Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the talk of the town amongst business owners, and for a good reason. How a business ranks on search engines like Google has direct implications on the number and quality of leads they can generate, and leads are the lifeline of any business because they lead to more clients or customers.
While much attention is often given to on-page SEO, off-page SEO is a critical component of any successful search SEO strategy.
If a site owner wants their site to rank well on Google and boost the brand's exposure and organic search traffic, it is essential to look beyond just the site and its content.
This guide discusses off-page SEO in great depth to help website owners get a good understanding of what it is, why it is so essential for improving their Google search ranking, and how to use it effectively to increase traffic to their website ranking and improve their brand identity.
What Is Off-page SEO?
The term "off-page SEO" (also known as "off-site SEO") involves actions that have been taken outside of a website to influence its ranking in search engine results pages or SERPs. Together with on-page SEO, off-page SEO includes many fundamental SEO factors that help a site rank high.
This means that if a website owner reached out to another site to ask them to link with them, this link building is known as off-page SEO because it occurred without the website owner having to make any change to their website.
If an action is not entirely under a site owner's control, then it is likely an off-page SEO tactic. An example would be posting an advertisement on social media. The company has no control over who can comment, what they say, or whether they share the post.
Off-site ranking optimization entails improving the search engine's and user's perceptions of a site's prominence, relevance, integrity, and authority. This is achieved by other reputable locations (web pages, websites, and people) linking to, or promoting a website to vouch for its quality.
Off-page SEO Relevance
Google considers many off-page factors when it decides how a page ranks. This means that focusing on optimizing content alone is not an excellent way to improve search engine ranking.
While search algorithms and the factors that influence how a site ranks are changing so often, the SEO community agrees that the relevance, authority, and trustworthiness that effective off-page SEO provides a website continue to play a significant role in a web page's ability to rank well.
It is true that Google's complete algorithm remains unknown, it is no secret that off-page SEO accounts for approximately 50 percent of the ranking factor weight. It is commonly assumed that link building is the only off-page SEO tactic that should be used to get an advantage over the competition.
However, branding, content marketing, social media marketing, citation building, and other similar strategies all play a significant role in a comprehensive SEO strategy.
According to the basic definition of off-page SEO, any changes made that do not involve making direct changes to the website, which includes the publishing of new content, are included.
These external signals aid both users and search engines in determining the authority or authenticity of a website. They are also used to determine whether a site is relevant and trustworthy.
Technical SEO also plays a vital role in an SEO strategy, as does on-page SEO, so it is important to understand the difference between on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO for Search Engines
To obtain a comprehensive understanding of what each term is, they are discussed individually below.
On-page SEO refers to the strategies that are employed on a website to help search engines such as Google and Bing to better understand and rank its content. It includes everything from creating SEO-optimized content to optimizing title, heading, and meta tags. It also includes optimizing images and internal linking.
As already discussed, off-page SEO refers to strategies that are implemented away from a website. Off-page tactics such as link building are commonly thought to be the most important.
However, they also include content marketing, podcast appearances, social media advertising, building local citations, receiving reviews, and more.
Technical SEO refers to the aspects of a website that have a direct impact on search engine crawling and indexing. Several people have argued that it is an example of on-page SEO. However, technical SEO has been widely regarded as a distinct discipline in its own right.
Canonicalization, site speed optimization, hreflang, structured data, and other techniques are all classified as technical SEO.
Trying to decide between these three types is akin to deciding whether to build the wall, ceiling, or foundation of a building. There is no other option.
Likewise, those hoping to improve their online ranking must work on all three aspects.
This article focuses on off-page SEO tactics and how to use them effectively.
Off-page SEO Techniques to Employ
Site owners who wish to improve their ranking on Google and other search engines can use an off-page SEO strategy in conjunction with on-page and technical SEO to rank at the top of search engine results pages. Here are some off-page factors to take into consideration when contemplating off-site SEO.
1. Link Building: Arguably the Most Important Off-page SEO Tactic
Given the importance of linking in Google's algorithm, building natural links should be the foundation of any off-page SEO strategy. However, it is essential to understand how to use link building effectively as an off-page tactic.
One of the significant purposes of off-page SEO is to increase the authority of a website or company. Links from authoritative websites can help establish a site's authority, as they boost confidence from one site to another.
The primary goal of link building must be to obtain high-quality links from authoritative websites. Always prioritize the quality of the links over the number of links included. It is essential to understand the gap in links between a business's site and the site of its competitors.
It is true that link building as an off-page tactic entails more than merely targeting authoritative sites and getting an authoritative site to link with other sites is no easy task.
When building links, there are a few important factors to take into consideration. They are:
The site's authority
Finding unique domains
No-follow versus do-follow
Here is a more in-depth explanation of these factors:
The importance of authority in links has already been established, but what gives a website more authority over another? An authority score is often used to grade the quality or authority of a site.
It takes into consideration the quality and quantity of its domain's backlinks, the number of referring IPs and domains, follow versus no-follow links, its organic search traffic, and its number of users.
Google used to provide public PageRank scores, but it has stopped doing so. While there is no exact copy of PageRank, there are a few equivalent metrics available, one of which is Ahrefs' URL Rating.
On a scale of 0 to 100, UR reflects the quality of a target URL's backlink profile. Web owners can copy and paste the URL of a web page into Ahrefs Site Explorer to see its authority score.
The quantity of linking root domains that point to a business's website is an important metric of link-building success, even more so than the number of backlinks it has.
Several studies have found a strong link between the number of linking domains and increased rankings. As part of an SEO strategy, website owners should focus on domain diversity.
Backlinks function as votes. If a website receives off-page SEO links, it is a reflection of the quality of its content or business. However, not all votes are the same.
The website or web page's relevance is also an important consideration, so business owners should aim for natural links that are relevant to their website or content.
If a pharmaceutical company gets a link from a science blog, it carries more weight than a link from a finance blog or website. Choosing between authority and relevance depends on each case, and most experts are conflicted on which matters more.
However, the relevance of a link is a factor that needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on a link-building tactic.
There is a definite correlation between the traffic to a website's referring pages and their ranking. This indicates that web pages with more organic traffic carry more weight than much less traffic, so web owners should aim to include natural links to pages that receive high traffic volumes.
Suppose a business wishes to replicate its competitors' backlinks or use a link-building strategy like the Skyscraper Technique. In that case, it can quickly do so with organic traffic to prioritize and use links from some of the most valuable pages.
While it is sensible to prefer links from popular pages with lots of traffic, there is no evidence suggesting that links from less popular pages with little to no traffic are worthless. If the ages have relevance and some degree of authority, they should be pursued.
The words on a page that users can click onto take them to another web page are referred to as anchor text. Backlinks with anchor text related to the web page's overall topic are likely to influence its rankings.
Unfortunately, using white-hat methods to build links doesn't give website owners much control over the anchors of the links they earn. However, guest blogging is an exception to this rule.
Fortunately, most people tend to link in relevant and natural ways. If an article is about food, the possibilities of someone else linking with food-related anchor text are high.
No-follow Versus Do-follow
Because Google does not transfer PageRank across no-followed links, it is important to prioritize the creation of followed or "do-follow" links.
The majority of links on the internet are followed links. However, some websites, such as Forbes, "no-follow" most or all outbound links. Therefore, if the webmaster is actively building links from a specific website, it is essential to ensure that their outbound links are followed.
To do this, the no-follow Chrome extension can be installed. It showcases no-follow links on a web page.
No-follow links can also be filtered, so only do-follow links are seen, which is helpful when prioritizing backlinking.
The truth is that no-followed links still have value. They can generate referral traffic, which can help SEO indirectly. However, if a website owner is putting a great deal of time and resources into link building, prioritizing these efforts is an excellent idea.
2. Content Marketing
Most people think of content marketing as an on-page tactic in the form of the creation and publishing of content on a website.
However, when viewed holistically, content marketing encompasses both on-page and off-page tactics. Creating high-quality content on a website is only one aspect of content marketing, and any content that a website owner makes and publishes anywhere on the internet qualifies as content marketing.
This includes guest posting on someone else's website and publishing infographics linked to by a major newspaper. Apart from guest posts and infographics, the creation of whitepapers, surveys, studies, eBooks, and research papers all count as off-site SEO content marketing.
Content marketing is an off-page SEO tactic that is closely related to social media, link building, and public relations, as well as brand building.
In simple terms, if a website owner has a quality piece of content, they should share it with others.
3. Public Relations
Public relations (PR) and SEO were often thought to be two separate marketing disciplines, but they have recently been viewed as one marketing venture.
Because it is the ideal way to earn authority links at scale, digital PR has quickly become the link-building tactic of choice for several SEOs.
Individuals can use public relations tactics to endorse a great story and its associated linkable assets, and as a result, they can earn a large number of links.
PR makes a significant contribution to off-page SEO signals in ways other than merely assisting in link building. An excellent public relations campaign can also boost brand awareness and increase the number of brand searches as a result.
It also brings a company's name to the attention of its target audience to get them talking about it while also increasing referral traffic.
PR establishes a company as a thought leader in its industry and aids in the development of trust signals, which promotes off-page optimization and helps websites rank better in search results.
4. Brand Building
It is now common knowledge that Google rewards well-established brands, so much attention should be given to building a strong and effective brand.
Therefore, brand building should be an important part of a business's overall marketing and SEO strategy, and an important off-page SEO tactic.
Branding building contributes to the development of a website's online authority, helping it rank high in search results and users' eyes.
Here are a few things to consider regarding brand building.
An improvement in brand searches is one of the most powerful indicators that a business is building a successful brand. This could include searches for the company's name, merchandise, or domain name.
Business owners can enter the brand name into the Keyword Overview tool to get an idea of how its branded searches have changed over the years.
Brand-building efforts are also important because of brand SERPs.
SERPs are the search results that appear when a user searches for a brand name. These search criteria are critical touchpoints for both users and technology and are thus essential for any business.
Business owners should be monitoring, assessing, and working to improve them on a regular basis.
The first page of results that appear for the search query shows how well Google understands a parti