On-page vs Off-page SEO for dentists
You may have done a little research into SEO or have seen dental conference presentations about SEO for your practice. Two of the terms you may come across are On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. In this page we will be discussing these two concepts and how they relate to each other. A third form of SEO is Technical SEO, but that's a topic for a different page.
On-page and off-page SEO in the simplest terms
First, let's define these types of SEO in the simplest terms.
On-page SEO refers to things that visitors can actually see on a webpage when they visit. This is the type of SEO that web site owners have the most control over. It is the easiest to understand and probably the oldest form of SEO. We will go into more detail about On-Page SEO in the next section.
Off-page SEO refers to all the optimization that occurs on other websites (domains) not directly related to your own. It is the hardest kind of optimization to control or have an effect on, but it produces the best results.
Now that we have gotten the basic definitions out of the way, we can discuss each in more detail.
Keywords are the oldest tool in the SEO toolbox. Each page needs to have a target keyword or phrase that you want to rank for. This target keyword should appear within the text body, headings and several other places that the reader can see. This is important for two reasons.
- People that arrive from search engines want to see the phrase that they searched for on the page that they land on. If they don't, they will leave quickly (bounce).
- Search engines determine what searches a page will be listed on depending on where it can see the respective "keyword" on the page.
A few places that you will want to put the keyword are:
- The top heading (marked with the "h1" tag)
- Throughout the content body, but not to the point that is seems artificial to the reader.
- In the page's URL
- The alt tag of the image code. (this tag determines what is read to blind internet users to describe an image)
- Links that point to other locations on your website (internal links)
- Links that point to other websites (external links)
Another thing that is important for On-Page SEO is imagery. Every page should have a related image within the body of the content. It makes the page and content more friendly and digestible. And it's true what they say: An image speaks a thousand words.
Finally, it is important to have the proper length of content. Pages with only a short paragraph are viewed as "thin content" by Google and other search engines. For our clients, the magic number we shoot for is 500 words per page. Longer is better, but 500 words is probably the table stakes.
Off-Page SEO is by far the more difficult and time consuming form of SEO. Off-Page SEO could also be called "link building" because it is all about getting other websites/domains to link to your content. Building links is difficult because a lot of the work is to persuade other people/websites to link to your webpage.
Some Off-Page SEO can be done by the website owner. These would include links in:
||Press Releases hosted online
||Social Media Posts
||Online directory listings
Trustworthiness and authority
The best kind of link to get is other people/sites to choose to link to you on their own. This is in essence why external links are so important to search engines; they demonstrate that your content is trustworthy and authoritative.
The original premise for the Google Search Algorithm is that the more a page/site is linked to, the more important it must be. This is similar to how it works in the medical, scientific, and law fields. If someone publishes an authoritative paper, finding, or ruling, then there will be more references to it in other papers, studies, and rulings.
The number one way to get others to link to your content is to have high quality content. This means it has to be:
Basically, if people come to your page and think it's the best breakdown of that subject, they will link to it and share it of their own accord.
Other sources for external links from other sites could be:
||Reviews of your business or product
||Social bookmarking sites
Follow Links and No Follow Links
Not all links are created equal. The only links that count towards your reputation with search engines are "follow" links. The only thing that defines a "follow" link is the absence of a "nofollow" HTML tag within the link.
A "no follow" links adds rel="nofollow" to the HTML code of the link. If you were to inspect the code of a "no follow" link, it would look like this:
<a href=http://www.somewebsite.com/ rel="nofollow">Link text that the user sees</a>
Many social media sites use "no follow" links by default to cut down on the amount of spam that is posted. Overall, "no follow" links help the state of the internet, but it does make it harder for SEOs and website owners to build links.
This was just a basic primer of On-Page and Off-Page SEO. As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into optimizing a website to get ranked on search engines.
On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO work together to build a website's authority and ranking in search results. Neither one can be neglected if you want people to find you on Google.
Often it is too much for a business to handle themselves, especially dental offices. Here at WEO Media, we are experts at Dental SEO, and have a proven track record of improving production for all dental specialties. Whether you are a general dentist, a specialist, or an oral surgeon, we can improve your search presence.
WEO Media is a full service Dental Marketing Agency with a stellar reputation in the dental industry. Visit the following link for a free website and marketing analysis.
Why is unique content important for SEO?