On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO: What’s the Difference?

Pankil Shah
by Pankil Shah
Updated On: October 30, 2023
On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO What's the Difference Outranking.io

On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO What's the Difference Outranking.io

On-page SEO is all about optimizing the content on your website to increase the number of visits and conversions.

Off-page SEO is important for building trust online with potential customers and providing a better user experience overall.

In this article, I will discuss both on-page and off-page SEO in detail so that you can get the most out of your marketing efforts!

What is the difference between on-page optimization and off-page optimization?

On-page optimization involves optimizing the content on your website. Off-page optimization involves optimizing the links to your website.

On-page optimization is for your website’s content and structure

On-page optimization is the process of optimizing your website’s content and structure to increase its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes optimizing elements such as title tags, headings, URLs, images, and meta descriptions.

On-page optimization is important because it can help you rank higher in the SERPs for relevant keywords. In order to rank well, however, your site’s content must be of high quality and relevant to your target audience. Additionally, your site’s structure should be easy to navigate so that visitors can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

Off-page optimization is for your website’s external factors

Off-page optimization is part of the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website’s pages on search engines. Off-page SEO can be accomplished by using a variety of methods, such as submitting content to relevant blogs or submitting press releases to news sources. However, off-page SEO is just one part of an effective SEO strategy.

You should also focus on optimizing your website’s internal factors, such as its titles, meta tags, and anchor text. You can do this through on-page optimization techniques like title, meta tag, and image optimization.

What is on-page SEO? On-page optimization factors

On-page optimization factors are the elements of the website that can be controlled by the site owner to improve the website’s ranking in search engines. The most important on-page ranking factors are:

  1. Title tag: The most important on-page SEO element
  2. Meta description: Not heavily scored, but can help with SEO
  3. Headings and subheadings: H1, H2, and H3 tags
  4. Page content: Quality and depth
  5. URL: Short, but also descriptive
  6. ALT text on your images
  7. Internal linking to improve page rank
  8. Structured data and schema markup
  9. Page speed optimization
  10. Core web vitals optimization
  11. Mobile Optimization
  12. Image compression and optimization

Here’s an overview of all on-page optimization factors that can help writers optimize their blog posts with step-by-step instructions in Outranking.io:

1. Title tag: The most important on-page SEO element

Title tags are an important on-page SEO optimization factor. They are the words that appear in the title bar of a browser window, and they are one of the most important elements that you can optimize for search engines. So, how to optimize your blog post title? Your title tag should be brief and descriptive, and it should include your primary keyword.

It’s time to improve SEO for your website ! With some simple tweaks, you can get better SEO on Google, even if you’re a small business.

On-page optimization is the process of making sure your content is written in a way that will make it stand out and be seen as valuable by search engines. Keyword optimization is still important, but the focus has shifted to long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific than general keywords, and they are more likely to be used by people who are looking for information about a specific topic. Including them in your title will help you rank higher in SERPs for those terms.

Pillar pages are pages on a website that are dedicated to popular topics, and all related content is linked back to the main pillar page. You can use this strategy to boost your searchability for certain topics. Pillar pages are an important part of on-page optimization because they allow you to target a wider range of keywords than you would be able to if you were targeting them individually.

2. Meta description: Not heavily scored, but can help with SEO

Meta descriptions were once important factors in search engine rankings, but today Google’s AI can determine the content and meaning of the page. It is still important to create relevant meta descriptions yourself to catch searchers’ attention and get them to click on your link.

Meta descriptions are important and play a role in on-page optimization. They should be between 135 and 160 characters, written in an actionable voice, and focus on keywords. Remember that long-tail keywords are more relevant to users today.

3. Headings and subheadings: H1, H2, and H3 tags

You should use one SEO H1 tag on your page to optimize it for search engine results pages (SERPs). This will help you rank higher and give users a better experience. You can break up the long blocks of text with sub-headings and assign different keywords to these tags to improve your ranking even further. Updating your content regularly with fresh information, as well as appropriate keywords and phrases, will also help increase the ranking of your site. Headings are an important part of the user experience, and you should use them to reassure visitors that they are in the right place and have found what they’re looking for.

4. Page content: Quality and depth

Another key on-page optimization factor is the quality and depth of your content. Quality content is well-researched, informative, and engaging.

The depth of content refers to the number of words on a page and how in-depth the information is. Pages with more than 1,500 words are more likely to rank high in search engine results pages.

Well-researched and in-depth content will attract links from other websites, which will help improve the ranking in SERPs. Poorly written and shallow content is not only uninteresting to users but also difficult to rank for key terms.

Consider adding stats to your site. People may link to your site in order to cite specific stats.

5. URL: Short, but also descriptive

There is a lot of discussion about how short URLs are better for the user experience. And it’s true – users prefer shorter URLs because they are easier to remember and type. However, just making the URL shorter does not mean that you’re doing on-page optimization effectively. The focus should be on creating a URL that is both short and descriptive.

URL structures that include your main keyword are considered more user-friendly and effective. Test your URLs with our SEO friendly URL checker to make sure they are optimal. Search engines also favor these types of URLs, so it’s important to optimize your website’s URLs for both human and search engine visitors. CMSs can generate search engine-friendly URLs, which are important for SEO ranking purposes. Dashes (not underscores) between words in the URL make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your website, so make sure to use them whenever possible. Keep URLs as short as possible by avoiding extraneous information. Only include what is necessary for the reader to understand what the page is about.

Creating a subdomain (with a subfolder) has advantages over using the main domain for SEO purposes, but only if done correctly! The number of folders you create on your blog affects your blog’s rank. Keeping the number to a minimum is key if you want to make the most of your subdomain.

Remember, create a URL that is also descriptive – not just short!

6. Alt text on your images

If you’re not including alt text on your images, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to improve your site’s SEO. The alt text field is used to describe the image within a page. The primary use of alt text is to help blind people who use a screen reader understand the context of web page images.

However, you can improve on-page SEO by ensuring that the target keyword is included in the alt text field and using no more than 8-10 words. Including images for each main keyword, you’re targeting can also help with your SEO efforts.

Make sure that your image alt text is easy to read and understand so you can add value for the people who rely on it.

7. Internal linking to improve page rank

One of the simplest on-page SEO improvements you can make is to improve your internal linking. This means adding links to other pages on your website. It’s important to do this correctly, as incorrect internal linking can actually hurt your ranking.

Internal linking is important for on-page SEO because it makes it easier for search engines to crawl your website. The breadcrumb path indicates where the user is on a page and can be clicked to navigate to a related page. Breadcrumbs appear in Google search results, giving users an overview of where the page is located on your site. They also provide an easy way for users to navigate through your website.

Spice up your page with internal links! It’s the easiest SEO tool for SaaS and a sure way to improve ranking.

The most important factor in internal linking is using good anchor text. Anchor text is the text that’s displayed when you hover over a hyperlink. When you create a link, you should use descriptive keywords as the anchor text. This tells Google what the page is about, and it can help improve your ranking for those keywords.

Internal links should be included in the main content of a page, as well as in the sidebar and footer. You also want to make sure that there are enough internal links on each page: at least 2-3 per page is ideal.

Off-page SEO refers to links that are built outside of your site – through relationships with other webmasters. You can’t control which links appear on your site, but you can control which ones you build yourself. This is an important distinction between off-page and on-page SEO.

8. Structured data and schema markup

Adding schema markup to your web pages helps search engines better understand the content and display richer results in the SERPs. You can add structured data using WordPress plugins or by using schema.org vocabulary and JSON-LD format. Google recommends JSON-LD format and prefers structured data that uses schema.org vocabulary.

9. Page speed optimization

Poor page loading times and mobile responsiveness can lead to lower SERP rankings. Page image size, redirects, CSS, and JavaScript can all be reduced to improve page performance.

Page speed is important for on-page SEO because it impacts the user experience. Page speed is determined by a number of factors, including minimizing HTTP requests, ensuring server response time is below 200 ms, and setting browser caching to at least a week or longer. Enabling Gzip compression can help improve page speed performance.

Making sure your content is well-organized and loads quickly are essential for on-page optimization. Placing all your CSS in an external style sheet can help reduce the size of your file. Minifying your code can also make it load faster. Eliminating render-blocking resources can speed up the page even more.

Make sure your website is optimized to load quickly across multiple different browsers and mobile devices. Making your site responsive improves its performance on mobile devices and can help you increase your ranking over time.

10. Core web vitals optimization

On-page optimization factors largely determine how well a web page ranks in SERPs. In 2021, Core Web Vitals became an on-page SEO ranking factor. The purpose of Core Web Vitals metrics is to quantify the user experience for a website. These factors include visual stability and load time until the page is interactive.

The largest contentful paint (LCP) measures page loading speed and marks the point at which the largest visual element on the page has been downloaded. First input delay (FID) measures the speed of the first initial engagement a user can have with a page. Cumulative layout shift (CLS) measures the amount of layout shift of visible content on a page as it loads and scrolls.

You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to get recommendations for improving these Core Web Vitals on any web page.

11. Mobile optimization

One of the most important aspects of on-page optimization is making sure your website looks good and performs well on mobile devices. This is becoming increasingly important, as more and more people are using their phones and tablets to access the internet.

A mobile-friendly website is important because it helps visitors to read and understand the content on your site if they’re using a phone or tablet. A page performance metric (such as Core Web Vitals) can help you determine if your website is mobile-friendly. If your website meets those criteria for being mobile-friendly, you can look at other types of optimization.

You need to optimize your images to get the most value out of your on-page SEO efforts. Images that are properly optimized for mobile devices will load faster, which is important for users who are accessing your site from a phone or tablet.

Having content people actually want to read and mobile-friendly site design and site navigation are also important on-page SEO factors. You should make sure your website is easy to use on all devices, including phones and tablets.

12. Image compression and optimization

Images are an important part of any website. They can help to improve the user experience by adding visual interest, and they can also help to convey information more effectively. However, it is important to optimize your images.

You should make sure that all of your images are small and that they load quickly and correctly on the page. In addition, you should give them appropriate file names that will help search engine spiders find and index them correctly.

What is off-page SEO? Off-page optimization factors

Off-page SEO is when you optimize your site using factors outside of the website itself. This includes social media, email, content, and other offline channels. Off-page optimization targets how search engines can find you on the web. These factors include:

  1. Backlinks: Influence DA and PA
  2. Social shares and social media marketing
  3. Brand mentions
  4. Domain Authority (DA)
  5. Page Authority (PA)
  6. Content distribution

1. Backlinks: Influence DA and PA

Links are an important factor in Google’s algorithm. They are one of the many signals the search engine uses to rank websites. In fact, links are so important that they can influence a website’s Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA).

Domain Authority is a measure of how authoritative a website is. The higher the DA, the more likely it is that a website will rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs). Page Authority is a measure of how authoritative a specific page is. The higher the PA, the more likely it is that the page will rank high in SERPs for relevant queries.

Domain Authority and Page Authority are determined by factors including:

  • The number and quality of links to the website or page
  • The authority of the websites linking to the website or page
  • The age of the website or page
  • The amount and quality of content on the website or page
  • The design and usability of the website

When creating content with Outranking AI SEO platform, you’ll be guided on how many backlinks an article needs based on what articles are currently ranking in SERP:


2. Social shares and social media marketing

Social media links are not as powerful as backlinks, but they can still be valuable. For example, if someone shares your content on their social media account, that’s a good way to generate inbound links, produce more brand mentions, and build a larger audience for your website.

Social media sites are great places to generate awareness for your brand, and they are easy sources of backlinks. Additionally, if you’re active on social media and respond positively and sincerely to comments on social media and blogs, your brand will feel more human and approachable. This can improve brand visibility.

3. Brand mentions

Brand mentions can be a powerful form of off-page optimization. When other websites mention your brand, they are likely to include a link to your website. This is valuable because it helps you increase the strength of your off-page SEO. In addition, getting your content linked to is a valuable way to increase the amount of traffic that comes to your website from other sources.

To use this strategy, look for websites that mention your brand, employees, or founders. To do this, locate unlinked brand mentions, and email people who mention your brand to politely ask them to include a link.

4. Domain Authority (DA)

Domain Authority (DA) is a score that measures how authoritative your website is compared to other websites. The higher the domain authority, the higher Google will rank your content.

Domain Authority is determined by off-page SEO factors such as age, history, and linking root domains.

4. Page Authority (PA)

Like Domain Authority, Page Authority is an off-page SEO factor that you cannot control directly. However, there are a number of things you can do to improve your authority score, including:

  • Building high-quality links from authoritative websites
  • Optimizing your website for search engines
  • Creating valuable content that attracts links from other websites
  • Promoting your content on social media

The more exposure your website receives, the higher your authority scores become.

5. Content distribution

Once you have created great content, the next step is to distribute it as effectively as possible. Every share of your website can impact how well your content ranks. This means that you need to encourage people to share your content on their websites, social media profiles, and electronic signatures.

You can submit your website to directories and other online resources for off-page SEO. Forums and websites that are relevant to your niche can be valuable places to share your content.

You should become an active member of these communities in order to get the most benefit from them. Posts that shamelessly promote your content will not work; you have to contribute value if you want people to trust you enough to share your content.

Another way to distribute your content is by publishing it on different types of websites, such as blogs, news sites, and authority sites in your niche. Think about how your content lives on the internet after you publish it; make sure that all the links are working and that the formatting looks good on different devices.

Sharing your own knowledge and expertise will help you gain the trust of search engines. As you become known as an expert in your field, more people will share your content.

There are a variety of distribution networks where you can share your content. The most important thing is to distribute it in a way that makes sense to your audience.

Also, think about how you can repurpose your content so that it reaches the widest possible audience.

How to do on-page optimization at the speed of light using Outranking

At Outranking.io were able to increase ranking for some keywords by focusing on good internal linking, and we even built a feature that allows you to find the best interlinking opportunities for your website. Check out how it works here: