Off Page SEO - Complete Guide

Off Page SEO: A Guide to Increase Authority

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
Table of Contents

Off-Page SEO has a huge role in the entire SEO practice to rank your web pages higher in SERP.

As a beginner or expert, you should understand the whole concept, techniques, and methodology under off-site SEO to improve the trust and authority of your website.

There have been many spammy off-page SEO practices, but Google guidelines look for E-E-A-T guidelines to understand the quality of a website. Any quality website completely depends on the number of authoritative links they earn.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO works in relevant external websites for backlinks to improve a website’s rankings. These strategies frequently include guest posting, press releases, HARO, directory submission, social media marketing, and more.

This practice aims to increase the trust and authority of your website, as the links buy credibility from relevant and authoritative external websites.

Off-site SEO is about working on relevant, high authority, and trustworthy websites to get features by adding relevant information that matches their audience’s needs.

Why Is Off-Page SEO Important?

One of the key ranking factors is backlinks, which is a part of Off-Page SEO strategy. Off-site SEO is important to build your website’s credibility, authority, and visibility.

Here are a few important ways to develop an Off-Page SEO strategy for your website.

  1. Build Authority – It is essential to build authority for your website to stand out from the competition in the SERP. Links from relevant external websites help to add authority to your websites in front of search engines.
  2. Improve Visibility – SEO is a long-run game, and you can’t see an overnight result. But, building links from external websites or posting your post in relevant social media groups can bring your target audience to your website.
  3. Increase Brand Awareness – Off-page helps your website reach a wider audience with precise principles like earning links for high authority and relevant websites with millions of organic traffic.
  4. Enhance Social Proof – Social proof is another ranking factor. It builds credibility and trust in search engines if your content or brand name is discussed in social media forums or groups.
  5. Increase Traffic – Link building gets more referral traffic to the website. At the same time, it helps increase the organic position in SERP. Thus your website gets more organic traffic too.

Role of Backlinks in Off-Page SEO

Backlinks are all in off-site SEO, and link building is one of the strategies to get organic citations.

Link building is the process of establishing links from external websites to your website. These links are referred to as backlinks in SEO.

If a web page has more backlinks from high-authority websites, Google may perceive it as having more authority, eventually benefiting the web page to get higher organic visibility.

What Are Nofollow and Dofollow Backlinks?

Every link has two attributes that pass information to crawlers on the link equity. They are dofollow and nofollow.

A “Nofollow” tag instructs search engines not to pass the link equity to the linked web page. They don’t share both authority and spam

An example of Nofollow link is

<a href=”https://www.example.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Growth Marketing</a>

As a result, they frequently don’t help you improve your search ranking or visibility.

Every website owner wants dofollow backlinks. Just keep in mind that links from trustworthy websites are the most valuable.

However, some dofollow links are considered harmful or “toxic.” These links are obtained by breaking search engine terms of service or from dubious websites.

The strength of a website’s backlinks, not their quantity, determines how well it ranks. 

What Is Link Building?

Link building is approaching an external website with high relevancy and authority to link your web pages.

A web page is considered a quality web page if it receives a lot of backlinks from relevant and high-authority websites.

Quality of web pages being a basic search engine algorithm, it’s important to understand that not all backlinks contribute authority. 

Additionally, since obtaining links from outside websites is a significant ranking factor, it presents a challenge for the SEO sector.

Best Practices on Link Building

Understanding that link building takes time if you’re developing a strategy is crucial—a link-building technique known as the “skyscraper technique” to increase search traffic by 10x.

How highly you rank in search engines and results is heavily influenced by the pages where you build links, particularly the quality and authority of those pages.

The obvious way to get links pointing to your website is through blogging.

Numerous other tried-and-true methods are available to build the best connections and improve your ranking in the SERPs.

Guest Posting Techniques:

The primary off-page SEO practice that matters the most in earning authority and trustworthiness is guest posting.

We recommend more than 50% of your effort towards outreaching out as a guest writer.

Guest posting is the practice of posting an article on another website. This helps to boost website traffic and brand recognition, as it transfers link equity from the external website.

Guest blogging is an important off-page SEO strategy. To do this, you should get in touch with relevant blogs or websites and offer to write an article for them.

The bottom of guest authors’ pieces typically links to their websites. Here are a few techniques to outreach relevant websites for guest writing to build authority.

Opportunities from Competitor Referring Domains

When it comes to SEO practice, irrespective of On Page or Off Page, competitors are your information hub.

You can check the competitor’s referring domain with the help of professional SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush.

Competitor Referring Domain by Ahrefs

Once you get the details of the competitor’s referring domains, you can filter the most important domains to work with.

We would suggest to go for dofollow links, and domains with minimum 1000+ organic traffic per month.

It doesn’t mean, you should never choose websites that provide nofollow links. As an initial task, complete all the dofollow opportunities, and later you can focus on nofollow referring domains.

Once you get the list of referring domains as per the filter, you can download and outreach to the website owners.

Connect with Content Marketing Websites

Websites that offer high-quality content related to a specific subject or industry, like blogs, articles, press releases, and videos, are known as content marketing sites.

These websites are in huge demand for valuable content and expertise author in the niche. If you’re one with expert knowledge, winning-strategies, case studies, you can be a contributor.

You can either link to your website on any relevant anchor text or you get a link to your website from author box.

Since, author box provides search engine a sign of the content crafter by an expert, don’t miss having your link in author box.

These backlinks are of high authority, trustworthy, and feature your business brand name in the internet.

Contribute to Content Marketing Websites

Search engine journal is one such content marketing website that accept contents on marketing. So, find such content marketing in your niche, approach them with valuable, and fresh content idea.

Replace Your link with Broken Outbound Links of External Website

Replacing broken (404) outbound links on relevant external websites with working web pages (200) on your website is a crucial part of link building strategy. 

When you find broken link of external and relevant website, you get a chance to connect them with a context.

Contact the website admin with bunch of pages with outbound broken links. Never go with a single broken pages, as they might find low value in your maul and solve themself.

Besides the huge details, request them on updating their content, as the website owner wouldn’t have updated the content in recent times.

Be open in the content updation, it can be

  • an update,
  • a case study,
  • a data presentation,
  • a valuable pointer.

In such a way, you get the accessibility to edit their content, add helpful content to their web page, and link back to your website.

To operate this off-page SEO strategy, you should use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to get the broken outlines of the external websites.

Outbound Broken links by Ahrefs

Updating the Existing content of External Websites

This is one of the off-page SEO strategy that could help you earn links to your website. Have you seen in SERP, where past years would be ranking.

For example,

  • Best SEO Company in San Francisco 2022,
  • Top 10 Growth Hackers 2021.
Outdated Content Example in SERP

These are examples of outdated content. Every industry evolves in a great speed, as technology evolves rapidly.

A strategy of 2021 or earlier is just a history for 2023 practices and is of no use to the readers. Thus, Google loves fresh content.

Freshness doesn’t mean, changing only the years in the content.

But, pretty sure, the content would be outdated, if a website owner didn’t changed the year.

It’s not the website owner fault all the time, as they might be held in producing new content.

Here is the opportunity for you to pitch with your idea of updating the outdated web page. Don’t fail to add a reference of your previous work where you update the page, and it attracted higher position in SERP.

If your pitch is good, no one will say no. You update the content and earn a link back to your website.

Press Release

There are many digital media available worldwide that speak about business, industry, startups, success stories, new acquisition, etc.

These websites are generally viewed by millions of users everyday, and they are of highly authoritative websites.

Every corporates have PR (public relations) team that are responsible for featuring their brand name in digital media, and the process is press release.

By generating backlinks from such reputed websites can boost your website authority.

Be aware of the spam website as it might dilute the purpose of the press release and would lead to penalty from search engines.

Be cautious on the anchor text, and never worry about nofollow link attribute. Practically, nofollow links do pass authority and not the spam. So, learn and practice to earn quality links from effective press release strategy.

Outreach to HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

Businesses that want to improve their visibility in search engine results pages have a great opportunity, thanks to HARO. 

It links companies or organizations with journalists looking for sources on updates or latest trends on specific industry.

When connections are made successfully, the business receives backlinks from extremely credible websites, which helps them raise their positions in SERPs and expand their exposure on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Due to its high followers, trustworthiness on these websites is compared to conventional advertising methods like banner ads or sponsored posts on blogs/websites.

It also gives them access to potential customers they might not have been able to reach otherwise.

HARO can be an excellent tool for businesses looking to increase organic traffic and website authority through link-building efforts and relationship management strategies.

Get Brand Mentions in Authority Websites

Brand mentions effectively give your website more authority and trust factors. This acts as a vote for your business, and every brand featuring with a link back to your website increases organic visibility. 

Obtaining these links from dependable sources can help your website’s reputation with potential customers and demonstrate to Google that you have the support of reliable sources.

This will increase the organic traffic generated by searches for your products or services while generating worthwhile backlinks that will eventually boost your search engine rankings.

It is important to activate Google alert for your brand name. So, you will be notified whenever your brand name feature in any online articles. It could be ease for you to reach them for a link back to your website, which is a natural citation.

Answering platforms like Quora

There are many question and answers platform, and it differs from industry to industry. But, some platform are common and preferred irrespective of niche. One of them is Quora.

Do you know, Quora has an organic traffic of 173.9 million per month. It’s huge number, getting a little share of traffic to your website can help search engines to understand real-world user experience.

If you’re an expert in your niche, you can answer maximum of questions, and the user who are benefited by your answers would upvote, this could reach to other thousands of users in Quora.

This helps to increase brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, and eventually build a strong authority and trustworthiness.

Use Social Media and YouTube

Social media marketing is the backbone of link building strategies. Every company has all social media accounts, but the question here is how well they are optimized.

A social media account should have the proper logo, cover picture, complete details about the business, website, and mail link. The post should follow consistent color format with consistent posting pattern.

The main purpose of social media is to create brand awareness with engaging contents. This could help your audience to reach your website.

When you engage with various groups in respective social media with your resources (case studies, blog, etc.), it could be shared with the forum and increase your web page’s social share. 

Directory Submissions (N.A.P. Citation) with Positive Reviews

There is a debate still exist in the internet, whether directory submission works today? The answer is yes, but the choice of website matters.

Yelp or yellowpages drive millions of traffic. Many customers search in these directories to choose the best service provider.

In such case, can you deny, link to your website from yelp or yellowpages don’t increase authority or transfer traffic?

Definitely not! Directory submission are also referred to as N.A.P. citations (Name, Address, Phone Number).

To ensure that all information about your company is consistent across all directory listings and that they are taken into account by search engines, make sure to submit your business information to directories.

To help people easily recognize you as a genuine business entity online, ensure your name, address, and phone number are the same on all listing sites.

Positive reviews added to these listings will help you establish a stronger online presence and foster trust with prospects and customers researching your services and products before deciding whether to do business with you.

For these directory submissions, work with only high-quality websites, like Yelp or Google My business, etc.

How to Choose Websites for Link Building

As of now you have learned the concept of link building, and the ways to earn them as per Google guidelines. Now, it’s time to throw the ball over, how to identify a legitimate website to earn links.

There are few factors that we follow and avoid that the common crowd does. This makes our practice to stand out of the peer by dominating the organic visibility.

As you understand from the previous sections that backlinks can increase authority and trustworthiness. Google looks at page rank (which is a patent of Google), to calculate the authority of the web page.

Page rank increases, as the number of high authoritative, relevant referring domain increases.

But, how to choose high authority websites? Here are few parameters we validate with every website before outreaching.

  1. Relevancy of the website
  2. Traffic for our relevant keywords
  3. Organic traffic should be minimum 1000 per month in target location
  4. Referring domain should be higher than outbound domains
  5. Referring domains should not fall even though Organic traffic fall down
  6. Never look at DA or DR of the website

Relevancy:

More important parameter to earn a link from a website is to check whether the website is relevant to your domain.

Practically, you should check how many number of indexed web pages does the website around your niche.

Example: Your niche is “protein.”

Go to search bar, type site:externaldomainname/ intitle:protein, and press enter. You will get all the indexed web pages around the keyword in the website.

How to Check Relevant website to your Niche

We recommend to validate any website relevant to your niche, only if they have 30+ indexed article on the keyword you placed.

Organic Traffic from Keywords Relevant to Your Website:

Once you found any website relevant, the next step is to calculate the number of organic traffic it gets from your relevant keywords.

To do this, you can use premium SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Place the domain of the outreaching website and go for site explorer or domain explorer.

Discover all the organic keyword the website rank for your relevant keyword in the target country.

Identifying the traffic volume from relevant keywords of competitor

Once you get the complete list, you can filter the keywords to check the organic traffic of relevant key terms. If you find good amount of organic traffic from your relevant keywords, the backlinks from such website can increase your authority.

If you find, there is no keyword rank relevant to your niche, it’s time to quit that website.

Organic Traffic in Target Location Should be Minimum 1000/month:

The third criterion to validate is, whether the website has minimum 1000 organic traffic per month in the target country.

Many off-page SEO professionals prefer to choose website only based on Domain Authority (DA) by Moz. But, there are maximum of bookmarking, classified, and directory websites have high DA with zero traffic.

How come a high authority site (as per DA) can get zero organic traffic? So, DA is not the only parameter to conclude whether a website is authority. Hence, we check the organic traffic as per Ahrefs or SEMrush in the target country.

Referring Domains vs. Outbound Domains:

Websites that link to yours from their content are known as referring domains. In other hand, outbound domains are the websites your web pages link.

Referring domains is like the number of votes your website receives, and in contrast, outbound links are the votes you dispatch to other wesbites.

So, it’s always better to work with the website having higher referring domains compared to outbound domains.

When a website has more than 2x outbound domains than referring domains, it is considered as a practise of link scheme. Avoid such websites, as they are spam websites.

Relation between Organic Traffic and Referring Domains:

There is a relation between organic traffic and referring domain to understand any website penalized as they are under link scheme.

Here is the way to find outDrop in organic traffic is common (as it associates with several factor). But, drop in referring domains in synchronize with traffic drop is what you should be more cautious.

Avoid building links from such websites, as it could make your website spammy and lose the organic visibility.

Anchor Text

The clickable text on which the link is inserted (hyperlink) are known as the anchor text. These clickable text convey the relevancy of link it carries.

So, anchor text should be descriptive, concise yet shouldn’t be keyword rich.

Do’s – Anchor Text:

  • More descriptive
  • Write naturally possible
  • Nearby links should be spaced with contents

Don’ts – Anchor Text:

  • Don’t be generic (read more, click here, website, etc.)
  • It shouldn’t be weird long
  • Avoid too many links to each other

Also, check Google’s recent guidelines on links.

Should You Check DR and DA?

DA (Domain authority) is a metric by Moz, Ubersuggest, and DR (Domain Rating) is the metric by Ahrefs that claims to determine the authority score of a website.

But, does Google know DA or DR? Is DA or DA a ranking factor? Definitely not.

Google has only metric—Page ranks as per their guidelines, and no tool calculate the exact value of PR of any web page.

Search engine journal in their article on “Top SEO Scams” have stated DA based link building is the 1st scam that’s rolled out in SEO industry.

So, avoid checking these metric, and practice on other important parameters as discussed above.

You should only understand the parameters that Moz or Ahrefs or SEMrush use to calculate DA or DR, not the score for link building.

Spam Score:

Install the Moz extension on your Google Chrome account, and then click the website’s spam score.

This is not the real spam score, yet understand the parameter, how Moz calculate the spam score of the website.

You can check the above parameter in this article and conclude the website as spam, if they don’t follow.

E-E-A-T Guidelines on Link Building:

Recently, E-A-T has updated as E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authoritative, Trustworthiness). EEAT has huge role in link building.

Every off-page SEO experts look for a high authority website, and same way Google does.

What does Google look for Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness from the link building.

  1. Expertise Content – The link you look to build should be from expert author on the niche. The content should be compelling, with 10x content strategy, and have all relevant data points.
  2. Authoritative Author – Author box helps search engines to understand the profile of the writer. A copy writer can’t provide authoritative content on medical topic. So, it should be written by any physicians. Linking to the credentials (website, social media) of the author is another validity measure.
  3. Trustworthy Author and website – Finally, the website you earn link should be highly trustworthy—the website should have complete details on about us, contact, and terms and condition pages. The web page should have outbound link profile, and the website should have high reputation on overall.

Choose the website to earn links that follow the above guidelines and maintain high standards.

How to Remove Spam (Bad) Backlinks?

Spam backlinks are common issue that increases when your website grows organically. Increasing spam backlinks with dofollow attribute can lead your website spammy.

You can’t remove these links from the referring domains. Instead, you can disavow the authority or link juice passed from the spam websites.

Backlinks should only be removed if

  • you have a sizable amount of spammy, fake, or untrustworthy links pointing at your website, and
  • the links have prompted a manual action on your site or most likely will do so in the future.

Google makes a lot of effort to prevent actions on external websites from adversely affecting a website. In some cases, incoming links may impact Google’s assessment of a page or website. 

In some case, natural or by black-hat link building technologies, spam backlinks point to your website using paid links or other link schemes that go against Google’s rater quality standards. 

First and foremost, you should disavow all spammy domain transferring link equity.

Make a list of links you want to remove:

Create a text file you will upload to Google with your list of websites or pages you want to disavow.

Per line, only one URL or domain should be disavowed. You are unable to reject an entire subpath. Add “domain” before a domain (or subdomain) to disavow it.

The file must be a text file in either 7-bit ASCII or UTF-8 encoding. The name of the file must end in.txt.

A URL can have a maximum of 2,048 characters. 100,000 lines, including blank and comment lines, and 2MB is the maximum file size.

You can add comments by beginning a line with the hash symbol (#) if you’d like. Google will ignore any lines that start with a #

Conclusion

It all comes down to responding to user inquiries regarding improving the content experience. It would be best if you approached it with the understanding that the work you put in now will pay off later, improving your search engine ranking and bringing you the desired success.

In conclusion, Off-Page SEO is an essential element of SEO as it helps to increase your website’s ranking on search engine result pages, gain more organic traffic, and build trust and authority. 

Off-Page SEO involves creating backlinks, quality content, and engaging with other websites. It also involves building social signals, improving internal linking, and using other off-page techniques. 

All these factors help to improve website visibility, increase user engagement, and generate more leads for your business.

Picture of Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

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