The always excellent Neil Patel just wrote an article titled “The Ultimate Guide To Off-Page SEO“. It’s a great resource, and a good reminder of many of the factors involved in getting your webpages to rank well in the search engines. I actually found it interesting that, in an article ostensibly about off-page SEO (the ranking factors that involve areas outside of the control of your website, such as links, trust, and social), Neil spent close to half of the article discussing on-page SEO factors, in the section of his article with the heading “Preparing a Site/Page for Link Building”.
And that’s because on-page SEO still matters. Sure, links are important. But if you don’t have your website structured well, you don’t have appropriate keywords in your content, and you’re not interlinking your pages correctly, just getting links to your site is not enough. Some of the things that Neil discussed were:
- Laying out your internal pages
- Creating silo pages (a landing page with many supporting pages linking to it)
- Linking related pages together
- Doing basic on-page SEO
- Creating SEO-friendly URLs
- Starting your titles with a keyword
- Using multimedia to increase time on site and reduce bounce rates
- Including outbound links to related, authority sites
- Including your keyword in an H1 tag
- Putting the keyword in the first 100-150 words
- Picking thematic keywords
- Doing keyword research
- Using LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords, or relevant and related keywords
- Avoiding over-optimization (like using your primary keyword over and over)
Neil then goes on to discuss how to get relevant and authority backlinks to your site, including tactics such as broken link building and infographics, as well as a good warning on avoiding unnatural links (which can incur a Google penalty) by creating content for users first, diversifying your anchor text (not using the same linking text over and over), and using your brand name as anchor text most often.
But it all starts with a solid base – a well-optimized site with SEO-friendly page structures. Start with that, and then your off-page linking building work will have a greater impact on your site, across the board.