On Page vs. Off Page SEO: The Key Differences

Two harmonious circle infographics.

As a website owner, you will certainly be familiar with that very important three letter acronym: SEO. However, while the principles of Search Engine Optimization are important, people have come to think of the discipline as a catch all term for that voodoo magic specialists uses to “increase web traffic.” Rarely is a distinction made between the two specific types of SEO strategies that are implemented, namely on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

Everyone wants their website to shoot to the very top of the Google pecking order. Similarly, both Search Engine Optimization strategies aim for that same goal: getting more traffic from search engines. The two techniques are complementary to each other. In the first case, on page SEO involves carrying out work on the content of the site’s web pages. In the second case, it involves managing incoming links, thus encouraging inbound links or backlinks, including through social media, an important factor in being considered authoritative by search engines.

1. Understanding On Page SEO

On-page SEO is when a web page’s content is enhanced for the reason of succeeding in Google’s rankings, improving the page’s accessibility for Google users. It focuses on making sure the actual content runs in accordance with proper SEO practices.

Here are several main elements that the on page side of SEO regards:

  • Meta descriptions
  • Title tags
  • Sitemaps
  • URLs
  • Internal links
  • Image Alt texts

Meta Description

The Meta description is a basic summary of the page’s content, and basically amounts to a small passage hidden within the page’s meta data. The Meta description is inevitably very useful because it manages to give a general idea of the lending page the user will potentially be reading. In fact, I think readersof this article are more familiar with meta descriptions than they think; have you ever read the short descriptions of the links listed when searching for a query through google? Then you’re more than familiar with what a meta description looks like. Congrats.

While Google withholds the ability to automatically fill in a meta description with whatever it wants if it is left unmade, it nevertheless is always a good SEO practice to fill it out. This advice bears heavier for the more strategic of a website’s landing page, such as your home and product pages. It is important to make your description as to-the-point yet attractive as possible, as your limit is constricted to a mere 160 characters.


A sitemap is comprised of a tree like graph structure serving to orient Google’s spiders to direct the indexing of appropriate pages. It basically organizes the site’s webpages into a map, so that Google knows what to index more fluidly. However, it is important to pay attention to the proper terminology, as one should never confuse indexing with positioning. In this regard, all content placed within the sitemap will be indexed by the crawlers but only those considered relevant by the algorithm will enter the SERP. It is advisable to update the sitemap every time the structure of the site itself has undergone a change. After creating the sitemap, the file must be uploaded to your Google Search Console.

General off page practices

All these elements must be formatted properly in order to reap their many SEO benefits. For example, the Meta description must lie within the 155 to 160 character limit. Also, you must remember to include search heavy keywords within each of your descriptions, while not engaging in a practice SEO specialists call “keyword stuffing”, the meaning of which I think speaks for itself.

Furthermore, don’t space out when it comes to embedding internal links within all your content. Internal links that lead to other content on your website looks good in the eyes of the great Google Gods, as it shows that your website has a high level of link equity and organization; Google likes that, and potentially rewards well established site architecture with a promotion in the search rankings department.

2. Understanding off-page SEO

Unlike on-page SEO, which focuses on the internals of the website, off-page SEO is more focused on the external. Reporting from Neil Patel, off page SEO is an activity carried out to optimize a website from the outside. In another sense, off page SEO can also be regarded as a way to promote a website by doing link building, backlinks, and so on. A backlink is a link that is embedded on another website and will lead to our website. Try to provide backlinks on websites with good quality. However, be careful in placing backlinks. Do not get too much because it can be considered spam by Google.

Guest Posting: Write on other people’s blogs

In addition to being a way to engage in link building, this is a great way to increase your network of contacts and get noticed by a wider audience, other than the usual suspects who commonly permeate your digital blog environment. Analyze the SERPs and look for sites that write about topics that compliment yours. After which, compile a list of interesting prospects to contact. It can be exhausting searching for topics and coordinating with creators, but without a doubt you will be able to yield quality links at minimal cost. Do you have an e-commerce website that specializes in electronic accessories? Have you seen that there are a lot of interesting blogs about hardware & software? Well, if you write a self-referential article about your products, then you can be sure that no one will be willing to publish it… That is, I mean for free.

Use your imagination and try to look at the issue from different angles. What could be interesting content for a fishing blog, for example? An article about the breeding habits of freshwater fish, maybe! See, It didn’t take too long on my part.

3. Overall Difference Between On Page and Off Page SEO

Simply put, on-page SEO makes your content readable, to both users and the saerch engine; it is concerned with organizing the content in a way that pleases readers and can be detected by Google search engines. Meanwhile, off page SEO seeks to improve your website’s credibility so that it can gain the trust of Google, potentially placing it on the top of the rankings. These two types of SEO must be optimized simultaneously, it can’t just be one of them. So, that’s a brief explanation on the two types of SEO strategies. It is important to optimize both consistently so that your website can gain that comfy (and hopefully deserved) place on the top-shelf of Google’s search engine.

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If you have SEO or web development skills and want to work remotely, consider joining Logique Digital Indonesia. Currently, we have job vacancies open for several positions. Please visit the Logique career page to find a position that matches your skill set and experience.

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