Introduction to Off-Page SEO
Off-Page SEO is the most difficult part of your SEO campaign.
It’s also the most beneficial.
If there’s one part of your campaign that’s really gonna take your website to the top, it’s going to be the Off-Page.
In this article, we’re going to break down what Off-Page SEO is and how you can effectively do it on your website.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO is optimization that involves building your website without directly working on it. This generally consists of link building and reputation management.
Building links to your website has a powerful impact on its ability to rank. Despite countless claims from Google that it’s losing its power, backlinks are still one of the biggest ranking factors on a website.
The Off-Page vs. On-Page SEO Distinction
People confuse the two all the time, so we want to make the distinction clear:
On-Page SEO involves working directly on your website in order for it to become more favorable to Google.
Off-Page SEO involves working outside of your website in order for it to become more favorable to Google.
While being separate concepts, both On-Page and Off-Page SEO are needed to successfully optimize your website for Google. On-Page establishes Relevance, while Off-Page establishes Trust.
Relevance and Trust are the two main factors Google’s algorithms use to decide how they view your site. By establishing a strong Trust profile while also being of high Relevance, you strongly increase your chances of ranking at the top of Google.
Before you do Off-Page SEO, make sure you did your On-Page SEO correctly. This is because In order to benefit from Trust, you must tell Google what you’re supposed to be relevant for. Think of On-Page as a street name and Off-Page SEO as the street traffic. If you’re telling street traffic where to go and part of the directions involve making a stop at your website, you want to make sure they know they stopped on the right street.
If you don’t know how to do On-Page SEO on your website, we have a whole guide on how to do it properly. Click here for our On-Page SEO guide.
The types of backlinks to get
There are two kinds of backlinks in SEO: ‘Follow’ links and ‘No Follow’ links.
‘Follow’ links are links back to your page from another page. These are the links you want to get, as they’re the ones that will influence the rank of your website. The more follow links you get from quality websites, the more trustworthy and popular your website will appear according to Google.
‘No Follow’ links are similar to ‘Follow’ links, except that they don’t pass off any page or domain authority to your page. They have no direct effect on the rank of your website. No matter how many of these you get, it will not make your site more visible to Google.
Even though ‘Follow’ links are the ones that grow your site rank, you still need to be getting ‘No Follow’ links to your website. This is mainly because a link profile full of strictly ‘Follow’ links and nothing else will look suspicious to Google. If Google has reason to believe that you’re trying to manipulate the algorithms, they will penalize your website.
Types of Anchor Text
Anchor text is the clickable text on a link.
There are different types of Anchor text:
- Exact match anchor text, which is when the anchor text describes word for word what the site is supposed to be about (ie. a link back to a boxing gym in Detroit with the anchor text ‘Detroit Boxing Gym’)
- Partial match anchor text, which is when the anchor text contains variations of the main keywords (ie. a link back to a boxing gym in Detroit with the anchor text “Detroit Boxing Club)
- Branded anchor text, which is when the anchor text uses the name of the Brand or Business (ie. a link back to Kronk boxing gym using the anchor text “Kronk”)
- Naked Link text, which is when the anchor text is just a URL (ie. a link back to Kronk boxing gym using the anchor text “www.kronk.com”)
- Generic or CTA text, which is when the anchor text is just something general like ‘click here’ (ie. a link back to Kronk with the anchor text “click here to visit Kronk”)
- Alt Image text, which is when the link is a picture and the alt image text is used as the anchor text (ie. a picture of Kronk boxing gym with the alt text “Kronk Boxing Gym”)
Out of all the different types of anchor text, Exact Matches are the most powerful. You must be careful not to get too many though, as Google can penalize your website over it.
If you have more Exact Match than any other form of anchor text, try balancing things out by getting other forms of anchor text.
4 Of The Most Proven Tactics for Getting Follow Links
Because ‘Follow’ links are the ones that play a role in the rank of our website, they’re the ones that take up most of our focus in Off-Page SEO. Getting them can involve a lot of work. If you don’t know what to do or how to get them, you’ll never run a successful campaign.
These are 4 of the most popular tactics for getting Follow links from other websites. They’re proven to work and very powerful when used correctly. We’ll be covering them more in-depth in future stand-alone articles, but we still want to give you some insight on what to do in order to run a successful Off-Page SEO campaign.
Tactic #1: Guest Posting
Guest Posting is when you reach out to another blog or website that covers your topic and offer content in exchange for a link back to your website.
It’s by far the most popular link-building technique. And with good reason. Not only can you get a link back to your website right away, but since you’re writing the article, you can also choose how you want the link back to your website. This gives you control over the types of anchor texts you’re going to be receiving, which is important due to the ranking powers involved.
To do Guest Posting:
- Find blogs & websites covering your topic that accept guestposts. To do this, simply log on to Google and search for “(your topic) + “write for us””, “(your topic) + “submit a guest post””, or anything else similar.
- Reach out to the site owner via email, or Submission Form if they have one and offer to write a guest post for them.
- If/when the Owner agrees to let you write for them, prepare the article, remembering to include a link back to your site.
- Submit the article, and wait for the owner to update you when the post goes live
- Rinse and repeat for as many articles as needed.
Tactic #2: Broken Link Building
Broken link building is when you find links that lead to 404 errors on someone’s page and offer to have them link back to you instead.
Next to Guest Posting, this is the most popular link-building tactic. It works great because not only are you providing them with a quality page to link back to, but you’re also removing the broken link on their page, which can lead to lower rankings due to 404 errors.
To do broken link building:
- Look for pages relating to your topic that are full of links (resource pages typically work best for this)
- Use a tool such as the Google Chrome Extension ‘Check My Links’ to see if there are any links to non-existent pages that you could ask to redirect to you.
- When you find one, reach out to the site owner and let them know that there’s a broken link on their page, and offer your page as a replacement.
- Rinse and Repeat for as often as possible.
Tactic #3: Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
Help A Reporter Out (or HARO for short) is a program developed to assist journalists in putting out stories. What the program does is ask the public for answers to questions pushed forward by the journalists. If the journalists choose to use your answer, not only will they promote you, but they’ll also add a link back to your website.
HARO is extremely powerful to Offpage SEO because these journalists typically work for big publications like CNN and Business Insider. Not only would a link from one of these publications do wonders for your business in terms of traffic and domain authority, but it also gives you the opportunity to say your business was featured by them.
To leverage HARO:
- Go to helpareporter.com and set up an account. Be sure to select the relevant topics when you sign up for the emails.
- Everyday in the morning, afternoon, and evening, check your inbox from emails from HARO. Scan for any questions related to your topic.
- Once you’ve found a question relevant to your niche, check out the rules of the post. If it applies to your topic and you’re a credible source, start writing a proper response and send it.
- If the journalist likes it, they’ll let you know and use your answer, providing a link back to your website.
Tactic #4: The Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper technique was invented by Brian Dean, the owner of Backlinko.
Based on the idea that humans are always attracted to the best, the technique works by writing a piece of content that’s superior to other content under the same topic and getting websites to link to yours instead.
If you’re able to put out superior content, this can be a VERY powerful technique.
To do the Skyscraper technique:
- Look up a piece of content you think you can make an improvement on
- Create the new and improved form of it
- Reach out to websites linking to the original piece of content with your superior version.
There are many ways to improve upon a piece of content. Some of the most effective ways include:
- More comprehensive: If you’re covering the topic more in depth, your article can be deemed more valuable since you’re giving more information to the reader
- More accessible: if the original content consists of long paragraphs and big words, you can easily outshine them by offering something that’s easier to read.
- More recent: If the article is for a previous year or shares outdated information, you can easily replace them by being more up to date.
Measuring Off-Page SEO Success
Key Metrics to Track
You absolutely want to make sure you’re tracking the progress of your Off-Page SEO campaign. Because it’s more impactful to your website than On-Page SEO, you need to make sure it’s running as planned.
There are 4 things we want to track when it comes to Off-Page SEO:
- The number of backlinks
- The number of referring domains
- The anchor text
- The SERP ranking
You can track all of these and compare them to competitors using an SEO tool such as Ahrefs, Semrush, or SERanking.
The Number Of Backlinks
The total number of backlinks tells you where you stand with regards to your Off-Page SEO progress. In general, the more backlinks, the better. You want to make sure that there are no spam links going back to your page though. If there are, make sure you’re Disavowing them.
The Number Of Referring Domains
The number of referring domains simply means the total number of backlinks coming from unique websites. Similar to backlinks, the more, the better. Remember to Disavow any spam websites.
The Anchor Text
Different types of anchor text can have an effect on your website’s ability to rank. For example, while exact match anchor texts tend to have the most ranking power, too many can also cause you to get penalized by Google. As a result, it’s important to keep track of them in order to avoid over-optimizing and losing site rank.
The SERP Ranking
SERP ranking refers to the rank of the page on Google search results. A good ranking is ultimately the end game of any SEO campaign, so this is arguably the most important metric to track. If you’re moving closer to 1, chances are you’re on the right track. Otherwise, you may have to evaluate your Off-Page SEO.
We hope you found our guide useful in getting a complete understanding of Off-Page SEO!
Feel free to check out our blog for more articles on SEO.
For a complete guide on how to do SEO on your website, click here.
If you would like to have someone look after your website’s SEO, click here to contact us and let’s book a meeting!
Here are the key takeaways from the article:
- Off-Page SEO is any work done to your website without directly working on it and usually consists of getting links back to it from other websites
- Your On-Page SEO must be done correctly before doing Off-Page.
- There are 2 types of backlinks to get: ‘Follow’ and ‘No Follow’. You need both, but Follow links are the ones that will increase your site rank.
- Exact Match Anchor Text is the most powerful form of backlink you can get, but you need to be careful not to get too many.
- 4 of the most popular ways to get backlinks include Guestposting, Broken Linkbuilding, the Skyscraper Technique, and HARO.
- There are 4 things you want to track in an Offpage SEO campaign: the number of backlinks, the number of referrals, the anchor text, and the SERP ranking.