SEO is a topic that continues to evolve and change the way we as marketers and business owners develop and realign our websites and wider marketing strategy.
If you're less experienced in the SEO arena, you may not have heard about On-Page and Off-Page SEO, but this post is designed to help.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the SEO elements you control on the webpage, or the webpage code, itself. Examples of on-page SEO include content, headlines and headers, image optimisation, title tags, meta descriptions, structured data, and more. (Source)
On-Page SEO is the most common tactic that is both utilised and understood by business owners as ‘SEO’, but on-page SEO is often accompanied by Off-Page SEO tactics for true success with your organic search result performance.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO (often called External SEO) refers to activities outside of the webpage you want to rank. Most often, off-page SEO refers to building links, but can include other activities such as social media, raising brand awareness, and PR efforts. This differs from on-page SEO in that the focus of the work does not involve working on the page itself. (Source)
How to Develop Your Off-Page SEO
There are four key off-site areas that you should work on to boost your SEO performance.
These are links from other sites that direct users to your website. Link building, also referred to as backlinking, is a time-consuming but often rewarding marketing strategy. Backlinks can come in the form of:
- Natural or earned links, in which editorial publishers or consumers mention your brand organically.
- Built links, which require some effort on your end, such as reaching out to publishers for link attribution or mention.
You need to tread carefully with link building to ensure the practices you’re doing remain white hat, otherwise if you’re flooding forums or comment sections with webpage links Google will penalise you and mark your site down for spam activities. HubSpot offers a great white-hat backlinks guide.
Without question, a great way to expand your online presence is utilising social media channels, and social activity greatly helps with your Off-Page SEO performance.
Utilising social media allows you to gain domain authority and increase your search ranking, with Google now highlighting company’s social media links in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
A great way to build your off-page authority is to focus on a Local SEO strategy, especially if you sell your products/services in particular geographic locations or from a business address, i.e. retail shops, salons, and handymen services. Consider:
- Add your company to reputable local and national directories, particularly Google My Business.
- Claim your listing on various review sites i.e. Yelp, TripAdvisor.
- Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on multiple channels
- Regularly maintain your listings with a particular focus on making sure your contact details align across all digital platforms.
Above all else, a great way to boost off-page SEO is content marketing, namely guest blogging, downloadable content, surveys and reports. These are all methods that support your On-Page SEO (Blogs, ebooks, etc.) but this content is designed to be hosted on other platforms and websites, and be disseminated to a wider audience.
Guest blogging is the #1 way to do this for most businesses and supports your backlink creation strategy too.
Top Tips for Your Off-Page SEO Strategy
You need to focus on quality activity to ensure you are helping - not hindering - your Off-Page SEO performance.
- in 2021, this includes the following activities and priorities:
- The number of referring domains you have directing to your website
- It’s not just a number game, as it may have been previously, you need to prioritise on domains with high authority
- The links to your site need to be relevant, there are lots of sites that may offer to list your site, but you need to be looking for relevant sources, i.e. A dog training company is a better backlink for a pet toy company.
There are a number of online tools to support you with your Off-Page SEO strategy, including SEMrush which includes a backlinks analytics tool, offering areas of improvement and a competitor comparison.