Off-page SEO vs on-page SEO

By 4 years ago

There are two SEO techniques that you will probably have heard of: one is ‘on-page SEO’ and the other is ‘off-page SEO.’ Together they are a way of optimizing your website for search and improving your organic search engine ranking. Of course, SEO improvements in general are a way to boost your organic search ranking, but the ways of doing it are divided into these two categories. 

In a nutshell, on-page SEO looks at what your actual website (or an individual page) is about whilst off-page SEO ranks how authoritative and popular your website (or each individual page is)–sometimes known as ‘domain authority.’

Let’s get into further detail of off-page SEO vs on-page SEO.

  1. Off-page SEO
  2. On-page SEO
  3. Which is more important?

1.  Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is quite self-explanatory as it’s work done outside of your website. Off-page SEO is all about promoting and branding, creating the right brand for your website so that it can travel further than what’s on-site.

Your SEO agency might employ any of the following techniques to improve off-page SEO. However, off-page SEO is the most difficult element to get right.

  • Directory submissions
  • Improving inbound links
  • Link development
  • Backlink auditing
  • Removing any self-created links
  • Brand improvements and brand consistency
  • Social media focus
  • Social media marketing
  • Reviewing third-party sites
  • Guest blogging on other websites
  • Measuring domain authority

You can ask your SEO agency what strategies they’re employing to improve your website’s domain authority.

2.  On-page SEO

On-page, again, is all about what you can do to improve organic search by implementing best practices on your website. On-page SEO is the easiest to navigate because there are technical fixes and structures that are included in your website’s design so that search engines can correctly crawl and index the pages on your website. Some elements of on-page SEO are created on the back-end and some rely on your site’s content.

Your SEO agency will employ the following techniques to improve on-page SEO.

  • Revising code (HTML tags, for example)
  • Content optimization/content marketing
  • Keyword research and implementation
  • Technical and user flow issues
  • Domain management
  • Section management
  • Category management
  • Page management
  • Page titles and descriptions
  • Media management
  • Creating unique URLs for each page (aka permalinks)
  • Structured data for rich results
  • Title tags
  • Headings (H1)
  • Alt text for images
  • Page-loading speed
  • Creating useful content
  • Internal linking
  • Mobile friendly

Your SEO agency will most-likely employ all of the above strategies to improve your on-page SEO. You can ask them specifically what strategies they’re employing to improve your on-page organic search chances.

3.  Which is more important?

You wouldn’t choose between having an engine or wheels for your car so you can’t really choose between off-page vs on-page SEO. Both are important; both solutions are needed to create the best organic search results.

However, the first step for your SEO agency will most likely be to correct the on-page SEO elements and then discuss with you the strategy to focus on your off-page SEO. There’s no point working on outreach (off-page) if you haven’t corrected all of your on-page elements. Ask your SEO agency for an SEO audit to help you determine where you should begin.

Need help with your off-page and on-page SEO?

If you’d like a free consultation about your on-page and off-page SEO strategy, get in touch with Key Medium today.

Erica Martin

Erica is a professional content writer who contributed this guest post to our SEO Academy.


Ali Jaffar has been building dazzling websites and creating amazing online experiences for over a decade. His mastery of the latest innovations in web development results in world-class website experiences set apart by show-stopping style and seamless functionality. A highly sought-after consultant, Google Analytics qualified individual, and fifty-time award-winning web development guru, Ali lends his talents to build and bolster digital experiences for a wide array of clients, with a keen focus on web design for nonprofit organizations. When Ali’s not helping his clients grow or providing pro bono services via his Coding For Causes program, you can find him doing yoga, walking his dog, exploring beautiful open spaces, enjoying a nice bike ride, or writing pieces about technology, SEO, Web3 and the world on Huge Thinking and RunningSEO.