A Guide to Understand the Difference between On-Page and Off-Page SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a new concept. Almost everyone who owns a website is aware of common words used by digital marketers such as SEO, PPC, and more. Of all the tactics used to improve web rankings, SEO is considered to be the most important one. Due to its importance and popularity, SEO has become one of the most searched topics on the internet. A plethora of content is available on the internet regarding several aspects of SEO and that often creates confusion among readers.

As we all know, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an online marketing strategy used by webmasters to reach new audiences, bring traffic to their websites, improve SERP rankings, and drive growth. To achieve these goals, various SEO tactics are used that drive organic traffic. Over the years, SEO has changed a great deal and the methods used earlier are no longer effective. For instance, the practice of stuffing as many keywords as possible into content and bombarding pages with backlinks has now become redundant. Search engines like Google keep updating and modifying their search engine algorithm and that creates confusion. It is because of these confusions and misconceptions that SEO has become one of the most misunderstood aspects of digital marketing.

Difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO

If you’re also new to the world of SEO, you might have come across terms like On-Page SEO or On-Page Optimization and Off-Page SEO. Wondering what these terms mean or which one has a more significant impact on website rankings? A robust SEO strategy consists of both on-page and off-page SEO techniques. Optimizing the aspects of your website that are within your control comes under the category of on-page SEO, while off-page SEO uses methods such as content creation and earning backlinks from other websites that help in increasing the authority of your domain. It means that on-page SEO focuses on what your web page is about while off-page SEO impacts how authoritative and popular your site is.

When it comes to formulating an SEO strategy, both On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO factors play a crucial role. However, depending on the type of your website, one factor can be more important than the other. Both these techniques should be wisely used to ensure that your website makes it to the top of search engine result pages. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these practices to help you retune your SEO strategy.


On-Page SEO

On-page SEO or “on-site” SEO consists of all the on-site techniques that are used to optimize the web pages so that they rank on a SERP. All these tactics are used directly within your website so that it becomes easier for search engine bots to interpret the page and rank it. On-page SEO techniques consist of both content and technical elements such as content optimization, site accessibility, page speed, keywords, title tags, and more that together help in improving the quality of your web pages and drives traffic.

On-Page SEO Factors Checklist

The common technical on-page SEO factors are:

  • Title tags
  • Headings
  • URL structure
  • Alt text for images
  • Site speed
  • Internal links
  • XML Sitemap
  • Meta descriptions
  • Mobile Friendliness

Page content

When it comes to on-page SEO, content plays a vital role. You can optimize your web pages by publishing relevant content keywords. Using the right set of keywords in the right amount is the key to optimization. If you’re not writing relevant content, it means that users are not going to find you when they search for products or services related to your business. Moreover, Google also considers the quality of your content when ranking your site. There is no exact limit for how many words a page should have but ideally, you should have a minimum of 500 words with your targeted keywords.

Title Tag

Title Tag is your page title, or <h1> tag which is the main heading of your web page and the title that appears in the SERP.  This title tells what your page is all about, so it must include the most relevant keywords. Avoid stuffing keywords and use 55-60 characters (including spaces) only. Use only one H1 on each page and keep other headers H2, H3, or H4.

Meta Description

The short description that appears below the URL on a search engine results page is known as Meta Description. It gives a brief idea of the page content and is also considered as a ranking factor.

Alt Text

Alt-text is the word or phrase that describes a picture on your website. The text helps the search engine understand what the image is and rank it. Google bot doesn’t understand images; it only reads texts, so always include keywords in the alt text section so that graphics will also rank.

Schema Markup

You can also add structured data that is used by search engines to better understand the content of a page. Depending on the specific type of your page, you can choose from many types of Schema Markup, such as:

  • FAQ Page
  • Local Business
  • Business Events
  • Search Results
  • News Articles
  • Business Function
  • Job Posting


Off-Page SEO

Unlike on-page SEO factors that are in your complete control, off-page SEO factors are outside of your website and beyond your direct control. Link building is the most important off-page tactic that helps in increasing the traffic to your website. Off-page optimization primarily focuses on obtaining new, quality links that already have gained priority by search engines. When your web pages get backlinks from other authoritative sites, it helps in boosting your brand awareness and increases the traffic to your website and its ranking. Besides link building, other off-page SEO methods are using social media, social bookmarking, and guest blogging to gain more links to your website.

Off-Page SEO Factors Checklist

The common technical off-page SEO factors are:


Backlinking is the practice of getting links from other websites. When links from other trusted sites point back to yours, it works as a kind of endorsement for your content and web pages. The more backlinks you get from trusted sites, the more domain authority you get from Google and a boost in your ranking. However, instead of using black-hat paid link-building tactic, you should focus more on organic methods, such as:

  • Guest blogging
  • Connecting your Social Media page to your website
  • Getting featured in industry trade publications
  • Joining review and directory sites like Google My Business, BBB, Yelp, and more
  • Podcast
  • Participating in an industry community such as a forum
  • Hosting events (in person or virtual).
  • Publishing Press Releases
  • Reaching out to influencers and bloggers


Domain Authority

Another factor that impacts your ranking is your domain authority which is measured on a scale from 1-100. This factor determines the strength of your website and is measured by factors like how long you’ve had your domain name- the longer the better. Other factors that help search engines determine how trustworthy your site includes the number & quality of backlinks, the history of the domain name, and the number of 404 pages.

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

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