What is Off-Page Optimization And How To Implement it?

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Off-Page Optimization refers to optimization techniques that take place outside of the actual website, such as building links – which increase the authority of a website and enhance natural search rankings.

It is simply the process of linking or promoting your website using link building by earning backlinks and citations. This helps in improving the website’s recognition, credibility, trustworthiness, and authority. This in turn helps Google to know that our website is trustworthy.

Imbound Links - Elements and Formats

Inbound links are a fundamental indicator of the trustworthiness of a website, therefore they are a major determining factor in rankings and allow us to improve our web site’s recognition, relevancy, or credibility.

The elements of the imbound links are as follows;

  • The text which contains the hyperlink (Anchor text)
  • The destination URL
  • No-follow Tag

 

The different formats with which a link is presented to the visitors are as follows;

  • Uninformative Link: Click Here
  • URL link: www.samsung.com
  • Topic link: Latest Android Phones
  • Keyword link: Best Android Phones under budget

Link Building

Link Building is the online navigation of hyperlinks and refers to getting links from other websites directed toward yours. In this way, we can drive referral traffic and increase the website’s authority. 

Backlinks (Inbound links) should be based on two important factors:-

Relevance

Relevance means that the backlink is placed on a webpage that talks about the same subject as yours or are from a website that caters to the same niche as your site. 

Authority

If you’ve managed to get links from high-authority sites that’s a job well done. The idea behind an authoritative website link is that the better a website is in the eyes of search engines, the more likely it is that the links are going to help you rank higher.

The most prominent methods of link-building are as follows;

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Linking
  • Google My Business
  • Sponsorship links

Methods of Link-Building

The most prominent methods of link-building are as follows;

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Linking
  • Google My Business
  • Sponsorship links

Competitor Analysis

You need to be smart when it comes to your competition and find out who you’re competing against in the market. Once you have the list of all your top competitors, using tools like the Ahrefs site explorer tool, simply put their website URL. This will give you all the information about their backlink profile including types of backlinks, where they are getting the backlinks from, the anchor text, the context, and more. This can give you an idea of what kind of backlinks you can potentially earn. 

Some strategies to follow in Content Marketing are as follows;

Outreaching

Outreach is basically, you reaching out to websites and people in your niche and introducing them to the content you have on your website. Generally, SEO specialist spends their time reaching out to different publishers and asking them to write a guest blog on their website or share a relevant and important blog from your website that you think they will appreciate.

Ways of Outreaching;

  • Outreaching by Guest Blogging: Guest Blogging is a tried and tested way of creating authority for your website. You’re simply writing content for another website in your niche and adding links to your website. You can make use of [topic + in the title ‘write for us’] in the Google Search bar to look for websites that are looking for guest bloggers. When you reach out to them and offer to write a guest blog, these websites will usually respond by telling you what kind of content they’re looking for. You can place a link to your website if you think it’s relevant for the readers and will add value to their user journey if they clicked on that link. Outreaching is considered one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive parts of off-page optimization.
  • Outreaching for broken link building: Broken links as the name imply refer to links that lead to pages that don’t exist anymore. A lot of the high authority websites have broken links and that could be a problem for them because they have backlinks on their pages that aren’t leading anywhere. Look for a website pointing to a page that doesn’t exist anymore. Ahrefs content explorer tool is very useful to find out such websites. You just have to type in your keyword or content category and use a filter to view only results with broken links. Next, you need to see what kind of content was being linked to there.

You can use the Wayback machine; this is a website that archives pages that don’t exist anymore. You can use this website to see what the ghost page was all about. You can then decide which content that you already have would work there or you can create a piece of content from scratch. Finally reach out to the website with the broken link, inform them about their broken link and offer to link up to your page, often they’ll be glad to link back to you.

Content Marketing

Brand Mentions

Here you find out websites that have mentioned you without linking to you. All you need to do is approach such people and request a backlink. 

You can head to the website named Brand Mentions to discover a list of unlinked mentions. You could also make use of tools like Link Prospector by Citation Labs or Mentions Tracker by Ahrefs, for sorting out unlinked brand mentions.

Repurposing Content

You can also create more link-building opportunities by leveraging your previous work and repurposing content. It essentially means expanding the reach of your content for all types of audiences. You can take a particular blog on your website, make a few tweaks and create a video out of it or a podcast or an infographic, and so on. 

At this point, instead of having one piece of content, you now have several types of content, which means more avenues for you to share your work and more opportunities for link-building. Maybe someone will share your video, maybe someone will read your blog, or maybe some other website will integrate your infographic into their articles and give you a citation. Content Repurposing opens up a ton of opportunities.

Social Linking

Off-page SEO also covers social signals. Social signals are the engagements that your content receives, such as likes, shares, comments, etc. Social media is not limited to building personal connections. Organic mentions are now one of the strongest pillars of marketing and getting backlinks. While social media backlinks may not be direct ranking factors, they can improve your visibility and help you earn organic backlinks from other websites. Figure out which social media platforms have the best traffic potential for your brand.

You can use different analytics tools to get better data and make more informed decisions regarding which social media platforms to focus more on. Come up with catchy headlines and keep your content quality high to get massive social shares and backlinks.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free tool from Google allowing your business to appear in local search results by listing relevant information about your business, like name, contact, details, address, etc. 

So, if you’re a business with a physical address, Google My Business is an important tool to use to make sure you are visible in Search Rankings. Optimize your page and get it to rank on Google My Business listing as part of your off-page optimization strategy.

Sponsorship Links

In September 2019, Google announced a new type of link attribute called sponsored links. It’s, therefore, possible to mark links as sponsored. The sponsored attribute is used to identify links that are specifically the result of paid placement; e.g., sponsored placements, advertorials, paid links, and similar. 

An advertisement or link you get paid for or in any other way should use the sponsored attribute. 

<a href=”https:www.linkbuilding.com/blog” rel=”sponsored”>

The reasoning behind this is that Google sees links to a page as an endorsement. You link to an article because it’s a valuable resource you’d like to point your users to. With the sponsored attribute Google can differentiate these “unnatural links” from normal links (that are earned). However, other search engines won’t recognize the sponsored attribute, hence, it is recommended to add the no-follow attribute to this type of link.

Do-Follow & No-Follow Links

Do-Follow Link

A do-follow link is a link that helps in terms of SEO by passing the authority of the origin site to the destination site.

Acquiring do-follow links will help improve a website’s domain authority, or domain rating, which in turn, helps to improve keyword ranking. By default, links are do-follow, so there is no need for rel=”do-follow” when linking to a website.

<a href=”https:www.linkbuilding.com/blog”>

No-Follow Link

A no-follow link, is a link that does not pass authority on to the website it is linking to. These links do not help in terms of SEO. A no-follow backlink should be used when you do not want to pass link juice to, or endorse the linked website. A no-follow link is a hyperlink with a “rel=nofollow” attribute to it.

<a href=”https:www.linkbuilding.com/blog”>

How did no-follow links come into existence?

Back in 2005, Google started to face big issues. Various kinds of blogging websites grew in popularity. People then started spamming the comment section of these blogs by leaving junk comments with backlinks pointing back to their websites. This wasn’t just bad from a UX perspective, it was bad for Google. 

Spammy websites started ranking higher in the organic results just by leaving a dozen of comments on other people’s blogging websites and high-quality sites started getting lower in the search results. That’s when Google acted and introduced the no-follow attribute. This helped them combat comment spam. No-follow links were then adopted in places other than blog comments, such as sponsored links, social media links, forum links, and more. Major websites like; Wikipedia, Forbes, and others adopted a policy of making all their external links no-follow.

No-follow links can still be useful for other purposes.

Referral traffic – No-follow links can bring referral traffic to your site. If you earn a no-follow link on a high authority site, like Wikipedia.com, you still get a link. It still looks the same to the human eye and people may click on that link, which means you will get impressive referral traffic. This alone is a great reason to try getting a no-follow link on relevant sites in your niche which receives a huge amount of traffic.

Brand Awareness – By achieving no-follow links, you get online mentions, brand awareness, and positive word-of-mouth. If your link is being shared on social media, those links are probably no-follow, but a whole lot of new people are going to come across that link and get aware of your brand. You may see other people organically saying good things about a brand on social media. These positive mentions help you with the trust element.

Google Penguin Update

Google Penguin update was designed to reduce ‘web spam’ and encourage high-quality content for users. With each Google Penguin update, the algorithm once again scans websites for potential violations, opening up the possibility that brands might be penalized. The Penguin penalty largely focuses on identifying poor-quality websites based on backlinks. You can generally tell if your page has been hit by a Penguin penalty if you notice a sharp drop in traffic to a particular page. The best way to avoid a Penguin update penalty is to focus on cultivating positive backlinks.

To avoid a Google Penguin update penalty

Get rid of any backlinks you have purchased or otherwise illicitly gained. Focus on creating high-quality content and distributing it to attract the desired backlinks. Regularly monitor your backlink profile to quickly find undesirable links. Disavow any poor-quality links to protect your site’s reputation.

You should disavow backlinks only if:

  • You have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site. 
  • The links have caused a manual action, or likely will cause a manual action, on your site.

How to disavow backlinks?

  • Assemble your list of pages or domains to disavow in a text file that you will upload to Google.

# Two pages to disavow 

http://spam.example.com/stuff/comments.html 

http://spam.example.com/stuff/paid-links.html 

# One domain to disavow 

domain: shadyseo.com 

  • Go to the disavow links tool page in Google Search Console.
  • Select a property from the property list. 
  • Click the button to upload your list.
  • Choose the disavow file from your local computer as directed.

Note: If the upload is successful, it can take a few weeks for Google to incorporate your list into the index as Google recrawls the web and reprocess the pages that we see.

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