What's the difference between "on page" and "off page" SEO? These terms are routinely tossed around as if those new to the art and science of search engine optimization were to understand them without question. Let's try and clarify this terminology a bit.
On-page SEO concentrates on page content and the structure of the website (navigation for instance), while off-page optimization focuses more on your site's relationship with other sites. Both on-page and off-page are essential to achieving a better rank on search result pages.
On-page optimization techniques include (but are not limited to) content writing/optimization, the title-tag, several META-Tags, headlines & text decoration, alt- and title-attributes and sitemaps. The focus of off-page optimization is link building (whether through direct exchanges with other sitse, directory submissions, article writing, press releases, etc.)
When someone speaks about achieving success with SEO, you can count on the fact that they have successfully balanced their efforts with on-page and off-page SEO. In the end however, those with the most links wins so after you've developed good content and the appropriate meta data for each page, move forward full-force with building links. In fact, I would advise that at least 80% of your time should be spent marketing your site, earning links and the remainder of your web time be spent writing new content and fixing issues which impact conversion.