If you’re just getting started with SEO, you might have come across the terms on-page and off-page SEO. 

What do these terms mean, and how important are they for SEO? Should you be thinking about on-page vs off page SEO, or is it necessary to know about both?

You’ll learn about the five key differences between on-site and off-site SEO. You’ll discover whether your website optimization work must include both to get the best search rankings in 2021.  

1. On-Page SEO Is About Great Quality Content

If you want to rank on Google, you have to deliver great content to your audience.

There are no shortcuts or cheat sheets that will get you that ranking if you produce underwhelming content. Google will always be one step ahead of you! Aim to make your content the best of the best if you want that top ranking. 

High-quality content is about detail. Yes, high-ranking content is often long, but it is packed with lots of value too. Your reader should walk away with something new and helpful to them, just from reading your blog post. 

You want to create content that people will not only read but enjoy. That means content that is original, interesting, and engaging. Content that entices the reader to comment, click and share. 

Relevancy is also critical. When people click on your content, are they getting what they expected? Does it give them the answer they were seeking?  

2. Off-Page SEO Is About Other People’s Recommendations 

If you’ve studied SEO for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of backlinks, but what are they? In short, backlinks are all about getting recommendations from others.

Backlinks are like word-of-mouth recommendations for a restaurant. If a new restaurant opens in your town, you might only venture to it once four or five friends have told you how delicious the food is.

Google uses this same principle to rank websites. Google values reputable, high domain websites such as CNN or the BBC. If reputable websites recommend you, Google will see you as a worthy website for ranking highly. 

When it comes to off-page SEO, your job is to get quality backlinks to your content. Other website owners need to know about your content, like it, and link back to it. 

The more successful you are at doing this, the more likely you will be to rank well on Google. Aim to become the most talked-about website in town. 

3. On-Page SEO Means Knowing How To Optimize Content

It’s one thing to have quality content. But even the most unique and beautifully-crafted content can get lost on the internet unless you do some SEO work to help Google discover it.

When it comes to on-page SEO, that means using relevant keywords in your title tags, descriptions, and body.

For keywords, avoid the most obvious keywords within your industry. They will likely be too competitive and difficult to achieve a high ranking. Instead, focus on optimizing for well-researched long-tail keywords.  

Don’t forget about images. On-page SEO isn’t just about optimizing your content, but everything else on the page too. That includes optimizing your images. Use relevant, keyword-rich alt tags for your main post images. 

On-page SEO also covers non-content aspects of your website. Security, for example, is something Google will take into account when ranking your web page. Do you have secure (HTTPS) pages on your website? 

4. Off-Page SEO Is About Getting Social Signals

If you thought that social media marketing didn’t matter when it came to SEO marketing, think again. Social media influence, or social signals, is growing in importance in off-page search optimization. 

Social signals are about how popular your site is on social media. Search engines use metrics such as social shares to determine the social popularity you have across the web. Google also uses brand name mentions as a metric. 

Social popularity is a sign of your trustworthiness as a website. If people are talking about you, then you are worth being talked about. Your content is more likely to be trustworthy and reliable. 

If your content is trending on social media, it also means that it is relevant right now at this very point in time. That relevancy is used by Google and other search engines when they decide how to rank web pages.

5. On Page vs Off Page SEO: Which Is More Important To Rank On Google?

When it comes to looking at whether on-site or off-site SEO is more important, there is a simple answer. Both are essential for an effective SEO strategy!

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when a website could rank high by only having a well-written piece of content. Times have changed since then. Competition for SEO rankings is fierce and growing by the year. 

To stand a chance at ranking for your preferred long-tail keywords, you need to put equal effort into your on-site SEO and off-site SEO. It should be a central element to your broader digital marketing strategy. 

When writing content, begin with your on-site SEO. Create keyword-rich, high-quality content and optimize it. After that, work on your off-site SEO. Get the content out there on the internet, shared, linked to, and mentioned. 

Stay Committed to SEO if You Want Traffic in 2021

If you get it right, organic search traffic can be transformational for any small business. One of the best aspects of SEO is that if you do it well, the benefits last for a long time. 

Before you get your digital marketing strategy set in stone, take the time to get to know more about SEO. When thinking about on-page vs off page SEO, remember that both are equally important if you want to get results. 

Have you already spent time and money on both types of SEO for your website or do you need to update your strategy? Share with us in the comments below.