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Between technical optimization and popularity, what SEO to choose?

SEO is influenced by over 200 factors that help improve the visibility of your web pages and increase their chances of achieving the highest degrees of search engine results. One often wonders which of the two is most relevant to its site. And if the answer was: both, simply?

What SEO to choose?

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

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

However, it is different for a site 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 prior step consisting of an SEO technical analysis of the website that makes it possible to draw up a balance sheet. It is then that we will look at the side of the two SEO levers to see which one will be most relevant.

On-site SEO

On-site referencing touches directly on your pages to ensure that search engines see them and rank them in a good position in their results. This type of SEO aims to apply best the criteria imposed by search engines to crawl, index and position web pages. In short, work on the on-site results in placing signals on each page to attract the eye of Google's robots; then to prove to them that your contents will be able to respond with relevance to the queries of the Net surfers on the chosen words and key phrases.

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On-site referencing includes:

Structure and architecture of pages (optimization of HTML tags, in particular);


The quality of the content (valued by the Panda algorithm that affects text, images, and videos);


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


Technical performance (the speed of page display influences the crawl of Google crawlers, which is allocated a certain amount of time to crawl, the faster the pages are displayed, the more robots will have time 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 that help to make your reputation. PageRank, as it is called, measures the popularity of a web page. And like at school, popularity stems from some people who talk about you and scrutinize your actions - which translates, on the Internet, by the quantity and especially the quality of incoming links that direct to your pages.

Inbound links were one of the first significant factors put in place by Google for SEO sites. Indeed, the search engine sees it as a kind of vote of confidence in the web community. But this vote must feed on the quality of the sites on which the links are published: the more they have good authority, the greater the impact on your ranking. In other words, it is better to have fewer links, but 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 privilege a strategy of natural referencing rather than another. The on-site and off-site are two sides of the same coin, and the right optimization of your pages stems from a conjunction between these two SEO levers.

One does not go without the other. In 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 nobody returns to it through backlinks, it will hardly be visible.

The reverse is equally true. To get inbound links, you first need to make your site visible to Google's robots to index it, then offer quality content that will encourage users to insert links to your pages in their publications. With quality content, bloggers, webmasters or commentators will spontaneously create links to your site because they will be satisfied with its content. The powerful technique also has an impact on your popularity, because it plays on the customer experience. In other words, the off-site stems directly from on-site.

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

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Jonathan Loiselle | Toronto #1 SEO Expert, Specialist & Consultant



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