If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, then you are aware of what SEO is and how effective it is in helping to draw traffic to your website. However, what you may not realize is that there are two types of SEO – On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
The On-page SEO consists of strategies such as optimizing your titles and descriptions, your internal links, your images and more. However, off-site SEO consists of SEO strategies done outside the boundaries of your website; for example, through link earning and social media.
The Importance of Off-Page SEO
Now that you know the difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO, you’re probably wondering, “what’s the point of doing off-page SEO?”
This is a perfectly normal question to ask; after all, isn’t the point of doing SEO to increase the page ranking of your website’s content?
How can you increase your website’s search engine ranking if you’re not optimizing the actual pages of your website?
Well, the way that Google’s algorithm works is that it judges the quality and performance of a website through the eyes of others. Google does this by tracking external links and social signals. When another high-quality website links to your company site, Google takes this as a sign that your website must be good enough to be worth linking to.
The same can be said for social signals – if people are sharing your content on social media, it’s a sign that your content must be good. This is why when you optimize your website for SEO you should focus your strategy outside of your website as well.
The Benefits of Off-Page SEO
So now you understand why off-page SEO is important to your online marketing strategy, but what are the actual, direct benefits of performing off-page SEO?
There are three main benefits to off-page SEO. It will help increase your SERP rankings, it will help increase your PageRank and it will help you to obtain more exposure for your website.
- Increase your SERP – SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings determine how far up your website ranks on Google’s results page. The higher you rank, the more likely users will see your website when they do specific searches, which means that they are more likely to click on the link to your website. So by increasing your SERP, you’ll undoubtedly increase your CTR as well.
- Increase your PageRank – It’s easy to mistake the PageRank as the SERPs. Your SERP rankings is basically the ranking of your website on the results page, after all.
Your PageRank is an entirely different thing though. PageRank is a numeric measure Google gives to each individual web page on your website based on the number and quality of the links to each page.
Google provides a ranking of 0 to 10 based on these factors. The PageRank is only one factor out of many that affects your website’s SERP rankings.
The confusion arises from the term “page ranking.” After all, this sounds like it should refer to the page’s ranking on Google’s results page.
So why did Google name it “PageRank?”
Because the ranking was invented by one of Google’s founders, who happens to be named Larry Page. A little bit confusing, to say the least. But anyway, a strong off-page SEO strategy will help you to increase your website’s PageRank.
- Increase your website’s exposure – More exposure is what you want, since more exposure improves the chances of getting more visitors and more customers. By using off-page SEO to increase your page ranking, which helps to increase your SERP rankings, you’ll end up increasing the exposure of your website, thereby drawing even more traffic to your website.
Now that you know some of the benefits of doing off-page SEO, let’s take a look at what some of the off-page ranking factors are now.
So what are some of the Off-Page Ranking Factors
The importance and benefits of off-page SEO should be pretty obvious at this point, but what are the actual off-page factors that Google takes into account when determining your PageRank and SERP rankings?
The following are a few of the off-page ranking factors that Google’s algorithm focuses on and that you should focus on as well:
The number of websites linking to you – There’s a pretty big difference between having a few links directed towards one of your web pages and having dozens or even hundreds of links directing readers to your web pages. Google keeps track of how many websites link to any given page on your website because this helps them judge your authority. If there are a ton of websites linking to one of your pages, it most likely means that this page is a high-quality source and Google will rank it as such.
The PageRank of the websites that link to you – Google also takes into account the individual PageRank of each website that links to you.
Why does it do this? Think of it as a sort of quality control. If the average PageRank for all the websites linking to you is 1, then Google is going to assume that something fishy is going on.
That’s because a lot of websites try to take advantage of Google’s algorithm by using link farming in order to build up their links. Google wants to make sure that the websites linking to you are of high quality because otherwise the fact that they are linking to your website doesn’t mean much – therefore, the PageRank of those websites are an important factor in your off-page rankings.
The page titles of the websites that link to you – Like the PageRank, the page titles of the web pages that link to you are an important factor as well. This is because the page titles help determine whether the links are relevant to the pages that they are linking to.
The anchor text of the links – Google will also track what anchor text that is being used for the links to your webpages. Anchor text that is more relevant to the content on linked pages has a greater positive impact on your off-page ranking.
- The amount of outbound links of a website that link to you – This can both help and hurt your ranking. If a website links to your page hundreds of times, Google will know that something is up – odds are you are just farming links from another website in an attempt to increase your ranking, a strategy that Google looks down upon. There’s no magic number that divides how many outbound links should be directed to your web pages from one website and how many shouldn’t – so just avoid those black hat practices and allow the links to come naturally so that you won’t get penalized by Google for doing something fishy.
8 Best Off-Page SEO Strategies That Will Boost Your Rankings
Knowing how Google factors in off-page SEO will certainly help with how you go about with your off-page SEO strategy.
The following are 8 of the best off-page SEO tactics that you should use in order to boost your off-page ranking:
- Use social media
Social media is one of the best ways to earn links. Google keeps track of social signals, which means that content that is shared or liked on your social profile can help increase your off-page ranking.
While many social channels only allow no-follow links, which means that they are not accounted for when determining your PageRank, no-follow links are still effective in generating traffic as well as exposure.
In addition to shares and likes, you can also host contests via social media, which is another effective way to increase traffic to your website.
Make sure that you add social share buttons to your content so that readers can instantly share your page on their social media profiles. Basically, social share buttons make it easy for readers to create links for you.
- Gain link earning from authoritative websites
There are numerous ways in which you can earn links from respected websites. One way is to just simply write good content and promote it properly on all of these different online platforms – if you grow a big enough reader base, authority websites will eventually take notice.
A quicker way to go about this is to share content from these authority websites on social media and to link to these websites in your blog posts. You are not only helping them with their off-page SEO, you’re also sending them traffic from your audience.
More often than not, they’ll not only notice but they’ll return the favor by doing the same for you.
- Write guest blog posts
Writing guest blog posts on other websites is hugely effective for a number of reasons. First of all, that website will typically add links to your website on your blog post, which will help with your off-page SEO ranking.
You’ll also be exposing your brand to a new audience that will click on the link if the content is of good quality. Last but not least, by writing a guest post, you are helping to strengthen your relationship with that website, which means they are more likely to mention your brand or link to your website in the future.
- Use press releases
Press releases are also another great way to build your off-page SEO ranking. A press release service can distribute your press release all across the web, essentially helping to spread awareness for your brand and increasing traffic to your pages.
A good press release service will send it out to syndicated media outlets. If it appears on some of the larger media outlets, such as Google News, you’ll experience a spike in your web traffic.
While press releases use no-follow links, they often lead to other posts on outside websites that include follow-links to your website.
- Participate in online forums
Joining relevant forums is a good way to increase your brand awareness. Make sure that you are providing valuable information and making relevant contributions to the discussions.
Because many websites began spamming online forums in order to build links (you can add your link to each post), many forums now only use no-follow links – but as you know, no-follow links are still valuable in generating traffic and brand exposure.
Also, you never know who is reading your posts – someone may write an article on their blog and link to your website just because they found your blog through the forum you were using.
- Use video marketing
People love visual content, especially videos. As long as they are relatively short, people are much more likely to share videos on social media than they are on any other type of content. You can also post your videos on video-centric social sites, such as YouTube and Vine.
You can also do a reference to your website by adding links to the video content itself, as well as to the description of the video, to help boost your off-page ranking.
- Use social bookmarking sites
Social bookmarking is yet another great way to earn links. A social bookmark is basically a link that people post to certain social websites for other users to see because they think the link is valuable, interesting or just cool.
Think of a social bookmark as a link that is bookmarked to save on a website instead of on your browser. You can post links to your website onto social bookmarking sites such as stumbleupon, reddit, digg and more.
Users can then openly share these links with other users, which results in unlimited growth potential.
- Use cross-linking
Cross linking is a strategy in which you have two separate domains that you use to link to one another. This can be quite effective as long as you don’t have a separate domain just for the act of cross-linking as Google will see right through this. As long as your two websites are unique from one another, cross-linking can be quite successful.
For example, if you own a car repair shop as well as a car dealership and have websites for both, then you can effectively cross-link between the two of them to improve your off-page ranking.
When implementing an SEO strategy into your online marketing campaign, make sure that you focus on off-page SEO as well as on-page SEO.