Off page SEO is the partner of on page SEO. And while I often refer to on-page SEO as the low hanging fruit of SEO, its counterpart, off page SEO, is a bit more complicated. The relationship between on page and off page SEO has changed over the years, but right now off page SEO is more important than it has ever been to a site’s overall rankings.
What is Off-Page SEO?
In a nutshell, off-page SEO is any optimization done for a specific web page from outside the web site which contains the benefitting web page. Remember, search engines rank pages, which is why it’s not called “off-site” SEO. Linking from one page to another within the same website is considered on page SEO. Obtaining backlinks from sites outside your domain is a technique that falls under the umbrella of off page SEO.
Why is Off-Page SEO so important?
If you think about it, it makes sense. Anyone can optimize their own pages to the hilt. And anyone can tell Google, in a variety of different ways, that it deserves to be ranked number one for a specified keyword phrase. In essence, that’s what on page SEO is all about. But how does Google discern between pages with perceived value to the end user and pages with a proven track record? Your user experience metrics definitely play a part here, as does your off page SEO.
Off Page SEO Techniques
Off page SEO equates to endorsements of your pages’ content by other website owners and people unaffiliated with your business. Google recognizes this as a strong indicator of quality content, which is what they want. Are you giving Google what it wants when it comes to off page SEO?
Backlinks for Off Page SEO
Backlinks from pages outside of your control that direct users from other web pages to your web pages are huge in the eyes of Google and search engines. How many backlinks does each of your pages have? And more importantly, what is the quality of those backlinks? Creating and encouraging backlink opportunities is a big part of off page SEO.
Links can come in a number of different forms and from countless sources around the web. The best type of backlink is what’s known as a contextual backlink. Google takes note when links to a particular website come within the body of a text-based document of another website. This is a contextual backlink.
Backlinks can also come from blog and forum comments, but these links can be considered spammy in the eyes of the search engines. Spammy backlinks can actually hurt your rankings, so discretion is advised here.
The overall value of backlinks for off page SEO is tremendous at this point in time. However, it is certainly not the only technique that can or should be used.
Social Media for Off Page SEO
Social media is one of the most popular trends in off page SEO. By posting fresh content on social media you are dramatically increasing the likelihood of its being shared. If your content is being shared, there is also a much stronger ability for it to bring in backlinks. When people do not know your content exists they cannot link to it. And if they do not link to it, you are not likely to rank for your target keywords.
Positive branding is another strong reason to use social media for off page SEO. If you are posting quality content regularly, the effects on your branding will be substantial. Before you know it, people will follow your every word, which will result in higher sales. Now you are cooking with gas.
Guest Blogging for Off Page SEO
Guest blogging is another off page SEO technique that can work for some website owners. It consists of you, the website owner, creating a high quality blog post for someone else’s website. In exchange for the great content, the website owner returns the favor with a backlink. This can work for website owners who may have a lack of hard cash on hand and are willing to bring visitors to their web pages via sweat equity. The real investment when it comes to guest blogging is time.
If you are going to pursue guest blogging as a form of off page SEO, you want to make sure the website you are writing for has a high domain authority, which will pass itself on to your website via the backlink. If not, the investment may not be worth your time.
Email Outreach for Off Page SEO
Another very effective technique for off page SEO is email outreach, sometimes called “manual” outreach. This consists of reaching out to people, usually via email, with the ability to help your rankings from their own websites and online resources.
Email outreach as a means of off page SEO is a numbers game and is very similar to telemarketing in its success rate. What you are doing, in a nutshell, is reaching out to people that are in similar business niches as your own in an effort to discover if a link partnership is appropriate.
For instance, if the main topic of your website is nutritional information, a website owner who runs a yoga studio might want to link to your content. The two of you are not in direct competition with each other, so helping each other would not negatively affect either one of you. However, you both have businesses within the health industry. These are the opportunities you want to pursue. Acquiring links from totally unrelated websites to your own is a technique that worked in the past, but does not work today and is something you want to avoid.