To get your website to appear in top search results, you need a complete SEO strategy. You can’t focus on just one aspect or approach to search optimization. You must implement a well-rounded strategy that includes on-page, technical, and off-page SEO techniques.
The rest of this post will look at off-page SEO tactics and explain how you can execute them improve your website’s visibility and authority in search.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO techniques can help your website appear higher in search rankings. But unlike on-page SEO, off-page SEO is not related to optimizing your site or content itself. Instead, it uses tactics off of your website to increase your website’s authority.
To explain the difference between on-page and off-page SEO:
On-page SEO shows search crawlers what a website is about. It helps search engines see that a page is a good search result because it is relevant and useful.
Off-page SEO shows search crawlers that a website is important and valuable. It helps search engines see that a page is a good search result because the brand and website are authoritative and popular.
Let’s use Linkedin as an analogy. Think of the information on your Linkedin profile as on-page SEO. It tells other people what you’re about and what you’re good at. But the endorsements people give you, are off-page SEO. They’re votes of confidence that confirm what you’ve said about yourself is true.
You build this trust and authority through two primary factors: links and reputation.
Off-Page SEO Techniques for Link Building
As in our Linkedin example above, search engines see links to your site as an endorsement. Because your site is valuable enough to be linked to by another site, search engines take this as a signal that your site is relevant and trustworthy. This is why link building is one of the most important off-page SEO techniques.
It’s important to note that not all links have equal value. Some links have more influence on search engines than others.
Search engines give links varying levels of value depending on the:
- Linking site’s authority. Links from more authoritative sites have more value.
- Relevance of the content on the linking page to the linked site. Links from pages that are relevant to your brand, industry, and linked content have more value.
- Anchor text of the link. Links with anchor text that is relevant to your brand or content on the linked page have more value.
- Number of links to the linking site. Links from sites that have a large backlink profile have a higher value.
So as you form a link building strategy, focus on gaining high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites, with relevant content and relevant anchor text.
To gauge the authority of a website and determine the value of the link, consider the site’s Alexa Rank. Alexa Rank indicates how authoritative a site is online. The lower the number, the higher the influence. For example, Google’s Alexa Rank is “1” because it is the most authoritative site online.
As you measure and monitor your link building, give a higher value to links you get from sites that have a strong Alexa Rank.
One of the most effective off-page SEO techniques is guest blogging because it helps with both link building and reputation building.
When you write a guest post for another website or blog, the site often lets you link back to your website in the post or author bio. This link adds a site to your backlink profile. It comes with an added benefit of reputation building as your name and brand are being featured on another website.
To implement this tactic, start by finding sites that would be good potential guest blogging opportunities. Use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find a list of sites. Enter the URL of up to 10 of your competitors and receive a map of sites that share the same audience. Sites on this list are ideal guest blogging sites, as you know you can use them to gain a link and get in front of your ideal audience.
To make sure a site is authoritative and that the link you gain will have high SEO value, click on a site to see its Alexa Rank. This data will help you see if the site is worth reaching out to.
Brand Mention Link Acquisition
Guest blogging helps you gain links by reaching out to sites and getting your content published on other sites with a mention and link to your brand. But if your brand is popular or growing, it’s likely that you may have already been mentioned on other websites.
Search for your brand, product names, and taglines to find sites that have mentioned you on their site. If you find that a site has mentioned your brand but not linked back to you, reach out and ask them to add a link in their copy.
Broken Link Acquisition
Another way to research link building opportunities is by looking for sites that have broken links. In some cases, a website links to a resource or source only to later have the linked page be removed or taken down. This leads to a broken link on their site and an opportunity for you to replace it.
Look for sites that are relevant to your industry or topic and have broken links (using tools like Broken Link Builder or Check My Links). If you come across a broken link that could lead to a resource on your site, reach out to that site. Notify them of the broken link and provide the possible replacement to your site.
To find even more link building opportunities, look to your competitors and see what sites have linked to them. When you look at the backlink portfolio of your competitors, you can find opportunities for your site to gain links from the same websites.
If a site has included a competitor (in an article roundup, directory listing, or featured post), it’s possible that the site will be interested in also featuring your site. So reach out to those sites and pitch them on mentioning and linking to your brand.
To perform a competitive analysis, use Alexa’s Competitive Backlink Checker. Enter the URL of one to 10 of your competitors and run the tool. The report produces a list of all of the sites that link to your competitors. You can see which sites are linking to which competitors and click to view the actual URL of the page that links to each competitor.
Off-Page SEO Techniques to Build Reputation
Links send concrete signals to search engines telling them that your website is high quality, relevant, and well-known. But you don’t always need a link to show search engines that your brand or website is important and popular. There are a few other non-link reputation signals that matter too.
Business Social Media and Directory Profiles
Setting up a website is the first step in building a web presence for your business. The next step is creating a business directory and social media profiles. Developing profiles on other authoritative sites shows search engines that you are a legitimate business with an established presence.
Plus, these profiles often allow you to link back to your site, which helps to build your backlink portfolio.
Create business profiles on all leading social media and business directory sites related to your industry. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, also set up a Google My Business page as this helps your brand appear as a rich result in search.
Social Media Marketing
While it hasn’t been fully proven that social media shares and likes are an off-page SEO factor,, there are some compelling reasons to engage in social media marketing as a part of your off-page SEO techniques.
A strong social presence builds authority and reputation. It creates brand fans, spreads your content online, and drives people back to your site. This increases your site traffic and views, which does have a proven correlation to improve SEO.
Make social media marketing a part of your SEO strategy by creating shareable content, adding share buttons to your content, and having active social media pages.
Another way to build your reputation is by using the reputation of others online. Using an influencer marketing strategy, you can form relationships with other influential brands and people and invite them to share your content and promote your brand.
When online influencers share your content or mention your brand, it has the same impact on SEO as other reputation drivers. It sends traffic to your site, increases the mentions of your brand online, and adds authority to your brand.
So as you build your reputation online, don’t do it all on your own. Find strategic partnerships and form mutually beneficial relationships with other influencers who can help you get more exposure from the right audiences.
Check and Improve Your Off-Page SEO Techniques
Off-page SEO techniques aren’t just the tactics that improve your search rankings. They also require monitoring and measuring to understand the effectiveness of your strategy.
You should use off-page SEO tools to monitor your links and reputation to see how your online authority is improving and changing.
For reporting and monitoring, use Alexa’s Site Audit Tool. The tool performs a scan of your site once a month and provides a report on the status of your off-page SEO (as well as many other SEO factors). The reputation metric helps you monitor your influence.
The report also includes a breakdown of your link profile and compares it to other sites so you can see how competitive you are online.
Bookmark this post and use it as your off-page SEO checklist to ensure you cover the most important tactics related to off-page SEO. Use these off-page SEO techniques along with your on-page SEO and technical SEO tactics to create a holistic strategy that helps your site compete for top spots in search.
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