Off-Page SEO Techniques for Better Ranking in 2018

Off-Page SEO Techniques for Better Ranking in 2018

Welcome to another article on the SEO techniques. In previous articles What is SEO and Importance of SEO in Digital Marketing, we talked about building the knowledge base for the SEO, importance of it and how we can benefit from it by following right SEO strategies.

In the next article 13 On-Page SEO Techniques for Better ranking, we talked about some of the important On-Page SEO strategies that will help you in the year 2018.

So, our next step is to understand Off-Page SEO techniques and importance of it.

So, what is Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO refers to the techniques that you apply to other web pages and internet platforms to increase your site visibility in SERP.

Off-page SEO as the name implies is different from On-Page SEO, where On-Page SEO deals with implementing SEO strategies to your websites and web pages, whereas Off-SEO techniques involve creating website links and brand building techniques by using other site platforms.

Most of the people relate the off-page SEO strategies to the link building exercise but it is more than that. It deals with commenting, relationship building, influencing people, creating authorship and creating engagement on social media platforms.

Why Off-Page SEO is important for my site?

To begin with, let's understand how Google or other search engines work. Search engines crawl through your web pages and rate your web pages based on the on-page SEO factors applied to your web pages we discussed in the previous article. The on-page SEO and off-page SEO together determines your web page ranking in the Google SERP.

Particularly, off-page SEO practices allow Google to understand how well your website content is liked by the visitors, shared on the social media and bookmarking services and linked to other sites. In this matter, the website content and how neatly it is organized plays a vital role. Only quality content can help you get the quality backlinks, shares on the social media platforms and bookmarking services.

The benefits of having off-page SEO are:

Increases Domain Authority (DA): It helps you increase the Domain Authority of your website. Domain Authority is the metric created by MOZ to rate your website on the scale of 1-100. Higher the DA score, higher will be your ranking in the search engine. So, if you have better DA score than your competitor's website then you will get better ranking in the Google SERP. For more details on Domain Authority this article could be very helpful.

Increases Page Authority (PA): Page Authority is the metric created by Moz to rate an individual web page score. DA will tell you rating of the entire website whereas PA deals with rating a single web page of the website on the scale of 1-100 (100 being the best score). The off-page SEO practices can help you get the external links (links from other web pages to your web page) from high authority pages to outperform PA score of your web pages.

Increases ranking in Google: There are several factors that Google take into consideration for ranking your website. The PageRank (PR) is one the factor that Google considers for displaying your website in SERPs. The off-page SEO techniques mentioned below will help you get better PR for your website and inside web pages and consequently better ranking in search engines.

Increases Brand Reputation: The off-page SEO techniques deals in developing and interacting with several marketers and webmasters and recognize how the world looks at your website. With the advancement of Google algorithms, several off-page SEO strategies which were followed in past are no longer been used. Hence it leaves no option but to interact and create unique opportunities to build a brand reputation of your website through several methods.

Increases Traffic: Off-page SEO techniques increases your outreach to the end audience and hence increases the chances of getting more organic traffic, traffic from social media, bookmarking sites, web directories and referring sites. This enhances the chances of getting more visitors and creating several revenue channels through your website.

And, here are the Off-Page SEO techniques for better ranking in 2018:

1. Search engine submission

Search Engine Submission

There is no guarantee that within what amount of time your site will be indexed by search engines. Usually, it takes around 2-3 months in the ideal situation for a particular site to get indexed by search engines. It may take even longer or a shorter period if your website is not optimized or well optimized for search engines.

Whatever time it may take, but to fasten up the process you may want to manually submit your website for indexing to the several search engines. GoogleYahoo (though Yahoo search is powered by Bing it operates on different algorithms to display websites) and Bing accept manual URL submissions at the specified links.

Best SEO practices:

Below are the some important best practices to ensure your website gets indexed by Google (applies to Bing as well as Bing also follows the same methodology) as it is the most widely used search engine platform:
  • Manually submit the URLs of new or updated web pages to the search engines mentioned above.
  • Follow the instructions given by Google for webmasters in order to get your new or updated website indexed by search engine bots (also referred as "Googlebots" or "spider") in lesser time.
  • Create a sitemap.xml file containing all URLs of your website to ensure your website is indexed and all your web pages are crawled. Sitemap.xml file helps Google and other search engines understand the structure of your website. Crawlers read this file and crawl through all URLs mentioned within this file.
  • Also, ensure you have written clear instructions on which pages you want to display in search engines and which one not by updating robot.txt file.

2. Video marketing

Video Marketing

In 2017, video marketing has really taken a boost on the internet and it will continue to grow in the year 2018. Many website owners nowadays tend to do video marketing and add videos to their posts explaining the inside content.

As per the article by Kelly Reeves, 87% percent of marketers create video content. Peter Schroeder in his articles says that mobile video is expected increase 11x between 2016 and 2020.

Hence if you have a blog or website which is firmly established then video marketing should be your next move to take your blog to the next level. However new bloggers should make their choice wisely as video marketing require skills and dedication to survive in the marketing.

Best SEO practices:
  • Create high-quality video content that solves user's queries or provides information to the users.
  • Create attractive snippets for the video that grabs visitor's attention.
  • Write a catchy and descriptive title that visitors can not go unnoticed.
  • Include important keywords in the title and place them at beginning of the title.
  • Strive to keep the length of videos within 4-6 minutes, as such videos keep visitors engaged and reduces bounce rate.

3. Image sharing

Image Sharing

Image sharing has become one of the popular methods in recent time to drive visitors to your site and is the highly effective way of off-page SEO marketing. People favor using the new methods of SEO as the technology is getting advanced.

Images convey the key message very effectually than the text content and hence help us to get visitors as well as backlinks to your site. Also, it requires fewer efforts and expertise to develop images to share on these platforms.

One of the popular platforms with more than 200 million users for sharing infographics is the Pinterest. Many websites which do not have image-driven content also incline to publish and promote their brand on Instagram and Tumblr like platforms.

There are various free image service providers (Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, etc.) and free tools (CanvapiZap, etc.) to create images for the platforms mentioned above.

Now when it comes to off-page SEO techniques for the images it can't be the same as on-page SEO techniques and so our alt text or filename is not going to help. Let's look into some of the best practices to follow for off-page image optimization.

Best SEO practices:
  • Always use high-quality images for Pinterest pins. No buddy will like to see noisy, blur or small images in your pin. 
  • Go for taller or vertical pins as these images will more likely get noticed by users than those small images.
  • Write a thoughtful and strong description for pinned images. This will help to display your images in search results when someone makes a search for it.
  • Research on keywords to be used for your pin by performing a search on Pinterest for similar image and write headlines accordingly.
  • Pin consistently to pull the attention of rest of the users. 
  • Write home-page or web page link in your image pin.
  • For Instagram images, add watermark to your image. It will help you promote your brand.
  • Add your keywords to the image by using hashtags. There is no way to add web page link. Even if you add it in comments, it wouldn't work as Instagram doesn't allow it.

4. Link building strategies or backlinks creation

Link building strategies or backlinks creation

Link building is nothing but the creation of links on other sites that points a link to your site. These external links are called as backlinks of your site and process of creating backlinks is called as link building.

Link building is one of the most important technique in off-page SEO strategies. But, getting backlinks from the low-quality site wouldn't take you anywhere. In fact, Google says in their article that in order to get higher rank for the website, a webmaster should try to get links from the high-quality websites.

Hence, 1 quality link from a good quality site could be a lot better than 100 low-quality sites. When Google crawls your web pages, they keep a log of what content is been shared on the web page by indexing them. They analyze your keywords as well as the number of links from the external sites and authority of these external sites.

Below are the working and commonly followed link building strategies in 2017:
  1. Competitors link analysis
  2. Guest blogging// guest post writing
  3. Broken link building
  4. Submitting your site to directories
  5. Posting on forums
  6. Adding a link in comment
  7. Posting links to question-answer site
  8. Adding links in press release articles
  9. Submitting link to RSS directories
  10. Adding your links in local citation
We are going to have a look at these methods in greater details. But before that let's see some common best practices for link building exercise.

Best SEO practices for a link building:
  • While you promote your site on various platforms don't just share links of your site. Along with it indulge in engaging interaction with others, try and learn what they are doing for their site. Build a friendly relationship with other bloggers which will help you in your blogging experience.
  • Use important keywords for the anchor text of the incoming links.
  • Build the brand by sharing your site on right platforms where visitors from your niche gathers and letting others know about your website.
  • Try to get backlinks from the trusted and high-authority websites from your niche. 
  • .edu and .gov websites have high authority and hence try to get backlinks from these sites.

Strategy #1: Competitor's link analysis

Competitor's link analysis

Let's assume that we have done all primary work needed to be done on the website. i.e. we have added quality content, we have added keywords and have optimized all pages for search engines. So our next concern is to get backlinks from the right sources to rank better in SERPs.

To identify the quality link sources for backlinks you need to study the websites which are already successful in your niche. Competitor's link analysis let you understand how they are connected to other sites on the internet and what methodology and platforms they are using for link building.

The first step in this procedure is to identify your competitors. Make Google search by using primary keywords of your blog and list 10 sites which appear in search result. Check if these sites fall in your niche and make a complete list of 10 websites in an Excel file.

There are a couple of free tools (OpenLinkProfiler, SEMRUSH, Open Site Explorer) with limited usage which I assume are sufficient enough to track your competitor's link analysis in small chunks. However, if you wish to use premium services which gives you full details without any limitations I'll recommend using SEMRUSH for its simplicity to use.

By using link tracking tools mentioned above track the competitor's website for backlinks sources, high authority domain linking, testimonials links, directory links,  guest post links and dead links. Also, you will have to keep a tab on it by making this check in every week or a month for the new backlinks acquired by your competitor.

An excel file with backlink data should also have details like domain authority rank, anchor text, top ranking web pages from these domains which will help you plan a strategy for your backlinking exercise.

Finally, our aim of tracking competitor site is to get high authority backlinks for our site. Therefore, approach site owners for any link opportunity you find through this tracking process, submit your site to directories or fix broken links by offering your site link as a replacement.

Strategy #2: Guest blogging/ Guest post writing

Guest Blogging Guest post writing

Guest blogging or guest post writing is nothing but writing a post on someone else's site and in return, you get a backlink to your site. Guest blogging is still could be a highly effective strategy for link building and getting traffic to your site. Despite that many of the bloggers doubt it's effectiveness and write content from sole objective to get a backlink.

Keep below-mentioned tips in mind when writing a guest post:

  • Write quality post which provides valued information and experience to the user than writing a low-quality post. A qualitative post will influence readers to visit back to your site for more such work.
  • To get approval for a guest post from an established blogger, you should engage yourself commenting on his blog posts, sharing his content on a very frequent basis to grab his attention. And, one day the blog owner may contact you if he is really convinced by your actions.
  • Your guest post should be just like any normal post you write on your site. You need to include high-authority links from external sources and maybe just 2-3 links of your own site.
  • If you are aiming to borrow traffic from the website for which you will be writing, then choose a website which writes a post on every 2-3 days or weekly basis. A highly popular site which publishes 2-3 posts or even more posts on a daily basis would make your guest post lost in the flow.

Strategy #3: Broken link building

Broken link building

Broken link building lets you create a backlink on another site by reporting a broken link to the site owner and offering him your link as a replacement for the broken link. Broken links cause harm to SEO efforts as well as user experience. Hence site owner may agree to your proposal if your post has relative content.

We have already seen how to look for competitors link profile in the first strategy. In the same way, we can use backlinks finder tools to locate site URLs of these niche sites which gives 404-page error (broken link error). Later, you can approach these site owners to replace the link with your own page link.

Strategy #4: Submitting your site to directories

Submitting your site to directories

Web directories are nothing but the sites that list various sites in their database under several categories. Getting backlinks from these directories one of the effective ways to build your linking profile.

What are the benefits of submitting the site to web directories?

  • A spam free web directories could provide you quality backlinks which will help you rank better in SERP.
  • Web directories not only help us in building backlinks but also in getting massive exposure to your site. Increased traffic could help you increase your revenue or sell your products faster.

Make a notepad or excel whatever you prefer and write down below things:

  • Your site URL
  • Site title
  • Description text
  • Important keywords
  • Valid email to register
  • RSS feed URL
  • Social media links
  • Site category
Now visit authoritative web directory sites and fill in these details to include your site in these directories. I made several searches to find free web directories that actually work in 2017. Many of them list either paid sites or have outdated site listing. I find this article useful from rest of the sites that lists High PR Directories.

Strategy #5: Posting on forums

Posting on forums

Forums are nothing but the user communities where users who seek same interests gather and share information and solve one another's queries. Forums could help you get quality backlinks by providing a solution to those who are seeking for the information and adding your site link in the feedback form in a more natural way.

A simple way to get traffic and the backlinks from a forum is to search for the problem statement by using specific keywords that relate to your article. But before this, you will have to create your profile with basic details and your site link. Once it is done, click on the relevant thread that relates to your site page and provide a solution to the problem mentioned in a thread. Finally, mention your site link in the description.

Best SEO practices:

  • Be relevant to the topic of the thread and don't go off track. Don't spam every thread with the same content but be creative in your communication.
  • Engage in conversation with other members and build a friendly relationship with them. 
  • Also while you help other members create a value-add through your solutions.

Strategy #6: Adding links through comments

Adding links through comments

Adding comments on others blog help you get quality backlinks to your blog. This is one of the easiest methods to get quality backlinks to your site, but there are certain checks you must do before you start commenting on another blog aggressively.

Best SEO practices:

  • Generic comments like, "Nice post!" create no value and hence not much beneficial or rather will get ignored more likely.
  • Create a profile on a couple of platforms and add an image in profile to establish authority in your comments.
  • Write descriptive comments that add value and relevant to the post content.
  • If you use your business name or important keywords in name field which is more beneficial from SEO perspective, but the site owner may less likely post your comment thinking it as a spamming strategy. Though, if your comment is really contributing to the thread then your comment might get posted.
Benefits of commenting:

  • Commenting on others blog increases the chances of getting your blog indexed by Google more quickly.
  • Do-follow or no-follow comments, it still helps you get backlinks from high authority websites.
  • A well written descriptive comment helps to influence the visitors of the site and may lead to get traffic tour blog.
  • Commenting provides a chance to connect with established bloggers and get you known in the community.

Strategy #7: Posting links to question-answer site

Posting on question answer sites

Question-answer sites are the common platform to get any question you have answered by the users. These sites have high page ranking and a good platform to get backlinks to your site.

Start looking for the questions on these sites which are related to your blog posts. Once located these questions you may answer them in writing a short descriptive solution and a link to your site.

This post I came across lists top 15 question answer sites of the year 2017.

      Best SEO practices:


      • While you answer the queries posted on question-answer sites create value-add through your answers.
      • Don't spam threads by adding just link to your post but post descriptive solution also.
      • Engage in communication with the users on the sites.

      Strategy #8: Press release articles

      Press Release articles

      Companies use press release articles to make important announcements or product launches to syndicate news media and later these media may cover a story on such articles.

      Though trend became common for companies making press releases every in a while as these press releases helps them get backlinks from the webmasters in good number. No sooner Google started to penalize these companies and even those site that shared these links.

      However, nowadays no-follow links still can help you get a good number of backlinks without upsetting Google.

      Best SEO practices:
      • In order to use press release articles, your article needs to have something potentially good to be shared. 
      • Press release articles should have important keywords only. A spammed article may get penalized by Google.
      • Add no-follow backlinks in your article to ensure that it doesn't get penalized.
      • Choose the right words for your anchor text for its effectiveness.
      • Include only 2-3 links to your site in your article or it gets penalized.

      Strategy #9: Submitting link to RSS directories

      Submitting links to RSS directories

      Nowadays every leading blogging platforms provide you RSS service and there are directories which lists your articles based on your RSS feed. Some of these directories provide high-quality do-follow backlinks which help in improving your Google ranking.

      This article lists top 20 RSS directories where you can submit your blog feed. Some of the blogs in my niche which are highly popular use these directories to improve their link profile. So these are worth noting.

      Strategy #10: Adding citation on local platforms

      Adding citation on local platforms

      A citation is nothing but the online references to your business name, business address and business phone number. A citation can be included on your website, local business directories and apps. But, as we are looking at this from SEO and link building perspective, hence we will consider external options.

      It is far easy to rank high in local business directories than the global platform. A citation is one of the factors Google take into consideration for ranking your site in local search results. Having citation on a number of business directories ensures the trustworthiness of your site and ranking in Google SERP.

      Best SEO practices:
      • Include the citation for your blog in local directories, social media platforms,  as well as industry-specific directories. 
      • The local, geo or industry-specific directories vary from business to business. Hence find out them and add your blog citations into these directories.

      5. Social media marketing

      Social Media Marketing

      I have written a post on How to Get Traffic to Your New Blog, which covers social media strategy in great detail. Here we are going to have a look at it from SEO perspective.

      It has been often stated by Google authorities that Google doesn't consider your social media links as a direct ranking factor, but it helps determine the popularity of your blog by looking at the number of shares, likes, tweets, and retweets and if authoritative users are involved in these actions. And ultimately, these actions influence your ranking in the SERP.

      Best SEO practices:

      • Grow your reach by increasing followers on every social media platforms you use. Gather your niche audience under one platform by using social media platforms.
      • Engage in communication with other users on these platforms and share web pages of your site with them. Encourage them to further share it on social media platforms and sites. More the shares, more it will reach the audience and increases the chances of having more backlinks. A quality content plays a very important role here.
      • Take polls and participate in a conversation with other users to increase engagement with other users.
      • Twitter and Google Plus shares can appear in SERP and can drive traffic to your blog through an indirect path.

      6. Social bookmarking

      Social bookmarking

      Back in the time, people used to save the links of the important sites by bookmarking them in the web browser to read them later. But the risk here is whenever a computer crashes all these important bookmarks are gone.

      After a time, social bookmarking sites came into existent where users can bookmark several site-URLs and save them under their profile. These bookmarks can be shared with other users and hence increases the chances of getting more exposure to your site.

      Best SEO practices:

      • Write catchy titles to grab the attention of the users and write a short but relevant description of your blog post.
      • Know the correct timings when users are active on these sites. Your post should grab the attention of the users in first 24 hours of your adding the bookmark link. Hence, know the best timing for bookmarking and make proper scheduling accordingly to make best out of it.
      • Engage and create a good rapport with the other users. So when you share your link on bookmarking site these users will support you by voting and may influence other users to vote for you.

      Conclusion:

      Conclusion

      To conclude, we had brief look at what off-page SEO means. It means building quality links, authority and creating engagement with the audience outside the boundary of your website. We also had look at how off-page SEO helps to increase DA, PA, ranking in Google, branding of your site and traffic to your site.

      We look at some of the effective off-page SEO techniques for better ranking in 2018. So just getting backlinks is not enough. These backlinks have to be from qualitative and high authoritative web pages. 1-2 high-quality backlinks are as good as 100 low-quality backlinks. Along with backlinks user engagement and value addition is also equally important.

      Lastly, a good quality content is the base of your SEO efforts. A quality content gets more user engagement, it gets more shares on social media as well as it gets more backlinks from other users. Hence, always focus on writing good qualitative posts.

      Thank you for reading this article. Please support me by sharing this article on your social media profile. Please feel free to share your experience through comments. It would be really encouraging to know your feedback. Thanks again! 

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        2 comments

        1. Thanks a lot. This post was really helpful. :)

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        2. Really very good read... Learned off page SEO.. well explained.. thanks for the share...

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        Hi. I am Ramesh Wetkoli. Three things I try to include in my blog posts are creativity, useful insights, and trendy information. I.T. graduate and working professional. I have leveraged 6+ years of work experience in I.T. industry and learnt various technologies, providing merchandizing support and handling digital marketing responsibilities.

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