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It’s essential to develop a well-rounded SEO strategy if you want your website to feature at the top of search results. For this, you need to focus on three significant aspects: technical, on-page, and off-page SEO.
What do these terms mean?
Technical SEO focuses on the optimization of the HTML of a website. The purpose here is to make it easy for Google spiders to crawl your web pages and index them.
On the other hand, on-page SEO is primarily concerned with the content of a web page. Finding the right keywords and writing valuable content is a part of on-page SEO. Off-page SEO is all about making your website more authoritative.
In this article, we’ll focus on off-page SEO. Before we dive deep into the strategies for off-page SEO, let’s take a closer look at what exactly it is.
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What Is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO focuses on techniques that help a website feature at the top of search results. You can’t directly apply these techniques on your website like with on-page and technical SEO.
Off-page SEO centers around building a rich inbound link profile and attracting links from high-authority websites. The main goal of off-page SEO is to show search engines that your website is reliable in your niche.
Before Google introduced the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates, webmasters used some black hat tactics to manipulate the algorithm. These techniques included stuffing of keywords and cookies, link farming, blog spamming, and adding hidden links.
You can guess what happened next, right?
Google wanted to deliver a better search experience for their users. So, in the subsequent updates, Google focused on penalizing websites that used such tactics.
Ultimately, webmasters had to look for white hat tactics to improve their off-page SEO. Let’s look at the off-page SEO factors that affect search rankings.
Which Off-Page SEO Factors Affect Your Search Rankings?
It’s clear, if you want to improve your rankings in search results, you can’t ignore off-page SEO. To improve your off-page SEO, here are the factors that you should focus on:
1. Quality Backlinks
When authoritative websites link back to your website, you appear more trustworthy. If you are lucky, you may get natural backlinks from different sites. But that’s purely based on luck.
To find quality backlinks, you need to invest some time into finding high domain authority blogs. Ideally, you should look for websites in the same niche as yours.
Searching for quality backlink prospects can be a tedious task. I prefer to use SEMrush for backlink profiling. It alerts me when the portfolio of any of my inbound links changes. Plus, it suggests replacements from authoritative domains so that my ranking isn’t impacted.
Once you find the relevant sites, pitch them content ideas for guest posts. Instead of guest blogging multiple times for a single website, try to write for various blogs. This will help you reach out to a broader audience.
Apart from this, you can also get quality backlinks through reviews, testimonials, infographics, podcasts, and social media outreach.
2. Quality Content
Content creation is usually thought of as a part of on-page SEO. However, it is a factor that impacts off-page SEO as well. Without insightful or share worthy content, you won’t be able to engage your audience.
When you publish quality content, others are more likely to share it. It can even fetch you natural backlinks.
When you’re producing content, don’t just stick to blog posts. Explore other forms of content like FAQs, videos, infographics, images, and podcasts. Through this strategy, you can earn more quality backlinks from high-authority websites.
Image via CoSchedule
3. Author Rank
While Google has discontinued their Authorship experiment, some SEO experts claim that author rank is still an important off-page SEO factor.
For the uninitiated, Authorship was a feature that allowed publishers to create their own digital signatures. Using this feature, publishers could link any author’s byline to their profile on another website. This linkage helped Google crawlers understand more about the author’s identity.
However, in 2014, Google discontinued Authorship.
Why, you wonder?
One of the main reasons for abandoning the program was that users did not value the author snippets very much. At the same time, not all authors adopted the program.
Author rank, a user-generated term, is related to this concept. It refers to a numeric score that Google assigned to the authors based on the content of a web page.
There is no consensus among experts if author rank is still relevant. However, some SEO experts believe that it is still an important factor that affects page rank. Others also say that we may get to see author rank in a more personalized form in the future.
As we discussed before, not all links are valuable for your website. Search engines analyze how relevant a backlink or an internal link is to a specific web page.
Google’s Penguin update made it clear that they were going to penalize websites that use manipulative backlinks. Instead, you need to get quality links from relevant websites in your niche.
5. Co-Citation & Co-Occurrence
Co-citation and co-currence are crucial factors for off-page SEO. When two different sources mention the same website or brand, it is called co-citation. In the previously mentioned example, HubSpot’s infographic is co-cited by different websites.
Co-occurrence refers to the proximity, presence, and frequency of related keywords by different websites. Co-currence includes keywords that are similar and relevant but may not match exactly.
Simply put, co-occurrence focuses on the presence of similar content on different websites. On the other hand, co-citation looks at how different websites are connected.
Using a combination of these two strategies, you can build a rich backlink profile. These strategies can help you build your brand by boosting your trust and engagement.
6. Link Profiles
Most penalties that Google gives to websites are based on their link profiles. If you link to a spammy website, you might put your reputation at stake.
How can you avoid that?
To maintain your link profile, you need to seek out good link building opportunities proactively. Before you get started, understand that not all links are equally valuable. Some links will influence search engines more than others.
Here are the factors you need to consider while evaluating a link opportunity:
- Domain Authority: Websites with a higher Domain Authority will give you more valuable backlinks.
- Content Relevance: Links to websites that are relevant to your brand, product or industry provide more value.
- Anchor Text: Anchor text that is relevant to your content, product, or brand will provide a higher value.
- Partner Website’s Backlink Profile: Links from websites that have a sizeable backlink profile will give you a more value.
Image via Moz
To check the DA of the websites that you want to write for, you can add the MozBar extension in Google Chrome. Once you find sites with a good DA score, pitch them content ideas.
Best Approach For Off-Page SEO
Often marketers think backlinks are the only component you need to focus on for off-page SEO. But you’ll only be scraping the surface with them.
You need to create unique and shareable content. As cliche as it may sound, content is still king. If you produce content that people want to share, you’ve won half the battle. It’s best to get quality links from sites that are relevant to your niche or product.
Additionally, you need to invest some time into checking the backlink profile of any website you want to partner with. Be wary of websites that look spammy. Finding high domain authority websites with rich backlink profiles should be your goal.
For the best results, your off-page SEO strategy should be in-sync with your on-page SEO and technical SEO strategies.
Ready to Ace Your Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO can help get your site to the top of search results. It’s crucial because it shows search engines that a website is reliable. While off-page SEO can increase your visibility and engagement, it does take time to reap the rewards. With the strategies mentioned above, you can strengthen your off-page SEO.
How have you improved your off-page SEO? Let us know in the comments section.