What is Off-Page SEO? The Beginner’s Guide
SEO is generally categorised into three major branches:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
Almost all SEO professionals are familiar with all three categories, and what each of these categories includes. However, if you are just starting out in the field of SEO or if you are an online business owner who is trying to understand how search engine optimisation works, it can be a bit confusing.
In this post, we are going to tackle the second category from the list, i.e., off-page SEO.
What is off-page SEO?
As the name suggests, off-page SEO refers to all search engine optimisation activities that are performed outside of your own website — “off-page”.
This can be more easily understood when viewed in context with on-page SEO.
On-page SEO, as you can now guess, refers to search engine optimisation activities that are performed on your website and web pages, for example including keywords on a web page.
On the other hand, off-page SEO involves off-site activities, e.g., creating backlinks from other websites to your website.
Off-page SEO: Link-related activities
Link-building is the biggest component of off-page SEO. When someone talks about off-page SEO, many people automatically assume that they are talking about link-building.
Building backlinks to your website (the homepage of your website) as well as creating links to specific pages of your website is an extremely crucial aspect of search engine optimisation. It is reported that backlinks are one of the top three search engine ranking factors for Google.
That’s why you often see a web page outranking another, seemingly better page in the SERPs — primarily because it has more backlinks. That’s the power of off-page SEO.
Backlinks can be created in a variety of ways:
- Most of the time, backlinks are created naturally without any intervention from the content creator. You just create fantastic content that other people wish to link to because it adds value for their readers.
- Other times, you may have to intervene to build a link — for example by asking other website owners to link to your web page. This can be done via a manual outreach campaign. You can also ask your customers, for example, to link to your website.
- Sometimes, you can also create a backlink more manually, e.g., guest blogging. Guest blogging is a proven method to create backlinks in which you create a blog post for someone else’s blog and publish it there for free. Either within the post or in the author bio of yourself, you create a link that points back to a page on your website.
Off-page SEO: Non-link-related activities
While a major component, link-building is not the only component of off-page SEO. There are other components of off-page SEO — non-link-related activities.
So what are some of the non-link-related components of off-page SEO?
- Social media signals — The more your web page gets shared on different social media websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), the more it is likely to build positive social media signals. These signals help Google understand the value of your page — especially when so many people are sharing it around.
- Trust and authority — This one is a little hard to quantify. But some websites have a higher authority and credibility. That level of trust and authority is created by creating high-quality content consistently.
- Brand mentions without links — Websites usually link to the site when they mention a brand name, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, they just mention the name of a company or brand without actually linking to it. Those brand citations also help build off-page signals.
Now you have a thorough understanding of off-page SEO: what it is, how it is different than on-page SEO, what it entails, and how to build off-page SEO signals to improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Remember, as we mentioned earlier, off-page SEO is an extremely important part of search engine optimisation. You cannot expect to outrank your competitors with excellent on-page SEO alone. You will always need some help from off-page SEO factors as they are an important part of the search algorithm.
Our recommendation is to always work on both on-page and off-page SEO for the best possible results.