Search Engine Optimization

On-Site Optimization

Your website needs to neat, clean and organized... and not just the way it looks. The code needs to be that way because that's what the search engines see. Google and other search engines crawl your site to determine where it should rank your site. Then they take those results and calculate them in with a bunch of other factors and ultimately assign your rank for different keywords. Don't get me wrong, they way your website looks and works is very important. But equally important is the code that lies beneath the visual representaion your website visitors see.

We refer to this as the "On-Site Optimization". It usually represents anything that can done on your physical website to enhance your chances of ranking higher. For instance this can be tweaking the words on your pages. It is important to know where to place those words, how often to repeat those words and how densely populated those words should be in relation to other words on your page. Other on-site factors include header tags (h1, h2, h3), page titles, image names, alt tags, meta tags, etc. The general rule of thumb is the better your code is, the more on-site optimized your website is. If your website has clean code and has everything in place to identify what your site is about, then your site is optimized (on-site). Your website, is the foundation for everything else!

Off-Site Optimization

Off-site optimization is referring to other factors that are not on your site, yet contribute to where you rank. Examples of this is company/brand awareness, listings, social media signals, directories, social bookmarking, writing articles, creating authorship, etc.. One of the biggest off-site factors recently has been back links. Back links are other links out on the Internet that point to your website. The more links you can get from authoritative websites, the more popular your website appears. For instance if you have a hardware store and you can get Home Depot to link to your website, that is a huge plus. A well established brand like Home Depot is authoritative and links from them carry clout or what we in the industry like to call "link juice".

Another important part of those inbound links is the anchor text that is used. Anchor text refers to the words that are used in the link. If the link to your site says "click here", that is not as good as using words like "Hardware Store in Lancaster" to link to your site. Google analyzes what anchor text is being used and factors that it. Do not let your SEO company make the mistake of abusing the anchor text used to link to your site. Recent Google updates penalize sites for abusing anchor text. Remember, everything must look natural to Google. Therefore a good marketing plan should use varied anchor text and the majority of that anchor text should be your company name to build brand identity.

You need both on-site and off-site SEO to be effective today.