A Complete Guide To Off-Page SEO
Apart from on-page ranking signals such as web content, page speed and title tags, Google and other search engines look at certain external factors to rank your website in the search engine result pages (SERPs). This is where off-page SEO comes to play.
External ranking signals like backlinks, anchor text and NAP citations, factors in, play a crucial role in how search engines see your website and determine brand’s visibility and organic search traffic. So, if you really want to succeed in your SEO campaign in 2021, you need to start looking beyond only your website and begin to pay attention to how signals from other websites are impacting your performance.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about off-page SEO to help you gain useful pro tips about how you can improve your SEO strategies to achieve higher ranking and attract more organic search traffic to your website.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
However, doing off-page SEO can be a little demanding largely because you don’t have much power or control over other search engines’ and/or people’s perception of your brand, business or website. However, it is possible to put your website in an advantageous position by taking the right steps. In the next few lines, you will learn the various ways you can influence external sources to pass good signals to your website.
Off-Page SEO Vs On-Page SEO: What Are The Differences?
On-page SEO refers to the totality of optimization efforts that you have absolute control over. They include your decision to include certain keywords, your internal linking, URL structure, page speed and site structure.
On the contrary, you don’t have complete control over your off-page ranking factors, hence the name off-page (outside of your own website). For example, if you write a guest post and it is published on another website in exchange for a backlink, it is off-page SEO because you didn’t change anything directly on your website during the process.
If you ever find yourself unsure about which category a tactic falls into, ask yourself whether you implement the tactic directly on your website or if it was done on another website. This way, you can correctly define and categorize your SEO strategies.
Why Is Off-Page SEO Important?
The Google Search index is made up of hundreds of billions of web pages. To determine which pages come up on the first page for a particular search term, the search engine ranks web pages based on a number of factors such as keyword relevance, searcher’s intent and site authority using a set of complex algorithms.
More importantly, Google considers how other people, pages, websites perceive your website. Positive perception, manifesting in the form of good links and positive brand mentions, for example, helps increase your site’s authority and trustworthiness.
Off-page SEO is a way by which the search engines evaluate the credibility of your website, using several signals like backlinks, NAP citations, and brand mentions. Without off-page SEO, it will be difficult to outrank your competitors on the SERPs.
Top Off-Page SEO Tactics To Improve Your Website
Off-site SEO tactics can be grouped two:
Link-Related off-page SEO
However, the volume or quantity is not all that matters. Google is much more interested in the value of the backlinks coming to your site. Are the links coming from authority sites or random, low quality websites? How relevant is the referring domain to your niche or business? It’s an established fact that niche relevant links carry more weight and higher value than those from sources that are unconnected to your industry.
Types of Links
Generally, there are three types of links. They include:
Natural links are earned and don’t require any action on the part of the beneficiary. For example, if you publish an insightful industry report, there are chances that many bloggers in your industry will reference your work and link back to you. This is known as a natural link since no “lobbying” is involved before receiving the backlink.
In a bid to boost your website’s backlink profile, you can reach out to other website owners or managers and ask them for links. This kind of links are usually received in exchange for a piece of content, as in the guess of guest posting. You can also ask customers to link to your website or ask influencers in your niche to share your content and get a backlink in return.
As the name sounds, self-created links are those that you create by adding your website URL in online directories, press releases or social media profiles with an optimized anchor text.
Note that not all links are created equal, and that quality matters. Therefore, it’s helpful to go after links that provide the most equity. Some of the factors that contribute to link equity include the following:
- The authority of the referring domain
- Trustworthiness of the linking domain
- Niche relevance
- Organic search volume of the referring website
- Backlink profile of the linking website
These days, local searches are among the highest types of queries in search engines. This is because searchers are getting better and more specific with their search terms, and they often do this by incorporating specific locations into their search queries.
If you want to rank for a specific location, you need to start prioritizing ranking for a specific location by making it the focus of your link building strategy. You can do this by ensuring that your target location is featured in the anchor text used to link back to you. Even if the location isn’t used as the anchor text, Google uses a highly sophisticated algorithm that can identify each surrounding term in relation to the overall meaning of the content.
Alternatively, if your business is operated in multiple locations, you can rank for each page by receiving links from websites dedicated to each location.
In fact, using some credible press release distribution services like Newswire and PRNews allow you to include not just hyperlinks but also images and visuals to strengthen your brand awareness and earn recognition in the face of customers.
Meanwhile, PR publishing has an off-page SEO tactic that isn’t always about getting backlinks. Sometimes, it could just be brand mentions in top media outlets in your local community, state or country.
Google has suggested that mere brand mentions without hyperlinks can have a positive impact on your ranking in SERPs. Being featured or mentioned on reliable media outlets like Fox, CNN or CBS not only help build trust with customers but also drive referral traffic.
Directory submission refers to the practice of publishing your citation, using your name, address and phone number (NAP) in niche-relevant business directories. This post from Moz reveals that citation signals are one of the most effective local off-page ranking factors Google uses to rank local businesses on Google My Business and Google Maps.
Many NAP citations allow you to include your URLs, although “nofollow links”. Nevertheless, citations can help you rank higher both on local search and regular organic search results.
You can check for your existing citations by conducting a quick Google search including your business name and address and then see the results that come out. However, searching for citations manually can be a bit of a hassle, and it’s also difficult to determine which citations have a positive impact on your ranking.
To have accurate insights about your citations, you can use a solution like Whitespark.
Another option is to use tools like Ahrefs Link Intersect tool. This tool allows you to see websites or directories that are already linking to your competitors (since some NAP citations include hyperlinks) but not you. With this, you can get more prospects to reach out to for citations or backlinks.
In addition to online directories, you can also claim listings on reputable review sites like Yelp, Glassdoor, BBB and Angie’s List.
A study by Moz reveals that review signals, including review quantity, review velocity and review diversity are important ranking factors, constituting 15.44% of all the ranking factors. Also, according to Google, “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”
These imply that the more positive and genuine reviews you receive on your Google Business Profile, and other trusted review sites, the higher your chances of ranking high on the Local Pack. Negative reviews will have just the opposite effect on your ranking.
Is it right to ask for reviews from your customers in exchange for something? It depends. This is because you can do anything ethically right to get reviews from customers given that a transaction occurred in the first place. But generally speaking, it is against Google’s review policies to ask for review in exchange for a freebie, set up review stations or engage in review trading.
Brand mentions in high authority or reputable industry publications can have a positive impact on your ranking. Mentions can be either linked or unlinked. Let’s see how Google sees these two types of mentions in their ranking algorithm.
Linked brand mentions in high authority or niche-relevant sites result in high SEO value for obvious reasons (they are direct backlinks!). But is that also true for unlinked brand mentions?
Google hasn’t talked expressly on whether unlinked mentions have any significant impact on organic search ranking.
However, it indirectly made a reference to unlinked mentions (referred to as “implied links”) in one of its patents.
In describing what an implied link is, Google talks about it as a “reference to a target resource, for example, a citation to the target resources, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource. While Google is silent on how much of ranking weight an unlinked mention carries, it can be implied that the search engine factors, however, slightly, unlinked mentions in their ranking algorithm.
So, if brand mentions, whether linked or unlinked, qualify as possible off-page ranking factors, how then can you get more of them?
Some of the ways through which you can get more mentions from websites, blogs and industry publications include:
- Write guest posts on niche-relevant websites or blogs
- Engage in blogger outreach
- Be a guests on podcasts
- Write and distribute press release regularly
- Become an active contributor in your industry
- Establish yourself as a thought leader
In addition, you can use a free tool like Google Alerts to track new competitor mentions, and then jump in on the trend or conversation, if possible. Also, you can create an account on public chat rooms like Reddit and join in relevant conversations with your existing and prospective customers.
Generate Brand Signals
What’s an effective way to increase your company’s presence and make sure that your SEO efforts are paying off? Generate brand signals! Brand signals are signals that you send out to your audience (including potential customers) demonstrating the quality and value of your products and services. They can be anything from appearing in search engine results to being published on industry blogs or guest blogging sites.
Analyze Your Branded Searches
One of the first things you should do when it comes to generating brand signals is to audit your branded searches. This means looking at how well or how badly your company performs when it comes to SEO rankings and overall SEO factors. By understanding this data, you can identify which SEO strategies need tweaking or updating in order for your website to rank higher in results pages. Plus, a good audit will help you see where other companies may be outperforming you, so that you can adjust or emulate their tactics accordingly.
It’s no surprise that YouTube is one of the most popular websites out there, with millions of people visiting it daily. That’s why investing in it is essential if you want to improve your brand visibility online. Setting up a YouTube Channel associated with your business not only helps spread awareness about what you do, but also provides valuable content for viewers who have questions related to the topic or product that you offer.
Implement Brand Tracking
Brand tracking is another great way to generate brand signals and boost visibility across multiple platforms. It’s essentially a system that collects data from various sources such as Google Analytics, social media metrics, customer feedback surveys, and more, in order to give you a comprehensive overview of who’s talking about your company, what topics they’re discussing, and how influential these conversations are among potential customers. With this information, you can make informed decisions about which topics should be prioritized for future marketing campaigns and help drive growth for the long term.
Publish Research-Backed Content
Finally, don’t forget the importance of publishing research-backed content online! Everyone loves reading informative articles on topics they care about (especially if they come from an expert source). Writing blog posts based on existing research not only offers more credibility than other types of content but also increases domain authority—making it easier for readers to find related information on search engines—and boosts engagement among potential customers by giving them interesting facts and figures relevant to their interests or experience with a product/service/brand.
As the online world continues to grow, so do the strategies involved with Search Engine Optimization. There are a lot of guides available that provide tips and suggestions on how to use various link building tactics to improve a website’s success. However, off-page SEO is often overlooked. It is one of the most powerful strategies out there and creating an effective off-page SEO strategy is essential if you want your website to be successful.
When it comes to SEO strategy, a lot of the success of your website’s ranking in search engine results pages is dependent on your domain authority and the trustworthiness of your content. Achieving this can be tricky, but there are a few key steps that you can take to improve your E-A-T.
Get Your Brand Mentioned on Authority Websites
One of the most important aspects of off-page SEO is getting your brand mentioned on popular authority sites. These sites are well respected by search engines, meaning they have higher domain authority than other websites or blogs. When Google sees your brand mentioned on these sites, it will increase your chances of receiving higher rankings in SERPs. To get your brand noticed by these websites, reach out to them via email and provide them with high-quality content that may be relevant to their interests or topics that are currently trending in their industry. You should also engage with other users on these platforms in order to build relationships and spread awareness about your website or brand.
Get Links From Trustworthy “Seed Sites”
Another great way to use off-page SEO is through link building efforts from trusted “seed” sites. These websites may already have a reputation as reliable sources of information, and by linking back to your website from them, you can create a flow of link juice which will help boost the number of leads going towards your webpage and potentially increase its ranking in SERPs. Remember though, not all links are created equal, so make sure you focus on obtaining quality links from trusted seed sites rather than just any random link that comes your way!
Get Positive Reviews Online
Finally, don’t forget one of the most important aspects that affects off-page SEO – reviews! As we live in a digital age where customers rely heavily on reviews when making decisions about which brands/products they should purchase from, having good reviews online is essential for improving E-A-T (Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness). Ask your current clients for reviews or testimonials about their experiences with you and feel free to share them on social media as well as other review platforms such as Yelp or Trustpilot — this could help build trust with potential customers and consequently give you an edge over others competing in the same space.
Developing an effective off-page SEO strategy requires effort, but it can give you a major advantage over competitors when it comes to organic rankings! With all these tips in mind — including getting brand mentions from authority sites, obtaining trustworthy links from seed websites, and seeking positive reviews online — you’ll be able to ensure maximum success for your website through improved EAT scores for better overall performance across all search engine results pages (SERPs).
Avoiding Google Penalties for Unnatural Links
Today, it is essential that online content creators and marketers are aware of the importance of off-page SEO (search engine optimization). Off-page SEO involves a variety of tactics designed to increase a website’s search engine ranking, such as inbound links, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and more. While these practices can be beneficial when done properly, they can also lead to penalties from Google if not approached with caution. Unnatural links are one of the most common causes of penalties.
Unnatural links are any type of link that has been created solely for SEO purposes. This could include purchased links, automated link building campaigns, blog comment spamming, or other methods used to artificially boost link popularity. These types of links can seem attractive because they offer a quick boost in rankings, but they come at high risk; Google penalizes websites using them by reducing their visibility in search results or even completely removing them from the index altogether.
To avoid getting hit with an unnatural link penalty from Google, there are certain practices you should follow:
• Ensure that any link building efforts you undertake are organic and natural. Rather than purchasing links or using automated systems to generate backlinks from low quality sites, focus on gaining natural links through content creation and promotion techniques such as guest blogging and providing content to influencers who will likely share it with their followers.
• Regularly monitor your backlink profile so that you can identify any potentially problematic patterns that may indicate the use of black hat techniques such as link farms or buying text links.
• Disavow any suspicious looking backlinks by submitting a disavow list via Google Search Console so that they don’t impact your site’s rankings negatively.
• Make sure all external linking is relevant and contextualized within the content you create – otherwise Google may consider them suspicious and unnatural.
Of course, it’s impossible to be 100% sure when it comes to avoiding penalties from search engines; however, by taking care to follow these steps you’ll have taken the necessary precautions towards protecting your website’s visibility in search results without having to worry about being penalized for unnatural linking activities.
Bonus Off-Page SEO Tips
Participate In Roundup Posts:
Roundup posts are collections of information from multiple sources that are organized into one article or blog post. Participation in roundup posts is a great way to get a backlink to your website while providing readers with helpful content from many different sources. To get involved in these roundups, find websites that accept contributions for such posts and add yourself as a potential participant by submitting a request with an appropriate topic suggestion. Be sure to provide relevant information about yourself and why you’re an expert on the topic you’re suggesting. Once accepted, craft thoughtful responses to each of the questions posed by the host.
Being featured as an expert in interviews is another fantastic way to build links and establish your authority within an industry niche or market segment. You can either reach out directly to blogs or publications that might be interested in featuring you or search for people who are looking for experts on specific topics related to yours. If someone reaches out asking if they could interview you on their podcast or blog, make sure you accept! Always prepare well beforehand by researching similar interviews so you know what kind of questions may be asked and how best to answer them.
Partner With Bigger Brands:
Partnering with larger brands is an excellent off-page SEO technique that can help bring more organic traffic and boost conversions for both parties involved. Look for companies that have complementary products or services and offer something unique in exchange for linking opportunities between each other’s websites. These partnerships should involve some type of mutual benefit such as joint content creation projects, discounted offers, access to exclusive events or materials, etc., which makes it easier for both sides to justify joining forces while increasing exposure at the same time.
Create Visuals That Other Blogs Can Use:
Visual content continues gaining popularity among internet users worldwide due to its ability to engage audiences while conveying important messages quickly and efficiently across all platforms. As part of your off-page SEO strategy, consider creating visual elements like infographics or other graphics that other websites may find useful when covering related topics on their own blogs or publications – of course, always make sure proper attribution is given back whenever possible! This will not only benefit both sites but also increase awareness about your brand as it gets shared with more people over time.
Keep shooting for those backlinks but don’t also forget that non-link related off-page SEO tactics like PR, guest posting, brand mentions, customer reviews and directory submissions can also work wonders.
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