Your Page SEO Guide (Part 2): What is Off-Page SEO?

Sarah Kincius
November 5, 2019

When it comes to SEO, we tend to define optimizations by what we can do directly on our websites or those of our clients. Sometimes, however, you can achieve more of the results you’re looking for by working off-page.

While Part 1 of our SEO guide explored on-page SEO, it’s Part 2’s turn for some screen time. To learn more about what off-page SEO is, read on.

What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO, also called off-site SEO, is a series of optimizations made beyond your website to improve its rankings on the SERP.

Off-page SEO gets help from well-known online sources to improve the perceived quality of your website.

Factors influencing this perception are your site’s:

  • Authority – How actual, factual, and recognized is your site?
  • Relevance – How well does your site address a user’s query?
  • Trustworthiness – How much confidence do users have in your site’s information?
  • Popularity – How many visitors does your site have regularly?

What are off-page SEO techniques?

Unlike on-page SEO, off-page SEO employs fewer tactics.

One of the most important is backlinking. Put simply, backlinking occurs when other websites link to yours.

Generally, the more valuable links your site has from online sources, the greater its chances are of getting a higher rank in the SERP.

Other factors contributing to a link’s equity are its:

  • Relevance – Does the linking site relate to the written content in some way?
  • Crawlability – Can search engine crawlers index it?
  • Location – Is it in the main text of the linking site or the footer text only?
  • Occurrence – Are there too many links on a page of a linking site?
  • Site’s Authority – Is the linking site reputable?
  • Page’s HTML Status – Is the link on a page with an acceptable status code (in the 200s or a 301)?

There are 2 types of backlinks you should try to have other sites make:

  • Natural backlinks – links that another site makes “naturally” to your site
  • Manual backlinks – links that you “manually” request another site to make

While they can help increase the number of backlinks you receive, other off-page methods you can try out to improve your site’s SERP ranking are:

  • Social media – promoting your site on your own channels or receiving shout-outs from influencers and others on the same networks
  • Guest blogging – writing featured content on other sites to spread the word about yours

No matter what off-page tactic you try, remember that the quality of your links matters much more than the quantity (i.e. number) of links you have.

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

Off-page SEO gets its name mixed up with on-page SEO all the time. Here’s a quick summary of the differences between these two types of SEO.  

On-page SEO is about what you can optimize on your web pages to show them in the SERP.

Off-page SEO is what other sources off and away from these pages can do to boost your site’s ranking.

Although both on-page and off-page SEO care about what users and search engines think, off-page SEO is more of a convincing strategy whereas on-page SEO is more of a constructing strategy.

While there’s some overlap between them, you’d primarily use on-page SEO to build up your site and off-page SEO to promote it.

That said, and despite any differences, you’re going to need both to have the best SEO strategy.

Love the SEO content? Check out our 2019 technical SEO checklist. To experience even more of our search engine optimizing expertise, request an audit from us. 

Sarah Kincius

Sarah Kincius is a Naperville resident and student at Loyola University Chicago. She loves going to the Green Mill to read whatever’s etched on the bathroom stalls (and to listen to the music, of course). Sarah is currently teaching herself Italian from a book she found in Wisconsin.

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