What is off-page SEO?
The term “off-page SEO” (sometimes known as “off-site SEO”) refers to efforts conducted outside of your own website to influence your ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Off-site ranking factor optimization entails increasing search engine and user perceptions of a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. This is performed by other respected Internet locations (pages, sites, individuals, etc.) linking to or supporting your website, essentially “vouching” for the quality of your content.
Why does off-page SEO matter?
While search algorithms and ranking factors are continually evolving, the SEO industry generally agrees that the relevance, trustworthiness, and authority that excellent off-page SEO provides a website continue to play a significant influence on a page’s ability to rank.
While we don’t know the exact algorithm Google uses to rank content, data from our Search Engine Ranking Criteria study indicate that off-site SEO-related factors likely account for more than half of the ranking factor weight.
Links and off-page SEO
Building backlinks is central to off-page SEO. Backlinks are used by search engines to determine the quality of the linked-to content, therefore a site with many high-value backlinks will normally rank higher than an otherwise identical site with fewer backlinks.
Natural links, manually built links, and self-created links are the three basic categories of links based on how they were obtained.
- Natural links are provided editorially without any activity on the part of the page owner. A food blogger, for example, putting a link to a post pointing to their favourite produce farms is an example of a natural link.
- Manually constructed links are obtained as a result of deliberate link-building activity. Getting customers to link to your website or encouraging influencers to spread your material are examples of this.
- Self-generated links are created through activities such as including a backlink with optimised anchor text in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature, or press release. Some self-created link building strategies are considered black hat SEO by search engines, so proceed with caution.
Regardless of how the links were earned, those that contribute the most to SEO efforts are typically those that pass the most equity. There are numerous signs that contribute positively to the equity passed, such as:
- The popularity of the linking site
- How closely related the content of the linking site is to the topic of the site being linked to
- The link’s “freshness”
- The connecting website’s anchor text
- The reliability of the linked site
- The total number of links on the connecting page
- The linked domain’s and page’s authority
While acquiring links from external websites is the most frequent off-page SEO approach, nearly any activity that a) takes place outside of your own website and b) serves to improve your search engine position could be considered “off-page SEO.” These are some examples:
- Marketing on social media
- Blogging as a guest
- Brand references, both related and unlinked
- Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that relies on
It’s crucial to note, however, that the net outcome of each of these activities is the creation of a reference to your site from somewhere else on the internet – whether that reference is a link, a mention of your brand or website, or something else. As a result, the concept of really “non-link-related” off-page SEO is a bit of a misnomer!
A note on local off-page SEO:
Off-page SEO is dependent on human behavior (namely, that people only reference and share content they like). As a result, it is applicable to both organic and local SEO. Even at a physical store, high-quality products generate a lot of word-of-mouth referrals from existing consumers — the in-person counterpart of off-page SEO.
How to do off-page SEO
At a high level, boosting a website’s “off-page SEO” entails improving the search engine and user impression of the site’s quality. This is accomplished by obtaining links from other websites (particularly those that are reputable and trustworthy in their own right), mentions of your brand, sharing of your content, and “votes of confidence” from sources other than your own.
Check out this chapter in the Beginner’s Guide to SEO to learn more about off-page SEO.