Off-Page SEO vs. On-Page SEO: Which Is more Important?

There are two types of SEO: off-page SEO and on-page SEO. On-page SEO consists of SEO work that can be performed on a website itself, such as SEO-friendly web design, meta tags, and internal links. Off-page SEO refers to SEO work that is external to a website. Link building and social media marketing are examples of off-page SEO.

On one side of the fence are the people who say, “Content is king,” and on the other side are the people who say, “Links are supreme.” The on-page SEO vs. off-page SEO debate is common and longstanding, but the reality is that both off-page and on-page SEO are vital to a website’s success. However, new websites (i.e., websites that are less than two years old) typically require more off-page SEO because it builds their authority. On the other hand, if your site has been online for several years and contains multiple pages of high quality content, you may be able to achieve your goals with on-page SEO alone, as long as the keywords you’re targeting aren’t intensely competitive.

On-Page SEO

Although on-page SEO is vital to your success, it’s extremely unlikely to work on its own unless you have a high authority website that is several years old. That’s where off-page SEO comes in. Off-page SEO primarily deals with inbound links. Factors that come into play when search engines evaluate your site’s inbound links include keyword frequency, volume, neighborhood (what sites the links are from), and velocity (how fast you got the links). Off-page SEO has the power to take a site that’s virtually unknown to the top page of results in a matter of weeks.

Off-Page SEO

Although on-page SEO is vital to your success, it’s extremely unlikely to work on its own unless you have a high authority website that is several years old. That’s where off-page SEO comes in. Off-page SEO primarily deals with inbound links. Factors that come into play when search engines evaluate your site’s inbound links include keyword frequency, volume, neighborhood (what sites the links are from), and velocity (how fast you got the links). Off-page SEO has the power to take a site that’s virtually unknown to the top page of results in a matter of weeks.

The Bottom Line

SEO generally requires a balance of on-page and off-page tactics in order to be successful. Factors that determine how much time and energy you should commit to on-page and off-page SEO include the quantity and quality of your inbound links, the age and authority of your website, and the amount of supporting content it has. The more competitive the keywords for which you want to rank, the more precise your on-page SEO and the more trusted your domain have to be. Competitive keywords also require a significant amount of supporting pages and inbound links.

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