Both are unique and equally important elements when it comes to delivering SEO success. As of 2021, the way that websites appear in Google results is roughly 50% on-site SEO and 50% off-site SEO.
To achieve long term SEO results, both of these factors must be given equal time and equal consideration in search engine optimization digital marketing agency services. As the name would suggest, on-site SEO refers to all of the on-site factors that affect your rankings in search engines, to increase website visitors and lead generation. In contrast, off-site SEO refers to all of the factors that occur off your site to improve search rankings and get you to the first page of Google. Both are equally important and the best SEO firms will make sure both are accounted for in an SEO campaign.
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again—your metadata matters for your SEO ranking and online presence. SEO metadata is what appears in the search engine results pages (organic traffic pages) when a website appears for a predetermined query.
For instance, if potential website visitors or customers are searching for a product or service that your business offered, they might see a search result with some of the on-page metadata in the Google results.
Google uses metadata to establish relevance, context, and to rank content. Your metadata must be aligned with the search terms that you want to appear for in Google.
When it comes to optimising metadata, here are a few of the factors your SEO company or digital marketing agency should be focussing on:
- Meta Description
- Meta Title
- Language Tags
- Geo Tags
- Social Meta Tags
Meta data is a critical on-site ranking factor. Your SEO partner should have a concrete, transferrable digital marketing strategy that they have tried and tested across multiple sites. Metadata is one element of strategy that is transferrable (with custom elements) and should be used with proof of concept.
If your digital marketing agency does not have a concrete plan for metadata, then it might be time to reassess your choice of SEO firm.
User experience matters for effective SEO strategies. It does not matter if you are delivering high quality content. If users do not enjoy their on-site experience, they are not going to come back.
When it comes to user experience, Google is only getting more forceful in rewarding sites that provide a positive on-site user experience. The impending May 2021 Google Page Experience Core Update will only strengthen the importance and weight that Google places on user experience in its search ranking algorithm.
Here are some of the ways that Google uses on-page experience to rank high quality content.
- Website Click Through Rate (CTR)
- Website Bounce Rate
- Return Organic website Traffic
- Website Dwell Time
- Pages per visit
If Google is constantly receiving negative user experience metrics from organic website traffic. Guess what? They are going to assume they your content is not meeting user expectations and push your site down in the SEO results pages as a result. The first page of Google is reserved for sites that provide outstanding user experiences.
User experience encompasses everything from web design to website layout, content, and everything in between. An initial SEO audit of your Google Analytics will provide useful around how users are interacting with your site.
We also use industry-leading tools to record how organic traffic is behaving on your website. We can use those tools to dictate what needs to be changed, improved, and optimised for the best user experience.
Technical SEO Factors
When it comes to ranking in Google – technical SEO is the unseen factor that really counts. For those that are less technically inclined, technical SEO can also be one of the most intimidating aspects of web design and an on-site SEO strategy.
There is a myriad of technical SEO factors that we will cover in an initial SEO audit of your site, including:
- Identify any on-site crawl errors in a crawl error report
- Check the HTTPS status of your website
- Mobile-friendly website testing
- Check your XML sitemap accessibility in Google
- Site load time – speed matters for both web design and search visibility
- Identify any keyword crossover (cannibalisation) between pages
- Your robots.txt file must be inspected
- Check for duplicate metadata in your page source
- Check for any duplicate content from competing websites
- Broken link report
- Web design should include canonical links between pages
The above list oversimplifies the process hugely. There are hundreds of web design and other factors that go into a complete technical SEO audit and report. Here’s what you really need to know: Technical SEO is an exhaustive process that aims to uncover any technical limitations that may be affecting your search rankings and online presence.
Technical SEO is never a one-time fix. During SEO campaigns, we are constantly scanning our client’s websites for aspects that can be rectified and improved for the best possible Google ranking. When it comes to technical SEO, we highly recommend you work with SEO companies in Australia that offer this as a specialty – not a side web design service.
You have probably heard of backlinks. But did you know that the internal links between various pages of your website can affect organic search engine rankings? Internal linking is a huge part of web development and SEO campaigns.
Setting up and internal link SEO structure can help to achieve three essential things:
- Conveying the value and importance of pages to search engines
- Help search engines to establish the relationship between content on your site
- Help users to navigate through different pages on your site
Internal links are any links that go from one page to another page on the same domain. They are most commonly seen on internal navigation menus in a website header and footer, but they can also be used in text throughout the website to pass high quality link equity.
Internal links are an important way to establish site hierarchy and let Google know which pages on your website are the most important. Internal links can also provide search engine bots with more information about how one page on your website is relevant to another.
Internal links help search engine results bots (like those that Google uses) to establish relevancy between pages. Interlinking between content marketing and conversion oriented landing pages can be a powerful way to crack the first page of Google for competitive key terms.
Contextual internal links between various pages on your website point on-site users to other relevant information on your website. While we have focussed on the search benefits of internal links above, there is another factor to consider – user experience.
Keeping on-site users engaged and interested in your content (and relevant pages) is an important piece of the SEO puzzle for long term results. Internal links can help to increase time on page, traffic to your website and overall user experience.
Your copy counts. Don’t underestimate the efficacy of on-site content that meets user expectations and queries. High quality content is absolutely king when it comes to lead generation. But the content marketing needs to be meaningful, use the right keywords, and meet user expectations when they are on page.
Anyone can mindlessly type out long-form content – but that doesn’t mean it will rank in search engines like Google!
Here’s what you have to remember; Google is a business. Google makes more than 90% of total revenue through PPC advertising (Google Ads) – and its search engine has to be firing on all cylinders to ensure they remain #1 for users.
If Google provides a good user experience, then users will continue to use their search engine. If Google slips and provides a compromised search engine experience, its competitors will be nipping at their heels. To provide the best user experience, your content marketing efforts must be SEO friendly AND meet the user expectations. This is where effective keyword research and content planning comes in.
You need content that satisfies the user and delivers answers to those vexing questions that they want to know. Furthermore, your web design must be approachable so that content is rendered and served in a timely manner.
At Safari Digital SEO Agency, we’re one of the few SEO agencies that go the extra mile with user expectation and intent. Before we begin looking at creating the most optimised on-site SEO content – we need to make sure that content is going to meet user expectation.
We also need to ask; “Is this content worthy of being in Google for the keywords you want to rank”. Is the content good enough to be viewed as Expert, Authoritative, and Trustworthy (Google EAT). Effective SEO strategy starts and ends with keyword research.
Years of experience and case studies tells us this: Crafting beautifully written content is one thing. Creating beautiful, SEO-friendly content is another altogether. SEO content is not always beautiful. But, when keyword research is conducted effectively, it will be worth it. The same principles can be applied to your on-site content marketing efforts.
Keyword research, strategy, and implementation is the most important aspect of delivering effective SEO services in Australia. Having the right words in the right place on the page is the single most important SEO ranking factor. We spend hours planning and curating the right keywords for each client to identify how their target customer is finding their product or services online.
We use industry leading SEO research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs and Moz to make the most informed SEO decisions for our clients. We look at metrics like monthly search volume, equivalent cost per click data, and keyword competition to make informed decisions for our clients. Using this data we plan out a set of short term and long term focus keywords that can be used to drive the short, intermediate, and long term SEO goals for our clients.
Keyword usage comes down to intent. While it would be great to rank #1 for a search term like ‘Hats’, the conversion rate of that keyword might be relatively low. Why? Because someone Googling ‘hats’ may be looking for photos, information, definitions, or shopping. Whereas a keyword like ‘White Baseball Cap’ may have a much lower search volume, the keyword intent is more relevant and more likely to lead to a conversion. Understanding which keywords to target will give you a competitive edge on your market.
The keywords that we use and implement in your SEO efforts are contingent on the unique goals of each client. In the first 2-weeks of your SEO campaign we will identify the most lucrative, powerful keywords for your business. From there, our SEO consultants will put together a customised SEO keyword plan that will get you noticed for the right search terms.
Getting your URL structure right is an essential component in SEO. Search engines and prospective customers look at URL’s to understand the context and hierarchy of content on your website. URLs are also an effective way to pass link equity through pages and guide customers through their on-site journey. If you know anything about web development, you’ll know that your URL structure must be logical and provide a breadcrumb path for users to find their way back to a root or navigational page.
When it comes to URL structure and SEO, planning is everything. Before you launch a new website or move forward with SEO work for an existing site, it’s important to define the best possible URL structure in the web development stages for SEO and website visitors. Some of the things that need to be considered during the web design period include:
- Using your keywords
- Scalability – is there room to grow (categories)
- Don’t over-optimize
- Keep it short and succinct
- Keep it static – reserve dynamic URL strings for large e-commerce sites
- Redirect existing/outdate URL strings
- Implement an effective canonical plan
- Update sitemap in-line with any changes
When it comes to URL structure, there is a lot to be considered for web design and SEO. In the first two weeks of your SEO marketing campaign we will look at your existing structure and provide recommendations as you grow your business.
Information Architecture (IA)
Information architecture (IA) SEO is the science of organising and labelling content in-line with the most logical experience for on-site users. IA plays an important role in how Google bots and users navigate through a website and provides context around where and why content sits on a website. Effective IA is about understanding what your users are looking for, and providing them with those resources at the right place and the right time. Some of the benefits of an effective Information Architecture in web development for SEO include:
- Improved website crawlability
- Effective distribution of link equity between pages
- Reduced bounce rate
- Enhanced user experience metrics
- Improved search engine visibility
- Improved on-site navigation
- Higher dwell time
- Increased traffic to your website
- More pages per session visited
Information Architecture and SEO are not separate activities. Effective SEO is not simply about putting keywords on the page, it’s about sorting and assembling content in a way that users can enjoy and search engines can crawl.