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Onsite vs. offsite SEO — what’s the right mix?

4 min read

Marketing Strategy

Onsite and offsite SEO are incredibly important components to improving your website’s ability to organically rank on search engines.

Onsite SEO uses keywords to optimize your website, while offsite SEO uses press releases, content publication and guest blogging to help your site rank. Through the proper mix of onsite and offsite SEO, your website could be on the first or second page of Google, instead of the 10th.

Onsite and offsite SEO are important tools to any inbound marketing campaign. Both of these are effective separately, but to get the most out of SEO, you should use onsite and offsite together.

Onsite SEO

A crucial piece to onsite SEO is keywords. If you use the wrong keywords, you run the risk of driving the wrong people to your website. You might be optimizing your website based on keywords you think people are searching, but those keywords might not be the ones people are actually using. The best way to get the right keywords is by doing extensive keyword research. Google provides a basic tool to do this research. If you want more complete results, use marketing software like HubSpot, Marketa or Eloqua.

After finding the right keywords, apply your keyword research to your optimization efforts. To do this, identify the relevant keywords for each page of your site and then weigh search volume vs. competition/difficulty. Once you do this, create your educational content around those keywords. Remember to use your keywords appropriately throughout your website. You should use keywords in every title and headline of those pages. Also use them in every meta tag, meta description, image tag and URL for those pages.

After you do this initial onsite optimization, there are a few things you can do to improve your optimization. Readjust your keyword strategy. Are there any new keywords you can add to your site? Are there any keywords that aren’t effective anymore? Look at your strategy and adjust it to bring continued optimization.

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO is a little more difficult. It also requires ongoing effort. The majority of search engines are looking for other sites to link to your site, which indicates good content. It used to be the case that having more websites that wanted to link back to your website meant your site had good content. However, this is no longer the situation due to black-hat backlink tactics. Now, search engines look for respectable websites that want to link with your website. You might be asking why this is important. The answer: The more you’re connected to other respectable sites, the more optimization you have.

Two ways to create respectable backlinks are through press releases and guest blogging. When you create a press release, make sure it’s search engine optimized and has relevant links that lead back to your website. Then distribute it through an electronic wire service. Business Wire and PR Newswire are sites that will distribute your press releases to all news outlets.

Google’s Panda update was designed to prevent people from gaming the search engines with indexed mass distributed content, like press release distributed through wire services, so make sure your release doesn’t have more than two or three links.

The second thing you can do to create respectable backlinks is to guest blog. Reach out to blogs that target your potential customers. If you’re not sure what those blogs are, type “guest blogs” and your industry into a search engine. There should be several results that you can pick from. Reach out to those sites and offer to write a regular blog post. When you’re blogging, make sure to have links that lead back to your website.

The important thing to remember with offsite SEO is to do it frequently. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t distribute press releases and guest blogs often. You should be considering doing something like this on a monthly basis to truly optimize your off-site SEO efforts.

The combination of onsite and offsite SEO makes your website – and, therefore, your company – more visible to potential customers.

To learn more about how onsite and offsite SEO fit into an inbound marketing campaign, click on this link or the image to download our newest eBook, The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing.

Mike Lieberman, president and chief inbound scientist at Square 2 Marketing, is a regular contributor to SmartBlogs. You can follow him @Mike2Marketing. To follow Square 2 Marketing, use @Square 2.