Onsite & Offsite Search Engine Optimization: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Optimizing your website is no small feat, and Google’s mysterious algorithms are certainly not easy to impress. Online marketing providers who want their sites to be seen must execute an organized and effective promotional strategy that includes a mix of search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, broadly classified into two efforts: onsite and offsite.

Onsite or on-page SEO is exactly what it sounds like: creating and updating certain elements on your website so that Google and other search engines can “read” and comprehend its content and structure. While page titles and descriptions are readily visible to human site visitors, there are a lot of elements involving under-the-hood engineering and coding that make a webpage accessible to search engines.

Think of it this way: Some of the factors you, as a human user, may use to assess a site’s value are spelling and grammar, subject matter, and visual appeal. A search engine, on the other hand, assesses a site’s value based what it can “see,” such as how well the code is authored, whether hyperlinks work or are broken, and if there are “orphaned” or “dead-end” pages with no links to guide users from other areas of the site.

While onsite tactics form the backbone of a successful website, these efforts alone may not yield much reward if a search engine does not perceive the site to be authoritative or trustworthy enough to warrant a high placement in its SERPs (search engine results pages), or if the demographic you want to target does not see your content.

Offsite or off-page promotional tactics help bridge this gap. One method of offsite promotion is link building. Search engines assess third-party references or “links” to the website as part of their own due diligence, so the creation of hyperlinks to your own site from another high-ranking, authoritative third-party source establishes its relevance, authority, and usefulness – and ultimately, its ranking.

Another way to generate interest in your website is to promote it to a demographic that is likely to be interested in its content. This is where the intelligent use of social media channels can shine. While a sound overarching social media strategy needs to be created and followed – and can require significant money, time, and effort for this investment to drive ROI – it can be a very precise in targeting your demographic.

Ultimately, while your first concern should be to establish good onsite SEO, you must sustain your momentum with sufficient offsite efforts to build and maintain high rankings over time.

Aishu Ravishankar

Aishu is MetaMed’s in-house clinical copywriter, creating patient- and SEO-friendly material for MetaMed’s clients.

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