OffPage SEO Basics: Foundations and Basic Strategies

OffPage SEO (search engine optimization; AKA Off-Page SEO) is all about the actions beyond your own website that can help your page rank higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

First things first: Let’s clarify that OffPage SEO involves two major components: link building and social media. In general, these two components are pretty basic or foundational tools when it comes to digital marketing and SEO, but we’re guessing you probably already knew that.

OffPage SEO can indeed affect your website (or even an individual blog post) based from factors on other websites and corners of the internet.

Remember, you’re 434% more likely to get an indexed page if you have a quality blog on your website. Inbound content matters a lot.

Business woman talking on the social network on blurred background.

Hmm…

A Note About OffPage SEO and Google’s Algorithm

Some OffPage SEO is a bit of a mystery—afterall, we don’t know all the details of Google’s algorithms. It’s ever-changing (and even self-teaching), and it prefers to maintain a glamour of mystery. Google does, however, tell us some things about the algorithms because they enjoy helping content creators produce informative, clear, and understandable content. Thanks to providing us that info, Google ends up with relatable and desirable content for its searchers.

You scratch our back, we scratch yours kinda thing.

Furthermore, the goal of OffPage SEO is all about positivity: positive branding, positive traffic, and positive ranking. Don’t think like a scammy linkbuilder—think like a forward-moving strategist. Going with a brand, audience, and/or content focus can really set you ahead of competitors who focus only on link building.

That said, link building is not only important, but necessary.

OffPage SEO: Link Building

Business hand touching link icon.

Clickity click!

Link building is the process of acquiring links back to your website and content. There are many ways to do it—some ethical and others black hat—but ultimately, quality backlinks support good OffPage SEO and potentially a higher ranking on the SERPs.

Social links help Google understand how your social media presence and website are connected. This means keeping your social media linked to your website and vice versa; your webpage should link out to your social media, and your social media should link to your website and other social media pages. Don’t forget to tie in your personal brand and website if applicable. For example, your LinkedIn business page should link to your presence on Facebook and Twitter as well as your website, and your site should link to all of those social media channels.

Backlinks from sources with authority positively affect your ranking on the web. If you have a backlink from a .gov or .edu domain, that can be of particular use to your ranking. You can check your backlinks and their domain authority using Moz.

Backlinks from disreputable sources, like spammy websites or Google-blacklisted sites, will negatively affect your ranking. This isn’t something you can control, but there is something you can do about it: you can disavow a link to let Google’s algorithm know that you just aren’t interested in hanging out with that type of shady crowd.

Purchasing backlinks on domains that can increase your rank through linking—well, it’s a thing. People do it, but it’s risky. Unnatural links, as Google sees it, disrupts the order of things on the web. That said, it is a way to get things done—if you don’t get caught. It’s not ethical, and it’s not something we recommend. It’s risky, and if your SEO agency uses this tactic, you can gain short-term success but get blacklisted and damaged in the long run.

Guest blogging with a link to your website in your author bio can increase your authority and net you a win in the rankings. Make sure to do this with clear intention (don’t be spammy), and whenever possible, make sure the link you’re netting is a dofollow. That adds more juice to your ranking.

Ask for links where your name, company, or project is mentioned. Tools like Mention are most helpful in discovering when that happens, and it even has a free version. Find those mentions and then ask for a link where it happens. This is a more natural and acceptable way to gain those delicious backlinks.

All of this is time-consuming, which is why you may even wish to hire an SEO professional (hey, that’s a thing we do!) to handle your OffPage SEO.

Above all, remember that the most valuable links are natural. If you continually produce quality blog content, promote it properly, and engage with your community, others will link to you. That’s one of many reasons why having a… Click To Tweet

According to Moz, a site linking to yours may help (or harm you) in the SERPs based upon its:

  • Age
  • Popularity
  • Trust factor
  • Authority / trustworthiness
  • Amount of additional links on the same page
  • Popularity and virality

OffPage SEO: Social Media Marketing and Engagement

People group having addicted fun together using smartphones - Detail of hands sharing content on social network with mobile smart phones - Technology concept with millennials online with cellphones

Social media means impact.

Engagement is now the cornerstone of social media marketing. What’s that mean? Well, it’s a measurable way to interact with your customers. If they like, click, respond, or follow up with something you post, that’s an engagement. It’s even better if engagements become conversions, whether that means building your email list or making a direct sale.

For local businesses, this is especially important. Local customers need to know your story and feel invested to buy, and Google needs to understand that you’re a real champion in your area. Local engagement is a strong indicator of that, and the more Google relies on location-based results and improvements, the more important this will likely become.

Social media link building is also important, now that Google indexes “microblogs” like tweets from Twitter. When tweets contain links, it’s similar to a blog doing that—and it’s a social media ranking signal. Virality allows a social media post to be discussed, engaged with, shared, and boosted—and yes, Google is very much aware of that and considers it as part of the OffPage SEO package.

You can selectively bookmark or promote your content on certain social media sites. Make sure to do it honestly and organically, because you’ll get booted if you’re just there for the link. Check out Quora, Reddit, and StumbleUpon for social bookmarking.

You can also use PR bookmarking websites like:

Influencer marketing can also impact this, as can brand mentions without links. As the Google algorithm gets smarter, it recognizes when you’re becoming popular. If only it could tell when football jocks are jerks and bullies. As it is, enjoy that rising star status for all the link juice it’s worth.

Don’t forget the power of audio and video, either. Do you produce podcasts or videos? If so, each and every platform you’re producing them on is another opportunity for you to link back organically to your website. And remember, anchor text counts: we’d love a link back to Dominate With SEO on text like “SEO expert,” because that will tell Google’s algorithm exactly what we are. (No ego problems here, friend—if you’re an expert, boldly go.)

In short, everywhere you business has a meaningful presence, it should include a relevant link to your site. Get some more ideas here.

Be an Inbound Content Champ

Dollar for dollar, your best bet to increasing OffPage SEO is really all about your content. You know how if you’re good at simply being yourself, other cool people will walk into your life? That’s the theory, anyway—and it works when it comes to content. You can’t just scream into the void, you have to promote your work and develop real relationships with others in your niche—but once you start producing fantastic content on a regular basis, you’re going to get links.

We cannot overstate the value of inbound marketing content, especially blogs that are evergreen and therefore eternally valuable to your audience.

Hire an SEO Expert Able to Increase OffPage SEO

At Dominate With SEO, we combine an inbound content strategy (often a blog and premium static website content) with keyword research and analysis. Our OffPage SEO methods focus on link evaluation and increasing the quality of links to your site. But, we know OffPage SEO doesn’t function alone. We fine tune your site with OnPage SEO to make it all work together. Destroy your competition and look good doing it: we’re here to help.

Let’s have a conversation about strategy and budget, and tackle your digital marketing growth in an organic, Google-preferred fashion for best long-term results. We’ll help you deliver the type of content your community needs and tailor it to proven growth strategies and success.

Fill out our Discovery Form or give us a call today.

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