On-page SEO is all about what goes on the page. It is mainly focused on making sure you use the right keywords in the right places, such as in the URL, the title tag, the headline, the ALT tags and in various other locations.
There are other factors involved in good on-page SEO, such as linking out to a few relevant authority sites from each of your web pages, and linking to other pages in your website. This has the added advantage of improving the user experience for visitors to your site.
On-page SEO is generally the part which most people find easier to start with, but you could still benefit from hiring a search consultant to help you. However, some continue to question just how important it is for ranking purposes, and it is generally accepted that this alone will not boost your rankings considerably. For that, you have to combine it with off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO primarily involves link building. Links are important because they are seen as ‘votes’ for your website, suggesting that it must be relatively interesting or important if lots of people are linking to it.
To a certain extent, your content should generate its own links over time if it is of value. You could therefore argue that if you create good SEO content from the start then you won’t have to focus on off-page SEO.
However, you often need to start by building links yourself, and this involves building links via social media channels, social bookmarking, article directories, press release directories and more.