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Off-page SEO – a comprehensive guide to

What is off-page SEO?

“Off-page SEO” is the search engine optimisation activity you do away from your website to help your business rank well in organic search results. It is an effective SEO technique used to tell Google that people trust and value your business or website.

Off-page SEO factors include link building, digital PR, brand reputation management, social signals, and reviews. Essentially, it is the “self-promotion” of your company, brand, or website. Most businesses engage in off-site SEO as part of their overall marketing activity, but just don’t know that it’s also an SEO tactic.

While on-page optimisation is often prioritised, don’t underestimate the power of off-page SEO. You might struggle to significantly improve your search rankings if you don’t use both these strategies.

What’s the difference between off-page and on-page SEO?

On-page SEO is the optimisation of the pages on your website to help you rank well. Off-page SEO refers to ranking factors outside your website, such as backlinks and reviews. Both strategies require a site to have good quality content.

There are three main differences between off-page and on-page SEO.

Optimisation vs. promotion

On-page SEO is how you optimise your website, while off-page SEO is how you promote your site or company. This promotion should then get people to visit your website.

Control

On-page is what you can change on your site, within your control. Off-page is often out of your control so can be more difficult to manage and improve.

Time

With on-page SEO, you can make quick changes to your site and see the results within hours, days or weeks. Off-site SEO can be more time-consuming and it can take months to see results.

Which technique is better?

Neither. On-page and off-page SEO should work together to increase your organic rankings. Doing one without the other will stop you from reaching your full potential in organic search.

There’s only so much content optimisation you can do until you find yourself asking, “why am I stuck ranking behind this competitor?” The likelihood is, they’ve also been promoting their content and building a great reputation.

Although off-page SEO is generally more effort, investing in it will reward your site in the long-term.

Why is off-page SEO important in 2021?

Google uses off-page SEO factors when deciding whether to rank a particular page or site. How authoritative and valuable a site is to real users is a strong ranking factor in the algorithm. This is measured by the number, quality, and relevance of inbound links pointing to a website.

Positive brand mentions and online PR are also important. Algorithms have evolved to understand the relationship between entities online, which means they can understand the sentiment of your company based on what other websites are saying about it.

For example, Google will understand “upUgo” and “great” as separate entities. But, if Google sees both these entities together often, it will start to understand the relationship between the them. The algorithm will learn to connect them together as “upUgo is great”. And because this is a positive sentiment, it will eventually help upUgo’s rankings.

This concept also works the other way round. So, if a company is often mentioned negatively online, it could harm their SEO.

Entities and SEO are making it even more important for businesses to manage their online reputation. In the future, this will become an even bigger focus for off-page SEO.

Tip – Search engines only care about giving users a good experience. The more “votes of confidence” you can get to convince them to send people to your site, the better.

How to do off-page SEO

Off-site optimisation is generally about getting backlinks, brand mentions, reputation building, and social signals.

It should form part of an integrated marketing strategy, aligned with brand, PR, and social media activity.

The digital PR activity should include getting relevant backlinks as a goal. SEOs should then complement this with targeting link building. Likewise, the brand and PR teams should ensure online reputation management is at the forefront of their activity.

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