On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO: What Are The Differences?

  • James Notaris

    CPA, ESQ, Legal Editor

  • Tyler Dikun

    Digital Marketer

A solid knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial when it comes to bringing in a large number of visitors to your site. Without proper SEO, even the best looking sites with the greatest content will never get onto page one.

Mastering SEO requires covering all of the bases when it comes to implementing SEO practices. Although SEO is often viewed as one entity, there are two different ways to conduct SEO practices: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Here’s what the difference is between these two terms and why it’s important to utilize both on your site as frequently as possible.

What Is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO quite literally refers to SEO practices that you incorporate on your website. Actions like utilizing keywords, hitting an ideal keyword density, updating meta tags, and adding internal links are all examples of on-page SEO. This particular form of SEO also refers to the structure of your site as well as the content.

Even things like how well your backend is constructed and the speed of your site contribute to on-page SEO. Ultimately, the goal of on-page SEO is to improve your web pages in a way that they rank as close as possible to page one on various search engines. As a result, you will begin to see much more traffic on your site.

Here are some crucial on-page SEO terms to remember:

Header Tags:

Your header or title is one of the most important on-page SEO tools at your disposal. Remember to incorporate your primary keyword in your title – the longer, the better. Your header tells the reader why they should click on the link and read your article, so make it catchy.

Meta Description:

The meta tag provides the reader with a brief summary of what the article is about. Meta descriptions are found on the search engine. As with your header, include the primary keyword and make it catchy. Meta descriptions should be somewhere between 150 and 180 characters.


The proper keyword is vital when looking to rank on page one. Keywords aid search engines in identifying what your content is about and where they should index it. It is important to select keywords that have a decent amount of traffic, but are not too difficult to rank for. Make sure to conduct keyword research before writing your content.

Internal Links:

An internal link is a link to some other page or piece of content on your site. Providing internal links in your content helps to gain more visibility to other articles on your site. You may also internally link to products, contact forms, and other tools that may lead to a conversion. Internal links aid in fortifying your on-page SEO.

What Is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO refers to SEO practices that take place off your website. Although these practices will not directly affect the content on your site, speed, etc… off-page SEO is equally as vital when looking to bring in a maximum amount of traffic to your site.

Off-page SEO practices include link outreach, guest posting, social media posting and engagement, forum posting, and brand mentions. Because off-page SEO relies much more on outside sources, you have less control on the amount of success it generates when compared to on-page SEO. Here are some of the most important off-page SEO practices that you need to incorporate.

Link outreach:

Link outreach is the most important aspect of off-page SEO. One of the greatest attributes Google analyzes when determining rankings is the number and quality of backlinks that your site has. Backlinks refer to links from another site that are directed towards your site. The more backlinks you have from quality sites, the higher your site will rank. Backlinks are typically obtained by emailing, calling, or fostering relationships with sites in your industry. You may even ask a customer to link back to your site or mention your brand in their next social media post. 


Guest posting is another great way to boost traffic to your site. Many sites offer the opportunity for outside writers to create content on their site. By creating content on a site with a strong domain authority and healthy amount of traffic, you can draw traffic to your site as well. Guest posts typically link back to your site, ensuring that readers of your guest post take a look at your site as well. Make sure to conduct the proper research on the site you wish to guest post on before reaching out to the editorial team. You don’t want to waste your time on a guest post for a site with a low domain authority and a low amount of traffic.

Social Media:

The use of social media is an absolute must for every website. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide brands with the opportunity to reach out to millions of potential readers and customers. By posting regular and catchy content, you can be sure to grow your social media following. As a result, your brand will generate a higher level of visibility than if you stayed off social media altogether. It’s also best practice to engage with your followers in the form of liking, commenting, and retweeting. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to engage with brands within your industry. The more people are talking about your brand, the more traffic your site will generate. 

Brand Mention Monitoring:

Sometimes, especially if your brand begins to generate a lot of visibility, you may see some quality brand mentions. A brand mention occurs when an outside party mentions your brand. This may occur through social media platforms, on a blog post, in a YouTube video, or even through word-of-mouth on the street. A brand mention can even come in the form of a customer review or testimony, so be sure to treat your customers well. You can monitor brand mentions through various programs in order to track how visible your brand is becoming.

Make Sure To Utilize Both On-Page and Off-Page SEO!

While on-page SEO directly affects the efficacy of your site, on-page practices are not the only ones that matter. By incorporating both on-page and off-page SEO, your brand will start raking in traffic before your very eyes. SEO is a powerful tool for good when it comes to ensuring your site succeeds. Take the time to analyze how good your SEO is and boost your traffic today!


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