Between technical optimization and popularity, which SEO to choose?

by bold-lichterman

SEO is influenced by over 200 factors that help improve the visibility of your web pages and increase their chances of achieving the highest levels of search engine results. We often wonder which of the two is more relevant to our site. What if the answer was: simply both?

Which SEO to choose?

SEO is roughly divided into two types of SEO: on-site, which relates to everything that allows the site to exist in the eyes of search engines; and off-site, these indirect criteria that influence the positioning of pages via their popularity on the Web. Should we choose one of the two rather than the other, and if so, which one?

A priori, the answer to this question depends on the needs of each individual. For a young site that has just been created, where nothing has yet been done, correct positioning will first require work on all aspects of SEO: internal architecture, technical optimization, writing relevant content with work on keywords, on the one hand; and an intense lobbying campaign to find inbound links from the best possible sites, on the other hand.

However, this is different for a site that is already cruising and which, depending on its state of health, may need to activate one rather than the other. The need to play on-site or off-site, or both, is determined by a preliminary step consisting of a SEO technical analysis of the website which makes it possible to draw up an assessment. It is then that we will look at the side of the two SEO levers to see which will be the most relevant.

On-site SEO

On-site SEO goes directly to your pages to make search engines see them and rank them high in their results. This type of SEO aims to best apply the criteria imposed by search engines to crawl, index and position web pages. In short, the work on the on-site comes down to placing signals on each page to attract the gaze of Google robots; The next step is to prove to them that your content will be able to respond with relevance to Internet users’ requests for the chosen key words and phrases.

In the on-site SEO category, we find:

  • The structure and architecture of the pages (optimization of HTML tags, in particular);

  • The quality of the content (enhanced by the Panda algorithm, which affects text, images and videos as well);

  • The relevance of the words and key phrases worked on (by playing on niche queries, on which it is easier to climb to the top of the SERPs than on too general queries and already worked on by all your competitors);

  • Technical performance (the speed at which pages are displayed influences the crawl of Google robots, to which a certain crawl time is allocated; the faster the pages are displayed, the more time the robots will have to explore your site in depth; and the more active pages you have, the better your positioning will be).

Off-site SEO

On the off-site side, SEO is interested in all the levers that are external to your site, but which help to build your reputation. PageRank, as it is called, measures the popularity of a web page. And just like in school, popularity stems from the amount of people who talk about you and scrutinize your actions – which translates, on the Internet, by the quantity and especially the quality of inbound links that lead to your pages.

Inbound links were one of the first significant factors put in place by Google for site SEO. The search engine sees it as a sort of vote of confidence for the web community. But this vote must be fed by the quality of the sites on which the links are published: the more they have good authority, the greater the impact on your ranking will be. In other words, better to have fewer links, but of quality, than to have thousands of medium or low quality.

To choose between on-site and off-site, you have to take both!

A fortiori, it is therefore impossible to favor one natural referencing strategy over another. The on-site and the off-site are two sides of the same coin, and the good optimization of your pages results from a conjunction between these two SEO levers.

One does not go without the other. By itself, working on the architecture and internal quality of your site will not be enough to place your pages at the top of the SERP results – even if these criteria are essential. You can have the best content in the world, on the most innovative site on the planet, but if no one links to it through backlinks, it will hardly remain visible.

The reverse is just as true. To obtain inbound links, you must first make your site visible to Google robots responsible for indexing it, then offer quality content that will encourage Internet users to insert links to your pages in their publications. With quality content, bloggers, webmasters, or commenters will spontaneously link to your site, because they will be happy with its content. The efficient technique also has an impact on your popularity, because it affects the customer experience. In other words, the off-site follows directly from the on-site.

Between technical optimization of the site and work on external popularity, it is therefore better to opt for… both at the same time! Because the on-site and the off-site form the best possible team to succeed in SEO!

Andrea BensaidAndrea Bensaid is the founder of the SEO agency Eskimoz, based in Paris and with 10 years of experience in SEO. He supports businesses of all sizes in their web visibility strategy. Find it on:

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