In order to get search engine optimization right, you need to be well versed in both the on-page and the off-page optimization techniques.
On-page optimization is like the foundations of a building. Without good foundations, the building cannot stand. However, it’s really what’s on top of the foundations that make the biggest difference.
If you have good foundations in the form of on-page SEO, then the rest of the game comes in the form of off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is what will really put you ahead of your competition.
==> On-Page SEO Techniques
On-page SEO techniques can more or less be split into “basics” and “advanced.”
On the basic level are all the fundamental on-page SEO practices. For example, put your keyword in your title tag, use your ALT tags to tag your images, and use meta description tags to help create your search engine rankings.
On a more advanced level you have techniques like creating silo interlinking structures to spread PageRank and relevance throughout your web pages. You have to stay on top of things like Schema.org, Google and Bing’s new system for keeping track of what different types of content are about.
You also need to be watching your site metrics more carefully to lower your bounce rate, increase your return rate and increase the time spent on site.
==> Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO consists primarily of link building.
The goal is to build backlinks from as many different types of backlinks as possible. Ideally you’ll have a combination of high quality, relevant backlinks, along with some lower quality, easy to obtain backlinks.
Building backlinks is a highly manual process. Of course, you can outsource a lot of the work once you have the systems down, but in the beginning you’ll have to do a lot of the work yourself.
Off-page optimization techniques include guest blogging, getting featured in news articles, article marketing, creating forum profile links, signature links, buying links, blog commenting, creating custom web apps and more.
==> The Best Way to Choose a Strategy
In some markets, you need to use fairly complex and difficult strategies to get ranked. In other markets, simple strategies are all you need to break ahead of your competition.
The best way to choose which techniques to use, is to start by figuring out what your competition is doing. Use backlink analysis tools to build a link profile of how your competitors got to where they are.
Once you know how they got there, all you need to do is follow their strategy better than them to get ahead.
To make a long story short, getting ranked in search engines involves getting both the on-page and the off-page optimization right. Do both the basic and the advanced on-page SEO, then choose a handful of off-page strategies and execute them well.