Off-page SEO, also known as off-site SEO, describes optimization techniques that can improve your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). These techniques, however, happen outside of your site and involve attracting links from other websites, shares on social media, and mentions across the web.
Why does off-page SEO Important?
Off-page SEO is tremendously valuable because it tells search engines that your website is important to others on the web. Every link that you receive acts as an endorsement from another source that your website is quality.
This lets external sources act as tie-breakers for websites that have the same quality of on-page SEO so search engines know the best to rank websites on search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example, if we look at two wedding websites with similar content, which site would rank higher?
If the sites use similar on-page SEO strategies, off-page SEO signals can help determine which site ranks higher in search results.
Search engines like Google measure off-page SEO factors, like the number and quality of backlinks to websites.
If one of the wedding websites has more backlinks from reputable sources, while the other site has received zero online mentions, the site with more backlinks (and better online reputation) will likely rank higher.
Using numerous off-page and on-page SEO factors, search engines determine how valuable pages are to searchers’ queries and return relevant results accordingly.
Google considers multiple factors before ranking a particular page/website and off-page is one among them. It is difficult to rank only via content; this is where your off-page or link building plays an important role. It, in a way, tells Google what others think about your site, and that is why having backlinks from a quality, relevant websites becomes important.
Off-page SEO techniques
- Link Building is King
- Harness that Social Media Power
- Add an RSS Feed Subscription Box
- Don’t Shy from Blog Commenting
- Guest Posting is Still Hot
- Forums Posting Is a Thing
- Build Trust
- Incorporate Videos and Images
- Build Relationships with Webmasters/Influencers
- Be Present On the Web
- Craft a Sparkling Brand Image
Links and off-page SEO
Building backlinks is at the heart of off-page SEO. Search engines use backlinks as indications of the linked-to content's quality, so a site with many high value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.
There are three main types of links.
- Natural links are editorially given without any action on the part of a page owner. For example, a food blogger adding a link to a post that points toward their favourite produce farms is a natural link.
- Manually built links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes things like getting customers to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content.
- Self-created links are created by practices such as adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature, or a press release with optimized anchor text. Some self-created link building tactics tend toward black hat SEO and are frowned upon by search engines, so tread lightly here.
A note on local off-page SEO:
Off-page SEO relies on human behaviour (namely, that people only reference and share content they like). As such, it applies to both organic and local SEO. Even in a brick-and-mortar business, high-quality products get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals from current customers — the in-person equivalent of off-page SEO.
Off-Page SEO Activities
- Brand Mentions.
- Influencer Outreach.
- Guest Author.
- Broken Link Building.
- Social Networking.
- Social Bookmarking.
In laymen terms, off-page SEO helps search engines understand what others think about your product, services, or website. Even having just a few links from strong, relevant sites with high levels of authority will increase your chances of ranking higher.
Off-page SEO isn’t just about getting a link to your site from just anyone; it’s about getting a link to your site from the right one. And, you want to make sure that you’re getting the “link juice” from the backlink too.
Link juice is only passed along in do-follow backlinks. This type of backlink is like the source site is acknowledging and voting for the linked article, post, or page, resulting in an increase in the link’s authority.
The other type of backlink is a no-follow backlink. These are just links that don’t pass any authority from the source site to the linked site.