Off-Page SEO Starter Guide

Off-page seo starter guide

Your site probably doesn’t rank as well as you’d expect. But that’s not just your case; it’s also the case of the vast majority of sites on the Internet. Today, we’re going to introduce you to one of the two methods that determine how well or poorly your site might rank in the search engines.

First, let’s get the theoretical basics out of the way for a solid understanding of the SEO shovel.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and its heavily relied on two methods:

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Off-page SEO

This article covers Off-Page SEO, how important it is, the best strategies you can use, and how to execute it properly.

If you want to know more about On-Page SEO, read our article Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Beginners Guide a complementary article you must read.

How do you audit the Off-Page SEO for a website?

The off-page SEO performance of a website can be determined by the Domain’s Authority, at the domain level, or a Page Authority, at the page level. Yes, these two metrics need to be understood separately and not as one. Although your domain authority plays a key role, your pages individually need to earn that page authority. That is done through Off-Page SEO for that particular internal page of your site.

Google, through its experts, has said several times that they do not use domain authority in search results.

But, the longer you work on your website optimization for search engines, the more likely you’ll find that domain authority is important to search results no matter what the Google experts say.

These SEO metrics can be determined using SEO tools such as “Moz”, “aHrefs”, “Semrush”, or “Majestic SEO”. If you use any of these SEO tools, you will find that not all of them, if any, provide the same results. This is because these SEO tools draw their data from their own databases of backlinks, websites, and keywords. Although their formulas for these domain authority or page authority results are derived from Google’s Page Pank algorithm, they do not use Google databases for the resulting metrics.

This means that you will use these metrics as a termometer to get an idea of the actual authority of your website.

Internally, Google measures your website authority at each level, domain, or page using its own algorithms, which are much more complex than any third-party SEO tool you’ll find today.

Off-page seo and the link juice a backlink can send to another website

There is not a fixed amount for this metric and no one except Google can tell us the real value per link or how to determine that “Link Juice” (“Link Juice” comes as an Off-Page SEO term used to reference the SEO link value for a hyperlink pointing to a website or webpage.).

However, in Google’s Link Schemes for Best Practices for SEO, you can see how Google treats these links and how they can be used.

Links, internal and external, are those spreading “link juice” among your web pages and on the Internet as a whole.
Want to get more visibility in search results? It would help if you had other websites to like and link to your content.

“External links”, “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one-way links” are hyperlinks that point to your web pages, and depending on the type of hyperlink, links can affect how much a hyperlink to your website or “backlink” can increase your domain authority. There are two types of backlinks you can get:

  1. Dofollow backlinks
  2. Nofollow backlinks

These two types of backlinks are the ones you need to know when getting and sending link juice. The same is true for all websites on the internet.

It is important to note that these are tags conditioning the sharing or not of link juice, but other backlink formats are known to help your Off-Page SEO:

  • Backlinks from editorials
  • Backlinks from guest blogs
  • Backlinks from company profiles
  • Webinars Backlinks
  • Backlinks from SEO tools
  • Branding Backlinks
  • Organic Backlinks
  • Mention Backlinks
  • Backlinks from press releases

👎 Types of backlinks you should avoid:

  • Paid links
  • Non-newsworthy backlinks from press releases
  • Irrelevant directory links
  • Backlinks from forums outside your industry
  • Bulk backlink generation services
  • Backlinks on comment sections

How can you improve your website Off-page SEO?

Now that you understand what off-page SEO is and the role backlinks play in the authority of your web pages, it’s time to work on your website’s off-page SEO, the methodology and way to optimize your backlink profile.

Before you continue, please understand that the upcoming optimization process may not be easy for you, and you will need the help of an expert, but we are here for you if you need help with this task. Contact us for a free quote and get your site ranked!

All you need to know to optimize your Off-Page SEO

The methodology behind off-page SEO might be too technical for someone. However, the tasks you need to perform are similar to the tasks of a brand manager or someone who deals with this field. To engage with other pages and get them to link back to your pages, you need to build that relationship so they can follow you as you publish new content or general website activity.

Above, we mentioned the “nofollow” and “dofollow” tags attribute for backlinks. Now it’s time for you to learn when and why you should use them.

The dofollow links are the links you should care about because they can go a long way towards increasing your overall domain authority. Or not!
Because they can also hurt your website’s trustworthiness to the search engines, it’s virtually impossible for all websites that want to link from your pages into their own website to use a do-follow link. Wondering what dofollow really means? Here’s the answer:

Dofollow is a tag used on hyperlinks to tell search engines something like, “Yes, I found this website relevant to my site, and I trust the website to “vote” for a better ranking position based on the content I link to.”

If you apply the same theory to your site, you have to be careful who you vote for to get a better ranking. Because you see, they send “Link Juice” to your site when you tell the search engines “yes please, DO FOLLOW” this link. In other words, you give that website a little bit of my page rank or link equity. And you are saying the same thing to the search engines when you dofollow your “outbound links” or your on-page links that point to external websites.

Nofollow links are the opposite of the dofollow links. nofollow links allow the linking webpage to tell search engine something like: “I do find this external webpage relevant to my content, but I don’t trust the website”. Consequently, search engines crawlers will discover the link, visit the linked page but with no “link equity” or “link juice” passed from the web page having the link to the linked targeted webpage.

The result is a backlink that will not increase the page rank of the linked website. But that doesn’t mean a nofollow link has no power. There is an implicit power in nofollow links that are usually overlooked.

Nofollow links protect your site from giving “Link Juice” to a website you don’t trust while still allowing you to link to that site safely. A nofollow link also helps more websites get discovered on your site and the internet. It helps the search engine discover more URLs when crawling. When it comes to building notoriety, Nofollow links work just as well as DoFollow links.

Off-Page SEO Takeaway:

  • Nofollow links protect your website from “Link Juice”.
  • A nofollow link also helps more websites get discovered
  • Helps the search engine discover more URLs
  • nofollow links work well to build awareness

4. Backlink relevance based on it position on the page

Off-page seo monitoring tools

For example, the “Link Juice” or “Link Equity” that a backlink sends or receives varies depending on its position on a web page:
A link in the sidebar is not as powerful as a link in the footer. And a link in the footer of a webpage is not as powerful as a link in the header, but a link in the header can’t beat a link at the bottom of the body text tag. There’s more; the most powerful link you can place is the link at the top body text tag of a webpage, and if it’s a home page, that’s the best.

Having a backlink pointing to one or more of your web pages in one of the above positions will drastically increase the chance of getting not only link juice, but traffic, which is ultimately our goal. This brings up the fourth factor: referral traffic as an indicator of quality.

4. Referral traffic as an indicator of quality

If a site likes one of your pages and backlinks to it, that’s a good sign. But it gets even better if that backlink motivates that site’s visitor to click on it and visit your site. The greater the inbound traffic or referral traffic, the more relevant that link has to your Off-Page SEO, your Google indexed backlink profile and your website’s overall performance.

However, there is no stated or explained correlation between these two factors.

What we do know, however, is that when a website receives traffic from a backlink and that traffic continues to increase over time, the search engine has a clear indicator of the quality of the content to consider a better ranking position in the search results for that particular webpage.

Now there is a context that you need to pay attention to. The niche or industry in which that backlink was placed. If you are considering linking to an external website, you need to consider this correlation as well.

👎 Off-Page SEO linking practices to avoid:

Never link to a site that is not related to your industry.

5 Topic and language

It is natural to expect that sites linking back to your site speak the same language. Otherwise, the backlink might not be as relevant as it should be, and it could do more harm than good.

Previously, we mentioned the site’s relevance linking back to your site or the relevance of your website linking back to an external website. Even if you speak both languages and are sure the topic is relevant, it won’t help your website if they link in different languages. It will help more if you find a page in the same language and link to it.

The other solution you have is to have different languages of your web pages so that you bypass the language restriction.

This is where it gets a little more technical, but if you don’t know this, you can make serious mistakes that can cause your site to fall under a Penguin penalty.

What is a Penguin penalty?
Penguin is the name Google has given to the algorithm responsible for monitoring the backlink profile of indexed websites.

The IP (Internet Protocol) contains information like country, hosting server, Ip quality, domain name and many more. All this data is used to determine the proximity of your website to the linking site. As well as the relevance of the two linked pages.

It would be best if you always tried to get backlinks from geographical sites you want to rank on. This is an important factor for your Off-Page SEO profile. For example:

Your main target audience is in Cyprus; then, you should first try to convince Cypriot industry-related websites to link back to your pages.

You can have two different backlinks on one website. Still, not both backlinks will pass on the same link equity and the more backlinks you have from the same source, the less relevant that page will be to your website simply because the search engine might consider this as link manipulation—something you don’t want.

It is important to keep a record of your backlink profile where you also include the IP of these backlinks; then, you can better decide how to handle them.

7. Importance of anchor texts for Off-Page SEO

Data analysis services banner and off-page seo

An anchor text, represents the visible text used to hyperlink to another web page or section of a web page.

Using text as an anchor for lacing a link to another web page, whether internally or externally, we tell search engines that our chosen anchor text is related to the linked web page. Consequently, the search engine will interpret it as a keyword or key phrase to the target page and then index it with their algorithms for further evaluation.

Anchor texts play a key role in our Off-Page SEO online strategy and we need to control the ones we can, namely the selection of our internal anchor texts.

Needless to say, the only reason we can maintain semantic harmonics between our web content is to link the pages correctly. For that, anchor text can play against or in favour of our domain authority.

In this case, you need to ask yourself: is it worth trying to contact them to choose a different anchor text, or is it a site that doesn’t care about their anchor text profile. In either case, you’re better off focusing on the anchor texts you can control because in the long run, if your web pages are attracting the attention necessary to motivate search engines to rank them higher on search results pages, you shouldn’t care about those external anchor texts pointing to your website/webpage.

Internally, your anchor texts should be relevant and vary. You should avoid using the same keyword-rich anchor text all the time because you don’t want to over-optimize your website. Yes, over-optimization is bad too.

👎 Off-Page SEO practices to avoid:

Avoid trying to contact external ages to change they anchor text used to hyperlink to your site, for it is an indication of poor internal SEo optimization of that webpage

There are 6 different types of anchor texts you should work with:

  • Branded anchor texts
  • Action anchor texts
  • Exact match keywords
  • Bare URL
  • Generic anchor text
  • Partial match with the keyword

8 Off-Page SEO content length

Have you seen those web pages with little words in them? Well, those pages won’t stay on the ranking they might have for too long if they are post type pages.

With hundreds of millions of web pages indexed every day, you may rank in the top 3 today, but that may not be the case tomorrow, which is a bigger problem for thin content websites. Because it’s not the same page rank or Link Juice, a page with a 4,000 words counts gets in the top 5 results as the link juice your page can get from a 100 words page.

Off-Page SEO Techniques

You’ve made it this far, which means you’ve been given the most important information to understand the Off-Page SEO relevance to your website’s visibility in organic traffic. Now let’s find out how you can improve your Off-Page SEO performance.

10 Strategies to improve your site Off-page SEO

Understand that Off-Page SEO is just one branch of the SEO process. At the same time, SEO is among the Digital Marketing efforts you need to consider when working on your online advertising campaigns.

Knowing that Off-Page SEO is one part of SEO, you need to consider the other part of SEO, On-Page SEO. Doing one and not the other will result in poor performance of the website in the search results.

Please don’t panic, and you are not alone; we are here to help you. Contact us anytime if you need help with any of the points mentioned in this article. +357 99762835.

Strategy One: Keep a blog on your website.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and everyone else out businesses are trying to sell their ad positions to their advertisers.
Google, for example, owns 92.26% of all searches on the internet (as of May 2021).

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Search Engine Market Share

The above chart alone should give an idea of why caring more about Google rankings that any other search engine.

A blog with good content is an off-page SEO strategy that will help your site get more backlinks and increase its relevance in your industry. Google (let’s ignore the smaller players for now) uses queries from users of this search engine to retrieve content from its indexed database and present it as search results.

The more queries Google indexes that link to your web pages, the more organic traffic your website will receive. Therefore, a blog is an important tool to convince the search engines that your content pages deserve a position in the search results.

In this regard, the better your content, the better your rankings. Better rankings increase the visibility of your web pages in search results to be presented to more Google users, and these users are the candidates who will save your website’s URL address and use it as a reference for their web pages.

A website without a blog page or a page that regularly publishes new content is a website that may need paid traffic or PPC advertising to survive.

Your blog page is where you should add any content you create, and this can be videos, images, charts, infographics, audio, etc.

Strategy Two: Guest Blogging

As your reputation grows online, so does your chance of being invited to write on other blogs. Here you also have the opportunity to increase the SEO of your website Off-Page, as you can link to your website profile page or to another article on your site where you cover more details on a topic.

Guest posts have been used for years as a black-hat SEO technique, which does not help websites but damages their reputation.

It would help if you used guest blogging as a tool to increase your brand awareness and the trustworthiness of your website. Not as a method to increase your website authority. Because you can increase your website authority for a month or so, but once you get caught manipulating your off-page SEO performance, your website loses all credibility with Google. And from experience, I can tell you that it’s tough to gain website authority because it’s easier to lose it.

Again, guest blogging is meant for brand awareness, not for link manipulation.

Speed SEO

If you are working on your brand awareness, you will eventually need to issue one or more press releases. These press releases are promotional content for your business, services or products that aim to send a message and attract potential customers.

It is prevalent for people to like your release, visit your website and save or bookmark it later. Or even better, they look at a post on your blog, fall in love with it and use it to link to it from their websites, thus increasing your off-page SEO with backlinks from press releases.

Directory backlinks are another misinterpreted and therefore used Off-Page SEO technique for several years. But don’t worry, those who abuse the system are easily detected and consequently penalized.

The best way to use directories to improve your website Off-Page SEO is to work with relevant local SEO efforts. Avoid trying to submit your website to online directories that are not in the geographic area of your target audience.

If you are internalizing for SEO purposes, then you should work with directories for the cities in the countries you need. Yes, try to target backlinks from city-level directories.

Is your website struggling to rank on Google, regardless of the number of blog posts and content you publish in it? Chances are your website is below this level of penalty. I call this penalty “Silent Google Penalty”. Google didn’t warn you, and you can’t see that your site has a manual action warning at Google Search Console. Well, if your website has abused the best practices for backlinks, it will be hard for it to rank again.

How do you get out of a silent Google Penalty?
Your audience is the key. Allow your audience to fall in love with your content on the page. They are the ones that will “vote” for you in Google’s ranking algorithm. Consequently, Google will notice that you are doing something good and different on your page that will attract the attention of more people, which will eventually convince Google and let your page out of prison. But don’t do it again if you did!

But beware. The last thing you need is to spam other websites with irrelevant comments. It would help if you avoided these types of backlinks unless you are actively engaged in forums related to your industry. You cannot act in 100 forums at the same time, in the same month, right? If we know that, Google knows it too. So please don’t go and post anywhere or pay others to do it for you. It won’t help your website; on the contrary, this level of backlinks from forums will hurt your website authority.

The best way to use the backlink strategy from forums is to use it as a brand awareness mechanism. It would help if you showed that you are an expert in your field. Do this by interacting with others on forums. Your profile should include all relevant information about you in these forums, including your website address or the link to your profile on your website.

Then, when someone is interested in what you have to say, they will try to find out more about you and eventually end up on your website.

You need to get this now: All backlinks from any social networks will be nofollow. As you may already know (I hope you haven’t forgotten), nofollow backlinks will not pass any “PageRank” or “link equity:” to your website.

However, social backlinks, as we can safely call them, have a positive impact on your search engine ranking for several reasons:

1. When the content you create on your website is shared multiple times on social networks, the search engines receive something called “social signals” that greatly affect your website ranks in search results. This is because Google’s algorithm or crawler finds your content on all these other pages on social networks.

2. The amount of traffic your website receives from social networks is a ranking signal and a way to improve your Off-Page SEO even more. This also increases your potential to make more profit.

Strategy Seven: Content aggregators

Again, we present another brand awareness opportunity. Like the previous strategy six, about social network backlinks, content aggregators are kind of backlinks nofollow (no, I’m not going to tell you again that they don’t pass link equity).

But unlike social network backlinks, content aggregators help improve your Off-Page SEO faster because the reach of your content is wider and more industry-specific. For example, let’s examine a few differences between social network backlinks and content aggregators backlinks:

Social Network BacklinksContent Aggregators Backlinks
The audience might no be the right oneYour audience is the one you need
The traffic might not come with high bounce ratesnormally the traffic helps reduce the bounce rates
Your audience decides what to shareYou decide what to aggregate
Your content gets exposed to everybodyYour content gets exposed to a targeted audience
Differences between social network backlinks and content aggregators

Strategy Eight: Public Relations

Off-Page SEO tasks are similar to the task of a Public Relationship Manager, as these individuals should work to build relationships with third party websites that can help your website get a backlink or a mention or visit your online business via voice share.

This task requires dedication and even more organization. It is crucial that your off-page SEO sails in the right direction and with the right information. You should have a person with sufficient information about Off-Page SEO so that any effort you make does not hurt your website’s online reputation. With today’s Google ranking factors, reputation is ranked higher every day.

Strategy Nine: Branding monitoring

You need to know where and how your brand is being mentioned. Not keeping this in mind could lead to an unpleasant surprise. Many services can do this for you, but nothing better than our FREE SEO tool Google Alerts. Using it is very easy, and its effectiveness is also great.

Your off-page SEO needs to be monitored. A timely warning can save your website from being mentioned in websites you don’t want.

There are also tools for backlink monitoring like Monitoring Backlinks, one of the best tools to get backlink monitoring in real time.

🏆 Off-PAge SEO Takeaways

Tools for branding and backlink monitoring:

If you find that a website is backlinking to your web pages and you don’t want it to, that is an excellent indicator that you care about your brand’s reputation. You can use the Google Disavow Links tool to tell Google that you don’t want link equity from those backlinks.

Once Google’s crawler finds these backlinks pointing to your website, it will index them and filter them against the links you told Google to disavow. Consequently, Google will ignore these links, and although these links may give you some traffic, Google will ignore them as a PageRank indicator. But the traffic you get from these links also needs to be monitored, but for that, you need further action, for example, by contacting the webmaster and asking to remove your link from that website.

Strategy Ten: Advance Off-Page SEO techniques

You probably got the impression that the above is an approach for your Off-Page SEO, but not. In fact, the above is the “what it is”, the “how it works”, and the “why it works” of off-page SEO methodology.

We won’t go in-depth into all of these strategies, but you will learn what you need from them now.

  1. Off-Page SEO Advance Technique 404 backlinks:
    This technique requires you to select a list of potential sites to backlink from based on their relevance to your business, the site’s domain authority, and the amount of organic traffic those sites receive. Specifically, you will look for broken links in their websites. Finally, you will contact the webmaster, tell them about the broken link, and explain in a short sentence why your content URL should be the one that replaces the broken URL. What is a 404 broken link? Check this article: Three ways to fix broken links.
  2. Off-Page SEO Advance Technique Low quality or Outdated Content:
    With millions of articles published on the internet every day, it’s pretty common for some of these articles to become outdated. This is an opportunity to earn backlinks; like the previous Off-Page SEO preparation technique, you need to contact the website and tell them that such content is outdated. Your content is a great update and better content they may want to review. Keep in mind your industry at all time and find those articles that match it.
  3. Off-Page SEO Advance Technique Pillar Article:
    Pilar articles are supposed to be masterpieces of content. They are supposed to be better than any other competitor in your industry. Not only do you need to provide relevant information, but you also need to cover all the possible questions your audience might have about the topic. This is called answering the search intent for a keyword. The best way to do this is to select the topic/keyword and search for it on Google. Pay close attention to the format of the top 10 results, as this tells you what format Google expects to find on your website. Then go beyond those comparative pages, not only in terms of word count and quality but also in terms of type and variety of content.
  4. Off-Page SEO Advance Technique Lists:
    With a simple Google search, you can find other sites that link to some of your competitors on their pages. If this is relevant to your business, you can contact these sites and ask them to include your business website in this listing. This should make sense for your business and not be seen as a way to manipulate your Off-Page SEO profile.
  5. Off-Page SEO Advance Technique Massive Social Networks Activity:
    There is no better way to drive more traffic to your website than to make people aware of it. You do this by creating engaging content. The more content you create for a specific audience, the better chance you will bring more people to your website. Social Networks provides this opportunity. Not only will you increase your brand awareness, but you will also create customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.

Closing Words

I know this seems like a lot to digest in a single reading. Mark the page so you can come back to it later, and follow the processes outlined here. You’ll find them to be very useful and consistent with Google best practices, as well as industry best SEO practices for a better off-page SEO profile.

Should you need more information on any of the topics mentioned here? Contact us, and we’ll work together on your website off-page SEO.

Author: SEO Consultant

Search Engine Optimization Specialist. I help online businesses on driving the audience of interest to their websites.

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