Search Engine Optimization (SEO) page optimization includes both on-page
and off-page optimization. There’s a big difference between the two and you should not rely
on one SEO method at the expense of the other. When you consider the type of
optimization techniques to use you must consider 2 factors: give the search engines what
they need and give your web site visitors the information they need.
Search engine optimization is the process of studying the search engines in an
effort to determine how to get your web site to rank high on user searches.
The major search engines display 2 types of results on the SERP (search engine results
page) as a result of a user search query: paid advertisements and natural non-paid
listings. Web sites can utilize one or both of these methods to acquire top listing positions.
The paid advertisement exists on the results page due to an agreement by the advertiser
to pay the search engine when a user clicks on their ad. The natural listing depends on
the search engine optimization techniques employed on the web site. This article
will focus only on the natural listing.
Each search engine has their own algorithm to determine which web sites meet their
requirements and therefore obtain the higher SERP natural listing positions (or ranks) for
a given keyword or keyword phrase in a user search query.
There are a large number of on-page optimization factors that are considered in the search
engine evaluation process. These factors include but are not limited to: words in the web
page url, title tag, meta tags, headlines, sub headlines, keyword density, words at the
beginning of the page, page content, words that are bold, words in the links, site navigation,
the structure of links and a number of other considerations. You want to make certain that
you do not over optimize your web site and have the search engines consider your site spammy.
There are also a number of things you can do “off your web page” to improve your search
engine page rank and increase targeted visitor traffic to your web site. This is the area known
as off-page optimization. Off-page factors should be carefully considered and implemented to
achieve a higher search engine ranking. These factors are primarily tied to the site’s linking
(inbound and outbound) techniques. This is commonly known as link popularity.
How popular are the web sites that link to you and the sites you link to? Are the inbound
links to you relevant to your site’s content? How popular is your web site? Each link to your
web site from another web site (i.e., backlink) is considered a “vote” to your site’s popularity.
These votes can increase the importance of your web site from the search engine’s prospective.
Some of the factors considered by the major search engines in evaluating the off-page
optimization of your web site include:
- Which web sites are linking to your site? It’s critical that the web sites linking to your
site are relevant to the content on your site and the linking site is considered an authority
in its field by the search engine.
- How many web sites are linking to your site? The number of relevant sites that link to
you is a significant plus for your site.
- What is the Google page rank (1-10) of each web site that links to your site? This is a
major factor because a high page rank relevant site linking to your site is much better than
a low page rank site. A site’s voting power increases as the page rank of the site increases.
- What is the anchor text of each link to your site? The anchor text indicates the area of
relevance the linking site places on your site. This anchor text should include your primary
keywords. The text in the linking anchor text should not be the same in every site linking to
your site. This is not seen as natural linking by the search engines. You need to get variability
in the anchor text.
- What is the page title of the web page that is linking to your site? It is better if the title
page of the linking web page is relevant to your site and contains one of your keywords in its
title. If it just says “link directory” then that is not good.
- Is the link to your site a reciprocal link or a one-way link? A reciprocal link means you have
linked back to the web site that linked to you. This can be a negative to your site because you
lose some of your site’s page rank to the other site. If you do resort to reciprocal links, make
certain the page rank of the other site is the same or higher that the page rank of your linking
page. The one-way link to your site is a much better deal because you do not lose any of your
site’s page rank.
- How many inbound and outbound links are on the web page linking to your site? The page
rank of the site linking to you is influenced by the inbound and outbound links. The linking site
will pass you more of its rank as it decreases the number of outbound links.
- How important is the web site that is linking to your site in its area of relevance? You will
get more bang for your buck if the site linking to you is considered an authority in its area.
In conclusion, you need to evaluate and utilize some of the factors in both on-page and off-page
optimization if you want to achieve high natural page listing on the search engines.