On-Page Optimisation (SEO)
SEO has traditionally divided into two main areas; on-page optimisation which covers what can be done on the pages of the website itself, and off-page optimisation which covers activity that takes place elsewhere (e.g. link-building).
The most effective strategy in 2012 however (social media powered SEO) requires an integrated approach, with on-page content promoted off-page within the main social media channels. Please click on the following link to find out more about social media SEO - the future proofed SEO strategy that delivers outstanding results now.
Alternatively, click here to understand more about how off-page SEO has had to adapt to changes in the search engines’ algorithms to remain effective in 2012.
Finally, if you are more interested in on-page SEO, we should probably warn you that, although it’s still very important to optimise on-page factors, it’s extremely unlikely to work on its own unless your market is particularly niche. Please read on for:
- A checklist outlining the key areas to consider when reviewing on-page SEO.
- A list of common mistakes to look out for with regard to on-page SEO.
- A list of old-school SEO (‘spammy’) on-page tactics that the search engines are now able to recognise (and punish accordingly).
On-Page SEO Checklist:
- Always start with keyword selection, research and testing
- Meta Description tag
- ALT tags
- H1 tags
- URL structure
- Internal linking strategy
- Keyword density
- Site maps, both XML and user facing
- Usability and accessibility
- Track target keywords
- Expect results in 6-12 months
Avoid common on-page SEO mistakes such as:
- Duplicate content
- URL variants of the same pages
- Off-site images and content on-site
- Duplicate title tags
Avoid spammy SEO tactics such as:
- Hidden text
- Hidden links
- Keyword repetition
- Doorway pages
- Mirror pages
Off-Page Optimization (SEO)
Defined: Off-page optimisation (off-page SEO) is what can be done off the pages of a website to maximise its performance in the search engines for target keywords related to the on-page content and keywords in off-page direct-links.
- Always start with keyword research, testing and selection
- Use Keywords in link anchor text
- Obtain links from high ranking publisher sites
- One-way inbound links (not link exchange or reciprocal links)
- Different keywords in your link-ads from the same site
- Gradual link building technology (no growth spikes)
- Use relevant keywords near your inbound link (contextual relevance)
- Deep linking (from multiple pages to multiple pages)
- Target a large list of keywords (5-500+)
- Link from sites with a variety of LinkRanks
- Track all active keywords and refine strategy as required
- Discontinue campaigns if ranking does not improve
- Expect results in 1-2 months (Bing) 1-9 months (Google, Yahoo)
Avoid common off-page SEO mistakes:
- Duplicate keywords in link avderts
- Site-wide links causing link growth spikes
- Using on-page SEOs to do the work of specialist off-page SEO's
- Placing random links without keywords near your link adverts
Do not use off-page SEO spamming tactics such as:
- Link farms (sites with 100+ outbound links per page)
- Using irrelevant keywords in your link-ads
- Garbage links
- Link churning
- Hidden inbound links
Off Page SEO Vs. On Page SEO
You may have made sure that you picked one of the best on page optimisation agencies in the industry, got references, asked for case studies then after risking it all with a 12 month contract, you invested all your expectations and large part of your internet marketing budget with the on-page Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) agency.
Months later with your patience worn through and no significant results delivered, you must be frustrated with the lack of returns on your investment and possibly even ready to give up on SEO all together.
We have been very surprised to see how many of the top SEO agencies in the UK have been very slow to change their optimisation strategies; now that on page optimisation has mostly lost all of its affect.
Is there any need for on-page optimisation?
There are some basic optimisation issues that are critical to have in place and then there are more technical / advanced techniques that can improve your search engine rankings. You should not pay for basic SEO advice and you do not need to pay much for advanced optimisation advice.
We disclose up to date SEO advice and tips to most of our clients at no charge.
After having the basics in place, creating masses of useful content is the main on-page optimisation strategy that a webmaster should focus on, but without off-page SEO you will not see your website’s current ranking increase significantly.
More on off-page optimisation…
Off page optimisation or off-page SEO is basically controlling how the internet portrays your website.
A professional off-page SEO will be able to employ their own resources* to control how search engines view your website and thereby control your ranking. Most off-page SEO techniques done well will result in very high ROI and high ranking in MSN, Google and Yahoo!
*One way links from their link publishing partners
Gradual link building technology
Your business partners and their link publishing resources
General internet resources: Powerful free directories, one way link brokering etc.
Online PR campaigns
Are there any risks associated with off-page SEO done incorrectly?
We recommend that you only use professionals for your off-page SEO.
Make sure that the company winning your business has been focusing on off page SEO for more than two years and are not late adopters jumping on the band wagon of a new product and service that has been under boom demand of late.
Has Our Opinion Changed in 2011?
Content is still really important, but creating masses of it purely for SEO purposes is much less effective now, a better strategy is to create relevant and genuinely interesting content that people will want to consume – after all this is what search engines want to give to their users so if you’re able to do this then the chances are, you’ll please both the search engines and your visitors.
Reading through the other key on and off page factors, I think that most are still true today. Within the SEO industry there is always some uproar about Google’s latest changes (we’re all going crazy about Google’s crack down on “quality sites” today), but in reality if you stick to best practice techniques they will generally stand the test of time and give you the results you need.