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On page SEO vs off page SEO

7 MINS
Web.com Team

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to attract potential customers to your website. However, if you are new to having a website, there are some key strategies and techniques that you may not be aware of — including how to handle your on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

To make your website easy to find and ensure that you do everything possible to rank well on the search engine results pages (SERPs), it may be most effective to go with a provider that offers SEO services instead of trying to do it yourself.

Here’s what you need to know about on-page and off-page SEO — what these strategies are, how they can benefit your business, and whether using a service provider to manage them may be the right choice for you.

What is on-page SEO?

SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to help it rank higher in online search results.

When someone does a search through Google or other search engines, the displayed results are based on the keywords entered, site accessibility, and other factors that drive the search engine’s algorithm.

SEO is based on organic (non-paid) traffic. To improve their search ranking, website owners need to employ various SEO techniques.

On-page SEO is exactly what the name implies — the SEO techniques used on the web pages of a site. This is usually done at the time the website is designed but can always be done any time after the fact.

On-page SEO includes activities like:

  • Inserting the target keyword in your title
  • Using internal links
  • Optimizing headlines
  • Using HTML tags (title tags, header tags, meta description)
  • Including images with alt text

The most important thing to remember about on-page SEO is that it should be reviewed and updated on an ongoing and consistent basis.

Screenshot of a Google search result

The benefits of on-page SEO

Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) is the framework that Google uses for websites and webpages, and that’s why on-page SEO is so critical. You need your site to demonstrate that you’re an expert, you have authority, and you can be trusted.

By focusing on your on-page SEO for your website, you can take advantage of several benefits, starting with improving your overall SEO ranking — especially locally, on-page SEO can help boost organic traffic, and when it comes to organic traffic, quality matters. By focusing on attracting visitors who are using specific terms to search for services and products, you’re targeting the most desirable group.

On-page SEO increases your online visibility, bringing you new customers who may not have previously found your business. By targeting specific audiences with your optimization efforts, you’ll ensure that online users who are in the decision-making stage of their purchase are more likely to find you, which improves your chances of making a sale.

Having strong on-page SEO also enhances the user-friendliness of your website, as you focus on incorporating the types of words, phrases, and images that have the broadest appeal and address relevant search queries. You’re also building brand authority by showing your website meets their needs.

For small business owners, one of the biggest appeals of on-page SEO is that it’s cost-effective when compared with other marketing activities, such as paying for ads.

Keep your on-page SEO current

Search engine rankings consider the last time a website was updated, so if you aren’t doing this regularly it can affect your ranking, lowering your chances of people finding your website.

Things evolve quickly with search engines, and algorithms can change at any time, so staying on top of your on-site SEO will help ensure your pages show as current when search engines are crawling.

Keeping your on-page SEO up to date by leveraging the right techniques ensures your website is sending out the right signals to the algorithms, and that you’re maximizing the potential of your website. You can read more about this in our Small Business SEO Guide.

While it’s easy to promote products and services on your website, figuring out how to promote your business beyond your site can be much more challenging. When building a website, the strategies for creating strong on-page SEO are often the focus, but the steps needed to improve your off-page SEO are usually less clear.

People often strictly associate off-page SEO with link building, but it should encompass far more than that. So, what exactly is off-page SEO and how can it impact your business? Let’s take a look.

What is off-page SEO?

While on-page SEO focuses on what’s happening on your website, off-page SEO is focused on how you’re building domain authority through the use of things like external links. It’s a culmination of all the different activities you can do online (and not on your website) to improve search engine results page ranking.

Off-page activities signal to search engines that your website is authoritative and trustworthy. Search engines like Google assess the quality of the off-page SEO activities based on factors such as relevance, authority, location, and variety.

The goal is always quality over quantity with off-page SEO. It doesn’t matter how often your business appears online if the sources aren’t considered reputable.

What makes up off-page SEO?

Link building

Link building is the process of getting your website linked to other websites. One thing search engines consider when ranking is how popular your site is, so this is in part calculated based on how many other websites link back to yours.

However, search engines don’t consider all links to be of equal quality. Factors like how popular the linking site is, how new the link is, how trustworthy the linking site is considered, the number of other links on the web page and more all come into play.

Being active online

Another way to build your off-page SEO is to get active online. Whether it’s posting on social media or participating in forums under your brand name, search engines look to see what activity you have. The more you interact using your brand’s name, the more you’re contributing to your off page SEO.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging can also contribute, by helping you establish yourself as a reputable source and creating backlinks directing people back to your website or social media pages.

Business directory listings

Finally, ensuring your local and business directory listings are updated regularly is a key aspect of off page SEO. The more places your business appears online, the better you can rank with search engines.

The benefits of off-page SEO

It’s no secret consumers look to the Internet to help them make buying decisions, now more than ever. While the combination of the right keywords may directly lead someone to your website, there are still countless opportunities for them to find you through other avenues beyond your slice of the web.

When considering the benefits of off-page SEO, the most obvious one is improving where you rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher you rank, the easier it’ll be for people to find your business.

Additionally, a higher ranking on a SERP means better exposure for your business, which can then lead to more organic traffic for your website.

Similar to on-page SEO, off-page SEO helps reinforce your expertise and establish brand awareness. The more places people “see” your business, the more likely they are to remember your brand.

All of these activities contribute to establishing domain authority, which is the score each search engine gives your website. The higher your domain authority, the better you’ll rank in search engine results.

Why are on-page SEO and off-page SEO important?

Both on-page and off-page SEO are important for improving your website’s ranking in search results. However, they work together in a complementary way. On-page SEO helps search engines understand what your website is about and what it has to offer, while off-page SEO helps search engines see that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.

The best way to improve your website’s ranking is to focus on both on-page and off-page SEO. You can tailor your emphasis on either of these SEO types depending on your specific needs. For example, if you’re a new website, you may want to focus more on on-page SEO until you have a good foundation of content and structure. Once you have a solid foundation, you can start to focus more on off-page SEO.

Ultimately, the best way to achieve long-term SEO success is to adopt a balanced approach that incorporates both on-page and off-page SEO.

Start optimizing your on-page and off-page SEO

Building a strategy for off-page SEO takes time and expertise. To do it effectively, you need to understand how to employ all the different techniques and strategies, in addition to finding the time to do it on a regular basis.

To help with your on-page and off-page SEO, you can work with a reputable provider such as Web.com. Our SEO services team can help establish your business online with quality referral links and citations, as well as help manage business listing and other off-page SEO strategies.

  • Web.com Team

    Our goal is to be your go-to partner in today’s always-on digital world.

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