There are 2 major components to search engine optimization:
1. On Page and On Site SEO
2. Off Page and Off Site SEO
The first deals primarily with factors on your website, which can be optimized for the search engines and the second deals with factors on other other websites on the Internet, which can be optimized to help your website’s position in the search engines.
At the end of the day it is the second of these search engine optimisation components that is really the most important when it comes to the final rankings in Google as well as the other search engines.
On Page or on site optimization can be beneficial initially as you are looking for good rankings for your website or blog and can be crucial when you are close to getting that ultimate number one position in Google. But all through the process of getting your site to number 1 you should still pay close attention to on-site optimisation.
However it is Off Page or off site optimization that is really critical to getting good rankings in Google.
Even if you don’t optimize for on page factors you will be able to get your site to rank well in Google with good optimization of off-page factors.
But if your competitor’s websites have also been optimized for on page factors as well as off site elements then you will have to do the same or better to beat then in the rankings.
On Page and On Site Search Engine Optimisation:
On Site SEO
This refers to all the things you can do to and throughout your website to ensure that the website home page ranks highly in Google, Yahoo and MSN.
On Page SEO
Similarly, this refers to what you can do to individual web pages or blog posts on your website or blog respectively to get those individual pages or posts to rank highly in the search engines.
Off Page and Off Site Search Engine Optimisation:
Off Site SEO
Off-site SEO is concerned with all the things that can be done on other websites to help your site or blog home page rank well in all the search engines, with the focus as always on Google.
Off Page SEO
This is basically the same as off-site SEO and has the same purpose, but at the page or post level. Do this to get your individual pages and posts to rank well on their own in Google et al. Also by doing off-page SEO you will be helping the overall ranking of your site as well.
What are On Page and On Site SEO Factors?
These are all the things you need to do help your site become more relevant and gain more authority in the search engines for your niche. A major part of this is related to the construction of your website and the way it is structured and coded in HTML etc.
Important aspects of this are TITLE tags, META descriptions, H1 tags, other Header tags and ALT tags on images on every page or post on your website.
Other important issue you should attend to are related to Internal Linking and the Anchor Text used for those links within your site, including navigation and other elements.
What are Off Page and Off Site SEO Factors?
Most of your efforts here will be concerned with getting quality one way back links to your website or blog that use relevant keywords in the anchor text so that the search engines get to know what your site is about and can assess it’s relevance and authority for those keywords.
This type of work to get these quality backlinks is essential to a healthy position in Google and directly determines your level of visitor traffic and how successful your site will be at getting potential buyers from the search engines.
If you do not do this you will be wasting your time if you only optimize for the on page/site elements.
The Importance Of Keywords
You should note that when doing SEO you are primarily trying to get your website or blog to rank in the search engines for a particular keyword or keyword phrase that the user of a search engine might type into the search box of a search engine to find your site.
An example of a keyword phrase that a potential visitor to your site might enter could be:
…and if your site is about credit reports then you would want to optimize your site for both off site and on site factors for this keyword.
However just one keyword will only get you a certain number of visitors and to get more visitors you should also optimize your website or blog for additional keywords. In this case the following might be appropriate:
FREE CREDIT REPORT
INSTANT CREDIT REPORT
ONLINE CREDIT REPORT
In this case you would want to optimize your site, or perhaps just relevant pages, for these keywords using both on-site and off-site factors.
As the site grows and you add more content you may find that there are even more keywords that you want to optimise for. As you can see SEO is an ongoing process and you should be aware of all the search engine optimization factors throughout the life your website or blog.
Always do both on site and off site search engine optimisation to ensure that you get the best of both of the major SEO components.
Remember SEO never dies and the more you do the better your sites will rank.
ps: Off Site and Off Page are often used with the same meaning by many so called experts on the Internet and it is the same with On Site and On Page. They are very similar, but subtly different!