Onsite, Offsite, Technical SEO: What is the difference?

Let’s be real, venturing into the SEO world is like floating and exploring in deep space. There is just endless knowledge and discovery in this area, it is not easy for a person to fully grasp the whole SEO spectrum.

And this is what we will be discussing today. We will take an overview of what exactly SEO is and differentiate the different types of SEO, so you will have a better understanding and know what to do in the future.


SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is a process to make your website more appealing in the eyes of search engines. Why is it important? Well, your website needs to be visible to the public, it needs to be searchable for people to reach your website.

After all, search engines like Google are usually where people turn to for everyday searches. This is how they start their online search journey.

While most of the time the term “SEO” is referring to the optimizing elements to improve your website’s search engine rankings. The same concept and practices can be applied to searches in other aggregators such as Amazon, Feedly, and LinkedIn.

Aggregator — a website or program that collects related items of content and displays them or links to them

– Oxford Languages


There are three types of SEO: Onsite SEO, offsite, SEO, and technical SEO.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO, also known as on-page SEO, is primarily concerned with the content on your website. It is about anything you can do within your website (content-wise) to improve your search engine ranking.

In simple words, onsite SEO focuses on adjusting and optimizing certain elements for both search engines and users. It aims to make it as easy as possible for search engine crawlers (or spiders) and humans to understand the content of your website, and to identify if a page is relevant to users’ search queries.

Search queries — the words and phrases that people type into a search box in order to pull up a list of results

– WordStream

These could be:

  • Image alt texts
  • Keywords
  • Headings
  • Meta descriptions
  • Titles

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO, or off-page SEO, focuses on everything that happens outside your website. It is primarily focusing on inbound links to your website—links that are coming from another external website to your own website.

These efforts include:

  • Backlinks
  • Guest blogging
  • Local SEO
  • Shareable content
  • Social media marketing

Unlike onsite SEO, some of these offsite efforts are out of your control. And some of it might take time and an ongoing effort to develop. This is mainly because for getting other websites to link to your website, especially to do it willingly, you first need to have good content.

And it gets trickier, simply because this is not only about linking random websites or having random websites to link to yours. It is about having quality backlinks from credible and respectable websites.

Technical SEO

Some people might combine onsite SEO and technical SEO since they are both about adjustments WITHIN your website. Understandable, but in reality, they are dealing with different aspects of a website. If onsite SEO is about content optimization, technical SEO is focused on the structural adjustments of a website.

Below is some technical fixes website owner should pay attention to

  • Broken links
  • Mobile-friendliness of a website
  • Page loading speed
  • Site architecture
  • URL structure


The answer is: All

Each of these focuses on different areas of SEO, but all play crucial roles in pushing up your website ranking, making it more visible, and ultimately, bringing in more conversions from organic traffic.  

Without technical SEO, you won’t be able to rank high even if you have the best content in the world because search engines can’t read your website.

If you don’t have onsite SEO, people won’t be able to search for your site. Let alone getting reputable backlinks (offsite SEO).

Focus on all 3 SEOs, but step-by-step

Your first concern should be technical SEO, this is the foundation of your website. If you don’t sort it out in the beginning, your website will lack ranking. 

Onsite SEO is important, these are adding value to help boost your already existing website ranking. If you have nothing to begin with, it doesn’t matter how much content you have, you just won’t rank high.

And when you think you have quite a good amount of content, that’s when you start thinking about offsite SEO. How to promote your content and how to get strong backlinks to further boost your rankings.

Start building a website today to bring your business to a new level.

If you know how to code and want to have full control over your website, go for content management systems like WordPress

If you are looking for an easier option and want to get your website up and running as soon as possible, a website builder will be a much simpler choice. You can try out Website.com, you can try out most of their features for free, and upgrade to a paid plan as your business grows.

Still not sure which platform you should choose? Check out this article to know more about the differences between a content management system and s website builder.