As a whole, SEO is a combination of different tactics, all of which help you to rank your site higher on search engines. While there are many things you can work on your site (on-page SEO and technical SEO) to improve your search rankings, there are also plenty of things you can do externally, and this is where off-page SEO comes into play.
Speaking of off-page SEO, we can describe it as a way of increasing your brand awareness around the web. In other words, the work of off-page SEO is to spread the word about your brand while also contributing to your site ranking on SERPs.
In this article, we will talk about the factors that comprise off-page SEO and how you can use them to boost your site’s ranking.
But before that, let’s discuss off-page in a more in-depth way for you to understand better.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
In most cases, when off-page SEO is mentioned, what comes to mind is link-building. While link building is the main aspect of off-page SEO, there are other essential aspects as well.
Also called off-site SEO, off-page SEO involves all activities that are conducted outside a website to boost its ranking. This includes backlinking, social media strategy, influencer marketing, etc. For instance, when an influential person in your niche shares one of your posts to their popular pages on social media, this is an off-page SEO aspect.
You may ask, how will that boost my site ranking? Well, Google checks social signals to see how people perceive your content. Having quality backlinks to your site and getting high engagement on your posts are positive signals that will make you rank higher.
So, before getting into off-page SEO factors, we need to understand all about backlinks.
This is one of the most important aspects of off-page SEO. Search engines value backlinks, especially quality backlinks. The more backlinks you get from high-value sites, the more search engines trust your site and thus rank you higher than websites with fewer, low-quality backlinks.
With backlinks, it means links coming from other websites to your site. Remember that for a backlink to boost your ranking, it must come from a website with higher authority than yours.
So, you may ask, how will I make other websites notice my website and link to it?
Ways to Get BackLinks
Well, here are three main ways you can earn links.
1. Get links the natural way
These links come without you having to solicit website owners to send them to your pages. For instance, an SEO agency can link to your post that describes a service they provide.
2. Manually building links
This is whereby you take deliberate action to build links for your website. You can do this by requesting influencers to share your content or even request your visitors to link back to your website.
3. Self-creating links
You can also create links yourself by adding a backlink to an online directory, blog comments, or press release. Keep in mind that this is a dangerous way of building links as this method tends to lean more towards black hat SEO, which means you have to be cautious.
In your link-building strategy, you need to ensure that you are getting links from high-quality websites. Links from websites with more authority than yours will have more impact on your site’s ranking than links from weaker websites.
Unwritten Rules of Building Backlinks
Here are some of the unwritten rules when you are building backlinks
- Always consider the authority and popularity of the linking website.
- Always get links from web pages that relate to the web page you are linking to.
- The type of anchor text used in the linking website matters.
- Make sure that you get links from genuine, trustworthy sites.
- The position of the link on the site you are getting a backlink from matters.
- Domain authority and authority of the linking page matter as well.
To help you get links easily, you have to prepare your site.
How Do You Organize Your Site for Link Building?
It is true that Google will not give a lot of value to your web pages if there are no links pointing to them, which is why it is important to get quality backlinks.
To get backlinks, you have to prepare your website so that it can be likable and linkable.
Here are several things you can do to prepare your web pages for link building:
1. Optimize your web pages
You should interlink your internal pages on your website using different keywords to show how they relate.
Also, organize them into categories so that one link can send ranking juice to all other pages that are linked to it. A good way to do this is to lay out pages on a page where they are interconnected. This way, each link you get on one page will apply to all the other interconnected pages.
Many web owners overlook the need to have their internal pages linked to each other. However, interlinking helps a lot, especially when one of the web pages in that chain gets a backlink. This is because ‘SEO juice’ is passed from one page to the other, which means they all get a boost in ranking. Therefore, before you source for backlinks, ensure that your internal pages are interconnected.
When getting links, remember to check their quality. Gone are the days when the number of links had weight.
2. Do the basic on-page SEO
Before you focus on off-page SEO, you should first optimize your pages for search engines.
Here are some of the things you should work on;
- Make your URLs search engine friendly by shortening them and integrating the page’s relevant keywords into them. Also, remove any special characters on the URLs.
- Add visuals to your content to make it more interesting. Adding images, diagrams, and videos can increase the time a user spends on your site, and thus reduces the bounce rate.
- Optimize images and get a better hosting service to increase your page’s loading speed.
- Integrate relevant primary keywords into your title tag.
- Use subtitles for your article.
- Use the main keyword in the first paragraph of the article.
Doing this not only helps to boost your page’s ranking on search engines but also attracts better backlinks.
3. Pick the right thematic keywords
Although links are paramount when it comes to helping you optimally reap the benefits of your SEO efforts, it is the keywords that make this effective.
Keywords may be the building blocks for your web content, but they are never equal. If you want to improve your site’s ranking, then you need to integrate thematic keywords into your content.
By thematic keywords, we mean ‘keywords that relate to your content.’ You can use the Google Keyword Planner to see thematic keywords and phrases that relate to your main page’s keyword. These keywords help you to better tailor your content to meet the needs of your target audience.
Now that we understand all about backlinks, we can discuss the off-page SEO factors.
7 Off-Page SEO Factors for Better Search Engine Ranking
Backlinks Related Off Page factors
Here are link-related off-page factors you should consider.
1. Number of Referring Domains
Your site will rank higher and get more organic traffic if you get links from unique websites. Remember that you should aim to get backlinks for the web pages you want to rank higher and not for your overall website.
2. Link Authority
The higher the authority a site has, the better the link will be. Getting links from sites with more authority than yours means that their authority will be passed to your pages as well. Therefore, make sure you are getting links from pages with higher authority than your site.
3. Do-follow Links
There are two types of links; no-follow and do-follow links. No-follow links do not have an impact on your page ranking, which is why you should focus on building do-follow links. The only benefit no-follow links have is to pass referral traffic to you.
Do-follow links drive traffic to your website and also pass ‘SEO juice’ to your pages.
The relevance of a link matters, which is why you should only get links from web pages that relate to your pages. These links will have a greater impact than those from websites that are not even in your niche.
Non-Link Related Off-Page SEO Factors
Link building is the main aspect of off-page SEO, but there are other crucial aspects you should focus on as well including:
5. NAP Citations
These are the mentions your brand gets online. The mentions must display your business name, address, and phone (NAP). Citations are essential to people who want to rank their business for local searches.
Reviews can help your website rank higher in Google’s results. By getting more positive results on 3rd party sites and on your Google My Business profile, your website will rank higher. Negative reviews lower your site’s ranking.
7. Social Signals
Social media can be a great tool if you want to rank using off-page SEO efforts. Getting genuine social shares and mentions on social media can have an indirect positive impact on your ranking. In addition to this, social media shares help to increase your brand awareness and traffic.
These are the off SEO factors you should keep in mind when formulating your off-page strategy.
Off-page SEO is a vital SEO strategy that should not be ignored. These are the off SEO factors you should keep in mind when formulating your off-page strategy. By working on your off-page SEO, you will boost your online presence and brand image, and also improve your ranking in SERPs.