John Lincoln

What Is Off-Page SEO? How It Works + 5 Biggest Questions

What Is Off-Page SEO? How It Works + 5 Biggest Questions

Whether you’re running an eCommerce site or an information travel website, SEO could make or break your site.

Being sure to use the right SEO tactics that will deliver the results you’re looking for is critical to your success.

By now you probably know about how to incorporate SEO into your content marketing strategy but what off-page SEO techniques are you using?

Let’s talk about it.

What is Off-Page SEO & Why Is It Important?

Off-page SEO is a part of your digital marketing strategy. It consists of all of the actions a site owner takes outside of their own website that will impact their search engine results page ranking.

While there are a lot of things that you can do within your site to increase your ranking, there are also a significant number of things that you can do outside of your site. In fact, off-page SEO is just as important, if not more so, than your on-page SEO strategy.

One of the most important factors that Google’s algorithms look at when deciding how to rank a page is its popularity and authority. If other people trust your site to provide quality and factual content then Google feels as though it, too, can rely on your site.

When Google feels that your site is credible, it will increase your SERP ranking and move you even closer to that coveted number one spot.

Off-Page SEO vs. On-Page SEO

Although different, both off-page SEO and on-page SEO play a critical role in where your site lands on the SERP.

The biggest difference between the two is that on-page SEO is easier to manage and control. You can make sure that you’re hitting all of the correct keywords, that all of your images have alt-tags, and that all of your internal links are working properly.

On-page SEO includes things like your content, title tags, URLs, image alt tags, keyword usage throughout your content, and internal links. These are all aspects that you can control and increase if necessary.

Off-page SEO is a little more complicated. It includes things that occur off of your website, like backlinks and mentions on other websites. It’s this type of SEO that helps to build your authority because it shows that other people trust your content.

The downside to off-page SEO is that it is an effort that is often out of your control.

How Link Building Benefits Your Off-Page SEO Strategy

The best way to increase your off-page SEO is through link building.

The key to link building is to focus on quality, not quantity. Broken or spammy links will do more harm than good when it comes to your SERP ranking.

There are three types of links and not all of them will help your off-page SEO.

  • Natural Links
  • Built Links
  • Created Links

Natural Links

Natural links occur organically in others’ content. Since they are not placed strategically by your company, they are the best types of links for your off-page SEO.

These links help to build your authority because they show that other people saw your product or content and felt that it was important enough to include it in their own content.

Natural links do not appear within sponsored or paid content. They are not associated with any tracking parameters and redirect without Javascript or monetization tools. They are simply a reference to a piece of your content or your website that serves to support the other website’s content.

Built Links

Built links are links that appear in sponsored or paid content. These links happen when you actively ask others to promote your content.

While not viewed as highly as natural links, built links still have the ability to promote valuable content.

Be careful who you collaborate with though. If not done correctly, these links have the ability to appear like spam. If Google views these links as spam, they could tank your SERP ranking.

Created Links

Created, or user-generated, links are the links you create yourself in an attempt to endorse your own content. They are often used in a way that appears spammy.

In fact, Google does not take kindly to unnatural created links. Many websites have been penalized for overusing them.

These are the links that you have created that are clearly self-promotional. They can be found in things like blog comments that aren’t moderated, overly optimized anchor text, embeddable widgets, infographics, and more.

Instead of attempting to spam the internet with your content, work on creating quality content and building sustainable relationships with other companies and content creators. When your content is helpful and valuable, the backlinks will start to occur naturally.

Off-Page SEO Factors for Increase Link Building

There are many different factors that play a role in increasing your ability to obtain quality backlinks.

One of the best ways to build backlinks is to create quality content that is properly promoted. This will help to organically grow your off-page SEO.

Ways to promote your content include:

  • Join a professional association in your industry. This will expose your content to a secure audience. You can also get a link to your website put on the association’s website and social media channels to increase traffic to your site and build your brand awareness.
  • Curate a positive social media presence. Going viral is the best way to create brand awareness but a steady presence can also grow your brand in a positive and organic way.
  • Only produce quality content. When your content is interesting, truthful, and entertaining, the audience practically creates itself. Produce content that your audience wants to see and enjoys consuming and they will continue to come back for more.
  • Build quality relationships and make your brand approachable. Lean into relationships with journalists, bloggers, and other content creators. These people are the best way to secure backlinks and increase exposure to changing audiences.

While there are many different ways to promote your content and increase your odds of earning quality links, remember that you are, indeed, earning them. You will have to work for these links but the work will pay off in the long run when it comes to your off-page SEO!

How Social Media Marketing Impacts Off-Page SEO

Social media marketing is so important that it has almost become a buzzword in the virtual space. But for good reason. A lot of money and promotion can be made through proper social medial marketing.

Your social media marketing strategy also affects your off-page SEO.

Even though it won’t necessarily affect your SERP ranking, it does work hard towards your goal of building authority and brand awareness in your space.

When a brand feels approachable, honest, and trustworthy on its social media channels, more people will be drawn to check out its website.

This increase in traffic to your website increases your odds of landing some really good natural backlinks from well-respected bloggers and companies in your space. As well as authentic product or service reviews from legitimate customers.

How Local SEO Relates to Off-Page SEO

Local SEO also can affect your off-page SEO strategy.

Most brick-and-mortar stores thrive off of in-person and word-of-mouth referrals. Reviews, feedback, and local backlinks are the virtual equivalent of these in-person referrals.

When your SEO strategy includes local SEO work, this increases your odds of reaching more people in your local area. When these people are happy with your product or service, this increases the odds that they will post about their experience with your business online. This can lead to quality backlinks that help your off-page SEO strategy.

Content Marketing’s Role in Off-Page SEO

As with most aspects of SEO work, content marketing is critical to your success with off-page SEO work.

A quality content marketing strategy will provide quality and shareable social media content. It can also build quality relationships with social media influencers who will favor your brand and help you curate your brand identity and increase your brand awareness.

Including blogging in your content marketing strategy is also a way to help your off-page SEO. Blogging creates easily linkable content for your followers and fans to share. Quality blog content practically begs to be turned into a natural backlink!

Not only that, but blogging also works to build your position as a thought leader in your industry. The more you prove you’re worth consumers’ trust, the more Google will see you as an authority and increase your SERP ranking.

When it comes to blogging, you should curate content for your own site but also for others. Consider guest-blogging or contributing to outside publications. This will expose your brand to an untapped audience but also help to build your authority in your field.

Wrapping Up with Off-Page SEO

As you can see, off-page SEO, while somewhat uncontrollable, can play a huge role in increasing your SERP ranking.

While it requires more work and effort on your part, the return on investment is unmatched! When other brands and companies admit that they turn to you for information, it’s only a matter of time before consumers do the same.

If you’re looking for a way to increase brand awareness and cement your brand as a thought-leader in your industry, off-page SEO is a great way to do it!

FAQs about Off-Page SEO

1. What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO work is a way to increase your SERP ranking through activities that take place off of your actual website.

2. What are some off-page SEO techniques that a brand should know?

Link building is key to your off-page SEO! Be sure to build quality relationships that produce natural links.

3. What should be on my off-page SEO checklist?

Focus on producing quality content that your audience wants to read! You should also work on building sustainable relationships and partnerships with journalists, bloggers, and other content creators.

4. Will off-page SEO make or break my website?

Not necessarily. But it does have the ability to significantly improve your SERP ranking, which does make or break your site.

5. Are there agencies or consultants that will help me develop an off-page SEO strategy?

Of course! There are many digital agencies and consultants that are well-versed in how to create a successful off-page SEO strategy.

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About the Author

John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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