When we refer to off-page SEO, we are referring to the things done apart from one’s website which are used to increase the web page’s rankings when they appear in a search engine.
There are many different ways to achieve this.
Some of the most common off-page SEO options include creating backlinks, utilizing branded searches, and finding ways to increase engagement and shares across social media platforms.
These are used to improve all factors of the web site’s popularity and effectiveness, which drive search traffic.
When they are trying to decide the ranking of a webpage versus another, Google looks at many different off-page factors.
One of the most critical factors in this is backlinks, which are a massive part of Google’s algorithm’s foundation.
Many studies have been done to find the correlations between backlinks and Google rankings, and they have shown very apparent and direct results.
It is essential to understand, however, that links are not the only factor in off-page SEO.
Google has said they use many other off-page pieces to rank websites. They have mentioned they also look at a website’s reputation as a large factor to determine if the site can be trusted.
- looking at expert recommendations
- online reviews
- new page mentions on sites with authority (like Wikipedia)
It is important to understand backlinks are the bread and butter of off-page SEO, but they are just one of many factors.
Just having great backlinks, without any other type of SEO or having a poor on-page SEO may yield no results.
To understand off-page SEO, one must also know a little bit about on-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to the things professionals do on their personal websites to assist with the ranking. In other words, these are the things you, the site owner, are able to utilize full control over.
On-page SEO includes things like target keywords, URLs, content, internal links, title tags, and image alt text, unlike off-page SEO, which focuses only on the actions taking place away from the domain site such as links and mentions.
Combining on-page and off-page SEO can dramatically impact the ranking of a website.
E-A-T refers to:
According to Google, E-A-T is one of the top considerations for page quality.
Learning E-A-T content and understanding its pieces is incredibly important.
- Expertise – The website should show the owner is an expert in the field. Showcase the skills of the Main Content creator and make sure it is mentioned in the content. This is especially important for business websites like those in the financial, medical or legal spaces.
- Authoritativeness – The main content should show the creator is an authority figure or has the authoritativeness it demands. Think about conversation and personal experience. Forums and discussions are great for showing authority and driving the quality of exchanges.
- Trustworthiness – Websites need to showcase they are trustworthy as creators and distributors of content. Every aspect of the site should make users feel as though their information is safe. This can be done with the implementation of an SSL certificate on the main page, having accurate and up-to-date information, and even safe checkout environments.
It is all in the name.
Branded queries are queries (or searches) containing the name of the brand as part of the user’s query. Brand, domain, and product searches would all fall into this.
This would also include a physical location which is attached to the name of the brand.
For example, if someone was looking at Reebok, branded queries might consist of:
- Reebok + Product (Nano X)
- Reebok + Location (Reebok America)
- Reebok + Keyword (Reebok Crossfit Shoes)
It is also important to understand the value of navigational queries.
These tend to appear more frequently and higher up on search engines because they are more specific and tell Google more about what is being looked for.
The algorithm is not perfect, though.
There are instances in which the search may seem like a navigational query, but it is actually informational.
If the user types “Twitter” into a search bar, for example, there is a chance they are looking for news about Twitter instead of the actual site. Google knows these scenarios are possible, and learns from them every day, which is why top stories also appear along with the results page to accommodate search queries of all intents.
What About Social Signals?
Social signals refer to the engagements (likes, shares, and comments) content receives on various social media platforms.
In terms of social media marketing, this is a metric of extreme importance for most companies. Learning what social signals mean to the search engines is incredibly important when figuring out how to improve your site rankings.
Though a lot of search engines say they do not use social signals as a ranking factor, in some ways, they do.
There is an indirect impact on SEO.
The more content gets shared across social media, the more likely it is to be seen. This leads to more viewers of the content, and potentially organic links, which can have a significant impact on Google rankings.
Essentially, social signals can have an effect on the search engine’s abilities to find and link to the content.
At the very least, they also drive direct traffic to websites from social media accounts, making it an important element to focus on overall SEO strategies.
Off-Page SEO is Part of the Big Picture
Off-page SEO at first glance may seem more complicated than on-page SEO because a lot of factors are not under direct control, but this is why it is so important.
Focusing on off-page SEO is, ultimately, very important to the determination of website ranking.