Google is constantly making changes to its ranking algorithms, meaning you’ll have to be fast on your feet to keep your spot atop the search results. On-page and off-page SEO is the two-headed monster of search engine optimisation. To increase your website’s search engine success, you’ll need to learn to master both. But what is on-page SEO and off-page SEO, and how does it work?

As a leading provider of SEO in Auckland, Pure SEO have created a complete guide to on-page and off-page SEO to help you set your website on the path toward that coveted page-one ranking.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is the act of optimising content and backend aspects of your website to improve web page rankings by driving organic, qualified, and targeted traffic to your website. While Google’s exact ranking formula is still a mystery, we have a pretty good idea of Google’s likes and dislikes. On-page SEO is all about catering your web pages to these likes.

On-Page SEO Checklist

What on-page SEO best practices should you be using? Here is a helpful checklist to ensure your on-page SEO is up to scratch.

Content is Key

Content is unquestionably king when it comes to rankings. No matter how well-executed your on-page optimisation is, if the content is not good, Google will notice. Your content must be well-reasoned, well-written, and inherently valuable to potential visitors, or your bounce rate will suffer, and your search rankings will plummet.

Keywords are Your SEO Cornerstone

Keyword optimisation is the cornerstone of on-page optimisation. To increase search rankings, you want to make Google’s job as easy as possible. Appropriate keywords will help Google better determine what your page is about and what value it holds to searchers.

Google is constantly learning and better understanding nuanced language and search intent, shifting the SEO focus toward long-tail keywords that encompass more detail and specific keyword phrases. The key to successful keywords is targeted phrases your audience will be searching for, and Google is waiting to pick up on.

Perfect Your Page Performance

While the previous factors have focused primarily on content, the performance of your website and its pages is also a vital SEO factor within your control. We have become a culture of convenience; if a page takes too long to load or doesn’t render correctly, we will quickly move onto something different, affecting the page’s bounce rate and rankings.

Search engines value page performance as one of the highest rankings factors. Attention to image file size, redirects, the amount of CSS/JavaScript, and mobile responsiveness will help clean your website up and run it more efficiently.

What is Off-Page SEO?

While on-page SEO is directly in your control, when it comes to off-page SEO, the ball is in Google’s court. Off-page optimisation concerns itself with rankings factors, such as domain authority and backlinking that are separate from but funnel back to your website. Although you have less influence on the performance of off-page SEO, it does not make it any less critical. While not directly related to your pages, off-page SEO will help raise your website to the top of the search results.

Off-Page SEO Checklist

Discover the off-page SEO techniques that will push your website to the top of the page.

Dominant Domain Authority

Domain authority is the judge of off-page SEO; it is a number assigned to websites and used by search engines to determine the likelihood of a site’s ranking in search results. The formula is simple; the higher the authority of your site, the higher the chance of reaching the top of the search page.

A few factors contribute to this authority score, including how long you’ve held the domain name and the number of backlinks and 404 errors found on the site. Ensuring your website is technically sound can maximise your domain authority and improve your ranking.

The Quest for Backlinks

Backlinks are the bread and butter of off-page SEO; they are links on other web pages that direct back to your website. Google will rank your domain authority and boost your rankings more if trustworthy sites link your content.

The quest for backlinks can be a long and treacherous road, leading many to questionable paid link-building tactics. However, these aren’t necessary and organic approaches to link-building can be just as effective. Consider trying any of the following to start generating backlinks.

  • Guest blogging.
  • Participating in a podcast.
  • Hosting in-person or online events.
  • Actively participating in industry forums.

Sharable Content is Still King

It bears mentioning again that content is king. Creating helpful content worth sharing is one of the best ways to generate backlinks and get social media buzzing. Quality content cuts through the noisy online market and allows your website to stand out to both searchers and Google.

Is One Method Better than the Other?

On-page and off-page SEO are two sides of the same digital marketing coin. It’s not about choosing between one or the other; that would be like deciding between a foundation and a roof for your house. On-page and off-page SEO work together to improve your search engine rankings. However, we advise prioritising on-page SEO before focusing too much on off-page optimisation. Going back to the house analogy, you want to set a solid foundation before building the rest of it. Strong on-page SEO will set your website up for search engine success, and off-page SEO provides the finishing touches.