On-page and off-page SEO optimisation - where to begin

By Lara Wiltshire - April 27, 2012

Your website is the central hub of your digital marketing efforts and SEO is the tool that helps your target audience to find you. That's if you get your SEO right...If you're taking the first steps towards getting your web pages and blog content up to SEO scratch, the best place to start is to get an understanding of the basic categories of search engine optimisation. 

On-page vs. off-page SEO optimisation

SEO can be divided into two separate categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

  • On-page SEO refers to how well your website's content is presented to search engines. This can often be improved immediately.
  • Off-page SEO refers to your site’s overall “authority” on the web, which is determined by what other websites say about your site. This can take time to improve and will require a strategy that's strongly focussed on building inbound links from reputable websites.

 

GETTING STARTED WITH QUICK ON-PAGE SEO WINS

Though on-page SEO accounts for only about 25% of how search engines score and rank your website, it’s worth tackling first since it can be improved quickly.

It’s a good idea to test alternative SEO elements to assess which works best for your website. It’s also a good idea to grade your site's current SEO ranking before you start. You can use tools like Hubspot's Website Grader so you have a measurable element to assess your SEO efforts and you re-grade and your score has improved.

9 key elements of On-page website optimisation

With your current baseline page rankings noted down, it's time to implement the quick fixes that can generate quick wins. Here are nine of the basic on-page elements to begin with:

1. Page Title

These are an important element, you need to try include keywords, not make them too long (less than 70 characters) and make it readable to visitors to your website.

2. Meta Description

Meta descriptions are an often overlooked aspect of SEO. While it does not directly influence the spiders or crawlers, it’s good practice to include keywords in your meta descriptions.

3. Headings

Text in the headings is more likely to be read by search engines as keywords than text in the rest of the page. For this reason, it is good to include keywords in your headings whenever possible.

4. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

CSS holds a template for the layout of your page. In the CSS, you define how headings, links, and other visual elements of the text should look.

5. Images

Use them but not excessively and always associate text (alt text) with pictures, as search engines don’t read pictures but they do read text.

6. Domain Info
The longer your site is registered for the better it will rank.

7. MOZ Rank

MOZ Rank is a general measure of how much online authority your site has.

8. Google Crawl Date

The best thing you can do to make Google crawl your site more frequently is to regularly produce fresh content and publish it on your website.

9. URL Structure

The URL of a web page is its web address. For example, Struto's blog has a URL of http://www.struto.co.uk/blog/. The URL structure of a website is about how the different URLs connect with each other.

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