Off-site, On-site & Technical SEO: What Do They Mean?

August 14, 2020

Kerrie Ashall

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know that SEO is essential when it comes to getting noticed. You know that it will help improve your search rankings, attract more potential customers and help you to grow your business.

But there’s one tiny problem.

You don’t have a clue when it comes to the difference between off-site, on-site, and technical SEO, let alone why they matter.

So let us help out. In this article, we’ll break down what each of these are and what’s involved, then share a few tips on how you can get started with each.

Off-site SEO

Off-site SEO refers to anything you do outside of your website to improve your search rankings. This includes link building, content marketing, social media, podcasts, Google My Business, reviews, and citations.

When you do this, you’ll be building connections between your website and business, and the rest of the digital world. Your brand or business will be mentioned and linked to online, which will help drive traffic towards your business, help your customers discover you, and help build your brand.

As we mentioned a few months back in our post on brand building; “Building your online brand can have a number of significant benefits such as creating awareness and interest in your business, attracting new customers, growing your business online, and securing repeat customers. All of these are important factors in any successful business.”

But that’s not all.

It also shows Google that you have authority in your field, that your audience/customers trust you and that you are relevant to your topic. In short, this greatly impacts on your potential search rankings.

According to SEO software creators, Moz, “…data from our Search Engine Ranking Factors study show that off-site SEO-related factors likely carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight.”

How to improve your off-site SEO

If you want to improve your off-site SEO, you need to invest time in marketing your business. This includes building connections within your local community and industry, creating guest posts, using social media, optimising your Google My Business page, creating natural links and getting people to share your content.

On site SEO

As you’d expect from the name, on-site SEO refers to everything you do on your website. This can include creating and optimising content, internal links, title tags and meta tags, featured snippets, image optimisation, keyword optimisation, and so on.

Although Google uses a range of ranking factors these days, Google does still use this stuff to rank your website. By getting this stuff right, you will significantly improve your website ranking and so improve your visibility online.

But let’s not forget that great SEO isn’t just about ranking highly. If you optimise these elements correctly, you will also make your website much more user-friendly. It will be much easier for your audience to find the information they need and enjoy the overall experience. Again, this converts to a better overall user experience and greater brand loyalty.

How to improve your on-site SEO

Start by looking for any problem and then fixing them immediately. This might include creating meta tags and descriptions, using keywords in your content, optimising your images and so on.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO related to the more complicated elements of SEO. It’s the stuff that directly impacts how the search engines index and crawl your website. This includes things like site speed, structured data, and sitemaps.

You’d be right if you’re thinking that there’s a certain amount of overlap with the other types of SEO. But technical SEO takes this to another level to further optimise your website’s search performance.

It’s important to get this right because these factors play an important role in getting organic traffic. After all, if a search engine can’t crawl your site, it can’t share it with your potential audience and customers.

How to improve your technical SEO

Start by performing a site audit to analyse your website and highlight areas for improvement. For example, how quickly do your webpages load? Is your website mobile-friendly? From this information, you can devise a plan then systematically work through each element. This can be complicated, so it’s usually best to hire an expert unless you’re very tech savvy.


To quickly recap, off-site, on-site, and technical SEO are all vitally important when it comes to optimising your website.

Each refers to different aspects of the same game.

  • Off-page SEO refers to those general digital marketing activities you do outside your website.
  • On-page SEO refers to what you do on your website.
  • Technical SEO refers to the detailed optimisation for the search bots.

Many of the tweaks and improvements you’ll need to make to optimise your website are relatively straightforward to do yourself. But to get it right, it’s better to hire an expert.

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