Off-Page SEO refers to your website’s overall “authority” on the web determined by what other websites say about your site. Off-page optimization is a long-term process and takes the time to improve. Simply put, off page is all about your online reputation. Off page optimization includes acquiring backlinks to your page from the authority sites in your niche. Backlinks are the currency of any off-page strategy. And, unlike on-page optimization, off-page optimization efforts are not apparently visible on the webpage itself; it does the background work for a better search result.
But, after the recent Google Panda and Penguin updates, off-page optimization scenario has drastically changed. Many effective old school practices became obsolete and negatively affected many big websites with high page ranks.Off page optimization effort can be grossly divided into two parts:
1. Acquiring Backlinks
Acquiring backlinks to your pages from higher authority sites is now more important than ever. Search engines treat link popularity as one of the key factors for a better search engine ranking. Though, link popularity is not the top ranking factor anymore, as it can easily be manipulated. Nowadays, search engines focus more on the quality of your content and the level of engagement on the site, over the number of links pointing towards your site. So, the success factor is not building a long list of inbound links but building a trail of quality links for your site. Creating quality content that informs and educates your target audience is more important than ever.
TIP: Getting a number of links from multiple domains relevant in your industry are the key. Buying backlinks from non-related domains won’t earn you goodwill in search engine results and can even penalize you.
2. Leveraging social interaction with your site
Use of social metrics or social engagement as a ranking factor is an increasing trend. Besides backlinks, Google now gives prominence to social signals around your content. Whether it’s the number of people who tweet, ‘Like’, social bookmark, or “vote” via Google +1 for your content, your site’s social footprints has a direct relation with your rankings. SEO has now evolved into social.
3. Promote your content via social channels
Make sure to promote your content through multiple social media channels to obtain some social media traction. You can use multiple platforms to engage your audience, keeping the focus on the ones creating maximum buzz for you. There are various platforms at your exposure:
Facebook is the social platform with the maximum number of active users at this moment. You can share your content there but don’t use a promotional tone, rather keep it light as people come to Facebook mostly with an intention of socializing in a casual mood. Especially interesting and light topics with pictures get more attention in the form of Likes and Share on Facebook.
Twitter and LinkedIn
You can distribute your content on both these platforms. You can share your content in the form of an article, video, image or even in the form of a simple update. You can join relevant LinkedIn groups and share you articles there too. If you have content of great quality you’ll surely be able to create buzz around it.
It has become very important to share any content you create on Google+, as it is from the search engine provider itself. Recently, there is a lot of noise that Google+ has a indirect correlation with your website’s ranking in the search engine. Google also have introduced a new feature called Google Authorship. It shows the picture and name of an author with his articles in Google search results. This has come across as a major factor to counter the duplicate content by giving weightage to the authors and the content they have created.
Pinterest is the latest social media sensation. The image sharing website allows you to share pictures from your post to appeal to your target audience. If you have an e-commerce site, Pinterest can help you drive your sales.
This is a question & answer platform where a lot of people come searching for the solution to different problems and queries. You can post your content or your opinion in any of the relevant discussion thread and readers can up vote or down vote it. This is in fact the future of commenting. The platform can help you establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your field.
You can create informational videos on topics like make-up tips or different marketing strategies to share them on free video hosting sites like Vimeo, YouTube etc. generating billions of unique viewers every month.
4. Add social book markings
Social bookmarking is one of those old yet useful off-page SEO techniques being used from the pre-Panda and Penguin age. There are many sites like Tumbler, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Delicious, Digg being the most prominent ones, where people come in searching for different content topics. You can add a social bookmarking panel to your website and share all the content you produce.
5. Guest Blogging
Another way of acquiring strong back links in post Panda era is guest blogging. You have to create relevant and high quality content and submit to the blogs with higher page ranks. If your article contains real good stuffs it will get published and to do that you have to observe the content types and categories your target blogs are covering, it’s even great if there are some common or related categories both of you cater to.
For a long term and successful search engine optimization strategy, you need to work on your site structure as well as on building your online reputation by getting backlinks and creating the community around your content. And, ultimately, it boils down to creating interesting and informative content people would like to read and share. Content is still the King.