As a smart blogger, you don’t want to take any search engine optimization (SEO) effort with levity. So, with both your On-Page and Off-Page SEO efforts, you can always be far ahead of your competitors.
That’s not difficult to achieve at all. Although, search engine optimization can be quite scary. But to me, that’s not really true!
SEO is just a little bit tasking and you might quit if you’re not diligent.
It’s an effort you make on your website to meet the required standards search engines recommend to control and assure only quality content is visible on the internet always.
You might not see the effect of your effort immediately you make one.
Since search engines algorithms are in constant change, it may take a while before any change you make on your website will give a desirable result.
So, what matters most is doing the right thing at the right time.
There’re different SEO efforts you need to make to improve your ranking score and this guide will walk you through the whole process.
I know you’ve been trying.
And this is the time you’ll finally get the reward of your hard work.
What You Will Learn in this Guide
- 1 Basic SEO Ranking Factors:
- 2 Off-Page SEO and Link Building
- 2.1 Why Need Off-Page SEO
- 2.2 Techniques for Off-Page SEO
- 2.2.1 1. Getting Started With Link Building:
- 2.2.2 Audit and Fix Basic On-Page SEO
- 2.2.3 Check Keywords Suitability
- 2.2.4 Get Relevant Authoritative and User-Friendly Backlinks
- 2.2.5 How To Get Quality Backlinks
- 2.2.6 Untold Off-Page SEO Secrete
- 2.2.7 Social Media Influence
Basic SEO Ranking Factors:
There’re two major search engine optimization factors search engines consider to rank a website:
- On-Page SEO and
- Off-Page SEO.
Your effort to optimize your website based on the two factors will improve its quality, reputation, visibility, trust and authority.
For you not to build your website upon a faulty foundation, it requires having a strategic planning upon which the process will follow.
Part of the planning is knowing what to do to improve user experience within and outside your website. And that leads to On-Page and Off-Page SEO.
In this post, we would be focusing on off-page SEO. But because one complements the other, this guide won’t be complete without mentioning the both.
So, permit me to discuss On-Page SEO in brief.
There’s a Complete Guide on On-Page SEO in an earlier post. Check the link or scroll down to the main subject matter.
On-Page SEO suggests you do everything possible within the back end of your website to produce an interestingly excellent user experience on the front end.
This includes, optimizing your meta title, permalink structure, heading tags, keywords, images, word count, internal links, external links, content and so on.
In most cases, On-Page SEObegins right from the moment you’re registering your domain.
For instance, if at the beginning there’s a problem with your domain name, let’s say it’s too long, there’s no amount of SEO that can avert the consequence.
Search engines will always cut the major part of your URL or title tag if it exceeds what’s required on search results pages.
This also happens across social media interface. When you don’t maintain SEO standards for both desktop and mobile devices, it has a very bad effect on your ranking.
Find a guide on how to craft your domain name. In that post you’ll learn the prerequisites of On-Page SEO.
So, if you don’t do things rightly from the beginning, it is possible you have an error, which you won’t be able to correct later on.
Get the complete guide – On-Page SEO: An Ultimate Solution for Beginners.
According to Neil Patel, Off-Page SEO includes what you and other people do outside your website to increase how your website ranks on search engines.
MOZ defines Off-Page SEO as actions you or others take outside your website to improve your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
As others would define Off-Page SEO as link building, there’s a lot of misconceptions about the concept.
The only difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO is that while the effect of former takes place inside the website, the effect of latter takes place outside the website.
Meanwhile, I want you to believe that things you can do to promote your website outside the website go beyond link building.
Off-Page SEO and Link Building
The mistake most people make is seeing Off-Page SEO as efforts you make outside to promote your website instead of efforts you make from within to promote your website outside.
If you critically look at the two variables, you’ll see that the last definition is a means to achieve the first.
That’s Off-Page SEO can be done both inside and outside your website. It’s not the action – what you do, where you do it that matters in Off-Page SEO, but how what you do affects your website from the outside.
That’s why Off-Page SEO aims at improving the trustworthiness, authority, audience targeting, and social influence of your website.
Link building is just a byproduct of having a website that everybody trusts, which encourages authority or thought leadership.
Since nobody would like, share, or link to a spammy or estranged page, search engines assume that a popular website must be highly relevant, trustworthy, authoritative and shareable.
So, if your website is Off-Page optimized, you’ll definitely see people linking to it like some will use the “word of mouth referral” technique to promote a product or service they like offline.
In this context, if your website is popular, may be it has many websites linking to it or many people helping you to share it or promote it on social media, its rankings increase.
Why Need Off-Page SEO
Off-Page SEO answers search engines’ concerns about the relevance, trustworthiness and authority of your website.
While working so hard to optimize your website, any SEO you skip can be the reason why your rankings on search engines hasn’t improved.
On Google alone, there’re over 200 SEO ranking efforts you need to make to improve your rankings, according to Brian Dean fromBacklinco.
And if you don’t take the right step at the right time, the whole exercise can be annoying. Even though some actions work, some don’t, some are just a bunch of speculations, and experts still have divided opinions on them.
Since SEO experts disagree on SEO ranking factors while search engines algorithms are also not fixed, experts resolvedthat the relevance, trustworthiness, authorityand sharability of a website should be the bone of contention in Off-Page SEO.
Inasmuch as nobody wants to waste his time visiting a website that will take the whole day to load, yours will attract a large right-wing readership if it’s a top-notch.
Such a website is the type that ranks high on SERPs.
Techniques for Off-Page SEO
There are two major techniques to consider, one is link building techniques and the other is non-link building related.
1. Getting Started With Link Building:
One of the most commonly used terms in search engine optimization is “link building”. It’s the central focus of Off-Page optimization, which concerns more than 50% of search engine ranking factors.
Of all the ranking factors, proper link building will make you succeed online.
Link building is like creating a path for search engines to easily crawl into the depth of all important pages and categories of your website.
Due to the amount of importance placed on link building, don’t you think that path must be smooth?
So, a website without a proper link structure may not be visible on search engines. As search bots won’t be able to index the website, it will be difficult to appear on SERPs.
Consequently, visitors won’t be able to navigate through the website from one page to the other. In fact, no organic traffic will flow through the website which is as good as a dead one.
Most bloggers, content marketers and SEOs don’t usually have proper planning for link building. Because link building facilitates traffic, everybody wants to get the juice immediately and the temptation leads to jumping the normal process.
When I first started, what I always wanted to do was to get backlinks. I didn’t see the need to prepare my website for link building and get full advantage of the task.
Now that I realized my mistakes, I wanted you to learn from me. So, do the following to prepare your website for the juice.
Optimize Your Page Quality
It’s not the amount of links that point to your website that matters but the effort you make to make your website worthy of quality backlinks. To get quality links from reputable websites, your website too must be in a good condition.
So that calls for the need to prepare your website so that you can fully benefit from all your search engine optimization efforts.
There are different site audit tools available online that can give you a perfect analysis of the quality of your site. You can use different tools at a time to achieve better results.
Compare and contrast the results you get from each tool and fix whatever problem you find. Auditing your site regularly will help you monitor your SEO efforts and do what is right at the right time.
For example, I use both SemRush and Seobility to get this result.
Both the tools have free and paid functions. The free functions will be enough if you audit your website across different tools. It’s very possible that TOOL B will audit the aspect which TOOL A doesn’t offer.
This approach won’t only help you reduce cost on site auditing, but also do the exact job you send it.
I know of some website owners who would rather spend days to write a guest post for others and see no need to audit their own websites to improve on quality.
If you have a website that has no reasonable amount of backlinks, it can’t be true you’ll really get backlinks from reputable websites when you write guest posts for them.
As a guest blogger, if you ignore the need to perfect your own blog, what you do is basically helping others build their websites at the expense of yours.
According to a finding conducted by MOZ, most bloggers commit 30% of their effort to Off-Page SEO factors and 70% on On-Page optimization factors.
Site audit is as important as any other effort you make on your website to grow.
So, preparing your website for link building won’t only attract quality backlinks, but also the benefits which include traffic, competitive advantage, audience targeting, keywords accuracy, server side management and effective pay per click (PPC) advertisement.
However, when you do the audit, you will be able to monitor your progress and do what is needful.
Justify Your Traffic With Rankings
From a black-hat SEO point of view, it’s possible you outsmart search engines and get organic traffic.
This may happen if you automate link building and get massive traffic while your website lacks authority, trust or relevance in meeting the immediate pressing needs of your target audience.
Note that when someone lands on your website, search engines learn about its quality due to the visitor’s perception about the structure of your website.
If your content is awesome, your visitors will definitely have a great user-experience and be compelled to share it with friends.
All this factors in your ranking juice.
Meanwhile, the link structure of a website is like a road network. The better the road, the faster you get to your destination.
Gaining organic traffic while your ranking is low, Google, for example, won’t feel comfortable with that.
The search engine would treat such a website as a spam and you won’t get away with it. Under a normal circumstance, no search engine would send traffic to a low quality website.
If a student manages to pass an exam he didn’t sit for, it still means no result. So, why not sit for the exam? Though that alone doesn’t guarantee an excellent result if he fails to prepare for the exam.
Meanwhile, if your ranking on SERPs fails to justify the traffic that comes to your website, it means there’s no balance.
For you not to find your website in such mess, optimizing your website for humans as much as you do for search engines is very important. And that’s what the preparation is all about.
A well-structured or quality website would definitely attract massive backlinks. And if our website can get quality backlinks, not only would its rankings increase on SERPs, but also its organic traffic.
Adopt Silo Structure for Link Building
Silo structure is an internal layout of a website that allows all its pages, categories and posts to interlink.
So, giving your website a very good internal layout for all the internal pages on your website to link together will prepare it for link building.
You can use this approach to attract the attention of search engines to the most important pages on your website.
The logic is to make any SEO link juice that comes to any part of your website to flow through all the interlinked pages.
According to Patel, this approach will give your website a “healthy link equity” between all the internal pages on your website.
Watch the video:
AkshayHallur in his own work, Silo Structure for SEO in WordPress: The Best Guide on The Internet, which is the most recent, sums it up by stating that “silo is still working and won’t stop working in the nearest future.”
That removes Rand’s argument from the table.
Why Use Silo Structure
Don’t forget we’re coming from the angle of “creating great user experience”.
So, silo structure will organize your website, make it very easy for visitors coming to your website to navigate through all your pages in a hierarchical order.
In fact, using silo pages for structuring a new blog can help the blog to bypass Google Sandbox time.
Google Sandbox time is the 3-4 months period Google uses to screen a new website or blog.
Akshay describes Google sandbox as a probation period for all new websites to prove their SEO compliance level before they begin to rank. Most new websites can’t be ranked until they complete their term.
With silo structure approach, a new blog may not spend up to 3 months to complete its probation. This is because the structure enables Google spider to screen the website really fast.
Read 10 Ways to Create An SEO Friendly Homepage. The tutorial talks about the rudiments of silo structure in the 10 following steps to achieve a great result with link building:
- Keywords Analysis;
- How to Optimize Home Page;
- How to Create Silo Pages;
- How To Optimize Silo Pages;
- How to Create Category Pages;
- How to Optimize Category Pages;
- How Create Menu in Header;
- How Write Posts;
- How to Optimize Posts; and
- How to Interlink Homepage, Silo Pages, Category Pages and Post Pages For Link Juice.
Click the link above to leverage Silo Structure for proper link building your website needs to rank high on search engines.
Benefit of Link Building
As far as Off-Page search engine optimization is concerned, the technique aims at maximizing your prospect to push your business or brand beyond the confine of your website.
Or to engage other reputable websites owners to discover your website and interact with it.
When Jayson DeMers from Forbes talked about the benefits of link building, he pointed out the following:
- Organic Traffic;
- Fast and effective indexing;
- Referral traffic;
- Direct traffic;
- Social media traffic;
- Brand Exposure;
- Brand Authority;
- Syndication; and
- Competitive Advantage.
Let’s discuss a few of the benefits.
1. Trust: Others will trust your website if it has good reputation over the history. Another off-page factors that command trust include the authority and security level of your website against spammers and hackers.
2. Organic Traffic:This is any traffic that reaches your website when a visitor clicks your website link on SERPs after making a search query on a search engine.
3. Fast and Effective Indexing:This is the ability of search engines to crawl all your web pages and retrieve them whenever someone searches for answers related to your content.
4. Referral Traffic: This is the traffic that reaches your website through a link that points to your website from another website.
5. Direct Traffic: Whenever someone lands on your page or website by typing your website URL directly into his web browser, he gives your website a direct traffic.
6. Social Media Traffic: This is also the traffic that reaches your website through any of your content you or anyone shares on any of Facebook, Tweeter, Googleplus, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and so on.
It takes your website to comply with both On-Page and Off-Page SEO before it can get all the benefits. Mere having some kinds of links pointing to your website may not improve your traffic if the website in question doesn’t worth it.
Audit and Fix Basic On-Page SEO
All high ranking websites have one thing in common, which is massive backlinks. You also aim at backlinks because it’s an indication your site is relevantly popular.
But as most people get it wrong, they leave essence and relevance and struggle for popularity. If you don’t have something to offer, then how far can your popularity last?
If you manage to be on a football team without having the potential to dribble, pass, defend, strike or score, you’ll definitely be shown your way home!
But if you’re relevant and essential to the team, you will definitely be popular in a due cause.
So, for any new website that wants to compete with the existing ones must have a better website.
But how would you make your website better if it doesn’t have a better structure, better meta information such as a better keywords usage, better title tag, better meta description, better h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 distribution, better internal links, better anchor text, better content and so on?
How can you achieve all these if you don’t audit and fix possible errors across your website?
That’s the essence of on-page site audit. You can use it to prepare your website for a great thing that lies in Off-Page SEO.
Sometimes, you need to spy on your competitors to get insight into their tricks – things they do to be on the front page of all prominent search engines.
All you have to do is to optimize your website by constantly auditing it and any other high ranking website you like to compete with. Compare the two and highlight the lagging areas on your website.
For instance, if you want to hijack backlinks from your competitors, audit their their high ranking posts, write a better copy and get in touch with the owners of all websites that offer them the backlinks.
Tell them you have a better copy compared to what is on your competitors’ websites and share your links with them.
Read Best Ways To Get Quality Backlinks to find other techniques you can use to achieve this trick.
The bottom line is that site audit will help you put your website in the right place and at the right time on search engines.
Check Keywords Suitability
Keywords are search queries searchers use on search engines to find information about certain subject matters. You can take advantage of that of the practice as a content marketer by using suitable searchable keywords on your website to increase your visibility on search engines.
Let’s say a lady from Nigeria who is a student is looking for a business she can do online and she takes her research to Google search engine.
Her search parameters will include Nigeria, occupation, business and online.
Assuming her search query is “profitable business for students in Nigeria”, she will get about 21,900,00 websites talking about that keyword in the search results pages.
As a website owner who wants his web page to be on that list, most especially on the front page, your keywords must be highly relevant to the search query and the audience.
If you have a post on your website that has that keyword or its synonyms, it’s very possible your post your will be the one the searcher will read first.
This is easy to achieve if your post is the best among others on the subject matter and it perfectly stays within the scope of your keywords.
Other things you can do to leverage your keywords and be on the front page of Google include:
- Use Keyword Within Title Tag: Ensure your title tag starts with your keyword to attract searchers;
- Avoid Keywords Stuffing: Don’t stuff your page with a keyword. Stuffing your post or page with a repeated keyword can knock down your page quality.
- Use Keyword Synonyms: The use of latent semantic indexing (LSI) or synonyms of your keyword will get the job perfectly done. Due to the need to repeat your keywords all over your page, using synonyms would help your page stay out of unnatural keyword usage. The page will flow very well without repeating same keyword over and over.
- Use Long Tail Keywords: Long tail keywords match search query accurately better than short keywords. You can use the tactic to compete with top ranked pages and level up your page rank on SERPs.
- Avoid Keyword Cannibalization: Keyword cannibalization is when you use a similar keyword on two or more different pages on your website. The is a bad SEO practice as it subjects all concerned pages to compete against themselves on SERPs. So, ensure all your pages use different keywords to rank separately on search engines.
When someone visits a search engine, let’s say Google for example, to search for something and places his search query (keyword) in the search box, Google spiders take the responsibility to return useful information to the searcher.
So, in the world of search engine optimization, there’re certain factors that determine the positions or pages which the search results will be on the search engine. And link building comes first. But because you need more than that to occupy a reputable position on SERPs, other factors come to play. You can use them as what determine the quality of your links.
That shows, without building an authoritative or user-friendly website, your links won’t count.
When you apply all the important off-page factors that determine the position of your website on another website, you can achieve a quality website.
Billions of searches people make on Google come from their mobile devices. This means the largest percentage of traffic Google sends to any website comes from mobile devices. That makes it important to optimize for mobile users.
Be that as it may, a website that has a better position on SERPs has better chances to receive massive organic traffic from users across several devices.
Yet, traffic is an effect, while quality backlink is a cause.
Above all, you must understand that a backlink that will shower you traffic must come from an authoritative or user-friendly website.
So, when other relevant websites have links that point to your website, they give both Google and your target audience the impression that your website is an authority in its niche.
Meanwhile, irrespective of your niche or business, the fastest way to hold the market is to improve the authority level of your website.
But unfortunately, most bloggers, content marketers, SEO experts are not putting their attention on the cause but the effect. They focus on link building without much concern about its impact.
If Google cares about the reputation, authority and relevance of your backlinks, then your strategy to build an authoritative website must be to evaluate the source of the link that points to your website, its relevance to your page, quality, how fresh and natural is it.
However, link building can help and at the same time harm your website if what you care about is “just a link”.
Getting quality backlinks from highly authoritative websites may be difficult. But all you have to do is to go outside your own website to look for them. By so doing, you will be able to screen what is available before it gets to your website.
So, the more quality backlinks you get, the more trust, or confidence your website earns from search engines.
As you can see, if off-page SEO is just all about link building, it means, even if your backlinks or page structure is not user-friendly, you will still get the link juice.
But that’s not true.
Off-Page SEO is all about getting quality backlinks. And that is what building an authority and user-friendly website is all about.
So, let’s break down the strategy one after the other by discussing various possible ways to get quality backlinks.
This techniques continues to be one of the available options in Off-Page SEO to improve the quality of your content and attract quality backlinks. Consequently, it increases the popularity of your blog on search engines.
Read your complete guide on guest blogging to learn everything you need to know about guest blogging opportunities.
Since word count of a post has become an Off-Page SEO factor, content marketers that can’t write extensively would need to sort for contributors that can supply them additional quality content in order to increase the volume of posts and pages on their blogs.
Previously, bloggers could publish a post with less than 300 words and felt like a king. But today, if any blogger wants to pass the Off-Page SEO test on word count, he has to develop the habit of writing far above 500 words or contact those who can do the job for him.
So, when you approach other bloggers to write for them, you have the opportunity to promote your blog with their strenght across all digital channels they reach. In the act, you have the opportunity of embedding your url on other blogs where you publish your guest posts and increase your domain authority, backlinks, traffic, online presence, brand popularity and social influence.
Pitching a guest post was difficult in the past due to the difficulties in getting blogs or websites that needed guest posts. With an ordinary search you make on Facebook or Tweeter, Delicious, Digg or Google, you can get more than a thousand of blogs that need guest posts.
If you want the best out of your guest blogging effort, see all you need to do first.
There are various Facebook pages or groups which you can join to explore guest blogging opportunities. Find them and start exploring the opportunities.
Broken Link Research
At a point in time, most websites would experience a broken link scenario. Broken links occur on different occasions. Assuming a website links to a page on another website and the owner of that website subsequently alters the page URL, any website linking to that page will experience a broken link error.
Broken link errors also occur as a result of mispelled url, expired hosting, improper files transfer durring migration or upgrading from one hosting package to another or when a page a website links to is not redirected after alteration.
In the first place, linking to external pages is to help vistors to learn more on a subject. But if the users click on the reference links and discover the links are dead or broken, it annoys them.
Google may not penalize a website that has broken links, but because poor user experience drives visitors away easily, it is very necessary to fix the problem. So, any website suffering from broken links would appreciate it if there is a way you can help them.
All you have to do is to find websites having broken links, identify their dead or broken links and offer them a replacement from your own website. That is, do a backlink analysis on any target website of your choice, find links that are dead on that website, contact the owner, tell him about your research, and suggest a better link as appropriate.
If you can make this a duty, those you have helped would reward your effort. By so doing, you could build quality backlinks, traffic and increase your connection base.