On-page vs Off-page SEO (IndieHackers)

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Delve into SEO's core with on-page and off-page strategies. This article simplifies complexities by empowering marketers.

Published/Updated on Mar 4, 2022

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ Mastering SEO

Original article: https://newsletterest.com/message/92471/Whats-New-Onpage-vs-offpage-SEO


by Manuel S.

Content is king, and consistency is the key to mastering SEO. One big mistake that founders make when beginning an SEO journey is failing to distinguish between onpage and offpage SEO. Both areas tackle different aspects that impact your overall SEO score. Let's dive in!

What is onpage SEO?

First, it's helpful to remember that nobody knows precisely how search engines work. The SEO tools below do not give you any guarantee that your page will rank first on search engines, but they will ensure that your page content fulfills the minimum overall technical requirements.

Onpage SEO is rather simple, since it relates to technical aspects like meta tags, structure, and content. Check out Webdev or Pagespeed from Google. Both tools cover Web Vitals, an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.

The current set focuses on three aspects of the user experience: Loading, interactivity, and visual stability, and includes the following metrics (and their respective thresholds): Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift.

Another third-party tool that I can recommend is Seobility. But there are dozens of others out there, including Moz, Ahrefs, and Sistrix.

Of course, once your score is doing well, it does not mean that your SEO is done! New content will be created, new products will be covered, and so on. Third-party tools like the above can help to check keywords for pages, and track progress regarding organic traffic or ranking. That is not just for your page, but also for your competitors, if you like. That way, you can gain insight into which keywords need to be enhanced more, or what page needs to be more optimized.

Another handy feature allows you to schedule a run for an SEO audit automatically. Once you add new pages, or update current content, the changes will be considered in the next SEO check and sent to your inbox right away.

What is offpage SEO?

Offpage SEO, on the other hand, is rather tricky. As the name says, the optimizations take place off of the page itself. One possible shortcut: Ads. In other words, pay-to-rank. But this comes with a huge downside: Once you stop ads, your paid traffic could plummet. Ads should be used only as a jumpstart for certain pages, products, features, or keywords.

Offpage SEO mainly refers to link building, which covers these areas:

  1. Visibility on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever your target audience is, should be able to find you. This includes the mentions on those platforms. Keep in mind that posts that work on one platform might not work on another.

  2. Good reputation: Here, we are talking about Trustpilot, Google-My-Business, Yelp, etc. I think this applies especially to Google-My-Business entries for Google's search engine, but there is probably an impact for other search engines as well.

  3. (Juicy) backlinks: This refers to external backlinks from relevant related external pages to yours. Rule of thumb: The more traffic going through one page that refers to your page, the better. There are also tools that mainly focus on website traffic, including Alexa and Similarweb.

The combo

Here's the overwhelming task: Doing both at the same time. SEO is not a project that is done someday. SEO is a process. Always make sure that your content is crawl-able, and provides important meta information.

Your SEO map

Mac46uk advises clearly mapping out how SEO fits into your overall marketing program.

For instance, if you are a plumber serving a local area, you will want to rank for a handful of terms that may generate leads. Typically, "plumber near me," "plumber location," "service + location," etc.

You will also want good reviews, and a website that turns clicks into customers. The strategy is simple.

With an app or a new product, the strategy is often not so straightforward. You are not a local business, so you are a tiny fish in an ocean of competition. People may not directly search for what you provide, or be aware of your category, so the strategy needs to be clear.

Generally, there are two parts to your overall SEO strategy:

  1. What you do.

  2. Content marketing, which typically answers questions that help potential customers solve problems or achieve goals.

You then have to think about how this SEO traffic will help with your goals. How do the articles you create connect to what you sell?

I would suggest that your SEO strategy is built on your business strategy. That is to say, have a niche, really niche down, and become a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Make the fight winnable. Don't go after keywords like "productivity app." Niche down.

Then, when you have this SEO strategy and content in place, you will need to promote it (links). Google just wants to return the best answers to questions. Be the best answer. Give Google that content to serve, and Google will give you traffic.