SEO and Analytics

Onsite vs. Offsite SEO: Striking the Right Balance for B2B Success

March 6, 2024
By Guest

Let’s face it: if you’re a business owner reading this article, you’re probably spinning a lot of plates. You’re not getting the results you need from your digital marketing, and you’re trying to figure out why. 

While marketing is key to any B2B company’s success, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing realm of SEO – especially when it comes to differentiating and executing onsite and offsite SEO

This guide will break down what these two commonly confused terms mean. We’ll also take a deep dive into how to strike a balance between the two, and find the perfect SEO formula that works for your business. 

Understanding Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO refers to the elements on your website that you can directly optimize to improve search engine rankings, and to improve the user experience. High-quality content is the crux of onsite SEO. 

Here are examples of onsite elements you could optimize:

  1. Page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs
  2. Image titles and alt text
  3. Heading structure
  4. Keywords in headings and copy
  5. Internal links 
  6. Schema markup 
  7. Location details
  8. Page speed 
  9. Security 
  10. Privacy

Expertise and quality also indirectly influence your ranking, so they should be considered among your optimization tasks. From articles to product descriptions, make sure that every piece of content on your website is not only well-written but also offers value to the person at the other end of the screen. 

By consistently providing high-quality content, you earmark your website as a trusted source on which search engines and other websites can rely for accurate information. 

Let’s say you have a B2B eCommerce website, but your web pages aren’t optimized for the relevant keywords. You’ll not only deter potential clients who scan the content and don’t see what they expected to find in that first glance, but also ensure that Google buries your website so that no one can find it

A well-organized site structure goes a long way toward improving your SERP rankings. Make sure your website design is up to scratch, with clear breadcrumbs, navigation menus, and internal links. This not only helps users to find key pages quickly, but also enables search engines to quickly crawl and index your website and content, leading to better rankings and search engine visibility. 

If we’re talking about design, I can’t help but emphasize the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. With mobile devices generating 58.67% of global website traffic in 2023, having a website that looks good on mobile is a no-brainer. It’s not only crucial to attract, convert, and retain clients, but also to determine whether search engines deem your website valuable or not. 

It’s important to remember, however, that mobile responsiveness on its own won’t move the SEO needle, as it’s part of a larger system that we call technical SEO. This term includes all technical aspects, such as page speed, XML sitemaps, URL structures, broken pages, meta descriptions and title tags. 

Image and video optimization are also a key part of technical SEO. Having a great image or video is of no use to an article’s SEO if its size is negatively impacting your site speed, doesn’t reflect the topic you’re writing about, or has no alt text. 

By taking control of these technical pieces, you can ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website, and your hard work pays off.

Unpacking Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO is all about the strategies that take place away from your website, but still have an impact on your search engine rankings. Although offsite SEO is often overlooked, it’s key to building your brand – not only in the eyes of potential clients, but also Google. 

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is an effective offsite SEO strategy that many businesses use with the aim of reaching a large but highly-targeted audience. 

KAU Media Group explains one of the benefits of Google Ads is the “level of precision means you can display your ads to the people who are most likely to be interested in your products and services, increasing the relevance and effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.” 

Ads build awareness of your business and offering, create potential for repeat visits and conversions, and help get traffic to your site quickly while you lay the onsite SEO foundations. 

Digital PR is another important aspect of offsite SEO, as it’s all about influencing brand perception

This includes writing a blog for another site, getting reviewed by a prominent industry publication or professional, or getting featured in a respected online journal. It can also include podcast interviews, which is a good way to position yourself and your company as a leader in your field, while increasing Google searches for your brand name

Another crucial element of offsite SEO is link building, i.e. increasing the number of quality backlinks pointing to your website. 

Backlinks are often referred to as “votes” from other websites that confirm your website is providing value, unique insight, informative resources and therefore valuable to audiences. The more backlinks (votes) you have from quality websites, the more likely you are to rank well.  

But there’s a catch. Not all backlinks are created equal. If these “votes” come from low-quality websites or ones known for selling links, you could do more harm than good. Therefore, it’s important to focus your offsite SEO efforts on earning backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites that make sense in relation to your industry. 

Onsite and offsite SEO: How to Strike the Right Balance

So, how should you approach onsite and offsite SEO? Is it a case of onsite vs. offsite SEO, where you should prioritize one over the other? 

No, they’re equally important. Focusing on one and ignoring the other creates an imbalance that can take years – plus a lot of time, money, and resources – to fix. 

Here are tips on how to tackle onsite and offsite SEO as two sides of the same coin.

1. Establish a Strong Foundation

Before venturing to offsite SEO, it’s important to ensure your website has everything it needs to be a solid anchor for your online presence. 

Invest in optimizing your website’s structure, content, and technical SEO to provide an excellent user experience and send those all-important, positive signals to search engines. 

Without a well-optimized (and high quality) website, your offsite SEO efforts will be in vain. 

2. Leverage Offsite SEO to Amplify Your Onsite SEO Efforts

Once you’ve nailed your onsite SEO game, it’s time to add offsite SEO strategies to the mix. 

Focus on building high-quality backlinks from trusted websites within your industry. You can reach out to publications, get listed in directories, seek reviews, or even hire a specialist in link building. 

In addition, consider guest blogging for other websites, engaging with relevant social media communities, and potentially getting a PR agent on board to strengthen your brand’s authority and overall online presence. 

3. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to a solid offsite SEO strategy, quality wins. 

Instead of pursuing a high volume of backlinks to your latest article, prioritize earning high-quality backlinks that are actually relevant to your industry

When it comes to website authority and performing well in organic search rankings, a few high-quality backlinks carry more weight than low-quality ones from irrelevant – or even spammy – sources. 

4. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

In an increasingly social media-driven world, social media engagement has become an essential part of offsite SEO

B2B-friendly platforms like LinkedIn allow you to build relationships with other companies, publish articles directly on the platform, and direct your followers to your website. 

By engaging with your social media audience, you can increase brand visibility and therefore attract natural backlinks. 

5. Diversify Your Link Portfolio

Avoid focusing only on one type of backlink, and instead try to diversify your link portfolio by earning backlinks from a variety of sources. That might involve: 

  • Industry publications
  • Guides
  • Images
  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • Directory listings
  • Guest blogging

Choosing a variety of sources not only amplifies your website authority, but also reduces the risk of being penalized by search engines. It creates a more holistic profile.  

6. Integrate Onsite and Offsite SEO Efforts

Instead of separating onsite and offsite SEO strategies, integrate them. 

For instance, improve your onsite SEO by writing a keyword-friendly article. Then, leverage it by distributing it on LinkedIn to earn backlinks from other business owners who follow you there. 

You can also use Google Ads to identify great keywords for your organic content, and use those same keywords in organic social media posts to attract people performing searches on those platforms. 

7. Focus on the User Experience

Ultimately, both onsite and offsite SEO strategies must put user experience at the forefront of their efforts. 

Whether it’s optimizing your website for site speed or rolling out a press campaign, having a website that provides a seamless experience goes a long way towards converting casual visitors into clients

Don’t be afraid to switch things up!

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s important to regularly monitor your website metrics, review your onsite and offsite SEO strategies, and switch things up when things don’t work. 

Remember that successful campaigns don’t happen overnight, and there will be a lot of trial and error before striking gold. Only by adapting your strategy can you reach your website’s full potential.

Daniel Groves

Daniel Groves achieved a 1st class honours degree in Business Economics. Since graduating, Daniel has collaborated with a number of online publications with the aim to further develop his knowledge and share his experience with like-minded entrepreneurs, business owners and growth strategists. Connect with Daniel on Twitter/X.