Even people who otherwise have little to do with SEO should have heard of the topic of on-site SEO. But what about off-page optimization? Is it just about link building, or is there more to it?
Off-page and on-page are two sides of the same SEO medal. Off-page optimization defines all processes and methods that take place away from your website – for example, references from external pages (links).
The ultimate goal of off-page SEO is to attract as many visitors to your website as possible. This can be used to generate sales in the following, or to inform customers about the offers in a retail store, depending on the goals pursued a website.
But how specifically will you tackle off-page optimization in 2020?
Clean link building in magazines, blogs and forums
For search engines, backlinks are still the basis for building trust. The main focus is on the value of a page that issued the link.
If premium magazines, newspapers and Wikipedia link to your site, this is a great sign of trust for Google and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the ranking.
The term clean link structure is also understood to mean that the pages concerned are selected. Not every page should refer to your page, because this could look like spam. A search engine like Google will see through such measures in the medium term and even punish the landing page in case of doubt.
Link building through resource pages
Resource pages are pages that publish high-quality content on a specific topic. These can be found among others as follows:
“Keyword” + inurl: links
“Keyword” + “Question”
“Keyword” + “resources”
The next step is to check out the free backlink checker from Ahrefs and have the domain checked.
If the page is good enough for a backlink, there are the following approaches to get a backlink from the desired page:
- Broken links method. The requested page is scanned for broken links. If you find one, you point this out to the website operator and suggest a replacement. Of course, this should be a suitable, own destination URL.
- Guest posts. The operator of the desired page is advised to write a guest post on a specific topic to place the desired backlink then organically.
- Find suitable articles on external sites. The blog or website operators are contacted and referred to a new, appropriate source on their landing page and asked whether they would like to incorporate it into their page. This is legitimate because Google also honours when websites are kept up to date and refer to relevant sources.
- Answer questions on portals such as Quora, gutefrage.net & Co. to include the appropriate backlinks in the qualified answers.
- Write and publish high-quality forum entries that refer to the destination URL.
- Create high-quality reference contributions on your page and link them to Wikipedia.
- Link exchange: Write to thematically related pages whether you are interested in a link exchange.
- Infographics: If you create great infographics, other people may want to include them on your website. The condition for using the infographic is that a backlink is set.
No matter which of these ways you want to go, creating high-quality content is always part of building backlinks.
One cannot expect much from dubious ranking packs for a few available euros, for example, from Fiver and Co. Here you usually get to deal with “black hat” SEO methods, which will always damage your reputation in the medium term, for example, if there are entries from spam websites under your company name or the backlinks are generated via hacked websites.
People don’t link to your site because they don’t know they exist; and they will not usually know, that they exist unless you tell them about it. “
– Julie Adams, Our Beautiful Planet
Buying premium backlinks and having the link building service carried out by professionals to achieve a sustainable SEO effect makes absolute sense. There, SEO agencies that specialize exclusively in the topic of off-page optimization are recommended.
Other factors of a useful link
If excellent content is provided on the website, organic backlinks will inevitably also result. Forums, in particular, generate some links if the topic is worth discussing. Blogs or newspapers can also mention your page as a reference.
The link strength results from the anchor text, the position of the link in the article and the number of backlinks.
To analyze organic backlinks in more detail, it is worth taking a look at tools such as Seobility (which offers up to one domain and up to 10 keywords for free), Openlink Profiler (completely free) or the Moz Link Explorer.
About the anchor text, it should also be mentioned that a so-called exact match anchor text has its disadvantages. If too many anchor texts with a single specific word or order appear in the link profile, it is reasonable to assume that these are not organic links, but instead, activities related to link exchange or link purchase.
How effective are social signals?
In addition to pure link building (link building), there are also so-called “social signals”. These are mainly tweets, Facebook posts, and all other “social” platforms on which content and links are shared.
Although a direct connection between ranking and social signals is controversial, a correlation can be seen in any case. Google has also confirmed such a relationship:
Social annotations drive a 5% -10% increase in click-through rate, on average.
ZMOT Handbook, Thingwithgoogle.com
Social signals don’t just include tweets and Facebook posts. Social signals are also comments, likes and retweets. Those who focus on this generally have more traffic, since the platforms automatically promote a lot of interaction through the algorithm. Efficient social media marketing should, therefore, also take place.
Also, customer reviews on external sites as Amazon or Google My Business are among the so-called social signal.
Become an opinion leader and strengthen your brand
If you are looking for a specific search term, you will notice that large portals (with a lot of traffic) appear in the top places. This is primarily because Google, Bing and other search engines prefer strong brands and opinion leaders. A well-known brand, therefore, has it more comfortable and more relaxed.
But how can you strengthen your brand? This works especially when there is a lot of talk about a brand name. The mentions on the Internet show that it could be a relevant company. But a large number of high-quality backlinks and a large number of subscribers on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Co. can also be an indication of this.
This is again proof that social media should not be put on the siding, even if you have a limited reach in social media. You can counteract this by, for example, “managing” the current social media trends, that is, by publishing suitable content for popular hashtags.
Criteria on the website
To understand the rankings in the search results, you have to ask what Google values. Google’s goal is to show the best and most relevant content for a given search query. For this, Google uses the so-called user signals, e.g. the length of stay and the bounce rate.
If the user lingers on the page for a long time and even clicks on further pages, then it is a sign that it is relevant content. Google will then reward the page with even more visitors.
Create a monthly report of the off-page optimizations
To draw an interim conclusion, it is worth creating a report with the most important key figures once a month. The reporting can include the following numbers:
Website key figures
- number of visitors
- Number of page views
- Sessions per user
- Home page views
- Top 10 Articles
- The average length of stay per session in seconds
- Pageviews per session
- Bounce rate
- The main traffic sources
- Share of organic traffic
- Direct traffic share
- Follower XING
- Twitter followers
- Facebook likes
- Followers on Pinterest
- Followers on LinkedIn
- Followers on Instagram
In this way, it can be systematically recorded whether the methods in off-page optimization made sense or whether one’s efforts in a particular area still need to be intensified.
With our contribution to “Off-Page Optimization in 2020 – How it Works”, we have prepared a broad overview of the topic for you and showed you how systematic backlinks could be built up.
However, all of this means that high-quality links exist on the target page. Every effective off-page optimization in 2020 goes hand in hand with on-page optimization. In this way, parameters such as loading speed and bounce rate can also be improved.