Off-Page SEO. A Complete Guide

Off-Page SEO. A Complete Guide

Do you want your website to have massive web traffic and great visibility in the search results? In this case, you really shouldn’t ignore off-page SEO as it is one of the most important elements of SEO strategy. In today’s article, I will explain to you what off-page SEO is, why it is so important for your website, and which off-page SEO strategies you should introduce to achieve great success. So let’s get started!

Latest on our blog: English SEO. To Do or Not to Do, That Is the Question

What Is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO is all SEO strategies that are done off a website. Their main goal is to increase the visibility in the search results and boost organic web traffic. The most popular and most frequently introduced off-page SEO elements are building backlinks, getting brand mentions, activities in social media, etc. With the right off-page SEO strategies, Google can recognize a website as reliable and authoritative.

As you can see, off-site SEO is one of the most important elements of strategy and workflow in our agency:

Delante SEO Workflow - graph

7 Off-Page SEO Techniques

1. Link Building

Backlinks are, without any doubt, the most important off-page SEO strategy which has won recognition from marketers all over the world. For Google, a large number of backlinks is a clear signal that a website offers fresh and up-to-date content and, what’s more, that responds to users’ demands. As a result, Google ranks much higher on websites with a large number of backlinks.

There are 3 main types of backlinks:

  • natural links – these are links that you can obtain in a natural way, for example by recommending your product or service, they are not part of link building strategy,
  • manually built links – links obtained through link building activities, they also include customers or influencers’ shares,
  • self-created links – these are links added automatically e.g. to the signature in forums or blog comments; be careful here because sometimes they can be considered as black hat SEO.

Link Building Factors

Do you know how to plan a building strategy link so that it will bring the desired results? There are several factors you need to keep in mind. Here, Ahrefs will definitely come in handy and give you lots of valuable data.

1. The Number of Referring Domains

When planning a link building strategy, you should remember that not only the number of backlinks matters but also how many domains they come from. The more backlinks from high-quality domains, the better the chance to rank higher in the search results. Information about the number of referring domains will be displayed once you enter the URL in Ahrefs:

Screenshot - Ahrefs Tool showing the number of referring domains

2. Dofollow and Nofollow

Nofollow attribute (rel=”nofollow”) is added in the HTML code. With it, Google crawlers do not follow the link and it has no impact on Google ranking. More and more websites add this attribute to external links in order not to share SEO value. When planning a link building strategy, you need to pay attention to whether the link from a given domain will be dofollow or nofollow. I recommend the Nofollow Chrome extension, which shows which links have the nofollow attribute.

Off page SEO guide - screenshot showinghow nofollow link looks like

If you want to find only dofollow links, there is a filter in Ahrefs Site Explorer that will hide all links with a nofollow attribute.

Off-page SEO - how to check the number of do and nofollow links on the site in Ahrefs tool

3. Anchor Text

Anchor text is a clickable text on a link. In HTML code, it looks like this: <a href=”https://delante.co/definitions/anchor-text/”>anchor text</a>.

A good SEO strategy involves adding keywords to anchor texts, which increases the chance that the website will be displayed on them in the search results. However, you have to be careful, because if almost all links will contain anchor text with keywords, Google will consider it as manipulation and, as a result, will penalize your website.

Anchor link vs naked link

4. Link Authority

Remember that planning an effective link building strategy is not only about the number of backlinks, but also about their quality. Sometimes one link from a high-quality domain can be more beneficial than 10 links from bad domains. After all, you don’t want to get backlinks from malicious spamming websites, right? In defining the link authority Ahrefs also proves to be very helpful.

So how to check it? Ahrefs’ URL Rating (UR) is one of the most trustworthy link authority scores. Once you paste the URL into Ahrefs Site Explorer, the SEO tool shows you UR and DR (Domain Rating). Here the rule is simple: the higher the DR and UR, the better the link authority.

Domain authority in Ahrefs

The information about DR and UR can be also found in the “Backlinks” report:

Backlinks report - off-page SEO with Ahrefs tool

5.  Web Traffic

Web traffic also turns out to be one of the factors determining whether a given link is valuable or not. Pages with great organic traffic are definitely more profitable to get backlinks from. Web traffic of a page may also be checked in Ahrefs Site Explorer.

Off-page SEO guide - checking the organic traffic with ahrefs

2. Social Media

Did you know that 84% of people who have access to the Internet are active on social media platforms? What does this really mean to you and how is it connected with off-site SEO strategies?

Although social media are not directly Google’s ranking factor, they can make a great contribution to increasing visibility in the search results. But why is that? Because the most popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest (just to name a few…), have immense traffic and authority. Google simply trusts brands that are regularly active in various social media. What’re more, users love to share valuable content with others, which also increases brand awareness and recognition.

What to remember when planning SEO strategies for social media?

  • post something regularly,
  • always include links to your website in posts or comments,
  • complete all necessary information about your brand in the “About” tab,
  • use various visual media, e.g. infographics, images, or videos (they are more eye-catching and that’s why they increase your chance to boost shares).

Social media - Off-page SEO guide

3. Forums

Many SEO experts recommend using forums as effective off-page SEO strategies. You have to be careful as for many years forums have been used by SEOs for adding spam comments and threads there. For this reason, many people have recently dropped out of this form of off-page SEO tactic.  I personally advise you to use forums, but do it wisely!

How to use forums for your off-page SEO strategies?

  • find a forum related to your industry, your niche,
  • post mainly on forums that have dofollow links,
  • be helpful and contribute your knowledge,
  • always stick to the topic of a thread,
  • do not promote yourself overly.

4. Guest Posting

Guest posting can really make a great contribution to your brand – not only because you can gain valuable links, but also because it is a very effective marketing strategy. By writing an article or blog post to the website of someone well-known and influential in your industry, you can gain brand recognition among your target audience and simply share your knowledge thanks to which you will be perceived as a real expert.

What is interesting, according to a study conducted by SEMrush in 2019, in which 850 SEO specialists indicated the most effective, in their opinion, link building strategies, guest posting was a definite winner (as many as 53% of them recommended guest posting).

Would you like to discover which blogs in your industry are worth starting cooperation with? SEMrush may give you some great hints! Use the Link Building Tool in SEMrush and select URL type (just like in the image below). Check what blogs will work best for you!

off-page seo guide - screenshot from SEMrush

How to use guest posting for link building? Discover it in a few basic steps!

  1. Select the right blog – preferably in a similar niche and which has the same target audience.
  2. Check the site’s performance – pay attention to the most significant SEO metrics, such as Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), web traffic, UR, DR.
  3. Contact directly with your guest posting offer.
  4. Write a contributing and engaging article – you don’t write this blog post just to get a link, so share your knowledge.
  5. Promote the guest post on social media.

5. Local SEO

Some local SEO elements, especially Google My Business and NAP, are really important elements of off-page SEO strategies. Let’s discover why!

Google My Business

Google My Business is key when it comes to local SEO. Without your GMB account, you simply lose the great potential to gain local customers. What information should it contain? When creating the GMB account, be sure your profile includes:

  • location,
  • business category,
  • opening hours,
  • website address,
  • phone number,
  • business description,
  • images.

NAP

If you run a local business, you should also create profiles on different NAPs (name, address, and phone number). These are catalogs with local businesses where you can promote yourself.  NAP is another great idea to gain local customers. Trust me, it works!

If you would like to improve your local SEO and make your brand much more visible, I recommend the Listing Management tool provided by SEMrush. It will give you some hints! So far this tool offers data from five countries: United States, Germany, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

off-page SEO - screenshot of a SEMrush tool for checking your local listings

6. Brand Mentions

Did you know that brand mentions are also an effective off-page SEO strategy that you should start working on as soon as possible? If you take brand awareness and brand recognition seriously, you probably know that promoting your brand in different channels can be crucial to spread the word about your business among potential audiences. Otherwise, it would be really hard for users to find out about your brand if nobody mentions it.

How to find brand mentions? There are 2 effective ways I recommend!

Content Explorer at Ahrefs

Select the Content Explorer tool in Ahrefs and enter your brand name (in my case I typed “delante”) and then exclude your domain (-site:delante.co). This way you will find out on which sites, apart from your own, your brand is mentioned.

Ahrefs Content manager - screenshot of a dashboard

Google Search

I have to admit, this way is a bit less convenient than Content Explorer, but it can still give you some pretty nice hints. You will simply have more work to extract the best results.

Example of using intext: operator in google search

The intext: operator finds pages that contain a given word in the content. It lets you check which pages mention your brand.

7. Visual Media

Have you ever heard of augmented reality? This type of visual media is a massive hit in recent years. These are different kinds of filters on Snapchat, Instagram, or Messenger that allow you to introduce motion visuals to the image or video. I’m sure that not once, you’ve seen it. This is a great example that shows that visual content really fascinates people.

So I recommend you to concentrate on visual content such as videos, images, or infographics. Post it on various platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, or Tumblr. Links that you get from them are extremely valuable for off-page SEO.

How to Measure Off-Page SEO Performance?

If you would like to find out whether your off-page SEO strategies really work and bring the expected results, you should regularly monitor your site performance. So how to do it? In this section, I will indicate which parameters will tell you the truth about your SEO strategies.

1. Domain Authority / Page Authority

Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) are among the most reliable metrics that determine page performance. They show the potential that a website has to succeed in the search results. What’s important, these two metrics introduced by Moz pay special attention to the number and quality of backlinks, so if you introduce your off-page SEO strategy, you should regularly (at least once a month) monitor DA and PA. Your website can be scored from 1 to 100 – the higher the score, the better.

Domain authority and page authority scoring

2. Domain Rating / URL Rating

I have already described Domain Rating and URL Rating above (in the “Link Authority” section). These two metrics work in the same way as DA and PA. I also suggest to monitor them on a regular basis and compare if the metrics provided by Moz and Ahrefs vary significantly.

3. Keyword rankings

That’s what all the fuss is about! The most visible effect of SEO activities, both on-page and off-page, is an increase (or decrease, which of course none of us wants) of the positions on given keywords in search results. Checking this in SERP checker isn’t very time consuming, so it would be perfect to control the positions of keywords once a day or at least several times a week. Keep in mind that you have to wait a bit longer for the effects of off-page activities. Just because you build a few strong backlinks one day, it doesn’t mean that the position in search results will increase the next day. So give it some time!

Conclusions

Off-page SEO should be a vital part of your SEO campaign. With the right strategies, you can gain greater brand awareness and recognition, increased visibility in the search results, and boost organic web traffic. Remember, however, that off-page SEO will not bring the desired results in one day or even one month. Plan the right off-page SEO strategies and you will notice excellent effects in the long run!

Need help with off-page SEO? Contact us – our SEO experts will plan a transparent and effective off-site campaign for your website.

(0)
Author
Head of SEO & SEM - Matt Calik

Head of SEO & SEM

Technical SEO specialist experienced in creating scalable processes based on agile methodologies. Responsible for international SEO strategies. He has strongly analytical approach to online marketing supported by over 12 years of experience. Previously associated with IT, motorsport, tobacco and financial markets. He has been building Delante for 5 years where he is Head of SEO and SEM department.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recently on our blog

Are you curious about SEO of online stores or maybe you want to enter the Swiss market and wonder SEO abroad looks like? You will find answers to these questions and many other tips important for the development of your business on our blog.

Google Analytics Account Structure - the Ultimate Guide

Google Analytics Account Structure - the Ultimate Guide

Google Analytics is the most popular online tool used to analyze statistics of websites, mobile apps and devices. It doesn’t really matter whether you’ve already encountered this tool or whether you’re just beginning your analytical adventure. It’s worth taking a closer look at its account structure. Thanks to it, benefiting from the possibilities offered by Google Analytics will be much easier and safer.

Read more
How to Do SEO on a Single-Page Website? 9 Steps

How to Do SEO on a Single-Page Website? 9 Steps

Single page websites have gained immense popularity in recent years and there is absolutely nothing strange about it as this solution offers many great benefits. You must know, however, that one-page website causes many difficulties and that their SEO can be much more challenging - but is SEO for a single page website at all possible? And if so, how is it different from regular website SEO? In this article, I'll tell you what SEO strategies you should adopt to make your single-page website rank high in the search results and have massive web traffic. Let’s dive right in!

Read more