What is Off-Page SEO? Perfect the Off-Page SEO of Your Website and Be on Top of the Game
All set to rock in Google’s ranking? The on-page SEO is in place, and the website looks supercool, the pages load fast, the content is awesome and next level. But hey, what about the off-page SEO? Are you sorted on that?
Ummmm…. off-page SEO?
Yes, off-page SEO! If On-page SEO is the fuel that powers your website’s ranking on search engines, then off-page SEO is the driver that hits the accelerator!
Essentially, what a website ranks for is primarily determined by its on-page elements, whereas how high it ranks on SERP is determined by off-page factors.
What is off-page SEO
The principal focus of every SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy is to rank as high as possible on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo etc.
To achieve this, one tries to design and develop a website that Google and other search engines will love and give a high ranking.
The factors that the search engines evaluate for ranking are categorised into two broad categories – on-page and off-page.
On-page factors are what one has full control of, like, the technical set up of the website, textual and visual content, responsiveness, user-friendliness, page loading speed, the UX of the site etc.
On the other hand, off-page factors are ones that we have no control over. These are factors like backlinks, social media mentions, and other marketing activities done outside one’s website. As a result, the more relevant the links, higher is the ranking on search engines.
An exception to this is Google My Business (GMB), an off-page SEO activity on which a brand has full control.
In a nutshell, off-page SEO involves optimisation of the brand’s online and offline footprint through content, social media campaigns, positive relationships and backlinks.
It creates an optimal experience for prospective audience and search engine crawlers. It improves the perception of a site’s popularity, trustworthiness, relevance and standing.
Therefore, off-page SEO leads to a gradual increase in positive brand mentions, traffic to your site, higher search rankings and conversions.
Factors Determining Off-page SEO
Building strong backlinks is at the heart of off-page SEO. The number and quality of backlinks to your site determine how high you rank on SERP.
Search engines crawlers use backlinks as an indicator of the linked-to content’s value. The more the number of sites linking to your content, and more credible & reputed the sites, the higher the ranking.
There are three primary types of links:
- Organic Links: also known as 'Natural links', these are created without any activity by the page or site owner. For example, a lifestyle blogger adding a link to her/his post, mentioning their favourite cosmetic brand is an organic link. Guest blogging, featuring industry-related publications are some more forms of organic linking.
- Manually Built Links: These are created via thought out link building activities. For example: asking your customers to link with your website or asking an influencer to share your website’s content.
- Self-created Links: Activities like adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, commenting on blogs etc. are some examples of self-created links. Some of these tactics do not find favour on search engines and should be chosen with care and discretion.
2. Domain Authority
Domain authority is a number given by the search engines to determine the strength of a website. Measured on a scale of 1 to 100, the domain authority is like a grade and reflects how much preference a site will get.
Websites with higher domain authority will receive preference in search results, and consequently, the ones with a lower domain authority are likely to rank poorly.
Factors like the length of time the brand have had the domain name (longer the better), and the number of backlinks determines the measure of domain authority. Also, the number of 404 pages and the history of the domain name affect the score of domain authority.
By designing and developing a technically sound website that follows the best SEO practices, one can maximise the measure of domain authority and improve the rankings.
3. Non-Link Off-page SEO
No doubt, earning backlinks from external websites is the most prominent off-page SEO strategy. However, almost any activity that happens outside of the brand’s website, and helps in improving its ranking on SERP, can qualify as off-page SEO.
- Social media alignments: Page ranking is not linked directly to the engagements on a social media platform. However, social posts that generate a lot of clicks help in boosting traffic to the site. Additionally, it also leads to a lot of link sharing.
- Guest blogging: A researched, and well-written guest post can generate backlinks. However, focus on the quality of the backlink rather than the quantity and write on multiple blog sites.
- Linked and unlinked brand mentions: Many times, the brand gets a mention, but it is not linked back to its site, yet it builds on its off-page SEO.
- Influencer marketing: collaborating with relevant influencers through meaningful campaigns, sees a surge in link shares.
So, these are the key off-page SEO factors that help in improving the ranking of a website, with backlinking being the cornerstone.
How can one go about building strong backlinks to one’s website, you ask? Here are the prominently done backlinking activities that help a site in its off-page SEO.
11 Off-page SEO Activities for Creating Backlinks
Creating unique and engaging content
Excellent content is the undisputed king in SEO. Unique, fresh and engaging content generates more and more organic links to one’s website or blogs.
Research continually and keep reinventing and updating the content.
Post on social bookmarking sites
Social bookmarking websites are hands down the best platforms to promote one’s site.
Bookmarking a webpage or blog post on popular bookmarking websites increases the traffic to the webpage or blog.
Directory submission is a continuous effort to build quality backlinks. Therefore, choosing an effective directory and relevant categories is critical.
Time-consuming and laborious, it takes time to deliver, but the results are rewarding and long term.
Involving participation in search forums related to one’s website and business, forum submissions, helps in building a strong connection within the community.
Replying to threads, answering questions, giving suggestions are some of the activities of forum submission.
Submitting articles in a high PR (page ranking) article submission directory is a great off-page SEO strategy.
High quality and original content with relevant keywords and a catchy title, targeting the correct category is a must, else it will get rejected.
Aligning with question and answer websites
Joining a high PR Q & A websites is one of the best ways to generate high traffic to one's website.
Join these sites and answer questions related to your brand, blog or website. Make sure to give relevant and precise answers.
Giving a link to your website, along with the answers, will help in increasing visibility.
Submitting videos on popular video submission sites is a fabulous off-page SEO strategy to get mileage for your videos.
Make sure to give the video a relevant and clear title, description, tags and reference links.
Video submission is one of the preferred ways to get good quality backlinks because all video submission sites have high PR.
Sharing optimised photos with correct URL, description and title tags on popular image submission websites is another popular backlinking activity.
Infographics are popular information sharing medium on the internet these days.
Share creative and informative infographics on infographics submission websites and give reference links to your webpage or blog.
Sharing short and attractive documents with unique content relating to your business or blog is another off-page activity that generates backlinks.
The content should be in ppt or pdf formats on document sharing websites.
Use Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a Google product that can be used for free and a powerful off-page SEO tool. In fact, it is the only off-page SEO on which the owner has complete control.
One can optimise this platform for enhancing the local SEO ranking.
Giving a lot of freehand to optimise the content and create links it can generate high volume traffic and create brand awareness.
Therefore, a good off-page SEO of a website helps in significantly improving the search engine bots and user perception of a website.
It can be done by getting strong and quality links from other trustworthy and popular sites. Also, brand mentions, shares of content and votes of confidence from external sources all contribute to a website's off-page SEO.
So, make sure to create high quality, unique content and do a great on-page SEO and get off your site and collaborate with other industry bloggers, websites and platforms to boost your ranking on the search engines.