Off-Page SEO

April 29, 2023

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO is any effort made outside of your website to improve the visibility and ranking of your website.

This involves optimizing external factors that affect the site's reputation, popularity, and authority.

These fall into a few key categories:

  • Link Building: The process of getting links from other reputable websites to your own website. High-quality backlinks from relevant, authoritative websites are gold dust - they help improve your website's reputation, authority, and ranking in the eyes of Google.
  • Social Media Marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be used to engage with your audience, promote your content, and build your brand's online presence.
  • Influencer Marketing: Leveraging an influencer audience to promote what you have to offer.
  • Reviews: Reviews help increase user engagement and social proof, both important factors in building trust and credibility with your target audience.
  • Guest Blogging: Writing and publishing articles on other websites in your niche can help position you as a thought leader - attracting new audiences, and driving traffic to your own website.

Building a relationship with your customer outside of your site is vital for improving your SEO, and driving more organic traffic to your site.

And we all love more organic traffic.

Link Building

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to pages on your own site. In SEO, these are called backlinks.

Google uses links to determine the authority, relevance, and popularity of a website - so building an effective Link Building strategy is key for great SEO.

Google holds links in high regard because links act as a kind of endorsement or vote of confidence from one website to another. When one website links to another, it's essentially saying, "Hey, this website has valuable content that I think is worth sharing with my audience."

5 stars - would link to them again.

And the more high-quality links pointing to it, the more search engines will see you as an authority on your subject improving your rankings in search results. 

So a solid link building strategy can do wonders for improving a website's visibility and organic search traffic, leading to increased brand awareness, leads, and revenue - all those good things.

Off Page SEO

However, it's essential to emphasize that not all links are created equal. Search engines prioritize high-quality links from relevant and authoritative websites, while low-quality links from spammy or irrelevant sites can actually harm a website's SEO performance.

That's why link building should always be approached with a strategic and ethical mindset, focusing on building high-quality links that offer value to users and align with the website's niche and topic.

What makes a link high-quality?

Google's PageRank algorithm (used to determine authority) is notoriously mysterious. However there are a few factors that most can agree on that separate the good from the bad in link building:

  • Authority
  • Relevance
  • Unique Domains
  • Anchor text
  • Follow vs. No Follow links


As mentioned earlier, a link is a vote of confidence for the content that you provide. But not all votes are necessarily created equal.

Which makes sense.

A link from a website that has a high level of authority, trustworthiness (independent news outlets, government websites, or educational institutions, for example), and strong votes of its own, should be more valuable than a link from a website with little credibility.

When a high-authority website links to your site, it passes on some of its authority and credibility to your site, which can help improve your site's search engine rankings.

Below is take directly from Google's How Search Works page:

Google Domain Authority

The most common metric used to measure the authority of a website is Domain Authority (DA).

Domain Authority is a metric developed by SEO giants Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). DA is calculated on a 0-100 scale and is based on factors such as the number and quality of links pointing to a website.

There are many Domain Authority tools which measure the link popularity of websites.


But it’s not enough to have authority - you also have to understand the topic you are talking about.

Let's say you had a blog about Premier League football. A link from David Beckham would be more desirable than a shout out from Kim Kardashian.

Even though Kim has a much larger audience, it would not be as relevant.

There two kinds of link relevance:

  • Location relevance
  • Topic (or Niche) relevance

Location relevance refers to the geographic location of the website or page that is linking to your site.

For example, if you have a business in Amsterdam, a link from a popular blog or directory that focuses on businesses in Amsterdam is location-relevant. Google places more value on links from local sources, because they signal to the search engine that your business is also relevant to that location.

Topic relevance refers to the content itself.

Let's use our Peter's Pasta Palace example. A link to Peter's business from a famous chef or a popular recipe website would be considered topic-relevant. Adding more value to this kind of link.

It's worth noting that location relevance and topic relevance are not mutually exclusive. In fact, in some cases, a link can be both location-relevant and topic-relevant.

Content Relevance

For example, the top Google results for "italian food", will give me results for Italian restaurants (topic relevant) in my area in Amsterdam (location relevant).

Unique Domains

The more votes we get the better - that much is obvious. But diversity is also important. Multiple links from one source can be counted as one vote.

A high-quality link profile includes a diverse range of links from different types of websites, such as blogs, forums, directories, and social media platforms. This helps to create a natural-looking link profile that is less likely to be seen as spammy or manipulative.

After all - they can't all be wrong.

Backlinko did a great study that shows a strong correlation between the number of referring domains, and SERP position.

Backlinko study referring domain

There are a bunch of free tools out there to be able to check the quality of these backlinks.

Ahrefs do a great one.

Backlink Checker Ahrefs

Anchor Text

You're definitely familiar with Anchor text - even if you didn't know you were. It's the clickable text that appears as a hyperlink.

The Anchor Text is used to provide context to search engines about the content of the page being linked to.

Let's say Peter's Pasta Palace had a hyperlink with the anchor text "pasta making tips". 

This tells search engines that the linked page is likely about tips for pasta making - lest it face the wrath of many nonna's.

If other websites also link to the same page with the same or similar anchor text, it tells search engines that the linked page is a relevant and authoritative source for all things pasta.

All good things for boosting your SERP ranking.

Follow vs. No follow Links

Nofollow links were introduced in the early 2000's, as a way of fighting off comment spam from people trying to push their websites' ranking with comments like "Buy my super awesome cheap thing here!".

You didn't like it. Google didn't like it. No one liked it.

But with clever HTML 'nofollow' link tags, Google knows that the linking page doesn't want to pass on its vote to these spammy websites.

However the internet has evolved since 2005, and link following along with it. Now, most comment sections are nofollow by default, and Google now has various tag types that are treated as 'hints'.

Follow vs No Follow Links

In general “followed” links cast the strongest votes - so are of the most value to you. But if an opportunity presents itself from a relevant, high-authority page, take it.

Wikipedia is a prime example of a website that employs the nofollow attribute for all its outgoing links. This makes it difficult to acquire a link from the site, leading some SEOs to believe it is held in high regard by Google.

Targeting Competitors Links

You don't need to reinvent the wheel.

By picking apart your competitors' strategy, you'll be able to find out exactly how they managed to break into the first page result - including looking through their backlinks.

This way we can: 

  • Identify high-quality websites that link to your competitors but not to you.
  • Finding out which type of content your competitors are creating.

Leverage SEO tools (SEMrush and Ahrefs do great in this area) to download your top competitor backlinks. Filter your spreadsheet by industry, geography, Domain Authority, traffic, unique referral domains - whichever is most relevant for you.

The goal here is to figure out which links are relevant to your business (remember not all will be), and why they earned each link.

This approach is great for employing the Skyscraper Technique

This is a link building strategy where you find high-ranking content with tons of backlinks, find its gaps, and blow them out of the water with a much better piece of content.

In most cases this means beating them out on the following areas:

  • Making in longer
  • More in-depth
  • Updating the content
  • Improving the design or readability

Once you have created your incredible piece of content, it's time to tell the world about it. Specifically, people that have already linked to similar content.

Or if we were to go a step further, reach out to those that have already linked to your competitors' content.

Brian Dean (the creator of the Skyscraper Technique) reached out to a bunch of people with the following template and got an overwhelming response:

Social Media Marketing

To rip the bandaid off - Social Media does not affect your SEO ranking.

Having said this, using social media to distribute your content is vital in any SEO strategy, as this plays a huge part in increasing visibility, brand awareness, and organic traffic.

All of which do affect your SEO.

This is because social media platforms give you access to a much wider audience than you’d have on your website alone.

It is THE place to share any type of content you are producing, and gives you the opportunity to engage with your audience, and through the power of likes, shares, and comments; those they are connected with.

You likely put a lot of work into your content creation strategy. You would be doing it a disservice by not promoting it via all available channels.

Social Media Marketing SEO Strategy

This is where repurposing content comes into play.Repurposing content (in this context) is recycling long-form content (blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, etc) into easily digestible social media posts. 

It's not uncommon for one piece of long form content to generate several smaller pieces - extending the lifespan and reach of your content - without having to start from a blank page. All of which would link back and reference the original piece of content. This comes with a lot of benefits:

  • Fills the content calendar: remember it's more important to be consistent than to be frequent with posting. Repurposing content helps fill the content calendar easily.
  • Consistency: posting similar content across various platforms means your tone of voice stays consistent
  • Encourages engagement: the more regular you post the more likely you are to increase engagement

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is when a brand partners up with influencers to promote their products or services. And since the arrival of mainstream social media, it's easier than ever to leverage someone else's platform to get the good word out about what you have to offer.

Like social media, Influencer marketing can help improve SEO rankings by generating quality backlinks and building general brand awareness.

Influencer Marketing Hub created a benchmark report with some incredible finds on there:

Influencer Marketing Strategy

This shows leveraging an Influencer's following is a great way to build your brand, get your content out there - especially if wanting to reach a new demographic, territory, or niche that you are just emerging into.

However, like all forms of marketing Influencer Marketing is not a silver bullet. It's important to consider the following:

  • Relevance: Their audience should be (hopefully) excited by what you are creating. If their audience doesn't match your persona or ideal customer, you aren't likely to see any meaningful returns.
  • Engagement: Look for influencers who have high engagement rates with their followers. This can be measured by likes, comments, and shares on their posts.
  • Authenticity: Make sure the influencer aligns with your brand's values and messaging. Authenticity is crucial in influencer marketing as followers can tell a fake from a mile away.
  • Bigger isn't always better: Consider the size of the influencer's following and the potential reach of your message. Smaller influencers may have more engaged followers, while larger influencers can reach a broader audience.


How often have you reviewed something before buying? Booking a hotel? Eating at a restaurant?

Reviews are social proof that people like what you have to offer. These are (should be) unbiased opinions from real customers, designed to help people make informed decisions about products or services, and give insight of what to expect from a business.

Positive reviews help build trust and credibility for a business, as it shows any potential customer that they are in good hands.

Negative reviews are a warning.

Either way, reviews have a significant impact on off-page SEO, particularly for local businesses. Google considers the quality and quantity of reviews as one of the determining factors of relevance and authority of a business.

And not just the glowing reviews. Google values all reviews - both positive and negative.

Reviews can affect your off-page SEO in several ways:

  • Increased visibility: Reviews can help increase the visibility of your business in search engine results pages (SERPs) by providing more information about your business and making your business listing stand out. Especially for searches with Commercial Intent
  • Trust and credibility: Positive reviews can help build trust and credibility with potential customers, which can lead to more clicks and conversions.
  • Keyword optimization: Reviews can also contain keywords that are relevant to your business, which can help boost your search engine rankings for those keywords. For Peter's Pasta Palace, if several customers mention "best pasta in town" in their reviews, this can help improve your rankings for the keyword phrase "best pasta in town."

Keep an eye on your reviews, and make sure you respond to all of them - especially the negative ones. 

Responding to bad reviews isn't just about keeping customers happy - it also demonstrates that you're willing to make amends and get them back on board. 

Even better news, 7 out of 10 changed their opinion on a company after the company responded to a negative review. 

Google Business Profile (GBP)

If you're online you need a Google Business Profile. It's free, and it helps you control how your business appears on Google.

This is essential for local SEO rankings. And because that exists outside of your website, this makes optimizing your Google Business Profile an important off-page SEO tactic.

This profile provides all kinds of information for the searcher:

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Opening Hours
  • Website
  • Reviews
  • Photos

Guest Blogging

Who doesn't love a cameo appearance?

Your words (or voice if a podcast or video) in front of a new audience, exposing you to potential customers and fans you might not have reached before.

Guest blogging is when you contribute content to another website, typically in exchange for a link back to your own website. Your host gets high-quality content in exchange for a exposure and promoting your content.

Win - win

A SEMrush study showed that Guest Blogging is one of the most effective Link Building strategies.

Guest Blogging Link Building Strategy

Diving a little bit deeper, guest blogging helps your Off Page SEO in a few ways.

  • Increase Domain Authority: Links from high-quality websites will help to increase your domain authority and bring in more organic traffic. This can be especially helpful if the website you’re guest blogging on has a higher domain authority than yours.
  • Build Brand Awareness: In a similar way to working with influencers, with guest blogging you can increase your brand’s visibility and reach a wider audience. This can help build relationships and trust with potential customers, as well as create more awareness around your brand.
  • Stamp your authority: This part is obvious, but cannot be overlooked - if you crush your content you are quickly going to establish yourself as a thought leader - inevitably drawing in more organic traffic.

Guest blogging is an effective way to build brand awareness, establish yourself as an authority, generate more organic traffic, and increase visibility.

All good things when thinking about the SEO puzzle.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting high-quality backlinks is the foundation of Off-page SEO
  • A link is determined to be of high-quality if is deemed to have ,authority, relevance, a number of unique domains referencing it, linked to by consistent anchor text, and doesn’t have too many nofollow links
  • Use social media to promote and distribute your content, and engage with your audience.
  • Consider leveraging Influencers to help build brand awareness.
  • Take care of the people that take the time to leave a review - the good and the bad
  • Keep your Google Business Profile up to date. This is especially important for local businesses.
  • Guest Blogging is a great way to increase brand awareness, and generate backlinks.