For all the many fields of SEO that people have come up with over the years, there are only two major kinds of SEO: On-Page and Off Page.
As the phrase suggests, On-Page SEO (also known as on-site SEO) focuses on making sure that all elements (such as content and h2 tags) within a website are geared towards making it attractive to both users and search engines. I explained this in more depth on this post.
Off-page SEO (or off-site SEO), on the other hand, is all about making an impact on your search engine results pages (SERPs) rankings by implementing measures outside of your own website and hoping they would stick as off-page SEO factors.
While On-Page and Off-Page SEO are both important, many would agree that the key to the success of your search engine optimization efforts would be the kind of Off-page work that you do.
Off-page SEO, after all, focuses almost exclusively on building*high quality* links to your site, and we all know that it’s these incoming links that help you get some real traffic that would get you to the top spots of search engines.
As with on-page SEO, off-page SEO involves a lot of factors and understanding the essential ones will play a huge role in the success of your website.
Let’s review the main off-page SEO areas you need to take a look at
1. The number of inbound links
The fact that Google puts a premium on the number of inbound links that a website has when establishing its authority makes it one of the most basic and essential off-page SEO factors.
Think of an inbound link as a vote of confidence from somebody else for a particular page on your website. The more links point to your pages, the better your chances of getting noticed by Google and other search engines, which could then lead to improved visibility and ranking there.
2. The quality of those inbound links
Quantity is good, but the quality of incoming links is important too.
While it’s nice to get links even from relatively obscure sites, getting them from well-established ones who are considered an authority in your niche, is infinitely more preferable.
A one-way link also has more weight than a reciprocal link. The relevance of the page that is linked to should also be considered.
A link from a health site to a financial services site, for example, won’t have as much impact as a link from a fellow financial services company.
3. The speed of building those links
Aside from the quantity and quality of inbound links, another off-page factor that should be considered is the speed at which you built those inbound links.
Link building efforts that yield results in an unnaturally fast fashion– could make search engines suspicious, and rightly so.
Your two-week old site getting, say, 5,000 low-quality links in one day does appear suspicious, and that could lead to penalties on your site.
To stay on top of this off-page SEO factor, avoid using automated tools that generate thousands of links instantly. Stick with a steady link-building campaign to get the best results.
Hint: You can get links by guest blogging.
Hint #2: You can guest blog on any of my sites.
4. Number of Social shares
It has been almost eight years since Matt Cutts, then-head of Google’s Webspam team, confirmed that Google uses social shares as ranking signals.
Today, almost all websites have social media engagement. Social shares are also a clear indication of valuable content, or people wouldn’t share them at all in the first place. Search engines will consider this when determining which pages to put at the top of the SERPs.
I suggest including social share buttons on your posts. You can do that using any of these plugins.
5. Local SEO
For businesses that have an actual brick-and-mortar store, local SEO is one off-page SEO factor on which they should put a lot of resources.
After all, a significant percentage of Internet users look for local services and goods online.
It’s also a fact that location directly influences most search results these days, regardless of whether the search was done on a desktop computer or a mobile device.
By integrating local SEO with its marketing campaign, a business boosts its chances being found by online users.
Citations are inbound links that come to you through Yelp, Angie’s List, CitySearch, and other online directories.
If you want to boost your backlink profile and help make it easier for people to find you, then you would want to submit your site to as many high-quality directories as possible.
7. Anchor text
The typically blue text that appears and becomes clickable when you create a hyperlink is called an anchor text, and it is what search engines use to ascertain what kind of information can be found in the destination page.
So if the anchor text says “how to do seo,” Google and other search engines will assume that indeed, the page provides content that will help people optimize their site.
As a result, that page stands a much better chance of ranking for that keyword and other related or similar keywords.
8. Domain age
As mentioned above, off-page factors are things you have no control over, and the age of your domain is a prime example of things you can’t really do much about.
Naturally, a domain that’s been in place for five or six years looks better in the eyes of Google, and that is a factor that can help you rank better.
So if you can help it, never let your domain go in exchange for a new one if your site is already of a certain age.
But if you need to rebrand always use a 301 redirect from the old domain to your newer one.
9. Business reviews
Positive reviews help a business gain trust and confidence in their brand. The more positive reviews you get, the better, because Google will pick up that signal and take it to mean that your business is good enough to recommend to its users.
A warning though: don’t even think about paying for positive reviews or putting up fake ones. You will be found out sooner or later, and there will be consequences.
There are dozens of other off-page SEO ranking factors, and the ones mentioned above are just to get you started. Take advantage of these off page SEO ranking factors, and you will eventually boost your online presence and brand awareness, and improve your ranking in the SERPs.
- Google Rankbrain: The Latest Big Algorithm Change by Google
- A step-by-step strategy to do SEO
- What is on-page SEO?
Know any other off-page factors that improve rankings? Let us know in the comments.