Improve Your SERP Rank with on and Off Page SEO Tactics
By Tom Seest
When there are millions of websites competing in the same niche topic as you, it can feel unsettling to think you have to somehow try to set up a website with content that can outperform all of those other site owners.
But the good news is, most people aren’t adept at search engine optimization, and they ignore the guidelines that are frequently updated to reflect hope for a better user experience.
You’re going to learn how to master a two-pronged strategy for your search engine results page (SERP) rankings that involve both on-page and off-page measures. These tactics will alert search bots to the fact that you’re adhering to best practices, and it will create an optimal experience for your human site visitors, too.
We’ll start with on-page search engine optimization (SEO) because that’s what’s most in your control. It’s also a good idea to learn and practice using these tips because every time you create new content, you’ll want to remember to do them.
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Table Of Contents
- How to Use Keywords to Increase Traffic to a Website
- How to Enhance Descriptions on A Website to Draw Traffic
- How To Draw Attention To A Website Using Content
- How to Link Between Pages on A Website to Improve Traffic
- How to Use Links on A Website to Benefit Readers
- How to Make It Easy for Google and Bing to Send A Website Traffic
- How to Get Authoritative Links to A WebSite from Other Websites
- How to Influence Other Social for Increased Brand Recognition
- How To Leverage Lists to Reduce The Bounce Rate For Your Website
- How to Use Guest and Co-Host to Improve Traffic To Your Website
- How to Network for Improved Traffic To Your Website
One of the most obvious and easy ways to boost your on-page search engine optimization (SEO) is through the use of keyword phrases that are relevant to your niche topic. You don’t want to simply create a list of broad keywords and use them over and over again in the main content piece on your blog.
You want to be strategic with your keywords, drilling down so that you are using both a mix of broad and long tail keyword phrases. You want to make sure every content piece has a specific goal with a cluster of keywords that it is built around.
But the content itself is not the only place that your keywords can be used. For example, you want to use your keywords in the title tags of your blog post pages. Try to have one major keyword in mind that you want that page to rank for in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
When you use a strategic keyword in the title of your blog post, you can make it so that your URL for that post includes that particular keyword phrase, which will help boost your page rank in a small way.
Another place you can use keywords strategically is in the headings and subheadings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) of the blog content. If someone is skimming your page, they will easily be able to spot certain words and phrases and pick up on what that page is about.
In addition to the text content on your page, you can also use keywords strategically with the images that you have. You want to make sure that your keywords are part of the file name of each upload, as well as being used in the alt tags for the images.
Use a good keyword tool that will help you come up with new ideas that are easy to rank for. Using long tail keywords will help you rank high for more keyword phrases, even if they don’t get as much traffic as a broad word would.
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There are different descriptions that you will be using within your site. You want to make sure these are optimized so that search engines know, based on your brief summary, exactly what the topic of that page’s content is.
If you are using a meta description, this is going to show up on the search engine results page, so your human visitors will be looking at this wording, too. This is going to appear directly below the title and URL on the search results listing.
You want to take your time when crafting the descriptions for your pages because when they are presented to individuals who are searching for that information, the description may help or hurt your clickthrough rate.
Usually, this is between 150 and 160 characters long. You don’t want to go much longer because anything longer than that will be cut off. If possible, deliver a strong call to action within the media description that urges the reader to do something such as find out more or download the free guide now.
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Formatting may not seem like a big deal in terms of search engine optimization (SEO), but it definitely helps search bots and humans draw their attention to certain areas of your page. For example, using header tags like H1 and H2 will show that there is a particular hierarchy to your content that they can follow along with.
Anytime you have an outgoing link, you want to make sure that you are using bold, underlined formatting so that the person who ends up hovering over that text knows that they are about to link elsewhere.
Formatting is also important in delivering a visually appealing web page. You can use call-out boxes for quotations or bits of curated content. You can make sure you have plenty of white space, breaking up large blocks of content to help improve readability.
Whenever you create something like a list, you can use bullet points so that people can quickly and easily digest the information. Make sure you are using short paragraphs instead of long ones that you may be used to from your school days.
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Interlinking pages within your own domain is an important part of boosting your search engine optimization. You can do this with anchor text that helps people, and bots understand that they can get more information on a particular keyword phrase by clicking on that link.
The bigger your site is, the more important it is to begin an interlinking page strategy. However, you want to start this at the very beginning so that it grows over time. The reason it helps with larger sites, in particular, is because search engines are trying to crawl all of your pages, and they sometimes will miss one unless an interlinking strategy is used to direct the bots to more information.
This gives you more visibility within the search engine results pages. It also helps humans navigate their sight better whenever they land on a content page and want to narrow the information for their own needs.
In terms of search engine optimization (SEO) specifically, interlinking your pages can help distribute the equity of the value of a link. So if you have certain pages that need a boost, you can interlink to those pages to give them some help.
Keep in mind that the reverse works, too. If you are linking out from a page too often, the equity of that page link will become diluted, and it may lose some of its ranking in the search engine results pages.
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Outbound linking from your domain is something that many people used to refrain from, but it can actually benefit you in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines are looking for good resource pages to promote to their users.
If you are stingy with your information and not willing to share other sources with your readers, you will begin to lose credibility and authority for your own site. You don’t just want to link out anywhere, either.
The places you link to should have credibility and authority of their own. You want to link to high-quality sites that are reliable instead of linking to other domains that you happen to own.
Many people used to worry that linking out to another site would make them lose their visitors. However, you can always have the link open in a new tab, which keeps that visitor on your website in some way.
You don’t have to link out on every page within your domain. But when it is relevant and useful to your audience, it’s a good idea to show them an additional resource that can help support or supplement your own advice or insight.
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A site map is a simple file that directs search box to all of the pages on your website. In addition to the link itself, it provides a little bit of information about the page, including when you last updated it.
This helps more of your pages get crawled and indexed in the search engine results pages. There are different ways that you can create a site map automatically, although some people prefer to do it by hand.
You can use a site map generator that will not only create your initial site map but will frequently update it to reflect any additional pages that you have added to your domain. These are usually found as plugins to be used on WordPress, and they will scan your site behind the scenes, adding the information and updating the schedule of the page.
Once you have your site map created, you can submit it to various search engines like Google and Bing. That way, they will have access to it from that point on, and their bots can crawl and index your site for better rankings.
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Many webmasters used to stress about trying to get backlinks to their websites. In fact, they were so desperate to achieve a high quantity of backlinks that they began using backlink farms, which were shut down by Google, and the sites using them were penalized.
You want to secure backlinks from authority sites, not just any site. And ideally, they will be using anchor text rooted in a keyword phrase or concept that tells search bots what that link is about.
Sometimes, you can achieve authority backlinks based on the quality of the content you are producing on your site. If you are zeroed in on creating high-quality, comprehensive pillar blog posts, it is more likely that that page will be linked to as a resource from top competitor sites that have more authority than you.
You might also be able to gain backlinks by networking with other website owners in the form of collaboration or participating in some sort of event or forum where relevant discussions are taking place.
Positioning yourself as a go-to expert will help in this process. You may want to write your own nonfiction book and self-publish it to Amazon to lend credibility to your expertise and leadership.
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Social networking is not a direct method of improving the ranking of your domain. You can’t simply go on to social networks and post a lot of content and have that be a direct bump in your ranking.
However, by increasing the visibility of your brand and message on social media, you will be attracting new visitors to your website, and getting the attention of competitors and other authority figures in your niche that will tell their followers and link out to your domain as a promising resource.
It is an off-page strategy that has an indirect benefit to your rankings because it brings more awareness to your content, which increases the possibility of you getting authority backlinks and other benefits that will impact your search engine optimization (SEO).
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Having a list of email subscribers is another tactic that doesn’t directly impact your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking, but it can end directly benefit you in that way. The first thing it does is help reduce your bounce rate.
If you are analyzing your search engine data and you have a high bounce rate, sending targeted traffic to your domain that you know is interested in your message will reduce the possibility of them bouncing away from your site immediately.
Although it’s not necessarily spelled out as a true indicator optimization, the fact that search engines will be able to see an increase in traffic and engagement on your domain will often help them recognize you as a good resource.
Whenever you send a link to your blog to your subscribers, the goal is for them to land on your content, engage with it, and then share it with other like-minded people. This can result in a quality backlink to your site, as well as increased traffic.
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Online entrepreneurs are very busy people. Keeping up with their blog and the massive amount of content that has to be generated for it on a daily basis can be difficult. If you can step up and become a guest blogger for high-ranking competitors in your niche, the backlink that you use to your site can give you a boost in search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
You can also do this by co-hosting with another marketer for events such as giveaways, webinars, and live streams. If you are creating content for someone else’s site or event, make sure you take time to understand exactly what type of message they like to convey and who their target audience is.
You don’t want to veer off too much or create a canned guest blog that is used over and over again. The other marketer is more likely to accept your guest blog post if they feel it is written in the same vein as theirs.
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Networking can be done with your competitors, with industry experts and reporters, or even with the consumers themselves. You want to connect with other individuals who will be able to evaluate your content and spread the message of its value.
If you have customers who are loyal to you, get them to leave reviews or write reviews on other websites or social media that link back to your domain. If they are using multimedia content such as an image or video along with the text, that’s even better.
You can also network by collaborating with other influencers in an effort to cross-promote one another. These influencers can help you reach a wider audience, and you may have an audience that is new to them as well.
By integrating an on and off-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you will be maximizing your opportunity to gain better rankings in the search engine results pages. You never want to take a hands-off approach where you hope for a good ranking when the reality is that you are in partial control of whether or not you earn that designation.
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