Onsite vs Offsite SEO differences

Search engine optimization (SEO) comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s not limited to one technique or a single tool.

If you’re just getting started with SEO, you will want to know the difference between on-site and off-site SEO. Each type offers benefits to help your business acquire more website visitors. While some strategies take a few hours to execute, other tactics will involve extra time to plan.

Take this opportunity to attract people to your site. Learn the difference below.

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On-Site SEO Strategies

On-site SEO focuses on optimizing individual pages to earn organic search traffic. By implementing these techniques, it’s easier for search engines to categorize your content.


1. Keyword Research

All businesses desire more website traffic. To gain those visitors, it starts with understanding keyword research.

Consumers enter keywords in search engines to find specific information. They search for everything from holiday gift ideas to cute puppy videos.

Knowing your potential customers’ search intent will help you craft content with targeted keywords. That way, you receive qualified visitors, not just every curious person online.

Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer are effective platforms for conducting keyword research and keeping track of trends. Garnering this insight gives you an edge over your competition.

google keyword planner

Stay away from broad terms. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, stick to distinct, longer-tail keywords that describe your products. Aim for “high-end winter plaid skirts,” rather than “women’s skirts.”


2. Internal Linking

When an individual lands on a web page, it’s quite likely that she will want to learn more about the specific information mentioned. Internal linking gives you the chance to act as a tour guide, sending the visitor to another appropriate page.

Linking boosts your SEO performance. Serial entrepreneur Neil Patel outlines the advantages:

“One of the corollary benefits of internal linking is that it improves user engagement on your site. When a user sees an informative link that truly matches the context of the content, they are likely to click on that link. It can be an external link, as long as it’s something that the reader will be interested in.”

Internal linking helps search engines crawl your site. So, direct visitors to another relevant page on your site. 


3. Page Speed

A few years back, search engines announced that a site’s page speed would impact its ranking. This guideline still influences SEO today. As a result, you should monitor your pages’ load time.

According to Google, it takes on average 22 seconds for a mobile landing page to load.  However, “53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.”

Their free PageSpeed Insights tool analyzes the content of your web page and generates suggestions to make your page faster. It’s user-friendly and only takes a few seconds to receive your speed score.

google pagespeed insights

Large image files can negatively impact page speeds. You can solve this problem by using a tool like TinyPNG to reduce the file size and following image SEO best practices.

Consider the number of widgets connected to your site, too. Excessive social buttons, comment areas, and pop-up ads can slow down page speed.


Off-Site SEO Strategies

Off-site SEO is the process of improving your search rankings through referral traffic. These techniques include driving brand awareness and creating remarkable content.


1. Public Relations

The perception of your business informs customers’ decisions. Public relations coupled with SEO serves the purpose of increasing your inbound links and brand recognition.

Earning coverage in online publications and news outlets starts with developing an enticing story around your business. Jeremy Knauff, founder of Spartan Media, explains:

“[Public relations] focuses on getting real humans who work at legitimate, authoritative publications genuinely interested in and talking about your story. It’s about truly adding value, which in turn tends to generate inbound links, as opposed to simply producing garbage links on websites that no one visits.”

To catch an eye of a journalist, you’ll want to highlight a newsworthy activity. Maybe you’re partnering with a charity to donate funds, or you’re releasing groundbreaking research that supports your brand. You can generate buzz by writing a press release and initiating a social media campaign with a unique hashtag.


2. Guest Blogging

Content writing is another way to obtain backlinks for your website. Through guest blogging, you can become a thought leader in your industry as well as maximize your SEO potential.

Guest blogging involves crafting content for non-competitive sites with similar audiences. You’ll gain powerful relationships and site traffic.

When guest blogging, it’s key for you to follow the rules described by the specific website. Below is an example from Mention, a social media monitoring tool.

guest blogging guidelines

You’ll also want to choose a topic that will resonate with readers. If possible, tell a narrative about a recent experience, spotlight a customer story with humor, or even grab people’s attention with stunning statistics.

Guest blogging is a perfect time to add your expertise to a larger conversation. You should aim to satisfy the publication and its readers.


3. Influencer Outreach

You’re only as good as the community around you. To upgrade your circle and earn inbound links, influencer outreach offers a step in the right direction.

Influencers are individuals who shape consumer buying habits. They can persuade people to visit websites, try products, and join social communities.

For businesses, this engagement transforms into a huge benefit. Michael Quoc, founder and CEO of Dealspotr, gives his insight:

“When your business engages with a new social audience, it unlocks the potential for more followers and engagement. This can lead to more site traffic, backlinks, and other factors that improve SEO.”

Do your research when selecting influencers. It’s important that their values match your brand and their audience possess some interest in your products.

Influencer partnerships will build your brand reputation faster. Plus, it gives bloggers another reason to link back to your website.


Focus on SEO

Knowing when and how to apply on-site and off-site SEO strategies matters. Each type holds a different solution for your website to attract more visitors.

Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.