Both on-page and off-page SEO are important components of any online marketing strategy. However, in order for a campaign to be truly effective, it’s important to implement your SEO steps in the proper order. In her article on the HigherVisibility blog, Amanda DiSilvestro explains why your on-page SEO efforts should supersede your off-page efforts, and why.
Basically, on-page SEO refers to tweaks or enhancements you can make to your website to make it more palatable to the search engines. On-page SEO includes content, meta tags, navigations, internal linking, site maps, headings, etc.
Off-page SEO refers to the steps you can implement externally to improve your website’s performance for specific keywords or phrases. For the most part, this entails gathering backlinks.
Admittedly, acquiring backlinks will give you the most bang for your SEO buck. However, if you’re website isn’t already optimized to take advantage of this potential increase in traffic, then those backlinks will pretty much be a wasted effort.
The proper order of SEO should be:
- Make sure you have a quality website: It doesn’t matter how much traffic you bring in if people are clicking away from your site the second they get there. Before you start driving traffic to your site, make sure the quality is there with regards to content, navigation, and the overall layout. “You want your website to be engaging in every way possible,” writes DiSilvestro. “Consider creating infographics and interactive content (polls and surveys, a call to action, etc.).”
- Begin your on-page optimization: The key is obviously to target specific keywords so the search engines will drive traffic to your website. Use tools like Google AdWords to select your targeted keywords, and then incorporate them into your content, URL structure, links, and meta tags. However, in your zeal to optimize your site, don’t lose sight of the fact that the content is supposed to be there for the readers. Again, driving traffic to your site will accomplish nothing if the visitors aren’t willing to stay there and check it out.
- Create a link building campaign: There are several different strategies for building links, including guest blogging, video marketing, social networking, and press releases. You can take advantage of other well-established sites to increase the visibility of your website, which should increase traffic and (hopefully) profits. For the best results, your link building efforts should focus on specific keywords.