What is Off-Page SEO and Why It Is Important?

*This article was first written on 5th Jan 2017 and updated on 17th February 2021.

Off-page SEO is another way to help rank a page in Google for a particular word or term. This term is used to classify any digital marketing efforts, pertaining to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), that is done off the website. As with any SEO strategies and campaigns, these efforts are made to improve a website’s search ranking results.

On-page SEO vs. Off-page SEO

As opposed to On-Page SEO, off-page SEO is not something that you have a good grasp and control over.

Off-Page SEO might refer to any action done to improve your website standings, but in actual fact, off-site SEO is commonly referring to any SEO-related action that the website owner has little to no control over.

Off-Page SEO is a game that plays by a different set of rules, and may be harder than on-page SEO.

It’s also important to note that traditional marketing activities can indirectly influence the results of your off-page SEO campaigns.

Why Is Off-Page SEO Important?

Despite the changes and improvements made to search algorithms and ranking factors, it is believed that relevance and authority of websites are a mainstay in determining a page’s ranking.

Google may never fully reveal their algorithm and ranking factors, but their focus have always been focused around keywords and search intent.

Off-Page SEO Strategies and Campaigns

There are plenty of off-page SEO strategies that websites utilise, namely:

  1. Backlinks
  2. Social media
  3. Social Bookmarking
  4. Forum postings

Backlinks

Backlinks is an important aspect of off-page SEO. Backlinks has been a crucial part of search engine’s metric. These links from one website to another are crucial for assigning, sharing and providing site authority.  Links from other pages to your own acts as “signals” for a search engine to know your site is relevant and has authority, as other webmasters are linking their website to yours and directing their readers to your web page. This is a sign of authority and webpage ranking strength.

Google search is built on PageRank, an algorithm that judges the quality and quantity of backlinks to see how deserving the linked website is of the link.

Effectively, there are three types of links:

  • Self-Created Links. These links are links that are added manually, and can exist in the form of profile and comment links. Online directories, comments and forums carry these type of links. Some self-created link building methods are bordering on the link of black hat SEO. Hence it is advisable to proceed with caution.

  • Partnership Links. Partnership links involves a form of outreach to clients to get a link from their website to yours. This can be done through affiliate marketing or guest posting. Partnership links act as a win-win situation to share PageRank and organic traffic.

  • Organic Backlinks. Through quality content, you can attract organic backlinks, meaning that other websites link to your website out of their own accord, without any marketing or outreach effort from you.

One of the most effective ways of slowly grow your website’s expert status and authority in your industry is through blog posts. With content, you can leverage it easily for off-page SEO campaigns.

For example, when you create informational and valuable content through blogging, you can submit your informational blog to different directories and social platforms to attract more readers.

Social platforms and informational sites will be quick to pick up good content that will benefit their readers and drive their links to your site automatically. One of the advantages of a blog is that you have the freedom to post and have readers share via social media.

Relevant Read: Complete Guide to Understanding SEO

Backlinks exist as the most effective off-page SEO strategy. To create backlinks, not only does the number of backlinks (number of unique referring domains) matter, the source and quality of those links (link authority) matter just as much.

A toxic backlink could end up harming your site more than you can recover from.

Hence, it is always wise to be careful when it comes to backlinks.

Social Media Signals

Social media can draw a significant amount of traffic for companies, especially B2C businesses.

Social media can pass authority value and “SEO juice” back to your main site, giving you more momentum for your SEO campaigns. Social shares is a metric that is commonly speculated to have an effect on SEO. It refers to the number of times the URL is shared on social networks.

On its own, social media also exists as a marketing channel.

The potential for social media marketing is limitless, and businesses can generate a significant volume of sales just by having a strong social media presence alone.

Forum Posting

Being actively involved in forums related to your niche or in forums your target customers appear in allows your presence to be felt and allows you to create greater brand awareness.

The main benefit of this greater presence is that it draws traffic to your site (be it through backlinks to blogs or home page), and it ultimately tells Google that your site has what the people are looking for.

This increases your relevance and thus page and site authority. Forums offer a platform for communication, and a showcase of expertise and authority in a particular niche as forums more often than not educate the viewers.

While this method has been one of the surest ways to draw in the right traffic as well as ideal customers, market research is key to appearing in the right forums and getting in front of the right audience.

Business Listings

As defined by Moz, the core work of any local search marketing campaign is the creation of local business listings. A local business listing is an online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other details.

There are many websites and directories where local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Some you may already have heard about include Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Internet Yellow Pages, and Yahoo! Local.

Local listings help you become visible on the web, with each listing giving you traffic from their various directories. Each new listing you create increases your chance of being found by customers. At the same time, many of the local business indexes share data with each other.

Hence, the more places you are listed and the more visible you are, the more these indexes trust the accuracy of your business data and this increases your chance of ranking well in local searches.

Brand Mentions

Google has mentioned before about how unlinked brand mentions can still contribute to a site’s SEO.

Unlinked mentions, however, do not carry the benefits of redirecting traffic and PageRank like a linked mention does. Being unclickable, unlinked mentions are worth less in SEO context, but still carries weight for off-page SEO campaigns.

Nevertheless, it may be worth your time to reach out to websites, most commonly through email marketing, who are making these unlinked mentions to ask them to change them to a clickable link. Effectively, you have transformed an unlinked mention into a linked mention & a backlink.

Conclusion

Off-page SEO involves improving your search ranking by improving the perception of your website, in the eyes of search engine and humans. By getting links from trustworthy sites, having healthy mentions of your brand, leveraged and shared content, all these acts as “votes of confidence” to help boost your site up the ranking ladder.

Ultimately, you need a combination of on-page and off-page SEO to help your website improve. Combined together, they offer a powerful and integrated internet marketing strategy for a webmaster to rank well in the search engine.

Other digital marketing channels need to run in tandem too to kickstart your digital presence.

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