In this blog post, we are going to answer “what is off page SEO?’ and we will also take a brief look at how you can implement off page SEO techniques to improve your websites search rankings.
What is off page SEO?
Let’s jump right in. Off page SEO is exactly what it sounds like. It is all efforts taken outside of your website to improve your search engine rankings.
As a blogger or content creator, you’ll naturally begin with on page SEO.
For information on how to improve your on page SEO take a look at this post, How to increase SEO by building a high-quality website.
Once you’ve mastered some on page SEO tactics, you shouldn’t stop there. Effective off page SEO tactics improve your sites authenticity, trustworthiness and relevance to your market.
We will look at the linking and non-linking efforts you can take to improve your off page SEO score. Let’s dive in.
- Link Building
Creating off page links to your website is one of the more popular and effective ways to improve your off page SEO score. That’s because backlinks (linking) from other websites to yours earns higher trust on search engines, telling search engines it has high quality content.
Google’s back linking algorithm is called PageRank. This looks at the quality and quantity of the links back to your website and gives you a score based on these.
As we already know, Google gives your website a higher SEO score when you have a high user experience which equals greater exposure.
There are many popular but outdated link building strategies that are big No’s in the off-page SEO world. These include:
- Blog Directories
This is the equivalent to Yellow Pages online with each entry pointing to their website.
- Article Directories
There are some article directories out there which you can publish your content to get links back to your website.
- Shared Content Directories
Some webpages out there allow you to publish content and in return, you could add a couple of links pointing to your websites.
- Comment Links
You may have noticed people leaving these types of links on the comments of your own blogs. They are annoying and almost always irrelevant to your website. They work by leaving a comment with a link embedded in the text to their website.
- Forum Signatures
This is the same as comment links but instead of comments on a blog they are comments in forums.
- Link Exchange Schemes
This is where bloggers work together and provide links to and from each other’s websites.
While these ‘Black Hat SEO’ techniques used to be effective at increasing your score, Google’s algorithm has caught up and now recognise links from poor authority pages. If you’re caught out you’ll not only get a poor PageRank score, but you’ll also be penalised through the Google Panda and Penguin updates, which target low quality websites, and recognise link farms, over optimized anchor text and low quality links.
So how to get organic links?
As we’ve discussed already, you should aim to achieve a great user experience. So any links to your page must provide value to your website. The most effective way to do this is by creating natural links.
Natural links are links to your website due to interesting content, and links from your website to another because they have interesting content. While this is a long-term strategy, it is the most effective way to increase strong links.
You need to have high authority linking pages.
Amount of referring domains
The more links you can have from unique websites, the higher your SEO score again.
Broken link building
This technique involves searching the web for related content that has broken links. You know you’ve found a broken link when a link sends you to a 404 error page – usually caused by an expired link.
A great way to increase links to your website is by creating compelling content. A quicker and effective way to achieve this is to create infographics or by integrating data into your blog posts.
Another thing to consider is diversifying your anchor text. This means simply using different keyword phrases throughout your text so that Google views your links as natural and not manipulative.
Google My Business (GMB)
If you haven’t already, you need to set up a Google My Business profile. This will ensure that your business will appear at the top of the search results when people are searching locally to you.
Keeping up to date on any review websites is key to maintaining a healthy and accurate online image. Particularly when it comes to Google My Business, Trust Pilot and Trip Advisor. Be sure to visit these websites frequently as you may not always be notified of review.
Make sure you respond to customer reviews consistently, this includes both positive and negative reviews. By responding well to negative reviews, you can influence the preconception an onlooker will have about your business, and even turn them into loyal customers.
NAP citations (Name, Address, Phone) are common ways of displaying your information on business directories, social profiles, blogs or newspaper websites.
By providing consistent information across different NAP citation locations, it verifies to Google My Business the information it has on file for you.
But it is extremely important that all of the data you provide is the exact same across the board. If a NAP citation has inconsistent data here or there (e.g a different telephone number), Google will penalise you for any confusion or misleading information.
Social Media Marketing
While being active on social media gives you a presence, you need to ensure you are communicating the right messages about your brand.
The three things you need do on social media include:
- Monitoring your online reputation
Get a brand monitoring tool, we talk about this further on in the post.
- Be responsive
Like responding to reviews, engaging with your audience and providing support is key to your reputation. It can make or break loyalty to you.
- Follow your thought leaders
Try to get in with the thought leaders in your niche. If they can mention or share any of your content, you’ll get a new flood of potential customers. But remember this is a two-way relationship, so share their content and be supporters of their work too.
It’s a little harder to achieve brand mentions as an off page non- link SEO tactic, but not impossible.
Brand mentions are either linked or unlinked. It’s easy to recognise a linked brand mention as there will be a hyperlink included in the source, that can be clicked to direct you to the content being referenced.
Then there’s unlinked brand mentions. This is where people reference or mention a brand within their content but fail to supply a link directly to the source. Google refers to this as an ‘implied link’.
This is Google’s way of showing recognition for implied links that deserve to be recognised when they aren’t.
So how can you achieve brand mentions? A few ways involve, writing a guest post, be a guest on podcasts or interview blog pieces, do blogger outreach or even achieving the impossible and going viral.
Only 9% of tweets use the @ symbol when mentioning companies. That means the other 91% of people are talking about you without you even knowing it!
Make it easy for people to create direct links to your content by implementing a brand mention monitoring tool!
Once you’ve mastered your on page SEO, your next step is to improve your off page SEO efforts.
So, don’t skip on building your off page presence, as it is now considered more valuable than on page to your SEO score. You’ll not only increase in search engine rankings but you’ll also get more webpage visits, more social media mentions and much more visibility.
Good luck and have fun!