21 Feb What is Off-Page SEO? And Why is it Important?
Off-page or off-site, search engine optimization (SEO) refers to methods used outside of your website to boost your search engine results page ranking, or SERP, and these methods are way more than just link building. Generally, off-page SEO activities are promotional tactics, not including web design, that are put in place to improve your site’s search engine rankings.
Reaching the first page of a search result can be difficult, especially on Google, which we discussed in our previous blog post. There are many moving factors to always consider.
So, just what is the best way to get started to improve your search result and end up on top?
You should develop a thorough SEO strategy that takes advantage of search engine algorithms, and off-page SEO is one crucial part to that strategy.
What is SEO?
A full SEO strategy needs to be in place if you want your website to be found in the top results. Search engine optimisation, or SEO, includes specific methods employed to drive site traffic through organic, or unpaid, search engine results. In order to reach a high ranking for your website, you need to figure out the best way to allow the complex search engine algorithms to index and rank your site by letting them access the necessary and important information about your website. This is where SEO vitally comes into play.
There are two primary sides of SEO – on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Both are equally necessary to develop a complete SEO strategy. Before delving into off-page SEO, let’s quickly review on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is how you make use of the content directly within your website to optimize your search results. Here are some essential features of on-page SEO:
- Optimize titles and descriptions
- Have proper URL structures
- Employ user-friendly navigation
- Optimize images and format text
- Develop user-friendly 404 pages
- Ensure internal links work
- Be accessible on mobile
- Provide fast load speed
- Deliver relevant and new content
Off-page SEO is what you do online outside of your website to improve your website’s search engine rankings. Off-page SEO primarily centres on the following three activities:
- Link building
- Social media marketing
- Social bookmarking
First, let’s consider the importance and benefits of increasing off-page SEO. Then, we will look at how to best put off-page SEO to use in these areas.
Why is off-page SEO important?
Search engines are inherently designed to provide the best results for the user. To do this, they use a combination of compiling and analysing on-page SEO attributes, a number of other site elements and off-page SEO efforts. Most importantly for our current focus, off-page SEO features tell search engines how other websites view your own.
A well-ranked and valued website will link to, or reference, other sites. These quality websites are also more likely to be directly mentioned by users on social media, and they are also more likely to be shared among and appear in different online communities.
Benefits of off-page SEO
A successful off-page SEO strategy will help:
Boost website rankings on search engine results.
Increase site traffic, or how many people are visiting your website. An increase in ranking is likely to lead to an increase in traffic, and vice versa.
Improve your PageRank, which is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank web pages on its search engine results.
Give your website more exposure. More exposure for your website can lead to an increase in links from other sites, visits from users and social media shares and mentions.
Three ways to improve off-page SEO
Now, let’s dive right into improving your off-page SEO strategy through link building, social media marketing and social bookmarking.
Link building is the most frequently used and most effective off-page SEO activity. Building external links to your website leads to positive votes and interactions with internet users, which of course helps improve your site’s search engine rankings. Link building is the most essential aspect of off-page SEO. There are three main types of link building your site can gain: natural links, manually built links, and self-created links.
- Natural links – These links are generated when other websites directly link to your content (such as products, videos, images, blogs, etc.) that they see as relevant to their audience.
- Manual link building – These links come from intentional link-building activities for your website. Examples of manual link building include asking customers to link to your site or requesting influencers to share your content with their followers.
- Self-created link building – These links are created by adding a backlink to your own website in online directories, blog comments, press releases with optimised anchor text, or forums. Some self-created link building strategies can be seen as borderline black hat SEO practices, which are heavily penalized by search engines (especially Google). Be careful and sparing with self-created link building.
Earning links that pass on high amounts of link juice, or link equity, to your website should bring positive SEO results. Some other factors to consider when it comes to boosting link juice are:
- Popularity of the site that you are linking to
- How relevant the linking site’s topic is to your site
- How the anchor text is used on the linking site
- Freshness of the link
- Reliability or trustworthiness of the site that you are linking to
- How many other links are present on the linked site
- Authority of the linked site’s domain and page names
Social media is another different form of link building for off-page SEO. Most links generated from social media sites are nofollow links. However, they can still provide value to your ranking. Social media is booming right now for businesses looking to reach new customers and provide content in new ways. If linking back to your site content is done in an engaging and effective manner, it can also improve your search engine results page rankings.
While social bookmarking may be wanting some, it is still an effective way to increase your site’s web traffic. Sites like reddit.com, scoop.it, and stumbleupon.com are great places to get started promoting your content and generating links.
Both off-page SEO and on-page SEO practices are essential for implementing the best SEO strategy for your website, which can improve your search engine ranking as well as bring in new customers to your business.
If you want to get in on the best off-page SEO practices, or if you are considering putting an SEO strategy into place, look no further than Virtual Stacks Systems UK. Our SEO experts will work with you to develop an effective SEO strategy that’s just right for your business needs. Learn more about our SEO services, and contact us today to get started.