SEO can be divided into two large groups, off-site and on-site. Both categories have a huge umbrella that covers a lot of different tactics and strategies. The terms are pretty self-explanatory, but for the sake of consistency here’s a quick definition.
- Off-site- work that takes place on other websites. Link building and social media are great examples.
- On-site- work that takes place (you guessed) on your site. Fixing meta tags and internal linking.
One big misconception is that SEO largely depends on link building. While we absolutely affirm the value of building links, there’s more to SEO than just link building. One of the reasons people like link building so much is that it’s very tangible.
If we only focus on getting our clients links we can send them a report showing how many links we built along with the domain authority of each link. The client sees it and feels like they’re getting their money’s worth so we high five and call it a meeting.
The problem here is that no amount of links will convert leads into sales.
Links will help improve your rankings, but that’s not the end goal of SEO. Driving sales and making conversions, that’s what it’s all about. This is where on-site work comes in.
Doing AB testing to see what works best and trying new lead capture techniques has to be a part of your SEO strategy. Tweaking things here and there to keep bounce rates low and time on-site high is every bit as important as link building. Getting links and climbing up to the top spot is only half the battle at best.
The scary part about doing on-site work like this is it takes time and it’s a lot of trial and error. So basically it’s a client’s worse nightmare. This kind of work is hard to explain and even harder to put in a pretty spreadsheet.
It’s really important to understand this perception when explaining your SEO strategy. You can’t afford to fixate on links, or anyone facet of SEO, because you’ll come up short every time.
A holistic SEO approach that includes both sides is the best way to go.