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.

A Complete Guide To Off Page SEO Las Vegas

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?

Off-page SEO, also known as off-page optimization or off-site SEO, refers to efforts made outside of your website to improve your ranking and visibility on SERPs. Off-page SEO involves a series of deliberate actions taken to improve how search engines and users see your website, in terms of its relevance, popularity, authority and trustworthiness. You achieve all of these through other pages, websites or people linking, mentioning or vouching for the quality of your content.

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.

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Top Off-Page SEO Tactics To Improve Your Website

Off-site SEO tactics can be grouped two:

Link-related off-page SEO

Non-link related off page SEO

Link-Related off-page SEO

Link building is a cardinal factor when it comes to off-page SEO. Google and other search engines use backlinks (links coming from other webpages, online business directories or social media) as a signal to determine the quality of the linked-to content. This implies that a website or page that receives high volume of backlinks will most likely be ranked higher than those with low volume.

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
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.

Manually-built links
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.

Self-created links
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

Geo-Relevant Links
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.

Non-link related off page SEO

Press release

Over the last decade, the practice of using press releases as a means to improve SEO has gained wild popularity among SEOs. Today, digital PR is commonly used as a link building tactic and has yielded results on many occasions. You can write a PR to tell a story about your product, service or brand and then include linkable assets in order to receive backlinks after the PR has been published by the target media.

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 Submissions

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.

Reviews

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

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.

Conclusion

Ranking on top of the Google pages requires your ability to optimize for both on-page and off-page SEO. Although many off-page SEO are not entirely under your control, following the tactics highlighted in this guide will help you to better position your website and earn position reputation from search engines and other websites in your niche or industry.

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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