Put simply, off-page SEO is any optimization work you do away from your website.
The goal is to make your site appear more authoritative, relevant, and credible to search engines by securing links and mentions from external websites and sources.
This can then translate into higher rankings and more organic traffic.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What off-page SEO is
- Off-page SEO tactics
- How off-page activities help SEO
- How to optimize for off-page SEO
What Is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses any tactics you use outside your website to boost its online presence and reputation. It includes activities like link building, digital PR, and review management.
When discussing SEO, most people think about on-page optimization.
Keyword placement, meta tags, and other on-page elements are all important factors in search engine rankings.
But search engines also consider a site’s off-page SEO factors when deciding where it should rank. In fact, Moz estimates that off-site SEO-related factors likely carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight.
When other websites link to your content and mention your brand, it signals to Google that your site is influential and trustworthy. And Google rewards you with higher rankings in search results.
It’s important to note that while they’re intrinsically linked with off-page SEO, we’re not just talking about backlinks.
Off-page SEO also includes creating killer content that people then share on social media, getting featured in news articles, reputation management, and making sure you show up in local search results.
Off-Page SEO Tactics
Here are the off-page SEO tactics you can use to boost your ranking in search results:
In a recent survey, SEOs voted backlinks (link building) as the most effective off-page SEO tactic:
Your backlink profile can have a significant impact on the visibility of your website. The more high-authority websites that link to your site, the more authoritative it appears to search engines.
Think of it like friends recommending a movie to you. If one friend mentions it, maybe you’d check it out. Five? Okay, it’s definitely worth a look. 10 friends recommend it? Better get along to see it right away!
In the eyes of search engines, backlinks act as a sort of ‘vote of confidence’ for your site from external sites. The more of them you have, the more likely the search engine is to regard your site highly.
Mint SEO founder Nick Zviadadze ranks backlink profiles as more influential than topical authority:
Backlink Profile > Topical Authority
A website with a very strong backlink profile (e.g. Forbes) can publish a SINGLE article about your key topic and outrank you…
Just because their backlink profile is that much stronger.
Lesson: Don’t sleep on link-building. pic.twitter.com/jOTCyej8pL
— Nick Zviadadze 🇺🇦 (@Nick_zv_) July 13, 2023
Not all backlinks are created equal.
A single backlink from an authoritative site is much more valuable than a bunch of links from spammy sites.
This is why links from highly-regarded sources like those gained through Digital PR (more on that later) are so desirable.
Even a single link from the right source can skyrocket your SEO. If you’ve ever wondered why so many chancers are sending you cold emails claiming to have access to Forbes, this is why. A site like that is a holy grail for link acquisition.
Create value-packed, engaging content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. That could include blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.
High-quality content is more likely to be shared and linked to by other websites.
A lot of great off-page SEO starts with excellent on-page SEO.
— Sam Underwood 🇬🇧 (@SamUnderwoodUK) July 21, 2021
Publishing stand-out content can help you earn backlinks. Other websites in your niche will naturally link to it as a valuable resource.
Think about ultimate guides, original industry research, and extensive case studies. The more expansive and in-depth, the better.
In a recent study, Backlinko found that long-form content is much more likely to attract backlinks than shorter blog posts:
Content marketing for off-page SEO isn’t just about self-promotion. It’s about creating something genuinely valuable for your audience.
When you do that, you’ll naturally attract links and shares.
Of course, we’ve included this in a summary of off-page SEO tactics as, typically, you will also want to conduct a level of outreach and link-building for this content, at least to get the ball rolling alongside those lovely natural links you acquire.
Digital PR is all about building your brand’s reputation online. When properly managed, it’s one of the most effective off-page SEO strategies.
Here are the different activities it involves:
Publishing content as a guest post author on relevant third-party websites is a tried and tested way to improve your backlink profile and get exposure.
Most websites allow guest authors to include a link back to their own website in the author bio or within the content.
You can reach a new audience and establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
Guest Blogging differs from Blogger Outreach as you post as yourself rather than the post coming from a typical contributing author or the site owner.
Press releases sharing newsworthy information about your company can help you earn mentions and backlinks.
You can announce new products, new hires, charitable donations, or any interesting news related to your company.
Here’s an example by the mattress brand Happsy:
You’ll get a backlink in the press release itself. But you can also get featured on relevant websites and publications that pick up the story.
That can mean more backlinks, referral traffic, and exposure.
You can use content syndication to increase the reach of your best-performing blog posts.
Syndication platforms and networks can distribute your content on third-party websites. It can be an effective way to attract more traffic and improve brand awareness.
The content will be a duplicate of your original content, so search engines won’t index it. But it can still help to build brand authority and attract backlinks.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is one of the best off-page SEO tactics for getting links from high-authority domains.
You can use HARO to connect with journalists looking for insights on specific topics. Journalists put out an inquiry, and you respond with a relevant quote.
If the journalist likes your quote, they will include it in their article with a link to your website.
Want to wow your clients?
Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
And send them opportunities to be quoted or interviewed by high authority sites.
Not only do you get a quality backlink.
They also show off their expertise
And have something to share to their network.
— Noah Kain | SEO Consultant 🔎 (@Noahs4Cents) July 19, 2020
HARO is a super effective way to gain media exposure and establish yourself as an industry authority.
Brand mentions are when your company or product is mentioned on third-party websites.
They can contribute to your off-page SEO efforts even if there isn’t a link to your website.
But it’s always best to try and get backlinks when possible. So reach out to websites mentioning your brand and ask for a link.
Google Alerts is a great tool to track mentions of your company name, products, and notable employees.
To find older mentions, you can use Google Search operators.
Run an “intext search” that looks for a specific keyword within the body content of web pages. You’ll need to use a hyphen (“-”) to exclude your website from the results.
For example, you would use the following search query to find brand mentions of FATJOE:
Intext “FATJOE” -site:fatjoe.com
This simple search reveals thousands of brand mentions. From here, work your way through the results to find unlinked mentions.
While these unlinked brand name mentions will still help your SEO, you can try to increase their value further by turning them into links.
Much like you would pitch to a site owner for a guest post, you can email websites that already include your name but not a link and ask if they’d be happy to turn it into a link to you instead!
While social media signals may not be a direct ranking factor, they do influence E-E-A-T.
E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a concept in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
Google’s human quality raters use these guidelines to improve the search engine’s algorithms.
The more likes, shares, and comments your content receives on social media, the more popular and relevant it appears to Google.
Martin Lewis and money saving expert
Media and social signals are huge for that site and EEAT
— Carrie Rose (@CarrieRosePR) May 15, 2023
So share your content, engage your followers, and aim to build strong connections. Those connections can also lead to valuable backlinks and media opportunities.
Local SEO is an important aspect of off-page SEO strategy.
The first thing you need to do is claim your Google Business Profile.
This will allow you to set your address, phone number, and business hours. It will also enable people to leave customer reviews.
Customer reviews are among the most important ranking factors for local search results. Positive reviews make search engines see your business as a reputable organization.
Here’s how it’s described on the Google Business Profile Help Centre:
You can also use local citations to improve your off-page SEO.
Local citations are online mentions of your business in directories and listings.
Make sure your citations are consistent and accurate. This will improve your local SEO and influence how trustworthy your business appears to search engines.
How Does Off-Page Work Help SEO?
Off-page SEO is crucial for building authority, awareness, and trustworthiness.
Search engines consider the authority of a website when determining rankings. Websites with higher authority are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
You can use SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz to gain insights into your website’s authority.
And the most significant factor in website domain authority?
The more quality links you have, the higher your website’s authority becomes.
Off-page SEO also helps to build brand awareness.
Third-party websites, local listings, and social media platforms all provide opportunities for people to discover your brand.
Strong brand recognition can also have an indirect impact on SEO performance. When people know your brand, they are more likely to click on your website when it appears in search results.
Media coverage, mentions from industry influencers, and positive customer reviews all contribute to your website’s trustworthiness.
These off-page SEO tactics send strong trust signals to users and search engines.
Google wants to serve the most reliable results to users. So it rewards websites with strong trust signals with higher rankings.
Off-page SEO is the trustworthiness of your website.
You can increase your trust signals by acquiring quality backlinks, having an older domain age, and producing accurate and accessible content.
Be the website that Google understands and sees as an authority in your niche.
— Jordan O’Connor (@jdnoc) September 13, 2021
How To Optimize For Off-Page SEO
So how can you improve your website’s authority, visibility, and trustworthiness?
Here are the off-page SEO optimization tactics you can use:
Improve Your Link Profile
Link building is the backbone of off-page SEO. Focus on getting high-quality backlinks from reputable websites.
Use guest posting, shareable content, and HARO services to attract backlinks.
You can also use broken link building tactics.
Identify broken links on relevant websites in your niche and offer your content as a replacement. Helping the website owner identify and fix the broken link can increase the chances of them accepting your link request.
Social Media Marketing
Share your blog posts, infographics, and other valuable content on your social media profiles. This can increase content visibility and drive traffic to your website.
You should also engage your audience. Make sure you respond to comments and messages and encourage interaction.
Influencer marketing can be a powerful way to use social media for off-page SEO.
You can collaborate with influencers in your industry. When they share your content, it can drive traffic and enhance your website’s credibility.
Lots of mentions across different platforms can boost your brand authority. It can establish trust and credibility with users and search engines.
Keep track of your mentions and look to build relationships with websites that mention you without linking. Converting mentions into backlinks can boost your SEO efforts.
Brand mentions now have SEO value 🙊 https://t.co/utWm6uQTy2
— Carrie Rose (@CarrieRosePR) May 1, 2023
Online Reviews and Local SEO
Claim your Google Business Profile and encourage customers to leave positive reviews. You can also establish a presence on Yelp and other platforms to improve visibility and drive more traffic.
Make sure you respond to positive and negative reviews. Show that you value customer feedback and actively engage with your audience.
You can turn negative reviews into positive ones by addressing the issues raised.
Naturally attract backlinks, social signals, and brand mentions by publishing valuable, high-quality content.
Comprehensive guides, infographics, and videos are great content types for this purpose.
You can also develop linkable content assets. These are typically data-driven studies and industry research reports.
Think about ways you can repurpose your existing content into different formats. For example, you can turn popular blogs into videos to reach new audiences and attract backlinks from different platforms.
Reach out to reputable bloggers and publications in your industry and ask to contribute guest posts. You can use blogger outreach to secure backlinks and position your brand as an authority in your field.
Quality is more important than quantity. Identify websites in your niche with a substantial following and reputation for publishing high-quality content.
A few links from the right publications can really move the needle.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Explore opportunities to collaborate with other businesses and industry influencers. This can expose your brand to a broader audience and potentially lead to valuable inbound links.
One of the most effective ways to do this is ego-bait content.
Create content designed to appeal to the egos of experts in your industry. The goal of ego-bait content is to attract the attention of these influential figures. Then, they will hopefully promote the content and link to your site.
Expert roundups, thought leader lists, and interviews are all excellent ego-bait content ideas.
On-Page And Technical SEO
One of the best ways to benefit from the work done on your off-page SEO is to ensure that your on-page and technical SEO are up-to-scratch.
Google loves to see inbound links to a site, but it also wants to ensure that the site is high-quality before it will promote it in the search results.
Proper on-page and technical optimization will provide clear quality signals to Google and other search engines, and your site will be rewarded accordingly.
Properly managing things like the content that draws in links and the internal linking structures of that content will ensure you get the maximum possible impact from your newly acquired off-page links and awareness.
Over the years,
We have seen increased focus toward Off-page techniques.
Such as link building and other technical elements
But, the reality is this…
Off-page SEO won’t do much good if,
You don’t pay attention to the On-page SEO. https://t.co/LaK8WL8zp6
— Jay hustler SEO (@jayhustlerSEO) July 24, 2023
Boost Your Website’s Authority with Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is an integral part of every successful SEO strategy.
The activities you do off-site are just as important as the things you do on your website.
As you increase your website authority and build your backlink profile, you’ll start to climb up search rankings and increase organic traffic.