My week doesn’t end without hearing the question what is best, on-page SEO or Link Building, many people asked me whether they should spend their money on link building or on-page SEO. Though there are many SEO companies but if you ask them which is the best method they will suggest the method at which they are good. If they are good at on-page optimization then they will say it is the best method and if they are good at backlinking they say it is best.

But the fact is SEO is depended on your site and each and every website has to be optimized according to its requirement. I’m going to walk you through 4 cases and explain how I’d allocate your budgets for each one.

Case #1: The Specialist

70% On-page, 30% Link-building

The Specialist is an established site with a solid, trusted link profile and usually a good base of content. In many cases, it’s a site that’s evolved “organically”, which is a fancy word for “without a plan”.

The Specialist could be suffering from any or all of the following:

  • Keyword research is 5 years out of date
  • Internal links have grown like weeds
  • Site architecture doesn’t reflect business goals
  • Page TITLEs overlap or are duplicated
  • Old but valuable (i.e. linked-to) content is 404’ing

In many cases, no one notices, because The Specialist’s strong link profile and solid content keep it ranking well. The problem is that you’re sitting on a gold mine of untapped potential. Of course, The Specialist should keep building solid links, but a shift (even for a few months) to really planning and focusing on on-page issues, from keyword research on up, could produce huge dividends.

Case #2: The Perfectionist

30% On-page, 70% Link-building

The Perfectionist often comes out in new webmasters. They’ve read 500 SEO blogs and are following all the “rules” as best they can, but they’ve become so obsessed with building the “perfect” site that they’ve hit the point of rapidly diminishing returns. The Perfectionist wants to know how to squeeze 0.01% more SEO value out of an already good URL by moving one keyword.

It’s time for The Perfectionist to remember the 80/20 rule – there comes a point where your on-page is good enough, at least for now. You have to get Google to your site to put that on-page magic to work, and that means building links. It’s important to develop content (which is why I’ve left on-page at 30%), but put almost every other on-page tactic to the side temporarily and spend a solid 6 months developing and implementing a link-building campaign

Case #3: The Blistering Confusion

90% On-page, 10% Link-building

The Blistering Confusion  is a Google engineer’s fantasy (or possibly nightmare). She’s broken every single rule of on-page SEO, which worked fine for a while, but then came “May Day” and “Panda”, and now Google is even talking about penalizing her for optimizing too much. The Hot Mess has let something spin out of control, including:

  • Blocked crawl paths and bad redirects
  • Massive URL-based duplication
  • Excessive internal search, categories, and tags
  • Aggressive ad-to-content ratio
  • Extremely “thin” content
  • Nonsensical site architecture and internal linking
  • Keyword stuffing that would embarrass 1998

In some cases, this could be “over-optimization” and an attempt to manipulate the search engines, but in other cases the Hot Mess is just that – a mess. Whatever the cause, put down everything and start fixing the problems now. Chasing new links without fixing the mess is like having your carpets cleaned while your house is burning down.

Case #4: The Bad Boy

10% On-page, 90% Link-building

Finally, there’s the Bad Boy – he’s broken every rule in the Google link-building playbook, and they’ve finally noticed. This could be a large-scale devaluation or a Capital-P Penalty, including:

  • Paid links
  • Link farms, networks and exchanges
  • Excessive low-value links
  • Aggressive anchor-text targeting
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