What is the difference between On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
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The digital age requires a lot of things from a business. Social media, paid advertisements, organic traffic, collaborations, etc. all play a role in driving revenue for a business.
When it comes to generating internet traffic, you can opt for two approaches. Either you can slowly build growing organic traffic or resort to paid campaigns and generate traffic quickly but for short terms.
Most businesses opt for the former as it is cost-efficient and its return compound over the long term. To build organic traffic, you need to rank for the right topics and rank higher on SERPs to grow your traffic further.
What you need to achieve all of this is Search Engine Optimization. The activities to be undertaken under SEO can be grouped under on-page and off-page SEO.
We’ll learn about what these two are and how they’re different from one another in this article. Let’s begin then!
On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO
First, we will understand how they’re fundamentally different. After which we can dive into the details of it and understand its components.
So, On-Page SEO entails activities and techniques used to optimize various aspects and SEO factors of your website. Everything under On-Page SEO is directly under your control. These optimizations decide what keywords and topics you rank for.
Off-Page SEO focuses on techniques and activities that help optimize all the SEO factors external to your website.
While you do have control over these, external factors can always change. These optimizations determine how high you rank for your topics and keywords.
With the fundamentals now out of the way, let’s consider each one and its components in detail.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO entails all the activities related to optimizing the various aspects of your website that affect its ranking. It wasn’t long ago when on-page SEO only decided what topics and keywords you ranked for.
On-page SEO does two things, it makes it easy for Google to understand your website and improves the user experience which Google considers while ranking websites.
Let’s take a look at all its components now.
Components of On-Page SEO
Here are all the components under on-page SEO that you can optimize. You have full control over these aspects of your website. These optimizations will primarily help you rank for the right topics and keywords and secondarily boost your rankings in SERPs.
The title tag is essentially the title of your webpage. It is the main heading you see for any webpage in search results and is an important SEO factor. You must include the appropriate keyword in the title tag.
Headings help search engines understand what all topics and sub-topics have been covered within the content of a web page. Optimizing the heading properly will not only help you rank for the main topic but the sub-topics as well.
Often overlooked, your URL structure does affect your SEO. A URL refers to the address of a web page on the internet. The benefit of optimizing a web page’s URL is that search engines find it easy to discover and crawl from one page to another.
Including keywords in your URLs is also important as it is an SEO indicator. You should aim to keep the URL concise and to the point. This makes them easy to understand and earns more clicks compared to long and complicated URLs.
Alt Text for Images
This is another factor that is mostly overlooked. People fail to comprehend that even an image can drive a lot of traffic to your website. All you need is to optimize the Alt texts for it. Alt-text is the description of the content within an image.
This is what tells search engines what the image is all about. With well-optimized alt text, your image will easily rank among the image search results. This can help you generate additional web traffic.
Internal linking is crucial for your SEO efforts. Primarily, it helps the crawlers and bots of a search engine discover and index new web pages on your website.
Secondarily, in a similar manner, you can use internal links to guide users to other related content on your website.
This means search engines will primarily consider your website’s mobile version while indexing and ranking web pages. Thus, it becomes necessary to ensure cross-platform compatibility and optimum performance on mobile devices.
I purposely kept the most important component for the last. Why? Because no matter how well you optimize your website and web pages if the content within is not good, users are only going to bounce off or never click again on any of your links.
When people say ‘Content is King’ they’re absolutely right! High-quality content has always been a core component of a successful digital marketing strategy. SEO is no exception to this.
Moreover, SEO and Content Marketing are complementary to one another. Good content pleases search engines and users at the same time. So, you rank higher, generate more traffic and provide a good user experience to the users.
Now we can move on to learning Off-Page SEO.
Off-Page SEO entails all the activities that focus on managing and optimizing all the external SEO factors. You don’t have full and direct control over these external factors. However, a good SEO strategy and consistent efforts can yield amazing returns.
Google follows the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) framework to rank pages. Expertise can be demonstrated using your content. For Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, you need Off-Page SEO.
Let us now check the components of Off-Page SEO to better understand how one can build trustworthiness and authoritativeness.
Backlinks are perhaps the most important part of Off-Page SEO. Backlinks are how one can primarily assert authoritativeness and trustworthiness. How exactly?
When you’re recognized in your industry as an expert on the subject matter, people will cite you and your content on their websites. Search engines take note of the links on the internet that point to a certain site.
These backlinks are signals that assert your authority and trustworthiness about the subject matter. The more relevant and reputed websites link back to you, the higher your chances of ranking for the topics and industry you cover.
There are several ways you can build backlinks for your website:
Publishing your content in an online publication
Participating in Industry related forums
Executing a content outreach program
Creating Press Releases
Promoting your content on social media has many benefits. You’re essentially amplifying the reach of your content.
As suggested, if you’re producing high-quality content, users are bound to share it on their profiles. This extends your reach and earns inbound links.
You might even hit the social media marketing jackpot and see your post go viral across the internet. Thus, you will gain exposure to a wider set of audience and have opportunities to earn more backlinks from people.
Moreover, search engines tend to promote web pages in search rankings when they get a lot of clicks. Social media can help you boost your ranking in this manner.
Not to be confused with topical authority, domain authority is a score between 1-100 assigned to your website by a search engine. Websites with a higher domain rating will be given preference over domains with lower domain authority.
Here are the factors that affect our domain authority:
You can maximize the Domain Authority by having a technically sound domain for longer aided by link building.
Local SEO works differently compared to online SEO but is equally important. Local and online SEO can complement one another when done right. Online reviews about your business on websites such as Google, Yelp, etc. help boost your Local SEO.
Having a strong online and local SEO is important for businesses that operate both online and offline. Thus, you can start by creating an account on Google My Business.
GMB allows businesses to directly submit information to Google. You can manage reviews, resort grievances, etc. and boost your local SEO.
The importance of driving and growing organic traffic to your website cannot be overlooked. SEO is important for every business operating online.
A question that must be hovering in your mind is whether you should go for on-page or off-page SEO first. My advice? Start with both! SEO is a combined effort and both on-page and off-page SEO are important.
Yash Chawlani is a B2B SaaS Marketing Consultant and Founder of Merlin, a result-oriented online marketing agency. He specializes in SEO and Content Marketing and helps various B2B & SaaS companies with his top-notch marketing strategies. You can get in touch with him via LinkedIn.