Off-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a powerful tactic that helps a ton get any site to rank higher in the Google algorithm. Almost every brand and business has shifted online and given their social media marketing strategies utmost priority. But creating a website and account of your brand on different social media platforms is not enough. If you have a business or brand of your own, you need an audience. You need people to talk about your services, and thus, you think beyond your brand’s website. A successful SEO or search engine optimization will only result when marketers put equal efforts on SEO and off-page SEO.
You might think that off-page SEO is just about backlinks, but that is entirely untrue. There is much more to off-page SEO tactics than having a couple of links on your website. Before you start understanding what off-page SEO is, you might want to know the fundamentals of on-page SEO as that is the fundamentals. But in this guide, you would learn all about what off-page SEO entails. Understanding the basics would enable users to use the techniques to improve the Google ranking of your website. It will also allow you to drive a more significant amount of organic SEO traffic directly to your website.
To sum up the definition of off-page SEO in a line, it tells Google what type of opinions people hold about your website or blog. For instance, if you have many valuable links that point to your page, search engines would assume that the content you have on your website is fantastic. They will believe that the type of content you are showcasing is valuable to people as more and more people click on it. The more significant number of people that click on your website and cite from it, the higher your ranking will be on Google.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Coming to what off-page SEO is, it is an umbrella term that refers to indirect actions related to SEO. These indirect actions aid in boosting the website on the Internet. These actions generally take place away from the said website. If you have a proper marketing strategy, you probably already do great on-page SEO for your blog or website. But off-page SEO is something that you can’t ignore at all. People commonly believe that off-page SEO is just about backlinks, as has been mentioned before. But the reality is contrary to this belief. Since off-page SEO is an umbrella term, there is a wide range of techniques that you can apply to have an edge in the competition of the Internet.
You can continue to do off-page SEO for years, thus increasing your website’s domain rating in the Google algorithm and other search engines. Some experts believe that external optimization or off-page SEO is more important than on-page SEO or internal optimization. When you have a new brand that you want to grow and boost, you have to pay equal importance. To say it in a nutshell, off-page SEO refers to every activity that you or others may do away from your site. These activities are such that the ranking of your site increases on the Internet. The stuff you or others may do will let the search engines see that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.
While on-page SEO happens within site, off-page SEO happens beyond your site, as you may have understood by now. For instance, writing a guest post for another person’s blog or leaving a comment on it is equal to doing off-page SEO for their site. This guide will expound on all the techniques that you can implement to optimize your site or blog.
Why is Off-Page SEO essential?
If we speak about Google alone, it uses more than two hundred factors to rank sites. It is challenging to rank websites based on their content itself. Thus, off-page SEO comes in. As mentioned before, off-page SEO tells Google what people think about your website. It also shows how valuable your content is to the general audience. At this point, the crucial thing to do is to get links from high-quality websites. Backlinks and various off-site signals form the foundation of Google’s algorithm. Suppose your research on search engine ranking factors. In that case, you will find a clear correlation between Google rankings and the total number of backlinks.
Google was also on the record when they said they used PageRank as a part of their algorithm. But as we have mentioned quite a few times, links are just a part of off-page SEO; they do not make up the complete off-page SEO. Google has stated too that they use various off-page SEO signals to rank your website. Google also does “Reputation Research,” which entails relying mainly on a website’s off-site reputation to gauge whether the website is trustworthy or not. “Reputation Research” includes such things as looking at customer reviews online, experts’ recommendations, and mention of a website on Wikipedia or authority news sites.
According to several reports, marketers found that SEO is becoming more effective every day. 61% of marketers say that their number one priority is to improve the SEO of their websites and grow their organic presence.
What is E-A-T?
You could consider off-page SEO as a process of helping the search engines understand who you are, the purpose of your website, and how your website is relevant. Aforementioned, off-page SEO focuses on building the reputation and perception of your blog or website by highlighting the authority, expertise, and trust. Even Google has mentioned this in their Search Quality Rating Guide, which Google initially released in 2015. Google has updated this document very often, and its latest version strongly refers to E-A-T. E-A-T is the short form for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. E-A-T helps Google know whether:
- The website or blog that you have is trustworthy.
- You provide excellent content that other people trust and like.
- You are considered an authority and have excellent knowledge in your industry or subject matter.
For decades, search engines have been on the lookout for a way to be able to return the best websites or blogs for any given search phrase. To do this, they consider factors of both on-page and off-page SEO. But they provide off-page SEO more importance as these data points tell search engines and give them a better indication of what opinion people hold about your page. A website that is helpful to a more significant number of people will have more external data points. Your site earns these data points when the audience or people who use the website find it helpful.
How to build your E-A-T?
We all know those days are gone when your site could pop up on the top rankings on Google overnight. Now, you have to nurture your brand, build its expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to have your brand on the top of rankings. We have already explained what E-A-T is all about.
However, Google doesn’t rank websites based on E-A-T only. Now is when another term arises- YMYL. YMYL is a factor through which Google gauges the content on a website. It is an abbreviation for “Your Money or Your Life.” Google doesn’t just focus on showing their users the most relevant information about any given search keyword but the correct information. Specific keywords could lead to results that may adversely affect users’ “happiness, health and wealth.” It means that even if these pages are not of the best quality and could potentially impact a person’s well-being. Both YMYL and E-A-T come from the guidelines published by Google – “Google Search Quality Evaluator.”
Google updated the document in 2018, which said quality evaluators would be reviewing both the website and content creators’ E-A-T from then onwards. This required people who had their website would need to build both their and their websites’ E-A-T. Given below are some of the ways that you could develop your own E-A-T.
- You can achieve it by having author boxes. Author boxes that link to the authors’ profiles of your website’s authors elsewhere on the Internet would help you build your credibility.
- You can also use author schema markup. It is essentially structured data that convey to Google the details about the author along with their credentials.
- Lastly, you must know your subject matter and learn how to deliver all kinds of relevant information most easily and understandably possible.
- You have to create expert content firstly, by knowing what they want and delivering what they need. For this, you need to research keywords thoroughly. You need to put yourself in a user’s shoes and think about what their needs might be.
Technical vs. On-Page vs. Off-Page
The most commonly mentioned terms when we talk about ranking factors are technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. Here is the breakdown of each of these terms.
It aims at enhancing the indexing and crawling of your website or blog by the algorithm of Google. Technical SEO also includes strengthening the structure, speed, canonicalization of the URL, and much more.
On-page SEO includes all the SEO strategies used directly on your blog or website. When the content on your site is optimized, search engine robots can scan the websites all around the clock. Thus, how helpful the content on your website is compared to other competing sites. Search engines judge the text content, media, photos, links, and tags as part of their algorithm.
Off-page SEO refers to all the activities that happen beyond your website, which ultimately promotes or boosts it. Though link-building does not sum up all SEO strategies, it is a crucial part of off-page SEO. You can do many other things too to boost your website in its ranking. You can resort to PR, social media marketing, and much more.
Mainly, it would be best if you worried about the factors when trying to get your site to rank higher are on-page and off-page SEO. Before that, you must be familiar with how both of these differ. On-page Seo refers to all of the activities you perform on the site to boost its rating. Some of the activities included in on-page SEO are writing optimized headlines, giving right heading tags, targeting long-tail keywords, etc. On-page SEO activities are crucial if you want to optimize your site to the maximum.
But On-page Seo activities are different from those of off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is much more time-consuming and tedious compared to on-page SEO activities. Off-page SEO tactics like building links and improving your online presence do take a lot of time but ultimately yield long-time results.
You cannot choose between either technical SEO or on-page and off-page SEO. Each of these three is vital if you want to improve your website on search engines. You have to put effort into all three of these. No skipping is allowed! It would be best if you were on top of your game both when it comes to on-page or off-page SEO.
Off-page Ranking Factors
We have already talked about it above that Google alone has over 200 ranking factors used in its algorithm to rank websites or blogs. These ranking factors, of course, don’t just count either on-page factors or off-page ones. For that matter, Google or any search engine requires you to put equal efforts into your on-page SEO and your off-page Seo tactics if you want to be ranked among the top. But as you already know, off-page SEO is a lot more difficult as the Google algorithm keeps changing. Thus it would be best if you remained up to date with it, always.
But how do you do that? It would be best if you always focus on PR and traditional marketing. Both of these will allow you to share what you know and where your expertise lies freely. Coming to the other crucial factors of off-page SEO, here are some of them.
- Google my Business
- Video websites
- User Reviews
- Brand citations and mentions on other articles, websites, or even the media
- Social media profiles and being active in each of them
- Podcast appearances and interviews
- Speaking and presenting at events
- Local listings and directories
- Referring to backlinks and domains
Each of the above factors helps Google connect the dots online and gauge how you and your blog or website assist the audience within the industry or community. The more you interact and connect with your audience, the more relevant you are. Consequently, your authority over Google also enhances.
The two umbrellas of SEO
There has always been ambiguity regarding off-page SEO ranking factors because Google has issued mostly incomplete or biased statements. Due to such information by Google, we can say that all of the off-page SEO ranking factors comprise two umbrella factors. They are-
- Brand Presence
Umbrella term no. 1, that is, links, is pretty self-explanatory and a prominent factor. Both on-page and external links that point to your website or blog are essential to indicate how high your site ranks on Google.
Umbrella term no. 2, that is, Brand presence can be considered as a ranking factor as a whole. Brand presence refers to your presence on all the different social media platforms and your activities there. The more active you remain on your social media accounts, the faster Google will realize that you are authoritative. Consequently, the ranking of your site will improve.
What are backlinks, and how to build natural and relevant ones?
Links are, of course, the most crucial factor when it comes to off-page SEO tactics. Coming to backlinks, also called inbound links, are created when any third-party blog or website links over to the content on your site. Backlinks are beneficial as they help create awareness about your brand, drive traffic to your website, and improve your websites’ organic search ranking.
A large percentage of people focus a ton on backlinks and end up going against the rules. They perform or create troll websites to request backlinks, pay for backlinks, and even inject malware into sites to build backlinks programmatically without the website owner’s knowledge or consent. It would be best if you never indulged in any of these activities as these are not only a waste of valuable time and money, but these also go against Google’s rules. Instead, you must focus on being an active part of your community, providing knowledge and relevant information, and helping your audience.
Though there are many link-building methods out there, you do not need to follow all of those. The two best strategies that would help you build high-quality links are-
Value-Centric Guest Posting:
The best way to build links is by guest blogging. Neil Patel even refers to it as the best inbound marketing strategy. But your guest blogging efforts will go in vain if you are planning to do it to get a link. Neil Patels describe guest blogging as free promotion, and it won’t mean anything to you if there is no value to it. You could say guest blogging is a relationship-building tactic than it is a link-building strategy. To say it, you should focus on providing more value than trying to get a link to your website or blog. It also doesn’t mean that you do a random listicle(listing article) or a How-to content. Your content should be so incredible that it automatically ranks for keywords as well as gets links. It would be best if you focus on making cornerstone guest blogs.
The steps that you could follow to the public value-centric guest blog are-
- Firstly, you need to identify those blogs in your industry that allow and accept guest posts.
- Then it would be best if you always read through their guest posting guidelines thoroughly.
- Thirdly, you must choose such topics for your guest post that would potentially rank higher and also attract links.
- Then it would be best if you pitched the guest article you have written.
- Lastly, you must start promoting your guest post as soon as it gets published.
Infographics, also referred to as guestographics, are link magnets. You can publish an appealing infographic on your site or blog and you would be able to build excellent quality links. There are four crucial steps involved when you want to publish an infographic that would ultimately help you make links. The steps are listed below.
- You must thoroughly research the infographic topic that you will write on.’
- You must create great content for the infographic.
- It would be best if you designed a fantastic infographic.
- You must publish the infographic and reach out to people who have posted such content that is related to the topic you chose.
Off-Page SEO Checklist
Now that you know most of what entails off-page SEO and the ranking factors look at the checklist given below. The off-page SEO checklist will help you determine how to incorporate them properly in your marketing plans.
Social media marketing:
This social media does not have the most direct relation with off-page SEO. The link between them is pretty simple. The more your website is mentioned on the various social media platforms, the better exposure you get. You would thus be able to gain a more extensive audience day by day. Search engines may not count social media in their ranking factors, but it dramatically affects SEO nonetheless.
Blogging or Guest blogging:
Aforementioned, guest blogging is the best way to build links and your reputation. When you write a guest blog, you would be able to link your website in the post where you are writing the author’s (that is, you) bio. Thus, you can also build your brand awareness.
Link building is the most important part of off-page SEO tactics, as we have already mentioned several times. Your website will rank higher in Google and other search engines if several links promote it.
Soon, we might see that the harder it is to get a link from any site, the better it works in creating brand awareness. There are also several other ways that you can build brand awareness. Firstly, you could try out social bookmarking. It is a very effective strategy that would increase your presence online and also your web traffic. You could also try out influencer marketing.