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

SEO, search engine optimization, involves different techniques to help increase websites' visibility in the search engines. Often, there is confusion between on-page and off-page SEO. While they are different, on-page and off-page work together to improve your SEO ranking. In this blog, we'll break down the difference between the two and decipher how they work to earn your website credibility in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

On-page SEO focuses on optimizing different sections of your website to help you rank in the search engines. Essentially it's the items you have control over on your website. On-page SEO considers numerous things, including content quality, page performance, and content structure.

The following are ranking factors Google uses to determine if your site ranks and at what position.

  • Content: Firstly, and arguably most importantly, the content on your website needs to provide value to people. People are online searching for answers to their problems. Make sure your information is relevant to what they are looking for online. It helps to make sure it's easy for your audience to read. Make sure your headings adequately describe what you are talking about and keep paragraphs concise. If you have text blocks that are too long, people might bounce off of your site. Long-form content tends to perform best, but short-form content can also be successful with the proper strategies.

  • Title Tag: Title tags help Google, and your audience understand what's on the page. It is recommended to put your targeted keywords in the title tag of each page on your site.

  • URL Structure: An organized URL structure allows search engines to crawl from page-to-page on your website more easily. By doing this, you also make navigation more efficient for visitors coming to your site. The best practice is to put keywords into your URLs. To note, it's not recommended to go and change all of your URLs unless you redirect them to your new ones.

  • Headings: As mentioned above, headings play an essential role in SEO because they organize the information on the page. Use your headings constructively and include your keywords in them to reflect what the page contains. Google puts much weight in headings, which can significantly improve your SEO.

  • Alt tags for images: By adding alt tags to your images, it helps describe what is on the page. This tag is not visible on your site, however. You can accomplish this by inserting relevant keywords in the alt tag.

  • Responsive page: It's essential to have a fast, easy to navigate site to keep your visitors engaged on the site. Google prefers responsive websites, so people can find what they are looking for quickly. If your website is too slow, that can potentially lead to a high bounce rate, which is terrible for SEO. If you have a high bounce rate, that means your visitors left with giving you the chance to convert them.

  • Internal linking: Internal linking helps readers move through your site efficiently. Through internal linking, you can have your audience gain information from different pages on your website. It's useful for both search engines and the people on your site.

Off-page focuses on increasing the authority of your domain and page ranking factors that occur off your website, such as backlinks from another credible website. Off-page involves any action that you do not take on your website to improve SEO.

The prevailing theory is that off-page SEO mostly involves backlinking. While backlinking is a crucial component of a successful off-page SEO strategy, there is much more you can do to improve your standings. Below are a few ranking factors that Google takes into consideration.

The list below shows the essential off-page ranking factors that can dictate how credible your site is and how much Google and users trust you as a reputable source.

  • Domain authority: One of the most significant ranking factors involves your domain authority. Essentially, that asks the question - how credible is your site? Does it answer users' queries? Is the information valuable and original?

  • Social Media Promotion: While social posting is not an official ranking factor, it certainly helps your overall SEO. By creating "share-worthy" posts, you can have a link to your website, which will bring in more traffic.

  • Backlinks: You have most likely heard of the phrase "quality, not quantity." This line of thinking goes in tandem with SEO because it's better to have a few credible backlinks than many weak links. The more valuable sites that are linking to your content, the more domain authority you gain with Google, which boosts your overall ranking. There are several ways you can attain backlinks, including the following:

  1. Guest blogging

  2. Networking with contacts in your respective industry who will share your content

  3. Being featured in other publications

The simple answer to the question above is that neither is more important than the other one. These two approaches work hand in hand with one another, with one goal, to increase traffic to your site through Google and other search engines. SEO is a constant process, not a once and done technique. With new updates to Google's algorithm continually being released, it's essential to stay up to date and informed on the latest factors that can impact your SEO.

On-page SEO ensures that everything on your website makes sense and adds value to Google and your visitors. Off-page helps your website earn credibility within Google, which helps boost your SEO. The key to utilizing these strategies is to have them work effectively with each other. By taking effective on-page actions, you can improve your off-page SEO efforts. Through high-quality content, a phenomenal user experience, and responsive speed, it's easier to gain trust from Google and have more opportunities for quality backlinks. Both have value, and if you use them in a complementary fashion, they can help increase your site's visibility in the search engines.


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