Off-Page Optimisation: Brief Summary
Off-page optimisation, sometimes known as off-site optimisation, is the collective name given to search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques and activities that occur away from your website and web pages. Essentially, this concept should work in parallel with on-site optimisation techniques, and involve you using off-site strategies and methods to improve your website or web page’s rankings on search engine results pages.
The most obvious example of off-page optimisation is link building, but it is important to understand that off-site strategies do go beyond this, extending into areas like social media marketing, influencer marketing, social bookmarking and reputation management. Generally, off-page optimisation efforts are intended to improve a website’s reputation and level of authority, while also capitalising on the specific way in which search engines rank results.
Off-Page Optimisation: Detailed Summary
Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is the process of optimising a website, so that it is ranked higher up on search engine results pages, especially when users search for a relevant term. The basic idea behind SEO is to increase visibility and improve both the amount and quality of traffic to the website, in order to achieve other strategic goals. SEO efforts can be broken down into two main areas: on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation.
When a search engine, such as Google, presents users with search results, it determines the order in which to display results based on a complex algorithm, which takes both of these two SEO areas into account. For this reason, it is important that marketers and website owners give adequate consideration to both on-page and off-page optimisation.
On-page optimisation refers to measures taken to optimise the various on-page elements of your website or web pages. So, for example, this would include efforts to insert keywords into website content, any mobile optimisation efforts, as well as the optimisation of things like meta descriptions, titles and sub-headings.
By contrast, off-page optimisation refers to the various tactics, strategies and activities that aim to improve search engine rankings, but which occur away from your website or web pages. There are a number of different off-site optimisation techniques available to turn to, and the majority of these are intended to create references to your own content from other websites, or other parts of the internet, such as social networking platforms.
Moreover, as a general rule, most off-page optimisation activities are designed to help improve the reputation of your website. This can boost visitors, or increase your website’s authority, which can improve search engine results page placement and help to convince website visitors that your site is reliable and worth visiting.
The most notable form of off-page optimisation is link-building, but social media signals are also extremely important. Search engines like Google take off-page optimisation into account because, theoretically, people only link to content from their own website or blog, or signal boost content on social media, if the content in question is of a high standard. Modern search engine algorithms go beyond this, however, rewarding content based on the quality of those links.
Understanding Link Building
As stated, link building is the most widely-utilised form of off-page optimisation, and is used by most SEO experts. Put simply, this is the practice of building backlinks from external sources to your own content, in order to improve its authority and tell Google’s algorithms that your content is trustworthy. Link building can take many different forms, but there are three main types of links that are relevant for off-page optimisation and SEO.
Natural Links – These are links that people insert into their web pages, blogs, articles, social media posts, etc. through their own free will. As an example, if you wrote an article sharing research about cybersecurity threats, and another website wrote a similar article and linked to your research, that would be a naturally acquired link. The only reliable way to earn these links is to create high-quality, useful and relevant content, that people want to share or link to.
Self-Created Links – These are links to your content that you create yourself, but which are placed externally from your website. For example, you might include a link to your website in a signature on another website where you write guest blogs, or you might publish an ebook with links to your web content. It is important to be careful with these links, however, as modern algorithms are designed to penalise websites for too many self-created links.
Outreach Links – These are what people tend to be thinking of when discussing link building efforts. Essentially, this refers to the practice of contacting other website owners, influencers or individuals on social media and asking them to share or link to your website or your web content. The trick to achieving success here is to focus on attracting links from relevant sites and providing the right incentives so that people are willing to link to you.
All three of these methods have a clear role to play in a comprehensive link building strategy, but in most cases, the two areas to focus most strongly on are natural and outreach links, as these are the most reliable options.
Other Types of Off-Page Optimisation
Aside from link building, there are a number of other important types of off-page optimisation, including:
Social Media Marketing – This typically involves creating shareable content and then posting it on social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Other users may then share, like or comment on your post, all of which sends social signals, and these signals can have an influence on search engine results page placement.
Influencer Marketing – Although influencer marketing often plays a major role in modern link building strategies, the benefits go beyond this. Some influencers are able to generate an enormous amount of traffic from very specific demographics, which has the potential to greatly enhance your website’s authority and popularity.
Social Bookmarking – All search engines are designed to crawl popular social bookmarking websites, with examples of these including Reddit and Pinterest. With this in mind, a simple and effective way to boost your chances of content being found is to make sure it is posted to these platforms, in accordance with their rules and guidelines.
Reputation Management – Finally, reputation management techniques can be key to successful off-page optimisation. A website’s reputation can have a significant bearing on how users treat it, while popular sites and brands, which are mentioned all the time, tend to perform much better on search engine results pages than rarely-mentioned ones. Your reputation can be managed through customer service, the user experience, managing review platforms, and so on.
Backlinks, social media signals, overall website popularity and other similar factors can have a major bearing on your placement and visibility on search engine results pages, and these factors can all be influenced by off-page optimisation techniques. For the very best results, off-page techniques, which include link building, social bookmarking and influencer marketing, should also be combined with on-page optimisation strategies and activities too.