Blog
15 March 2021

OFF PAGE SEO: How To Improve Your SEO Score

So far in the DigiF9 blog series we have covered a few key areas on the benefit a website can bring to your organisation, a quick setup guide, security guide and threw a user guide in there for good measure! This week we are going to talk about Off-Page SEO, the third in our three-part series on the topic of SEO (as they say, good things come in threes).

In this series, we have focused on the technical SEO setup of your website, followed by the on-page SEO content optimisation. Whilst these are two important areas for SEO, there is still the final key area that we will focus on in this SEO blog series – Off-Page SEO. No tricks here, this is as simple as it sounds – focusing on boosting factors away from your website as well, through backlinks, mentions, engagement and sharing.

At DigiF9, we want to help all our customers take their website to the next level, by offering a fully optimised web product to our customers, to help them truly transform their operations. Interested? Get in touch at sales@digif9.co.uk today for a personalised quote.

INTRO – OFF PAGE SEO

As we discussed in the previous articles encompassing Technical SEO and On-Page SEO – SEO is how search engines understand, categorise and score websites. Improving your SEO score allows your organisation’s website to be returned on more search terms, as well as appearing higher in these search results, which can be a major factor in boosting your market presence. To put it short, improving your website’s SEO score can be the gamechanger your company needs, to take business to the next level.

On-Page SEO focusses on content directly on your website, such as the content, titles, keywords and URLs. Improving the content on your page can help boost your site’s SEO score to a high level, but not the maximum capability – meaning you won’t appear at the top of the search results. Off Page SEO can be the final piece in this puzzle to help maximise your site’s SEO score. In this article we will discuss some of the main factors in this area that can help transform your fortunes. As with all areas with SEO, there is no such thing as overnight success, and this should be viewed as a long-term strategic project.

Backlinks

That’s really interesting… but where did you find that? Backlinks work in a similar fashion to citations and references in report writing – they add credibility to your content, outlining to the audience where key details have come from. That way users (and search engine crawlers) can make informed decisions about the content’s Expertise Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (more on this later…).

Data Sources

One of the main benefits to adding a blog to your website is that it can help grow your voice and presence within the market, as you attempt to instil your organisation as a subject matter expert. So how do search engines identify the most trustworthy and authoritative blogs? Backlinks.

This sounds simple right? We just need a load of other sites to reference content on our domain and then we can sit back and watch the SEO score rise like self-raising flour.

Well yes, and no. Unfortunately, you are now relying on other users and other sites to reference your content, so you need to ensure that not only is it useful and informative in your eyes, but in theirs too. So, think back to those long nights writing reports and essays, searching for informative content to add legitimacy to your words, what were you looking for?

Statistics, quotes, images, charts all represent powerful and informative content typically referenced by other users and sites. Creating your own imagery, charts and content around a key subject boosts your chances of other sites referencing this content in their own blogs and marketing material, thus boosting your backlinks and your off-page SEO score. Once the content is ready and you have a quality blog with multiple images and stats for other bloggers to link to, there is one last task – getting noticed. We will now discuss some strategies for this.

Broken Content Building

No one likes dead links and 404 error messages. They frustrate both users and search engine crawlers alike. A major tip we highlighted in our On-Page SEO blog was all around fixing broken links on your website, to prevent affects to your SEO score. Now it’s time to be proactive and find broken links on other sites. Using a search engine such as Ahrefs’ Content Explorer you can identify links related to a key topic of interest and filter for ones that are Broken (they give a HTTP 404 / 410 response). Once you have identified these, you can then contact websites using these broken links and offer them the opportunity to link to your content – killing two birds with one stone.

Guest Posting

Avid viewers / listeners to podcasts and YouTube content creators will notice a common reoccurring theme – guest additions to shows. Guests provide several benefits, but we will focus on two here.

Firstly, guest posts allow you to get your content and brand in front of a new audience which helps to grow your target market. Brand visibility, more searches for your domain name and more visitors to your web pages are only positives for growing your market presence. Also, this is a two-way street, both your company and your guests will benefit from this expansion of target audience. Secondly, these posts allow you to build links and associations through descriptive content. Recognise that phrase “check out their channel in the description”? Search engine crawlers when searching through their website, channel or social media pages will pick up these descriptions, and mentions to your website, channel or brand will be recorded by these crawlers, and help boost your backlinks.

Social Media

Hey you! Like or follow our page for a 25% discount.. 

Social media is one of the largest markets in the world and on every smartphone (The Facebook owned platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger reported 3.3 Billion monthly users in the fourth quarter of 2020). Whilst traditionally adverts would have been focused on radio stations, TV, and physical flyers, these are no longer the go-to areas.

Enter social media – Facebook and Instagram are often the most targeted locations to hit users for good reason – they are amongst the most used applications. So why is your business not making use of social media? Not only can it be powerful from an advertising perspective, but it also provides those all-important backlinks to your website. Social media also opens the door to further backlinks through retweets, reposts, sharing etc. The more users that like share and distribute your content the more presence your pages gain, and in doing so the higher your SEO score becomes.

Expertise Authoritativeness Trustworthiness (EAT)

All creatures need to EAT, especially web crawlers.

These three keywords here represent a large component of how search engines decipher and score content. Think about the purpose of a search engine – to categorise and return search results related and most importantly, relevant to a particular user’s search query.

Therefore, search engines are continuously looking for ways to ensure that the content they display is accurate and worthwhile to the searcher – their customer. Which is where these three key terms come in;

  • Expertise: Whether or not the reporter is a subject matter expert, and the content is useful
  • Authority: What standing the reporter has in the community
  • Trustworthy: How accurate and believable the content is that is being put out

Mentions, links and “shout-outs” from multiple sites are a great start here as they help build confidence from users and crawlers that your content is of a high standard. However, quality always wins over quantity. Gaining the respect of highly reputable and well-known sites can be a challenge but will pay its weight in gold.

Positive Reviews

This leads on nicely to another way to boost the reputation of your company and website – reviews. As an ecommerce snob I will automatically filter my search results to 4.5 stars minimum when searching for an item. And it’s the same when looking for holiday accommodation. The key point here is that both users and crawlers are consistently looking for ways to filter through content and identify the best option. So, without reviews how can a crawler measure your sites reputation?

Branded Searches

You paid how much for it??? “But it’s from <insert mainstream brand name> 

Speaking of brand, now it’s time to hone in on another key component of off-page SEO – brand signals. Everyone is familiar with the concept of branding – it allows certain companies to charge higher prices for almost identical content to another simply because of their stronger brand image. So how exactly do brand images transfer into the digital domain? It’s quite simple actually, using the Google Search Console you can create a performance report for keywords to measure the performance in search results. Here you can search for your company name e.g. “DigiF9” or even your brand name combined with a keyword or phrase linked to your company “DigiF9 Website Design”. You will see the number of searches (impressions) for that keyword, and the number of clicks made.

Brand Tracking

Now you know the power of a brand name, how can you track and monitor your brand mentions? Unless you have an expansive team monitoring the internet 24×7, chances are you are going to need a tracking tool to do so. There are a number of tools in this area, such as Mention.com and Buzzsumo.com. Here you can track a brand name or a keyword phrase that you are interested in as well as measuring trending metrics over a period of time to identify spikes and dips in traffic.

Further Areas

As we said before, Off-Page SEO, and SEO in general for that matter is a vast topic and there are many areas to explore. Here are three bonus areas to look into;

Getting Interviewed

Media outlets are a fantastic area to explore, given their large footprint and market visibility. Not only is it a great opportunity to grow your brand name, but it also allows you to boost your EAT rating, based off the reputable source endorsing you.

Think about it, how better to demonstrate Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness on a subject than being interviewed by a media outlet on that subject. Furthermore, whether it is a video interview, an article, or a podcast, it triggers viewers to search for your brand name, boosting this organic traffic to your website. You should be using analytical tools, such as Google Analytics allow you to measure traffic around particular events, such as an interview, to see what effect it has had on your traffic.

Partnerships

Having explored many areas in this article, the topic of partnerships should come as no surprise. Not only does it offer you an opportunity to offer a pro-rata service through backlinks, but it allows you to conduct interviews, and direct traffic to each other’s pages. Particularly if these partners are in different markets, they can help attract new organic traffic to your website, and vice versa – a win for both.

Creating Reusable Material

We talked earlier about the power of shared content being reused on other sites, statistics, charts, and other visual and informational content. Lets focus visual content for a second though, as images are one of the most commonly reused sources of content on websites, blogs and sub-pages. They can break up long parts of text, help walk readers through stages and processes, as well as reinforce brand awareness. This is why content creators of images can be quite successful when it comes to web presence, as well as SEO scoring. And we are not just talking about creating flat images for a royalty based site, using your own built images with your blogs increases the chances of users referencing your material themselves, thus boosting your backlinks, EAT and ultimately your SEO score.

CONCLUSION

Off-Page SEO, as with SEO as a whole, is clearly a significant and vast area, and as we discussed earlier will not be a complete quick win for any organisation. You should view this as a long-term project to continue to build your reputation, trustworthiness and authority, just as you would in real life. Google places a lot of emphasis on EAT (expertise, authority and trust), so you must focus on showcasing your expertise and become an authority in your subject area which will lead to trust amongst your industry peers and clients.

Do not expect to see immediate results from your SEO effort, this must be sustained throughout the life of your website. Usually, you would expect to see a return on investment 6-12 months after you have started investing in your SEO efforts.

There are a number of key areas to get started with in the article, both from an immediate actions’ perspective and for ongoing maintenance and review. At DigiF9 we offer a portfolio of services in website and application development, as well as digital presence and branding. We provide completely bespoke, tailored solutions to all our customers, where we immerse ourselves within your environment to be part of your team. We are completely transparent with our customers, providing you with clear and realistic timelines, the design, any challenges, and keeping you updated every step of the way. Interested? Contact sales@digif9.co.uk for a personalised quote and let us help you transform your digital presence!