Off-page SEO techniques to improve your SERP rank
This might sound like a nugget of philosophical wisdom, but we’re actually talking about search engine rankings, using SEO! While quality on-page SEO is definitely a must, it isn’t always sufficient to help a website rank high in search. Here is where off-page SEO can really give a competitive edge.
What is off-page SEO?
Put simply, off-page SEO refers to any action taken outside of your own web pages that can help your website rank better in search. It is akin to real world referrals, except that in this case, the referrals come from other high-authority sites that point to your web page as a reliable authority in your category, lending it more credence for search engine algorithms. Sounds confusing? Let me explain.
On-page SEO includes all actions undertaken on your own website, such as using the right titles, meta tags, headlines, content, url structures, page load time and so on. Off-page SEO includes all activities outside of your site, that point visitors to your site in one way or the other, and help it rank higher on search engines.
Some Off-Page Techniques for Higher Ranking
Unlike common perceptions, off-page SEO is much more than just links. In fact, there are many non-link mentions that are just as important.
as building links, such as guest blogging, social bookmarking, reviews and comments and more.
- Link Building
Backlinking is at the foundation of off-page SEO, as it is a very impactful way to tell search engines about the site’s content quality and topic relevance. This essentially entails linking your website or specific pages to other relevant, high authority site. There are three key types of links - naturally created, manually built and self created. All other things being equal, any website with high quality backlinks will rank higher over other similar sites with lesser or no backlinks. The link quality is determined by:
- The authority, popularity and subject relevance of the referring domain
- The freshness of the link, and other links on the linking website
- Anchor text on the linking site
Backlinks serve as virtual referrals, and play a crucial role in determining the page rank, and it makes sense to really invest good effort into building and accumulating quality backlinks. But one must always remember that while link building is good, it is about quality and not quantity.
- Social Bookmarking
If your social audiences like you, chances are that search engine algorithms will feel the same. When people browse online and find something they like, they are likely to share it using social bookmarking sites, which can drive traffic to your site. However, social bookmarking need not always involve links, and even mentions can be counted as links. This allows you to harness double the benefit of off-page SEO, as links and shares count towards your site’s popularity scores.
There are many tactics to ensure that you enjoy a steady stream of social mentions – such as putting out high quality content, responding to mentions and engaging with influencers. Keeping a track of the social buzz around your business can give you more insights and ideas about how you can fuel social conversations in the direction you want.
- Guest Blogging and Blog Commenting
There are two parts to this. The first one, guest blogging involves publishing blogs on high authority and relevant websites, with a link leading to your site. This is very effective, as not only does it allow you to tap into a new audience, but it also gives you the opportunity to draw audiences from sources that you might have otherwise missed. Having said this, guest blogging should not be seen as an avenue to post spammy, low quality content that is only intended to promote your business. Guest blogs work best when they are carefully created and offer value to the readers. Only then will they want to check out your site.
Blog commenting is similar to guest blogging, in the sense that you would have the opportunity to reach out to newer audiences organically. However, this also entails a careful selection of blogs from high authority sites, and leaving insightful and relevant comments along with a link or a mention to your site.
- Forum Posting
There are so many online public forums which attract huge audiences. Forums such as Reddit, Quora, eHow and the like are areas where your target audiences often ask questions to seek specific information about the product or service you offer. Your business can contribute answers to these questions, as well as have relevant Q&A content published with a mention of your website.
As with guest blogging and blog commenting, care should be taken to not sound like a desperate salesperson, as that can really put off your audience. Focus on being authentic and offering value to the forum members, and you might just earn not only visits, but also conversions from these audiences.
- Image and Video sharing
We live in a visual world, and images and videos have a far greater chance of going viral online as compared to purely text based content. One look at the most popular social media networks today – Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube and their likes and you will know that this trend is here to stay. People are keen to see more visual and video content, and these platforms also command a high PageRank. Contributing great, well optimized image and video content with well crafted descriptions, hashtags and links can boost your brand awareness and can drive significant organic traffic back to you.
There are many other techniques as well, such as directory listing, adding RSS feed buttons, influencer marketing, document sharing, online PR and more, all of which help in their own ways to build a credible online reputation outside of your owned assets. And depending on your business and marketing objectives, we can help you choose and implement the best techniques for you.
Off-page SEO is something no business can afford to ignore today. A Moz estimate pegs nearly 50% of search traffic coming from off-page SEO work. This doesn’t mean that you can ignore on-page SEO either. The best SEO strategy will be a beautiful and dynamic blend of both on-page and off-page content combined with a great content strategy. As long as you take care of these, you can continue converting visitors into leads.