The ultimate search engine optimization strategy is made up of three critical efforts:
- Technical SEO Fixes
- Onsite Content
- Offsite Content/Link building
Doing any one of these things without the other two can still help your website rank better. But doing all three is the best way to guarantee your efforts pay off over time.
Technical SEO Fixes
The technical side of SEO is in the way your website is built. It’s in the server settings, the code that is used, the way files are stored and loaded. All of these areas impact the way search engines experience your website and before optimization, could be hurting the overall performance of your website.
There are a number of things that you can do to improve the technical performance of your website. You can use free tools from Google to check on your page load speed and find some quick solutions to improve it. You can use Google Search Console to find missing pages and broken links. Or you can hire an SEO firm to do a full website audit and take their recommendations.
Check out this full list of common technical SEO issues and how to fix them.
Onsite content has to do with the optimization of each individual page on your site. Obviously some will be more valuable than others, but the more pages you have optimized, the better luck you’ll have.
You want to make sure you are targeting the right keywords for each page. From there, you will include your keywords in search-friendly URLs, page titles, headline copy, meta descriptions, etc. Properly use H1 and H2 heading tags in order to highlight the key topics on each page. Include plenty of links, both internal (to other pages of your site) and external to high value sources. Properly tag all images and reduce load time by making them smaller.
Here is a great on-page SEO resource guide.
Offsite Content/Link Building
When most people think of SEO, they think of backlinks. Backlinks are the links from other sites around the web to your site. And traditionally, sites with more backlinks from high-quality websites are going to rank higher in search results.
Offsite content, or link building efforts include anything your company can do to generate more of these backlinks. This includes listing on any relevant business or industry directory, publishing articles on other sites that accept submissions, putting out press releases and getting media sites to write about you, using social media to spread and share content, guest posting on quality blogs in your area, etc. This takes a concerted effort and consistent outreach. Links don’t happen on their own.
Here are 500+ link building strategies to check out.
Embarking on any SEO effort without including all three of these buckets is a little like trying to swim with one arm tied behind your back. You can still move but you won’t see the results you want.