As a blogger or business owner, you probably know you need to use search engine optimization (SEO) for your website to rank high in search results. However, did you know that what you do off of your website might be equally or more important for your search rankings than what you do on your website?
This is where off-page SEO, also called off-site SEO, becomes crucial.
Simply put, this term refers to everything you do outside of the nuts and bolts of your site that ultimately helps it rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Before diving deeper into off-site SEO, let’s first look quickly at your on-page SEO. On-page SEO accounts for factors on your website pages and blog posts, such as specific targeted keywords, title tags, and relevant images or videos with keyword-relevant alt text descriptions.
But even if you have excellent on-page SEO, your content still might not rank high in search results. Why?
As Ahrefs found, newer sites and content take longer to rank than content that’s been around for at least a year.
Competition for the specific keyword(s) you’re trying to rank for may be fierce.
Your off-page SEO may not be as good as that of the sites that outrank yours.
Off-site SEO provides cues that boost your authority, relevance, and popularity in the eyes of search engine algorithms and human beings alike.
1. Build and promote your real-world experience
Become an expert in the topic(s) of your blog or website. Also make sure your expertise is clearly, concisely detailed in your site’s author bio section (with relevant credentials), whether that’s in the sidebar widget on your WordPress.com blog or added to the bottom of every blog article you write.
2. Build quality backlinks the right way
Perhaps the most important factor in off-page SEO is building quality backlinks from other authoritative, popular, trustworthy, and relevant websites. Consider it this way: you’re more likely to hire the bookkeeper your CPA recommends than the bookkeeper whose business card you saw tacked to the wall at the local coffee shop, right?
Quality backlinks tell search engine algorithms that your content is good and send real people to your website. Some percentage of those people then become customers or fans and share your content on social media, giving even more authority to your site.
How do you build good backlinks? First and foremost, continuously create unique, high-quality content that people love and find valuable. For more in-depth recommendations, read “The Right Way to Get High-Quality Backlinks.”
3. Be active in your online and offline communities
If you’re a business owner, sponsor local events and be active in various business associations. Not only will this help you with real-world networking and expanding your community, but it will also garner links to your website, more brand awareness, and more leads.
The same goes for online communities — whether that’s online forums or social media. There are likely to be Facebook and LinkedIn groups that are directly relevant to your blog or business. If not, start one.
Don’t take shortcuts! Build your off-page SEO to last, with a focus on quality first. Over time, both your on-page and off-page SEO will combine to make your website an online powerhouse that people turn to for answers, advice, and the resources they need.
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