Do you want to improve your website's search engine ranking? If so, then you need to focus on off page SEO. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about this important aspect of SEO. We'll discuss what off page SEO is, why it's important, and the different techniques that you can use to improve your ranking. So whether you're a beginner or an experienced SEO professional, this guide has something for you!
Understanding Search Engines & SEO
If you've ever used a search engine, you've probably noticed that some results are more relevant to your search than others. That's because the order of the results is determined by a process called “search engine optimization” (SEO). SEO is the process of making sure that your website appears as high up in the search results as possible. The higher your website appears, the more likely people are to click on it.
There are two main factors that determines how well your website will rank in the search results: relevance and authority. Relevance refers to how well your website matches the user's search query. Authority refers to how well-respected and popular your website is. The better your website does on both of these factors, the higher it will appear in the search results.
Understanding On-Page SEO
As a small business owner, you want what we all want: to get the most improvement in the lease amount of time possible. Luckily, there are many different ways to improve your website's SEO. Ultimately, the best way to approach SEO is to create high-quality content that people will want to read and share. The more people who read and share your content, the more popular and respected your website will become, which will help it to rank higher in the search results.
This is known as “on-page” SEO, because you can control the changes to your content, and they happen “on” your page. On-page SEO is important, but it's only one piece of the puzzle. In order to really improve your website's ranking, you need to focus on “off-page” SEO as well.
On-Page SEO can be broken up into several different strategies, including:
- Writing great content
- Optimizing page accessibility
- Optimizing page speed
- Including quality links and natural links
On-Page SEO is essentially the things that you should naturally do to your website to help it appear on other search engines. An on-page SEO tactic should occur entirely on your website. Ultimately, every webpage you have should be optimized for on page SEO. But today, we're looking at your Off-Page SEO strategy, so let's go deeper.
Building Your Off Page SEO Strategy
Off-page SEO refers to promoting your website on other websites. When done correctly, off page SEO can boost your website and get to the front of search engine results pages on the major search engines.
But building an off-page strategy can be time consuming because you are essentially relying on other people to point back to your website. You need to be strategic about who you choose to partner with, and what type of content you promote.
A good place to start is by finding websites that are relevant to your niche or industry. For example, if you sell pet supplies, look for websites about pets, pet care, or animal welfare. Once you've found some potential allies, you can hone in on how you want to accomplish your off-page SEO aims.
Link Building: An Off Page SEO Tactic
Most of off-page SEO advice is around link building. Link building is the art of soliciting other websites to point to yours. It's only link building when it's intentional. So, if you have a great blog post that gets picked up by another website and they link to it without you sharing it directly with them, that doesn't count as “link building” – that's just good ol' fashioned great blogging. Of course, you still get the benefits of that incoming link.
Link building is one of the most effective ways to improve your website's search engine ranking. That's because links are like votes; the more links your website has, the more popular it will appear to the search engines.
In the early 2000's spammers went wild with this and created elaborate linking networks. They would spam blog posts with links to get their websites ranked higher. As a result, Google implemented an update which allowed websites to tag links with “nofollow” and other attributes that advise search engines to give zero points for those links. While humans may still click on them, they won't count in the final ranking. You can read more about building backlinks in this post.
Social Media Marketing as an Off Page SEO Strategy
Social media signals tell search engines that your website is relevant and trustworthy, which can help to improve your ranking. In addition, social media can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. By sharing compelling content and links to your website on social media, you can encourage people to click through and visit your site. As a result, social media marketing can be an effective off-page SEO strategy.
However, be aware that even quality links from social media marketing don't directly influence a site's search engine rankings. Brand mentions, influencer marketing, and social media may all contribute indirectly to your Off Page SEO factors, but they won't create a natural boost. Instead, it's when someone takes your link off of social media and, say, writes a news article or blog post (also known as “inbound links”) that you will directly benefit in the search engines.
This is because most social media posts are “nofollow” links. As described above, they get no real votes in the search engine rankings. But in general, social media is good to use for your business, even if it doesn't directly impact search engines. If you're interested in social media, here are a few resources to help you get started:
Guest Blogging As An Off Page SEO Strategy
Guest blogging is a tried and true off page SEO tactic. Guest blogging is exactly what it sounds like, and the search engines love it. The important thing with guest blogging, as with anything, is to go after quality links. You don't want to guest blog on any old website, because they may not be considered “quality links” by Google. Ideally you want to guest blog on websites that are similar in “domain authority” – or better – than your own.
What is domain authority? Domain authority is a metric that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. It's based on factors like age, popularity, and size. You can check the domain authority of any website using this free tool from Moz. Google has its own version of authority, but it's not publicly available.
When you're looking for guest blogging opportunities, try to find websites with a similar target audience to your own. This will help you find customers of your own! Guest posting can be fun, but don't spend all your time working on guest posting. Be sure to continually update your own blog with content, too.
Broken Link Building As An Off Page SEO Tactic
Have you ever clicked on a link and gotten the dreaded “404 Error?” That's because the page you were trying to visit doesn't exist! When this happens, it's called a “broken link.”
Broken links are bad for two reasons. First, they give your website visitors a poor experience. Second, they can hurt your website's ranking on search engines.
Search engines want to give their users the best experience possible, so they don't like it when websites have broken links. In addition, when Google's spiders crawl the web and come across a broken link, they'll mark that page as “error.” If too many of your website's pages, it'll be removed or de-emphasized in the rankings.
This link building tactic can be hard to implement, but basically: you find broken links. You email the site owners and offer your own link as a replacement. This helps the linking site and your own with a little bit of “link juice” spread everywhere.
Off page SEO is a huge and complex topic. We've only just scratched the surface in this post! For small business owners, this surface level knowledge is likely all you need to know to understand Off Page SEO techniques and apply them to your own business.
Hopefully, though, you now have a better understanding of what off page SEO is and some of the tactics you can use to improve your website's ranking. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!