With markets having turned digital, most brands today know the sheer importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Having a good SEO strategy is important to not only improving your brand’s image and exposure but also ensuring that your business remains sustainable for a long time to come. However, with SEO, people usually tend to focus on optimizations of their own domain. They will talk about their content readability, the site’s navigation, loading speed, how it works across platforms, etc. Of course, all that is very important but it is just half the effort required.
On-page SEO is essential for a website, but off-page SEO is also important when it comes to ranking high on Google and getting your brand the right leads and exposure. With enough relevant backlinks, a site can rank much higher on search results than it can without them. But off-page SEO goes beyond backlinks. It consists of a host of other key techniques you can implement to improve your site’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness). But what is off-page SEO? And how exactly does it work? Let’s find out.
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What is off-page SEO?
Simply put, off-page SEO refers to all the SEO that happens out of your website or domain. But while it is easy to confuse off-page optimization with simply link building, it actually entails much more than that. Of course, off-site link building in SEO plays a major portion in this kind of optimization. But backlinking is not the only way to get Google and other search engines to notice your domain.
In fact, brand name mentions and hyperlinks on other trustworthy websites play an equally important role in off-site SEO. So, backlinking and brand mentions make up one portion of it. What else? Turns out, when you write a guest post for someone else’s blog or even so much as comment as your brand (and not as an individual) on other pages, blogs, and sites, it counts as off-page promoting. There are, of course, plenty of other off-page techniques in SEO and we will get to that in a bit.
But first, let’s try to answer why off-page SEO is even important. Isn’t all the effort we put into on-page SEO enough? Turns out, it might not be.
Why Off-Page SEO Is Important?
Google’s algorithm might constantly be updating, but no matter what new updates come along, off-page optimization still plays a major role in helping your page rank. This is because off-page SEO techniques allow a site to drastically improve its relevance, authority, and overall trustworthiness. This also consequently increases its chances of ranking high in the list of search results.
Of course, it is difficult to fully pinpoint how much weight each SEO technique carries when it comes to Google’s (and other engines’) algorithms. Experts, however, seem to agree that off-page optimization likely shoulders at least 50% of it.\
Off-page SEO involves building links from multiple sources. These links are of two types:
A do-follow link is a default link type that allows Google bots or spiders to pass link juice or value to the link or webpage that is linked to. For e.g.: If a renowned fashion magazine, let’s say X, adds an article to their website and gives a do-follow link to relevant business, let’s say Y, it means that X is giving some of their own value to Y. This value helps Y achieve a better PageRank and rank better on SERP. The best way to use a do-follow link is to add a relevant keyword as the anchor text.
Google observes the number of do-follow links you get to your website and from the number of separate domains you get it from. The more the number of do-follow links from multiple and relevant domains, the more the value that is being passed.
This is what a do-follow link looks like:
<a href=”https://www.infidigit.com”>INFIDIGIT Consultants</a>
A no-Follow link type means Google bots or spiders will not follow such links. They won’t pass any link-juice or value to the page where that is linked to. As no link juice is passed, no-follow links won’t have any influence on rankings. No-Follow links were introduced in an attempt to stop web spam.
This is what a no-follow links look like:
<a href=”https://www.infidigit.com” rel=”nofollow”>INFIDIGIT Consultants</a>
Why Do You Need Off-Page SEO for Your Website?
Off-page SEO helps build a website’s recognition and domain authority. Without it, your site will continually rank below other websites that already have a more substantial lead. While links are not the only off-page signals that Google’s algorithm applies to rank a site, it is perhaps the most vital of the lot.
However, there are many other off-page SEO techniques or tactics that you should be practising. This will help to gain success from off-page SEO content marketing and help in brand building.
To put it simply, brands would struggle to rank at competitive search terms without off-page SEO.
What are the important factors to consider while doing off-page SEO?
Below are some of the off-page SEO factors to consider:
- Domain Authority
- Site Traffic
- Link Type
Domain authority is a measurement metric or score that was created by Moz to give an overview of a site’s performance. When doing off-page activities it is important to consider domain authority. Domain authority, or simply DA, represents the quality of a website. If a backlink leads from a website with higher DA to a website with lower DA via a do-follow link, it helps the lower DA website have a better page rank and rank well in SERPs.
It is important to get links from higher DA sites; however, it is more important that these sites be relevant to the one you want to link to. For e.g. If you get a link from a fashion brand with a high DA to your website which is all about a car dealerships, it will not make sense, and excessive irrelevant backlinks can trigger algorithms for a penalty.
When doing off-page activities like forum posting, bloggers outreach, etc. it is important to understand how much traffic these sites/people can drive towards you. For e.g. if you wish to do a blogger outreach activity or forum submission, you will check those site’s traffic with a chrome extension like SEO Meta in Click. Once you confirm that the amount of traffic the site receives is substantial enough, you can proceed with the activities.
There are two types of links that we build while doing link building or off-page activities. They are dofollow and no-follow Links as elaborated above.
Importance of Obtaining Relevant Backlinks and How to Get Them
Whenever the question ‘what is off-page SEO’ is asked, backlinking is one of the first answers. Backlinks have played a crucial role in elevating the SEO rankings of websites above and beyond.
Over 100 billion searches on Google are made daily that have products or services like their search queries. Most of the clicks from these searches are driven by over 200 ranking factors decided by Google, and backlinks are one of them.
Natural links to your website that are present on any website with a good enough domain authority act as a vote of confidence from these websites for yours in the eyes of Google. It helps search engines trust the content on your website more.
Off-page SEO works to make sure that your backlinks are strong and visible to search engines. But how do you get relevant and user-friendly backlinks from authoritative websites? Here are some of the most effective ways:
4 Major Benefits of Off-page SEO
Building Broken Links
When people are organically visiting your page via search results, they are expecting to see the content they searched for rather than a 404 error. Broken link building is one of the most efficient off-page SEO techniques to ensure that your website remains accessible to people. Conduct backlink analysis and contact the owners of the website to let them know about any broken links. This might help you in securing authoritative backlinks on the website you helped out.
Create Engaging Infographics
Infographics can help you in generating 37.5% more backlinks than a blog. You should definitely try this link-building tactic to attain more backlinks.
13 Different Types of Off-Page SEO activities
Now that we have you caught up on the basics of off-page SEO, we shall explain the various activities you must take up to improve your chances of ranking well on Google SERPs. Here is a list of crucial off-page SEO activities and how to go about them:
Broken Link Building
Users do not like to be redirected to other pages or find non-existent 404 pages when they visit your site. And so is the case with other site owners too. Broken link building is about finding such broken, outbound links on other sites within your niche, alerting them to it, and offering them your page link as a worthy replacement. But why do broken links occur in the first place? Broken links are created when a site’s web hosting expires, its assets are mishandled during the migration or a link is misspelled. You can easily spot broken links by conducting a simple backlink analysis on a site you want to be linked by.
Brand building and SEO are complementary partners in the world of online marketing since both aims at improving SERPs and lead conversion. Overall, the off-page SEO factors elevate the relevance, authority, and trustworthiness of the brand’s content.
Brand building helps companies of all sizes present themselves as a consumer reliable brand. It provides the much-needed stature, social media presence, and trustworthiness to brands.
A good brand-building exercise results in an increase in the number of clicks on your web page and also pulls you ahead of your competitors. As per Google, if the online brand presence meets the EAT criteria, it has higher prospects of a good ranking.
Here are few brand-building efforts that form part of off-page SEO techniques and help in meeting the EAT criteria:
1. Brand building via social media
Social media platforms are where buyers and sellers engage the most. The brands that make their presence felt on social media are the ones that actually win the heart of their target audience. Google monitors such platforms and their polling results. Apart from this, Google studies these social media platforms for understanding the latest trends and consumer behavior. So always have links to social media pages in your domain name, and keep yourself active there.
2. Brand building via expertise
Be clear about what the brand stands for and never compromise on the quality of the product or service. Focus on the web page style, design, and content. The audience, once misled, is difficult to bring back on the page.
3. Brand building via content marketing
Create an added value for the user with unique and authentic content. Google admires brands that are knowledgeable about their niche. For this purpose, content marketing strategy can come in handy. The content should not only be unique but also informative enough to lure the audience. Brands that keep updating their audience with blogs or articles, which provide information and market research on the entire industry, are the ones with the best prospects.
Bloggers have a lot of clouts these days as they command huge fan followings or reader bases. By conducting some research online or using professional off-page SEO services, you can work alongside influential bloggers to reach their followers. Sponsored posts, online giveaways or promotions, ambassadorships, podcasts, product reviews, blogger events, etc. all fall under this category. Keep in mind that the bloggers you are interested to work with must be a good fit for your business and be somewhat of an industry or domain expert or pandit to help you in your off-page SEO efforts.
Being active on various online discussion forums is a great way of getting people to notice your brand. Helping people find solutions to various problems and discretely linking to your site wherever appropriate (without overdoing it) or leaving comments on others’ posts with optimized anchor text in your signature is key. Make sure to create complete and interesting profiles on such sites before engaging in the above-mentioned activities.
This is an extension of posting on forums as various online platforms now use the simple but effective question-and-answer or Q&A format to attract users. Being active on Quora, Yahoo Answers, etc. is a great way to boost your online presence and direct users to your site. The more helpful and genuine the information you give out, the better your reputation as a helpful participant gets. This will only lead to more users making their way to your site and converting to customers/buyers. Just make sure that you track down the forums relevant to your domain or find Q&A threads that are thematically or topically beneficial to you.
Social bookmarking involves searching for, saving, and sharing sites or pages that you find interesting using social bookmarking sites. Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and other social bookmarking sites are quite popular today. Again, it is important to find sites that are relevant to your niche and promote your content there. Being tagged on such sites can lead to a feature on Google SERPs. People who make their way to your site from such social bookmarking sites do so because they found you there under topics they are interested in. You can also add social bookmarking buttons on your site to make this off-page SEO process simpler.
Image submissions are another important off-page SEO technique used today, visual content is the most consumed and popular kind. Image submission is to do with submitting the images you use on your site (including infographics) on various image submissions or sharing directories/sites. Selecting the best image file format, size, description, alt text, etc. also falls under this category. Photobucket, Flickr, imgur, etc. are examples of such sites.
Certain sites like Scribd, SlideShare, etc. accept informative documents in specific formats (like PDF or docx) to help users who are looking for articles on specific subjects. Submitting interesting content on relevant, popular topics within your niche in the form of simple, well-formatted documents is a great way of attracting users. Branding your content, including a few keywords in it, submitting your content to multiple sites, etc. are other good off-page SEO practices you can observe here.
An influencer, as the name suggests, is anyone with the ability to impact user behavior or purchase decisions. They may have a large following on various social media channels like Facebook or Instagram, their blogs, online publications, etc. Celebrities, industry experts or thought leaders, bloggers and digital content creators, micro-influencers (regular people who have gained a large fan following thanks to their knowledge on a specific topic), and others can be called influencers depending on their relationship with their followers. Product placement in the content they create, recommendation, review or demo posts, etc. can have a prominent effect on the way your brand or your products and services are perceived.
Events are a real buzz creator for your brand. And now that events have also gone online, they are a great source to drive social engagement. As an off-page SEO technique, these events (online/offline) go a long way in brand building.
One can create an off-site buzz by sponsoring or hosting the events. Whenever there is a mention of the event, the brand also gets noticed with hashtags, URLs, and social media links. The brand also gets a mention on the event’s landing page, which attracts more customers.
Get your brands linked to industry-specific events, for better brand engagement and PR coverage.
A well-maintained social media profile on various channels is a must for any upcoming business. Engaging with your customers as often as possible, keeping them in the know about future sales, new launches, etc., addressing their queries or grievances, asking for their feedback, sharing viral but relevant content created by you are all important social media marketing measures. Although social media links are usually of the no-follow variety, they are still important and can do your off-page SEO efforts a great deal of good. Make sure to include social media sharing buttons on your site/blog too.
Newsletters are perhaps the simplest yet most overlooked off-page SEO tactic. Keeping your user/customer base informed about your latest product or service offering, events, and sales, etc. can pay off like no other. While you can include content that you posted recently on your site in them, keeping your newsletters short but informative is best. You can also author content specifically for newsletters. Ensure that they are attractive and compelling and sent at a time when readers are most likely to open them.
Content marketing is one of the most popular types of off-page SEO techniques and can help your website achieve many goals. Defining the goals of your content marketing campaigns will influence what type of content you generate and help you in creating an effective content strategy.
Content marketing plays a crucial role in helping websites achieve their off-page SEO goals. Creating targeted content, generating organic and healthy backlinks, and creating buzz for the website go hand in hand in a competently created content marketing strategy.
Local SEO (GMB & Citation)
Local SEO plays a key role in helping rank your website high for local search terms. A local citation is the mention of your brand online. This mention can be in a blog, an industry-specific website, a business directory, a PR release, or any other locally relevant website.
Local citations are also a part of off-page SEO practices and are a ranking factor in local SEO for websites. Google My Business (GMB) is an extension of local SEO, where your business listing shows up on Google for relevant local search terms.
Any form of audio content like podcasts was not considered an SEO asset by Google until very recently. Knowing your way around making podcasts SEO-friendly can be of significant help in your off-page SEO strategy.
For instance, Google’s NLPs are now very capable of detecting verbalized keywords. This can also help you organically advertise on your podcast to gain more visibility on the search engine. Additionally, having a strong and recognizable voice in your podcast can also help smooth things out for Google in detecting these keywords. Another trick here is to transcribe your podcasts properly. Transcripts are going to play a crucial role as they will be primarily used to match a podcast with search queries.
Implementation of off-page SEO techniques is very much needed to determine the authority of your web page and to shape your brand appropriately. You need to focus on multiple other core factors other than link-building for effective SEO optimization.
Do you know that nearly 89% of people consult online reviews before purchasing a product or service? Reviews are an integral part of the buyer’s buying process since people have a high level of confidence in the feedback of fellow buyers.
When used and presented properly, reviews help Google better understand the brand and ultimately rank it better. Brands that have collected reviews on third-party platforms also enjoy the increased trust and better site optimization.
Although the power of personal recommendation still overpowers the significance of online reviews, there are nearly four in five consumers who value online feedback as much as personal recommendations. However, as a brand, one should always remember that reviews can be both positive and negative. And so can be their impact on the search engine ranking of your brand.
When your brand makes use of a third-party site to reach more people, it is called web content syndication. It differs from guest posts and is eventually more helpful too since it’s more scalable. Simply write a blog and keep republishing it on multiple other sites.
But beware! Content syndication also suffers from certain setbacks, which aren’t much appreciated as part of off-page SEO techniques. There is fear of content duplication, and Google out-ranking the third-party site (with stronger domain authority) above yours for the same blog post. Overall web content syndication is one of the promising off-page SEO activities for those looking for maximum exposure. But to take the support of famous and trending sites for republishing your blog, your content should match the benchmarks set by them. This also means that for effective web content syndication brands must lay emphasis on good content.
Types of links for Off-Page SEO
Natural links are when other bloggers, webmasters or site owners redirect links to the content on your Web page because they believe it would prove useful for their readers and would add substantial value to their site or page. Other website owners sharing your content naturally happens only when your content is top-notch and high quality with authority in the respective domain.
Built links are manually obtained links to gather with considerable efforts. This means that one has to invest time and energy contacting other site owners, webmasters and bloggers to feature your content, either through links or guest blogging. To obtain built links, you need to have substantial reach and recognition in the market.
Created links, as the name suggests, are created by the site owner to have search engines think that their links are relevant and important. There are several kinds of self-created links, such as backlinks on a forum or blog comments. There are good and bad backlinks that can help or hinder your SEO rankings.
Benefits of Off-Page SEO
Here are some definite benefits of off-page SEO to keep in mind when formulating a strategy:
Boost in Rankings
Off-page SEO can help brands boost their SERP (Search Engine Page) ranking. The higher your rank, the better your site visits, the better your click-through rate.
Increase in PageRank
PageRank is different from SERP rankings. PageRank refers to a numeric score between 0-10 awarded by Google to your website based on several metrics, including the overall page experience. The quality and number of links used plays a significant role.
Diverting traffic to your site so you have an influx of visitors that can be used as leads to convert down a funnel is one of the benefits of off-page SEO techniques.
High Google ranking factors go a long way in establishing trust between visitors and brands. This can be achieved through off-page SEO activities.
How Can We Avoid Penalties for Unnatural Links
Backlinks can significantly impact the performance of your website. However, it is a two-edged sword as unnatural backlinks can invite penalties from Google.
Recovering from a Google penalty can become a major hurdle for websites, as it tarnishes the website’s image for the search engine. Over the past few years, Google has changed its vision from seeing backlinks from high PR websites to those having a strong impact. Google now prefers user optimization, valuable and authoritative content, and user intent. The purpose of search intent has overpowered high CTR websites.
Google has not clued in the SEO community about any particular processes for avoiding penalties. However, there are a few practices that can help your website stay wary of these penalties and avoid the hassle of dealing with them. Let’s take a look at these practices
User Optimized Content
Putting your users at the forefront when creating any type of content goes a long way in avoiding Google penalties. Gone are the days when techniques like keyword stuffing would go unnoticed. To optimize the content as user-first, you must prioritize the value of content rather than its sale value. Promotional content should be minimized, and useful content must be prioritized. Integrate as much useful data into your content as possible for the covered topic. This will keep you safe from getting penalized by Google for any techniques that the search engine might consider unethical.
When you have conducted a thorough backlink analysis, you should start working on diversifying your anchor texts. This means that your content should use different phrases for keywords, diversified terms, and brand names. This practice ensures that Google sees your links as natural. Using the same anchor texts across several posts will signal the search engine that your links are manipulative or unnatural. This can lead to penalties from the search engine giant.
Remove Low-quality Links from Your Website
Always ensure that the links on your website are from high-domain authority websites. Conduct a full backlink analysis and ensure that low-quality links are removed, and no-follow links are organically blended into the link profile. This will make the backlinks appear natural to Google.
Off-Page SEO may seem easy when compared to on-page SEO or technical SEO, but there are many factors that are not under your control. Things like waiting for the verification of your accounts on various forums or sites, your posts, comments or submissions going unpublished due to them not meeting site requirements, etc. can mean that you must start over. However, if done right, off-page SEO can boost your search rankings substantially.
For more such insights on search marketing, check-in with us often.
What is off-page SEO in simple words?
Off-Page SEO refers to a collective set of activities that are done outside of your website to build links pointing out to you. The main agenda of Off-Page SEO is to create quality, relevant and trustworthy backlinks for increasing traffic and rankings.
What is the difference between On-page SEO and Off-page SEO?
On-page SEO is a technique that is used for optimizing individual web page elements to rank higher on the SERPs. While off-page SEO refers to activities done outside the website to boost rankings.
How to do Off-page SEO?
Content Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Guest Posting, and Influencer Outreach are some of the most popular types of off-page SEO techniques that can help you in doing off-page SEO and earning links.
What are the benefits of Off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO can help brands boost their SERP rankings and attracting traffic by increasing website exposure. Off-page SEO also benefits in building a website’s recognition, PageRank, and domain authority.
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