On-Site SEO vs. Off-Site SEO - What Is the Difference?

In this on-site SEO vs. off-site SEO article, we’ll talk about these two branches of SEO, what characterises them, and what elements set them apart.

On-Site SEO vs. Off-Site SEO - What Is the Difference?

It's possible to divide SEO into different categories. The two most common types of SEO are on-site and off-site SEO.

As their names suggest, what sets them apart is where the optimisation takes place.

With on-site SEO, you're optimising your web pages on the site itself. The goal of on-site SEO is to improve your site's visibility in search engine results. 

Off-site SEO focuses on optimisation techniques taken outside a website. It aims to improve a site's rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) and brand awareness.

In this "On-site SEO vs. Off-site SEO" article, we'll talk about these two branches of SEO. We'll also discuss what makes these two types of SEO different.

💻 What's On-Site SEO?

On-site SEO is also known as on-page SEO

It refers to the practice of optimising web pages. The goal of on-site SEO is to improve your website's online visibility. 

If done right, it can increase your ranking in search results on Google and other search engines.

It involves making changes and implementing SEO techniques directly on your website. In other words, on-site SEO makes your site more search engine-friendly. It also makes it relevant for targeted keywords.

On-site SEO includes the following SEO techniques:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Writing valuable content for your website
  3. Creating and optimising meta descriptions and meta titles
  4. Internal linking
  5. Optimising images
  6. Optimising the HTML source code

The most important aspect of on-page SEO includes optimising content with target keywords. 

The key is to create content that's relevant to your target audience. Your content should also give them the information they're looking for. 

It's also essential to write good content that's unique. Your content should reflect your brand identity.

There are a few things to say about keywords.

You can add keywords to various parts of your website. For example, you can add relevant keywords to your meta description and page title. 

This can increase the page's click-through rate and SERP ranking.

Internal links are another vital SEO element. They can lead to higher rankings in search results. 

They improve user experience by helping visitors navigate your site. Internal links send positive signals to Google and other search engines.

Optimising images, alt text, and captions is also essential. It can provide relevant information to search engines as well. Not to mention that images and other visual elements also improve user experience.

🤝 What's Off-Site SEO?

Off-page SEO is also called off-site SEO. 

It's all the optimisation tactics that you take outside of your site. With off-page SEO, you can improve your site's position in search engine rankings.

It focuses on building external signals and creating a positive online reputation. It can also increase your site's credibility. 

This helps you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Off-site SEO includes the following SEO efforts:

  1. Link building
  2. Social media marketing
  3. Managing your online reputation 
  4. Content marketing
  5. Guest blogging
  6. Influencer marketing

Building backlinks is the process of getting links from other relevant sites. They're also called inbound links. 

Backlinks are just as important as internal links. You should focus on getting quality backlinks that are relevant.

Link-building strategies can include:

  1. Guest blogging
  2. Creating content that other accounts can share
  3. Reaching out to influencers or digital marketing experts for collaborations
  4. Taking part in relevant forums or communities
  5. Taking advantage of social media accounts

Off-page SEO can also include promoting your site on social media platforms. Doing this can improve your visibility, reach, and organic traffic.

Social media is an important aspect of off-page SEO. Social media posts and social signals aren't just good for engagement. They can indirectly influence your website's authority and rankings.

❔ What Are the Main Differences between On-Site and Off-Site SEO?

There are many differences between on-site and off-site search engine optimisation. But the main one is where those SEO efforts take place. 

Other differences between these two types of SEO include:

  1. Focus
  2. Implementation
  3. Visibility and relevance
  4. Control
  5. Impact on rankings


On-site SEO focuses on optimising different website elements directly on your site. It aims to improve its visibility on search engine results pages.

This could include optimising:

  • Keywords
  • Blog content
  • Meta tags
  • URLs
  • Headers
  • Images
  • Structured data

Off-site SEO focuses on activities done outside your website. It aims to build authority and reputation for search engines.

Off-site SEO focuses on:

  • Getting backlinks from other reputable websites
  • Social media engagement
  • Managing your online reputation 
  • Brand mentions
  • Influencer marketing
  • Local SEO activities (like optimising online directories)


On-page SEO is about making changes and employing various SEO tactics on your website. This can include:

  • Modifying the HTML code
  • Optimising content
  • Improving site architecture
  • Enhancing the user interface

Off-page SEO focuses on outreach efforts. This can include:

  • Building relationships with other websites
  • Promoting content on social media platforms
  • Tracking online reputation
  • Getting backlinks

Visibility and Relevance

On-site SEO aims to improve a site's visibility. To be more precise, how relevant web pages are in search engine results. 

It helps search engines understand your web pages. This includes their content, structure, and purpose.

Off-page SEO's main focus is to improve your website's authority and reputation.

It helps search engines check how credible your site is. They do this by looking at external factors. These include backlinks, social signals, and online reputation.


With on-site search engine optimisation, you have direct control over on-page SEO elements. After all, you're making changes to your own site. 

You can change the content, structure, and various on-page elements. This helps you use the best practices and targeted keywords.

Off-site SEO comes with less control since it involves external activities. 

You can influence certain aspects, like outreach and content promotion. But you still rely on other websites, influencers, and users for good results.

Impact on Rankings

On-site SEO directly impacts how search engines look at and rank your web pages. They do this based on relevance, content quality, and user experience.

These rankings help drive more organic traffic to your site.

Off-page SEO indirectly influences your website's ranking. It does this by building authority, credibility, and reputation. 

It helps search engines track your website's popularity. It also helps search engines check how reliable your site is.

🔀 On-Site SEO vs. Off-Site SEO - Knowing the Difference

Off-site and on-site SEO are both important for business sites. But a great website requires you to be equally familiar with both.

If you need help with SEO, you've come to the right place. RankRise is a digital marketing agency that specialises in all aspects of SEO.

We keep up with the changes made by search engine algorithms. We are SEO specialists who can help you improve your ranking and put your website on the map.

Contact us for more information. 

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Tijana Abadic
Tijana Abadic

Tijana is a content writer with three years of experience working for digital marketing firms and creating informative and engaging content for diverse industries. As a content strategist at RankRise, she specialises in writing and editing long-form content that reflects the brand and drives results.

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