Offpage Optimization

Offpage optimization is a part of search engine optimization (SEO) and is considered the counterpart to onpage optimization. It includes all the measures that the webmaster takes away from his own page to prove a good search engine ranking.

On the one hand, a website can be optimized on the page itself for search engines such as Google (onpage optimization). On the other hand, optimization away from one’s own website also plays an important role. This subarea of search engine optimization, the offpage optimization, primarily includes all measures that are used for link building. In addition, social signals, i.e. data from social media, and good brand marketing are also repeatedly mentioned as possible offpage factors.

In principle, the goal of offpage optimization is to spread a website or a company as far as possible on the web, to increase its level of awareness and to let as much traffic as possible flow to the online presence.

Elements of Offpage Optimization

Offpage optimization, when performed as recommended by Google, can only be influenced to a limited extent by the website operator himself. Nevertheless, there are certain elements that an SEO can influence.

Linkbuilding

The goal of link building is for a website to obtain the highest possible number of backlinks from the highest quality sites possible. To achieve this, different ways exist, which are more or less liked by Google.

Search engines prefer it when a website builds backlinks organically, because it offers high-quality content and users thus link the page voluntarily. A link is then a recommendation to the user, showing that another site is reporting something good on a topic.

Methods such as link purchase or link exchange are frowned upon, because here a backlink is not what it is supposed to be: a recommendation of another page. Google and Co. can punish this procedure and downgrade websites in the ranking or even remove them completely from the index.

In addition, there are methods that are more or less permissible in the eyes of the search engines, but which often have only a very limited influence on the ranking. For example, website operators can manually enter backlinks in forums, catalogs or comment fields.

Not all backlinks are the same: Google evaluates the strength of a link based on various factors such as the link text, the link position, the number of links from a source and, most importantly, the strength of the linking website.

How valuable a link is in general for the offpage optimization and ranking of a website is discussed again and again. The opinion that the influence of backlinks is steadily decreasing is becoming more and more widespread.

Social Signals

Social signals are generally understood to be “signals” that point in the direction of a website from social media. So how many likes does a post have? How often do users retweet my message? Or what rating does a company have on Google+? Occasionally, social interactions such as blog comments or article ratings are also referred to as social signals.

How important these signals are for ranking is controversial. Many experts suggest that Google considers them important, or at least that there is a correlation. Others believe that no direct correlation exists between good rankings and many Likes and +1s. But even Google repeatedly hints at the importance of positive signals from social media.

Whether or not social signals play a direct role in offpage optimization is debatable. In any case, social media can bring attention, traffic and user engagement to a website. Companies should therefore be present and active on social media.

PR, reputation and brand management

PR, marketing or brand management can also be cited as indirect offpage optimization. Google favors companies in the ranking that act as opinion leaders or authorities. This means that strong brands can have an easier time achieving good positions in the SERPs.

A high search volume for a brand name or frequent mentions of a company on the web could indicate that a brand has high brand awareness and is well-known. In addition, many backlinks and a high level of activity as well as high follower numbers in social media can be cited as clear indications of a successful brand. And positive user signals such as a high dwell time and a low bounce rate can also be signs of satisfied visitors and thus of the authority of a company.

Analysis of Offpage Optimization

As in onpage optimization, there are also many SEO tools for the offpage area that allow you to analyze your own status. They measure, for example, how many backlinks point to a website or how a website’s user signals are distributed in social media.

Many programs offer both onpage and offpage optimization, for example the tools from the SEO experts at Searchmetrics, Ryte or Sistrix.

In addition, some providers also specialize more in the offpage area, such as Majestic or ahrefs.

The Google Search Console also provides values that can be used to optimize backlinks and one’s own website. Among other things, users can view the linking pages here.

Offpage optimization is, in addition to onpage optimization, an important part of search engine optimization. Backlinks still seem to be an important ranking criterion for Google. Social signals and building a brand can also help a website to rank well.

At the same time, SEO experts have less influence on the offpage area if they operate it with “legal” methods. Much more, users and community decide here which website is valuable and which brand is worth supporting. Companies can therefore best ensure more backlinks, better social signals and thus better SEO results with good content, good usability and strong customer loyalty.

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