Search engine optimization is one of the oldest digital marketing techniques available to improve your rankings for organic search engines. The most popular form is on-page SEO because it involves changes to your website, but there is an entirely separate branch called off-page SEO that is just as important.
What’s the Difference?
On-page SEO is everything that involves your website directly. When you create a keyword list, optimize page copy and meta descriptions, etc. you’re doing on-page SEO. It’s on the page, so to speak. Everything you do is designed to improve your rankings with Google for those web pages.
Off-page SEO is anything you do to improve Google rankings outside of your website. You’re probably asking yourself, how can anything be done outside my website to help me with organic search? Google wants its customers to get the best website possible in search results and it goes by relevance and authority. If you can improve your relevance and authority, then you will naturally improve your search rankings.
Off-page SEO uses techniques that will improve these aspects without directly using or making changes to your website.
Techniques for Off-Page SEO
One of the biggest factors Google uses for website rankings is backlinks. A backlink is when another website includes a link to your website on one of its pages. The more high quality backlinks a website has the more authority. Google’s thought is that if all these sites are linking back to this site, then it must have really good information.
Backlinks are an example of off-page SEO as they don’t actually involve any changes to your website and yet can impact rankings. Link building is a proven method of SEO, but be careful on the type of links you develop. As high quality backlinks can improve your SEO, toxic backlinks can damage it. Purchased links or links from known negative sources can negatively impact your rankings. If you have toxic backlinks, then you can use Google Search Console to disavow them, so they don’t count as backlinks.
Brand mentions are another way to improve authority. Anytime a website mentions you, your brand, company, etc., Google takes notice. It’s the same way with social media. If people consistently share and like your posts, then Google may consider you an authority. With some social media being searchable now, it can help SEO on several fronts.
Many people use guest blogging as a way to extend brand reach and develop authority, but often the links are no follow, which means they don’t count as a backlink for Google. This is common practice and links should not be the goal of guest blogging. The goal is to get your name out there, extend your brand reach and drive traffic to your site.
By using both on-page and off-page SEO, you can effectively improve you organic rankings.