From an SEO perspective, the main task after creating a site is to ensure it reaches your target audience through search engines. To make your site visible, you should improve your ranking to get to the top of the search results pages (SERPs). Getting to the top is a long journey and includes various SEO techniques, and not all of the strategies are directly related to the content and design of your site.
One such effective method to boost rankings is off-page SEO. This technique refers to all the activities you do outside your website to improve its ranking.
Many consider Off-page SEO to be limited to link building, but that’s not the case. It also includes any strategies you implement without making any changes to your website or its content, like improving branded searches, shares on social platforms, citation building, content marketing, third-party reviews, etc.
Let’s talk about it in detail.
Why off-page is important
The quality of the content on a website alone cannot improve rankings with Google or any other search engine. A variety of off-page considerations decide how a site ranks.
Without off-page SEO, your site will never be able to outrank other pages that already have more authority – and that’s a critical factor for Google and other major indexes. That’s why, according to Pete Meyers from Moz, website owners spend around 30% of their marketing budget on off-page SEO.
There are different tactics to improve the authority of your website. These techniques will help improve the rankings of your site and help build a brand that is recognized by a larger audience. So, let’s dive deeper into a few key strategies.
Popular Off-page SEO techniques
1. Link building
Links are always included in the top ranking factors that Google takes into account while assessing any website. If many high-authority websites link to your pages, it gives you authority. Such links act as a recommendation one page offers to another.
The main focus of link building is to gain more links from higher authority websites. Quality must always be given preference over quantity to raise your website’s authority. Link building is not as easy as it sounds, and a well-planned approach is necessary for it to be effective.
A successful backlinking proposal must focus on mutual benefit to both your brand and potential hosts. Before conducting your outreach, look into their content and try to identify any gaps. They may have some pages that go over a high-level concept but lack an in-depth analysis. Also, analyze the current viral trends and develop a plan to include this in your offer. These strategies will prepare you to make an enticing offer that adds value and will surely pique the interest of potential content hosts.
There are metrics that SEO examines when determining how Google ranks a site’s authority. The main factors SEO tools consider in link building are the authority score, domain diversity, and topic relevance:
- Authority score: a bespoke metric that many SEO tools have created in an attempt to quantify the SEO performance and the aggregate quality of a page. It should be noted that no version of authority score (Domain Authority, Page Authority, etc) is a ranking factor used by Google – they merely try to approximate how they think Google may be measuring authority.
- Topic relevance: this has great importance, and care must be taken to ensure that the content’s topic always matches search queries.
- Domain diversity: getting backlinks from just 3-4 sites is not as valuable as links from many different sites (even if there are hundreds of backlinks from those 3-4 sites). For better ranking, you need to get links from different reliable domains constantly.
Picking the right donor may be quite complicated. Even once you get links you should continue to monitor them to ensure the referring domain is still considered reliable, and the link still exists with the anchor you agreed on.
Tools to check your backlinks and pick donors
- SE Ranking – has a Backlink Checker tool that shows domain authority, the ratio of nofollow/dofollow backlinks, page trust, top anchors used for backlinks, etc. It also helps you track your new and lost backlinks.
- Majestic – this versatile service also helps discover sites linking to you, as well as a backlink checker for any website. It also finds mutual links between two sites and selects donors that are close to your topic.
- SEOquake – this is a Google Chrome extension that shows all the basic SEO data on a website, including ranking, keywords, inbound and outbound links, etc. It may help you greatly in selecting the right donors for your backlinks.
- Buzzstream – is a browser extension that is mostly used for bulk outreach campaigns. You can mark sites of interest, quickly find the appropriate contacts for guest posts, etc.
2. Building your brand
Google takes into account brands a lot! Brand building is an excellent marketing strategy that can help you widen your brand’s reach and at the same time, acts as an off-page SEO resource.
Brand building combines with your website’s authority, and different methods must be implemented to gain more searches about your brand. When a new brand trends widely, it creates curiosity among users and there tends to be an increase in brand searches.
The brand-building methods you adopt help search engines understand the credibility of your website. Once a brand starts to be popularly recognized, it will automatically earn a lot of mentions and links across various platforms, without any effort from you.
3. Social Media Marketing
While traffic from social media platforms does not directly affect a site’s ranking, it helps increase your brand awareness. Brand mentions and shares on social media can position your product directly in front of potential customers. As people take an interest and talk about your brand, more people may search for it, using brand-specific keywords and make it more visible in the search results. Social Media influences SEO in 6 different ways:
- extensive content distribution;
- better brand visibility in the search results;
- a longer lifespan for posts;
- enhance brand reputation;
- increase brand recognition;
- boost local SEO.
Your presence on social media creates a sense of trust among clients, making them feel more open and approachable, which is significant. And this helps increase your brand searches.
4. Content Marketing
Content marketing is not only about writing articles for your company’s blog but also about activities outside of your site, and most are closely connected to link building. So, your task here is to prepare great content that others will post and share. Be sure to always keep backlinks in mind.
- Guest posting – A guest post is valuable content other sites related to your niche publish for you. Typically, a guest post will contain a link with an anchor to one of your landing pages.
- Quizzes – Come in all shapes and sizes and are a great way to draw attention and engage with your audience. A travel agency may opt to go for a more fun strategy and create quizzes around the brand. For instance, “Find out where your next dream vacation will be”. Or, an SEO company may create a quiz “How much do you know about SEO?” and challenge users to put their knowledge to the test.
- White Papers – Are an excellent tool for disseminating information across a wide audience of interested parties. With a white paper, a brand can make its claim to excellence and allow those who agree to share this article with the world when they wish to support their opinions. Here’s a nice example of a guest post that is both interesting for readers and effective for off-page SEO: https://zapier.com/blog/competitive-landscape-analysis/
- Shareable infographics – this technique can bring you up to 5% more backlinks than a usual blog post. Interesting and useful infographics are scattered all over the Internet, and you often get free mentions and backlinks when others share them. A good infographic that is commonly shared looks something like this: https://www.dailyinfographic.com/calories-infographic.
- Videos – uploaded to YouTube, videos can bring more traffic to your site and be ranked by both the video platform and Google.
- Press releases – if you have some great news to share about your company, do it on niche sites. They can be both free and paid, and some even get featured in Google News.Here’s an example of an effective press release posted on PR Newswire: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hubspot-expands-its-crm-platform-with-the-launch-of-operations-hub-301273824.html
You or your marketing team are probably already using some of these techniques and just didn’t think of it as off-page SEO. Still, the content you distribute does significantly impact your site’s ranking and brand awareness.
The importance of off-page SEO is too high to be ignored, especially given how competitive digital marketing has become. Proper understanding of off-page SEO and implementing it in the right way can have a huge impact on the ranking and authority of your webpage.
All techniques that fall under off-page SEO must be understood and improved. Proper monitoring is also needed to understand the ups and downs of a webpage and how each of your actions affect it.
With consistent and gradual off-page SEO, your site will rank higher in the search results, bringing more traffic and conversions.