You might have heard of the term “off-page SEO” but what do you actually know about it? After today, you won’t ever have to wonder. Off-page SEO (or off-site SEO) refers to actions that are taken outside of your own website that has an impact on how your website ranks within search engine result pages (SERPs).
If you haven’t started with enhancing your on-page SEO, make sure you start there before diving into your off-page SEO campaign. If you’d like to know the difference between on-page SEO vs of-page SEO, we wrote a blog on that as well.
Off-page SEO is one of the most important aspects of your SEO campaign. There are a lot of variables that come into play when perfecting your off-page SEO campaign. Like anything in life, it comes down to a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. You can improve search engine rankings through other reputable places on the internet, such as sites, pages, people, social media, etc.
Creating popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority
On-page SEO is doing everything you can to make your site awesome. You have a great looking and functioning mobile-friendly site, you’re writing great content and have a solid site structure. You’re off to a great start.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is focused around making your site an authority online so Google search engines rank you higher.
One great aspect of writing quality content is ranking higher in Google’s search engines. Getting relevant sites to link to your content is going to increase your chances of increasing your ranking. As important higher rankings are, you want to make sure that you’re creating trust and a sense of authority with your visitors.
A great way of building trust with your visitors is with reviews, which can be found off your site. Reviews affect your rankings, which is why you want to make sure you have plenty of 5-star reviews on as many third-party review sites as possible. Popular ones are Facebook, Yelp, and Google.
Before we dive too deep into off-page SEO, let’s go over why it’s a must!
Why is off-page SEO Important?
Off-page SEO is tremendously valuable as it tells Google and other search engines that your website is more important than others on the web. The majority of any company that knows what they’re doing with SEO will have their on-page SEO fully optimized. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is much more difficult. Think of it as a tie-breaker for websites so search engines know the best site to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Although we don’t know the lengths of the full algorithm Google uses to rank, Search Engine Ranking Factors study show that off-site SEO related factors likely carry more than 50% of the ranking factor.
Links and Off-page SEO
One of the most important aspects of off-page SEO is building backlinks. Google and other search engines use backlinks to indicate the quality of the linked content. A site with many high-value backlinks will usually rank much better than the same site with fewer backlinks.
There are three main types of links that can be used:
- Natural links are given without any action being done on the owners part. Once a site has authority, other sites will want to link their content and pages to yours. Example: Entrepreneur.com is writing an article about an entrepreneur and they reference your company in their article backlinking it to your site.
- Self-created links are created by the site owner when adding backlink from sites like an online directory, forum, blog comments, press release, etc. Just make sure you stay away from black hat SEO techniques.
- Manual links are acquired through planned link-building initiatives. This can be done through many outlets. One major one is content syndication.
Links that have the most value are the ones that Google and other search engines will be ranking the highest. There are quite a few variables that define “value” to Google. Some of those are:
- The authority of the linking site
- The relevance of the linking site’s topic to the topic of the site that created the link
- The “freshness” of the link
- The number of other links on the linking page
- The trustworthiness of the linking site
Non-link Off-page SEO
Links are by far the most popular term to talk about when discussing off-site SEO, but there’s much more that goes into off-page SEO. Nearly every activity that happens off your website is considered off-site SEO.
Other forms of off-site SEO are:
Social media by itself is not essential for ranking high in search engines. It does assist with your rankings and more importantly, allows your visitors and customers to connect with you and your content. Your social media popularity will add to your brand’s credibility and trust factor, more so than your off-page SEO.
Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and other various forms of social media, help to get your content out there. This can then lead to other sites wanting to link to your site if you have authority in your space.
NAP citations are online mentions of your business and the contact information (Name, Address, Phone).
All local businesses should be utilizing local listings. According to Moz, citations are one of the top 10 local off-page ranking factors. This is a great way to get into Google’s “3-pack.”
There are linked and unlinked brand mentions, which Google talks about in one of its patents. Google started to notice that many brands get mentioned without ever receiving links. They thought that brands who receive unlinked brand mentions should also be added to Google’s ranking algorithm, just like linked brand mentions would. You’d still want to prefer linked versus unlinked but both are now taken into account for ranking.
A couple of good options for linked brand mentions are:
- Be on a popular podcast
- Write guest posts for other sites
- Launch a blogger outreach campaign
- Press releases
- Influencer marketing
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free business profile from Google. Just creating a Google My Business profile won’t be enough. You will need to continuously optimize your Google My Business profile as it is the most important ranking factor to rank in the Google “3-pack” and the fourth most important factor for regular local organic search results.
If you’re a local business, this is an absolute must for you.
Reviews are an incredibly important factor for ranking in Google’s “3-pack,” as well as ranking for local organic search results. The most positive and genuine reviews you have on your Google My Business profile will not only make you rank higher but add trust and comfort when visitors are researching your business.
Grow Your Business With SEO
If you’d like help auditing how good or bad your off-page SEO is, you can use our FREE SEO Audit resource.