What is Off-page SEO? Why is it Important?

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Off-page SEO is part of the three-pronged strategy to mastering search engine optimization. Off-page uses strategies that go beyond the design of your website to improve its search engine rankings. While on-page SEO focuses on optimizing elements of your website, off-page SEO focuses on the actions and efforts that you may not be able to control. Primarily concerned with link building tactics and inbound links from other websites, off-page SEO also goes deeper in targeting social promotion.

Why is Off-page SEO Important?

Search engines, like Google and Bing, consider many off-page factors when deciding when and where to rank web pages. Through link building and other link-related factors, it tells search engines that your website is important to others. Also, non-link-related factors helps to drive exposure and brand awareness attracting your target audience, ultimately creating more traffic for your website. These factors could be the difference between ranking in the top search results and being left behind.

What are Off-page SEO Ranking Factors?

Off-page SEO can be broken down into two categories: link-related factors and non-link-related factors. Link-related factors focus on acquiring quality hyperlinks from other websites to your own, also known as link building. Non-link-related factors focus on the promotion of your website.

Link-related

Link Building

When it comes to off-page SEO, link building is one of the most popular and effective off-page SEO methods. Link building is about acquiring as many quality backlinks to your website. Each link you earn is like a ‘vote’ which tells search engines that your page has valuable information that is useful to users. The more ‘votes’ you acquire, the more likely your page will show up for a search query.

However, not all links are created equal. Some links are more valuable than others depending on where they come from. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about a healthy diet, would you rather have a link from the Food Network or another food blog? Backlinks from trusted and high-authority sites are considered most valuable.

There are three kinds of links you can earn for your site: natural links, manual links and self-created links. Natural links occur organically and are editorially given as a reference to another website. For example, a food blogger adding a link to their post about their favourite restaurant is a natural link.

A manual link is earned through deliberate action. If you’re just starting out or you have a new business, this is something you may want to do. This involves reaching out to website owners and bloggers, asking them to link to you. You can also ask customers to link to your website or ask influencers to share your content.

If you’re going to reach out to bloggers or influencers, make sure they’re relevant to your business. Identifying people who are in your industry or share a connection is a good way to judge who to contact. The easiest way to earn manual links is asking your friends and family to share the link to your website.

As the name implies, self-created links are links that you create yourself. You can add these links in online forums or directory, comment signature and in a press release. It is important to be cautious because some self-created link building strategies lean towards black hat SEO techniques. Generally, this type of link is frowned upon and carries less weight than editorially given links.

Link Authority

Like mentioned earlier, not all links hold the same value. The quality of the link you’re acquiring matters. This is how Google’s PageRank works. PageRank assigns a score to every search result. The higher the page’s score, the higher the page will rank in search results. A link from a page with high authority will pass on more authority to the page it links to. This means a link from a high-authority page is worth more than one from a low-authority page.

A link’s quality is also determined by a page and domain authority. Page authority refers to how well a specific page will rank in SERPs. Domain authority is how well a website will rank and is calculated by evaluating linking domains and total number of links. If you earn a link from a specific page with high page authority, that link is more valuable. The more high-quality backlinks you earn, the higher your domain authority will be.

Anchor Text

The anchor text in a link is the clickable word or words that are hyperlinked. When creating anchor text for links, it is important to use different keyword phrases, brand names and generic terms. Refreshing the anchor text allows Google to view your links not as spam, but natural.

It is also important to create relevant anchor text. Creating anchor text and linking to relevant web pages is important to ranking. Search engines evaluate the webpage you’re linking to in relation to the content on your page to see if it matches.

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Non-link-related

Guest Blogging

Just like creating high-quality content on your own website, guest blogging is creating content for other relevant websites. Creating useful and relevant content will likely benefit your search engine ranking position and bring more traffic to your website.

When you choose to guest blog for another website, you start to establish a relationship with that blog hosting your post. You also start to share their audience generating additional exposure while establishing authority among the audience. By contributing to new sites, you should be able to build new links on websites creating backlinks for your own site.

Social Media

If you’re confident in your website and content, why not promote it through social media? Social promotion is about building your brand awareness. Being active on social media is important in creating a rapport with your audience. The more people see your brand and company, the more familiarity they will have.

While being active on social media won’t necessarily help with your search visibility, it’s still important to engage your customers with valuable content. Increasing engagement, especially with sharing posts, can create more backlinks for that specific page.

For more information about social media promotion, check out our Facebook Marketing Guide.

YouTube

YouTube is considered the world’s second-largest search engine and is a remarkable platform to build your brand awareness. Creating your own brand channel and using videos to engage with your customers is a way to build familiarity.

As of 2018, 32% of video content worldwide came from people and blogs. Recycling your content into videos is a great way to engage your audience. YouTube can provide additional links and signals among your other platforms.

SlideShare

LinkedIn SlideShare is a hosting service for business content like presentations, infographics and videos. It serves as another channel to build your awareness by promoting your brand and content. SlideShare allows you to increase your link visibility by inserting clickable links within presentations and profile. Embedding links will help grow your reach of your on-page content.
SlideShare can also help with social shares. Since SlideShare is a social-sharing platform, you can link to your Facebook, Twitter and even Google page. The more shares your content has, the better it will perform on SlideShare.

Shareable Content

Although the content of your website is on the on-page side of SEO, having great content that is unique and useful can help in the shareability of your site. If you have content that is informative and valuable, the more likely it will be shared. That could include shares and likes on social media or even someone sharing the content on their own website creating a backlink for you.

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Google My Business

Google My Business is a free business profile that allows you to include information helpful in attracting customers. Your profile allows you to add your business address, phone number, hours of operation and website.
This is how people can find you when they make searches like “restaurants near me” or “shoes near me”. Creating and maintaining your Google My Business profile is critical in ranking for queries with local intent.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews have increasingly played an important role in local organic rankings. According to Moz, Google uses review signals as a local organic ranking factor. Google also pulls reviews from credible third-party sites.

Reviews are important in helping customers decide on their purchase. They help to build your reputation as a business by showcasing trustworthiness and customer service. Reviews can be used to build trust and engage with your audience and can help your business stay personal and up-to-date.

Local citations

Name, address and phone number (NAP) citations are pieces of information about your business. This information displays the name of your business, your address and phone number. Local citations can impact your local search ranking and help users discover local businesses.

If the information about a business is accurate, search engines will trust the validity of the data, strengthening the authority of the business. NAP citations are also beneficial in helping customers. Accurate citations help potential customers find a local business, which can help to drive in-store foot traffic and conversions through phone calls.

Conclusion

Off-page SEO might seem harder than on-page SEO because you may not have entire control over the factors. But, off-page SEO is just as important as on-page SEO. If you want to have a successful SEO strategy, both are needed.

Off-page SEO focuses on improving the perception of your site’s quality for search engines and users. Working hard to build and earn strong and relevant incoming links will improve your site’s authority. Promoting through social promotion and guest blogging can increase your brand awareness.

In the end, SEO as a complete strategy, especially off-page SEO, requires a lot of time and effort so be motivated to tackle challenges. The efforts you consistently apply to your website can pay off in the future

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