The Difference Between On-Site vs. Off-Site SEO

Post written by Guest Author
On Monday, October 29th, 2012

on-page-vs-off-page-seoIf you’re an SEO newbie or you’ve been in the SEO biz for a while, you’ll need to know all about on-site and off-site SEO techniques.

On-site is the type of search engine optimization most people think of when they are first learning about SEO techniques. This type of SEO refers to the direct edits you can make to your website or blog that influences how your site behaves or is found on search engines. Some of these elements include headings (like H1 tags), alt text, keyword density, keyword-formatted URLs, indexing, XML sitemap, internal linking and title and meta tags.

Off-site SEO involves support of your blog or website from outside and external elements. This includes anything that is done outside your site or through social media. Some off-site seo elements include back-linking, inbound linking, article directory submissions, commenting on other blogs, marketing your posts on social media, RSS feeds, paid linking, trackbacks or pingbacks and press releases.

Although there are very different techniques to two the types of SEO, they all have the same goal – to bring search engine traffic to your website or blog. Because of this, on-site SEO and off-site SEO have a symbiotic relationship – they directly influence each other.

Arguably, on-site SEO – or at least great content with relevant keywords – can increase the performance of off-site SEO. For instance, having a blog post that is heavy on keywords and is relevant to an audience can increase trackbacks, pingbacks and social media virality. On-site SEO is the foundation for any website or blog to eventually get the search engine traffic that everyone wants. On-site SEO is relatively easy to do and do well. You can control how a blog post is formatted, including how many H1 tags are in the article. You can control a URL with relevant keywords. You can add alt and meta tags. You can create an XML sitemap. These elements take some time, but can be completed easily.

Off-site SEO, however, is more out of your control. You can control certain things, such as posting your own links to social media and submitting them to SEO friendly websites. You can also create badges and buttons and encourage your friends to post them to their site, which creates inbound links without much work. You can also pay for links and advertising on search engine results. However, other elements, like trackbacks and extensive sharing on social media, isn’t something you can control on your own – this type of off-site SEO makes it much more difficult.

Like anything else in marketing and advertising, the more effort you exert, the better results you’ll get. This is where the benefit of off-site SEO comes in. Off-site SEO is ultimately the key role in driving traffic to a website and popularizing a blog. You’ll need to spend time building your social networking following on Facebook and Twitter. You will also need to encourage others to link back to you, through building relationships and promoting your content. While there are automated tools that can help leave backlinks to your sites, many of them include nonsense links on blog posts with low Google Page Rank sites. Many of these automated tools end up being sent to spam – which can hurt your relevance.

A great way to build backlinks is to regularly read and comment on relevant sites. If you’re able to backlink (many blogs have plugins installed that let you leave your latest post), you can influence other readers, build relationships with bloggers and help your click-through rate.

The bottom line? Both SEO features will help you bring traffic to your website or blog, but great content is what truly matters.

About the Author: Steven Boggs has been writing about digital marketing and small business resources for several years. Check out EnMast’s small business budget template to see more of Steven’s work.

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