What is off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to all the activity that takes place away from your website, which determines where you rank within the search engine results pages (SERPs). Optimising for off-site SEO ranking factors is crucial for improving the relevance, trustworthiness and authority of your website. This is mirrored in Google’s algorithm factors, with off-page SEO contributing to over 50% of the ranking factors. Having a strong off-page SEO strategy can be the difference between where you and your competitors feature within the SERPs.
How off-page SEO techniques can improve your Domain Authority (DA)
Improving your off-page SEO performance will directly correlate with your Domain Authority score (DA). Your site’s DA is a ranking score that determines the ability of your site to rank within the SERPs. This score is from 1-100 which is based upon numerous factors including linking root domains, and the number of total links. The DA of your site is not a metric used by Google in determining where you rank, but is a good indicator for how well your site is performing from an off-site SEO perspective.
Here are five off-site SEO techniques that you can follow to ensure your website has the best opportunity to improve its domain authority, and ultimately rank higher within the SERPs.
1. Creating valuable backlinks
Creating backlinks is at the core of off-site SEO and is a technique that is crucial for any site with the aspiration of ranking on page one. Backlinks are the number one ranking factor when Google determines where your site ranks. Google will more likely rank a site higher than another if one domain has more backlinks. Furthermore, Google also take into account the quality of this link, a site with a higher domain that links to you is much more effective than a link from a site with a low DA. Nevertheless, Google’s algorithm does take into consideration the relevancy of the link to your domain.
There are two types of links that can be created to boost your off-page SEO performance:
- Natural links: a link that is generated without any action taken. This can be either a blogger for example, who has a positive view towards your content and links to it from their site. This type of link can be a great sign of trust, appreciation, and endorsement.
- Links created through self-promotion: These links can be created through promoting or marketing your business online. This type of link can be gained through asking clients to link to your site or an influencer sharing your content.
Creating authoritative and relevant backlinks in line with the guidance provided by major search engine like Google should be at the forefront of any digital strategy. Links will bring referral traffic to your site, and Google will view your site as a trustworthy, reliable source of data. Yet building links is hard work and requires a long-term strategic approach but if done correctly, the average ranking position of your website in search results is likely to improve significantly.
2. Social Media Marketing
One of the most effective off-page SEO techniques is using social media. Using social media platforms is a great way to extend the reach of your content. Not only can social media encourage more clicks to your latest piece of content, but it can be a crucial source of valuable backlinks from a site with a high DA:
- LinkedIn (DA:98)
- Facebook (DA:96)
- Twitter (DA:94)
- Instagram (DA:93)
Google hasn’t directly stated that a link from a social media platform will benefit your SEO, although they have said that social platforms are crawled for data in the same way to any other site on the web.
Whilst the SEO impact of a backlink from a social platform remains unsure, one certainty is your social profile’s ranking in the SERPs. Not only will your social profile’s rank, they’re likely to rank towards the top for any brand-related search term. With this in mind, ensuring your social profiles positively reflect your company and what it stands for can influence a user’s first impressions, particularly if they’re unfamiliar with your brand. Moreover, amplifying insightful content through social platforms is likely to get shared, increasing the visibility and the likelihood of your content being linked to.
3. Guest Content
Provide third party websites with guest content is another effective online marketing technique that can also yield off-site SEO benefits. This could be a thought-leadership piece through to ‘how to’ video content, something that will capture the attention of their readers. You should look to reach out to third-party websites whose target audience is similar to your own, such as niche online trade publications. This way you will be increasing exposure and brand awareness amongst potential customers and heighten the chance of driving referral traffic from that website. Of course, you will also benefit from a valuable backlink. Nurturing online relationships through providing insightful content can be a fundamental source of qualified traffic and leads.
Remember, placing content on a website with a strong DA, requires you to provide them with content or data in which is totally unique, and is likely to be in high demand from their audience.
Always remember to be strategic with sites that you target in order to place guest content, and ensure that you are reaching out to sites which are trustworthy, and relevant to your own target audience.
4. Forum Posting
A forum posting site is an online discussion board that allows users to have meaningful conversations in the form of a posted message. When carried out correctly, forum posting can bring multiple benefits for your business:
- Exposure to new customers
- Better understanding of your customers
- Opportunities to answer any questions customers or potential customers might have
Forum posting requires a long-term approach in order to build a trustworthy reputation amongst other members of the forum. Identifying forums with a ready-made community, who are discussing a service like which you offer. This is a great way of engaging with existing or potential customers online.
Identify forums threads on topics relevant to your business that you can add value to, such as expert knowledge on a specific topic to help answer a user’s question. Where appropriate, there may also be the opportunity to add a link back to your website as part of a forum discussion. However, always ensure that this activity is carried out sparingly, and a backlink to your website is only ever posted if it is highly relevant to the conversation, and genuinely helps to answer another user’s question.
5. Local Listings
Also known as directory listings, local SEO has always been a consistent off-page SEO technique. When done correctly, submitting your business into local listings can be vital for increasing revenue, reputation and rankings, particularly in localised search results. Localised search results include those results where the user referenced a location as part of their search, as well as those where the results served are determined by the user’s IP address or location. The latter includes searches often reference phrases such as ‘near me’ or ‘nearby’. Local listings are largely free and can be extremely powerful.
Not only can your business benefit from an increased amount of exposure and traffic, but being listed in local directories presents the opportunity of building a valuable backlink from a high DA site. Many directories are well-known on the web, and you are probably already familiar with many of them:
- Google my business (DA:100)
- Foursquare (DA:92)
- Yelp (DA:70)
- Central Index (DA:58)
Submitting a local listing may seem easy, but ensuring that you provide identical information across each listing is crucial for this off-page SEO technique. Business information such as the business name, address and contact number must be identical across all listings. This may seem simple, but discrepancies like abbreviations, or misspellings can have huge impacts on your listings as it can create confusion for Google. In the likelihood of this happening, Google may display the wrong information, or even not show your listing at all in the SERPs.
However, when local listings are implemented correctly they can be extremely powerful and can bring additional business from both national, and international audiences.
How to begin your off-site SEO strategy?
Planning out your off-site SEO strategy is not straightforward and requires a level of skill and expertise. If you don’t have the suitable resource, we’re here at to make it easier for you.
We have been helping enterprise-level businesses achieve their digital goals since 1999. As a top tier Google and Sitecore Partner, we specialise in digital marketing and work closely with all our clients on all aspects of performance and search marketing. We’d be happy to help and discuss your project requirements.