Off-page SEO techniques are an incredibly valuable part of SEO and make up roughly half of the SEO process overall.
While on-page SEO can be just as effective, off-page SEO can increase a site’s search engine rankings dramatically if handled correctly and can encompass a range of different tactics.
However, just like any SEO efforts, off-page SEO requires a mixture of solid planning and effective implementation to work.
Whether you are new to off-page SEO or are just trying to get a strategy locked down, it is important to understand how effective off page SEO techniques are chosen.
Off-page SEO can cover a lot of different techniques, all working towards the same goal in very different ways.
Effective off-page SEO involves using this mixture of tools carefully to get the result you want, regardless of what those results might be in the long term.
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Understanding Off-Page SEO
While some people reading this might already know what off-page SEO is, it is important to be absolutely sure that you understand the basics before you start diving into the SEO techniques behind it.
Off-site SEO can really matter in SEO as a whole, but doing it incorrectly can damage your rankings more than it benefits them.
In simple terms, off-page SEO is about doing things on other websites that benefit your own site’s online presence.
This could be building high-quality links with major news sites or gathering up hundreds of small links from personal blogs.
The only real goal of SEO, overall, is to help your website rank higher on search engines.
Before we jump into any defined strategies, you need to know how SEO works and how it can be approached, especially if you do not have experience with it already.
Even people with past SEO experience might need to refresh themselves on how SEO is supposed to work overall, especially if they have not been keeping up to date with Google’s many changes.
What is SEO?
As a simple refresher, SEO is all about optimizing your site for search engines.
SEO focuses on making your website better to appeal to search engines more, which means that you rank higher in relevant search results.
Due to this, you are shown to more users doing a casual search for a similar topic, increasing your reach.
Search Engine Optimization focuses on pushing your site higher in search engine results that are relevant to your business.
For example, a furniture company wants to rank higher for furniture product types that they sell, which means that they are more likely to appear when a user searches for products like that.
What is Ranking?
The ranking is your position in search engine results: the higher you rank for a specific term, the more likely you are to appear higher in search results.
Since most users will only stick to the first page of search engines (and even more will only use the top few results), appearing higher directly translates to more traffic and more business success.
Rankings can be boosted through on-page SEO tweaks, technical SEO adjustments, or off-page SEO that relies on building links from other sites to increase things like your domain authority.
Domain authority is effectively a score of your site’s general SEO quality and the amount of trust that can be put into it, which usually leads to it ranking higher on search platforms.
Of course, there are more ranking factors than just this, such as relevancy and keyword usage.
Most off-page SEO work requires careful planning to get the best results across all important SEO elements.
This means that using the right tactics for each situation can be really important.
Overall, SEO revolves around ranking higher for relevant topics and getting more attention from relevant audiences.
Just attracting more users is not helpful – they need to be potential customers who are interested in sales and services that your business can profit from or who have some other value to your business (such as signing up for newsletters).
What are Keywords?
SEO revolves around keywords, the terms that users are searching for.
A good combination of keywords and ranking boosts ensures that your business appears for the right people at the right time and is more likely to appear higher in search results than the competition.
Good keyword usage impacts how relevant something is.
You ideally want both sites to be relevant and the anchor text of the link (and the link’s surrounding context) to be relevant since this increases your rankings for the related topics.
Irrelevant links can still technically boost SEO, but they will make your site rank for the wrong reasons.
You may get penalized if you are clearly farming unrelated links that have nothing to do with your business.
Keywords are focused on the terms that users are actually searching, which makes it very important that you choose the right ones for external links.
A large part of effective SEO involves figuring out which keywords will have the biggest impact and then capturing them on sites that would boost your rankings for them the most.
Common Off-Page SEO Techniques
Building a good SEO strategy requires very careful consideration of your goals, your SEO niche, and the kind of attention and relevant topics that would help your brand rank higher overall.
While there is a lot to say about off-page SEO as a whole, let’s break down some of the most common tactics first.
These are common because they work and usually form the basis of a site’s SEO in the long term: they are effective enough to be a solid anchor point for every other piece of SEO work.
Whether you have encountered these techniques before or not, understanding them in more detail can help if you are trying to build an off-page SEO plan of your own.
Knowing when and how they benefit your site can help you avoid double-dipping and wasting SEO effort on something that was already technically done.
Remember that SEO is tailored to each site specifically.
While these strategies might be effective, they still need to be implemented in a way that makes sense for your own site – and how you do this depends entirely on your business goals and your long-term SEO expectations.
Link building is the fundamental core of most off-page SEO since the majority of those techniques rely on links to work.
Building quality backlinks from relevant and well-respected websites is the easiest way to push your own site higher in the rankings, as well as increase its overall domain authority and open up some useful connections.
The best links come from high-authority sites that are relevant to your target audience and are placed in content (such as a blog post) that is also relevant to your target audience and the target web page.
Properly building backlinks requires a careful approach: you want links that are relevant, high-quality, not set to nofollow, are not going to be purged or wiped quickly, and are earned through white-hat methods.
While this can leave you with a small pool of ideal links to draw from, building links in general still has benefits.
A proper backlink profile (the collective pool of all links pointing to your site) makes a major difference.
Whether you are using self-created links on social media platforms or arranging for a guest post on a small blog website, a decent backlink can still contribute to your SEO.
The main point of concern with link building is choosing irrelevant or poor-quality backlinks that drag down the rest of the site.
If you are not careful, bad off-page SEO strategies can actively harm your rankings or promote your website to the wrong people, so building the right links is important.
While writing content for your own site is technically already used for on-page SEO techniques, it can also be a good off-page SEO tactic if you are using the content on other websites.
Whether you are paying to put a custom post on a blog or writing content for other platforms that you can link back to your main site, creating unique content allows you to have full control over the link placements and context.
This makes it much easier to target the keywords you want without having to endure edits from a blog owner.
Of course, this also relies on you finding sites that will allow you to place content like this.
This can take a while, but it is still worth having some content ready to use in case the opportunity ever comes along for you to use it.
Broken Link Building
Building links via broken links is a viable option and one that many site owners completely miss out on at first.
Broken links are any links that were once used to point to content that no longer exists, such as an article on a deleted blog.
By approaching sites that have broken links and offering to replace them with your own content, you can effectively hijack the SEO benefits of a site that is no longer able to receive them anyway.
This gives you easy access to an established link buried in some high-quality content.
Of course, broken backlinks still need to be good and relevant to get the proper benefits.
This means that you need to choose the right broken link opportunities for your business rather than simply taking whatever broken links you find, regardless of whether they are relevant or not.
Another option is to reclaim links that your business has already had and lost.
This involves approaching website owners and re-requesting a new link to replace the old one, whether it was lost due to an error on their part or because your site’s URLs have changed.
This can be a very useful option if you are targeting old content that still has relevance to your business.
This also helps if you want to fix issues with URL changes that have damaged your rankings due to a loss of core links.
For example, if you have an old site that used a different address, you can re-claim these links and then redirect traffic to your newer content or replace them with entirely new links aimed at your updated site.
Guest blogging allows you to create guest posts on a blog site or another website arranged between you and the site owner.
This effectively gives you a way to custom-make content to suit your SEO needs, as long as it falls within the site manager’s limits of what guest posts can include.
Planting a custom blog post and link on high-authority sites allows you to benefit dramatically.
The site’s audience is already attracted to the content, meaning you can effectively leverage them to visit your site through natural searches.
This also helps improve the domain authority of your site, as the link can also be seen as a vote of confidence from the site owner and the site’s audience, giving you a bigger push to the top.
As long as the link is not tagged as nofollow, your own website should benefit quite a lot from guest posts.
Of course, not all sites allow guest posts, or they may only allow them if they can make major changes to them.
This could limit your control over what is actually said, so it is important to consider the specifics of each arrangement and how you can maximize the SEO potential of each link that you manage to secure.
As an off-page SEO strategy, guest blogging allows for very precise link placements for maximum quality but usually still needs a high-quantity link profile behind it to ensure that you are ranking as high as possible.
Social Media Marketing
Social media can benefit your SEO since social media signals sometimes benefit your site’s rankings overall.
In some cases, mentions of your brand can count as links in themselves, and having a social media platform gives you another way to link back to your site while also directing traffic to specific pages.
Being responsive and accessible to your audience on social media can actively boost your reputation.
Since brand mentions sometimes count as links in Google’s algorithm, having more community engagement can directly boost your SEO without requiring many natural links.
While it is not part of SEO directly, social media marketing also provides you with an easy way to draw in a wider audience.
This means more brand mentions overall, which can bolster your Google rankings even if you are not directly using social media platforms for SEO.
Joining online communities related to your business and engaging with them as another community member can make a huge difference.
While approaching them with a slew of ads is likely to just get you ignored, actually interacting with the community can enable you to place authentic links while also boosting your reputation.
This not only leads to more brand mentions but also helps cement you as an authority in your particular niche, especially if there are not many other companies within that industry that engage with users at that level.
Posting on forums can allow you to place links on a site that is very relevant to your industry and control the exact keywords that you use, with the added benefit of getting natural traffic through those links, too.
Again, the only downside is the rules of the forum and the way that they might limit natural links in certain ways.
While blog commenting is often seen as a black hat measure, this is only because it is often used to spam links to unrelated sites.
Leaving constructive blog posts or feedback on relevant sites can really help, especially if you are not actually building the entire comment around your link or putting it in a comment signature.
While this can be risky, it is also a good off-page SEO tactic for businesses that are already heavily connected to blogs.
These may not be the highest quality links, but they can still benefit your overall SEO strategy if you approach them in the right way.
In some cases, they might get used as backup links in case the original guest post is taken down.
As long as the site owner has not nofollowed their comment links, you can still benefit from them – and even a nofollowed comment could still acquire natural traffic.
Just remember that comments are not as effective as other SEO methods. While they might work in a pinch, they should not be the core of your SEO and are instead meant as an extra tool for very specific online communities.
Building an Off-Page SEO Strategy
Everything up above was a fairly barebones look at off-page SEO. This is because off-page SEO, like any kind of SEO, can get incredibly complex once you start combining different off-page SEO techniques to target specific goals.
One of the biggest issues you can run into with SEO is not having a decent strategy.
Identifying a single keyword might not be hard, but trying to identify dozens while also keeping track of which ones you are targeting can get confusing, especially if you are not following any kind of structure.
SEO relies on opportunities, but you need to plan around those opportunities rather than just taking them.
Even something as simple as a blog guest post could be used incredibly effectively if you have a plan behind it.
Identify Your Goals
Off-page SEO is obviously meant to improve site-wide SEO and search ranking factors, but this can actually mean a lot of different things.
The goals that you set matter. One business might want to rank as high as possible for a specific keyword, while another may have a double-digit pool of keywords that they want to rank for, depending on their importance.
Neither of these approaches is wrong, but they would completely change the way that you tackle SEO and the overall goals that you are trying to reach by using it.
Make sure that you have at least a decent idea of your overall goals and that you know what kind of results you want to get from SEO.
Your off-page SEO tactics should all be in service of a specific goal, not used at random.
Remember that goals can also change depending on your situation.
You do not need to commit to a single long-term goal: you can always try to prioritize different elements of your SEO based on which one would be the most successful or which one is suffering the most.
However you settle on an immediate goal, make sure that you understand where to focus and what you want to achieve.
This can help direct your SEO efforts towards opportunities that will actually make a difference for your site in the long term.
Understand Your Niche
SEO relies on you choosing relevancy options and pushing for whatever would boost your site rankings the most, and that means relying on whatever niches your business covers.
While there are not any defined niches within SEO itself, you can usually get an idea based on the products and services you offer and the kind of customers that will want them.
For example, a furniture company is obviously focused on furniture as a whole, so you might get the best link opportunities from sites that are also related to furniture or pages that discuss furniture similar to your own products.
This example might be obvious, but it can get more complex with something such as vehicle repair, DIY work, or cooking.
These can cover a lot of individual sub-types of content, and not all of them might be relevant to your brand, so it is important to break down what would actually match your business needs.
While you do not necessarily have to be a part of the industry that you are getting a link from, it still needs to be relevant.
A car hire company could benefit from links from a car review site but not from a site that reviews cooking products.
Use some common sense and explore the kinds of links that you already have in your link profile.
This can help you figure out what kind of niches are most likely to matter to your business, letting you target ones that are actually relevant to your audience.
Understand Your Brand’s Presence
It is also important to break down your brand as a whole to understand what opportunities you might have.
A unique selling point or a new product launch can be the perfect excuse to capture more links.
Even without these excuses, you want to understand how and when users are looking at your brand.
Using SEO reporting and marketing tools can be a great way to see how well you are performing, what your SEO strengths are, and which weaknesses are hitting your business the hardest.
You need to understand your current online presence before you can attempt proper SEO, so it also helps to gather details about your current SEO success.
This can also include your general reputation and how others see you online.
It might be a good idea to search around and see how well your brand is received – especially if you want to boost SEO as a way of improving your overall reputation and attracting a wider audience.
Do not hesitate to include social media in this, too, since these are very user-heavy.
Social media platforms can be just as important as links, and poor social media performance usually means that you have areas of improvement for SEO on social platforms, too.
Decide How You Want to Improve
Building your goals is as simple as deciding which areas of improvement you want to target first – in this case, this can mean deciding what you want to see improve first with off-page SEO.
Sometimes, this is obvious, such as promoting high-performing products or trying to help struggling pages appear higher when users are searching for something similar to them.
In other cases, some websites are struggling to stay above the second page overall, which can be a serious SEO issue that needs addressing if they want to see success.
It does not even have to be tied to marketing directly – you may just want to increase your site traffic or simply improve your online reputation so that you can snowball your SEO in preparation for future big releases.
The important thing is understanding what you want to improve in SEO and using the above to work out where you should start.
SEO is a highly varied field that is tailored to each business’s needs, so there is not a perfect way to approach it.
Choose The Right Off-Page SEO Tactics
There are dozens of different ways to approach SEO as a whole, and no objectively correct answers. This means that choosing the right tactics can really help.
While off-site SEO focuses mostly on building backlinks and reputation, there are a lot of ways to do this.
Your choice of off-page SEO tactics can completely change how you approach the process itself and might even adjust the end goals that you need to aim for.
For example, turning to guest posting can allow you to quickly build links on relevant sites, which naturally means a boost to site SEO.
However, if you are looking to maximize referral traffic, then your guest posting may need to be targeted at other sites that are more conducive to traffic than rankings.
This is important because your goals should be to align with your audience, where the focus is on what they expect and what they value.
You want your site’s off-page SEO to focus on things that connect your audience to your content, which usually means search terms that they are likely to use.
Keep Keyword Research At The Core Of Your SEO
There is no doubt that keyword research is an essential tool for any SEO strategy, but paying attention to it can really help you find high-quality links.
Keyword research can show you which terms are driving the most relevant traffic to your site, whether you are targeting them or not. This opens up new content opportunities and potential link-building options.
The most important aspect of keyword research is to understand that the term “keyword” is not always synonymous with “search term.” While this matters a lot, it can also impact relevancy overall, even if no searching is involved.
For example, if you create a guest posting article on a site relevant to your own but use an unrelated keyword as anchor text, this can influence your SEO in a negative way, even if nobody is actually searching for that term.
Finding keywords relevant to your site is a key part of both off-page and on-page SEO techniques. Knowing what your audience is searching to find you can give you an idea of what to target on Google and other search engines.
In simple terms, always do keyword research. Knowing more about your audience and their searching habits is vital to getting the results you need without having to use trial and error for every single SEO tactic.
Don’t Get Tunnel Vision with On-Page SEO
Your off-page SEO strategy should ideally be part of a larger SEO plan that combines off-page SEO, on-page SEO, and technical SEO all at once.
SEO is a very broad field, so it is easy to focus too much on one task and not enough on another.
For example, while you will obviously find off-page SEO important, try to support it with on-page work as well.
For example, a good off-page SEO strategy could earn you a huge amount of links that increase referral traffic and rankings dramatically.
However, using on-page SEO to improve the chosen landing pages can lead to even more authority (or link juice) from these external links.
This also covers things like influencer marketing, social media management, and even the creation of YouTube videos.
Combining conventional off-page SEO with other marketing tactics and techniques can strengthen them even further.
You do not need to balance these things equally, so it is entirely valid to have a plan that focuses on off-page SEO with only a tiny amount of on-page SEO.
However, it is important not to limit yourself to just one type of SEO if you need something more complex.
Understand Your Options
The off-page SEO strategy options mentioned above in this article are just a few of the many, many ways that you might end up tackling off-site SEO.
It is important to look into your various options and the off-page SEO factors that you want to target before you start building a strategy of your own.
Off-page SEO refers to many different things, so you do not have a single perfect way to approach it.
Between seeking out different inbound links and trying to build a stronger search reputation, the options you choose should depend on what you want to achieve.
It can also help to research what direct Google ranking factor examples you might need to consider and get an understanding of how search engine spiders work.
The more you know about the situation before you start planning, the easier it is to get the results you want.
Important Tips for Off-Page SEO
Since off-page SEO refers to so many different concepts, it can be hard to get a handle on the specific tips that might help.
Thankfully, it is not hard to get the hang of how the process works, at least not once you begin properly planning out your strategies.
Here are some important off-site SEO tips that do not necessarily apply to every situation but are still incredibly useful for maximizing the benefits they will bring you.
Avoid Black Hat Methods
Even if a black hat option (an SEO technique that goes against search engine guidelines) would give you high-authority links, be careful.
Search engines do not like these and will usually penalize any sites that use them, which massively hurts your SEO tactics.
Extreme penalties might even lead to your site being deindexed from search engines entirely, meaning that it will not show up on search results at all.
Include Local SEO
Local SEO can benefit from off-page options just as much as on-page.
It is easy to overlook local SEO, but good local SEO efforts can get you noticed by customers in your local area, which is especially important for physical stores.
Local spaces also have less competition since you are not up against every other business in the industry, meaning that you can dominate local search and social media results.
Mix On-Page and Off-Page SEO
As mentioned before, on-page tweaks can often help with off-page SEO tactic success.
Be sure to tweak the page names and metadata of landing pages as needed, especially if you want to guarantee that external websites are as relevant as possible.
This is especially important for securing organic traffic since search engines do not respond to the same things as users.
For example, guest posting will get your site ranking higher in search results, but users will not visit if your site is not actually useful to them and do not care about guest posting on other platforms.
Don’t Focus Purely on Rankings
While rankings are important, SEO can also make a big difference when dealing with other sites.
A mixture of good on-page and off-site SEO signals a higher level of trust, mostly through your domain authority (or trust flow, if you are using the Majestic citation and trust flow systems).
While this might not increase referral traffic, it can be important for influencer marketing or earning editorial links.
The higher quality your site is, the more likely others are to trust it.
This can make good SEO a great way to improve your potential options and open up new avenues of SEO, all while boosting your rankings anyway.
Understand The Search Engines
Different search engines use different algorithms. Even if you only care about Google, you still want to know how it works.
Good link building means understanding how these platforms handle ranking.
Spend some time looking into the systems behind link building and organic traffic, especially if you do not have much SEO experience yet.
Off-page SEO includes many different options, but all revolve around boosting your rankings on search engines like Google.
Aim for Brand Mentions
Google sometimes treats brand mentions as SEO links, and that means that you can use them alongside link building.
In situations where link building is not possible, brand mentions can be a cleaner way to get good off-page SEO.
This is especially true for local off-page SEO, where links may be harder to get due to the lower amount of local sites.
Use Other Marketing Tools
Whether it is influencer marketing or just buying ads, it is worth combining SEO with other marketing techniques to get the best of both worlds.
For example, link building on its own is very effective at getting the attention of search engines.
However, link building and paid search ads can allow you to take over even more of the top spots on any search results page.
SEO is not the only tool in your arsenal, so focusing on it entirely can be a risk. You ideally want a balance of different marketing options to secure as many customers as possible.
Understand Important Google Ranking Factors
The SEO community as a whole understands the basics of how Google works and how links impact rankings.
There are many different factors that influence how you rank and how much link juice each link passes on within SEO. Some of these include:
Website quality, the overall quality of the site.
Core web vitals.
Content quality, meaning the quality of the website’s overall content.
Site architecture, how well designed the site is.
Page speed, the loading time.
Image optimization, meaning image file sizes and loading times.
URL structure, the structure of the URLs, and the site’s navigation options.
Backlinks quality, meaning the number of high-quality links you have.
Mobile suitability, meaning how well the site works on mobile devices.
Link building revolves around similar factors, such as:
Content relevancy and quality.
Keyword choices and relevancy.
Keyword placement, how well the keyword is placed.
Context, whether or not the keyword has a relevant context.
Anchor text and its relevancy.
Site trust and how reputable it is.
White hat tactics used to gain it, rather than black hat ones.
In simple terms, a better off-page SEO result means pushing for quality as often as possible.
Since link building thrives on higher quality anyway, there is no reason not to pursue higher quality if you can.
Know Your Audience
It helps to understand what your audience is like.
For example, through keyword research, you can see what your audience usually searches for to find your business.
This can matter even for guest posting, such as helping you choose sites that relate to your audience’s interests.
You always want to send off-page SEO signals that are relevant to your target audience, so knowing more about them really helps.
The more you can match their preferred search terms and searching habits, the easier it becomes to target relevant websites and keywords correctly.
Just remember that your audience is not a single unified mass. Different people want different things.
Try to break down your audience into demographics, if you can, to get a better idea of who searches for what.
This can help you market the right products to the right people through SEO, all without having to change much about your approach.
Use Common Sense
SEO is an incredibly broad field that can involve any number of external and internal links, optimization tweaks, and site redesigns.
From guest posting to creating social media profiles, always use common sense when deciding how to approach your SEO.
While taking some risks can be rewarding, do not rush into a decision that does not make sense or take a gamble on something that will not pay off.
SEO might not cost as much as paid marketing, but it is still part of your marketing. Too many mistakes can damage your business’ rankings quite dramatically.
You want to take things slowly, approach the issue carefully, and make sure that you understand what you are planning to do.
Keep in mind that SEO is not a consistent field, either. Certain elements and algorithms may change as time passes and may be different across different search platforms.
SEO is a very flexible field that allows for a lot of quick adjustments. If something goes wrong, simply tweak it.
While you ideally never want to have your SEO process go wrong, it will always happen at least once.
The important thing is to respond to it effectively and resolve whatever issues you encounter, even if it’ is something as major as accidentally receiving links from a spam site.
Site crawls and SEO updates are usually done in waves, so you always have time to make adjustments before anything serious goes wrong.
If you plan ahead properly, then you can usually avoid any major problems by reacting to them as soon as they appear.
Just make sure that you always have a backup plan in case a new marketing or SEO opportunity disappears before you can capture it.
If you are interested in building up a good off page strategy, then the best option is to simply look at your own SEO options.
Different businesses have different SEO goals, so try to decide what yours should be long-term.
It might also help to have multiple short-term goals to rely on as stepping stones.
Whatever you settle for, remember that SEO is a very varied and unpredictable process.
There are no guaranteed winning solutions that work for every business, but using the right strategies can still make a huge difference.
Slow down and make sure that you approach the issue carefully, one step at a time.
If all else fails, you can always turn to third-party SEO experts to handle the bulk of the work for you.
No matter what you do, your business’s SEO goals are going to be unique. The way that you attempt to complete them will also be just as unique, so build a strategy that works best for you.
Scott Calland is a highly regarded content specialist with an English Degree. He has a passion for creating compelling content as a UK journalist that engages, informs, and entertains readers. With over 10 years of experience in creating news publications as a reporter, Scott has developed a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of how to craft content that resonates with audiences. Working closely with data analysts Scott’s research on topics is unrivalled for latest news updates.
Scott is also an investor in Searcharoo.