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

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On-site and off-site SEO, also known as on-page and off-page SEO, are the two main components of the search engine optimization (SEO) process. For maximum exposure to search engine results and for higher rankings, you need to understand the difference between the two and how to best use them.

What is SEO on the site?

On-site SEO is the process of making your website search engine friendly.

In simple words, this means adjusting certain elements on your website so that search engines can crawl and understand the content and structure of your website.

The more information and data they can get from your site, the better your chances of ranking higher in their index.

Work and solve possible problems related to On-Page SEO it is the first step you should take when optimizing your website for search engines and in particular for Google.

Most important on-site SEO elements

SEO on the siteSEO on the site

On-site SEO is not difficult to get right. There are a number of things you can check and correct and some mistakes to avoid to make sure everything is set up as it should be.

The most important on-page SEO elements are:

SEO training

Your page titles and descriptions

if you like SEOYou must have read this a million times and it is because it is one of the most important SEO factors.

The page title and description are what search engines ‘read’ first when they crawl a page.

If your titles and descriptions they are not optimized the way search engine crawlers want, you are making their task more difficult and this is not working in your favor.

How optimize your titles and descriptions?

SEO Guidelines for Blog Post Titles.How to optimize page titles and descriptions

The rules are simple:

  • Keep the title to around 60 characters and the description to no more than 150 characters.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing, ie add keywords in titles or descriptions that don’t make sense, but try to give search engines and users a good idea of ​​what the page is about.

A good approach when optimizing them is to create titles and descriptions that are catchy and encourage users to click, but at the same time make sure they are related to what people are likely to search for (that’s relevant to the content on the page).

There are many tools to help you optimize your titles, I use semrush most of the time and the process is as follows:

  • Think about search terms users can use to find your page
  • Run those queries through Google, Semrush, Google’s keyword tool to find out search volume, keyword difficulty, and what others are using as titles for those queries.
  • Identify which keywords (preferably long tail keywords) are appropriate for your page
  • Try to include those keywords in your titles and at the same time give the title a friendlier and more interesting tone.

For example:

Search phrase: ‘banana benefits’

Keyword (after research): ‘banana health benefits’

Title: ’10 Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Bananas Every Day’

Description: ‘Eating bananas daily offers a number of health benefits. Number 3 is amazing and it will definitely surprise you! Read on to find out how.

The H1 tag

A well optimized page should have only one day H1 and various h2,h3 tags. The h1 tag is usually the same as the page title (although it doesn’t have to be exactly the same).

A quick way to find out if your page follows this rule is to right-click anywhere on your page and select VIEW SOURCE from the popup menu.

Then click CTRL-F to open the ‘Search’ box and search for H1. if you see more than two instances of


ask your developer to fix it so that the page has only one H1 tag.

ALT text for images

If you use images within your text (and you should), you need to make sure that the ALL text it has significant value that will give search engines a good indication of the content of the image and how it relates to your page.

For example, for the image below, I set the ALT text to ‘onsite SEO principles’.

principles of seo on the siteSEO principles on the site

internal links

I am perhaps the biggest fan of internal linking and this is because:

  • Improve the user experience
  • They are ‘safe’ to use
  • Help search engines discover more pages on your website
  • They help you create content that is strongly interrelated
  • Reduce the bounce rate of a website
  • They help you ‘drive’ readers to the most important pages of your website.

Read my post on internal linking best practices for more details, but as a general rule of thumb, when doing your on-site SEO review, make sure your pages have internal links that are useful for users to see and click on. .


None of the above techniques would be useful if search engines cannot access your website.

That is SEO 101 But you need to make sure you don’t accidentally block crawlers from accessing your pages.

URL Inspection ToolURL Inspection Tool

The best way to find out if you have a problem with accessibility is to register your website with Google search console and run the ‘URL INSPECTION’ tool.

By doing this test, Google will tell you if there is anything that is preventing them from indexing your website correctly.

Additionally, you can use other Google Search Console reports to find and fix crawl errors.


I cannot stress enough the importance of unique, interesting, and high-quality content in the entire SEO process.

If you do not have content that has these characteristics, there is no point in dealing with on-page or off-page SEO.

I won’t go into too much detail here about content, you can read my post on evergreen content to learn how to create content that ranks well and also this post which explains how long you should make your articles.

What you should always keep in mind when working with websites and digital advertising is that the content always has to come first and then everything else.

Other SEO factors on the site:

In addition to the above, other SEO factors to consider when performing on-site optimization are:

  • Well-formatted URLs (words separated by ‘-‘)
  • Proper use of breadcrumbs
  • Use of structured data
  • website speed
  • mobile adaptability
  • Transparency (who wrote the post)
  • broken links
  • Correctly configured 404 pages

For a full list of SEO factors, take a look at my SEO checklist.

What is external SEO?

I have spent more time discussing onsite SEO as I consider this to be the first step you should take before even thinking about offsite SEO.

However, Off-Page SEO it is equally important and necessary.

Off-site SEOOff-site SEO

Off-site SEO refers to actions you can take to promote your website across the web (besides advertising).

The most used methods are:

  • Links pointing to your website from other websites.
  • Social media marketing.

link building

When a user is typing a query into the search box (of search engines), they have to decide which websites to display at the top of the SERPS and the order in which to display them.

In order to do that in a way that keeps users happy with the results, they use a number of factors (Google is using over 255 SEO positioning factors) in their classification algorithms.

Algorithms are influenced (either positively or negatively) by links pointing to a website.

If the links come from trusted and related websites, they are considered a “vote of confidence” and can help a website rank higher.

If, on the other hand, they come from low-quality websites, they can lower the ranking of the particular website or even cause problems for you (think Google penalties).

Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion in the SEO community about natural vs. unnatural linking, which practices are ‘allowed’, and which practices are considered black hat, but many people still have questions about how to address this process.

To understand how to use link building correctly, you need to know what Google says about links.

In summary, Google considers unnatural any type of link that has been generated with the intention of manipulating its algorithm.

A large number of unnatural links will eventually lead to a penalty.

This means that you should not buy, sell, trade or request links for the purpose of increasing your rankings.

What can you do safely?

Don’t get in the habit of building links (especially from low-quality sites), but instead look for natural links.

natural links They bring you other websites because they found your content and website interesting and link-worthy.

This may sound strange, but it works much better than spending time and effort creating links that can cause you problems.

Read how my blog traffic increased to 400,000 per month without any link building; This is just one of the examples I can share of my own websites or client websites ranking high and getting a lot of traffic from Google without doing any link building.

You need links, don’t get me wrong, but you can get them naturally if you have good content and if you can successfully get your content in front of a lot of people.

What is the best way to do this?

Through content marketing, strong promotion tactics, thoughtful guest posting, and social media marketing.

Content marketing can help you post the right content, and good promotion techniques can get your content to the right people.

Guest posting on sites that matter and are highly trusted by Google can bring you more benefits than building dozens of low-quality links.

social media marketing

Social media marketing is the fastest way to promote your content to people who may show interest. It’s not always easy to do, you need a plan and you may have to spend some money, but it works and it’s safe and sound.

I will explain in more detail in a future article how to get natural links using the above methods, for the purpose of this post it is important to understand how off-page SEO works and how it differs from on-site SEO.

SEO on-site VS off-site. What do you need?

As explained above, you need both. Your first concern is to get your on-page SEO correct so search engines can understand your content.

Then, once you’ve posted enough quality content on your website, you can start thinking about off-page SEO and how to get strong natural links from other websites that will further improve your rankings.

Don’t start backwards. If a website doesn’t have all of those features to be considered a great website, then it’s not a good candidate for natural links.

And this is another signal to Google that any links pointing to the site are the result of practices that violate their guidelines.

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