Smartphones have made the Internet more popular than ever before. Back in 2016, the number of active internet users crossed the 3.14 billion mark. In the last five years, the number of people using the Internet for the first time has increased by 640,000 every day. Therefore, no business can ignore the popularity of the Internet today.
But how does the internet help your business? When a user searches for a query on a search engine like Google or Bing, the search engine returns the websites that contain information that answers the user’s query. Then the user visits one of the websites so returned and ends up either buying a product or subscribing to a service. That’s how converting website visitors into paying customers works on a high level! On the ground level though, it takes a lot of effort to make sure a visitor lands on your website and not on your competitor’s.
If you want to reach your target audience ahead of your competitors, you need to have a killer website that appears at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). But with more than 1 billion websites waiting for their golden moment of crowning glory (top ranking), bringing your website to the top of the SERP is no easy task. The only way you can reach the target is through following search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO refers to a broad category of techniques and methods to improve your website’s search engine ranking. It is primarily divided into two subcategories – On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. Both techniques are equally important and complement each other in improving search engine rankings. In this post, we’ve discussed Off-Page SEO in detail.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO refers to actions/techniques implemented outside your website to improve your search engine ranking results. Many people limit it to link building which isn’t correct. The expanse of off-page SEO extends to all aspects that improve the way search engines and users look towards your website in terms of credibility, relevance, authority, and popularity.
Why does off-page SEO Matter?
According to SEO experts, Google considers more than 200 factors when determining the ranking of your website. If you think content and design alone can help you achieve top ranking, you are mistaken. Google is also interested to know what others think about your website.
Off-page SEO is primarily focused on telling Google why your website is the top candidate in your business niche. Google uses backlinks to assess the relevance of your website for the target keywords. By providing links to relevant sources, you are giving the user more information and helping him to achieve his search goal.
While it is impossible to know everything about the Google algorithm and the factors it considers when ranking a website, off-page SEO factors are more likely to carry more than 50% weight in the search engine rankings. This information should be enough to take off-page SEO seriously!
If you’re planning to implement off-page SEO tactics, you must focus on the most critical element which is backlinks. There’s no doubt that links are the soul of off-page SEO but there are many aspects of links that are often overlooked.
Links and Off-Page SEO
Most people know very little about backlinks, their types, and how they work to improve your search engine rankings. Building backlinks is one of the important off-page SEO activities. Backlinks are also known as inbound or incoming links. For example, if site A has an external link to site B, it means that site B has a backlink from site A. Search engines consider backlinks as an indicator of the content quality on a website. Hence, a website with high-quality content along with multiple high-value backlinks is bound to rank better than a website with no or fewer backlinks.
Here’s a glimpse at the three types of links, determined by the way they are earned:
- Natural links are those where the page owner doesn’t put any effort to get the backlink. An example of natural backlinks is when a food blogger adds a link to farms that produce quality food grains or organic produce. In this case, the food blogger’s website will have an external link while the farm website will receive a backlink. Evidently, in such a case, the farm owner doesn’t put any effort to earn backlinks, and hence, it is a natural link.
- Self-created link refers to links created by practices like adding a link in the forum, blog, online directory, comment signatures, or press releases with optimized anchor text.
- Manually created links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. In these types of links, the website owner asks influencers and customers to link to their website or share their content.
Whatever the method of linking, link building is the only SEO activity that results in equity. Any off-page SEO activity that adds value or equity to your overall SEO efforts should be focused on, regardless of how the links were created. There are several signals that positively contribute to your backlinking efforts:
- The popularity of the linking site
- How relevant is the linking website’s topic to the website it is being linked to
- The links’ freshness
- Anchor text used on the linking site
- Linking site trustworthiness
- Authority of the linking domain and page
- The number of links on the linked page
Now that you know how links and off-page SEO are related and how it helps improve search engine rankings, let’s move on to look at other important off-page SEO factors.
Other important Off-page SEO elements
As mentioned earlier, off-page SEO doesn’t revolve around links alone. Guest blogging, social media marketing, linked and unlinked brand mentions, and influencer marketing play a crucial role in improving your search engine rankings. Let’s analyze each of these elements in detail.
1. Guest blogging
This is probably the simplest way to earn backlinks on your website. In guest blogging, you post on other websites, and in return, you get a backlink to your website. Guest blogging is all about building relationships that might help you in the future. Bloggers are influential people and their conversations on the web often appear in search results. Further, guest blogging introduces you to new people who are related to your field, and it also helps you meet new audiences who regularly visit these blogs. If you create content that adds value to another blog, most visitors will want to visit your website, and this is where you can earn organic backlinks from.
2. Social media marketing
While social media doesn’t have a direct effect on SEO, its indirect link with SEO can’t be ignored. According to experts, the more mentions your website has on social media conversations, the better it is for your website. Social media platforms are networking hubs to share your views and express your opinions. Since off-page SEO is all about what users think about your website, the link between social media marketing and off-page SEO is pretty self-evident.
3. Influencer marketing
This refers to social media marketing where an individual with a sizable audience promotes brands, products, and services online. Influencers are considered experts in their niche and most of their followers are more likely to follow their suggestions and consider the products they promote. Brands hire influencers to create useful content that can be shared from their account on various platforms. When they talk about a brand, their followers naturally become interested. This can help you draw a considerable amount of traffic to your website, thereby building a strong backlink profile that’s supported by a large audience. Needless to say, it’s a positive indicator for search engines to improve your website’s search engine ranking.
At this point, you might be under the impression that building a strong backlink profile isn’t quite so challenging. A little money and effort can get you there easily. Well, that is correct, but only partially. You need to keep a few critical things in mind before you draw an off-page SEO strategy.
Not all links are created equal
Yes, that’s correct! You need to carefully analyze exactly which links can truly bring more traffic to your website. Here’s a list of the best ones.
- Links from popular pages – Google gives a PageRank to every page it indexes. To put it simply, the more links a page has pointing towards it, the higher PageRank it has. Pages that are popular are those that achieve higher rankings (natural link) by themselves. Your search engine ranking could be improved by linking to these pages rather than links to lesser-voted pages.
- Links inside the main content – The best links are the ones that are positioned within the unique content. Links in footers or lower page sections have lesser value.
- Links higher up in the content are considered more powerful – The main content can have many links embedded in the content, but the higher the link is positioned (for example, the sooner a reader sees the link in the content, like in the intro section), the more valuable it is considered by the search engine.
- Links with relevant anchor text – Links with relevant anchor text carry more value than links with non-relevant text.
- External links are more influential in search engine ranking than internal links.
- Links from unique domains carry more importance than having links from sites that you commonly link with.
- Links from topically relevant pages bring more value and votes for your pages that help improve search engine ranking.
We know that all this information can be a lot to take in at first, but trust us when we say that a little practice and time is all it needs to master the art of perfect off-page SEO.
Finally, to wrap it up
Off-page SEO is a crucial element of your overall SEO strategy that can’t be ignored. You need to focus on it equally while planning your SEO activities. Also, you need a good strategy and plan to build a robust backlink profile that helps search engines understand the value your website presents to its visitors.
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