As a business owner, brand manager, or other individual seeking to get their website noticed, you might think you have a handle on SEO. However, non-experts often focus on on-page SEO only. In doing so, these people are missing out on a whole other critical part of the picture: off-page SEO.
You need to actively manage all SEO strategies, including off-page SEO, to successfully increase search engine rankings, traffic, and other desired online activity. If you think you might have any room to expand on your SEO practices, read on to learn about this heavy-hitting second type of approach. It could mean the difference between obscurity and crushing the competition.
- What is Off-Page SEO?
- Distinguishing Between the Three Types of SEO: On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical
- Why Do You Need Off-Page SEO?
- Top Off-Page SEO Techniques
- Now Go Out There and Optimize Your Off-Page SEO
What is Off-Page SEO?
You can best understand off-page SEO in contrast to what it is not – so let us begin with a description of on-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to all search engine optimization strategies implemented on your website. That includes direct publication to and altering content on said site. Off-page SEO necessarily, then, encompasses tactics that are based anywhere and everywhere else.
For anyone who has heard of off-page SEO, it is usually just link-building strategies that come to mind. But do not be misled, for there are numerous off-page strategies that one can exploit to dazzle Google and other search engines. Social media, brand building, and content marketing are a few examples.
Search engines like Google use multiple off-page SEO factors to determine your website’s authority, trustworthiness, and relevance. These effects can continue and aggregate well into the future, even without additional input. Thus, diversifying your tactics through off-page SEO is considered by many to be a sound practice.
Distinguishing Between the Three Types of SEO: On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical
Generally speaking, there are three overarching categories of SEO: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. You may be thinking, “Three? I thought there were only two?” So why are there three, and what are the differences between them? Let us take a closer look at each.
As previously discussed, on-page SEO happens directly on a website. This type of SEO is designed to assist search engines in determining how helpful your content is to users and how it stacks up against competitor websites. Examples of on-page SEO include photos, title tags, headings, internal links (to increase PageRank), image alt tags, anchor text, and content published on a single website as a ranking factor.
Off-Page SEO (Off-Site SEO)
Virtually all SEO activity occurring outside a website for the benefit of that website is off-page SEO. Building Links is one of the most robust and prevalent methods of executing good off-page SEO, but you have several other options besides. Some believe that effective link-building is sufficient. Yet others who are knowledgeable in SEO advocate for taking advantage of a wide variety of tactics beyond it. Such tactics might involve PR, social media marketing, and more.
What could technical SEO be if it does not fall under either of the other categories? Technical SEO is in its own grouping because it attempts to directly influence the indexing and crawling of your site done by search engines. URL canonicalization, structured data, and site speed optimization are all forms of technical SEO.
Why Do You Need Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO helps your website build ever-important authority, which will help your site rank in results for competitive search terms. Google and other search engines cannot determine absolute relevance and trustworthiness based on content alone, so they rely on other factors to signal that your website has these traits. The algorithms are examining whether many external sources give credence to your site. The higher the authority of the websites that link back to yours is, the better yours becomes. That is why the quality of your off-page SEO is just as crucial as the quantity.
Top Off-Page SEO Techniques
Here are some premium off-page SEO strategies to consider while promoting your business or website and building your brand.
Let us begin with the well-known practice of link-building tactics. This strategy is popular because it is a sure bet to impact search engine algorithms and is probably the most potent off-page SEO tactic. The more efficiently you can promote your page through links, the better it will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). Also, Google places a higher value on quality links from sites that do not link to others easily.
While you want to seek out link-building to quality sites with high domain authority, any external links out there can help. Those from scholarships, donations, government websites, educational websites, blogs, or other forms of outreach count as built links. It does not hurt to try all you can in this vein until you figure out what works best for your situation. Just remember, more link-building never hurts. The only risk is that the effects may fall short of your expectations.
To this end, it can be helpful for you to understand what types of links there are and how they differ in their effects on your website. The three distinct link varieties are natural links, built links, and created links.
Natural links, as the name implies, come about organically. That means someone decided to link to your website of their own accord. Neither you nor your team did anything intentionally to bring that link into existence.
Built links are born from outreach efforts. Maybe you promoted your business with an ad campaign or reached out to a journalist and persuaded them to give you a mention, link included. Either way, you earn built links and any resulting exposure through your SEO efforts.
A created link is one that you or your team plants in another online publication. You may have added this link in the comments section of a blog (or in a blog post unrelated to your website that you control), in a press release, or some other online forum. To use created links is considered taboo in the world of SEO. If you want legitimacy and a clean reputation, it is best to rely on natural links and built links only.
Social Media Marketing
Performance on social media does not have an immediate impact on your SEO. Google and other search engine algorithms are not tracking the likes and attention you receive on Facebook or Twitter. But that does not mean that social media exposure does not affect SEO at all; it does. The effects are just indirect and perhaps delayed.
Social media exposure can only be a positive thing for your SEO in the long run. The more people see and hear about your brand, the more likely they are to search for it, which will drive up your SEO. Posting positive, fun, and high-quality content on social media is a winning marketing strategy as it will keep users curious and engaged.
While it is frowned upon to spam another’s blog with comments you have stuffed with created links, there is a way to use blogging to your advantage. The solution is guest-blogging. Guest posts allow you to get your name and possibly your organization’s name out to the public in a legitimate way. You will be contributing to the content of another’s site, but at the same time, you may be allowed to include a link to your website in your post or author bio.
If you are smart about finding online communities relevant to your brand, you can increase the brand awareness of your website and drive up your site’s traffic. That way, a link has appeared in a new place to fresh sets of eyes who may already be interested in what you are trying to promote.
Brand-building is as critical for SEO as it is for traditional marketing. A strong brand will lead to consistent searches relating to your website, which will help search engine algorithms identify you and assess your site’s credibility. An uptick in searches for your brand name, domain name, or products is a good sign your brand recognition is increasing. That is promising news for your off-page SEO.
Local SEO (Google My Business and Citations)
Local SEO is a broader category of SEO than we will be discussing here. Instead, we will focus on just citations and Google My Business Listings, like most introductions to off-page SEO.
Google My Business
If you do not have an account on Google My Business, you are eschewing valuable off-page SEO real estate. Your goal should be to rank high on the Google Map Pack, ahead of your competitors. Google has previously reported that 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. If your competitors’ brand names are there and your brand is not, you have ceded credibility and the opportunity to be discovered by users during local searches.
Citations are when your NAP (name, address, phone number) info appears online in directories or elsewhere. Business listing pages like Yelp, Facebook, or Google My Business represent choice opportunities for inclusion in searches that fall within a specific geographic region. Because it costs nothing and takes very little time to assemble citations on pages like these, this is one of the most effortless strategies to get your SEO off the ground right away.
Tapping into influencer marketing bypasses one of the fundamental issues you run into trying to market yourself online: credibility. Influencers should already have an established cadre of loyal followers. These followers represent a nearly captive audience that you can efficiently get your brand or products in front of by contracting the influencer’s services. What is more, many influencers specialize in particular niches. So you can find someone that has not merely an audience but the target audience to entice to your pages.
Reviews do not just affect how users perceive your brand or business; search engines pick up on positive or negative trends as well. Websites that receive a lot of positive reviews are more likely to climb higher in Google search results. More than that, good reviews breed trust and enthusiasm in both new and returning users. They are encouraged to engage repeatedly in ways that have ripple effects, which increases returns on SEO.
Social bookmarking is a strategy you might not have heard of or thought about, but it can be a powerful tool in driving traffic to your site. Social bookmarking is when you save or store a webpage for later through a social bookmarking site. Examples of such sites include Twitter, Reddit, Dribble, We Heart It, and Pinterest. Unlike other types of social media activity, search engines pick up on social bookmarking. It is yet another signal indicating how popular or credible your site is.
If you present your company on one of these sites, users may be likely to follow that profile or post directly back to your webpage. The increased exposure can buoy your traffic by thousands of visitors per month. Furthermore, whenever these sites feature your content, they create backlinks (another metric that the algorithms use to rank your webpage).
Now Go Out There and Optimize Your Off-Page SEO
Now that you know about off-page SEO, you can shape the success of your brand more holistically. Off-page optimization has changed a lot over time, so the one or two strategies that once sufficed for getting promoted in search results are no longer enough.
You should absolutely continue to make great content on your webpage, perfect your on-page SEO, and improve the technical performance of your site. But do not forget all the essential off-page SEO options available to you.
And do not fall into the trap of thinking it is all about link-building only, although that should be a principal part of your efforts. So go and grow your brand, draw crowds, and charm users and search engines alike with as many tools as you feel works. Do this, and watch the magic happen.
Published on: 2022-01-11
Updated on: 2022-01-13