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.
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.
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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