When it comes to the SEO of your site, there are many ranking factors that Google takes into account when determining how it’s ranking both on and off-page. Some of these on-page factors include the things visitors may see when they visit our site. This might include the content of the page itself, the photos used, or the targeted keywords.
Google puts a great deal of weight on these things since anyone visiting your site will see them. So, they want that content to be the highest quality possible! But, did you know that many important ranking factors hide behind the scenes? We refer to these factors as “off-page SEO.” Today, we are going to cover some of the main differences between on-page and off-page SEO.
Defining Off-Page SEO
Like how on-page SEO elements concern the pages themselves, the off-page elements are found elsewhere! Off-page SEO can be defined as the tactics you use to improve your rankings that don’t take place on your website. There are many ways to do this, some of which you might already be using right now!
We spend a lot of time talking about On-Page SEO which is all of the changes you can make on your website. We do this, because we think it’s really important to have great On-Page SEO so Google knows exactly what your website is about. But a solid Off-Page SEO strategy can take your SEO to the next level because it builds trust in your website. It helps search engines know that your website is the real deal, that it’s a worthwhile site.
So, in summary: On-Page SEO refers to changes you make on your site to help your page rank better and Off-Page SEO is anything that happens off your website that helps improve your rankings. On-Page SEO tells Google what to rank your site for and Off-Page SEO convinces people that your site is trustworthy.
Off-Page SEO & Technical SEO
Recognizing off-page SEO can be tricky at times. Especially when talking about technical SEO. Technical SEO involves other changes made behind the scenes. This might include improving the loading speed or security of your website. These things are not exactly “on” the page, so they must count as off-page SEO elements, right? Not exactly. These are still technical parts of SEO, which make up their own category. In truth, technical SEO deserves its own blog topic. So for now, let’s return to off-page SEO and some of the best ways to improve it!
Common Off-Page SEO Tactics
There are many strategies you can use depending on what your service offers, and your unique strengths. But, a common tactic used is guest blogging on another site or hosting/guest appearing on a podcast. By working with another site or site owner, you can help increase the traffic your site receives by showing your content to a brand new audience. This creates a chance to build quality backlinks to your site, helping improve the authority of your domain.
This is also true for social media posts! Using social media can help you cultivate an audience, potentially improve rankings (link to blog), and connect with potential clients. When used well, it can act as an extension of your site. It could serve as a place to post updates and create unique content for your target audience. Who knows, a post could even go viral on a nationwide scale and create new links! Using off-page SEO strategies such as these helps to build brand recognition, trust with Google, and high-quality backlinks.
The Importance Of Backlinks
Backlinks are often referenced in blogs, and I’m glad they are! Building a library of quality backlinks is not an easy feat. It is something that has to build over time. Due to this, finding the opportunities to link your content to other reputable sites can quickly become an important part of your long-term SEO strategy. The more links you gain from reputable sites, directories, and other listings, the more Google will recognize your practice as an authority figure. This isn’t something easily accomplished. So, we created a comprehensive guide to earning backlinks to help! Speaking of important parts, let’s also talk about Google My Business.
NAP Information & Consistent Mentions
Off-page SEO isn’t just about backlinks. Sometimes, it helps for your business to be mentioned or listed across the web even if you don’t get a backlink to your website. For example if a really credible, national newspaper interviews you and doesn’t link to your website you may feel disappointed you didn’t get a backlink. And your disappointment makes sense, because that would’ve been a great, high quality backlink. However, it still helps your SEO. Why? Because when Google scans that article it is probably smart enough to figure out they’re talking about your business and therefore it still gives you credibility!
One part of all this that’s especially important is your “NAP” information. “NAP” just means name, address and phone number. When Google sees this information showing up consistently various place on the web, it helps Google trust that you’re a real business and that really is your name, address and phone number. So, that information showing up with or without a backlink is helpful. Directories and other resource lists are common places for this information to appear.
Social Media as Off-Page SEO
While Google has gone back and forth in their guidance about how important Social Media is for SEO, there does appear to be a correlation between social media and great rankings. For this reason, it’s worth mentioning Social Media when we’re talking about Off-Page SEO. Having a strong social media presence means there is more information about your business out there on the web for people (and search engines!) to take note of. It also appears to be helpful to have “social shares” where your website content is shared on Social Media. Lastly, Social Media helps by sending people to your website and if they like what they see (measured by things like staying on your site for a while and looking at multiple pages), that can signal to search engines that your content is great even if they didn’t come directly from a search engine.
Google My Business & Bing Places for Business
Google My Business (GMB) is also an important part of Off-Page SEO if you want to rank well on Google…and you do want to rank well on Google. In fact, GMB is such a great way to support your SEO that we’ll get more in depth about that in a minute. But it’s good to know that Bing has a similar service with Bing Places for Business and we recommend checking that out as well.
The Importance Of Google My Business to Off-Page SEO
As you can imagine from the name, Google My Business (GMB) is another very important part of off-page SEO. It allows Google to provide helpful information about your practice for potential clients.
Some of this helpful info includes:
- Location of your practice
- Contact information
- Areas you serve
- Available Hours
The only catch is you have to provide this information. A healthy, optimized profile can help you reach a wider audience, and help establish trust with Google. This free tool also provides useful analytics that can help you assess the health of your site. Some of these analytics include engagement, the number of clicks and calls you receive, and how many times you show up in the search results.
Improving your Google My Business profile can only help improve your off-page SEO. Creating an account helps improve your search rankings, depending on how well you optimize your business listing. Ensuring the name, address, and phone number of your practice are consistent on GMB and anywhere other than your site is also worth mentioning, but covering the importance of NAP deserves its own blog. Our team has taken a deep dive into GMB if you would like to learn more!
One last note, reviews
Another great part of Google My Business is how it can be used to read the reviews customers leave. While it may not be something that is focused on a great deal, reviews still carry weight with Google. We understand that due to the nature of work done in this field, asking for reviews may not be appropriate or ethical practice. As a result, we encourage you to use your own discretion and make the best ethical choice for the long-term health of your site.
As you can see, there are many ways one can work to improve their SEO without even touching your website. But, the best SEO strategy will involve both online page and off-page SEO optimization, as well as aspects of technical SEO as they pertain to your site.
Need Support for On-Page SEO?
Our trained SEO specialists are skilled at on-page SEO and would love to help provide support to improve off-page elements as well. To start SEO services with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps:
Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting offers multiple SEO services to help meet the unique needs of your website. Our services include DIY Online SEO Courses, Done For You SEO services, and our Done With You 12-week SEO intensive program. For more helpful info, please visit our blog!
About the Author
Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He integrates what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues. He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns. Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support, often going the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!