In 2021, there are about 2 billion sites and 500 million active blogs across the internet. The figure is overwhelming that you may find it really difficult to rank for a particular keyword on the search engine results.
If you think that your content stands out from the rest, do you think Google thinks the same? It is like dreaming something that is really impossible.
This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. It is optimizing your content in order to rank your target keywords in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
There are two main SEO activities that will help you rank in the SERPS:
1.) On-Page SEO
It is optimizing individual web pages for the purpose of ranking higher on the SERPs and driving more relevant traffic. It refers to the content and the HTML source code of a page that can be optimized.
Some of the on-page ranking factors include the content of the page, title tag, and URL.
2.) Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO or off-site SEO pertains to actions or activities outside your site that impact your rankings within the SERPs. It involves enhancing the search engine and perception of the user based on authority, relevance, trustworthiness, and popularity.
It refers to the activities that you and others do to boost your site rankings on SERPs. If on-page SEO occurs within the site, off-page SEO happens outside the site. For instance, when you comment on a related site or forum or write a guest post, you are doing off-site optimization.
So why off-page SEO is important?
Although the algorithms and the ranking factors change every so often, it couldn’t be denied that off-page SEO plays a major role in improving a site’s relevance, authority, and trustworthiness to rank.
Search engines like Google have been trying to figure out how it can provide users the best results on their searches. For them to do this, they consider the ranking factors including on-site SEO, other high-quality factors, and off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO provides users a very good insight on how other people and sites perceive a site. A relevant and high-quality site is more likely to gain references or backlinks (from other websites) since it is valuable.
No one knows what exactly Google uses to rank sites or how it determines the ranking precisely, but the Search Engine Ranking factors research done by Moz revealed that off-site SEO- related factors contribute to more than 50 percent of the weight of how sites are being ranked.
Let’s dive in more to off-site SEO:
Off-page SEO involves building backlinks. Backlinks indicate the content’s quality for the search engines. The more valuable backlinks, the better a site ranks compared to sites with only several backlinks.
Three Types of Backlinks:
1.) Natural links - These are links acquired by a site when another site finds your content valuable.
2.) Manually-built links - It is acquired through link-building strategies like launching influencer marketing campaigns.
3.) Self-create links - It is created by including a backlink in a forum, online directory, press release, or blog comment signature. Some of these practices are deemed as a Black hat SEO practice.
Non-Link related to off-site SEO
Earning backlinks is one activity that happens outside your site that improves your rankings.
Other off-page SEO practices include:
Social media marketing
Linked and unlinked brand mentions
Question & Answer
Forums and blog commenting
Events and giveaways
The goal of these off-site activities is to create a reference to your site from any location on the internet. The reference can be a mention of your brand or product, and links.
Off-Page SEO Tactics
Off-site SEO involves enhancing the perception of the users and search engines about a site. It can be achieved by acquiring links from trustworthy and reputable sites, shares of content, mentions of a brand, and positive reviews or “vote of confidence” from other sources.
A lot of people think that off-page SEO is only about links but it covers more than that. There are more off-page SEO techniques that the search engines love. You need to ensure that you are using updated techniques on your site to avoid Google penalty.
Guest Post - Also called guest post outreach blogging, remains one of the powerful techniques for off-page SEO in 2021. It creates natural links to your site or blog to build your reputation in your industry. When searching for guest posting opportunities, choose the one that is related to your niche.
Infographics - One way to create natural links for your site or blog is by creating infographics. Everyone loves visuals more than words. These days, it is very much relevant since people want to see intelligent content without reading it in words. One image is worth a thousand words. Make sure to share it on infographic sites.
Article writing - Writing articles is another great method to gain backlinks. Maximize your opportunity by creating an article and submitting it to submission sites related to your industry.
Research your competitors - You can gain link opportunities by searching for it through your competitors. Find out which sites they gain backlinks. For instance, if a site included your competitor in a guest post, directory listing, or article roundup, there is a chance that the site may also be interested to feature your business. Find them, reach out, and pitch them if they can also mention or link to your site.
Form discussion -Utilizing forums is a great method to build a community and connect with people interested in your business. Ensure to use “do follow” forums to acquire backlinks.
However, you must follow strict rules when joining forums. Provide valuable information and comments associated with the topic.
Do not direct comments at anyone. Links must be relevant to the topic or to the forum.
Influencer marketing outreach - You can use others reputation in building your own through influencer marketing. Build relationships with influencers and brands by inviting them to share your content and support your brand. Your reputation improves each time your brand is mentioned or your content is shared by others.
Social media engagement - Each time your content is liked, shared and commented on social media channels like Facebook, Google +, or Twitter, it improves your rankings on SERPs. It is counted as links that are valuable to your site.
Local listing - Listing your site on local citation / directories like Google My Business, Yellow Pages, Yahoo local, and other sites can help improve your rankings. Search engines can see how relevant you are. It can help you reach your target audience in your local area.
Broken links opportunity - You can gain links from sites with dead or broken links. It is an excellent way for you to restore it. Find sites related to your industry and niche.
After learning the relevance of off-page SEO to your site, you have to know the best off-site SEO services available in the market.
Benefits of SEO:
It boosts your rankings on SERPs. When you have high rankings, it equates to more traffic to your site.
It improves your exposure. High page rankings promote your site’s exposure because you get to attract more site visits, links, and social media mentions.
It boosts your page ranking. Google ranks sites from 0 to 10 to indicate a site’s relevance. Pagerank is one of the ranking factors that convince Google that your site is valuable.
What is Black hat SEO?
Earlier, many spammers try to lure the search engines by taking advantage of these link building techniques. Soon, Google was able to recognize it when it introduced algorithm updates including Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
This is the reason why Google keeps on releasing updates. It continually changes its algorithms to ensure that it only offers valuable content to users. It is also done to penalize sites that practice black hat SEO.
The NoFollow Links
To protect webmasters from passing any “link juice”, it led to the birth of the “nofollow” link. You can add a tag to any link in this form:
href=http://www.somesite.com rel=”nofollow”>Some Site</a>)
It signals Google not to include the link as a “vote of trust” to the site. This is done to prevent risks of getting caught for exchanging or selling links. As a rule, you must add a “nofollow” tag on all your external links (within your pages) that lead to sites that you cannot trust 100 percent.
Below are some companies offering off-page SEO services:
Victorious is an SEO agency that provides on-site and off-site SEO services. Focusing on off-site SEO, it helps businesses by endorsing sites to Google by linking relevant content from high-ranking sites. They pride themselves for offering successful tools to improve your rankings like high-authority link building.
Its process involves:
Broken link building. They have a strategy to identify and replace broken or dead links on high authoritative domains.
Anchor text optimization. Your anchor text is optimized based on keyword research to deliver effective results.
Page-specific backlinks. They have the system and people that can produce hyper-targeted links from new domains to any page on your site.
Red Kite is another company offering off-page SEO and other services like digital marketing, web design, virtual assistance, and more. Their off-page service includes:
Background checking of your SEO history.
Application of Google webmaster tools.
The site and content auditing.
Providing reports to clients and offering solutions to the issues.
Straight North is another SEO company offering off-page SEO services focusing on lead generation. Their tactics promise improved visibility, brand awareness, sales leads, and revenue.
How its off-site optimization generates leads:
By creating strategic content and marketing.
Expert lead tracking and validation.
Complete off-site SEO services.
Smart Search Marketing
Smart Search Marketing offers is an agency offering different services including strategic planning, SEO, SEM or paid media, content marketing, and more.
It provides SEO off-page audit, off-page SEO plan, integration with social or PR, off-page baseline report, content development, competitive link analysis, and content promotion.
The agency concentrates on offering link-worthy content to boost your site’s authority and trust. Some of their content strategies include widgets and apps, calculators, surveys, quizzes, polls, infographics, videos, user-generated content, and web pages with Q & A.
Off-page SEO is very valuable in the SEO world. Before users even visit a site, they already have their own insights or opinions through comments on social media, reviews, or reactions they made on different platforms.
Thus, off-page SEO is very important for businesses not to make it a priority. Sadly, a lot of marketers and webmasters concentrate only on link building and the end-all SEO tactic.
Don’t forget that earning links is a benefit and not the goal. Marketers must change their mindset into this:
Off-page SEO goal: Businesses must earn positive signals and interactions.
The benefit of off-page SEO: positive reviews/ feedback, brand mentions, links, and more.
While link building is the core of off-page optimization, there are still other important factors that you must not disregard to boost your brand. Practice these: write regular guest posts on relevant blogs, build relationships with influencers, promote great product or service, share your positive reviews and address negative reviews, earn good media coverage, and monitor your brand mentions.