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Updated: August 30, 2021

Off-page SEO in 2021: What it is and How to Use It?

Off-page SEO in 2021: What it is and How to Use It?

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO is a search engine optimization tactic encompassing various activities employed to increase domain authority via getting backlinks from other sites. It is everything you do to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs) outside your website.

Backlinks or inbound links are links from one website to another. Search engines use backlinks when determining page rank because they signal the content is noteworthy and has a modicum of authority. The main purpose of off-page SEO is to create quality, relevant and trustworthy backlinks.

While link building remains key to off-page SEO, other tactics like brand building, citation building, content marketing, and social media also help gain a competitive advantage in a sea of online content, which according to Hosting Tribunal, amounts to 4.2 million pages on the world wide web.

Why is Off-Page SEO important?

Google uses over two hundred factors to rank websites, of which off-page SEO  is within the top 20. If two websites have the same quality on-page SEO score, then off-page SEO becomes the tie-breaker. Off-page SEO provides search engines with an indication of how the world perceives your website.

A well-maintained and useful website with credible backlinks offers a vote of confidence to search engines. And credible websites matter because search engines strive to provide users with precise answers to their queries. While it’s not the only factor, off-page SEO plays a critical role in SERPs ranks.

What is the difference between on-page, technical and off-page SEO?

different types of seo

There are three main types of search engine optimization needed to rank on search engines effectively. The most well-known and commonly spoken about is on-page SEO. This relates to all content on your website and strategies used to optimize an individual website and landing pages. On-page SEO helps search engines understand what a website’s content is and how valuable it is to users. Content creation and keyword utilization fall under this type of SEO.

Technical SEO is related to all non-content elements of a website, such as its architecture and layout. It ensures a website meets all the technical requirements needed for search engines to crawl and index them. Good technical SEO improves a site’s backend structure and foundation. Elements related to technical SEO include; site speed, mobile-friendliness, indexing, crawlability, site architecture, structured data, and security.

Off-page SEO has the same goal but is entirely different from both on-page and technical SEO.  Its tactics are used to help strengthen and influence a website’s relationship with other websites. Making a website reliable, trustworthy and reputable is its key goal. Most, but not all, off-page SEO relates to building a large volume of high-quality backlinks to prove your website is established and authoritative.

The key differences between off-page SEO and the former two are that it isn’t as easily controlled because there is a reliance on other sites, platforms, or applications needed to build credibility. Of the three, no one should take precedence, as all are needed to develop a result-driven SEO strategy.

How does off-page SEO link building work?

Link building is the foundation of off-page SEO. There are three main types of backlinks defined by how they are earned; natural links, manually built links, and self-created links. Natural links occur voluntarily without any interference from the website owner. For example, a blogger may publish a post on the season’s latest fashion and include a link to your clothing store.

Manual links are required strategically by getting customers, influencers, and publications to link to your website by sharing your content. These take time to build, as they’re mostly based on relationships and brand credibility. They can also be done through influencer marketing, which tends to be based on paid or trade exchanges.

Lastly, there are self-created backlinks, which are ethically frowned upon and a big no. These are created through dubious backlinks in online directories, forums, blog comments, and press releases with optimized anchor text.

Search engines like Google do not tolerate self-created backlinks because they attempt to trick them into thinking your website content is valuable when it might not be. In fact, Google has been known to penalize websites that practice questionable tactics like these.

But, it’s not enough to have backlinks; they must also maintain a certain level of equity, which is colloquially referred to as “link juice.” Not all search links are made equal. Link equity is determined by several factors such as; the site’s popularity, the relation between the link and the site it’s being linked to, the site’s credibility, and the authority of the linking domain and page.

The best way to link build is through developing strategic relationships with relevant websites and blogs in your industry. Long-term relationships aren’t only useful for link building. If your brand is genuine, you will create fans and advocates for your business. In some cases, you may even make valuable contacts with PR companies, journalists, and writers, who are always on the lookout for new trends, products, and valuable information related to your industry.

What are other off-page SEO techniques?

5 Link Building Strategies

Branding

Strong branding sends a clear message to prospective customers about your company and why it’s better than its competitors. Over time, brand identity becomes immediately recognizable. Better branding means greater visibility and awareness. Besides, a company’s online presence is arguably the single most important asset. Reputation plus brand visibility equals brand power.

Coherent branding across all digital channels and platforms is one of the best ways to generate awareness. Brands with a strong presence appear more approachable than those aloof, and they build audience rapport quickly, increasing trust. The online space is highly competitive, so it’s vital to have strong branding that reflects your company’s values.

Content Marketing

Content marketing with appropriate search engine optimization will rank higher on SERPs and increase backlinks, eventually improving domain authority. It’s obvious that if your website is useful, other websites will link back to it. Having a content marketing plan that takes current trends, target audiences, and business objectives into account is crucial.

Guest blogging is a great way to raise brand awareness and generate natural links. Search engines also favor fresh content; the more you publish valuable content with strategic keywords, the higher you’ll rank. Your audience will also return to your site for updates, tips, how-to guides, and tricks of the trade, boosting organic traffic.

Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of increasing the search visibility of brick-and-mortar businesses online. In theory, when people search for a product or service you provide online, your business should appear on Google Maps.

The easiest way to improve local SEO is to register a Google My Business account, gain positive customer reviews, get citations, and list your business in esteemed directories. Both citations and Google My Business listing are considered backlinks as well.

When your business is thoroughly optimized for search engines, it creates an increased opportunity to rank higher. This improves your site’s click-through rate and visibility, which in turn grows natural backlinks. A comprehensive SEO strategy takes all of these factors into consideration.

Social Media

The more users share your online content, the higher your engagement rate and the more backlinks you’re likely to have for that specific piece of content. Social media platforms provide immense opportunities for free exposure and brand development. Unless you’re paying for target ads, content marketing, and social media posting are generally used to amplify a brand’s voice and boost audience engagement.

However, it also comes with influencer opportunities. Depending on the type of content produced, influencer marketing such as blogging, for example, can provide credible backlinks, especially if the influencer has a large following.

More than that, influencer marketing also allows brands to tap into new markets, gain new customers and improve awareness.  According to Marketing Profs, brands with truly authentic influencer relationships can generate up to 11 times more ROI than traditional advertising. The trick is to find a good influencer fit, so it doesn’t feel inauthentic to prospective customers.

Conclusion

A website and its digital marketing efforts are part of an evolving ecosystem while simultaneously being assessed by search engines. It’s highly competitive, but there are many ways to improve off-page SEO. While you don’t have absolute control over link building, following best practices does increase the probability.

There’s no getting around SEO. While it may seem like a lot of strategy and work, SEO helps keep search results fair, is cost-effective, and improves user experience. If you’re an eCommerce store looking to improve your SEO strategy, we can help.

Comrade Digital Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency dedicated to making brands thrive. Our experts know how to optimize your SEO strategy to rank higher and increase revenue. Call us at 312-265-0580 or contact us online to receive a free SEO website audit.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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