Off-page SEO components contribute to robust site traffic opportunities.
Search engine optimization is an evolving practice of content tactics, marketing strategies, and creative campaigns, but there’s always room for more SEO diversity. That’s why smart marketers continue to dig for traffic opportunities both on-site and off-page.
Keyword optimization and unique on-page content are website SEO 101, but when it comes to building a robust online presence, best practices call for stepping outside your own URL.
On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO
Search engine optimizers often dedicate a disproportionate amount of work into on-page SEO tactics. Website improvements such as site speed, content and keyword focus, and a streamlined user experience are all par for the course when your goal is to develop strong on-site optimization. While the world of on-page SEO has become more complex, components such as content headings, meta descriptions, image tags, and all the in-betweens are still important, which is why many marketers spend so much time perfecting them.
But only so much can be done on-site to improve your position on search engine results pages (SERPs), and seasoned marketers will tell you that off-site optimization tactics are just as essential to well-rounded SEO practices.
If your on-site SEO elements tell SERPs what you do (through keywords and content), off-site SEO tells SERPs what others think of you (through backlinks and virtual stamps of approval). Are you reputable? Can you be trusted? How many outside sources back up the claim? Off-site search engine optimization is the yin to your on-site yang, completing the picture SERPs use to rank your website’s pages and content.
Off-Page SEO Best Practice Musts
In broad strokes, to attempt to manage off-site SEO is to try to control your perceived reputation, which is tricky business. Early black hat tactics saw sites making false claims, buying up backlinks, and weaselling their way to the top of results pages by manipulating search engine algorithms. Today, algorithms are more savvy than ever, and off-site black hat tactics are a quick way to get penalized by Google for unsavory SEO practices.
That said, off-site SEO is still crucial, and it’s important to at least cover the basics. Here are a few best practice musts for off-page search engine optimization:
- External links: If off-site SEO strategies were boiled down to a single-word solution, some marketers would say “links” are the secret sauce. The number of links, how reputable each is, and where on your website backlinks point can paint a virtual highway along which search engines can map and follow your online reputation. In his extensive breakdown of off-page SEO elements, renowned marketing guru Neil Patel calls links the most important factor as far as SEO is concerned because “natural links from authoritative and relevant websites act as an independent ‘vote of confidence’ that helps search engines trust your website.”
- Evergreen content: Arguably an on-site component, creating evergreen content – infographics, lists, how-to guides, eBooks, applications, and a plethora of always-useful written and visual content – provides those outside websites with a reason to link back to your page, product, or brand message. The easier it is to share and understand your evergreen content, the more likely it is to attract external links.
- Social media presence: There was once a time when all businesses believed a Facebook page was necessary for online success. This was never the reality, but finding and feeding your social media audience can dramatically influence your online reputation. When you’ve got your finger on the social media pulse most appropriate for your industry, you’re able to help steer the online conversation around your brand by engaging with users.
Backlinks, content marketing, and social media only scratch the surface as far as off-site SEO is concerned. That said, each of these elements is ripe with opportunity when utilized to help support your brand’s message and complement your on-site optimization efforts.
Creating A Symbiotic SEO Experience
Herein lies the real secret to off-page SEO success. Without on-site elements, off-page SEO has nowhere to go, and without off-page endorsements, on-site content holds little weight. The trick is to blend off-page SEO best practices (backlinks, content) with on-site optimization musts (keyword focus, content) to create a symbiotic, cohesive network that supports your brand across the web. You want both internal and external elements working for you. Search engine optimization is a complicated puzzle, and you need all the pieces to face the same direction to make sense of the big picture.