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The Basics of On-Site vs. Off-Site SEO

There are two different forms of SEO, and each are carry a great deal of importance in their own way. These two types of SEO are known as on-site SEO and off-site SEO.

In a nutshell, on-site SEO includes all executions and optimization that occurs on website itself, whereas off-site SEO focuses mainly on link building and content marketing, which contribute to greater website popularity through external means.

Below we define both in more detail, and provide some best-practices tips in strategizing for each.

On-Site SEO

There are many techniques that go into the on-site optimization of a website. The element that carries the greatest importance to on-site SEO is the content of a website.

The content includes both on and off-page content. On-page content is the copy visible by users. This includes headers, links, body copy, and anything else that visitors can see on the page. Off-page copy includes the page title, meta description and keywords, and alt tags for images.

These elements all flow together as one. By this we mean that each page of the website must be optimized in similar manner with respect to the keyword target(s).

One of the simplest on-site SEO tips is to optimize each page for only one or two primary keywords, with perhaps a couple close variations. In doing so, include the exact phrase match of the primary keyword targets in all of the on and off-page elements.

Specifically, it is recommended to include the primary keyword target early in the page title and meta description, and at a few times on the page, with particular use of headers and strong tags (bold.)

Although there are many mixed theories regarding the optimal keyword density of a page, many high ranking websites are cohesively organized around proper keyword inclusion.

Off-Site SEO

The optimization the occurs off from the website has become increasingly influential in SEO game. In essence, the more links pointing to a website deem it more credible and popular to the search engines, and thus promotes higher rankings.

As a result of the increased importance of link building, many SEO's focus exclusively on providing only link building services. However many services have become automated and unnatural, which can risk the search engine performance of a website.

It is advised to either build links naturally on your own, or to work with only trusted link building experts who advocate only "white hat" practices. It is often apparent the type of links being build to your site simply by observing shifts in your site's ranking. Inconsistent rankings, or evidence of the "Google dance" is sign that links are weak and plentiful.

The best links come from high authority websites that typically have a high Google PageRank (PR). Even one or two links coming from a couple high PR domains can override a thousand blog comments. For this reason, it is suggested that a blend of both, high authority and low authority links, are built to ensure the most natural indexing.

We hope this betters your understanding on the different approaches to SEO. Thanks for visiting the Increase Your Rank blog!

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Tips for Creating an Internal Linking Strategy

Among the many aspects of organic SEO that often gets overlooked is the practice of internal linking. When executed correctly, internal linking can enhance the search rankings of a website as well as its usability.

In external linking to other sites, search engines like Google pass value, or keyword relevancy based on the words used in the links anchor text. Most organic SEO efforts are in this external form, where SEO's acquire backlinks from other websites that include keyword-specific anchor text for which the site has been optimized for.

Although external linking is a dominant factor in search engine rankings, contextual internal links can also contribute to improving a website's search rankings for targeted keyword phrases.

Logic and Context are Key

The content of your webpages offers a wealth of opportunities to pass along link weight to other pages of your site. The first step to establishing your internal linking strategy involves going through the various pages of your website to see where it is logical to build a few links to other relevant pages. It is important take this approach from the standpoint of a user, and not just a search engine spider.

When creating internal links, it is not only important to choose the right pages, but also where on the page you add the link. The most effective links are called contextual links, or links embedded in the copy of the content. Contextual links, both for internal and external link building strategies, are ideal because they are surrounded by related text - a concept that search engine spiders take into consideration.

Keyword-Focused Anchor Text

The anchor text you use when building internal links is also significant. Be sure to use targeted keywords in which you would like the destination page to rank for. You don't always have to use exact phrase matching of your primary keyword target of the destination page. In some cases, a partial linking strategy (where only some keywords are used in the anchor text) may be the best option.

As you are going through the internal linking process, make sure that the destination page includes the targeted keywords of the link (anchor text), both on-page and off-page. By this we mean it is important to have the targeted keywords in page title and meta tags (off-page), as well as in body copy of the page (on-page).

In essence, links are more effective if the words and phrases used in the link's anchor text also show up in the various areas of destination page. And to reinforce the importance of contextual links, the surrounding text of the internal link plays a role too. In some instances, you may want to edit the copy around your internal links to improve the search engine value.

The benefits of internal linking can be advantageous for user interaction as well. They can help funnel users to find the content that they are truly looking seeking on your website. For this reason, logical links that have relevant destinations and keyword-focused anchor text is thesis to a solid internal linking strategy.

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How to Organize Your Website for Optimum Keyword Relevancy

Among the first phases of the SEO process (after pinpointing the right keywords to optimize a site for) is determining which pages to build.

Building the blueprints of your website is extremely important for on-site SEO. By blueprints, I am referring to the overall site structure or internal navigation of the core optimized pages.

Build a Cohesive Book

In essence, a website is somewhat like a book. The book can be organized with multiple levels of pages at varying degrees of page depth. When a core optimized page is supported by other related pages (often simply long-tail variations,) the core page will bolster even greater keyword relevancy.

Let me provide an example:

Mayoclinic.com is an extremely well optimized website. Notice in the image the layers of pages in the crumb trail.

Website Organization for SEO Keyword Relevancy

Each page goes deeper on a more specific topic about fitness. All of these wonderful pages (as well as all of the wonderful content each page offers) surrounding the topic of ‘fitness,’ will help to support the keyword relevancy of the site around ‘fitness’ related keywords.

Here is another example:

Below is a website our team put together, WebPresenceGroup.net. We wanted to establish keyword relevancy around the keyword phrase “search engine optimization” (really tough keyword, we know, but our strategy goes far beyond that keyword target ;-)

Page Depth for Keyword Relevancy

 Notice in the top navigation, the pages that expand out under Search Engine Optimization services are all sub-sets of the core practices of SEO, such as Video SEO, Local SEO, and SEO Copywriting.

The idea here is bolster a page optimized for a primary keyword with several pages optimized for related secondary keywords.

The organization of your optimized pages is key. Some website optimization companies will simply build out a ton of new pages without considering the page depth or internal structure. This is often the mark that separates the powerful optimizers from the weak.

Link Pages like a Pro

In addition to organizing your pages for optimum keyword relevancy, it is also crucial to link your pages in a very strategic manner.

Again, keyword relevancy is the name of the game. Here you want to ensure that the pages that are being link together are somewhat related to one another. Furthermore, you will use optimized anchor text in the links that you build.

Here is an example of how we use optimized anchor text in the some of the internal links we have created on Web Presence Group.

Internal linking for Keyword Relevancy

This is a portion of the content on our Search Engine Optimization page. Notice how these two blocks of content focus on a particular sub-set of SEO and each have a keyword optimized link in the copy.

The content is relevant and therefore the optimized internal links and anchor text is relevant. This is known as contextual relevancy.

Putting together your optimized pages is like piecing together the pages of a book. Perhaps you are adding an optimized chapter to that book, or building a completely new website. Whatever your objectives are for SEO, the organization of your site’s content is imperative for keyword relevancy.

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