What Is the Distinction Between On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO?

16 December 2022

What Is the Distinction Between On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a broad subject. The third edition of The Art of SEO, published in 2015, is just over 1000 pages long! It’s no surprise that businesses turn to SEO firms like ours to handle it.

Businesses, on the other hand, cannot ignore the issue entirely. Just as knowing a little bit about cars can help you understand what your mechanic wants to do, knowing what SEO is and its major components can help you approach an SEO company with confidence. Naturally, we can’t condense 1000 pages of information into a 1000-ish word blog post. Instead, we’ll provide an overview of SEO and its three major divisions, on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.

What exactly is SEO?

SEO has become an industry because businesses with high rankings on search engine queries receive significantly more traffic. More traffic means more opportunities for a sale and higher profits. SEO is a set of techniques used to improve the ranking of your website’s pages.

It is an imprecise art because no search engine divulges all of its secrets regarding how it ranks pages. Search engines, on the other hand, compete to provide the best results. They all have different ideas about how to assess a website’s relevance to a search and how to rank search results. They issue guidelines on what they look for in a high-ranking site.

These recommendations are divided into three categories: on-page, off-page, and technical. Any flaw in any of them can lower your ranking. Let us now examine them in greater depth.

What exactly is On-Page SEO?

Search engines do not examine a page in the same way that humans do. They can only read the page’s source code. When you right-click on any webpage, you should see an option to view the page’s code. If you are unfamiliar with HTML code, it will appear jumbled. However, it is this mess that search engines comb through in search of clues.

To understand on-page SEO, you must first understand HTML, the basic code that websites use. Please forgive the overly simplistic description, web developers!

A page’s source code is filled with tags that look like this:

a tag> Something that can be seen on your website. /closes that tag>

Anything enclosed by > is HTML code. Anything between two sets of tags could be placed on the page for a person to read. The text contained within the > instructs browsers and search engines on how to render the information contained between the tags.

As a result, if you had the following code:


Greetings and welcome to my website/title>

The title bar of the browser window would say “Welcome to my site.” If you were to use a search engine to find this page, the link you would click would be “Welcome to my site.”

Tags like title> help search engines understand what a web page is about. On-page SEO techniques modify these tags and the information they contain in order for search engines to display those pages to the appropriate types of searches (for example, by adding keywords) or for them to rank higher (by using keywords and tags that show more relevance to a search query).

The term “on-page SEO” refers to changes that are visible to readers. They can see the header if you include a header tag. If you rearrange your sentences to include more keywords, those changes will be visible. Thus, on-page SEO is a delicate balance of providing relevant information to search engines while not jeopardizing the information that your customers are reading on the page. You might recall a time about a decade ago when there were pages and pages of the same phrase. People disliked it, but search engines loved it. Search engines now penalize you for using this technique.

What exactly is off-page? SEO

On-page SEO instructs search engines on how to match pages to queries. Ranking pages that are related to the same query, on the other hand, is much more difficult. Search engines use a variety of signals to determine how relevant a page is in comparison to others.

Anything used outside of your site to improve these ranking signals is considered off-page SEO. The backlink is the most common. The theory behind Google’s early versions was that if a page outside of your website linked back to your page, creating a backlink, that was a sign of the website’s popularity. The more backlinks a page has, the higher it should be ranked. Furthermore, the popularity of the site linking to you could be used to weight each backlink.

Backlink profiling, guest posting, and other off-page SEO techniques are important for this reason. Your SEO company can help you get rid of low-quality backlinks that are holding you back and work on developing better ones. Backlink management is one of many off-page SEO techniques, but it is the simplest to explain.

What exactly is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is a catch-all category for SEO enhancements that do not fall into one of the other two categories. These changes are related to the code that runs behind the scenes on your website. If your technical SEO is poor, improving it can give you a small but significant boost in rankings.

Site speed is a simple example. People dislike having to wait for slow websites. If your pages take too long to load, you will be ranked lower than a comparable site with faster pages. This can be improved by caching your website on a CDN or reducing the file size of your images. Mobile friendliness is another example. If your site looks bad on a mobile device, search engines will notice and penalize it on mobile-specific search engines.

A good SEO firm will take care of all three of these aspects for your website. This is the most effective method for achieving the greatest shift in rankings. However, there are some SEO signals that are beyond any company’s control. Many search engines, for example, will use the age of a page or a site as a ranking factor. Furthermore, it can take months for a search engine to re-rank your site after a change.

True SEO is similar to gardening. It’s a little bit of constant work until you get the big harvest. After reading this article, you can ask your SEO firm how they intend to improve each area and where they are in the process.

If you need any help or advice for your own digital strategy, simply get in touch! You can also follow Viva Digital on Facebook to receive regular news, tips and how-tos in your feed. Thanks for reading.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

With more than 20 years of industry experience in the UK, USA and Australia under his belt, Paul Smith is a seasoned professional who will infuse your digital marketing with his wealth of knowledge and expertise. Paul specialises in digital strategy, SEO and data analytics.