On-Site Vs. Off-Site SEO: Key Differences & Benefits of Each

Feb 6, 2019

Is your company making SEO a priority this year? I’m guessing as much, since the importance of SEO goes up and up each year. Perhaps your B2B business is handling SEO optimization internally, but it’s more likely that you’re using an outside agency to help boost SERP rankings. Perhaps even an outside agency like RedMoxy?

The purpose of this blog isn’t to walk you through the bare necessities of SEO – we’ve already done that here. Instead, we’re talking you through the key differences between on-site and off-site SEO. Here’s the reason why: there’s an alarming number of B2B businesses that pursue improvements in SEO without truly understanding what it entails. No matter what SEO agency you work with – RedMoxy included! – we want you to be able to speak to the tactics employed on your company’s behalf. Since the two big tactics are on-site and off-site SEO, today we’re walking you through key differences and benefits of each.

On-Site Vs. Off-Site SEO: Key Differences & Benefits of Each

On-site and off-site SEO aren’t hard concepts to understand: the former involves improvements made on the website itself, while the latter refers to efforts made off-site, elsewhere on the internet, to improve a site’s SEO. Pretty simple, right? Let’s dig into the nitty-gritty details.

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO work often receives the bulk of our attention when we first start improving the SEO for a B2B company. First, we’ll conduct an SEO audit on-site to understand what we’re dealing with. We’ll identify top areas for improvement and any “low hanging fruit” that we can turn our attention to right away.

Another key facet of on-site SEO is keyword optimization. I could write a whole post just on keyword analysis (in fact, I think I’ll do that – stay tuned!), but for now, understand that the keyword analysis dictates the on-site optimization. If we don’t know what keywords the site in question is trying to rank for, the on-site SEO is unfocused and sloppy. Keyword analysis is crucial.

Benefits of On-Site SEO

Once the keyword analysis is complete, on-site SEO ensures that those chosen keywords are implemented on the site. For instance, the keywords should be in the content that site visitors read. They should also be in the meta descriptions, title tags and alt text. These three are called “meta data” and are primarily for Google’s robots. These bots crawl the site and get an idea of subject matter by the keywords used in the meta data. However, the meta data has another purpose for human readers.

Example: the meta description is what one reads on a SERP. It helps the searcher to chose the website most likely to have the information being searched for. See an example below (click to enlarge).

On-Site Vs. Off-Site SEO: Key Differences & Benefits of Each

In the example above, the meta description tells Googlers that the blog post is about SEO musts for industrial manufacturers. The title tag (in the blue hyperlink) confirms the same.

If we click on the blog post and then scroll a bit further down, there’s an image with alt text in place on the page. Most viewers can’t see the alt text, but it matters for two reasons. Watch the quick video below or read the blog post here for more details.

To summarize: on-site SEO works the important keywords into the site, both on the front end and on the back end. When someone searches for that keyword, your B2B site is more likely to show up when the web pages have been optimized.

Off-Site SEO

If on-site SEO is more concerned with optimizing for specific keywords, off-site SEO is more concerned with optimizing a site’s value overall. How does a site’s value go up? By proving the site’s credibility.

Domain Authority is a term we use to identify how credible a site appears to Google. Domain Authority is on a scale of 1 -100, and the closer to 100 a site is, the more credible. For example, the New York Times has a domain authority of 95, while many of our clients’ sites have domain authority in the range of 40-50.

If Google feels a site is credible, it is more likely to show your site in search listings. Consider this: if you and a competitor have a page on your site talking about the exact same thing, but your domain authority is higher, Google is more likely to place your website higher in the SERP results.

So then, how can we go about improving our site’s Domain Authority? There’s a number of tactics, but the #1 is through backlinks. Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. The more high-quality backlinks a site has, the more credible that site looks. We’ll be discussing backlinks in further depth in a blog post next week, so let’s leave it at that for now.

Benefits of Off-Site SEO

There’s only so much on-site optimization that can be done on a page by page basis. Once the keyword(s) is in place and the site is fully optimized, there’s only tweaking that should be done (unless, of course, the keyword strategy changes). With off-site SEO, however, the work is never done. We can always work for more backlinks. We can build relationships with influencers in the industry. Or, we can build up citations about the company in databases across the web.

Off-site SEO is a long-term commitment, and the results are usually slower-coming than on-site SEO. Don’t be fooled, though: off-site SEO is vital for long-term success. Any comprehensive SEO strategy will include elements of both on-site and off-site SEO. It’s the only way to be successful in the long run.

Learn more about SEO with RedMoxy Communications by visiting our services page here. Then, read a recent case study of our successful SEO strategy and implementation for Banker Wire here.