Difference Between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO

This is an ultimate guide on On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. If you want to rank your website on Google SERP quickly then read it carefully.

In this guide, all the necessary factors are described which help you understand the difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO and which ones are more important for the growth of your online business.

Let’s begin…

As an entrepreneur, you have to manage several different things on a daily basis to get the desired success in your business.

And if its online business then the list becomes bigger than offline because you have to manage the needs for your online assets too.

SEO is the most important one of them. You have to CLEVERLY optimize your website for search engines otherwise they are not going to index them properly and you will lose the most targeted and free traffic source.

So WHAT IS SEO? And how you leverage it to be indexed and getting the most targeted traffic to your website?

Here it is.


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SEO is a process or I say art which helps search engines to recognize the right and useful content on the websites and index the most useful web pages for the related search terms (keywords) so that when the user types those search terms in the search engine they would get the right content. 

Actually, in this world with a huge human population, there are tons of misleading content scattered on the internet.

Recognizing the right one is really tough for us.

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Search engines have search bots that analyze the different web pages on the same topic or keyword and compare them to index the best ones on the first page of the search engine.

To do this, these robots use different pre-defined algorithms such as content quality, speed of website, design, backlinks, social signals and tons of other factors.

We have to optimize our website and webpages as per the search engine’s requirements so that we could grab the 1st position in the SERP.

If we are doing online business, we must have familiar with the SEO otherwise we are not going anywhere except wasting our time and money.

SEO analysts divide the whole SEO into two categories.

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO

In this article, I’m going to describe these two of them thoroughly so that you could be familiar with SEO and implement the necessary changes on your website to beat your competitors in the SERP position.

What is On-Page SEO?

When we optimize the content and structure of our website or blog as per the demand of search engines and the users then it’s called ON-Page SEO.

Search engines inspect your website according to several pre-defined algorithms as well as the USER BEHAVIOUR who land to your web pages.

If they find the content is really useful for the users, they promote that to the first page.

SEO, whether it’s On-page or Off-page, is a long process which takes time.

So when you optimize your website keep patience and update your content from time to time.

Note: Search engines, especially Google loves fresh content so always add new content to your website or blog as well as update the existing ones.

5 years ago, the meaning of SEO was just about title tags, Meta tags, and descriptions, but today the definition of On-Page SEO is totally changed.

Now On-Page SEO depends upon 3 main factors,

  1. Content Quality
  2. Properly used Seed and LSI Keywords
  3. Page Speed

After these 3 factors, any other thing comes into play.

So when you are going to optimize your On-Page SEO you should keep eyes on above 3 factors and thing will go well with time.

I will describe all these 3 factors later in this article but first, let me explain Off-Page SEO.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO stands for the SEO actions which we take from outside without touching the content of the website.

Let me simplify it.

Have you ever encountered the term, “Backlink”?

Here is the definition of Backlinks.

When any website put an URL link to your web pages in their webpages then it counts as a backlink.

OR, you can say a positive vote.

Google and other search engines count backlinks as a positive vote for the linked webpage.

However, it all depends on the reputation of that website which refers your content on their web page.

If any website whose reputation is not so good in the eyes of Google, your website doesn’t get the benefits of that backlink.

SOCIAL SIGNALS are another strong factor in Off-Page SEO.

Today the reputation of your website heavily depends upon the social signals which your followers pass by sharing, liking, and commenting on your content.

So, whether its backlink or social signal all of them are optimized outside the website, without touching your website’s content so is called Off-Page SEO.

Now, let me explain all the factors of On-Page and Off-Page SEO so that you would be familiar with them and implement those things on your website to make that more SEO friendly and ultimately get the best traffic source – SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC.

The 3 Main Factors of On-page SEO

5 Years ago, the meaning of On-Page SEO was just keyword stuffing in Title, Description, and content and magically those keyword-stuffed pages acquired the 1st page of search engines.

But today all those things fall in black hat SEO which is totally illegal in the eyes of search engines.

Today search engines, like Google, have their own artificial intelligence system RANK BRAIN which easily detects all black hat SEO tactics and bans the website from the search results.

Today the whole On-Page SEO depends upon 3 main factors.

  1. Content Quality
  2. Properly used Seed and LSI Keywords
  3. Page Speed

Let us understand them one by one.

First off…

Content Quality

content-is-king

So, what do I mean for the content quality?

It’s very simple to understand but takes time to implement.

People always search for valuable content on the internet. Before typing their query in the search engine they have a question on their mind.

If you successfully deliver the answer to their question your content counts in quality content.

Dead simple. Right?

So, how would you provide the quality content to the user?

Here is the step by step process…

  • Question yourself about the content.
  • Search related keywords on Google auto-suggest feature as shown in the image below
  • After selecting few keywords from the auto-suggest, check their competition(How much content already available on the internet on the same keyword) and density (How many searches per month) on Google keyword planner, Uber suggest, and other free keyword analysis tools. If you have a budget then you can purchase the subscription for SEMRush (get 14 days trial) or Long Tail (Free trial) Pro to find out the best keywords. Find out the best one with low competition and high density.
  • Now use allintitle: keyword to find out the other articles already ranking in the search engine.
  • Check out all the articles on the first page, analyze their content quality and length.
  • Now you have the basic idea of the content, it’s time to plan your article. Use Brian Dean’s SKYSCRAPER TECHNIQUE and write the best and lengthy article than others who are already ranking on the first page.
  • When planning your article use LSI (Latent semantic indexing) keywords. I will describe the LSI keywords in the next section.
  • Use your Seed Keyword in the Title as well as in description, with a strong call to action. For example, “best places to visit in Cancun”.
  • Use a handful of LSI keywords in the content. Don’t cross the maximum 5% keyword density in the content otherwise, Google will penalize your website as keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO technique. So be careful when writing your content.
  • And last but not least. Go as much in-depth as you can so that no-body can beat your article and search engines could take your content as the best resource for the seed and other related keywords.

Properly used Seed and LSI Keywords

lsi keywords

The second important factor in On-Page SEO is Using Seed and LSI keywords properly in your content.

If you don’t use the seed and related keywords in title, description, and content then search engines can’t relate your content to the topic and confused.

In the end, your content won’t be indexed properly on SERP.

So, you have to learn the art of using keywords in your web pages.

There are 2 types of keywords used in On-Page SEO.

  1. Seed Keyword
  2. LSI Keywords (Latent semantic indexing)

Seed Keyword

A seed keyword is a keyword which you find out by keyword researching as described in the above section.

Let us suppose our Seed Keyword is “places to visit in Cancun” It’s a long-tail keyword with low competition and high density.

Seed keywords are generally used in page title, description, Meta tags, paragraph titles, URL, etc.

Note: Don’t overuse the seed keywords as it falls in black hat SEO and would penalize your website.

To find out the best long-tail seed keywords you can try my recommended tool Long Tail Pro.

LSI Keywords

LSI keywords are the keywords related to your seed keyword which help search engines to analyze the content for other related search terms.

As a result, your content gets indexed for more than one keyword.

When you connect your website with the Google search console tools, you can easily see the related keywords for which your content is indexed.

LSI keywords are used in the content, paragraph titles, Image alt texts, and anchor text for Internal linking and other areas of the content.

You can use 5 to 6% LSI keywords in your content. But don’t over-optimize. Make it clear and you will get the results within a few months.

There are several tools avaible on the internet which helps searching LSI keywords for your article.

But I always reccomend SEMRush.

However, it’s a paid tool but the value this tool provides is much more then any free tool.

Not only LSI but SEMRush will help you in complete competitor analysis.

Register Now for FREE 14 Days SEMRush Trial

Page Speed

The 3rd one and very important factor is page loading speed.

Did you ever suffer from any website you opened and its loading and loading?

Did you like it? Not just you, nobody likes a slow loading website.

After all, nobody has enough time in their life to wait for the loading.

improve website speed

Google monitors each and every action of users who land on your website and use that data to rank your website.

Especially the back button, If somebody lands on your website and bounce back due to lack of quality content and slow loading then Google and other search engines count it as a negative signal and demote your content to back pages, even de-index it.

So, always optimize your web pages for fast loading.

Here are the steps you can use to speed up the loading time.

  • Always go with a fast server.
  • Use Page Cache plugins
  • Use CDN Networks
  • Optimize the images by reducing the size.
  • Reduce the server request by minimizing the codes and scripts.

Other Important Factors of On-Page SEO

on page seo factors

Apart from the main 3 factors, there are many others which you should also have in your mind. Such as,

  1. Title
  2. Meta Description
  3. Image Alt Text
  4. SSL/HTTPS
  5. URL Structure
  6. Internal Linking and SILO Structure
  7. Sitemap
  8. Robot.txt File

Let us discuss them one by one.

Title: Title tags are used to define the topic of the web page so that search engines could index them for proper queries.

If you provide a misleading title, search engines get confused and don’t index your content for right queries.

There are different types of title tags such as H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. H1 is used for the page title and H2 are used for the subtopics in the content.

We should always use Seed keyword in the H1 title tag and the combination of Seed and LSI keywords in other title tags.

Meta description: As shown in the image below, the Meta description is visible in search engines and also used to define the topic of your content.

You should always use your seed keyword in the Meta description but not more than 2 times.

Meta description falls under the head section of the web page and is not visible inside the content.

However, search engines show Meta description in the SERP under the Page Title.

So it’s very important to provide a catchy Meta description in the web pages which should also have the seed keywords.

Image Alt Text – Image alt tags are a very important factor in ON-Page SEO. Alt tags tell the search engine that the image is related to the topic.

Search engines don’t have an algorithm to read the image itself.

An alt tag feature has introduced.

So that search engines could categories the images according to the keywords mentioned in the alt tag.

So, it’s very important for you to use the alt tag in images.

SSL/HTTPS –  SSL certificates are an extra security layer which ensures the end to end protection of the data shared by the user on your website.

An unsecured site is just like a pipeline full of wholes from where the data can be leaked and go to the hand of hackers.

So you should always use an SSL certificate on your website.

You can buy an SSL certificate from your web hosting provider.

I use Bluehost, one of the best hosting providers in the world with 99.99% uptime and a great support team. And the cool thing is, the plans start from just $2.95.

Checkout their available offers on web hosting and SSL.

Remember, Google prefers SSL secured websites. So using an SSL certificate is good for SEO.

URL Structure – URL structure is another important thing in ON-Page SEO.

In WordPress, you can find several types of URL structure as shown in the image below.

url structure in wordpress

But the best one is the KEYWORD BASED URL STRUCTURE.

You should use seed keyword in URL which is a strong signal to search engines about the topic.

Internal Linking and SILO Structure –  Above I have described you that how Google bots search the web for new content.

They use backlinks as well as internal links to search the new content on the website.

SO it’s extremely important to interlink your pages using the SILO structure guidelines.

virtual-silo

To read more about interlinking and SILO structure you can refer to my guide What is Silo Structure: How Silo Structure Helps in SEO [Ultimate Guide]

Sitemap –  As you’ve seen above, Sitemap is crucial for your website SEO because it serves your webpages in a designed pattern which help search engines to quickly analyze your website and index the pages ASAP.

So use sitemaps on your website.

If you have a WordPress website, Yoast SEO will do that for you.

Here is an ultimate guide on Yoast SEO which helps you configure sitemap and other On-Page SEO things.

Robot.txt File –  Robots.txt file is a text file resides on your server which tells search engines what to crawl or not. You can set instructions about the crawling.

This guide will help you set up robots.txt file.

Note: If you are not techy guy don’t make any changes to this file. The default setting is ideal for SEO.

So here were all the factors fall under On-Page SEO.

Now let us come to Off-Page SEO factors, which is totally different from the previous one.

Off-Page SEO is equally important as On-Page SEO.

Off-Page SEO Factors

social signals seo

There are 4 main factors of Off-Page SEO.

  1. Social Signals
  2. Backlinks
  3. Brand Value
  4. Domain Authority and Page Authority

5 years ago Off-Page SEO meant just about backlinks whether it was a spammy backlink coming from a poker site or something else, search engines rank websites according to the NUMBER OF BACKLINKS.

But today the whole aspect of Off-Page SEO is changed.

Now the QUALITY OF BACKLINK is much more important than the number.

Social signals are the second most important factor in Off-Page SEO today.

Now the whole game of Off-Page SEO depends on how much social signal your content gets which includes shares, likes, mentions, and comments.

social engagement

And its all starts with the quality of content.

Now you know why SEO analysts say – CONTENT IS KING in SEO. Because content makes your business a brand.

If you are providing helpful and shareable content, you will be getting more shares, likes, comments, and engagements as well as genuine backlinks which makes your brand stronger with time.

And ultimately a good position in SERP.

Now let us see these factors one by one…

Social Signals

social media marketing guide

Social signal deserves to be put in the very first position in Off-Page SEO.

Today Off-Page SEO all depends upon how much popular are you and your brand. It all comes from social media.

Social media is the place where people share their thought about anything, including your product or service.

Google and other search engines observe it very well and rank the website on the basis of social signals.

You must be on all major social media platforms and actively share your valuable content there to get social signals.

You must do it from the first day when you start your online business.

The formula is simple – Create valuable content – publish on your website – share on your social channels – grow your audience by sharing other valuable information from other sources.

If you want to become master in social media marketing for your brand here is a super ultimate guide by me,

You must read this article – Social Media Marketing For Businesses and Startups [Ultimate Guide 2022]

Backlinks

backlinks guide

Backlinks are very important but QUALITY BACKLINKS.

Here is the quality of backlinks in descending order you can approach for.

  • Government websites backlinks.
  • Educational websites backlinks
  • Editorial websites backlinks
  • Backlinks from the website in the same niche (topic)

You can see it’s very tough to get a backlink from the 1st one in the list.

So search engines treat them the 1st quality backlinks.

If you get 1 backlink from a government website, it’s far more powerful then any other type of backlink.

But if you ask me about the backlinks, I don’t give them importance as much as social signals.

I know if my content would be helpful, people link to that.

So, always focus on creating good and helpful content and you will automatically gain quality backlinks with time.

Brand Value

brand value

Brand value is another important thing in Off-Page SEO.

Search engines always look for how strong your brand value on the internet.

Just like other SEO factors, increasing brand value is not an overnight process.

It takes time and effort.

Social signals, personal branding, reviews on your product, and other user behavior makes your brand stronger or weaker.

So you have to take 2 approaches to increase your brand value.

  1. Create a great product or provide outstanding service.
  2. Market your product like a beast.

When you apply these two approaches on your brand, you can see the improvement in SERP with time.

Neil Patel says in his blog https://neilpatel.com/blog/what-branding-really-means/ why branding is important in online marketing and SEO?

Domain and Page Authority

Domain and page authority or DA/PA increases with time.

It increases when you regularly publish valuable content, gain social signals and backlinks, improves your On-Page SEO, etc.

It takes much more time than any other factor in SEO, sometimes years.

But after you gain a good DA/PA when you publish your article on your blog it immediately acquires the good position on the SERP.

Moreover, Google keeps a new website in a sandbox for at least 6 months.

In this period it checks the website from a different point of view starting from content quality to branding and social signals.

So SEO takes time for a newly created website.

You have to keep patience and do the work correctly to get the desired results.

Now you know why a new website doesn’t get a good position on SERP even providing valuable content. Its all the game of good DA/PA.

Conclusion: On-Page SEO Vs Off-Page SEO

So, now you know the difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

You’ve also read all the factors of On-Page and Off-Page SEO which help you optimize your website and content to rank on search engines.

If you ask me the most important factor of SEO, I always say the QUALITY OF CONTENT.

Without weapons, you can defeat your enemies, without the quality content you can’t stand out to your competitors.

So always focus on creating quality content.

The second factor that I adopt for all online businesses is creating a follower base for my brand by sharing quality content on my social profiles and pages and engaging with the followers.

If you adopt these two factors in your SEO strategy, I bet you can outperform your competitors very soon.

If you have any question about Off-Page and On-Page SEO then comment below and share this guide with others so that people get benefit from it.

Remember sharing is caring…

Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.  

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1 thought on “Difference Between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO”

  1. That was an amazing article about on-page SEO vs off-page SEO, it helps me in understanding the difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

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