When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), some of the most important activities you can do aren’t actually on your website at all.
Off-page SEO factors, or SEO activities that occur away from your website, carry more than 50 percent of the ranking factor weight, according to the experts at Moz.
But what is off-page SEO, and why is it so important?
We break down below what off-page SEO is, why it’s crucial, and six essential tactics to try ASAP.
What is off-site SEO (…and is it the same as off-page SEO)?
First, off-page SEO is also known as off-site SEO, they mean the same thing and are used interchangeably in the world of digital marketing. Either way, it encompasses all SEO tactics that you conduct away from your website. For most marketers, this means link building. However, while backlinks are one most important parts of off-site SEO, it also includes activities such as brand building, content marketing, social media, podcasts or reviews. Essentially, it’s any technique that you use to build your brand online that takes place on websites that aren’t your own.
Why is it important?
Off-page SEO is crucial for building your site’s authority, bolstering brand awareness/trust and ranking on competitive search items. As SEMRush explains, “Without this, your site won’t outrank those that already have higher authority. And it’s usually the case that content from higher authority websites ranks higher than those with lower authority.” While links are generally the most important part of off-page SEO, there are several strategies you can use to build links, we’ve shared six of our proven methods below.
6 Off-Page SEO Tactics to try ASAP
When it comes to building online authority, it’s important to try many angles to reach your target audience and goals. As such, the best off-page SEO is strategic but also multi-faceted. Here’s a brief intro into the six best tactics to bolster off-site SEO:
1. Create Shareable Content
The quality (and shareability) of your content is vital to off-page SEO. This might be slightly confusing because it technically occurs on your site, but you can’t have off-site SEO without first focusing on content quality on your site. In other words, you need to have valuable content to link to and engage the site visitors you’ll get from building your brand.
Your content should be valuable to your consumers, visually appealing and easily digestible. Save your readers the long-form article fatigue by creating a few infographics or video content to break things up. This type of content is easy to share and highly linkable.
Learn more: How to Create Backlinks (Hint: Good Content)
2. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
When it comes to backlinks, it’s tempting to take every single link you can get. However, it’s essential to be discerning when it comes to linking opportunities. A link on an irrelevant website has little value. Focus on gaining relevant links for best results.
3. Refine Your Pitch Strategy
A solid backlink strategy can fail at the outreach stage. Not every pitch will land when you’re looking for guest posting opportunities, but some tried-and-true methods will help you get noticed. We recommend timing your pitches—if it takes longer than a minute to read or say, you’ve lost the interest of your audience.
Try to get a stat or an interesting fact in the first sentence to make the editor sit up and pay attention. Editors, blog managers and website owners get thousands of pitches every day (plus they’re busy people), make yours stand out.
4. Conduct Surveys
One of the best ways to accrue backlinks is to conduct a survey. Why? Surveys offer you relevant, industry-specific, proprietary data—the type of data that other websites, journalists and publications love to link to. Surveys aren’t an easy route though, if you don’t have experience, consider working with an agency to spearhead the project and see the best ROI.
5. Contribute to Expert Roundups
Expert roundups are some of our favorites—they’re a quick way to build brand authority and get a link. It’s also great to participate in some reactive pitching. Sign up for tools such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to respond to journalist requests. Our pro tip? One of the best ways to make sure your contribution gets picked up is to say something unique, and even a little bit contentious. A journalist is more likely to include a comment that gets people talking.
6. Use Social Media
Social media is a massive part of off-page SEO and one that marketers often overlook. However, instead of just focusing on creating content, spend some time planning how you’ll distribute that content. In a comment for Referral Rock, Growth Hacker’s Jonathan Aufray suggests that creating content should only take up 20 percent of your company’s time and budget. Spend the other 80 percent making sure that content reaches its target audience. Distribute, distribute, distribute for success.
Lastly, Make Sure to Check Your Brand Signals
Brand signals, or what Google uses to determine whether or not your website is legit, is an integral part of off-site SEO—and one that many marketing professionals ignore. The experts at Backlinko recommend searching your exact brand name or your brand name plus a word or phrase. Then, navigate to the Google Search Console Performance Report—you’ll see the ‘impressions’ column for branded searches. These numbers will form a benchmark that you can use as you experiment with the above six strategies.
Level up Your Off-Site SEO
When it comes to wrapping your head around a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, there are several factors to consider—including C-Suite buy-in. If you find your boss or CEO asking “What is Off-Site SEO and why does it matter?” Use this article as your guide. Additionally, try our tactics while monitoring brand signals to ensure success and ROI.
Keep in mind, off-page SEO can be complex and takes months or even years to build. If you need help, reach out to our team of experts at 10x digital.