Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a tricky business. Among the SEO “gurus”, there are varying opinions about how much energy (and money) you should put into your on-page and off-page SEO efforts. The short answer is it’s complicated. The reason is that Google’s algorithms are complicated and continuously changing. So a solid SEO strategy needs to employ a wide range of on-page and off-page efforts in order to weather the changes and build long-term success for your site.
That said, here are some basic questions from the SEO experts at Ideagility to help decide how much energy to devote to on page SEO and how much to devote to link building:
1. Is your site brand new or already established?
This is a key question in helping you decide where to focus your efforts. In general, during the building and launch stages of the website you want to concentrate most of your efforts toward the on-page factors. These include proper keyword research, title/meta tags, internal linking structure, sitemaps, and quality themed content.
A well-structured site with good on-page SEO from the beginning will make the off-page factors make link building far less difficult. In other words, you will likely be able to keep your page ranked with fewer back links if you take care of the on-page content from the get go.
Now if the site is already built and established, that’s another story. In this case, you need to address whatever your weak spot is. For example, if you have a perfectly structured site with good quality content but you’re still struggling to get rankings, then you’ll need to focus your efforts on link building, and vice versa.
2. What industry are you in?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to SEO. It depends heavily on the type of business or industry you happen to be in. For example, if you’re a site that is focused on providing updated information to your audience such as news or entertainment, then on-page SEO in the form of regular fresh content will be important. However, if your site is selling a physical product, then keeping rank for the top keyword phrases for that product will be more important and link building will be more heavily emphasized.
3. What’s your level of competition?
Finally, we need to look at how competitive your targeted keyword phrases are and how difficult they will be to rank. Whether your keywords are easy or difficult, it is always important to have solid on-page SEO from the beginning. But if you’re in a less competitive niche, you may not need to focus as much on link building. To know this for sure, perform an analysis of the incoming links from your top 10 competitors. This will tell you how much (and what type) of link building you’ll need to do to climb above them in the rankings.
Follow these tips to guide your SEO strategy. When you’re ready to delve into more advanced SEO techniques, call the SEO experts at Ideagility!