SEO: On-Page vs. Off-Page

Written by: Jason Bayless | April 06, 2018

“When you think about search engine optimization (SEO), what sorts of things come quickly to mind? For many, the most familiar associations have to do with content: keywords, articles, blog posts, etc. If any of those were what you thought of first, you’re right. All of your content, and how you present it, is part what determines your page rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).

It might come as a surprise to learn, however, that content like that is only about half of the SEO equation. Optimized content is crucial for good rankings, but there is much more you can do to improve the image of your website with major search platforms than just seeding your blog with keywords.

SEO functions in two distinct areas: on-page and off-page. Let’s take a good look at both and examine some of the ways you can fully optimize your efforts with them to achieve better SERPs results.

On-Page SEO

On page SEO refers to the types of things described above: the content that resides on your website. This includes all written copy, every page, and every file (including multimedia files like images, audio, and video) that is used when viewing your pages. The search engines look at all of these things and more when determining your site’s rank.

High-quality written copy with a relevant keyword density of not more than 1.5% is vital for good SEO. Search engines favor sites that update regularly and present content that matches what people ask to see in a search. This is why sites with active blogs that present well-researched, relevant content tend to rank higher faster than those that don’t. That steady stream of fresh, well-presented content is representative of an active site.

The way your website and its individual pages are formatted also weigh into how well they rank and are, subsequently, also considered on-page SEO. Things that matter in this category include things like:

– File sizes: image, audio, and multimedia files should be compressed to load quickly without sacrificing quality

– Text presentation: avoiding bricks of text and instead presenting articles and blogs in smaller segments with relevant headings

– Page formatting: presenting content in a manner that allows users to find what they came looking for quickly and be entertained or informed enough to stick around for a while

– Responsiveness: optimizing your site to be viewed and navigated easily on any device

– Meta data: page descriptions, image descriptions and other text tags, usually seeded with relevant keywords

Off-Page SEO

While the bulk of your SEO effort is bound to revolve around your site content, there is a back-end benefit to SEO that many tend to neglect. Off-page SEO refers to the things you do to drive traffic to your site and attention to your content. The more buzz you can create around your site, the better it will rank.

Basically, any ethical thing you do to get people to click on links to your site counts in this category. Here are just a few of the areas where your off-page SEO efforts might be focused:

– Social media posts: posting links to blog articles and other site content with calls to action to both click/tap or share

– Back-Links: the result of social sharing or simply tagging other content with links to your site, blog, or other specific pages

– Cost Per Click and Pay-Per-Click (CPC/PPC) Ads: paid traffic you drive to your site by way of high-quality ads placed on or through networks like Bing, Yahoo, etc.

What we’ve presented here is just a thumbnail sketch of the optimization potential contained within these two distinct areas of SEO. We encourage you to consult with an SEO specialist about your specific needs.”