using non-descriptive anchor text (for example, read more, click here, etc.).
- Link to relevant, deep pages.
- Use breadcrumb navigation on every page.
- Monitor your inbound links through Google Webmaster Tools.
- Avoid multiple links to the same page from a single page.
- Less links= More authority per link.
The most common practice of showing “related links” or “tags” at the end of a page or in a sidebar is done to thematically relate one page to another.
Google’s understanding of a page’s content is improved by adding structured data. In addition, structured data is used by Google to display “rich results” in SERPs. There are a variety of ways to add structured data to your website (plugins, Google Tag Manager, and so on), but it’s always better to employ a professional if you’re not comfortable writing code.
It shows Google that your material is interesting, informative, and trustworthy when people share it on social media. Although not all of your website’s pages are shareable, you can make the ones that are with these recommendations – ensure you have Open Graph tags and Cards installed, and provide links or social sharing buttons to make it easy for visitors to share your material.
According to Google, “optimising for these qualities makes the web more pleasurable for users across all web browsers and surfaces, as well as helps sites progress toward user expectations on mobile.” Google is working on a new ranking indicator that will favour websites that give positive user experiences (coming out in 2021). The ‘page experience signal’ will include core Web Vitals, as well as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS security, and obtrusive interstitial guidelines.
CORE WEB VITALS
The long-term success of a website is determined by the user experience. Google introduced Core Web Vitals in April 2020, that is, a set of signals that the company considers “essential” to all users’ web experiences. These signals are used to quantify a website’s user experience – from page visual stability and load speed to interactions.
- Largest Contentful Paint – Indicates when the majority of the page content has been downloaded and gauges perceived page loading speed.
- First Input Delay – Measures how long it takes a user to engage with a page for the first time.
- Cumulative Layout Shift – Assesses the visual stability of a page by quantifying the amount of layout shift on the visible page content.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO concentrates on increasing the ability as well as the authority of your domain through the act of getting links from other websites. There’s something called “Domain Authority” that calculates how authoritative your website is compared to other sites.
Characteristics of Off-Page SEO Work
Managing an off-page SEO initiative is typically a larger responsibility and a harder task to undertake because you’ve got to start trying to affect the big wide search world, not just your corner of it. Done accurately and precisely, you can get some big bumps from off-page work.
The most important and by far the biggest off-page SEO factor is the number and quality of backlinks to your website. Some examples of ways you can build good links to your website are:
- Create mind-blowing content that interests people and they want to link to it because of its value.
- Be active on social media, as the shares of your content there will ultimately generate links.
- With 1.23 billion active users, you can and should share your content on Facebook. But don’t use a promotional tone; rather keep it light and not intrusive. Please keep in mind that interesting and light topics with pictures get more attention in the form of Likes and Share on Facebook.
Twitter and LinkedIn
- You can look at distributing your content on both these platforms. Content here can be in the form of an article, video, image, or even in the form of a simple update. If you have content of amazing quality you’ll surely be able to create a buzz around it.
- Pinterest is an image-sharing website that allows you to share pictures from your post to appeal to your target audience. The site can help you drive your sales.
- A question & answer platform, Quora can help you establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your field.
- You can create entertaining as well as informational videos on topics like pet-care tips or different retail strategies to share them on free video hosting sites like Vimeo, YouTube, etc., generating billions of unique viewers every month.
Leveraging social interaction with your site
These days, the use of social metrics or social engagement as a ranking factor is an increasing trend. Apart from backlinks, Google now gives particular importance to social signals around your content. Whether it’s the number of people who tweet, ‘Like’, social bookmark, or “vote” via Google +1 for your content, your site’s social footprints have a direct relation with your rankings. SEO has now evolved into social.
Another way of gaining strong backlinks is guest blogging. All you need to do is create relevant and high-quality content and submit it to blogs with higher page ranks. If your article reads really well and impresses all, it will get published. But remember; don’t just take it up for the sake of getting backlinks. Also submitting articles to substandard blog sites is not going to fetch you the advantages you are looking for.
And while size does matter, please remember that quality supersedes quantity. And the truth is just that creating excellent, shareable content is the first step to earning valuable links and improving your off-page SEO.
So how many links is a good number of links for good off-page SEO? That is a mean one to answer and the solution will be based on the Domain Authority of your contenders, as you want to make sure you’re playing on the same field.
Which one is more important?
You simply can’t choose between on and off-page SEO. That would be almost like choosing between a foundation and a roof if you had to decide which to use for your house. On-page and off-page SEO work together in tandem to improve your search engine rankings. They complement each other. But putting the house in order would require you to focus firstly on On-page SEO and then looking at off-page SEO.
Much like a foundation, you may be required to come back and do some touch-ups to your on-page SEO from time to time. Striking the right balance between the two will help make your website “bilingual” so that your users can understand it as well as the search engine robots- and that’s how your rankings start to improve. Both are extremely important and fundamental to the success of an online business. Though the world of SEO has changed over the years, it is very critical for online businesses to understand that both on-page and off-page SEOs are needed to get organic traffic from search engines.
So while Off-Page SEO gets you at the top of the search engine rankings, On-Page SEO keeps you there. Consider a scenario where Google is considering your site’s ranking based on bounce rate, time on site, and other search engine ranking metrics. In this case, Off-Page SEO will have to push you to the top spot first. Only On-Page SEO cannot do it, except on a niche with low competition. Your site’s authority comes from the number of links pointing back to it. If you check top ranking sites for any keyword on search engine results, you will notice that most top-ranked sites have a good number of backlinks. So does it mean that Off-Page SEO is more important?
According to us, On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO are both important, if you have a well-optimized post, fewer backlinks can shoot you into the top spot compared to when you have a poorly optimised site with the same number of backlinks. You can’t use one without the other, each simply supports the other. Learn both and use both to create a balance in your ranking technique and see your site succeed easily. We believe that on-page SEO and off-page SEO are like “Ying and Yang,” you just simply need both to fully flourish and enjoy maximum results. So we hope we are on the same page when we say that both on-page and off-page SEO are fundamental components of modern digital marketing. While one could go on and on that on-page is more critical since you need on-page content to have a web presence at all, off-page SEO is where much of your content promotion comes from. Off-page SEO drives extra viewers to your site.
And if it sounds like we’re saying you need to promote your content, yes, that is basically what it actually comes down to. The more awareness you can build of the quality content on your web page, the more leads you’ll generate.
Practising both on-page and off-page SEO marketing strategies can be a tall order, and in order to utilise these strategies in an appropriate manner it’s highly recommended that you avail the services of #ARM Worldwide, the leading provider of SEO services in India. Contact us now to know more!