If you inquire about anyone working in the SEO industry, what the term “optimization” means and what its purpose is likely to provide you with an immediate, if not a blatantly simple, answer.
The objective is to enhance your company’s website or brand position on the result pages of search engines. The more prominent the rank is, the more likely users will be drawn to your offerings. Then ask these same individuals how they can accomplish this, and the waters become a bit muddier.
Some SEO experts favour on-page or online optimization techniques; others prefer off-page. The majority, you would hope, would recommend a combination of the two strategies. If it could just be left at that, the world would be a more straightforward place. However, SEO professionals do not seem to do ‘simple’.
They’ll start telling you about the importance of ‘organic’ marketing, ‘Meta tag’ settings and other weird and wonderful sounding concepts that you really ‘must’ use. Is it any wonder we mere mortals get confused? What do any of these terms mean? Well, hopefully, after you’ve read this article, the waters may become a little clearer.
On-page SEO reflects on the optimization of the pages that make up your actual business website. This is the more technical aspect of the optimization process and reflects those factors that have an effect on website or webpage listings in natural search results: these factors are controlled by you or by the coding on your web pages.
Any optimization will focus on the keywords that make up the content or the copy on your website. It will also look at HTML coding, Meta tags, unique content, website design and layout. Essentially on-page optimization is all about tweaking all the technical bits and bobs that lurk benefit the surface so that both search engines and ordinary users are given the precise information they’re looking for: the better and more accurate the results, then the Greater the traffic.
Offline SEO refers to the optimization of the pages away from your website. They are referred to as ‘off-page because they are not controlled by you or by the coding on your website. Off-page optimization techniques focus predominately on link building, directory and article submission, blog posting and forum posting. The purpose of offline optimization is to maximize all the links that come off your website pages to encourage a higher positioning in the search engine results.
So which is the best?
It will not surprise you to learn that there is not a simple answer to this. Well, there would not be, would there? Each has its own merits and limitations. It’s all a matter of horses for courses: it depends on your ultimate goal and how quickly you expect to see the results.
Traditionally on-page optimization will produce better long-term results, but these can take time. If your business aim is to get yourself established on the likes of Google and Bing or other high-ranking search engines, then you’ll have to be prepared to be patient. Building a reputation and creating top-notch, relevant content takes time and effort. Those SEO companies and businesses who are not ready to bide their time will have to explore other avenues to get the quick fixes they desire.
Off-page optimization can and often does produce quicker and more-measurable results, but that can come at a price. It’s all predominately about link building. If your website can link to high-profile, respected websites, then your ranking can receive an immediate boost just through the power of positive association. Off-page SEO can give your business website this boost, a sort of kick start if you’d prefer, but it can not necessarily sustain it for the longer term. If your aim is sustainability, then it’s probably much wiser to use a combination of both optimization strategies.
Everybody seems to want the quick fix nowadays: I suppose it’s a direct consequence of living in a world where we all appear to demand instant gratification. However, some things are still worth waiting for: when they ever come, you appreciate them all the more. Internet marketing strategists will tell you that the only way to achieve organic growth is by adopting a holistic marketing strategy, and do you know what? I think they’re probably right.