Distinguishing Between Onsite And Offsite Seo

I had the thought today that some people may not know the difference between onsite and offsite search engine optimization (SEO). So, I figured I'd take a minute or two in this article and do a quick summary of the difference between the two and why both are important for getting better search engine rankings.

Keep in mind that search engines want to give their users relevant content when they do searches. In other words, if you go to the search engine and do a search for 'digital camera', you want to get sites that are about or sell digital cameras right? That's the whole basis of what search engines are trying to do. Keep that in mind when you're picking out your keyword phrases and such.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO is anything that you do to your website to make it more relevant to the keyword phrases that you have chosen to optimize your site for. Some of the strategies to use for onsite SEO include:

  • Meta Tags
  • Title Tags
  • Keyword Density
  • Use of Keywords in Alt Tags
  • etc.

In other words, onsite SEO has to do with how you use keyword phrases on your site and make your site relevant to the phrases you are trying to target.

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO has to do with what you do out on the internet as a whole. Most of this has to do with link building and other such strategies. Here are a few of the common link building things you can do:

  • Vary anchor text in links
  • Different link types (two-way, one-way)
  • Link locations (blogs, articles, directories, other websites, etc.)
  • Social links (del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, etc.)
  • etc.

Offsite SEO seems to be a more important factor than all of the onsite SEO stuff. I still recommend spending time doing the onsite stuff because it really does help the site to be more relevant to the terms you want rankings for. It's the content that comes behind the link.

Both onsite and offsite SEO are important and you should spend time with each of them. Don't worry so much about exact percentages and what not (for example, and exact 5% keyword density of every page of your site might be pushing it a bit...), just make the site relevant to the phrases you want. Then, build plenty of links using your keyword phrases.