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Well, I would say both are of equally importance and one must practice both of these techniques in order to get best SEO results.
As search engine like Google gives more emphasis to a webpage, which is well optimized according to its criteria.
But at the same time a webpage should have considerable number of quality and diversified backlinks to be on the top of search results. For my website I hired SAG IT SOLUTIONS and they are taking care of both of the factors and I am pretty satisfied with the results.
SEO represents Search Engine Optimization . It helps to increase page rank of the website/a blog. SEO can be classified in to two categories . 1. On page SEO and 2. Off page SEO .
In search engine optimization, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results in popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density. The most important on Page SEO Tips are:
1. Proper URL structures
2. Image optimization
3. Text formatting
Off page SEO refers to techniques that can be used to improve the position of a web site in the search engine results page (SERPs). Many people associate off-page SEO with link building . In general, off Page SEO has to do with promotion methods beyond website design for the purpose of ranking a website higher in the search results in poular search engines like Google, Yahoo etc.
In my point of view, On page optimization is the best solution to increas traffic and page rank .
Nowadays, there are so many domain providers offers SEO services to the domain buyers to increase their website page rank. Search Engine Visibility service is available.
As much as on-page SEO is very important i will take off-page SEO as more important because while off-page SEO gets you there, On-page SEO keeps you there. I have seen sites disobey SEO laws and yet rank high in search engines, why? Off-page SEO is the reason. In an article i saw somewhere both on-page and off-page SEO were analysed and the verdict announced. Check it out.
On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO: Which is more important? http://bit.ly/Xim97L
Well, the answer is really both, as you noted. But if you could only have one, it would be on-site, starting with decent and fresh content, and then moving on to standard SEO practices (meta tags, keywords, etc.). But it is really a two part exercise, and you will have difficulty organically growing site traffic without some off-site SEO (as you clearly have recognized). Cheers!