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A Guide to Off-Page SEO

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A Guide to Off-Page SEOSEO – or search engine optimization – is a large topic of discussion nowadays. If you have your own website, or you own a business, there is a good chance you have some knowledge surrounding SEO, or you have at least heard of it. 

Search engine optimization is largely optimizing an entire site to increase visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs), but it’s exclusively organic visibility. This article is meant to provide insight into one of the facets of SEO: foundational off-page SEO.

Off-Page vs. On-Page vs. Technical SEO

SEO is a beast in itself that is always evolving. There are many different moving parts to consider, but to put it simply, there are three primary components to SEO:

  1. On-Page SEO: On-page SEO – also named on-site SEO – is optimizing your site within your niche for specific keywords. This includes things like optimizing title tags, content (blog posts, videos, landing pages, etc.), URLs, and internal links on your site. The intent behind on-page SEO is to send foundational, semantic signals to search engines that establish your site within its respective space/niche;
  2. Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO – also named off-site SEO – is the external actions that you take outside of your direct site to improve your rankings within your niche SERPs. One of the most popular methods of doing so is link building, but there are several off-page SEO tactics to consider; 
  3. Technical SEO: Technical SEO is optimizing your site’s infrastructure. Although this has overlap with both on-page and off-page SEO, this is more focused on your website’s sitemaps, URL structure, navigation, page speed, mobile friendliness, and overall user experience (UX).

Why is Off-Page SEO Important?

Search becomes more competitive every day. To elaborate, recent statistics show that there are over 500,000 new websites that go live every day around the world. While you likely aren’t competing with all of those, this presumably saturates your specific niche. 

By and large, off-page SEO helps you gain a competitive edge in the SERPs. Off-page SEO is meant to increase your overall authority within your space. If there are no content gaps between you and a competitor, but they are viewed as a more authoritative source of information within your respective niche, there is a good chance they will outrank you in the SERPs. 

While Google keeps things intentionally vague surrounding ranking factors, off-page SEO is definitely something that plays into a large portion of where you rank. And you can buy backlinks to ultimately help improve your rank.

Off-Page SEO Strategies

As mentioned above, the first thing that many people automatically think of when they hear the terms “off-page” is link building, but there are several different methods of off-page SEO. 

Think of off-page SEO like this. Someone from outside of your organization is mentioning or recommending your site to their following/viewers. They are essentially giving your site or specific content on your site their vote of confidence. When search engines see this occurring, they take note of this and it can increase your overall authority. As you become more authoritative, your rankings will generally follow suit.

Below are several of the most common off-page SEO tactics.

1. Link Building

Link building is the most popular tactic for off-page SEO. There are several different effective and natural link building strategies, but link building is largely the process of acquiring backlinks to your site from other external sites. This is most commonly associated with anchor text that hyperlinks back to your site – but it is not exclusive to this form.

Link building isn’t impossible to do on your own, but it should be noted that many businesses do not have the time or resources to allocate towards effective link building. As a result, they often end up outsourcing this work to SEO experts or link building agencies.

2. Guest Blogging

Many sites offer guest posting – meaning that you can create content that will exist on their site. While there is some back and forth about the effectiveness of guest blogging, this is a great opportunity to cover useful information and mention your site in the process. It is common to build links within guest blogs that point back to your site. 

It is important to consider the site that you are guest posting on. Specifically, you want to be sure that the topic you are contributing makes sense to include on the site and that the site itself is authoritative. For example, if you are writing about tractors, and the site you are guest posting on specializes in healthcare, it wouldn’t make sense for you to be posting on that specific site. Additionally, if the site is notoriously spammy or low authority, it may not help you at all – and could consequently hurt you.

3. Commenting

Some sites or pages allow comments on their different types of content. In theory, you could comment on relevant sites promoting readers to find additional information on your site or link to the specific content. This can help potentially secure a backlink on the site you are commenting on, or it could potentially bring in referral traffic.

4. Forums

Search engines like Google love discussions, so finding forum discussions within your niche is a good way to interact with others in that space. This could be contributing to reddit threads, offering solutions on a social media group, and many other possibilities. 

5. Social Media 

Social media has strayed from the days of Instagram exclusively being a place to share pictures of your food. Social media has endless opportunities – a few examples of how you can utilize social media for off-page SEO include: 

  • Influencer promotion: More and more businesses are spending money on social media influencers to endorse their products or services to the influencers’ larger following/viewer base. When the influencer mentions and links to your site, this increases your overall reach, and can in turn, increase authority/brand recognition;
  • Social networking: 2021 Statista data shows that 82% of the U.S. population currently uses some form of social media. If you don’t have social media for your business/website, you are hurting yourself. By promoting your new content on your site from your social channels, you create good content for your socials while increasing how far your content reaches by linking to it.

Final Thoughts

Off-page SEO refers to outside website efforts that help you build up your authority. One business or website’s off-page strategy may look entirely different than others, and that is okay. Using a mix of multiple (or all, if possible) strategies listed above will help you get the most out of your attempts.