Off-page SEO is one of the most important parts of a successful strategy. If you want to rank your site on Google and increase your brand’s visibility and organic search traffic in 2021, you need to be looking beyond your own site.
What Is Off-Page SEO? Step By Step Guide 2021?
In this guide, we are going to dive deep into off-page SEO and help you to understand what it is, why it is so important, and the tactics that you need to be using if you want to rank on Google and drive growth for your site.
It is often thought to just be link building, but in reality, there are far more off-page SEO tactics that you should be using if you want to gain a competitive advantage.
Tactics such as brand building, citation building, content marketing, social media, and more all play an important part in a comprehensive SEO strategy.
Why is Off-Page SEO important?
Search engines have been trying for decades to find a way to return the best results to the searcher.
To achieve this, they take into account a number of on-page SEO factors (described below), some other quality factors, and off-page SEO factors.
Off-page SEO gives them a very good indication of how the World (other websites and users) perceive the particular website.
A website that is high quality and useful is more likely to have references (backlinks) from other websites.
It is more likely to have brand mentions on social media (Facebook likes, tweets, Pins, etc.) and it is more likely to be bookmarked and shared among communities of like-minded users.
Off-Page SEO Techniques
Off-page SEO refers to activities you can perform outside the boundaries of your website. The most important off-page SEO techniques are:
- Link Building
- Social Media Marketing
- Brand Mentions
- Customer Reviews
Link building is the most popular and effective off-Page SEO technique. Basically, by building links to your website, you are trying to gather as many ‘votes’ as possible, so that you can bypass your competitors and rank higher.
For example, if someone likes this article and references it from his/her website or blog, then this is like telling search engines that this page has good information.
During the ranking process, search engines will take that into account when deciding which pages to show on top of the results for the term ‘Off-Page SEO’.
Over the years webmasters have been trying to build links to their websites to get higher rankings and they ‘invented’ a number of ways to increase link count.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is part of ‘off-site SEO’ and if you think about it, it’s also a form of link building.
A few things to know about social media marketing and off-page SEO:
Google officially states that social signals (like likes, comments, shares) do not directly impact rankings. The main reason is that they can easily be manipulated or paid for and they don’t represent an accurate picture of how popular a social posting is.
It should also be noted that almost all of the links you get from social media sites are “nofollow”, which means that they are ignored by search engines.
Google loves brands and prefers to rank branded websites on top of the results. The reason is the same as explained above about Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Brands are more reliable and likely to be trusted by users. And this translates to a better user experience and happier Google users.
The difference between brand mentions, link building, and social media marketing is that brand mentions do not necessarily have a link pointing to your website. It can be mentions of your brand in forums, articles, reviews, or social media networks.
What is Off Page SEO?
Off-page SEO Benefits
A successful off-page SEO strategy will generate the following benefits to website owners:
Increase in rankings – This is the most important advantage of off-page SEO. The website will rank higher in the SERPs and this also means more traffic.
Increase in PageRank – Page rank is a number between 0 and 10 which indicates the importance of a website in the eyes of Google.
It is the system invented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google founders) and one of the reasons that Google became so successful in showing the most relevant results to the searcher.
Page rank today is only one out of the 250+ ranking factors that Google is using to rank websites.
Greater exposure – Higher rankings also mean greater exposure because when a website ranks in the top positions: it gets more links, more visits, and more social media mentions. It’s like a never-ending sequence of events where one thing leads to another and then to another etc.
Establish Trustworthiness – In addition to the above, Google has recently introduced the concept of Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T), which plays an important role in rankings and is directly related to off-page SEO.
In simple terms, Google wants to rank websites that demonstrate expertise and authority on a subject, and one of the ways to ensure that the websites picked up by the algorithms can be trusted, is through the number and type of incoming links.
For example, if you want to be perceived as an expert on a subject, it’s not enough for you to say it but other related websites should agree and this is expressed through links pointing to your website.
Off-Page SEO Vs On-Page SEO
Off-Page SEO Vs On-Page SEO
To avoid any confusion for beginners, let’s examine the relationship between off-page SEO and other SEO types like on-page SEO.
To understand the difference between the two, you first need to understand what is SEO.
SEO or Search engine optimization is the term used to describe a set of processes that aim in optimizing a website for search engines. SEO is important not only for getting high-quality visitors from search, but it’s also a way to improve the user-friendliness of your website and increase its credibility.
Search engines are using complex algorithms to determine which pages to include in their index and the order they show these pages in the search results. SEO is the way to ‘speak’ to search engines in a language they can understand and give them more information about your website.
SEO has two major components, On-Page and Off-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO refers to settings you can change on your website so that it is optimized for search engines.
The most important On-Page SEO elements are:
- Having optimized titles and descriptions
- Optimized URL Structures
- User-friendly navigation (breadcrumbs, user sitemaps)
- Optimized internal links
- Text Formatting (use of bold, italics, etc)
- Properly optimized H1 tag and other headings
- Image optimization (image size, proper image names, use of ALT text)
- User-friendly 404 pages
- Fast loading pages
- Mobile-Friendly pages
- High-quality fresh content (This is always the most important SEO factor!)
- External links (no broken links or links to ‘bad’ sites)
On the other hand, off-page SEO has to with techniques you can use outside the boundaries of your website, hence the name ‘off-page’.
On-page SEO has to do with activities you can fully control but with off-page SEO it’s sometimes out of your reach. For example, it’s easy to ensure that the quality of your content is good but you cannot force someone to link to your website unless they want to.
Resources to Learn More
- Difference between on-site and off-site SEO – a detailed explanation of the differences between on-page and off-page SEO.
Off-Page SEO Activities
What Is Off-Page SEO? Step By Step Guide 2021?
In our experience these 11 off-page SEO activities are the easiest to include and offer the best return:
- Brand Mentions
- Influencer Outreach
- Guest Author
- Broken Link Building
- Social Networking
- Social Bookmarking
- Content Marketing
1. Brand Mentions
Back in 2017, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary yes said that if you have good content, a few backlinks, people talking about your brand, and some mentions on social media networks, then you are doing great.
Social mentions can play a vital role in signal to search engines that people are talking about you. Increase brand mentions by engaging with social media audiences and work to provide valuable answers whenever possible to build authority and trust.
Previously, leaving a comment on the other blog with a link back to your website was a fast and simple way to get more backlinks. That is until the strategy was abused and Google decided that irrelevant comment backlinks are useless.
Find and participate in forum discussions that are related to your product or the services you offer. Build a connection with that community, reply to the threads, solve problems of others, give your advice and suggestions because Google loves discussions!
4. Influencer Outreach
Add a community-driven section to your article and reach out to well-known influencers in your niche via Buzzsumo and request that they provide their valuable insight via feedback, quote, or a review. Add some context to their quotes and highlight them in some way.
5. Guest Author
There are a number of blogs open for the guest post. You just need to identify the keyword you’re interested in and then search on Google in this way:
- Keyword + “write for us”
- Keyword + “become a contributor”
- Keyword + “contribute”
- Keyword + “guest blogging”
6. Broken Link Building
Broken link building is an interesting strategy. The purpose is to find broken links and contact the owner of the resource that has a broken link. The broken link could be one of your own pages that you would then provide the update to, or it could be an outdated competitor’s link that you would then offer to replace with one of your links to similar content.
7. Social Networking
According to research, people spend more time surfing social networking sites now than they did even a few years ago. A good off-page SEO strategy is to engage and leverage your social network to increase the reach of your content.
When content gets clicks from multiple IPs it appears more authoritative by sending a signal to Google that multiple visitors around the globe are accessing the content.
8. Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking is one of the best ways to get visitors instantly. However, there is a long debate to use it or not. Stumble Upon; Delicious, Digg, and Reddit are a few of the top social bookmarking sites. If you are going to use it, be sure to write an eye-catching tagline with quality content inside to get a boost in your article.
9. Content Marketing
Every social media platform has its own preferred content: Instagram is more popular for images, YouTube for videos, Facebook and Twitter for expressing your thoughts. Most of the time, we share content on Facebook and Twitter that we then neglect on YouTube and Instagram.
Off-page SEO is as important as on-site SEO. If you want your SEO campaigns to be successful you have to do both.
When thinking about link building don’t take the easy way, but try to get links from hard-to-get places. The more difficult is to get a link, the more value it has.
In the past, you could easily get thousands of links and rank higher but nowadays you also need to give special attention to the quality of your content.
My advice for beginners is to concentrate first on creating a great website with awesome content and then start working on your off-page SEO to get links that can make a difference in your rankings.
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