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In this off-page SEO beginner’s guide, our experts have simplified the most important information for newcomers in digital marketing. No doubt, off-page SEO, is highly important in ranking your website and web pages higher in SERPs. With good on-page SEO, you should also look for a quality off-page SEO strategy.
One of the major factors in rankings is SEO that people do for you. This seems like a great thing at first, however, it takes a lot of effort and value addition through your content before you can have this luxury. You must provide content that people should be compelled to link to your website.
The most important element of this type of SEO is link building. It’s basically people incorporating links, termed as backlinks, to your website in their content. The most successful websites have millions of backlinks and therefore have a high Domain Authority or DA.
What is off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO, as the name suggests, is any effort spent on improving a website that happens outside of the website. One example is link building from other platforms pointing towards your website, but that’s not the whole story. Off-page SEO is much more than just building links.
Difference between on-page and off-page SEO
On-page SEO is everything you do while staying on your website. As opposed to this, off-page SEO happens outside of your website and you don’t have much control on this side of SEO and it’s entirely based on the perception and reception of your website by other webmasters.
There are, of course, some factors that matter such as the quality of your content. With good quality content, people would want to refer to your website. They’ll add links and recommendations related to your content and this can only happen if your content is of high quality and has some unique value.
One major difference however is that you can make changes to your website in terms of on-page SEO such as image optimization or H1 titles settings. On the other hand, you cannot change your off-page SEO settings to improve SEO in a single sitting. It builds with time and it builds automatically.
Importance of off-page SEO
Off-page SEO is essential for a successful website. It’s the difference between a trusted website and a website that does not have any web authority. Imagine this, if you ask your friend about a physician, and she tells you about a great physician that she has personal experience with. You’ll be much more comfortable visiting that doctor. The same is the referral value of a website.
When more and more people put links that refer to your website, Google takes notice and improves your website ranking. Also, other indicators, such as Moz DA score and Alexa ranks improve as well. This is highly important in rankings for your website.
Are backlinks still valuable in 2021?
Before we move forward to other off-page SEO techniques, let us have a look at few myths. It has been chiefly heard that SEO is no more helpful as backlinks are not required anymore.
The truth is SEO is still working at an incredible pace, and backlinks are still in use, provided you are not using pre-penguin strategies.
Let us provide it with an example-
Look for the top 5 sites of a keyword, say “Ethical Hacking.”
The keyword has moderate to high keyword difficulty, and only the sites with high DA will compete for the top 5 spots.
So, how will Google decide whom to give the first position?
Here comes the function of the backlink. If we see the number of referring domains to the page correctly, you would understand why they are ranked on the top.
Without this off-page SEO, it is not an easy task to compete for this competitive keyword.
So, important things to remember are-
- Websites with high DR outrank those with lower DR.
- Any off-page strategy that does not consider the link-building method is not likely to drive good results.
How can one boost off-page SEO with Backlinks?
When you look for strategies for building off-page SEO, quality surely matters over quantity. If you desire to build backlinks to boost your site’s ranking, you need to ensure that you get backlinks from high-authority websites.
Look for some of the effective ways of building backlinks to boost your website’s ranking-
- Through Guest Posting
Guest posting helps off-page SEO in many ways. So, starting with the first gooiest posting helps your site to rank and boost brand searches.
Secondly, guest posting leads to unlinked brand mentions. They might not be so powerful as backlinks, but still, they can help to get along.
And lastly, guest posting helps you to build backlinks for your website. Hence, it allows you to boost your sites’ ranking only when you publish guest posts on niche sites having high DR.
Finding a site that matches precisely your niche can be highly energy and time-consuming. Hence you can go to related places too. But getting backlinks from relevant links increases an excellent trust level.
Ex- Any SEO agency is writing a guest post on a Digital marketing platform about the importance of off-page SEO would e the perfect one.
- More Brand Searches
Brand searches mean how users are searching for your brand on the search engine. Brand searches are considered when users search your name or additional phrases along with your brand name. Ex- “Eon digital marketing services.”
You can find your results in the Google search console about the user searches about your brand on the search engine.
Link building basics
Multiple referring domains
Why is it necessary to get backlinks from multiple and unique referring domains? That’s because it’s not only vital for rankings, and unique websites do give you better rankings, but it also gives you more traffic. What you want, however, is to build backlinks for specific pages that you want to rank for.
Domain authority of the referring site
Quality websites have high authority domains pointing towards them while low-quality websites rely on cheap and low-authority domains. Different websites have different domain authority DA, and they are treated differently by Google and other search engines.
Moz has a toolbar for this purpose which is quite effective in knowing the domain authority of a website. Try to get backlinks from high-quality and high DA websites. This will increase organic traffic as well as your website rankings.
Dofollow and Nofollow backlinks
Dofollow backlinks are active links that when clicked upon, refer to your website and thus directly increase the traffic. No followed links are not helpful in PageRank but they have their significance. They do increase the traffic and market your brand and website.
Anchor text is the text in which the links are wrapped and where people click to get to the destination of that link. These are important in SEO and must contain relevant keywords for better optimization. Backlinks that are not related to your overall topic do not benefit your website as much as relevant text anchor text does.
You must have backlinks that are relevant to your website topic and overall theme. Otherwise, Google will consider this backlink as purchased or spam and this will negatively impact your ranking. Always strive for relevant backlinks through white hat SEO techniques. That’s really important in our off-page SEO beginner’s guide.
Other important elements of off-page SEO
Social Media signals
Although Google refutes the effect of social media shares, likes, and other activities, however, it is believed by many experts that social media matters. This might not be in the form of direct rankings but the form of branding, awareness, traffic, and word-of-mouth marketing.
The best thing, in this case, is to build a genuine social media audience and have an overarching strategy for different social media platforms.
Reviews of your business
If you have positive reviews on different sites, and if your visitors are mostly ranking you high on different platforms, then you have a great chance of improving your rankings on Google.
Links that are important for off-page SEO
Building Backlinks is the core of any off-page SEO strategy, and hence search engines prefer backlinks to know the quality of the linked content. Websites having high DR will find it easy to rank with fewer backlinks.
Links are categorized into three main types-
- Natural Links
Natural links are provided naturally by the editors, and no requests are placed to get them. Ex-if you are a makeup artist, and you link any of your beauty product’s pages, which is a natural link.
- Manual link building
Manual link building refers to link-building activities. This involves collaborating with the influencers to link your site or get backlinks in exchange for guest posts, etc.
- Self-made links
These links are made by adding links to any online directory or blog commenting. It would be best not to overdo self-made links as it may practice the black-hat SEO technique. So, be very careful while using this option.
It is not so important that the process through which you are earning links, but it is essential to know that your SEO technique would value only when the equity of your links is high.
Factors that contribute to high equity links are-
- The site of linking is a popular one
- Anchor texts are used on the linking sites
- The linking site is a trustworthy one
- The linking site’s topic is relevant to the site being linked to
- How fresh the links are
- Amount of other links on the linking page
- DA and PA of the linking website
- Internal Linking
Internal linking refers to the links on your website taking you to another web page of the same domain. These type of links helps you to stay ahead in the ranking.
- External Linking
External links are also known to be outbound links. These are the links that come from or take you to another domain. External links are essential as they help your content better understand by providing different topics to cover on the page.
External links play a significant role in ranking on search engines, and they can’t be controlled unfairly. External link passes one link from one website to another.
Hence, getting backlinks from high authority websites can help you rank better on Google and other search engines as they give a hint about the quality of the content linked on the website.
Wrapping up our off page SEO beginner’s guide, we’ll advise you to pay attention to Dofollow backlinks but also generate nofollow links as well. Along with that, you must not ignore social media and platforms such as Quora and Pinterest to increase your brand awareness and reach.
This might not help you in rankings on Google but it surely will help you get more attention from potential blogs and websites that may use your content as referring work. In doing that, make sure that you use quality backlinks and do not go for the quantity that has no value. Also, always use white hat techniques to avoid penalties from Google.