What’s the Difference Between On-Page and Off-Page SEO?

October 13, 2023

If you've dipped your toes into the world of digital marketing, you've likely heard the terms "on-page SEO" and "off-page SEO." But what do these terms mean? And why are they important for your website's visibility and search engine ranking? Let's break it down.

  • On-page and off-page SEO are two crucial aspects of your website's visibility and search engine ranking.
  • On-page SEO focuses on optimising code and content on your own website.
  • Off-page SEO involves activities done away from your website to raise its ranking, like building backlinks and social media engagement.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, refers to the practice of optimising individual web pages on your site to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. It involves optimising both the content and the source code of a page.

Why On-Page SEO Matters

On-page SEO is crucial because it helps search engines understand your website and its content, as well as identify whether it is relevant to a searcher's query. As search engines become more sophisticated, there is a greater focus toward relevance and semantics in search engine results pages.

In plain terms, search engines are getting better at figuring out how well your website appears and reads to a human, rather than how many keywords are just crammed together. On-page SEO ensures your website looks and reads good to humans, and ticks all the boxes for the search engine robots.

Tips for Improving On-Page SEO

Improving your on-page SEO is all about improving the quality of your content and making your site as user-friendly as possible. Here are a few tips:

  • Use your keywords strategically: Make sure your keywords appear in your titles, headings, and meta descriptions. But remember, quality over quantity. Keyword stuffing can harm your SEO.
  • Create high-quality content: Your content should be original, well-written, and provide value to your audience.
  • Optimise your images: Use relevant file names and alt text for your images to help search engines understand what they are.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO refers to all the activities you do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page in search engines. It involves improving perception of a site's popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority.

To decide if a website is trustworthy, search engines check how many different places have shared links to a particular site. The more times other people have linked to a page, the more likely it is that the information on that site is good quality. Lots of links, high authority.

If a website with high authority links to another website, part of that authority is transferred across. The reputable website is ‘vouching’ for the other page, and the search engine robots love it when reputable websites vouch.

Why Off-Page SEO Matters

Relevance, trustworthiness, and authority are major factors that the search engine algorithm considers when ranking websites. While the inner workings of search algorithms are unknown, reputable backlinks play a major role in helping to boost your website’s rankings.

Off-page SEO is probably already part of your marketing plan, whether you’ve realised it or not. Every time your product or service is mentioned by a blogger, in the media, or by an influencer, it works as a backlink for SEO. Your objective might have been to attract customers rather than boost your search ranking, but the end result is a double win for your site.

Tips for Improving Off-Page SEO

Improving your off-page SEO is all about building your online reputation. Here are a few tips:

  • Create content people want to share: blog posts that present new data or information in a unique way can attract other bloggers to cite your material.
  • Guest blogging: Writing posts for other blogs can help you reach a wider audience and gain more backlinks.
  • Be active on social media: While social media links don’t count as backlinks for SEO, a good presence might see others post about you elsewhere.


Both on-page and off-page SEO are crucial for improving your site's visibility and search engine ranking. While on-page SEO helps search engines understand your site and its content, off-page SEO helps build your site's credibility and reputation. By focusing on both, you can create an effective SEO strategy that drives traffic to your site and helps you reach your business goals.

Sam van den Nieuwenhof
twodoor marketing

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