Off-page SEO presents the greatest difficulties in search engine optimisation (SEO) but also the fewest volunteers. You must maximise your off-site presence if you want your business to rank at the top of search results and receive the traffic, leads, and sales that come with that position.
The term is usually used in reference to the actions that you can and should take outside of your own website. These actions will usually impact your rankings within search engine results pages or SERPs. And in order to help you with tackling this, we have put together this off-site SEO checklist. A tried-and-true road map for anyone looking to improve their off-page SEO.
Take a look at this list to find out:
- How to get your site ready for off-page SEO
- How to improve and automate your website’s off-page SEO
- And plenty more!
With further ado, let’s get started!
SEO off-page checklist: 12 steps to follow
Here are 12 things that everyone should have on their off-page optimisation checklist:
You must evaluate your backlink profile before you begin optimising your off-page SEO, for example, using one of these free tools:
You may also check your backlink profile using a premium service from SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz in order to get the fastest data and analysis. Remember that the amount of data that you’re able to view and explore with the free alternatives of some of these apps, like Moz, is restricted. Whatever tool you choose, you should have accessibility to the following data:
- Number of links pointing to your site
- Link text
- Number of sites that connect to yours
- Number of pages with the most links
Exporting the information to a Google Sheet or another convenient location will make it more accessible.
You’ll also get a Domain Authority or Domain Rating score for your site if you utilise Moz or Ahrefs. Based on the backlink profile of your website, these rankings evaluate its authority. More authority equates to a better score.
So, in conclusion, a backlink profile is a complete and thorough list of all the backlinks pointing to your website. A good backlink profile is one that has many links, most of which come from high-quality websites. In other words, having 50 backlinks – 40 of which are high-quality – is better than having 200 backlinks with only 20 quality ones.
Analyse your competitors’ backlink profiles next.
One way of doing this is using Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and pasting in your keyword or keywords. Once you do that, check what the keyword difficulty (KD) is for your keywords. Focus on keywords that have a KD of 25 or higher.
Once you have the keywords, start typing them into Google, and the immediate results are your “competitors”. For example, if you’re a financial lawyer based in Manchester, try googling “finance lawyer in Manchester”.
Save the links to their pages in a Google sheet for convenience. Then, head to Ahrefs Site Explorer and your competitors’ URLs, one at a time. Then on the left side menu, click on one link per domain. Now, hit export and tadaa! You have yourself a list of the backlinks of each competitor.
After exporting this data, you can start to reverse engineer the backlinks of your competitors. In other words, you can aim to build the same or similar links to those of your competition and, as a result, rank higher in search engines.
Prior to spending effort on outreach, promotion, or content production, you must optimise the internal linking on your website.
In case you’re unfamiliar with these, internal links are basically links that connect one page on your website to another. It helps both visitors of your website and search engines to find content easily on your website.
Because internal linking aids in content discoverability, this on-page SEO work is important to your off-page SEO efforts.
Why? You might wonder, well, because it can assist pages to rank higher in search results if you use effective internal linking techniques to aid search engine crawlers in finding, understanding, and indexing your material.
Additionally, passing link equity (also known as link juice) from high-authority pages might help your page rank. And the way a page usually gets high authority is by having numerous backlinks. In other words, your backlinking efforts (off-page) will affect the success of your internal links, and the opposite is true.
4. SEO off-page checklist: Eliminate 404 errors
Along with internal linking, your company should concentrate on 404 errors, which are broken links. When a link on your website is broken, all that is reached is a 404 page.
While these pages help keep visitors on your website by listing other sites that are pertinent to their needs, they are of little utility to users and raise a red flag for web crawlers. Additionally, having broken links may have an impact on your off-page SEO. A rival has a chance to reach out to you if they discover a domain that is linked to your website through a broken link.
The simplest method for identifying and repairing broken links is offered by Screaming Frog.
The free edition offers an easy-to-export list of URLs with 404 errors, including the broken URL, and will crawl up to 500 URLs. The broken link’s anchor text is clearly visible, which makes your job even simpler. You should not only resolve these issues right away but also make it a practice to look for 404 errors.
Check for broken external links in websites you’d like to receive a link from, such as an industry blog, to get started with broken link building.
Next up, determine the material on your website that can take the place of the broken link. Then contact the webmasters of the website in question and politely ask them to link to a page on your site.
The idea here is that most website owners don’t want to send their visitors to a dead resource and would rather have your content in place instead.
For more information on how to do this, check non-other than Ahrefs’ complete guide on broken link building.
6. SEO off-page checklist: Use outreach to get your material found
Utilise technologies like BuzzSumo and Inkybee, as well as a reader attitude, to maximise the value of outreach. When writing to bloggers, editors, and webmasters, consider what problem your work solves and use the solution to drive your request for a link.
BuzzSumo, for instance, can measure the number of social shares and backlinks an article of your competitors has received. It also gives you a detailed idea of the different sources and channels that your competitors are using to engage with their target audiences.
Having such information can give you the upper hand since you can do almost exactly what they’re doing but better.
With these tools, you can thoroughly research popular topics, as well as find bloggers to pick. Plus, some programs, such as Pitchbox, can help you streamline, track, and monitor your efforts. They also have ongoing partnerships with top SEO providers such as Moz, SEMRush, Ahrefs and more. This means you can easily find influencers in your niche in a matter of seconds at times.
Regardless of what tools or tactics you go with, always keep your readers in mind. If your content doesn’t offer great reader value, you’re not going to succeed.
To put it simply, with great content come greater backlinks. In other words, utilising as many tools as you can afford to create greater, better-tailored content will benefit you in the long run. Not only will search engines such as Google appreciate it but also other website owners that’ll gladly link to your pages, blogs, and more.
7. Keep your local citation and directory profiles up to date
A grey area in off-page SEO is provided by local citations and directories. Many businesses, particularly those new to off-site SEO, unwittingly misuse and abuse this link-building method by adding their website to spammy and shady directories, for example.
A local citation, in simpler terms, is any online mention of a partial or complete name, address, and phone number of a local business. In this case, that business would be you! These citations help people to discover local businesses and, in turn, can impact local search engine rankings.
One way to build local citations and business listings is to use Moz. Their tool will help you manage your local business listings on Google, Facebook, and other crucial websites. This will help consumers and prospects find your business easily.
8. Use sponsored advertisements to market your material
Promote your content, such as an infographic, tool, or research paper, using ad networks like Google Ads and Facebook to increase traffic to your website.
By continually analysing and enhancing ad campaigns, you can maximise the effectiveness of this off-page SEO checklist item. The caveat to this step is that it will require a budget for ad spend. However, in most, if not all, cases, if you do your ads properly, you’ll get your money’s worth in no time.
And, of course, as always, you need to make sure that your ads are compelling enough. They should have copy that engages your audience and offers them value. They should also rely on striking pictures, graphics, and videos.
Use guest blogging to promote your brand and create quality backlinks for your business. Look into popular and specialised blogs in your field. After that, develop a list of ideas and present them.
The idea here is to invite someone from outside of your company to write a blog that’ll be published on your website. Such a move will increase your reach, improve your credibility and authority online and, most importantly, freshen your content catalogue.
You might be given the opportunity to write a guest blog article yourself, depending on your pitch. This is also great for your business as you can and will link back to your site in the blog.
Your company can share material for free on social media. You should probably spend some time on social media marketing and social media advertising if you want to get the most out of this link-building approach and off-page SEO checklist.
These two strategies can aid in increasing your online audience, which could result in more shares and backlinks. Due to social media algorithms, it can be challenging for businesses to grow their online social media followings. Nowadays, most algorithms give users’ friends’ content a higher priority than the brands they follow.
11. Consider your options
Off-page SEO is associated with link building. Although it’s one of the most popular methods for enhancing off-page SEO, doing so is frequently the most challenging because it calls for patience, expertise, and the cooperation of people who aren’t under your control.
We have discussed some of the options available to you for link building in our previous points. These include broken link building, local citations, paid promotion, guest blogging, and more.
The majority of the time, your company will employ multiple link-building techniques. However, your company and you will determine which ones you utilise. For instance, you can decide to concentrate on broken links and outreach because you lack the time or resources to write a guest blog.
12. Improve the on-page SEO of your website
Together, off-page SEO and on-page SEO can help your website rank highly in search results. Both, therefore, need your attention. It’s all about harmony. Yes, your off-page SEO efforts can be flawless. However, you won’t see results if you’re lacking when it comes to on-page SEO (keywords, page titles, meta descriptions, page speed, etc.)
Your website won’t perform to its maximum potential in terms of website traffic, online leads, and money if you only optimise both your off-page and on-page SEO.
Do you need a hand?
We all know SEO can get overwhelming pretty fast (have you seen the items on the above checklist?!). Worry not, though, as we’re here to help. Book a discovery call with us today, and we’ll show you how we can make SEO work for your business.