Off-page SEO – what is it and how could you make the most of it?

Jul 3, 2020 by
Off-page SEO – what is it and how could you make the most of it?

Sometimes, what’s happening behind the scenes is just as important as what’s happening right before our eyes. Such is the case with SEO, because, whilst it is indeed important to focus on your web pages themselves, there are also actions that must be taken outside of your own site to give yourself the best chance of boosting your rankings. That’s what off-page SEO is all about.

What is off-page SEO?

As the name suggests, off-page SEO refers to any and all actions taken outside of a website to improve SERP rankings.

The major difference between on-page and off-page SEO is that with the former, you have complete control over everything, whereas the latter requires more people to be involved and more gears to be shifted. Of course, link building is a major part of off-page SEO, but it goes far deeper than that.

Why should I be using off-page SEO?

Content is still king, that much will always be true. However, it would be almost impossible to rank a site based on content alone and as such, Google doesn’t just take into account what’s happening on your site.

While we would all like to live in a world where the best content always outranks the ‘filler’ content, that isn’t necessarily the case. So, to give yourself the best chance you need to supplement your quality content with off-page actions that essentially help Google and its billions of users actually notice your site.

The pillars of off-page SEO

Link building – Google’s search engine is built on a powerful PageRank algorithm that examines the quantity and the quality of your content and your backlinks. It might be an outdated concept but it’s still a major ranking factor.

Referring domains – The more links you can build between your site and other unique and authoritative websites, the higher you will rank and the more organic your viewers will be. That’s the theory anyway.

Link authority – Quality over quantity is an adage that holds true when it comes to your links. Focus on page authority because authority trickles down.

Judging a page authority is something of an art in and of itself, of course, but there are URL rating tools you can use to help get started.

Dofollow and nofollow – If a link has been given the nofollow tag then it won’t be read by Google’s PageRank algorithm and therefore won’t count. This is why you should always focus on dofollow backlinks – it’s remarkably easy these days to sort the dos from the don’ts.

Indeed, there’s a Google Chrome extension that exists to do just that. Note that nofollow links are not completely devoid of value as they can offer referral traffic, but dofollows should always be your priority.

Relevance – Every backlink represents another site essentially vouching for you and your business, not to mention the quality of your content. It makes sense then, that sites will only want to deal with you if the information they are linking to is relevant to their audience.

This is where you have to pick and choose your partners. The anchor text they use to link to you is obviously also very important, but you might not have any say there, so it’s not worth thinking about.

NAP citations – Every time your business or brand is mentioned and your name, address and phone number is displayed, you’re looking at a NAP citation.

These are one of the top off-page ranking factors for local SEO and are particularly powerful for smaller independent organisations.

Brand mentions – Whilst linked brand mentions will always hold more power, every time your brand is mentioned online it helps build your site ranking.

Reviews – Positive, genuine reviews are a great way of driving page ranking and organic traffic to your site so it’s something you should be actively encouraging wherever possible.

This can be as simple as leaving a link on your page to ask happy customers to leave some feedback or reaching out to trusted third-party review sites. Don’t overdo it though, as Google will soon see through the ruse.