Edwin is a strategic content specialist. Before joining Yoast, he spent years honing his skill at The Netherlands’ leading web design magazine.
Off-page SEO is about everything that doesn’t happen directly on your website. Optimizing your website is called on-page SEO and includes things like site structure, content and speed optimizations. Off-page SEO is about, among other things, link building, social media, and local SEO. Or in other words, generating traffic to your site and making your business appear like the real deal it is. In this post, we answer the question: What is off-page SEO?
Creating exposure, trust and brand awareness
When focusing on on-page SEO, you’re doing everything in your power to make your site awesome. You write great content, have a solid site structure and your mobile site loads in just a couple of seconds. All is well in the world. Off-page SEO on the other hand, helps you to bring in those hordes of visitors and potential customers. Both are important pieces of the puzzle.
By writing quality content you can rank in search engines, but by getting a few great, relevant sites to link to that content, you’re increasing the chance that you’ll end up a couple of spots higher. The same goes for building your brand and creating trust. This doesn’t just happen on your site, but mostly off-site. Take reviews, for instance, these can make or break your company. You need them, but they most often appear on external sites. These are all factors that contribute to your rankings.
It’s not only important for you to rank high for your search term, but also to create trust and a sense of authority. You must appear to be the best search result, not just in a technical and content sense, but also in reality. Popularity, quality, and relevance are everything.
A lot of it comes down to link building
Links are the glue that keeps the web together. Search engines use links to determine how valuable a piece of content or a particular site is. Getting quality links has always been a great tactic if you’re serious about ranking. And who isn’t? Recently, however, some people seem to debate the relevance of links. We firmly believe in the importance of links. Of course, you need the good ones. Don’t buy stuff, and keep a close eye on where and how you’re being linked to. We’ve written several guides on how to get quality links for your site and what you shouldn’t do when link building.
Social media helps to a certain extent
By itself, social media is not essential for ranking well in search engines. It does, however, give you a unique opportunity to get in touch with customers and potential visitors.
As David Mhim wrote in his epic Ranking your local business post series: “”Being active” on social media isn’t really going to help with your local search visibility. And even if you’re wildly popular on social media, it’s unlikely that popularity will translate directly into higher local search rankings. You should primarily focus your social media efforts on engaging your customers with interesting content, promotions (if relevant), and polls and conversations that will increase their affinity for your brand. You can promote your website to a degree, but generally speaking, improvements in your local rankings will come from other factors.”
Local SEO is also off-page SEO
Local SEO is essential if you’re business is locally oriented. For local businesses, part of the off-page SEO is really in-person SEO. Word-of-mouth marketing plays a big role in getting people to your business. Not just that, happy customers can leave reviews online that Google – and other potential customers – can use to see how well you are doing.
Off-page SEO is an integral part of your SEO strategy
As we’ve shown, off-page SEO supplements on-page SEO. Both go hand in hand. You need to focus on your link building, branding and appearance efforts to make the most of your SEO. You can optimize your site all you want, but if it isn’t perceived as a quality destination for people, you won’t do well.
Read more: The ultimate guide to content SEO »
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