Online v Offline SEO: Which Is Best For Your Business?

If you ask anyone who is interested in SEO what its purpose is, they’ll probably be able to give you a quick and straightforward answer. The aim is clearly to improve the status of your business website /brand on the results pages of search engines: the higher the ranking, the more likely users will be attracted to your services. Now ask those same people how best to achieve this and the waters start to become a little muddier.

Some SEO providers favour on-page, or on-line optimisation techniques, others prefer off-page. The majority would recommend a combination of the two strategies. As if that isn’t confusing enough, SEO advisors will then start telling you about the importance of ‘organic’ marketing and ‘Meta tag’ settings. Is it any wonder businesses get confused? What do any of these terms actually mean? Hopefully after you’ve read this article the waters may become a little clearer.

On-page SEO refers to the optimisation of the pages that make up your business website. This is the more technical aspect of the optimisation process and refers to those factors that have an effect on website or webpage listing in natural search results: these factors are controlled by you or by the coding on your web pages. Any optimisation will focus on the keywords that make up the content or the copy on your web site. It will also look at areas like HTML coding, Meta tags, unique content, website design and layout. Essentially on-page optimisation is all about tweaking all the technical bits and bobs that go on unseen, so that both search engines and ordinary users are given the information they are looking for: the better the results, then the greater the traffic.

Off-line SEO refers to the optimisation 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 optimisation techniques focus predominantly on areas like link building, directory and article submission, blog posting and forum posting. The purpose of off-line optimisation is to maximise all the links that come off your website pages to encourage a higher placing in the search engine results.

So which is best?

You won’t be surprised to learn that there isn’t a simple answer to this. Each has its own merits and drawbacks. It’s all a matter of horses for courses: it depends on what your ultimate goal is and how quickly you expect to see the results.

Traditionally on-page optimisation will produce better long-term results, but this 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 patient. Building a reputation and creating top-notch, relevant content takes time and effort. Some SEO companies and business aren’t prepared to wait that long before they start to see results.

Off-page optimisation can and does produce quicker and more-measurable results. It’s all about link building. If your website is able to link to high-profile, respected websites than your site’s ranking can receive an immediate boost just through the power of positive association. Off-page SEO can give your business website an immediate boost, but can’t necessarily be sustained in the longer term. If your aim is to sustain most of the initial momentum, then it’s probably much wiser to use a combination of both optimisation strategies

Future blogs will cover this subject in more details and try to give hints and tips about to improve your business’ on-page and off-page SEO.

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