When working on your digital transformation you should pay a special attention to your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy. SEO practices can be divided into two categories: off-site SEO and on-site SEO. These refer, respectively, to actions taken outside of your website and on your website to improve search engine rankings. Here, we explain everything you need to know about off-site SEO, its involvement, and how it works.
What is Off-Site SEO and Why Does it Matter?
Off-site SEO – also known as off-page SEO – refers to the actions taken beyond your website to improve search engine rankings. Off-site SEO is more challenging to control than on-site SEO because it relies on several external factors, including algorithms and decisions made and actions taken by others.
Backlinks largely dominate off-site SEO, but other aspects can also lead to favourable SEO outcomes. These include reviews, social media marketing and unlinked brand mentions.
Off-site SEO is important because it is a significant factor in ranking for competitive keywords. It is a fundamental part of the process of building your site’s authority. You can learn off-site SEO and apply the principles in-house, but this can be time-consuming. Alternatively, you can outsource it to an off-site SEO expert like MotherLink.
Why link building is important
The most significant element of off-page SEO is building backlinks. Sites with high-quality backlinks typically rank higher in search engines. Search engines use backlinks as an indication of the quality of content being linked.
The three main link types are natural links, self-created links and manually built links. Natural links are those acquired without any action on your part. An example of this would be a health and fitness blogger linking to the product page of their favourite fitness tracker without being approached or compensated in any way by the company that produced it.
In contrast, self-created links are those which you generate yourself through practices such as adding links in blog comments, online directories and forums. Manually built links are similar in the sense that they also require action on your part. These are acquired through efforts you have taken to get others to link to your website. This could include influencers sharing your content on request or customers linking to your site.
How the links are obtained is not essential (providing shady practices were not used). What matters in terms of SEO benefits is link equity. Link equity is a factor used by search engines that refers to the idea that links pass authority and value from one page to another. Several factors are important in determining a link’s value, including the site’s HTTP status, topical relevance, the linking page’s authority, and more.
Other off-site SEO factors to consider
While link building is the dominant aspect of off-site SEO, any actions taken off-site to improve SEO fall under this category. This includes unlinked brand mentions, which are usually acquired naturally. This is when others mention your brand but do not link to your pages. It also includes social media marketing efforts, guest blogs, influencer marketing, Google My Business and NAP citations.
There is a crossover between non-link and link building off-site SEO, however. Many of the non-link driven practices will still result in links to your site or, at the least, should imply a reference to your site or brand pages. These references can be gained through non-link SEO practices either naturally or through actions you take.