While there are a lot of components to search engine optimization (SEO) — check out our SEO 101 guide if you’re not sure what this even means — it can generally be broken down into two distinct categories: on-page and off-page SEO. To put it simply, on-page SEO consists of measures that can be taken directly within your website, while off-page SEO is more of what others are saying about your page. Let’s dive into some key differences and how you can optimize each.
Producing high-quality content is truly one of the most important ranking factors for Google. When thinking about what Google considers high-quality content, SEJ says to use E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Some (not all!) of the main on-page elements are:
What on-page optimization comes down to is being as clear, relevant, and interesting as possible. Sure, you can pay to be on the top of search engine result pages (SERPs), but if your content doesn’t seem relevant or interesting, nobody will click on it. And, to Google, if someone is spending a lot of time on your page, it probably means you’re giving them good content. This, in turn, will give your pages more credibility.
Think of off-page optimization as content that you don’t necessarily have control over. It’s the online version of “word-of-mouth” marketing. Off-page SEO can be best described as SEO you have to earn.
The two main components include backlinking and promotion. Basically, if others are talking about you, that’s a sign to Google that your content is worth sharing and, therefore, ranking.
Just as it’s not best practice to buy a spot on the first page of SERPs, it’s also not best practice to just buy backlinks, which is a link to your website from another site or directory. The reputation of the site you’re mentioned on is important to your ranking. On a more basic level, it’s important to remember that when your company is linked to another page, you won’t have access to make changes to how that link appears. Having your backlink on any random site, for example, could bring more harm than good as Google ranks pages based on relevance and helpfulness.
So, if you don’t have control over off-page optimization, how can you improve it? Guest blogging and social media marketing! Both of these are often overlooked in SEO strategies, but they can make a huge difference in the long run with your search engine rankings.
SEO is constantly changing — Google makes thousands of edits to their ranking system each year. That’s a lot to keep up with! When you work with us, our SEO specialists not only keep up to date with trends and updates, but they also understand the importance of all aspects of search engine optimization because what happens on your website is just as important as what happens off of it.