How SEO Works: On-Page vs Off-Page Strategies for Growing Your Web Traffic

The most successful digital marketing strategies include a heavy focus on search engine optimization or SEO. SEO leads generated through search engine results pages boast a 14.6% close rate versus a rate of only 1.7% for outbound attempts like print ads.

So should you spend more time developing your website’s on page SEO or the off page SEO? Once you understand the basics of how SEO works, you’ll see both of these contribute in important, but in different ways. Learn more about on-page versus off-page SEO below.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to optimizing certain parts of a website to affect where the site appears in search engine rankings. The website owner, or a hired SEO expert, has direct control over all these elements on the web page.

Great on page optimization allows search engines to easily index the pages on your site and understand exactly what your website is all about. This helps the search engine to rank you higher and for the appropriate searches.

Some elements included in on-page SEO are the following:


Keywords form the backbone of your on-page SEO strategy. They are the specific search terms potential customers use to find websites and information regarding your industry.

In the past, you could use the same keywords multiple times throughout a page to boost rankings (known as keyword stuffing). Search engines now frown upon this practice and require you to use them only when relevant.

Keywords should appear naturally in the content on your website.

Meta Descriptions

Have you noticed that on most search engine results pages every result comes with a small blurb underneath describing the page?

That is the meta description and it plays a key role in getting a potential customer to click as well as informing search engines of what the page contains.

Be sure to include your primary keyword in the meta description.

Headings (H1)

The headings on your webpage, as the largest bit of text, should be eye-catching and draw in the reader. It’s vital that the main heading tag, H1, always contains at least one keyword. Search engine algorithms focus on headings when ranking your page.

Structure of URL

The structure of your website’s URL also plays a big role in SEO on the page. Avoid including random numbers or words and keep it clean and direct. Remember to include your primary keyword in the URL as well.

Image Alt Text

Noticing a trend? Keyword placement in these various elements is vital to successful on-page SEO and your images are no different.

When you upload an image, it comes with an option to include alt text. The alt text tells the search engine what is featured in the image. This is a perfect opportunity to use your primary keyword again.

Page Loading Speed

It’s no longer the 1990s and no one is willing to wait even 5 seconds for a web page to load. Nowadays, 39% of users abandon a page if it takes too long to load while another 44% will switch devices before giving up.

Search engines factor in the loading speed of your pages when ranking your website. They want to help searchers find the best content as fast as possible. If you cannot deliver that quickly, it will negatively impact your SEO services strategy.

Internal Links

Keep users engaged longer by including internal links on your pages and in your posts. Connecting one type of content on your page to another relevant one means more time spent on your website as a whole. It also helps search engines crawling your site so they see you as trustworthy.

Content Marketing in SEO

Finally, above all else, you must offer relevant, valuable content on every page of your site. If certain keywords lead a searcher to your page, it must satisfy their intent. This encourages search engines to rank you higher and earns you more organic traffic.

What is Off Page SEO?

Off-page SEO significantly differs from SEO on the page. They both affect your rankings with search engines in vastly different ways. You will have less control over your site’s off-page SEO than the on-page SEO.

The two main off-page SEO elements that search engines factor in when ranking your site include:

Domain Authority

Off-page SEO focuses more on solidifying the authority of your website’s domain rather than making it easier for search engines to find it. Domain authority tells search engines how much to trust the pages on your website.

To establish domain authority, a search engine looks at how long you’ve had your domain. The longer the time, the better your ranking. Same goes for referring domains; the more sites referring to your page, the higher your ranking.

Search engines also take into account the past history of the domain. If the previous owner did not comply with SEO best practices, the search engine will consider this even if you did not own the site back then.


The single most important off-page SEO element ranking factor is the number of other websites linking to your website, known as backlinks. Backlinks from trusted, high-authority websites help your page while links from untrustworthy sites hurt your ranking.

If you write great, relevant content, it is easier to obtain natural backlinks. You may still need to put in some extra effort to get even more backlinks.

People obtain backlinks by joining directory and review websites, sharing guest blogs on industry websites, and reaching out to fellow bloggers and influencers.

Is that it? Just two factors, well no, infact they are many off-page factors that can effect your seo rankings, have a look at this detialed guide from digital influencer Shane Barker.

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Is On-Page SEO or Off-Page SEO More Important?

The biggest difference between on-page and off-page SEO lies in the name, but which one is more important in the long run? Honestly, both.

You cannot successfully optimize your website without focusing on both on-page and off-page SEO. It would be like trying to build a house with only a foundation or a roof when you truly need both.

How SEO Works to Increase Traffic to Your Website

Now, you should understand both on-page and off-page SEO and how SEO works to increase the number of hits on your website. You must dedicate enough time to learn how to do these things correctly or they can negatively impact your site’s ranking rather than helping it.

Worried you do not have enough time to do proper SEO? Partner up with an SEO digital marketing company to take the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on the parts of your business you know best. Contact  us to find Chatham-Kent seo specialist for start attracting more traffic to your website quickly and naturally !

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