All search engine optimization (SEO) falls into two categories, on page SEO and off page SEO. But what’s the difference between these to strategies? Click here to learn all about on page vs off page SEO, and why each is vital for gaining maximum exposure on search engines like Google.
Google receives anywhere between 60,000 and 70,000 searches per second. Websites that are ranked high on search results receive the vast majority of clicks. Only 5% of users actually bother clicking to the next page.
This means Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital for online success. Sure, you can buy ads that place your website at the top of the search results. Those listings can be expensive and only grab 10% of clicks.
You need to have strong SEO fundamentals to push your website ranking to the top. When it comes to onpage vs off-page SEO, you should be aware of what each strategy means. This will be useful when considering how to spend your precious marketing dollars.
Our guide will help you learn the differences between the two, what each strategy involves, and which one is best for you.
Optimizing your webpage so that it’s easier to find on Google and so that Google finds it attractive is a balance. These two forms of SEO both serve the purpose of increasing traffic to your website. Each one incorporates various methods to target sources of traffic and capture them.
The key is doing this organically and intelligently so as to not appear as spammy or predatory. Both SEO methods attempt to get your content in front of relevant audiences and try to leverage word-of-mouth advertising through various sharing mediums.
Before we break down the two different SEO strategies, let’s cover the basics. On-page SEO deals with everything on your domain. You control your own on-page SEO, so it’s your fault if it’s not up to par.
Off-page SEO you have very little control over things. You are basically reading and reacting to numbers outside your website. This includes traffic from other websites via backlinks, social media shares, reviews, and so forth.
Both methods have their limitations, both methods are valid. Now, let’s examine what exactly is needed to optimize for both on-page and off-page results.
Despite the overall increase in accessibility and the opportunity for everyone to create their own website without hiring an expensive web developer, on-page SEO continues to be a big problem, even though the solutions to these problems are relatively easy to fix.
The reason why on-page SEO suffers on both established websites and newcomers is that it is neglected in the early stages of a website’s creation, only to surface later when roadblocks pop-up and traffic becomes stagnant. Let’s do a quick checklist of the most common and easiest to remedy on-page SEO problems.
This problem will quickly present itself when you decide to check the SEO ranking of any pages on your website. You find that the pages you are trying to rank for are not showing up, but similar pages that you weren’t trying to rank for are there instead. The best way to remedy this is by using canonical tags to redirect Google’s crawlers to the proper address you are trying to rank.
This next on-page SEO problem is one of the most common and easiest to overlook. These alt tag descriptors for your images are extremely underestimated and neglected as SEO opportunities. Having your images rank on Google’s image search can open up an entirely new lane for traffic with less competition.
You have to ensure that all your images are being hosted on reliable servers, however. Try to avoid free image hosting sites that you have no control or oversight. Using your own host’s storage is always preferable and, if you really need to, utilize a cloud storage service like OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
These brief descriptions of the page you are currently viewing can be helpful for both visitors and anyone searching online for your keywords. Make sure your title’s tag has enough information to say what your page is, but also brief enough to fit over the size of the average browser tab.
Not to be confused with the title description, your meta description is what displays underneath your website on Google’s search results. This is a crucial opportunity to separate your webpage from the rest of your competition. Do it right the first time and try to avoid duplicated info to avoid confusion.
You can never be too careful with outgoing links and references on your website. No matter how reputable or how corporate a website is, there is always going to be a possibility that somehow one of your links will go dead without your knowledge.
The only way to prevent this from hurting your website’s integrity and/or functionality, you must either manually check for broken links via web service providers online or install a plugin; if you have a platform like WordPress, this is a breeze. Once a link goes “offline” or times out for whatever reason, you can be alerted to update the URL.
Having good on-page SEO is really all about having a balance for everything, for both the human visitors and Google’s robots. The problem with having more HTML than text is that it indicates that there is more fluff and formatting than there is actual content. You don’t want to have large swaths of empty spaces, archaic tables, and images that simply display larger text bubbles. If you’re using images for your headers: don’t!
Going off of the previous comment about headers, it is important to utilize them whenever you can. It is also worth noting that H1 headers, in particular, should be fleshed out with their own tag descriptions, as well. Don’t make shortcuts by merely copy-pasting the title tag into the header tag, either. Include at least one H1 tag for each page for good on-page SEO balance.
This next tip expands upon the problem with having bad text: HTML ratios. Even if that ratio is fixed and your text outweighs your HTML code, you still should strive for having most of your pages filled with in-depth articles and/or descriptions. Google rewards websites that are more than just glorified storefronts or business cards. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to write content for your website, hire a freelance SEO writer to get the job done for you.
If your website is not designed for a simplified, yet powerful, browsing experience, you will likely be either a) alienating the visitors on your page, or b) overcompensating by linking to your own pages all over your content. There’s nothing wrong with providing a few convenient links to your previous posts or to items in your store, however, if your page is too link-heavy, that will translate to a very frustrating experience for users who are on smartphones.
Try to relegate your links to images and maybe a reference link at the bottom of your posts.
Now, to achieve good off-page SEO, you’ll need to forget everything we talked about above. Off-page SEO is sometimes a dance rather than skill. This is because a lot of components of off-page SEO involves connecting directly to audiences.
With all that great content, strong on-page headings, descriptions, and so forth, you need to go out and get those eyeballs. Off-page SEO is rewarding for those who take initiative and are all about building a loyal base. There will be some necessary marketing and psychological knowledge to be successful.
You will be sourcing off-page SEO in two major categories: 1) relevant blogs, websites, and businesses; 2) social media and public forums.
You will be spending a lot of time researching external sources, improving social media presence, and tracking analytics. This is partly why most off-page SEO is handled by a third party service. Off-page SEO will help you become the most trustworthy source, not just the most popular.
This strategy is all about funneling website visitors through higher authority websites onto your platforms. Basically, you get your website linked through a relevant high-authority blog or website. You can get permission to do this from a few different ways:
The wildcard method for getting your website linked on a high-authority website is trending off a viral story. Obviously, going viral is difficult to do artificially without big advertising dollars. Plus, viral marketing has the potential to backfire.
When it comes to building links, they need to be with high-quality websites. There are companies out there that will sell you access to tons of links. These are usually terrible investments because you’ll just get links from low-traffic, dead websites.
Effective link-building requires research and natural connections.
This is where most off-page SEO time and money is spent these days. It is undeniable that having a strong social media presence is important. Social media accounts won’t automatically improve your Google search ranking overnight, though.
There needs to be a long-term investment in this core component of off-page SEO. You need to have a broad strategy of targeting multiple platforms and engaging with your target audience. This will build a nice foundation of loyal followers and give you that coveted word-of-mouth advertising.
If you’re considering on buying ads on social media to help boost your off-page SEO numbers, consider hiring an influencer. Influencers are basically anyone with a popular social media account that has a large audience.
Now, don’t just hiring any famous social media personality. Try to reach out to someone you know will enjoy or connect with your brand. We know it can sound like a big gamble going this route, but this is the future.
Social media influencers are giving solid returns on investments. For each dollar spent on influencer marketing, marketers see an average return of $7.65 in earned media value.
Unless your business is completely off-shore and has no geographical identity, you need strong local SEO. This is actually the easiest category of SEO to improve your ranking in. Local SEO is actually a combination of on-page and off-page optimization.
For local businesses, off-page SEO is all about traditional street advertising mixed with things like Yelp!, Glassdoor, Google Maps, and so forth. You need to focus on getting happy customers. Participating in local events and organizing is also a great way to reach a bigger audience.
Because traditional advertising can be so expensive, target local websites before looking at TV, radio, or print. Even flyers and posters can be an effective form of local advertising. Plug in a QR code or a social media link to enter a contest, now you have traffic coming in from the street.
This is a bit of a trick question, really. The best method is going to depend on which category you’re lacking in the most. If your on-page SEO is really weak right now, then focus on that first.
If your on-page SEO is okay, try working on branding yourself on social media and locally. The answer to this question is to focus on both SEO strategies. No business will be successful these days without a solid off-page SEO. Not having optimized on your webpage is like a waste of space.
If all of this sounds like too much work to take on yourself, we know, it is. That’s why we offer professional SEO services to handle everything. Time is money, so the longer you put off optimizing your SEO, the more business you miss.