How Off-page SEO Has an Impact on Your Google Search Rankings
Updated on: 20 August 2021
When it comes to improving your website’s Google search rankings, there are various ways you can go about achieving that desired first-page spot. As we have highlighted in our previous two articles, search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in various forms. Each of them plays a different yet no less important role in helping you achieve your goal of reaching that number one spot.
Overlooking even a single aspect is equivalent to missing a required tool in your toolbox when you are repairing an appliance; you wouldn’t be able to fix it completely. As such, when you omit any aspects of SEO, you will likely find your website’s performance suffering as a result. So now that we have covered technical and content SEO, let us share what you need to know about Off-page SEO.
What is Off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO describes the actions you take outside of the website to improve your rankings within the search engine results pages (SERPs). It is not just about having your links on other websites; it can also include mentions of your brand, such as your website URL or brand name, in their content without having a hyperlink attached.
As digital marketers, we tend to start with on-page SEO when optimising our website. However, it is crucial for us to note that whatever happens outside our website is also just as important. After all, the things that matter to Google’s algorithm can also happen outside your website.
The importance of Off-page SEO
Try to imagine attending a pitch meeting from the client’s perspective – before hearing your proposal, they would likely want to know about whom they are planning to work with. As such, they may talk to their partners who have worked with your company before. They will probably have questions along the lines of:
- How was their previous partnership with your company?
- What are your employees like?
- Were your previous pitches worth hearing out?
Based on the answers received, they may either hear your proposal out or even have the mind to reject it before you begin your presentation.
Alternatively, the client may choose to observe you, sometimes without your knowledge, to better understand your character before the proposal pitching starts. In this case, how you present yourself outside of work is just as valuable. As JK Rowling once said, “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
This logic also applies to Off-page SEO. Your website’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority can be impacted by other prominent online platforms, such as mentions from other web pages and online reviews by customers. By linking to your website, they are adding credibility to it and boosting its domain authority.
When you have authoritative websites vouching for your content’s quality, search engines like Google will presume you have interesting and trustworthy content that can provide value to its users. After all, why would people take the trouble of linking to your content if it isn’t any good?
How Off-page SEO can be utilised
Search engines, such as Google, are always trying to figure out ways to give their users the best results based on their queries. Therefore, your Off-page SEO strategy is crucial when it comes to rating the usefulness of your webpage or website.
Usually, an informative website that contains content that can bring value to the users will have at least one of the following three traits (or two, or even all of them):
- Having external links appear from other trustworthy sites
- A lot of activity on social media
- Having users express interest and engagement through comments or link sharing
However, just because Off-page SEO depends on what others do or say about your website does not mean you cannot do anything to help it. Here are some tips to help you do so:
Step 1: Identify your target website to build backlinks
While having external websites link to your content does help, it does not mean you should go for any website. Effective link building isn’t just about dropping an email request or contacting any publishing site on the internet to feature your website. Whom you choose to build a backline to is essential.
To determine if the other websites are good choices, you will have to assess them and figure out if your target audience browses those sites often. It is also important to keep a lookout for their domain rating. Make sure that the websites you choose are popular with your target audience, related to your industry, and trustworthy.
Once you have figured out your targets, you have to get them to agree to your request. However, how can you accomplish that? Well, there are two options available to you:
Option 1: Send an email to them requesting them to link to your website, and hope for the best
Option 2: Subtly send hints about your website’s presence. Start by sending a few messages and getting to know the people you may be working with. Once a relationship is established, get the message out there that you can offer them something in return.
Between the two choices, option 2 will likely have a higher rate of success.
Step 2: Building the relationship
Once you have decided on the websites you wish to build backlinks to, you will need to make the first contact with the site owner. Making the first contact with the target is similar to making an impression upon your clients during a pitch. Ease your way in and build familiarity first; otherwise, they may just run for the hills when you ask them for help.
To get your targets to notice you, reach out and connect with them subtly. This can be accomplished by commenting on their content, sharing their content, or maybe even complimenting their work through an email.
The idea is to let your targets be aware that you know about what they do and appreciate their content. It is essential to be sincere with your compliments, and you should not always expect something in return. It takes time to build some semblance of a professional relationship, and sometimes things may not work out in your favour. However, we guarantee your effort will be worth it in the end.
Step 3: Equivalent exchange
After a relationship has been forged, you need to demonstrate what you can offer to your targets that others cannot and become the asset they need. For example, suppose you are an owner of a bakery, and you need help building backlinks for your website. In that case, you may want to consider targeting businesses in the event industry since these companies will need to cater refreshments for their events.
However, providing the refreshments can be accomplished by most bakeries. Your products need to be unique and stand out. To achieve this, you may want to consider offering personalised cupcakes that matches the event’s theme or venue. You may even want to consider building it into a single cupcake tower for the guests to enjoy. Or add messages inside the cupcakes, like a fortune cookie, for guests to have fun with them. Providing unique products will not only benefit the event companies but you as well since the company will want to engage your services.
Important to note: outreach before content publication
Once you have obtained an agreement with your desired website owners, remember to check with them what kind of content they are looking for. A common mistake that digital marketers make is that they first produce the content before reaching out to their target websites to request a backlink. If the content is not what they are looking for, they are unlikely to link back to it.
An effective way to build your website’s Off-page SEO is to focus on the outreach first before producing the content for publication. You may also want to consider letting your partners take a look at your content so they can access its quality. Not only will you get the feedback you need to improve your content, but there is also an increased likelihood of them mentioning your content on their website when it is published.
If you want your website to rank well on Google’s SERPs, Off-page SEO is a vital component that you need to pay attention to. While you should not neglect other aspects of your SEO strategy, building your website’s domain authority and establishing trustworthy backlinks can help immensely with your website’s ranking.
However, if you are struggling to forge relevant backlinks and, as a result, your website’s ranking is dropping, you should consider hiring an SEO expert to review your SEO strategy and provide their opinion on how to improve the visibility of your website. At Impossible Marketing, our SEO consultants have the experience building quality links with websites that possess high domain authority, so if that is what your website is lacking, don’t hesitate to contact us at +65 9374 0111 for help!