We can’t emphasize enough the importance of SEO (search engine optimization) in today’s digital marketing space. If you want to get noticed in whatever niche you’ve chosen, you’ve got to be precise with your SEO strategy. And if you’re planning on focusing on SEO this time around, you’ve got to know its many kinks – including on-page and off-page SEO. What’s the difference, and how would these affect your SEO ranking?
- A Matter of Definition
- On-Page SEO: It’s The Inside That Counts
- Off-Page SEO: Impressions Count
On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO: It’s All About Method
A Matter of Definition
It might help to actually identify what on-page and off-page SEO actually deal with before tackling their differences. Despite the similarities in names, on-page and off-page SEO actually deal with vastly different things. Remember, when you hear the two (2) terms, here’s what they usually mean:
- On-Page SEO deals with everything you have to do to your website to gain traction in search engines. These range from modifications in your content optimization, code revision, and structural changes. If you have to change HTML tags, fix keywords, and aid engines when it comes to crawling and indexing your pages, then you deal with on-page SEO. Essentially, if your changes to SEO involves accessing your website, this tackles on-page SEO.
- Off-Page SEO deals with everything you do to increase search engine traction outside your website. When you hear other people talk of making changes to promote your site, this is off-page SEO. These include strategies that focus on digital marketing – including link building, blogger outreach, and search engine submissions. Everything that goes outside your site to improve SEO is off-page SEO.
In other words, on-page and off-page SEO don’t “compete” with each other to get your attention. Rather, you need to fix the both of them to ensure you get just the right fit for your SEO needs.
On-Page SEO: It’s The Inside That Counts
As previously mentioned, on-page SEO tackles everything you need to have in your website to gain traction in search engines. These range from your website’s structure and appearance down to your content and metadata. The key highlights of on-page SEO compared to off-page SEO revolve around the following:
- Appearance and navigation: Aside from website design, you need to make your website navigable and practical to use. You should be actively helping your customers and viewers access various parts of your website, and this boosts on-page SEO. This has a lot to do with optimizing your code to make elements load much faster, and improving user experience by making aspects of your site much easier to access.
- Content creation: A huge part of on-page SEO has to do with content creation, especially since it’s high quality content that tends to bring users to your website. When you utilize your keywords in your pieces properly, you may be able to gain traction from search engines as they may associate you with a particular niche.
- Internal links: Aside from content, you need to pay particular attention to linking pieces that already exist in your website. This aspect of on-page SEO helps search engines see which of your pages are related to one another. This also helps customers and viewers see more of your website without having to go to the homepage.
- Title and heading tags: When you look into a search engine’s results, you’ll likely see page titles. And if you’re the inquisitive user, you’ll likely click on one that piques your interest. As a website owner, you should focus on creating engaging titles and headlines to engage your users.
- Metadata: When you look at search results, you’ll not just see a title – but a description as well, right? You’ll most likely click a description that best summarizes the content you see on a particular page. This is courtesy of metadata, which helps give users a good idea on what a particular page is about.
Off-Page SEO: Impressions Count
As you’ve read above, off-page SEO focuses on how “relevant” your site is to search engines. This has a lot to do with establishing your “authority” on the internet. However, as there are a lot of factors involved when it comes to establishing your “relevance” in your niche, off-page SEO takes time to develop and as such is a long-term process. This involves things such as:
- Domain authority: Off-page SEO has a lot to do with building “trust” with search engines outside your website, and domain authority is a prime example how this works. Domain authority is affected by referring domains you have, the history of the domain name and its activities, and how long you’ve possessed the domain name.
- Backlinks: Aside from internal links, off-page SEO has a lot to do with backlinks as well. These are links you use to reference other websites that are related to your own. While a lot might think this can “boost” already-profitable websites, this also tells search engines they can trust you to link to relevant websites for your users.
- Social interaction: Off-page SEO also tackles the way you interact with your customers through various marketing methods. Social signals revolving your site and its content have a lot to contribute to your traction. These include people who like, comment, and share your pieces, or even people who bookmark your articles.
- Social channels: Aside from social interaction, your social media presence also has a lot to do with off-page SEO. These include pages related to your content, and how your links find themselves shared across social media.
On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO: It’s All About Method
With the above in mind, it’s important to note that the main difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO lies in “how” you want to attract search engines. On-page SEO focuses on what you do inside your website to increase your SEO rank. Meanwhile, off-page SEO focuses on how you use elements outside your website to increase your SEO ranking. Understanding the difference allows you to at least determine which assets you could best use to your advantage, especially when considering your strengths in terms of SEO.