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Off-Page SEO – A Beginner’s Guide (2022)

Excerpt: Off-page SEO is a critical factor in ranking for Google keywords...

Table of Contents

Off-page SEO is a critical factor in ranking for Google keywords. Even if the your competitor has worst content, and on-page optimization then you do, their off-page strategy can easily make up for that. There’s a lot of things to worry about for off-page SEO tasks, it’s also one of the hardest, most time consuming parts of SEO.

What Is Off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO can be defined as managing your sites reputation by optimizing your backlinks, citations, reviews, and brand mentions, etc.

Why Is Off-Page SEO Important?

Google pays close attention to your links to you, and where your name appears around the web. Your “link profile” will inform Google of who is linking to you. It’s kind of like a popularity club, more people link to you, the more popular you are. Although just like real life, you don’t just want anyone linked to you, you want other high-quality, niche-relevant sites, this will inform Google you’re very relevant to that niche.

Link Related Ranking Signals

Elements like anchor text are also closely monitored so Google has a better idea of what your site is. Google not only checks for the relevance of your backlinks, but it will also judge how real the anchor text looks. If you have a dentist’s website, each of your links just has the word “dentist” linked to your homepage, it will look suspicious to Google. This isn’t even close to being the only factor that ranks your page, but it can be the deciding factor.

Domain Rating Vs. Domain Authority

These two rating systems were invented by Ahrefs (domain rating), and Moz (domain authority). In basic terms, they are logarythmic-based rating systems that judge your website on multiple factors.
 
  • Domain Rating – Only judges a site based on whos linking to it.
  • Domain Authority – Judges it on backlinks, spam, and other ratings.
 
Neither rating system is better than the other, they both just provide a number you can use to predict how well the site will rank against other sites. In traditional SEO, this strategy was every thing and could make or break your site depending on your backlink strategy. In modern SEO, Google understands content-quality is more important than how many people are talking to you. Backlinking is still critical, but if Google continues to evolve this way, it may become less critical.

DoFollow Links Vs. NoFollow Links

Not all backlinks to your site are of equal value. A content creator can choose to give you a nofollow link. A nofollow link tells Google that website does not want to pass any “SEO juice” to the other website. Nofollow links do help a little, but they are far less effective than dofollow links. A dofollow link tells Google they do want to pass the “SEO juice” to the other website. If you get a dofollow link from a very popular well-established site, you can explode your sites traffic flow very fast. However, backlinks will probably be the hardest goal you can achieve in SEO.
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Non-Link Related Ranking Signals

What Are NAP Citations?

NAP (Name, Address, Phone) citations are mentions of your business on other websites. Citations as they are referred to, are found on directory websites. These sites use to act like digital phone books for websites before algorithms got so sophisticated. Now they are used as signals by Google as another signal that shows the relevance and power of your site. If you have citations across many relevant websites and all your info matches, it is a very strong signal to Google that gives your website more legitimacy. 

Brand Mentions

Even if a website links to another site other than yours, if they mention your brand name in the anchor text, it can help your site. This is another strong argument for citations as that will reinforce what your site is called. 
 

In one of it’s patents, Google says this:

An express link, e.g., a hyperlink, is a link that is included in a source resource that a user can follow to navigate to a target resource. An implied link is a reference to a target resource, e.g., a citation to the target resource, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource.

Google My Business

Google My Business is one of the most critical things a product, or service based business can use.
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The Google Map Pack can net your business 100’s if not 1000’s of sales leads per month if the volume is there and you have it optimized well enough.

Here are a few beginner tips to make it on GMB:

  • Make sure all your info is accurate.
  • Post content regularly, with photos and links to your site.
  • Upload photos and media of your store to it.
  • Generate and respond to reviews.
  • Utilize all the categories you can.
  • Add in your service area(s).

There is plenty more to it than that, but this is an excellent starting point.

Social Signals

Google states that, “officially” the social signals are not a direct factor.

However, at UpNow Cafe, are philosophy is to, “do all the things”. If people start seeing you on social media, they may click through to your site, if they like the article they’ll engage with you by liking, commenting, or sharing. If you’re really lucky on social media someone might see your content, and link to it because they happened to see it on social media. Considering how important “earned” backlinks (backlinks given to you without asking for them) are, this can make social media very valuable.

Final Thoughts On Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO can be a boring, fruitless, labor-intensive job with no promise that you will even get the backlink at all! However, if you can navigate the treacherous waters of backlinking, and generate quality backlinks for your site, it can be game-changing. You can also get traffic from these backlinks which can help for your onsite goals. At UpNow Cafe we try to be positive about the future of SEO. As Google matures, it may be less important for a large number of backlinks and citations, but more important for high-quality, meaningful content. The main reason we believe this is the case is, that it can be easy good backlinks do not mean great content. However, if you do have great content, you shouldn’t be penalized if you don’t have lots of backlinks.

Frequently Asked Questions

No! They need to be relevant, be of good quality, and preferably have a well thought out anchor text. You can get bad backlinks that will hurt your site way more then it will help.

As soon as you have your sites design finished it should be a priority.

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