As you start working on your SEO on-page, you'll realize optimizing your site won't be enough to overcome your competitors. That's when SEO off-page strategies arise. On this article, we go over the 8 off-page SEO strategies you should be carrying out on your site.
Many people think that off-page SEO refers simply to links – but while links have a hugely important role to play in your efforts, it actually encompasses any SEO activity that takes place outside of your own website that affects your rankings. This includes everything from building links and social media, to influencer marketing and more.
Good off-page SEO plays a vital part in your overall SEO work, and often works in conjunction with your other efforts for a more cohesive overall strategy that can increase brand exposure, and more naturally build interest in your site.
In this article, we take a look at eight strategies that you need to be using for your website and your business to improve your off-page SEO.
1. Focus on link quality and relevance
Links are still considered a crucial Google ranking factor – and getting the best possible links is one of the most important things that you need to do to see your website rise in the rankings. But the term ‘link building’ has developed some negative connotations, which has led many businesses to believe that actively trying to get inbound links pointing towards your site will be negative in Google’s eyes.
In fact, this isn’t the case at all: Google recognizes the vital importance of strong links in its algorithm. However, it is important that you are getting the right links (and getting them the right way). Links should be earned with fantastic content or by providing useful information to other sites. Never assume it is OK to get your links in an underhand way – Google’s artificial intelligence can easily spot when links are bought or acquired dishonestly.
Focus on producing amazing content – ether for your site, or for others – and earn your links from legitimate and relevant sites. These links will be worth far more to your site.
However, as you start producing great content for your site, you’ll probably want to get backlinks from other sites faster and you’ll start guest posting on other sites. As you do so, you’ll realize that this is not an easy marketing strategy.
There are agencies that you can externalize the guest-post work to, but they tend to be expensive. There are also some guest post services tools where you’ll be able to pay for these guest posts and they tend to be much cheaper. The one I’ve personally tried is called Accessily and is one of the easiest and best ways to get guest posts on sites that fit your niche and other requirements.
2. Improve your internal linking
Everyone wants more inbound links, but this can lead webmasters to overlook the importance of a strong internal linking strategy. Getting your internal linking situation right effectively optimizes your site future inbound links, as well as the natural on-page advantages of making navigation as simple as possible.
Having a poor internal linking strategy is at best a distraction, and at worse can have a genuinely negative effect on your ability to optimize your site. Some tips for improving your internal links:
- Audit your site, and understand where your links are pointing
- Simplify your website structure
- Ensure all important pages are linked
3. Provide guest blogs (even if you don’t get the link)
Guest blogging is another term that some webmasters treat with trepidation. This is generally because it has become associated with tactics that could be seen as black hat SEO by Google’s guidelines. However, it is still effective, and it can still be an important part of off-page SEO, even if you aren’t focussing on inbound links.
It can actually be very effective to guest blog in order to show off the expertise of your business and ensure that your brand is recognized as knowledgeable in the sector. Another of Google’s ranking factors is unlinked brand mentions (where there is no link to your page, but your company is referred to by name) – so even if you’re not getting the link itself, this can still be valuable for you.
4. Monitor your unlinked mentions
We’ve talked about the value of unlinked mentions on guest blogs – but it is also a good idea to monitor your unlinked mentions on other sites for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it’s good to understand how your business is perceived, and how people are talking about you online. But additionally, this can be an opportunity to easily gain links.
It is definitely worth getting in touch with any webmasters who have mentioned your business positively on their site and request them to add a link to you. These sites that are already a fan of your business and what you do are more likely than others to link to you directly.
5. Be highly responsive on social media
Your social media accounts can be some of the most crucial marketing channels for your business, but they are also crucial for your off-page SEO. The key here can be improving your brand recognition and making potential customers interested in your social media content. When you do this, you can increase your brand mentions across channels and even generate backlinks.
Crucially, however, it is also important to provide your customers with excellent customer service through social media. Be responsive and always reply in a genuine and helpful way to someone getting in contact with you. When your social media accounts are well known for providing helpful advice to customers and followers, then can get more traction through Google. This can also improve brand loyalty enormously.
6. Work with influencers
Another vital way to improve your brand recognition is to work with social media influencers. Influencers are personalities on social media platforms who have built a strong following. These influencers are akin to celebrities and, as the name suggests, hold a lot of ‘influence’ over their customers.
Working with influencers can introduce your business in a very positive way to an entirely different segment of the market. They can also provide you with excellent and unique content that can be a natural link building asset.
7. Focus on getting great reviews
Getting positive comments from customers on external review sites can be a great way to show off your brand, as well improve your off-site optimisation. This is especially true if you can build up a collection of excellent Google reviews, as these will be taken into account as a ranking factor. It is well worth putting it place a policy to request reviews from customers, as they really can make a big difference to your business.
8. Get your product/service right
Remember that no amount of amazing off-site SEO can make up for a product or service that isn’t good enough. Put the work into your SEO when you are sure that you have something to sell that is really worth it to your customers. This helps with everything from getting the right feedback on review sites, to impressing social media influencers.