What Is Off-Page SEO?

Ellie Diamond
Published: Oct 12, 2023
Last Updated:
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Off-page search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the more challenging aspects of digital marketing. Unlike on-page SEO, which only asks you to control a site you own, off-page SEO builds consumer awareness and encourages backlinks.

It's more challenging than on-page SEO but can tip the scales in your favor when done well.

Why Is Off-Page SEO Essential?

You do SEO because you want Google to rank your site above your competitors. Google pays attention to your on-page SEO but wants to know how others see you. 

That's where off-page SEO comes in. Off-page SEO builds domain authority, telling search engines that your site is worth visiting. It does so using promotional content, reviews, and backlinks.

Backlinks are the best-known aspect of off-page SEO. The effect is direct and measurable, so pointing to their helpfulness is easy.

So, what is a backlink?

Backlinks are inbound links to your site from third-party sites. They give you more opportunities for organic traffic and show Google that others respect your site. But they're not the only tactic for off-page SEO.

Brand mentions and positive publicity also help to build your reputation and credibility. Collecting reviews and attracting attention online is essential, even if none of those mentions include links.

What Is the Starting Point of Any Effective Off-Page Strategy?

Backlinks and buzz are your goals with off-page SEO, but you need something to attract them.

Great content is the best reader "bait." It attracts human audiences and search engine algorithms, determining where you rank on search pages. Their goal is to put the most helpful content first.

Google describes excellent content using the acronym E-E-A-T. In great E-E-A-T content, the content publisher meets the following four requirements:

  • Experience: First-hand contact with or participation in the subject matter
  • Expertise: Extensive topic knowledge
  • Authoritativeness: Recognized or demonstrated credibility as a source
  • Trustworthiness: A history of earning audiences' confidence

E-E-A-T- content is the foundation of your off-page SEO strategy. It emphasizes your site's overall credibility and the value of your content. The more valuable your content, the more likely you are to get links, shares, and brand mentions, all of which are essential off-page SEO ranking factors.

4 Critical Off-Page SEO Strategies You Should Be Doing

Authoritative content is the foundation of off-page SEO optimization. With it, you can connect with audiences and build your brand's reputation. These off-page SEO tips will get you started.

1. Use Content Marketing To Reach Your Target Audience

The "marketing" part of content marketing is crucial to off-page optimization in SEO. Audiences can only share or link to your content if they know it's out there, so you must distribute it to the right channels.

Start with social media marketing. More than 90% of U.S. internet users have accounts on at least one platform, so no matter who your target audience is, they're reachable on social.

Share your content on the platforms that reach your primary demographics. For example, younger audiences spend time on TikTok and Snapchat, while business decision-makers are on LinkedIn.

Also, consider the format of each content piece. To promote your blog on social media, choose a link-friendly platform, such as Facebook or Reddit. Meanwhile, Instagram is the perfect home for your image-based content, such as infographics or product photos.

Finally, don't forget about your email list. Sharing your latest piece of content in an email newsletter or blast is a great way to reach your followers. Don't forget to encourage them to share the content piece if they like it!

2. Apply Link-Building Strategies To Boost Authority

Not all external links help with SEO off-page. Mistyped and broken links won't lead a reader back to your site, so they don't count toward off-site SEO link-building. If you find these links and want credit for the backlink, you must ask the site owner to update the link.

Then, there's the issue of dofollow versus nofollow backlinks. Dofollow backlinks count toward your off-page SEO link-building because they credit your site as the link's source. 

Most links are dofollow by default. Others include code telling Google not to track the link, often because the link is promotional. For example, influencer links and sponsored posts tend to have nofollow backlinks.

Nofollow backlinks don't boost your domain authority, but they won't hurt it. Instead, focus on accumulating dofollow links. These strategies will help you build natural links, which are inbound links that someone other than you has placed:

  • Increase your content's value with unique insights, original information, and multimedia elements
  • Encourage followers to share content hosted on your site
  • Link to creators you respect and build relationships
  • Search for unlinked mentions of your business and respectfully request a link

3. Do Local SEO for Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Your off-page optimization must include local SEO if you have at least one physical location. But what is local SEO, and why is it so important?

Local SEO optimizes your online presence for "local intent" searches. Local intent is any search that indicates the need for a nearby business, and each of those businesses wants high search engine rankings.

Local SEO helps you improve your rank by strengthening your presence where local customers search. The first and most important step is optimizing your Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business.

Your Business Profile appears on searches for your business name. If you rank highly enough, it may even appear on searches for your category. It includes key information a local customer might want, including hours, address, directions, and photos.

A complete and accurate profile is essential, since Google notices when details differ across listing sites. Keep your profile updated if anything changes, including open hours, and add details wherever you can. Add engaging location photos, customer FAQs, and product listings to catch people's eyes.

Fill out your Business Profile first, then add content on other directory sites like Yelp or Angi. The broader your presence, the more robust your off-site SEO will be. 

And finally, don't forget to collect and keep up with reviews.

4. Foster and Manage Reviews

Reviews are essential off-page SEO factors for all businesses, local or otherwise. A whopping 99.9% of online customers read reviews "at least sometimes," and 98% of local shoppers consider reviews when searching for area businesses.

Reviews are essential ways of earning consumer trust. People feel more confident patronizing a business if they hear about the authentic experience of real customers, instead of having to take the business solely at its word.

The first step is having a Google My Business profile and a presence on sites like Yelp. It's easy for customers to find these sites and post about their experience. But not all customers will leave reviews unprompted, so make a point of asking in your post-purchase communications. In a recent BrightLocal survey, 60% of local shoppers reported leaving at least one review in response to a business's request. Twelve percent reviewed the business every time.

Also, make a point of responding to reviews. Among BrightLocal's survey respondents, 88% are "fairly" or "highly likely" to use a business that responds to all reviews. It shows you're listening to your customers and allows you to show your professionalism when you encounter negative reviews.

Popular SEO Tools To Apply Off-Page Strategies

Starting off-page SEO can feel like jumping into unknown waters, especially when looking for backlinks. Fortunately, multiple user-friendly analytics tools can help you create and grow your backlink profile to create an informed strategy. For example:

  • Ahrefs Backlink Checker: See details on every site that links to yours, including its domain authority and traffic
  • SEOquake: Get detailed reporting on your external and internal links, including follow status and anchor text
  • BuzzStream: Find linking opportunities and do more outreach to request backlinks
  • Google Analytics: Learn which content pieces and linked websites drive the most traffic to your site

These tools make it easier to accrue and measure off-page SEO backlinks.

How To Measure the Impact of Your Off-Page SEO Efforts

Your next step is to gauge what your off-page SEO techniques are doing for you. You want to invest in content and link sources that drive traffic, or you might waste money.

Google Analytics is a valuable place to start. It tells you which customer conversions found you through a backlink, and what content the customer engaged with before buying.

Also, pay attention to the performance of the content itself. Look at how much time people spend on a blog page and whether they share it. Successful content does more for your off-page SEO, especially if it has associated links.

How Our Blog Writing Services Can Yield a Better SEO ROI

Content quality has a direct effect on off-page SEO success. You can have the best off-page techniques in SEO, but if the content is bad, it will stop your efforts in their tracks. Search engines don't reward low-quality content, and potential customers won't share it.

Don't waste time and money building off-page SEO on low-quality content. Invest in building out a strong blog that provides real user value and demonstrates E-E-A-T. The better your content, the more likely you will get shares, backlinks, and brand mentions.

Compose.ly's elite writer team delivers only the best possible content. Our writers represent the top 1% of applicants and are knowledgeable in their subject matter, so you can be confident you're getting authoritative and trustworthy material. Plus, with us taking care of the content creation, you can focus on building relationships with your audience.

Learn more and let us take your off-page SEO to the next level.

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