The term off-page SEO (sometimes off-site SEO) refers to any tactic or strategy used with the goal of improving a website’s ranking on major search engines such as Google and which is implemented outside of the site in question. Alongside on-page SEO and technical SEO, off-page SEO comprises an essential part of any modern digital marketing strategy.
Creating off-page signals provides Google with information about a site that doesn’t originate from the site in question. In this sense, it can be seen as more impartial and a powerful indicator of authority but it has historically been one of the most manipulated and therefore contentious areas of SEO (and continues to be).
There are a wide variety of activities which may be classified as off-page SEO. The most effective approaches can lead to lasting optimisation and improved rankings, making it an essential of the digital marketing mix.
Types of Off-Page SEO
There are various tactics and approaches to off-site SEO but they tend to fall into one of two camps: direct and indirect.
Direct tactics involve approaching sites in order to ask for links or create guest content for them which have links in. Another direct approach is adding a website to directories, which is a local SEO tactic centred around citations and NAP information.
Indirect offsite tactics are about creating content and noise online that earns you links because people naturally link back to your content. This is Google’s preferred method of generating offsite signals, as it is seen as more natural than approaching third parties for links generating offsite pages and backlinks yourself.
Below is a list of common offsite tactics:
- Link building
- Guest blogging
- Directory listings
- Customer reviews
- Influencer campaigns
- Social media campaigns
- Brand mentions
- Social bookmarking
- Forum posting
- Syndicating content
Tactics like forum posting and social bookmarking are far less effective at creating direct signals to Google but on good sites with the right kind of social promotion, can be very effective at growing your brand and earning natural powerful links to your content.
Traditionally it is links that are the most powerful offsite signal to Google and this remains true today. Tactics like buying or even automating the creation of multiple links, on questionable or purpose built linking sites, are no longer seen as sustainable. Indeed, this kind of activity will invariably land a website with a Google Penalty.
For a more in depth look into link building tactics read our blog article on how to do link building without getting hurt.