Over 3.5 billion search queries are conducted on Google every day. This explains why it is crucial to have a share of this traffic by having your web pages rank in the top spots of Google search results to reach your target audience.
Technical SEO and on-page SEO ensure your website shows up on search results for relevant keywords, but it is the off-page SEO strategies that take your site to the top of SERPs.
Simply put, off-page SEO tactics are responsible for search engine rankings. You may ask, which are these strategies?
Well, we discuss seven key off-page SEO techniques you should use if you want your web pages to take the top spot in search engine result pages.
Off-Page SEO Strategies to Improve Your Google Ranking
1. Create Link-Worthy and Sharable Content
You might wonder why we have included content creation as part of an off-page strategy, whereas it is an aspect of on-page SEO.
However, if you lack valuable and unique content, you cannot get links from authority websites. Authority sites will only link back to you if you have exhaustive, engaging, and unique content. This is the only time they will direct their traffic to you.
Also, when you deliver unique, engaging content, your readers will like it and even want to share it with their friends and family. This increases your reach and chances of fetching natural backlinks.
Therefore, by creating valuable, lengthy content, you create a solid foundation for your off-page SEO. When creating content, think outside the box. Don’t restrict yourself to the conventional FAQ articles and blog posts. Create some comparison posts, write round-up posts, solve a common problem faced by your target audience, etc. This will help attract shares.
If you don’t have an idea of where to start, you can spy on your competitors.
Use a competitor analysis tool to help you find top competitors in your niche and identify their best-performing content. Based on your analysis, create similar content to theirs but improve it by filling out the gaps they left. You can fill up the gaps by using infographics or even doing a video.
After publishing your content, you can go one step further and spy on the backlinks they have used to rank their content. Now that you have better content than them, it is easier to get the owner of the link to give you a backlink. This is completely allowed, and you can win yourself a valuable backlink using this method.
But the main point was, before you embark on your off-page SEO strategies, create valuable, in-depth content that is link-worthy.
2. Harness the Power Of Social Media
Social signals matter when it comes to trusting and ranking a page. You need your readers to make search engines trust you and rank you highly. Any mentions of your brand on social media count as a valuable vote.
The major social media platforms you should focus on are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Their growing nature means that they have never been so successful in their entire existence than now.
Therefore, it is important to harness their power and know how to engage people so that they can keep sharing your content on social platforms and mentioning your brand.
Through shares, your brand gets more exposure, and you get to send positive signals to Google.
Here are three tips to help you activate your social media marketing strategy for better SEO rankings.
i. Be responsive
People will talk to you either when they are happy with your services, when they are unsatisfied with your product, or when someone asks for a recommendation or review of something. Either way, you need to engage them in a positive manner. When it comes to recommendations, you can share a post you did on what a customer is inquiring about.
ii. Build a connection with bigwigs on social media
There are many renowned professionals, influencers, and popular people in your niche that can spread the word about your brand. Befriend them by engaging with their post. Once you build a connection, request them to follow you, share your content, or mention your brand. Be thoughtful about something you can do in return to earn their share or mention.
iii. Manage your social media reputation
As we mentioned earlier, brand mentions count as votes in search engine algorithms, and therefore, you should manage what is said about your brand. Get a reliable brand monitoring tool to see who has mentioned your brand and what they say. Make sure you get in touch to win them as your prospect.
Social signals count as an off-page SEO factor, and you can maximize this by having a comprehensive social media strategy.
3. Focus On Getting Quality Links Rather Than Plenty of Links
Backlinks are important for your ranking on SERPs, but you rather not have backlinks than get links from spammy sites and sites that do not have significant authority.
When sourcing backlinks, make sure to request them from websites that have more authority than your site. These are what we term quality links. Gone are the days when the number of links mattered.
Nowadays, Google only values quality backlinks. In fact, if you end up getting backlinks from websites that Google rates as spammy or low quality, you will end up getting punished and being demoted in your rankings.
That’s why we insist on you getting links from valuable websites. Look for reliable tools that can help you show the authority of a website.
One way of getting backlinks is by spying on your competitor’s backlink profile. You can use a tool like SemRush to see where your competitor is getting backlinks from. This will give you a better understanding of where you can go for backlinks as well.
As we discussed earlier, you can create better, more in-depth content and request the site that has linked to your competitor’s website to link back to you as well.
4. Blog Commenting Still Works
There are marketers who argue against blog commenting by saying it leans more into a black hat practice, but blog commenting is still a good off-site SEO strategy you can use to drive organic traffic to your site and rank better.
You can find loads of articles online on how to do blog commenting the right way. However, we advocate that you do it the “white-hat way” and leave underhand tactics aside.
This means you share your insights on the topic discussed so as to attract more attention but do not exercise any comment signature. Just mention your brand in your comment in a subtle way and share useful tips. In other words, your comment should be helpful and relevant to the content of the blog.
5. Do Guest Posting to Earn Backlinks
This should also be done in a ‘white-hat’ way- define your reasons for guest posting from the beginning. Most guest posts advertise their product or brand and can sometimes be annoying to read.
To earn the trust of your reader, you first have to give actionable and relevant information. Links to your website should come after you have provided valuable content to your reader. Writing guest posts not only helps you to build quality backlinks but also triggers organic traffic to your site.
Talk to site authority site owners and request guest posting opportunities.
6. Post On Forums and Social Bookmarking Sites
Forums such as Quora, eHow, and Yahoo Answers are great platforms for promoting your website, and this is part of off-page SEO. They act as important hubs from where people get a lot of actionable information and honest answers to their questions. You can use forums to interact with your peers and have them contribute to a topic that interests you.
Similar to guest posting and blog commenting, it is always good to mention your blog, but in a subtle way. You need first to provide actionable content on the topic of discussion, and then, if you see fit, mention your brand. These platforms are goldmines when you learn to use them right. By posting your detailed contribution to discussions there and mentioning your brand, you will find traffic coming your way from here.
Also, you can post a discussion on social bookmarking sites such as Reddit and put your website link in your account signature. As long as you have given relevant answers, people will take a look at your site.
7. Look For Dead Links or Broken Links
These are web pages or even websites that are permanently unavailable at the moment. The reason you may need to look into this is to increase your chances of getting a backlink from the website that linked back to a site that has now become unavailable online.
Doing this helps site owners redirect traffic to a working site. This way, you will gain the trust of the site owners, and this can form a foundation for future collaboration.
You can spot dead links or broken links by getting a broken link checker tool. With a reliable tool, you can easily find reputable sites linking to unavailable websites. Once you spot such an opportunity, create content around the anchor text and then send your pitch to the linking website requesting to help them replace that link with the link you sent. In most cases, you will find a rapid response from editors.
In many ways, off-page SEO is a more challenging task than on-page SEO. However, it yields great results when it comes to improving your online visibility. It is what demonstrates to search engines that your website is a reputable and reliable source of information. This makes search engines trust your site and thus recommend your pages to users.
The truth is, it is not always easy, and it’s a continuous process. We hope that the above off-page techniques will help you earn links and better ranking on search engine result pages.