If you're like most of the content marketers I know, you prioritise on-page SEO when it's time to optimise your page. You’ll stay up all night crafting the perfect headline, ensuring your content is written with high-level keywords, and double-check that all your tags are in order. Don't worry, I did the exact same thing when writing this very blog.
These are essential steps to take, but they're just half the battle in SEO. To kick it up a notch, you also need to address off-page SEO. Don't believe me? Well, according to a Backlinko report, the top results in Google have 3.8 times more backlinks than other results between the second and tenth positions.
But off-page SEO goes deeper than just getting backlinks. Google looks at other ranking factors that can influence where your content ranks. Let's take a closer look at those off-page SEO ranking factors and how you can use them to give your page the best chance of success.
What is Off-Page SEO?
As the name suggests, off-page SEO includes all the search engine optimisation that takes place outside your website itself. It's all the things you do away from your website to help it rank better on search engine results pages (SERPs). This can include link building, social media engagement, and other activities that boost your website's visibility.
Think of off-page SEO as the stuff you do to get people to notice your website and link back to it. It's like getting the word out about your business or blog in the real world. You have to be creative and strategic in spreading the word so that more people find out about you and link back to your site.
The Importance of Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is essential if you want to get seen and noticed online. Here are some key reasons why off-site SEO should be part of your digital marketing strategy:
Improving Your Rankings
You might already know that 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine. However, you might not know that the page ranking at the top of SERPs gets an average click-through rate of 27.6% and that the top three results get 54.4% of all the clicks, according to Ahrefs.
If your site isn't among the top three, your chances of getting noticed are slim. Fortunately, off-page SEO techniques will give your site the boost it needs to show up at the top of SERPs and get more clicks.
Google's algorithm considers links among the top factors when ranking a site. So if you do your off-page SEO right and get relevant inbound links, you can increase your organic search visibility and improve your organic search rankings. As people link to your pages, it signals to Google that your content is useful and relevant.
Off-page SEO helps you get more visitors from other websites. When someone links to one of your pages, it means they found something valuable in your content and want their users to see it. Off-site SEO will help you get more referral traffic, brand mentions, and links from other sites, bringing more visitors and leads to your website.
Building Brand Reputation
Off-page SEO demonstrates that your brand is knowledgeable and trustworthy. When credible websites link to your content, it shows their endorsement of what you have to offer. This builds credibility for your business in the eyes of potential customers and increases trust among current ones.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
Off-page SEO is also essential for keeping up with your competition. Your competitors are likely optimising their websites and getting backlinks, so you need to stay one step ahead to get the edge.
For instance, if your competitor has acquired a link from an authoritative website, getting one from the same website will allow you to compete on an equal footing. And if you want to show off, you can always try to get more quality backlinks than your competitor.
What are the Key Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors?
So now that we know the benefits of off-page SEO, we need to take a look at what Google is ranking you on. After all, your efforts won't be worth much if you don't know which SEO factors to pay attention to. So, let's take a look at the eight key off-page SEO ranking factors that will give your website the biggest boost.
1. Number of Referring Domains
This refers to the number of other websites that link back to yours. Think of it as the popularity contest of websites. Google, and other search engines, see links as votes of confidence. The more votes you get, the higher you will rank!
The more referring domains you have, the higher your ranking will be in the SERPs. It's a sign that search engines can trust your website and deem it worth recommending to others.
2. Link Authority
Link authority is determined by how authoritative and trustworthy the linking domain is. The domain authority of a linking website depends on factors such as popularity and age.
This factor is a major part of off-page SEO as it shows search engines who's boss. Authority links come from reputable websites with high domain rankings. Think of these as the VIPs of the web, and search engine algorithms pay close attention to them.
If you have many links from well-known and respected websites such as Forbes and the New York Times, SERPs will be more likely to rank your website higher. So don't be shy about connecting with bigger sites in your field, as it could boost your website significantly.
3. Anchor Text
The anchor text is the clickable text you see when you link from one website to another. It's like a secret weapon in the off-page SEO game. It's a way of telling search engines what your website is about without actually spelling it out.
When someone links to your website using specific words, search engines can easily pick up on those keywords and use them to understand what kind of website you have. So make sure that when creating linkbacks, there are relevant keywords in the anchor text, as these could be the difference between being found or falling off the map.
4. Link Relevancy
Link relevancy is all about how useful and topically similar a website is when they link back to your website. You want links from websites that are related to your topic or niche.
If you link to a site that isn't relevant, then Google and co. won't be impressed. Make sure any incoming links come from high-quality sites in the same field or niche as yours to boost your credibility and search engine rankings.
For instance, if you have a camping website, you would want backlinks from other camping-related websites. These links will help boost your website's rankings as they show search engine algorithms that your website is a reputable source of information on the topic.
5. Social Shares
Getting your content shared on social networks is a great way to increase your rankings and show search engines that you are a trusted source. Social shares are like a popularity contest: the more people share your content, the better it looks to search engines. Think of it as a way to get your website noticed and show off how awesome it is.
Customer reviews on online platforms such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor are great for showing search engines that your website is legitimate. After all, nothing says "trustworthy" better than positive customer feedback.
Search engines consider these reviews when ranking websites. Reviews are like testimonies of customer satisfaction, which can lead to significantly improved rankings.
7. Brand Mentions
Getting mentions from other websites and influencers in your industry can be a great way to quickly increase your visibility online. A brand mention is when someone simply talks about or references your website, product, or service without actually linking back to it. These are still invaluable for SEO rankings, as search engines still pick up on these mentions, even if they aren't actually linked.
8. Google Business Profile
Finally, setting up a Google My Business profile is essential for any business that wants to be found online. It ensures you appear on maps and search results when people are looking for businesses in your area.
Plus, it gives potential customers more information about what you do and how to contact you. The more optimised your Google Business Profile is, the higher you’ll rank on SERPs and get more visibility.
Best Practices for Off-Page SEO
By now, you already know how powerful off-page SEO can be and the tactics you should use to maximise your ranking potential. To tie everything together, here are some tips that will help you get started:
Get Quality Backlinks
Building Backlinks is the cornerstone of any successful off-page SEO strategy and should be your top priority. But remember that links aren't created equal. You want to use white-hat link-building strategies to get high-quality, relevant links from reputable websites in your niche.
For starters, you can consider these tactics in your link-building strategy:
Guest blogging: Reach out to relevant websites in your industry and offer to write an article for them. In exchange, ask for a link back to your website. However, you should do an off-page SEO analysis periodically to ensure the links you acquire are still relevant and high-quality.
Competitor link-building: Analyse your competitors and see which websites are linking to them. Then, you can reach out to those same websites and ask if they would also be willing to link back to you.
Broken-link building: Find dead links on other websites in your industry and contact the webmaster to offer them a replacement link.
Remember that link quality triumphs over link quantity. It’s better to have fewer, higher-quality links than a bunch of random links from guest posting for websites with low domain authority.
Increase Your Social Shares
Social media is a great tool for off-page SEO, as it gives you more visibility and helps search engines trust your website more. To increase your social shares, create fresh content that people want to share and use social media to promote it.
Make sure you include social sharing buttons on your website, so people can easily spread the word about your content. You can also join relevant groups and forums in your niche to get more exposure and engage with potential customers.
Besides helping consumers make informed decisions, online reviews are an invaluable part of your off-page SEO strategy. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 17% of local SEO experts believe that positive reviews are a key ranking factor in map pack results.
So, make sure you set up accounts on popular review websites and encourage your customers to leave a review even on your website. You should also respond to negative reviews promptly to show search engines that you are dedicated to providing a good customer experience.
Optimise Your Google Business Profile
Optimising your Google Business Profile is a surefire way to get seen by search engines, and it’s not as hard as you might think. Take the time to fill out all your info, create a great-looking profile picture, and add relevant images.
This includes double-checking your NAP (name, address, and phone number) information and ensuring it matches what’s listed on other online directories. Additionally, be sure to add a detailed description of your business and select the correct category.
Making sure you have up-to-date information, accurate contact details, and eye-catching images will ensure that your page stands out for all the right reasons. Plus, let's be honest, how often do you get a chance to show off your business with a fun profile picture? Optimise away, and you’ll be reaping the rewards soon enough.
Curate Attention-Grabbing Content
Now this one might sound more like on-page SEO, but don't worry, you're still on the right blog! You can't expect people to link to your website if you don't have interesting, fresh content. You need to create something that people will want to share and talk about.
When creating content, make sure it’s attention-grabbing and relevant to your target audience. Use visuals such as videos, images, infographics, or GIFs to get people excited about what you have to offer. Also, ensure your content is easy to read and share, as people don’t have time to decipher complicated text blocks.
If you don't trust your writing skills, consider hiring a professional to create content that stands out. These professionals breathe and live content, so they know exactly what type of writing works best and how to get people talking.
Get Brand Mentions
Getting your brand mentioned around the web is not only a great way to get seen, but it can also positively affect your search engine rankings. But how do you get people to mention your brand?
One way is to reach out to influencers in your industry and ask for a mention. Find bloggers and other online personalities with a large following and offer them something in exchange for mentioning your brand.
It could be a promotional discount, a free product, or an interesting article about your company. What you offer them will depend on the influencer and the type of content they create.
You could also join conversations in relevant forums or participate in interviews with other websites or podcasts. You can also collaborate with other businesses to increase that reach even further. Just make sure the mentions are high-quality, so you can keep those rankings high.
Boost Your Online Visibility with Off-Page SEO
If your on-page SEO is on point, off-page SEO will help you get even more visibility and engagement. Go beyond link building. Ensure you take advantage of social media, reviews, brand mentions, and every other opportunity to get your brand out there.
Remember that it takes time to see results from your efforts, so don't be discouraged if the going gets tough. However, you can speed up the process by working with professionals who know exactly how to make your website stand out, like our team at Neighbourhood Co.
Contact us today to see how we can help you with your SEO strategy.