Generating traffic to your website or music project can be a tricky thing to manage, especially with all the competition today and considering how easy it is for everyone to build their own website.

One of the secrets lies in SEO, that is, search engine optimization. If you apply the right optimizations to your website, you can rank higher in search engine results, thus attracting more visitors to your site. This is true whether you decide to build your own website or leave that task to a digital design agency.

But how exactly can you do this? And what is the difference between on-site SEO and off-site SEO? These are some of the questions we’re hoping to answer for you today.

Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO, also called off-page SEO, is about factors that occur outside your own website. These factors can be external links to your website, social media posts or marketing campaigns.

Unlike on-site SEO, you have a lesser degree of control over these external factors. However, there are still certain steps you can take to improve your off-site SEO.

First of all, you should focus on creating outstanding content for your own website. This will make other people want to link to your website because it has such valuable content.

You can also share your content on social media, write guest articles on other blogs and link back to your own website, or send outreach e-mails that can eventually result in external links. But again, all of this only works if your website has content of great quality.

​On-Site SEO

Let’s move on to on-site SEO (also called on-page SEO), which is the main focus of this article. On-site SEO is all about making changes to your own website, as the name implies. As you probably realize from reading the previous description, you have much more control over on-site SEO elements that those of off-site SEO.

​Why Is On-Site SEO Important?

Getting to the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is a tricky business, as there are so many factors that you can’t control. But the best thing for you to do is to focus on those things that you can control. Namely, you can focus on all aspects of your website design, not only the visible but also the hidden ones.

You can try to gather loads of external links and share your website on all kinds of social media, but this won’t work if your pages are non-responsive or your content is not adequate. Being a web development expert also helps, as when we’re talking about SEO, the quality of the code also has a big influence.

In short, the reason why On-Site SEO is so important is that this is the area you have the most control over. Optimizing this will, in turn, earn you more traffic from social networks, generate more external links, and improve your brand’s image and customer trust.

But what particular elements of your website design should you change if you want it to rank higher? That’s what we’re going to talk about in the next sections.

​Keyword Research

Keyword research is an important process in on-site SEO and one you should undergo before you start creating content for your website. The goal here is to gather a long list of keywords that may be related to your business and are interesting to use.

After this long list is done, you should shorten the list to about 5 keywords (this may vary depending on the type and size of your business).

During this process, you may enlist the help of some tools to make the job easier, such as Google AdWords or Google Trends. This can help you determine which keywords are trending at the moment and have the most potential to create revenue for your business.

​Unique Value Content

When you’recreating content for your website, of course, you’ll have to have your chosen set of keywords in mind. But great content is not just about using your keywords over and over again. This has actually proven to be harmful to your rankings in some cases. Instead, focus on creating engaging material for your audience.

It is also important to give your visitors something unique to read. And we don’t mean just creating copy that presents the same information as other websites, only with different phrasing.

Instead, really try to give your audience something they have never seen before. You’re probably creating a website related to an area of your expertise, so give your own view on the matter and stand out from the rest. This is called creating unique value.

​Keyword-Targeting Elements

There are many elements of your website that should target your chosen keywords. Obviously, the body text is one of them, but not the only one. Other important elements include:

  • Page title: Your primary keyword should be used at least once in the title, and preferably as close to the start as possible
  • Headline (H1): The heading of a page is given more weight than the other elements, so it is also wise to include your primary keyword there. Just make sure it accurately reflects the content
  • Images/image alt text: Image alt text is something used by search engine crawlers to help them understand the content of your page, so any keywords you use here is a plus. Also, quality images may appear in Google Image Search, generating even more traffic for your website
  • URL: URLs don’t have as much weight as other elements on page rankings, but you should still include keywords there if possible. This also improves URL readability.

​User Experience

Last but not least, the UX (user experience) is one of the most critical aspects of on-site SEO. It improves not only your search engine rankings but also the perception of your audience and their willingness to visit your website again. Here are some of the things your website design should be focusing on to improve customer UX:

  • Page load time: Your pages should be fast to load, even on slow connections and across all device types. If this is not the case, it not only harms your rankings but drives your audience away from your website
  • Accessibility: Your website should have intuitive navigation and it should be easy for visitors to find what they’ve come for. Ideally, any page should be only 2 to 3 clicks away
  • Responsive web design: The presentation of your website should be optimized for all types of devices, especially mobile devices. This type of approach is called responsive web design. Mobile users are already a huge chunk of the total Internet traffic, and search engines also value mobile-friendly designs
  • Attractive design: This is obviously important for a great UX, but we left it for last on purpose. Not only does it not impact rankings as much as the other elements, but we feel it has less priority. It is preferable to have a rather ugly website that’s easy to browse than a perfectly presented one that’s a nightmare to navigate.

As you can see, all these topics are sure to keep your hands busy for a while, not to mention the ones that we didn’t discuss. Good luck with your on-site SEO and attracting more visitors to your website!

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About Ivan Rodriguez Duch

Iván merges his knowledge of attraction techniques, design, music and project manager to create impactful digital experiences.