If you’re new to Search Engine Optimisation but know you need it for your business to climb Search Engine Results Pages (aka “rankings”) you may not be aware there is more than one “flavour” or technique that goes into good SEO. Here is a primer on SEO so you’re up to date – and can rattle off SEO terms like a pro!
On-Page SEO: Copywriting
On-Page SEO refers to everything an SEO expert or SEO copywriter can do to optimise the readable page for search engine crawlers or bots. Google and other search engines organise pages according to relevance using certain ranking signals. Companies don’t give out this information freely – they are trade secrets. They do hint at what kind of content will rank higher in relation to others. For Google, this is the Experience-Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness score, or E-E-A-T. The algorithm will figure if your content delivers a more detailed or correct answer to a user’s search query, it will rank higher in the search results.
This means your content must be well researched and laid out. Your pages should be clearly defined and have easy to understand headings, come from a real human with real experience (not just spun up by AI), and be respected as an authority on the topic from other experts in the field. (This comes into focus later.)
SEO Copywriters strike a balance between what is useful for humans to read and what the algorithms deem “better” than other pages.
Copywriters also need to take keywords and topics into account. A good SEO copywriter will draw upon a content or keyword strategy to ensure a site ranks for as many keywords as possible to garner more organic traffic than its competition.
Off-Page SEO refers to the efforts of SEO technicians to tweak and optimise the elements a human cannot read to enhance search engine rankings – or at least is not directly written into a page that is trying to rank for a certain keyword.
This usually refers to the metadata – the data about data. This can encompass the title (as you can see in the tab above), meta description (a 200-300 character summary of the page as it appears in search results) keywords embedded into the HTML, rich snippets (which you may see if you search for certain terms on the right hand side of search engine results and support your data with additional information) schemas (structured metadata for search engines), alt-text for images or video, and so on.
Remember what I said about trustworthiness? This is built up by incoming links from other sites with high authority and traffic. The act of Off-Page SEO is often to generate backlinks – links from other sites that add to your site’s credibility as an expert authority on a given subject.
Off-Page SEO may also refer to content marketing – marketing your site using social media (rich in backlinks), podcasting, video links, links in forums or wikis, mentions in blogs, and so on. Being a guest blogger for other sites and gaining that valuable backlink is often where much of an off-page SEO will focus their time!
Technical SEO refers to everything that underpins both the pages and the links you’re trying to establish as part of good SEO. That means ensuring that the page can be crawled effectively as part of a sitemap; if it conforms to responsive design rules for mobile and tablet users; if it loads promptly; if HTTP redirects and not-found pages work properly; if certain pages are labeled “canonical” and duplicates are taken down or tagged as “do not follow”; if the site is structured well and have consistent URLs.
In most cases, technical SEO is less a creative endeavour and more along the lines of what old-school “webmasters” used to do in the late 90s and early 2000s – making sure the website works properly – but now in the context of whether anything technical or in the back end could potentially interfere with a high Search Engine Results Page rank.
Local SEO isn’t so much as a distinct branch of SEO like the previous three, but it is one you must be aware of.
Local search engine optimisation, often known as Local SEO, is a method of search engine optimisation that focuses on catering to searches within a specific geographical region rather than only concentrating on general terms. For instance, “shoe shops near me” or “carpenters in Melbourne” are examples of search engine searches that will provide high rankings for companies that have effective local SEO.
Local search engine optimisation is especially beneficial to companies who have many locations or are Service Area Businesses (SABs). Having a landing page that is tailored to a certain geographical region or that is local is a prominent strategy for addressing these concerns. That means having a separate page for “Men’s Shoes Sydney” and “Men’s Shoes Melbourne” and so on.
With all that in mind, you can now talk SEO like a pro! To get your own award-winning SEO copywriting – look no further than the Melbourne Copywriter! Contact me below.