This blog post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Using these off page SEO strategies, we generate thousands of links for clients a year.
Read about some of our methods below and apply them for your own website.
The old adage “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t exactly apply to websites.
Because no matter how much time you spend optimizing your website, it won’t be successful unless you give people a way to find it.
That’s where off page SEO comes in.
What is Off Page SEO?
You’re probably thinking links, right?
While linking is an undeniably important part of off page SEO, it’s not all of it.
Off page SEO refers to all the activity that happens away from your website to raise your site’s rankings.
That includes links, social media strategy, influencer marketing, etc.
For example, if you write a great blog post and someone with a high influence in your niche retweets a link to it, that’s off page SEO.
While that’s all well and good, the real question becomes: how does that help your rank in search engines?
Basically, it tells search engines like Google how others feel about your website. The more (quality) links and comments pointing back to your site, the more likely Google is to assume its a quality site and therefore rank it higher.
Off Page SEO Strategies
Have a Solid Internal Linking Strategy in Your Off Page SEO Strategy
Want more backlinks?
First, you’ll need to improve your internal links.
A solid internal linking strategy prepares your site for outside links. Basically, it forms a funnel effect.
If someone follows a link back to your site, you want to make sure that page is optimized and leads them to other pages on your site.
Your off page SEO strategy should include a strong internal linking strategy.
Have a Solid Backlink Strategy
This post is full of backlink strategies.
Your job is deciding which will work for you, and combining them into one cohesive strategy.
Click here to read my complete guide on how to build a solid backlinking strategy.
Create Consistent, High Quality Content
I know, this one’s pretty much a given, and generally geared more towards on page SEO.
But the thing is, if you want to people to link back to your site, you have to give them a reason.
Quality content is the best way to do that.
Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader in Your Niche
You’ll grow a stronger audience and create more quality connections if you first establish expertise.
The more expertise you’re given, the more value will be assigned to the content your produce. Ultimately, that will result in more people sharing and linking to it.
To establish thought leadership, make sure your content is relevant and authoritative. Participate in AMAs (as me anything) on Reddit and Q&As on Twitter to solidify your reputation and gain a more loyal following.
Give Quotes, Interviews, Etc.
Want to get your name out there? Encourage people to ask you for quotes and interviews.
Not only will it give you a way to establish a little expertise, increase name recognition and expose you to a new audience (or them to you), but your interviewer will more than likely include a link back to your site.
This also works in the reverse. For example, if you were doing an expert tips roundup and needed quotes from experts in your industry, you would reach out to them and offer them a chance to participate in exchange for a link back to their site.
Build a Strong Social Media Presence To Increase Off Page SEO
Google has spoken: no, social media is not a direct ranking factor when it comes to SEO.
But when it comes to off page SEO, it’s certainly an indirect one.
It goes like this: you write a great piece of content and share it on Facebook (or Twitter, LinkedIn, what have you). Because it’s great, it generates many shares and links (and as we know, links are a direct ranking factor.) The number of links and shares its gaining registers with Google, causing it to move up in the SERPs.
In order to capitalize on the indirect benefits of social media, you need a solid strategy, presence, and content plan.
Learn how to start your social strategy here.
Connect With Influencers for Off Page SEO
What’s an influencer? Someone with an almost cult-like following – usually on social media – whose posts generate hundreds, even thousands of likes and shares and command a fiercely loyal audience.
And you can tap into that audience using influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is reaching out and exposing your brand to a whole new audience through an influencer.
Think about it; if someone you trust recommends a new brand to you, you’re probably more likely to take their advice than a random Google searchers.
That’s the core of influencer marketing, and it generally involves a 3-step process:
- Identify an influencer
- Reach out to them
- Convince them to participate in or share a piece of your content
The result? More links to your pages from quality sources.
Read more about how to target and contact influencers in this article.
Comment and Interact on Forums and Blogs
This connects in a way to thought leadership.
While commenting itself won’t automatically gain a link (don’t do comment links), it will get your name recognized in important circles.
So identify popular blogs in your industry, and make a point to leave comments.
Same with popular forums like Reddit and Quora. If you have a relevant comment to add, do so. It may catch the eye of the blogger or influencer who may be reading.
Participating in industry chats will help your name recognition and begin to build relationships with influencers who may link to you in the future.
Create an Outreach Campaign for Off Page SEO
So you’ve created a buzzworthy piece of content. That’s great, but your work isn’t over.
Make sure it reaches the right people by creating an outreach campaign.
If you’ve been participating in social media and industry-related conversations, you should be aware of some the major influencers (and more importantly, they should be aware of you.)
If not, a little research will uncover any major bloggers or thought leaders in your niche. Once you’ve penned a piece that you think will interest them, send an email or direct message to see if they’d be interested in sharing your post.
I recommend keeping a Google spreadsheet of all relevant influencers for each category of your business. And remember – always follow up! An initial email can easily end up in the trash bin, so always have a follow-up email ready to go.
Contact the Right People
To follow up on my last point, make sure you’re finding the right people to contact.
This begins with your initial research. Make sure that as you find your influencers, you’re looking at more than just follower count.
Look at how engaged the following is, and who they are. Just because someone operates in the same industry doesn’t necessarily their target audience is the same as yours, so take the time to narrow down only the most relevant influencers.
Once you do have them, it’s time to find the right person to contact.
Don’t rely on generic info@ emails; really dig into their website and available information to identify the person most likely to help you get a link on their page.
Guest Blog to Increase Off Page SEO
Guest blogging has long been one of the most effective ways to build links.
To get started, you’ll need to follow a few steps:
- Clearly identify your niche, and
- Fill your blog with quality, industry-related posts
- Identify top bloggers in your field and any publications they’ve guest blogged for
- Look for any related blogs with a “submit post” or similar option
These are the kinds of publications you should be looking for. Once you’ve identified a few to pitch for, clearly state to them your expertise, your idea and a link to your own blog.
And remember; quality is especially important here. Don’t throw together a blog simply for the links. Take your time and craft a solid piece for your guest blog, and the links will follow.
It’s no secret that video is the newest – YouTube alone receives over 30 million visitors a day.
Which makes it an ideal means to get your name (and link) out there.
Start by simply including links in your channel and video descriptions. It’s the second largest search engine the world (not to mention owned by Google), which means your videos should be treated like any other optimized content.
Include keywords and make sure your videos are high quality. Build your page with relevant videos and links to more in-depth content, and you’re likely to see a big return.
Slideshare is a Valuable Addition to your Off Page SEO Plan
Slideshare often gets overlooked, but it can be a valuable addition to your off page SEO plan.
Why? Because Google really likes SlideShare.
So make sure your account is optimized with keywords, and links to your website and other social media accounts.
Monitor Roundup Posts to Identify Similar Content
Roundup posts are useful for many reasons; the most obvious being they keep you up-to-date on the happenings in your industry.
But beyond that, it’s a great way to monitor what kind of news is relevant and create posts that fit.
Then, it’s a matter of reaching out and pitching your post to the author of the roundup.
Once included, you’ll gain exposure to multiple new audiences.
Stay On Top Of Your Off Page SEO By Monitoring Your Backlinks
Part of staying on to of your off page SEO is to keep tabs on how many backlinks you have and how many you gain over a period of time.
Using these, you’ll be able to see and monitor all the backlinks pointing to your website. This allows you to monitor the quality of the links and make sure they’re ones you want, as well as make any corrections to broken links, etc.
Build Relationships Before Links
This is where commenting, getting involved in groups, outreach campaigns, etc. really come together.
Because just like in the real world, building a relationship is really what will get you the links and word of mouth you need.
Don’t rely on buying links or any black hat practices; instead, make the effort to interact online and gain recognition.
Once you have that, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to pitch posts and get links.
Reach out to the Media for Off Page SEO
Another way to get included in quality publications? Reach out to journalists with recommendations.
Sites like Help A Reporter are designed specifically for this.
Through it, journalists submit requests for contributions on a certain subject. If it matches your expertise, respond with an answer and a request to link back to your site.
Focus on Unique Content
The most intriguing content? Is the unexpected.
So don’t be afraid to create pieces that are funny or shocking. According to Moz, content that creates emotions like awe and anger are far more likely to be shared.
If you have the capacity to create high-quality images (and especially infographics), you should absolutely do so.
Not just because they’re quickly one of the best ways to relay information – 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%) – but because they’re also effective at leading customers to your site.
Optimize your images accordingly and require attribution in your creative commons agreement; that way, when someone shares your image a link will be included on every page the image is on.
Images are a very important part of off page SEO
Offer Your Expertise to Universities
Google is all about high quality, reputable links. Which is why generating as many .edu links as possible is a great way to increase your rank.
To do so, reach out to universities and colleges to offer your expertise. Look at any programs that align with your business or industry, and offer any resources or reference material you have that would be helpful.
Check for Broken Links on Other Sites
A broken link building strategy works like this: analyze the links on someone’s site (hopefully an influencer or thought leader in your niche), find any broken links, and contact the site owner about them.
To really reap the benefits, prepare your own content that fills the broken link you found. That way, when you reach out to the site owner you can suggest it be filled with your article.
Or, simply ask that the site include a link back to yours in return for pointing out their dead links.
Why does this work? Because no one likes broken links, and too many 404 pages are a quick way to turn potential customers off your brand.
You’ve essentially done the work for them by evaluating their links, so chances are they’ll be more than happy to do you a favor in return.
Create Original Guide Posts and Studies for Off Page SEO
An original study, checklist, or how-to guide is great for building backlinks.
If your content is original and relevant, you’re that much more likely to gain links because the internet isn’t already saturated with the information.
So, if you do an original study with original data, bloggers and writers will likely cite it. Which means they’ll have to include a link back to your original study.
It doesn’t necessarily mean taking on a major workload; running a survey through Google Forms or Survey Monkey can help you collect the necessary information.
Hold Events and Giveaways
Staging an event or giveaway is a great way to generate press and interest in your business.
And if you put information on your website, it’s also a great way to generate links back to your event page.
Write Testimonials for Off Page SEO
Here’s a simple trick: writing a review or testimonial on a peers product is an easy way to gain a link.
Why? Because they’ll most likely include a link back to your website with your review.
Link to Others – And Let Them Know
It’s natural to include links to others in your content.
You do it because you find that content particularly relevant or useful to your audience, and helps support what your article.
So why not let the author know? Not only will help build a relationship, but they may return the favor with a link to your site in the future.
Get Started With Off Page SEO
Off page SEO is an integral part of optimizing your website and attracting an audience.
The strategies above will help you put your own linking plan in place and build relationships that will ultimately end in an increase in links and web traffic.
While I covered 25 of the basic ones today, there are many more options.
The most important thing, is find out what is effective for your niche.
We help websites build thousands of links a year. If you need help, reach out or leave a comment.
This blog post is also available in: Español (Spanish)