Onsite Vs Offsite SEO: A Quick Guide

May 15, 2023

Every online business needs a strategic approach to increase sales and conversion opportunities, appear in the top organic search results, and generate more leads. It may not seem easy to rank higher in the top search results as search engines utilize over 200 factors in their algorithms for ranking websites.

SEO is a proven digital marketing strategy that enables online businesses to improve their search and users' navigation experience. To get tailored results from your SEO marketing strategies, you must encompass onsite and offsite SEO tactics. 

Onsite vs. Offsite SEO

Onsite and offsite SEO are two essential aspects of search engine optimization. Onsite SEO refers to the tactics and strategies used to optimize a website's content and structure to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes optimizing keywords, meta descriptions, title tags, and other technical aspects of the website.

Offsite SEO, on the other hand, focuses on building a website's authority and reputation through backlinks, social media, and other external factors. Both onsite and offsite SEO is important for improving a website's visibility and driving more organic traffic, and companies should strive to balance their efforts between the two to achieve the best results.

What’s More Important - Onsite or Offsite SEO?

Both onsite and offsite SEO is crucial for achieving optimal results in search engine optimization. Onsite SEO lays the foundation for a well-optimized website that meets search engine standards, which is essential for ranking higher in SERPs. It includes technical elements such as optimizing keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags and ensuring the website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. 

Offsite SEO, on the other hand, helps build a website's reputation and authority through link-building and social media marketing. A balance between both onsite and offsite SEO is necessary to achieve optimal results in search engine rankings. 

Ultimately, both are equally important, and companies should prioritize optimizing both aspects to achieve the best results.

What is Offsite SEO? A Detailed Overview

Offsite SEO refers to factors not included in your page's content. It is an ongoing process that optimizes all the signals outside your website and helps search engines check its relevancy. These SEO tactics indicate that you’ve authority in your industry. Offsite SEO includes the following factors;

  • Number of backlinks
  • Diversity of backlinks 
  • Context of backlinks
  • Social media presence
  • Business reviews
  • Brand mentions

Different search engines like Google use off-page ranking factors to highlight your site’s level of authority. You can only have backlinks from other websites if your website is active for a long period and has enough engagement from outside. You can implement the following approaches to develop your offsite SEO;

Get Backlinks 

Backlinks (external links) can be the hidden treasure to get more from your offsite SEO efforts. Before getting backlinks for your website, you must ensure its quality because it matters more than anything else. You can request backlinks from websites or pages having higher domain authority but need quality unique content that they will willingly link to.

Accepting guest posts is also an effective way to get high-rated backlinks for your website. You will also ensure that you're not accepting poor-quality content; otherwise, it will waste your SEO efforts. 

Do Follow vs No Follow Links

When you engage in your backlink outreach practices you’ll encounter the two main types of backlinks possible to gain ‘do follow’ and ‘no follow.’ The difference between these two is that ‘do follow’ passes ranking factor from the link to your website - it’s a virtual handshake so to speak that the external site trusts/values your content enough to reference it and this directly improves your rankings. These are the ideal backlink to generate from your efforts as ‘no follow’ as the name suggests does not pass any ranking factor but is still used as an SEO signal in Google’s eyes but to a much lesser extent. No follow links are most common in forum comments, social media sites, and directories. 

Use Social Media Power

More than 4.70 billion people use social media. You can leverage this social media power to build website authority and boost the reach of your content. Social media engagement for your website is a productive off-page SEO tactic that can help you improve your website ranking.

Social media engagement helps you generate more organic traffic on your website, improve conversions and get more clicks to your content. When people start mentioning your brand/business on different social media platforms, it gives you an edge in search engine results. Using infographics, engaging content, appealing video clips, and relevant hashtags can significantly boost your online presence. 

Create Press Releases

Creating a press release can also help you higher the chances of getting external links for your website. Send out a news release whenever you have any major newsworthy business updates. The news site that posts your press release will provide you with a backlink for your website. 

person working on laptop with coffee

What is Onsite SEO? 

Unlike offsite SEO, onsite (on-page) SEO involves optimizing your website's content. Onsite SEO ranking factors include;

  • Meta description and titles
  • Content
  • Rich snippets 
  • URLs
  • Images
  • Heading tags

The onsite SEO ranking factors help search engines analyze if the website offers relevant information and a good user experience. You can use the following effective strategies to develop good onsite SEO practices to increase the ranking of your website;

Use Top of the Funnel Keywords

95% of digital marketers say creating content focusing on top-of-funnel keywords can help your website rank higher in search engines. The top-of-the-funnel keywords revolve around the decision, consideration, and awareness phases. These keywords are similar to phrases that grab visitors' attention. Creating content while focusing on top-of-the-funnel keywords can help you easily build awareness around the topic. These keywords tend to have considerable search volume and lower difficulty to rank vs high commercial intent keywords. Gaining traffic for these enables you to draw in users in their research process, targeting a larger audience at once. 

Ensure You're Using Multiple Media Types

Using multiple media types such as GIFs, audio files, videos, and eBooks can keep users engaged and increase dwell time on your website. It is a productive way to improve your onsite SEO efforts.

Recent SEO statistics reveal that 84% of people say that a brand’s video convinces them to make a purchase. Google has also recently started allowing embedded videos within an article to appear on the search results page - a positive signal that a mixed media approach is in line with best practices for online visibility. 

sign of google on top of building

Use Internal Links

80% of SEO experts believe that embedding 2-5 internal links into your website's content can help you get tailored results from your onsite SEO tactics. Using internal links in your website content can help you increase the dwell time (the time users spend on your website/page). Dwell time is one of the significant metrics search engines use to decide the ranking of your website. 

On top of these internal linking between your articles and service/product pages where relevant can assist Google in crawling the site more efficiently and determining the accurate content hierarchy.

Optimise Your Meta Title and Description 

Add relevant keywords in your content title and description. Google's search engine prefers a description close to 150 words and a title under 60 characters in length. So, it is essential to avoid keyword stuffing in these two sections and optimize them for specific standards of search engines. Be as helpful and descriptive in this section as possible of the relevant webpage whilst enticing users to want to click through and read more. 

Advantages & Disadvantages of Onsite vs Offsite SEO

Both onsite and offsite SEO is crucial for improving a website's ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to balance the efforts between the two to achieve optimal results.

Advantages of Onsite SEO:

  • Provides a strong foundation for a well-optimized website
  • Allows businesses to control their website's content and structure
  • Can improve user experience and lead to better engagement with website visitors

Disadvantages of Onsite SEO:

  • Can be time-consuming to optimize all elements of a website
  • Limited to the content and structure of the website

Advantages of Offsite SEO:

  • Helps to build a website's authority and reputation
  • Increases the visibility of a website by creating backlinks from other reputable websites
  • Provides a broader reach for a business to attract potential customers

Disadvantages of Offsite SEO:

  • Less control over the links pointing to a website
  • May require more resources to implement a successful offsite SEO strategy
  • To achieve optimal results in search engine rankings, it is essential to balance the efforts between onsite and offsite SEO. 

A balanced approach will ensure that the website's content, structure, and technical elements are optimized for search engines, while also building a strong reputation and authority for the website.

One approach to balancing onsite and offsite SEO is to focus on optimizing onsite factors first before implementing an offsite SEO strategy. Once the onsite elements are optimized, businesses can then focus on building their authority and reputation through backlinks, social media, and other external factors.

The Bottom Line

SEO is the process of fixing or optimizing your website in a way that search engines can find it easily and is beneficial for every type of industry from professional services to saas. Both onsite and offsite SEO encompasses multiple techniques that can help you grow your website's ranking, boost conversions, and lead more traffic to your site. 


Can I do Onsite and Offsite SEO on my own, or do I need to hire a professional?

While it's possible to learn and implement both Onsite and Offsite SEO strategies yourself, it can be time-consuming and complex. Depending on your resources and expertise, you may consider hiring an SEO professional or agency to ensure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

How long does it take to see results from Onsite and Offsite SEO?

SEO is a long-term strategy and it often takes months to see significant results. Onsite changes might bring quicker improvements in rankings, while Offsite SEO strategies like link-building and reputation management usually take more time to reflect in your SEO performance.

What are the best tools to use for Onsite and Offsite SEO?

There are many tools available to help with both Onsite and Offsite SEO. For Onsite, tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Screaming Frog SEO Spider can be helpful. For Offsite SEO, tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMRush can provide valuable insights into backlinks and keyword rankings.

How can I improve my Onsite SEO?

Improving Onsite SEO involves a comprehensive approach including keyword optimization, improving site structure, enhancing user experience, and more. This includes placing relevant keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, and content; ensuring your website is easily navigable; improving page load times; and making your website mobile-friendly.

What are the best strategies for Offsite SEO?

Offsite SEO strategies revolve around improving your website's reputation and authority. This often involves building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, creating engaging content that people want to link to and share, maintaining an active presence on social media, guest blogging, and influencer outreach.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in Onsite and Offsite SEO?

Common mistakes in Onsite SEO include keyword stuffing, neglecting meta tags, and slow page loading times. For Offsite SEO, poor-quality backlinks, spammy link-building practices, and neglecting social media can harm your SEO performance. It's crucial to prioritize quality over quantity in both Onsite and Offsite SEO.

How does local SEO fit into the Onsite and Offsite SEO picture?

Local SEO is a strategy that focuses on optimizing a website to be found in local search results. This involves both Onsite and Offsite tactics. Onsite local SEO might involve optimizing your website for local keywords and adding your business address and contact details to your site. Offsite local SEO could involve getting listed in local directories, generating positive customer reviews, and building local backlinks.