When it comes to marketing and online advertising, there is no bigger buzzword than SEO. Although you’ve likely heard of search engine optimization, you may not have considered something just as important: off-page SEO.
This ultimate guide to off-page SEO will review everything you need to know to start incorporating it into your marketing strategy. We will discuss what it is and why it should matter – let’s dive in!
Understanding Off-Page SEO
Before we get into the details of why off-page SEO is valuable to your organization, it helps to understand what search engine optimization is. SEO refers to developing and optimizing content so that it appears higher on search engine results pages (SERP).
Google, Bing, and other search engines utilize complex algorithms that crawl through all the web pages online. While they browse each site, they index the pages so that people can find the content when they search for specific keywords.
If you structure your SEO properly, you will be able to boost your rankings in the algorithm and your site will appear earlier on the SERPs. As a result, you will also benefit from greater traffic to your page and higher conversion rates.
Consulting an organization for website optimization services is always a great way to stay on top on your SEO and convert more!
So, what is off-page SEO and how is it different?
Unlike on-page SEO that relies on the content displayed on the website itself, off-page SEO refers to actions you take outside of your domain to boost your ranking on search engines. While your initial thought might be links – and those important – there are other aspects of off-page SEO to consider.
When you have a successful off-page SEO strategy, Google and other search engines can understand how others feel about your landing pages. If you have more quality comments and links back to your brand site, Google will assume the page is effective and rank it higher.
The Foundation of Off-Page SEO
As we mentioned, there is more to off-page SEO than just great links. While that is a crucial aspect of the technique, you must also consider other activities that you could engage in to boost your SEO rankings outside of the landing pages.
We can split the foundation of off-page SEO into four categories: links, social media, content marketing, and local SEO.
Building links is by far the most important activity you can do to boost your off-page SEO.
It helps to imagine links from other websites as a vote in your favor – the more you get, the more confident search engines will be that your content is worth ranking highly on the SERPs.
When SEO became a popular way for marketers to increase brand recognition and brand development, they were doing anything they could to get backlinks.
For instance, they would pay for users to post links on forums, comment on their blogs, or create links for them. However, search engines like Google have gotten very strict when reviewing off-page SEO and those practices will cause your brand to be penalized.
Types of Backlinks
There are two types of links to consider: built links and natural links. These are the most effective ways to comply with search engine guidelines while supporting backlinks and off-page SEO.
A built link refers to one that involves getting attribution or mentions from other publishers and websites. Generally, you need to reach out to those organizations and request that they include your links on their site.
Natural links, on the other hand, are earned through the regular course of business. They occur when customers organically mention your brand through reviews on social media or other platforms.
While it helps to be referenced by other sites across social media platforms, the algorithms that search engines use will measure the quality of those domains as well.
Google wants to know that credible websites are linking to your page before they list you at the top of the search engine results page!
For instance, they can hyperlink your website within anchor text that is relevant and descriptive to support your off-page SEO – but if the content is spammy or forced, Google will ignore it.
Social Media Engagement
Engagement on social media is not just important for increasing brand awareness and engaging with consumers. It also plays a crucial role in establishing your domain authority and increasing your ranking on search engine results pages.
For example, Google will consider whether social media channels are directing traffic to your main website. They will take this as a sign that your content is of high quality – and they will rank your pages accordingly.
In other words, your goal should be to boost traffic from diverse channels to ensure that the search engines promote your pages first!
You can also leverage content marketing to enhance your off-page SEO. Blogs, surveys, whitepapers, guest posts, downloadable offers, and other content marketing allow you to expand your reach and increase your brand's visibility.
Incorporating these activities into your marketing strategy will also help you generate leads and establish your credibility as a brand, so it is a must!
The last pillar of off-page SEO is optimizing your company website for local searches. If your business operates in a certain area or caters to a particular location, you must optimize local SEO.
For example, this is beneficial for salons, bakeries, grocery stores, and other local staples that could benefit from popping up on Google results pages. If you can increase your rankings on the SERPs, you will be able to boost your nearby traffic.
One of the best ways to enhance your local SEO is to ensure that your contact information, hours, and other relevant details are consistent across all your media. That means that your social media pages, website, and other links provide the same data.
Other ways to improve local SEO include listing your company on the Google My Business directory and creating Trip Advisor and Yelp pages.
Doing so will encourage clients to leave you a review and give potential customers a place to learn about your business before they shop with you.
Why does Off-Page SEO Matter?
Now that you know what off-page SEO is and what it consists of, you may be wondering – why does it matter? Why should you spend time managing activities that occur through links and content marketing outside of your standard brand website?
The short answer is that it helps you improve your search engine rankings by showing Google that the world perceives your brand as helpful and reliable.
They want to deliver relevant search results to their users, so they will only promote websites that will provide the best outcomes for each query.
Is your brand the right fit for a search query? Does your content align with the keywords that someone identified?
By focusing on your off-page SEO, you can control how the credibility of your brand is perceived. Trustworthy companies will have links on other credible pages, such as Google, Yelp, or Facebook.
Similarly, positive reviews mentioned online can have a significant effect on your search engine optimization.
Whether your off-page SEO strategy involves building a strong presence on Instagram or Twitter or focusing on connecting with your local community, the key is that it will improve your online brand reputation and drive traffic to your website.
If you are curious to learn more, check out our guide on the Top 5 Simple SEO Mistakes and How to Easily Fix Them.