Every digital marketer today must know SEO if they want to create and employ an effective marketing strategy. This encompasses all things related to on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. And, while all of them are equally important for a complete optimization for search engines for your website, in this post, we talk all about off-page SEO going to the essentials; otherwise, it will take a lot more than an article.
Also known as off-site SEO, this part of search engine optimization refers to all techniques happening outside your website used to improve its ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). And, while many people immediately think of link building and guest posting when talking about off-page SEO, there are more ranking factors (elements) included. All of them work together to ensure your website is completely optimized and visible by people searching for some of the topics (niches) related to it.
Once again, all the techniques involved in off-site SEO have nothing to do with your website but with other sites and platforms. Hence, there’re no changes on your site or the content published on it.
Simply explained, backlinks are links from other authoritative sites in the field to yours. They increase your site’s authority, relevance, importance, and rankings. Thus, they affect the users’ perception of your website and help build trust.
There are 3 types of backlinks based on the way they are earned:
Keep in mind that not all backlinks are equally important. Instead, their importance depends on several factors, including:
This type of off-page SEO includes sharing your content across social media channels and optimizing it with specific keywords and adding links to your website.
This refers to using influencers, usually on Instagram (also on Facebook) to promote your product or service or mention your brand on their posts. It can be in the form of simple promotions like tagging/mentioning your Instagram/Facebook profile or using affiliate links to promote your products/services.
This is a very common practice in off-site SEO and involves writing articles/blog posts about topics in your niche and posting them to other high-authoritative sites. However, in order to be able to write and publish them on the specific sites, you, first, need to reach out to the website owners/managers and ask them for approval. Keep in mind that the exact process of guest posting varies from one website to another but there’s usually always a guideline on how you can contact them.
You may think that on-page SEO is the most important, as many people do. However, as MOZ state, off-site SEO-related factors may actually carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight. Hence, you won’t be able to fully optimize your website and will struggle to rank for competitive keywords without employing some or all off-page SEO techniques.
Why is this so?
It’s because off-page SEO allows you to build your site’s authority, with that, your brand’s trust. If you don’t position your site as an authoritative one, you’ll never outrank your high-authoritative competitors. And, as you probably know, a site’s authority is one of the ranking factors of search engines.
Since backlinks are the core of off-site SEO, we start this list with the link-building technique. This one includes reaching out to authority sites to earn quality backlinks. When using this technique, you should focus on 3 main factors:
Now, when it comes to link building techniques, we have to mention the most important ones:
This technique includes writing and publishing/sharing various types of content on different sites. Some of the most common types of content are articles, blog posts, infographics, e-books, research papers, and whitepapers.
Content marketing includes sharing content across social media but also on your site and other sites. It encompasses all content that you publish and people read, thus raising awareness about your brand (company).
Almost everyone on this planet uses at least one social media platform. Hence, social media marketing is a must-use off-page SEO tactic for every digital marketer or SEO expert.
You can use social media channels to promote your products/services and website, communicate with your followers (consumers), sell your products/services, and drive organic traffic to your site.
Although social shares aren’t an actual ranking factor, they help businesses get discovered by sharing SEO content and using hashtags. Plus, it drives more traffic to your website, serves as a content marketing platform, helps you get fans (followers), and raises your reputation and authority. And, as you know, all of these directly affect your SERP rankings.
Speaking of social media, we can’t fail to mention influencer marketing and one of the top off-page SEO tactics. This one helps you raise brand awareness, build your reputation, and promote your products/services to the only masses.
To use this type of off-page SEO, you need to find the right influencers who will be willing to promote your brand (products/services). This involves inviting other brands or individuals to share your content, services, or products, thus promoting your brand.
This technique encompasses two sub-tactics: Google My Business and citations. They are both perfect for businesses that operate locally and have a physical location.
Google My Business allows you to get easily discovered by (mostly) locals or people who want to find out more about your business. It contains your exact location, accompanied by a Google Map, your website, and your telephone number. Also, it contains a customer reviews section that allows users to read honest reviews about your business.
Citations, on the other hand, are online mentions of your business and contain your business name, name, address, and phone number. They are mostly found in business directories.
Posting to other authority websites is one of the most common off-page SEO tactics used today and one of the ranking factors. A lot of businesses have used it to build brand awareness, authority, and trust, but also to drive organic traffic to their website. In fact, guest posting is probably the best way to drive traffic to your site and rank higher on SERP for free. Moreover, it helps you build links and building credibility and online reputation, which are some of the main ranking factors of SEO.
When you’re ready to do guest posting, you need to, first, find the website(s) on which you can post. And, you can’t just choose any site you want but those that are authoritative, popular, and relevant to your business and the topic of your post.
Customer reviews are probably the best way to raise brand awareness and build trust. The truth is that people tend to buy products/services from brands that have positive customer reviews. They spend time to read what buyers have to say about their purchases and then decide if they’ll buy from that brand or not. So, it’s wise to encourage your customers to leave a review.
Apart from helping consumers learn more about your business, customer reviews also help Google learn more and understand your website. As TrustPilot says, customer reviews help Google derive brand signals, which can help increase your site’s domain authority and rank it higher.
Believe it or not, podcasts are a fad right now in SEO due to their enormous popularity. More and more people turn to audiovisual content than text-only content because it’s easier to focus on it and it’s easier. And, since they’ve become a real deal, every business should use them as part of their digital marketing strategy. In fact, you can use podcasts to boost your off-site SEO because you will represent and mention your brand during the podcast.
You can either record your own podcasts where you talk about relevant topics or participate as a guest in others’ podcasts. No matter which one you choose, podcasts will benefit your business. In fact, they have several benefits, including:
Here’s one “oldie but goodie” off-site SEO tactic which is simple to do, yet efficient. By participating in forums, you will get exposure and set yourself as an expert in the field. In this way, you (your business) will earn traffic (since you’ll probably mention your brand and leave a link to your website), and credibility.
Moreover, you’ll have a chance to answer consumers’ questions related to your business niche/topic which can also help you find customers. Just make sure you don’t use forums as a link-building tactic. Instead, you should use them as a way to promote your content and drive traffic. For example, when you answer a question, you can also leave a link to one of your pages where users will find a detailed answer to their question.
And, having in mind that forums aren’t as popular as they used to be a decade or two ago, your competitors might not be there. This will help you get noticed on the forum.