There are two types of search engine optimization that are performed on a website: on page and off page. The question that most website owners have is which one will help their website rank in the SERPs most effectively. In this article we’ll take a look at what each process entails.

On Page Optimization

Also known as “on site optimization”, this process involves strengthening a website’s core elements to support the target keywords. This occurs after a site audit is performed for the website. The graphic below outlines the core elements that are visible from the front end of a website:

Visible website structure


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Starting from the top of the page, the elements are the:

  • Title tag
  • URL
  • Headers
  • Internal Links
  • External Links
  • Article specific information – in this case the author and date of the review

A SEO reviews the existing copy for each of these instances and determines which pages are best suited to support keywords from the core list. Once this is completed the SEO creates a keyword map, assigns the keywords to applicable pages, and updates the copy in these fields to best support the selected keyword.

During this time the site copy itself is also analyzed for scope and for internal link building.

Off Page Optimization

Also known as “off site optimization”, Off Page Optimization consists of getting other websites to link back to yours. While links are not the only factor that search engines take into account, a strong link profile is required for pulling in new users to the site and for site rankings to improve. It stems from the concept that the more authoritative a site is the more other sites will link, or refer, to it.

As part of creating their optimization strategy, a SEO will perform a Backlink Audit. During this review the SEO determines the value of inbound links by reviewing the external website’s domain ranking, the industry that the website is in, the type of link, and the placement of the link on the website. Once these are determined the SEO prepares a list of websites that should be removed from the link profile and a list of websites that should be contacted to request a link.

Which type of optimization is best for your site?

Implementing a combination of both techniques will be the most effective way to improve rankings. After performing a general website audit, a SEO will draft a strategy to suit the current state of a website which will utilize techniques from both processes to bolster your website’s rankings. Generally speaking, if core pages are still being generated for your website and you’re not very well known on the web then the majority of efforts will be placed into on page optimization whereas efforts will be concentrated in off page optimization if your site’s structure is established.

Still not sure which type of optimization your site needs?

Contact Active Web Group for a Free SEO Analysis and one of our Internet Marketing Strategists will review your website for both on and off site factors. Call us at us at 1-800-978-3417 or fill out and submit our Contact Form.

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