On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO: What’s the Difference?

On Page vs Off Page SEO Differences

At Frasca Digital, we work with a lot of questions about SEO, so we try to break it down into 2, high-level buckets: On-page & Off-page SEO.

On-page SEO

As the name implies, On-page SEO is the tweaking of variables on a website’s landing pages. This includes everything down to the words in a header and the links in your footer.

Below are a number of top On-page SEO variables we assess for our clients:

1.) Crafting High-Quality Content Strategy

On-Page SEO doesn’t really apply if you don’t have any web pages or content – right? That’s why we start here first with our SEO packages – developing a data-driven, keyword-focused content strategy.

We break our SEO copywriting process into these steps:

  • begin with a comprehensive introduction that has an objective
  • speak to your target audience
  • content must be relevant to the selected keyword
  • create a click-worthy title
  • create natural long-tail keyword combinations
  • shorten sentences and paragraphs
  • always put internal links throughout blog posts
  • use alt text for ALL images
  • keyword clustering – group keywords into a core topic with related subtopic keywords
  • update the content regularly – always update over time!
  • finalize by including a call to action
  • source images from public domain site(shutterstock, Unsplash, Pexels)
  • be relatable and clarify points to your target audience

Believe it or not, content is one of the most important variables for SEO, which is why we start with this over the more technical on-page variables. Remember: content is king!

Copywriting and Keywords

For headlines (h1, h2, h3, etc), what might look good on print, might not be great for SEO.

Short tail keywords get more eyeballs but the conversion rates are lower than long tail keywords

Choose Keywords based on:

  • Search Volume
  • Competition
  • Relevancy
  • Commercial Intent (Choose keywords that get customer to do what you want: “Shop Light Bulbs Online”)

Keyword Spreadsheet

This is getting into the weeds a bit, but this is what goes on behind the scenes for our clients.

We create a spreadsheet that shows the keyword, volume, competition, and KEI (Volume/Competition). Use the spreadsheet to decide which keywords to target based on KEI and relevance. Always choose keyword by how relevant it is over the volume/ratio(KEI).

Check commercial intent keywords and see who ranks for them.

  • Discount
  • Deal
  • Buy
  • Coupon
  • Shipping

Every page should have a primary and secondary keyword. The primary keyword defines the nature of the content. The secondary keywords are relevant to the primary keyword.

EX:

Primary word:

Healthy diet plan

Secondary word:

healthy diet for weight loss

Healthy diet food

Low carb diet

Healthy meal plans

Diet plan weight loss

Ways of Finding Fruitful Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

Go on google and type your keyword in the search bar and google will show you your lsi related words at the bottom of the page.

Add these words to the secondary keywords to rank higher

Google Suggest
Example of Google Suggest Search Query
Google Suggest Example

Type in your keyword in google search bar and look at what google is suggesting to finish the search

EX: How does SEO work

  • Introduction to SEO
  • What is search engine optimization
  • What are the basics of SEO
  • Learn SEO step by step

2.) Title Tags

  • Title tag is the most important factor of on-page SEO.
  • You want your keyword in the title tag.
  • Title tag- 50-60 characters long

3.) Meta Descriptions

Meta description should be 155-160 characters, summarize the page and include the keywords and call to actions.

4.) URL Structure

Url that describes the page

  • Always use “-” and not “_” with the url
  • Avoid capital letters in the URL
  • Urls that are shorter rank higher on google
  • Clean url structure
  • Make sure your website url is HTTPS and not HTTP
  • “If you don’t understand the url then neither does google”

5.) Header Tags

  • Stick with the H1 or H2 for all headers
  • H1 for main headers, H2 for subheaders
  • Avoid the same H1 tags (dont add two “moonlight movies” headers)
  • H1 tag should be 20-70 characters
  • Always answer user intent with the header
  • Use keywords for headers
  • Dont use H6

6.) Optimize Page Speed & Performance

  • Optimize images bigger then 150 bytes (use Image Compressor, TinyPNG)
  • Use a simple web design
  • Use Site Speed tab on google analytics ( if the page time is over 4 secs then its likely the user will leave the page. Use Speed suggestions for adjustments.)
  • Leverage browser caching for files
  • Upgrade server response time
  • Minimize redirects

7.) Keyword Research & Usage

NLP Natural Language Processing– For Moonlight Movies, dont use keywords like “movie rental” or “screen rental”. Use more natural sentences like “where to rent a movie screen in Baltimore”

8.) Site Map

  • Have internal linking to other pages on the site
  • List all the pages of your website for both the search engine and the user
  • 2 types of site maps; HTML and XML
  • Balance the amount of subpages for each category on your site(about>cost & time | contact>email & address)
  • HTML- designed for humans
  • XML- designed for crawlers (Google Bots)
  • Learn how to create a dynamic sitemap
  • Create an xml site map

Off-page SEO

Off-Page SEO is simply the process of linking or promoting your website using link building, while also incorporation reputation management and social media. The goal of Off-Page SEO is to build recognition, credibility, trustworthiness, and authority for your brand and the topics or products therein.

Having your link on credible websites creates high domain authority for our page (ex: a page on wikipedia that links back to our page creates high domain authority for our page).

Link Building / Backlinks

Drives referral traffic and increases website authority. Also know as “Domain Authority“, every website is given a ranking score by Google to determine how trustworthy the website is, and its authority among websites and companies who tout the same high level of expertise and popularity.

Strategies for link building:

  • High quality content
  • Off-site engagement (featured on other websites)
  • Social media
  • Collaborate with influencers

The DO’s of Backlink Building:

  • Get backlinks from relevant sites
  • Use keywords in your titles and tags
  • Write engaging and latest content
  • Do keyword research before anything else
  • Do not do keyword stuffing. Do not put keywords everywhere on your site
  • Build internal links that are smooth but not forced
  • Wait for a while. It takes time to rank the content on google
  • Make sure website is user and mobile friendly.

Tools and Best Practices:

Keyword research

Understand how much traffic you will get if #1 on that keyword. Use Google Keyword Planner to see this data

  • Competition
  • Volume
  • Relevancy

Get volume from google keyword planner and competition from google search like below

Get an exact number for competition, type ‘allintitle:’ on google and then the keywords

Look for large volume and low competition

Copywriting and Keywords

For Headlines, what might look good on print, might not be great for SEO

What are content and brand associations with our brand?

Short tail keywords get more eyeballs but the conversion rates are lower than long tail keywords

Choose Keywords based on:

  • Search Volume (use google keyword planner)
  • Competition (use google keyword planner)
  • Relevancy (use…you know)
  • Commercial Intent (Choose keywords that get customer to do what you want: “rent screen”)

Keyword Spreadsheet

Create a spreadsheet that shows the keyword, volume, competition(allintitle:), and KEI (Volume/Competition)

Use the spreadsheet to decide which keywords to target based on KEI and relevance

Always choose keyword by how relevant it is over the volume/ratio(KEI)

Check commercial intent keywords and see who ranks for them.

  • Discount
  • Deal
  • Buy
  • Coupon
  • Shipping

Every page should have a primary and secondary keyword. The primary keyword defines the nature of the content. The secondary keywords are relevant to the primary keyword.

EX:

Primary word:

Healthy diet plan

Secondary word:

healthy diet for weight loss

Healthy diet food

Low carb diet

Healthy meal plans

Diet plan weight loss

Want to Learn more about On-Page and Off-Page SEO?

Chances are, this is a lot of information and a lot more than what you bargained for, but that’s why we’re here to help! We understand how busy small business owners are with running their business on a daily basis and no time to focus on and learn about how to build their website’s visibility in search engines.

Contact us today for a free digital audit and let us see if we can help!


Digital marketing expert specializing in SEO, MarTech and Website Design services in the Baltimore, MD market.

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