Hang on tight, we're going off page 📑
Off-page SEO refers to any actions taken off of a site owner’s main website to support search engine rankings. These activities include things like social media engagement and sharing, building valuable backlinks, and fostering branded searches.
In short, it’s anything a brand or business uses outside of their own domain to remind Google that they’re valuable, trustworthy, authoritative experts.
Google asserts that good websites link to good websites. It also favors websites in searches that establish E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. When a reputable, authoritative website creates a backlink – that is, that authoritative name includes a link to another website – Google is further convinced that the linked website is valuable. They’re “vouching” for the quality of the site they linked.
Why does off-page SEO matter?
Anyone who has ever tried to nab the number one spot for a keyword will tell you that the internet, specifically Google, is highly competitive. Short of immediately shooting to the first page on every keyword you’re targeting, which is not likely to happen, the best way to get a site noticed by the public is to build a backlink. This pathway becomes incredibly important, both to users and to search engines.
This is because Google wants to give people the best possible search results when a query is typed into the search box.
For example, if you looked up ‘homemade focaccia recipes,’ there are 5,060,000 results returned. It’s up to the search engine to determine which one of these links it thinks is the most ‘valuable.’ The ones you will see on the first page are the ten or so that it has decided, through a combination of on and off-page SEO, are the most worth the searcher’s time.
Part of why it decided this could be because these top results are sites with high-quality, link-worthy content that has, over time, been linked externally enough that the search engine is now convinced that they’re trustworthy experts in homemade focaccia.
Backlinks aren’t the only factor
There’s a clear correlation between backlinks and Google rankings, but they’re not the only part of off-page SEO to consider. Google themselves have gone on record saying that their Quality Rater Guidelines rely on a site’s off-page reputation, not just if they’ve been linked to. It’s a process they call ‘reputation research’. On top of backlinks, they also factor in reviews, recommendations from expert sources, and mentions or links on high-authority sites like Wikipedia.
Types of off-page SEO
Off-Page SEO and social media
Social media is considered part of off-page SEO as it does not take place on the business’s main website. The obvious way social media’s presence as off-page SEO benefits a site is when a campaign or post gets a lot of attention. A successful post may garner a wave of new followers, which will turn into clicks back onto the site itself.
Not only that, but Google will surface recent tweets from brands that carry the organic SERPs for some keywords – you might have seen these posts at the top of search results in the past. If you search for a brand name, especially a popular one, you’ll likely see a few of their most recent tweets skimming the top of your search.
Influencer marketing is another way off-page SEO and social media go hand in hand. When a social media influencer promotes, mentions, or links to a business, it can create a shockwave of attention and traffic.
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