What is off-page SEO?
Have you recently looked at your site rankings and become frustrated because they don’t seem to be moving in the right direction? You’ve probably invested a lot of time working hard on your content, title tags, keyword selection, and internal linking.
What’s missing? Why aren’t your website’s pages ranking better?
It’s most likely due to off-page search engine optimization factors. What is off-page SEO?
Off-Page SEO Explained
Your off-page SEO efforts deal with anything happening away from your site. On-page SEO is what you do on your website.
For example, on-page SEO includes:
- Writing outstanding content
- Building internal links
- Metadata (title & description tags, for example)
- Researching keywords
- Page loading time
- Header selection
- Page layout
What is Off-Page SEO, Though?
You might wonder what you can do away from your site to influence search engine rankings.
Link building is one of the first areas people talk about when discussing off-page SEO. However, it goes deeper than link building.
Here are examples of other activities that relate to off-page search engine optimization:
- Guest posting
- Leaving a comment on another blog
- Social media activity
- Forum posting
- Using video posts on YouTube, social media, etc.
Is it On-Page or Off-Page SEO?
An easy way to understand whether you’re using an on-page SEO or off-page SEO technique is to ask yourself this question: Do I have full control over this method?
For example, if you reach out to a potential link partner, they have the choice to say yes or no, which makes an off-page SEO method. However, you have full control when designing your internal linking structure and that’s why it’s an on-page SEO technique.
Why is it Important to Improve Your Off-Page SEO Efforts?
Google doesn’t only take on-page SEO into account when deciding where to rank your site’s pages. Content, internal linking, site speed, etc. are all critical.
However, if you and a competitor have similar content, site structure, and site speed, then Google looks for off-page factors to decide which of the two sites to rank more favorably.
Backlinks are arguably still the most critical aspect of off-page SEO. Google still uses PageRank as a ranking factor. Some SEO pros argue that PageRank is outdated. Google confirmed as recently as 2018; they still use it as a ranking factor after updating their patent on it.
When your goal is answering the question, what is off-page SEO, it’s important to dive deeper into all the factors beyond merely link building. Let’s look at the most effective off-page SEO techniques in 2020.
Own the Best Product or Service
All aspects of SEO become more manageable when you have a superior product or service in your industry. Owning the best offering leads to:
- People talk about your product and brand positively
- More people visit your site as a result
- Other websites link to your site
- Positive reviews occur naturally on review sites
Pay close attention to the third item on the above list. If link building is one of the best ways to optimize off-page SEO, then having other website owners link to your site will have a significant impact on your search rankings.
Off-page SEO relates to the credibility of your brand. It’s difficult to get positive results in this area if you’re not building links or earning them naturally.
Pay Attention to Customer Service
Similar to producing an excellent product, this is another off-page SEO area many site owners and SEOs ignore. It’s critical, however, when you factor in how important word-of-mouth and reputation is for off-page SEO results.
Excellent customer service leads to customers talking you up favorably on social media and review sites. That activity leads to more backlinks for your website. Do you see how brand reputation, product performance and off-page SEO are all related?
Focus on Search Intent
It’s difficult to get positive reviews, guest post partnerships, social media engagement or links if you’re out of synch with the needs of your audience.
An example is creating and sharing content that doesn’t include keywords perfectly matched to the way your best target market customers search for solutions to their problems.
Search intent requires a deep understanding of why your prospects search for your product or service solution.
Take the time to talk to your audience and get feedback. Read discussion threads and gain an understanding of how your market talks about their problems. Have empathy for their situation. Use tools like AnswerthePublic.com or Google Autosuggest to uncover the questions your prospects are asking.
Your content must serve the correct search intent to attract more off-page SEO opportunities.
Engage with Discussion Boards, Forums & Blog Commenting
Commenting on blogs has become less popular over the last few years because spammers PULVERIZED the tactic with SPAM COMMENTS. The result is more websites use a no-follow attribute when comments link to other sites.
Getting links from blog commenting isn’t the biggest priority from an off-page SEO standpoint.
The idea is to visit authority blogs in your niche and comment. Be helpful and thoughtful. Your goal is to raise awareness about your authority. Your goal is to get noticed by the site’s owner/editor, another influential blogger or a social media influencer.
The result might be more links to your site or some other form of off-page SEO partnership.
It’s common for someone to read your helpful discussion and look you up and end up on your LinkedIn profile or website. If it’s a prospect, this leads directly to site traffic, leads, and sales. If it’s an influencer, then it might lead to another partnership opportunity.
Be Responsive on Social Media
Using social media as an off-page SEO technique isn’t as difficult as you might think. All you need to do is “be there” and be a regular human being.
Make sure you or someone you hire is consistently monitoring your social accounts. Answer all questions and provide thoughtful feedback. Provide your followers with real interaction so they get a great feeling about your brand.
Be a helpful source on social media. Even if a question comes in that doesn’t directly relate to your product or service, offer your expertise. Answer questions about competitors. Be fair in your responses.
All the above activities are genuine off-page SEO work because they lead to improved brand awareness, email subscribers, site traffic, partnership opportunities, and revenue.
Create Partnerships with Golden Prospects (Influencers)
Some website owners believe social media doesn’t do much to affect their brands. This mindset is silly. Social media is an asset when you consider the supporters and customers it yields, as well as the traffic it sends to your website.
Your off-page SEO efforts can surge when you use social to find and nurture partnership relationships with Internet influencers. Influencers are people with a massive audience of fans and followers and connected to other influencers and websites in your industry.
While Google might not use social signals as a direct ranking factor, getting influencers to help you reach new audiences is imperative to improving off-page SEO results.
Take the time now to meet influencers online inside communities or social media. Meet them personally at offline events. Earn opportunities down the road where these influencers share your content. The result is more incoming links and overall website traffic.
Use Guest Posts Properly
Too many people search for guest post opportunities with the sole purpose of generating an incoming link. That link is valuable, of course. However, you should think long term. Use these off-page SEO partnerships as opportunities to build relationships with influential brands, influencers, publishers and editors.
Read the blogs you want to post on. Leave valuable comments. Get those publishers to recognize you. Build your reputation as a person who creates outstanding content.
This little bit of effort makes you look different when asking for a guest post opportunity. You come across as someone looking for a mutually beneficial partnership as opposed to someone looking to make a transaction.
Those incoming links will still happen. Doing guest posting correctly, however, will create more opportunities when your partners refer you to others they know in the industry.
What is off-page SEO?
You’ve learned that it’s a process for building brand awareness, generating quality incoming links and creating partnerships. Don’t become overwhelmed by the process. Select one of the above ideas and get good at it. Add another over time. Give yourself time to master several off-page SEO methods over months and years.