What is the difference between on-site (on-page) SEO and off-site (off-page) SEO?


On-site SEO vs Off-site SEO

Digital Media > SEO

This is a great question our clients usually ask: What is the difference between on-site (on-page) SEO and off-site (off-page) SEO?

Many people believe SEO (search engine optimization) is all about what they do on their website and do not realize it also deals with what they do off of their website that can make a difference as well.

First, letís clarify terminology: On-site SEO includes titles, descriptions, content, headers, alt tags, navigation, URL naming, load speed and other ways to make a site more friendly to both visitors and search engines; Off-site SEO comprises inbound link building using a variety of techniques and strategies.

On-site SEO

On-site SEO is what can be done on the pages of a website to maximise its performance in the search engines for target keywords related to the on-page content.

On-site SEO is everything within the coding of your actual website. You can add, edit or remove content and code at an given time. You have complete control over this factor and this is only one piece to the puzzle of achieving higher rankings.

On-Page SEO Checklist:

  • Always start with keyword selection, research and testing
  • Page title
  • Meta Tags
  • ALT tags
  • Headings (H1, ect. tags )
  • URL structure
  • Internal Link Structure
  • Content
  • Keyword density
  • Outbound links
  • Site maps, both XML and user facing
  • Usability and accessibility
  • Track target keywords
  • Expect results in 6-12 months

Avoid common on-page SEO mistakes such as:

  • Duplicate content
  • URL variants of the same pages
  • Off-site images and content on-site
  • Duplicate title tags
Off-site SEO

Once your site is optimized, off-site SEO becomes very important. Without inbound links, a site has little to no chance of ranking in search engine results. Off-site SEO is about building back links to your website from other websites within your niche. A niche is nothing more then a category for your website.

Press releases, article submissions, guest blog posts, social bookmarking are also forms of off-site SEO and really focus around getting more links to your website.

Off-Page SEO Checklist:

  • Always start with keyword research, testing and selection
  • Use Keywords in link anchor text
  • Obtain links from high ranking publisher sites
  • One-way inbound links (not link exchange or reciprocal links)
  • Different keywords in your link-ads from the same site
  • Gradual link building technology (no growth spikes)
  • Use relevant keywords near your inbound link (contextual relevance)
  • Deep linking (from multiple pages to multiple pages)
  • Target a large list of keywords (5-500+)
  • Link from sites with a variety of LinkRanks
  • Track all active keywords and refine strategy as required
  • Discontinue campaigns if ranking does not improve
  • Expect results in 1-9 months (Google, Yahoo)

Avoid common off-page SEO mistakes:

  • Duplicate keywords in link avderts
  • Site-wide links causing link growth spikes
  • Using on-page SEOs to do the work of specialist off-page SEOís
  • Placing random links without keywords near your link adverts

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