In the age of the internet, everyone wants to be on the first page of Google. From small businesses to multi-national companies, everyone is running after the search algorithm.
As we all know that a site should be Search Engine Optimized to get better ranking. Here the two most important part of SEO comes into play.
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
I have described the On-Page SEO in comprehensive posts in this blog. So feel free to check that out.
Here we will discuss the Off-Page SEO and the factors.
Whenever someone says the word Off-Page SEO we suddenly think about the link building. But SEO has evolved a lot and we have to go beyond. So, let’s jump into it.
Off-Page SEO Checklist 2020
Here is a list of 20 off-page SEO techniques that you can follow to optimize your site for better ranking.
1. Competitor's Research
You are trying to rank on a particular topic. No matter which niche you belong to, there would many competitors spending hours of effort to get rank.
In a super rare case, you might have chosen a niche that is still unknown to the rest of the world and you are the first to make content on that topic. If that’s the case, then you may skip the step.
However, competitor research is one of the most important things you should do, when you are out for off-page SEO.
After spending some time on a particular niche, you would aware of the competitors. Now its time to analyze them.
Your competitors are doing some important things that result in their ranking on the first page. So you can replicate their process and do the same on your site.
There is no guaranty that all of your competitors are doing things in the right way. There may be a change that they may use black hat SEO techniques to fool the search engine algorithms and get better ranking.
Remember that this is a temporary method and they might get success to get a higher ranking. But this will not last long.
Black hat SEO techniques are against Google’s or Bing’s guidelines. Once they detect this, then their site will be penalized. So you should never follow them blindly.
If you have done competitor research in the right way, you would have some valuable resources that you can use on your site. Keyword ideas and backlink profiles are the two most important things you will have.
You can target the low competitive keywords and get better ranking in less time. The backlink profile of their site will give you ideas from where they are getting backlinks. You can pitch the sites as well to get a backlink.
2. Focus on creating high quality content
How many times did you hear that content is king? Your answer might be many times as no one counts it.
If you have read me an on-page SEO post, then you noticed that I mentioned this also. High quality content is also important here also.
Your content is the best and suitable medium to connect with your audience. Through content, you can showcase your expertise in that niche, build trust and create brand awareness.
There is an ocean of content over the internet already present and how your content will be stand out? The simple answer would be high quality content only. Always try to create high quality (in-depth) content.
High quality content is a magnet and it attracts readers towards it. People will love to read the in-depth article and share in the social media platforms. This way you will get many new readers to your blog. This type of content has the highest potential to get high quality backlinks. So this will boost your overall backlink profile. This way you will get a higher ranking with quality content.
With the high quality content won half the battle. Rather than focusing on the number of posts, try to make some high quality and in-depth content. Then you will get the benefits in the long run.
3. Content Marketing
Now, you might have created awesome content and hit the publish button.
If you stay as it is, then it will be disappeared in the ocean of contents. This is a “Publish and Pray method” and you should not follow this at all.
After publishing your awesome content, now it’s time to promote it and let the world know.
Content marketing is one of the best and trusted way to get hundreds of new visitors and build an audience base.
Your process of content marketing should start from the audience. Understand your target audience according to your niche and how you can reach them.
Once you figure out your audience and the medium you have to take to promote your content, then you are good to go. Then focus on the marketing medium and how your quality content can benefit them.
Without knowing your audience and the medium, all your content marketing efforts will be a waste of time. You would never want to waste your efforts.
You may market your content in a different medium. Then you can easily track and compare the outputs. Once you figure out the medium that is giving the highest outcome, then focus more on that. Then you just need to keep repeating the same process every time you publish new content in your blog.
Content marketing is a long-term game and you need to have the patience to get a result.
4. Link building
If you are in the SEO space for a while, then you might know the importance of link building.
Google uses more than 200 ranking factors to rank a webpage in the search result. No one knows the exact number till now and everyone is assuming this.
But backlink is the most important (perhaps the number one) ranking factor of Google.
After knowing the importance of backlinks, everyone is running after it. SEO professionals and site owners are spending some quality time to create backlinks.
But let me clear that, not all links are created equal. Every backlink has its own story.
Rather than running here and there, create random backlinks, focus on creating quality backlinks. One high quality backlink would give the benefits of hundreds of random low-quality links.
Quality backlinks from high authoritative websites have a huge impact on ranking.
If you are focusing on producing content and not focusing on creating backlinks, then you are missing something. Today or tomorrow, you should adopt this whether you like it or not.
There are many factors Google can take into consideration when deciding the ranking. You might be thinking that why Google is putting more emphasis on the backlinks? Good question.
Google counts each backlink as a vote. The more is the number of votes, the higher is the potential. If an authoritative site gives a backlink to another site, then Google thinks that the referred site should have some value that’s why the authoritative site has given backlink.
Don’t forget the quality backlinks here also. This is not a number game. This a quality and authority game at the end.
Several recommended link building strategies are there to get high quality backlinks. But that would be a good topic for discussion of another day.
In short, quality content and good marketing strategies drive some quality backlinks. Below you will find some methods to get a backlink as well.
Again, getting high-quality backlinks is a long-term process and it takes some time to see the effects.
5. Diversify Anchor Texts
Anchor text means a single word or phrase (sometimes a sentence) that appears in clickable text on a website. The structure of anchor text in HTML like this:
<a href=”http://www.example.com”>This is an anchor text example</a>
Back in the days when there were no restricted guidelines, site webmasters and site owners do over optimizations. After the release of the Google Penguin update, the concept of over-optimization was gone.
When you are using the anchor text, don’t repeat the same word again and again. This looks ugly to search engine and you may get penalized.
When you are building backlink, try to diversify the anchor text. You can perform a full backlink audit of your site to get an idea of the anchor texts.
If you can, then reach out to the webmaster and ask them to change the anchor text on their site. If this is not possible then try to build backlink in other anchor texts next time.
6. Link cleanup
As of now, you know that links are very important to SEO. Some website owners try to game this rule and apply some spammy techniques.
I have seen many people buy backlinks from freelancing websites. One may get hundreds of backlinks in a few dollars. Let me clear that, never buy any backlinks from this type of site.
These backlinks are spammy and automatically generated by bots. Your site would easily penalize by Google.
Now the new Google Search Console is showing backlinks also. Once you identify the bad backlinks, now its time to clean up those links.
You can manually contact the site owners and ask him to remove the link from your site. This method does not work most of the time because the sites are spammy and the webmasters don’t respond to anyone.
The best way for link cleanup is Google’s disavow tool. It helps you to remove bad backlinks easily. After disavowing these bad links, Google will not count it in your site’s backlink profile.
Use Ahrefs or Moz and extract the complete list of bad links in a .csv file. Just upload that file into the Google disavow tool. Repeat the same process at regular intervals to maintain the cleanness.
7. Influencer Outreach
The Internet opens many new ways to be popular in less time. With the growing demand of social media a new trend going on, i.e influencer.
An influencer is a person who has some fame in a particular field and some followers in a particular niche. They actively engage their audience by sharing knowledge.
As their followers have trust in the influencer, this is a great place to promote your content through them. Your content will be in front of thousands of followers and targeted audience.
As their influencer is sharing this content, they would more likely to read and share. This way you will have hundreds of new readers for your content.
8. Build a Relationship With Other Bloggers
Blogging is a space where you can build a relationship for your favor. Relationship with other bloggers has many benefits.
Rand Fishkin, Co-Founder of Moz says “don’t just build links, build relationships”.
Whether you are an absolute beginner or have some experience, the blogging community always welcomes new members.
You can learn some insider techniques and apply them to your blog. Another benefit would be, they might allow you to put a guest post on their blog. In the guest post, you can get a backlink to your blog.
They also share your articles with their audience and you will get some additional traffic to your blog. Building relationships has huge benefits in blogging as well. So reach out to the other bloggers and start building a relationship from today.
9. Guest blogging
Many people in this space are saying that guest blogging is dead. But it’s not the reality. Guest blogging is still in existence.
Many of them are claiming that, Google officially announced this in 2014. But we have crossed 5 long years since the announcement.
So what about Google announcements? Well, Google announced this to stop the spammy practices made by webmasters. It’s just a step to stop low‐quality guest posting.
Hundreds of people are still using this technique and counting it in white-hat SEO.
Many blogs allow guest posts and allow links as well. You can post a guest article on their blog with a link to your blog. Although they have some guidelines that you have to obey during posting.
In this way, you will get a backlink and some more traffic to your blog. A backlink from authoritative sites can boost your ranking as well.
Guest blogging might be the result when you are having relationships with other bloggers. Only post in the blogs that are relevant to your niche.
10. Link to others and let them know
This is one of the smart techniques you can apply in your off-page SEO checklist.
Generally, when we write articles and give references to other blogs when needed. If someone has written an in-depth post about a topic and you don’t want to cover it in your blog, then this is a good idea to link that article.
Nothing wrong with that.
If you are linking to someone’s article, then you can let them know. Indirectly you are showing your content to them.
In this way, the person knows your content and blog. They may share your content with their audience and you get some extra traffic. In the future, they might link to your article as well.
11. Vivid social media presence
Social media presence is not an option now. It’s a necessity.
Make your presence on various major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
After publishing content on your blog, post them on social media platforms. Make dedicated pages for your blog and post on them. Slowly you will build a loyal audience base and you will have some followers.
Keep posting on a regular basis and engage them. If they get some value on a regular basis, then they will stick with you.
A healthy social media presence builds a good reputation and authority. When you keep repeating this process, you will have some loyal user base.
Whenever you post on social media, people will click and land on your site. They will read the article and if got value them they more likely to share it. This way you will get some additional traffic to your blog.
12. Active and Interact on forums
Forums are a great place to find your targeted audiences. People follow each other and share their knowledge.
You will find a forum in almost every niche. So join some of the forums that relevant to your niche.
Then start solving their problem by answering the questions. Most of the people join forums to find the solution to their problem. As you have some expertise in that niche, you can solve their problems easily.
As you are running a blog in the same niche, there is a change that you have written articles on that topic. If you have written then give a link to your blog with the answer.
Don’t spam the forum by placing many links. Just be natural and give links whenever needed. Some forums have very straight guidelines and they may kick you out for spammy behaviors.
Forums are having a very loyal audience and you can make them your blog readers as well.
13. Use social bookmarking sites
Social bookmarking sites help you to get more traffic. There are many of this king and you can share webpages and media files.
If you are thinking to put a backlink in this type of site and get the link juice then forget about it. We are living in the age of AI and Google Rank Brain. You can get the benefit of a backlink.
Instead of that, you can get some more benefits as well. These types of social bookmarking sites have millions of regular users. You can drive traffic from there and increase your user base.
Many people are starting neglecting this social bookmarking method. Of course, you will not get the direct benefit (backlink) but indirectly, there are several benefits.
14. Link building through podcasts
Podcasts are skyrocketing these days. Many people prefer to consume this type of audio content than any other medium.
This is a proven strategy and many top-level bloggers are approaching this. You will find podcasters in almost every niche. Reach out to them and ask to invite you as a guest in their podcast episode.
Many people take interviews through their podcast episodes. So it would be a good place to pitch. When they invite you, they will mention your name and website on their website and all other places.
This way you and your brand will be known in various places. People will be curious to know about your brand and they will land on your blog. So you got authority backlinks and traffic.
Podcasts give you the opportunity to interact directly with your target audience.
15. Question and answer sites
Question and answer sites are a great way to get some additional traffic as well as content ideas.
Many people are searching for answers that are very necessary for them. Find some sites that fall into your niche and join them. Start answering people’s questions in the described way. Again don’t misuse the platform by placing random links.
Sometime you may refer to your blog post where you have described that topic in detail. People would visit your blog and find their answers. They may share your answers and let other people know about it.
Another advantage is to get new content ideas. When many people are arising a question that you have not covered in your blog, then this might be a good content idea for your next blog post.
So you can drive some additional traffic to your blog in this way also.
16. Infographics submission
Infographics are getting popularity these days. People love to read content in a visually rich way.
You can create a nice-looking infographic that matches your content. If you can’t do this, then hire someone to form a freelancer’s website and make one.
There are many infographics submission websites available. You can post it there and drive traffic as well.
You can also use the same infographics in your blog and grabs the user’s attention. Optimize the infographics so that it can load fast. You may also put an embed code so that anyone can copy and pest it in their blog and give you a backlink.
17. Article Submission
Like infographics, there are many websites where you can submit your articles. Some websites also allow you to put backlink and this is a good way to get some additional traffic.
Their sites where you would place your articles are well-established and they don’t allow you to post random articles. They don’t allow spam.
They have millions of active users and they won’t place any low-quality articles. Make an in-depth and compressive article that has some value. Also, read their guidelines before posting your articles.
This is a good way to get some additional traffic and quality backlinks (if they allow putting). You can also mention your brand without giving links also.
18. Video Marketing
Videos are on every corner of the internet. Many content creators are forecasting that the video would be the future.
There might be many potentials of their words by seeing the growth of video now. If you are only relying on the text-based content only, then you have to think twice.
We are surrounded by videos and you can’t neglect the potential of this form of content. Today or tomorrow, you have to adapt the video content formation.
So start producing video content in addition to text-based content. Then upload them to popular video platforms like YouTube. You will get video views and people will know about your brand.
If they like your videos, then they will subscribe to your channel and you will get a loyal user base. You can redirect them to your website by placing links in the description of the video.
Then you can market your videos grabs more attention as well.
19. Run surveys and create a case study
Surveys and case studies are a great way to get more traffic and backlinks. People love to read real-world data.
No matter what niche your site belongs to, run some surveys and collect people’s opinions. Make sure it is relevant to your niche.
After collecting their feedback, you would have hundreds of raw data. Analyze them and make it as an understandable format.
Whenever someone mentioned your case study in their blog, they also link back to you. Because you have done this study.
In this way, you would get hundreds of backlinks. People also want to read your full case study and visit your blog.
20. Write reviews
If you are from a niche where products are revolving around you, then this method is very helpful for you.
Writing various product reviews in your blog can help your readers to get some value. They thought that you have done all the hard work for them and listed out the good products.
You may reach out to them and let them know that you have written a review of their product. They might mention you on their site as well.
21. Create an expert roundup post
Have you come through a post having thousands of social shares and a long list of comments? Then you might think that you may have such king of posts.
Well, content creators have a dream to do so. Who doesn’t want to get a boost and go viral?
One of the ways you can get such king of engagement in your post is through expert roundup posts. This is a proven strategy and many people got success.
Pick an interesting topic in your niche. Then reach out to some of the experts in your niche. If you don’t know who is best fit to this topic, then do some research and reach out to them.
Collect their opinion and make a list of them. Once you have the opinions from the experts, then make a post and write their opinions on them. Then publish it and then the real magic starts.
After publishing the post, again contact the experts and let them know about this post. They might share this post in their user base and this way you will get hundreds of traffic.
As your content is like an expert cheat sheet, people will love to share it. This way you will get hundreds of social shares and additional traffics.
22. Reach out to the media
This is a less known method and very few people are doing this. Media publications and journalists are always in search of content. So this is a nice way to get mentioned your article in media.
Contact a reporter or journalists and show them your article as a reference. If you are struggling to contact them, sites like Help A Reporter are very helpful for these purposes.
In this website, journalists always submit various content contributions requests. There is a wide range of subjects and you can match your own. Once you find a request that matches your niche, then respond to them and contribute. If you have written something on that topic then, link to your article s well.
Whenever reporters write the story somewhere, then they will mention your name and website there. This way you will get backlinks as well.
23. Create ebooks
eBooks are getting popularity and people love to read digital format rather than traditional. Almost all the popular bloggers are applying this technique and getting amazing benefits.
Making and eBook have many benefits. Once the eBook is ready, place it in your blog and promote it in every possible place.
In the initial stage, you can give it for free with the exchange of email. You can validate their email (sending confirmation link) to ensure whether it is legit or not. Once someone successfully validates their email, then send the eBook.
You don’t have to do these steps manually. All things can be done automatically.
This way, you would have a nice list of emails. You can use this list in many ways. Then you can use this email list to send newsletters and promotional emails.
You can also send the latest post notifications to email. They will read the email and intended to read your blog post.
24. Monitor your SEO efforts
You are trying the best to get higher ranking and putting huge efforts into off-page SEO. If you are not monitoring it, then you can’t figure out the progress.
You can see the ranking history of keywords and pages in their dashboard. Specially check the posts that you are putting efforts on the off-page. If you saw that the ranking is gradually increasing, then your efforts are in the right direction. It also provides you motivation so that you can keep going.
If you noticed that there is no effect on ranking, then you need to analyze the efforts and what can you do better.
Don’t keep putting your efforts blindly. Monitor the ranking on a regular basis to ensure that you are on the right track.
25. Stay Up-to-Date
The hard truth about SEO, there are no rules written on stones. You can’t rely on particular things for a long time. SEO is evolving and demands more effort.
After creating amazing content, backlinks, and promotions, you can’t take rest hopping you have already done the off-page SEO.
SEO is an ongoing process and demands your effort regularly. So keep updating yourself with the latest updates and grab the latest SEO trends.
Google is releasing regular updates and playing with the ranking factors. Although the major ranking factors are not changing and you can rely on that for a long time. But the minor changes can also affect your ranking.
So you have to make regular improvements and keep your site up to date with the latest algorithms.
So these are some of the off-page SEO factors you need to consider when you are optimizing your site. Rather than producing new content only, put your time and efforts on off-page SEO also.