This week we welcome a guest blogger who will be talking about something that most of us will have in our minds especially when it comes to SEO optimization.
N.B for those of you who do not know what on page and off page optimization is let me briefly explain to you here:
On-Page Optimization: What you can do on your own website to improve its search engine rankings i.e title tags, meta tags, H1, H2, H3 tags, content, keywords etc…
Off-Page Optimization: What you can do “off-site” to improve your search engine rankings i.e social media submissions, submissions to feed directories, article directories, link wheels, guest posting etc..
I hope this article will make more sense after understanding these 2 terms correctly. Without further a do, I will introduce Jason Monroe to continue from here.
I’ve been asked several times lately whether on-page or off-page optimizing delivers better returns. One visitor to my blog expressed his annoyance that after spending a significant amount of time using SEOPressor to optimize his page, he saw little if any improvement in his SERP ranking.
Serious online marketers are fully aware of the importance of page optimization, but we all share the same limitation; the 24 hour day. With a set number of hours each day, and the occasional need to sleep and eat, we naturally will want to spend our working hours in the most productive manner.
This leads us to the question; where is our optimizing time more effectively spent; on-page or off-page? The answer is; it depends.
Bringing Attention to Yourself; Content vs Backlinks
Most of us have already picked up on a discouraging fact; Google is less interested in the content of the page than what other people think about the content of the page. Because even the best algorithms are not capable of evaluating an article as effectively as an 8th grader could, Google relies on others to read the content of a page and decide whether it’s worth the time to link back to it.
While backlinks play a critical role in where Google ranks your website, that role isn’t always a positive one. The quality of your backlinks, as well as their quantity, will affect your page’s Google ranking.
Whether your website markets time-share condos, posts reviews on electronics equipment or offers free car insurance quotes, it will benefit greatly if you develop backlinks to quality sites. This kind of work can be time consuming and a bit mind-numbing, but the Google juice produced by off-page optimization is well worth the time.
Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of social media, either. An article or webpage which has been “Liked” on Facebook, Tweeted about on Twitter, Dugg or Digged or StumbledUpon will automatically look good to Google because of what’s called the “trust factor”. Any time that one human refers another to your webpage, Google will respond by improving the ranking of that webpage.
If your objective is to rank well for the highly competitive keywords, then building quality backlinks, particularly through the use of relevant anchor text, is the fastest way to enjoy positive results.
On-Page Optimization by Accident
One of the results of the recent Panda upgrade is that article writers and webmasters will be required to produce higher quality pages if they want them to rank well. The top ranking webpages will need to be written for humans, not search engines, and they will need to contain usable information, not fluff.
The good news, though, is that when you produce quality content, one of the inadvertent results of your efforts will be a nicely optimized page. By aiming for quality content, you’ll naturally include some less competitive, long-tailed keywords which will be easier to rank well for. These long-tailed keyword phrases, by the way, will be the ones which your target audience will use during searches.
Two Areas Ripe For On-Page Optimization
Because it has to start somewhere, the Google algorithm will begin by looking at the beginning of your article, where your title and introductory paragraphs are, for the more competitive keywords. These are the places where your targeted keywords should be found.
The introductory paragraphs should also contain a concise description of the content of your article. Remember in the fourth grade when you learned how to write a topic sentence and an introductory paragraph? That is what the algorithm is looking for.
The algorithm also searches meta descriptions for information. This is another place to have your primary keyword on display, as well as secondary keywords and an article description. If you include the targeted keyword phrase in your H1 tag, this would also make the search engine’s job much easier.
You will get a chance to sell many more baseball gloves or refer more people to the ideal house painter if you’ve properly customized your page description and placed it where Google can easily find it.
Re-Setting Your Priorities
Having considered the information in this article, you probably now know the answer to our original question. Where is our optimizing time more effectively spent; on-page or off-page? You should really do both.
Regardless of whether your website exists to compare auto insurance quotes or educate the public about Japanese Tea Ceremonies, the best way to make it successful is to apply your optimization skills both on and off your webpages.
Off-page optimization gets all the press because it will help your overall ranking on a search results page. By building quality backlinks your entire site will rank better for the high competition keywords.
However, on-page optimization makes your page rank better for the long tail phrases. This alone won’t help your site rocket past About.com for your keyword, but it certainly helps, so on-page optimization shouldn’t be ignored, either.
What has your experience been? If you have some insight or an opinion about off-page or on-page optimization, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to use the comment box below.
About the Author:
Jason Monroe began his adventures as a football star through highschool and carried over his passion as a huge fan of the NFL. When he was busy researching football he could be found researching other topics of interested, which in fact is what led him to affiliate marketing. A young gun in the industry he has fresh ideas to bring to the table and motivation that shows in his writings.
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