You’ve done it. You put in the hard yards to learn about search engine optimisation (SEO) and optimised your website to perfection. But then you started hearing some new phrases being thrown around.
It turns out there are two types of SEO – on-page and off-page. Just when you thought you had it all figured out…
Don’t despair just yet. You have already laid the groundwork with your on-page optimisation, so now it’s time to capitalise on that investment with some clever off-page SEO.
On-page and off-page optimisation are two halves of a whole, and you need both to achieve ranking success.
On-page SEO is probably the easier term to define because it encompasses clear actions; including updating your website with high-quality, keyword-rich content, internal linking, heading and meta tag optimisation, as well as optimising other aspects of the website’s HTML code.
Off-page SEO (depending on who you ask) can be a catch-all term that includes all offsite marketing efforts that drive traffic to your website and boost your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
We can further break down off-page SEO into link-related and non-link related.
Link-related off-page factors
You can earn links without even trying if other websites naturally reference your business, services or products. However, you can also pursue guest blogging, broken link building and self-created links (without resorting to spam tactics).
While collecting high-authority links that bring traffic to your website might seem like a difficult task, this is exactly why it is a tactic worth pursuing. Search engines still look on this as a marker of quality, precisely because it is difficult.
1. Link authority
Your place on Google’s SERPs is partly based on algorithms that assess the number and the quality of backlinks to your site or page. The quality is assessed both in terms of the relevancy of the link, and the authority of the linking domain.
Search engine algorithms evaluate the authority of a domain or page based on a combination of ranking factors, and there are a number of tools available that will help you estimate a webpage’s authority. However, it is usually easier to ask yourself whether this is the sort of website that you trust and whether you are happy for it to be associated with your brand.
Because spammy tactics such as link farming (buying links) have become such a problem, search engines now place greater importance on the relevance of a link.
Relevant links are also better for SEO purposes because site visitors like them. If they are researching a certain topic and you are quoted as an authority, or your site is linked to for further information, then the link is providing them with value.
3. Increased website traffic
Although a link from a social media post to your website won’t be increasing your ranking in the SERPs due to authority or relevance, it may well increase traffic to your website. And search engines rank popular sites more highly because they understand that they are sites users want to visit and spend time on.
This is where good old-fashioned PR and SEO meet. If you’re getting your name out there in a genuine way, then you are increasing brand awareness and making a positive impression on Google at the same time.
Non-link related off-page factors
Although off-page SEO is often geared towards generating backlinks, there are other important factors to look at.
These tactics may produce results that are more difficult to measure, because a potential customer is not taking the direct action of clicking on a link to enter your site. But they can still have great importance in helping get people to know, like, and trust you.
And yes, to visit your website and potentially become a customer or client.
1. Brand mentions
Most people understand the value of off-page content that links back to them. What many don’t know is that no-follow links and brand mentions can still help your ranking in the SERPs.
Many sites do not provide links within articles written by guest bloggers, although there will usually be at least one link to the guest writer’s website within their bio.
The same is true for podcasts. When a podcaster posts the episode, they may provide links to their guest’s website, but if listeners have downloaded the episode through an app or other third party, they may never see this link.
The thing is, all of this still serves to get your name out there, and there are some indications that Google will pick up on and assess brand mentions, and that this will positively affect your rankings.
Many businesses are justifiably proud of the way in which they have grown through organic, word-of-mouth referrals. While word-of-mouth referrals are still important, online reviews are often more relevant in a global economy connected by the worldwide web.
Spending just a little time and effort on gathering Facebook and Google reviews from satisfied customers is good for business, because it builds trust for potential customers, and builds your authority with search engines.
3. Google My Business
Google prioritises local search, so this is one way for you to easily compete with the big players.
Registering your business with Google, keeping your information up to date, and garnering positive reviews will help your business to turn up in map searches, and to make a positive impression on searchers once it does.
The off-page SEO impact
You can think of off-page SEO like networking. Not every guest blog post or podcast interview will result in thousands of visits to your website. Sometimes you will request a customer review and get no response. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
Just like networking, off-page SEO shouldn’t be all about selling. Nobody wants to talk to the person at the industry event who is only interested in selling.
So don’t be afraid to venture off your own site, provide value to others, network and optimise.
If you’re looking for some more useful SEO tips and strategies, check out these other Marketing.com.au articles:
- 5 Simple Tips to Optimise Your WordPress Website for SEO and Increase Conversions
- 5 Must See Strategies Guaranteed to Boost Your Site’s Traffic
- 10 Proven Ways to Earn Links to Your Website
- 5 Must See Strategies Guaranteed to Boost Your Site’s Traffic
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